Our Team

Gareth McKnight

Managing Director

Gareth has been involved in the sales and marketing of employment law and human resources, health & safety and management consultancy since 1991. He worked for the original innovators of this type of service, Croner, from 1991 to 1997 and then between 1997 and 2002 he was a key member of the team assembled by RBS to launch and market its Mentor service, which very quickly became the largest provider of fixed fee employment law and health & safety services in the UK. From its inception in 2002, until early 2011, Gareth was a leading member of the management team which created and launched Law At Work, a Glasgow based provider of similar services.

Since leaving Law At Work, Gareth has taken some time out to review and appraise the employment law, human resources and health & safety market, with a view to developing from scratch a different and more innovative model, which is Navigator. He was attracted to VIALEX and its ground breaking Legal Counsel Service and is relishing the opportunities that present to cross sell the Navigator services.

Gareth is passionate about quality and client service and you can be assured of his best attention at all times.

Gareth is married to Teeny and they live in Barnton, Edinburgh with their four year old son Matthew. He is a keen Ulster, Ireland and Lions rugby fan. Although, circumstances mean that he is more often seen following Edinburgh or Scotland at Murrayfield.

Alan Sutherland

Head of Employment Law

A graduate of both the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh, Alan has over 15 years’ experience in employment law, firstly with Mackay Simon, at that time the leading niche firm of solicitors providing employment law advice and services only, and latterly with Maclay Murray & Spens, again specialising solely in employment law.

Alan advises on all areas of employment law, including unfair dismissal, discrimination, redundancy, transfer of undertakings and contractual documentation. He has acted for a range of clients both large and small and has appeared in Employment Tribunals throughout the UK, as well as in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. He has also been involved in the provision of training to clients in various aspects of employment law.

Alan has the experience to anticipate and identify potential problem areas. He is not afraid to suggest innovative solutions to problems, but where litigation proves ultimately necessary he will pursue cases vigorously.

Outside the office, Alan is interested in foreign foods, cultures and climates and has circumnavigated the globe twice (and more importantly managed to find his way home). He is a keen observer of all sports and can occasionally be found churning up a golf course somewhere.

Russell Eadie

Legal Manager

Russell is an experienced employment lawyer having spent more than 20 years working in this area, almost exclusively for employers or senior executives.  Over those years, Russell has worked at various levels and was latterly a partner in a large and well known Scottish firm with offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow where he provided employment law advice to clients and HR support to employees of the firm in his role as Staff Partner.

During his career, Russell has been lucky enough to act for a huge range of clients, both in terms of their size and sector.  Apart from appearing in tribunals throughout the country, Russell has been involved in a significant level of project work and corporate support work and is comfortable dealing with everything and anything that comes across his desk from clients to help them get on with their normal business.

Over many years in practice, helping his clients has allowed Russell to advise on a wide number of areas within the employment law sphere, including unfair dismissal, redundancy, TUPE, non-contentious contract work and discrimination on grounds of sex, disability, race, religion and sexual orientation.   Despite regular appearances in the Tribunal where he fights hard to achieve success  for his clients, Russell has a genuine interest in mediation and alternative options for resolving dispute and encourages his client to consider those in appropriate circumstances.

Spending time training clients on how to improve their skills and avoid ending up in Tribunal is a particular passion.  He thrives on the chance to talk in detail to his clients when doing that to get a real understanding of their business and the issues they face.

Away from work, Russell has a part time job providing taxi and gardening services for his family. For many years, he has punished himself by supporting East Stirling FC and can also be found on the golf course trying desperately to remember how to play the game to the level he managed when he was younger and knew what he was doing!.

Helen Donnelly

Legal Manager

Helen graduated from Queens University, Belfast, with a Master’s Degree in Anthropology before gaining her law degree at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

During her studies she was an active member of the university’s Law Clinic and was appointed as Student Director in her graduating year. As a student she provided representation at the Employment Tribunal and appeared before the Sheriff Principal.

Helen completed a specialist employment law traineeship, advising a wide variety of employers and businesses on all areas of employment law before moving on to work for one of the UK’s leading firms, where she provided advice, support, training and advocacy to the UK’s largest Trades Unions.

As well as appearing in the Employment Tribunal throughout the UK in cases focusing on discrimination, unfair dismissal, victimisation and wages claims, Helen has practical experience of appearing at professional regulatory proceedings and of instructing counsel in interim interdict at the Court of Session.

Helen believes that her years of experience of advising and representing both employers and employees gives her an insightful and well-rounded approach, and she uses this to find practical solutions for clients facing complex issues.

Away from the office, Helen enjoys cooking and swimming, spending time with her family and watching classic films by her fireside.

Ruth Gladwell

HR Business Partner

As a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD Ruth brings many years' of experience from a broad spectrum of industries.

