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Meet the team

Zoe Riddle Zoë Riddle - Acting Area Director

Zoe is currently Acting Area Director for the South West.

In her previous role as Training Manager, Zoë was responsible for overseeing Acas' open access training programme and the in-company training work undertaken by the region's training team.

Zoë joined Acas in 2005, and has undertaken a range of roles within the organisation including managing the Acas helpline for Wales and Southern England, and working as an Individual Conciliator helping parties involved in Employment Tribunals to resolve disputes.

Zoë has a BSc in Business and Management from Cardiff University, and over 10 years experience as a people manager. Zoë is part of Acas South West's Management team, and is also a Magistrate sitting in South Wales.

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/zoë-riddle/34/26a/57b


Chris Haines Chris Haines - Senior Adviser/Mediation Manager/Collective Conciliator

Chris is the Senior Adviser and Collective Conciliator for Bristol, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. Chris has extensive experience of working with a wide range of organisations. Whilst he has advised and assisted in all areas of employment he has a particular focus on mediation, mediation training and conflict management; pay and grading; management of change; working effectively with employee representatives and consultation/workplace communication. In addition Chris has conciliated in a large number of collective disputes and delivers training on most of the main employment and employment relations topics. Chris is CIPD qualified.


Giles Vicat Giles Vicat - Senior Adviser

Giles is the Senior Adviser and Collective Conciliator for Cornwall.

Giles joined Acas in 1995 and has held a broad range of posts covering dispute resolution, policy, employment law and good practice. He has had extensive experience of advising and training organisations in all areas of employment relations both in the UK and abroad, and is a regular speaker at employment-related events.


Mike Gardner Mike Gardner - Senior Adviser/Collective Conciliator

Mike is the Senior Adviser and Collective Conciliator for Somerset and Devon.

Mike has worked for Acas for over 7 years and is an experienced conciliator, facilitator and trainer with an excellent knowledge of employment law and good practice having dealt with most types of individual and collective employment disputes and tribunal claims within organisations and businesses across the South West. As a Senior Adviser Mike works with a variety of companies throughout the South West providing advice and assistance on all kinds of employment relations issues as well as designing and delivering bespoke training.

Mike also has extensive practical knowledge and experience of handling employment issues as a manager throughout his career.  He is an accomplished and experienced facilitator and enjoys the challenge of working to resolve collective disputes and to devise and implement workplace projects that improve employment relations.

Mike is a graduate in Psychology and Economics, has a Post Graduate Certificate in Employment Dispute resolution and is an accredited trainer with ITOL.

Mike has a particular interest in Mental Health and Resilience in the workplace and enjoys delivering focussed and practical solutions to workplace issues.


Mike Fenn Mike Fenn - Training Manager/Trainer & Adviser

Mike has been a member of the Acas South West Training & Advisory team for 5 years. During that time he has worked with many local businesses and organisations delivering practical and effective solutions to their HR issues. He especially values the relationships that he establishes, which lead to individuals having greater confidence to carry out their roles and organisations being able to engage with their staff in a more productive way.

In addition to a formal teaching qualification, Mike is a member of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (MITOL) and uses his experience to deliver training which is tailored for the audience, uses effective learning techniques, practical examples and can be measured against its intended outcomes.

Mike specialises in equality and diversity awareness and the management of discipline and grievance issues. He covers Bristol, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.


Nick Langford Nick Langford - Senior Adviser

Nick has worked for Acas for nearly 20 years and has an in-depth knowledge of a wide range of employment relations' issues. He has spent the last 10 years delivering good practice advice and providing expertise in finding practical, workable solutions to the issues you face. Living in West Dorset for the last 5 years, Nick has been delivering training and advisory services to employers of all shapes and sizes across the whole of the South West.

In addition to many years of direct management experience Nick has worked as a conciliator resolving individual and collective issues to avoid the need for Employment Tribunal action. This experience has given him invaluable background knowledge of the kind of problems faced by employers and employees alike.

Nick is based in Charmouth, West Dorset and covers Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.


Maxine Henley Maxine Henley - Regional Publicity Manager, Conciliator & Mediator

Maxine has worked in employment relations since 2000, specialising in workplace dispute resolution and conflict management.

Her main area of expertise is conciliation and mediation. Maxine has worked with many public, private and voluntary sector organisations to successfully resolve conflict between individuals and within teams up to Senior Management and Chief Executive level.

Maxine has a particular interest in equality and diversity working with organisations providing strategic best practice advice through the employment life-cycle from recruitment and selection to exit. She has helped organisations deal with bullying and harassment in the workplace, reviewed policies and practices, recommended improvements and designed and delivered tailored workplace training solutions.

Maxine has a degree in Geography & International Relations and a Post Graduate Certificate in Employment Dispute Resolution.

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/maxine-henley/86/820/a1b.


Christine Phillis Christine Phillis - Mediator & Conciliator

Christine has been a conciliator since 1996. Her main area of expertise is dealing with individual dispute resolution. She has a wealth of knowledge working with large public sector organisations and SMEs, dealing with a variety of situations.

Christine is also a trained mediator, and believes that the key to resolving workplace disputes lies with effective communication.  She also believes that early intervention is key to resolving disputes, rather than letting the matter fester. She will encourage parties (where appropriate) to engage in face to face meetings, which she feels can assist in resolving the matter, and building a better working relationship.

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/christine-phillis/17/543/4b0.


Felicity Abraham Felicity Chandler - Mediator & Conciliator

Felicity has mediated on employment tribunal claims since September 1996, dealing with a range of difficult situations and industries. Her personal strengths are her strong interpersonal skills, her ability to quickly build a rapport and trust, a reassuring and approachable manner, good listening skills and patience.

Felicity was trained as a mediator by Tony Whatling, International Mediator. She has worked with many individuals from a variety of private & public industry backgrounds at all levels; working with them to address issues within their working relationship where often trust has broken down within the relationship and this impacts on how they communicate and behave towards each other.

Felicity has a high success rate in helping parties reach a better understanding of what they need to improve or change.


Martin Stevens Martin Stevens - Mediator & Conciliator

Martin has been a mediator for 12 years in addition to his role as a conciliator. He is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

He has a particular interest in the difficulties of dealing with absence or poor performance, especially where this gives rise to allegations of bullying.

His work has been featured in an Acas annual report in relation to the implementation of the principles from The Macpherson Report into institutional racism.

In the past Martin has presented training sessions on a variety of topics and is keen to educate audiences on the value of good practise and the services that Acas can provide.

His interest in mediation led him to complete a post graduate qualification in International Mediation with Queen Mary University in London in 2009.