Having initial experience as a people manager in her early career in the City of London, Ruth pursued her interest in human resources and obtained her initial CIPD qualifications in the financial services sector. Moving to Edinburgh in 2006 she then actively sought varied opportunities to widen her knowledge working in unionised, multi-site manufacturing and heavy industry environments. Having these experiences led to her delivering complex TUPE transactions, change programmes alongside supporting the overall employment lifecycle.

Ruth has a number of experiences supporting SME's where a need for her skills was required to deliver various organic growth projects.

Joining Navigator in October plays to Ruths' strengths in translating the value of HR across any environment.

Her happy place is with her daughters and their dog in the great outdoors.

Stephanie Harper

Associate HR Consultant

Stephanie is a highly experienced HR professional who started her HR career in a fast moving consumable goods global company (Bosch). She then moved to head up a HR team at the multi sited and unionised Amersham & Wycombe College (including 9 educational establishments).  Relocating to Scotland over 20 years ago and through a number of promotions she led the delivery of HR services internally and externally at a Scottish housing association (Dunedin Canmore, now part of the Wheatley Group). She then entered the legal sector by joining the legal division of Law At Work, where she developed the HR client projects service. During this time, Stephanie was responsible for delivering and providing HR and governance professional support.

One of Stephanie’s key focuses at Navigator is to ensure our diverse range of clients receive an excellent solutions focussed and pragmatic employment law, HR and governance service while ensuring any risks and compliance challenges are highlighted. Clients will find that she is driven to deliver in a collaborative manner but possesses the courage to challenge where appropriate.

As a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and with a Masters in Law & Employment Relations she has been recognised recently for her 30 years’ of service to HR. She is also a trained workplace mediator and a qualified project manager. In her spare time Stephanie is a Director and Trustee of Heriot Watt University Student Union. She also enjoys time with her family and friends, walking her Labrador Simba, pilates and street photography. 

Clare Lynch

Client Liaison Executive

Clare has worked in the legal sector for over ten years, providing administration support at MacRoberts LLP, initially as Office Junior before becoming Support Services Assistant. She completed an SVQ level 3 in Business Administration during that time. In January 2014, Clare took on the role of Business Services Executive, where she gained experience in the marketing and business development departments, finally settling on a role as Business Development Executive.

Clare joined Navigator in September 2015 where she hopes to develop her skills and continue to deliver a first class service to clients.

Clare enjoys studying with the Open University, and is currently working towards a degree in International Development. She also enjoys spending time with her family and travelling to various scenic spots in Scotland.

Nadia Simpson

Business Development Executive

Nadia has recently joined Navigator as Business Development Executive. Having graduated from The University of Strathclyde in Summer 2020, Nadia achieved a first-class Honours degree in Business Enterprise and Marketing. Alongside her studies, she has worked closely with a national charity and been named their biggest individual fundraiser, raising over £14,000. While carrying out her degree, Nadia always worked part-time jobs, including being a Personal Stylist in a local boutique, working with clients as well as on the marketing side of the business.

Nadia is an ambitious individual, who strived to work hard and develop her skills. Outside of her working life, Nadia has always been a keen sportsperson, competing at national level within Athletics. Having gained medals at Scottish level, Nadia is now a qualified assistant coach, giving back to her local club, Ayr Seaforth, who she was a member of for over 8 years.

Gary Foggo

Health & Safety Manager

Gary has a wealth of experience in health and safety management working both ‘direct’ and in consultancy and in a wide range of work environments.

He has previously been involved in the management of projects which have included the provision of a software system to manage contractor health and safety implications on behalf of the Scottish Government, from its initial concept through purchase and subsequent utilisation, and the development and delivery of a behavioural safety programme implemented at multiple manufacturing and logistics sites across Europe.

Gary is a Chartered member of IOSH.

John Ferguson

Associate Health & Safety Consultant

John specialises in health & safety training and has a passion for providing good quality training within any sector, ensuring the training is fun but communicated well so that clients feel relaxed and comfortable with the course they are completing.

Having served for many years in HM Forces, John is currently a B Commission Officer (Major) within the training teams. He also works all over the world as part of a Close Protection Team, working and supporting the UN, Diplomats and high profile clients. John teaches Consulate staff medical training in hostile environments and is a highly qualified Medic, with Diplomas and a degree in trauma care.

John is married to Isabella, and they have three daughters and three grandchildren. In his spare time, John enjoys spending his time up mountains and is a qualified Mountain Leader.



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“The Edinburgh Academy has just received our second annual Health and Safety Legal Compliance Audit.  I have been thoroughly impressed with the deal of challenge and investigation that went into the audit to check all areas of our H&S procedures.  The reports are clear and easily read with clear conclusions that I know was appreciated by the Governing Board and gave them the assurance as to where the school stands with regard to implementing our H&S policies.   I have been even more impressed with the level of guidance and support that we received to help us over the course of the following year to rectify the areas identified for improvement.  This has resulted in a marked improvement across the School.”

Guy Cartwright Bursar

– The Edinburgh Academy


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