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Adviser profiles

The East Midlands region is a diverse area for employment from agriculture in Lincolnshire to car manufacturing in Derbyshire.

Our Senior Advisers and Trainers work with all agencies to promote better employment relations. They are experienced in improving workplace relationships and supporting parties to implement change. They can visit you or discuss issues over the phone.

If you would like any of the team to visit your business and talk you through how Acas can help then please contact our customer services team on 0300 123 1150 or complete our Customer contact form and they'll be in touch.

Louise Lenton Louise Lenton - East Midlands Area Director

Louise has been a Civil Servant for most of her working life. She started off in Land Registration before moving to DWP as a 16 to 24 Work Coach, then later Jobcentre Manager. This is where she developed a passion for developing the talent of our young people and supporting them into employment by ensuring they are fully prepared for the world of work.

Louise then moved to HMRC where she managed a large Specialist Tax Team responsible for Trusts and Inheritance Tax, during which time she set up a new training team to create and deliver a comprehensive induction and training package for new recruits. The chance came to move back into a public facing role and she joined Acas as a Senior Advisor and Individual Conciliator Manager. She believes the management skills she used in previous roles stood her in good stead for the duties she now carries out within Acas.

Richard Clifton Richard Clifton - Senior Adviser/ Conciliator

Richard has over 20 years experience with Acas and is Senior Adviser and Collective Conciliator responsible for Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire.

His take on Acas work is that it is about doing whatever it takes to help. Whether you need a quick phone call, a visit, training, have an issue with conflict between individuals or are worried about a possible dispute you should feel able to contact us and get the help you need. That is what we are there for.

He has a wide range of experience in resolving disputes of all kinds, individual and collective, as well as advising and training on the full range of employee relations issues, including communications, consultation and investigations. Richard is a trained mediator and delivers accredited mediation skills training courses as well as advising organisations on mediation policy and procedures.

He is also a member of the Steering Group which co ordinates the Acas East Midlands Employment Relations Forum, a networking and consultation body for HR professionals in the East Midlands.

Jim Kerr Jim Kerr - Senior Adviser/Conciliator

Jim has wide experience and expertise in mediation/conciliation throughout the various sectors of the UK economy. He has trained groups of managers, employees and their representatives in conflict resolution, negotiating skills, communications and consultation, employee involvement and joint problem solving.

He particularly enjoys meeting with management and employee representatives to help them work more effectively together. In the East Midlands region, Jim has additional responsibility for job evaluation and employee feedback surveys. Between 2006 and 2008 he was involved with European Union projects in Romania and Bulgaria. There he facilitated the training and discussions between delegates from employers' organisations and trade union confederations.

Jim is responsible for Northamptonshire, Southern and Eastern Lincolnshire and Southern Leicestershire.


"Thank you for the training you have delivered today. The feedback I have had has been very, very positive and I think it is fair to say the whole team has benefited."

Managing Director, Design & Manufacturing company - Training in Performance Management, Appraisals, Discipline and Grievance, Conducting Investigations

"I particularly enjoyed the combination of presenter input and the interactive material. I will look to use this experience to help ensure consistency across our organisation."

Director of Corporate Services, Public Sector - Training in 'Conducting Investigations

"Many many thanks for today. The interaction was great and you chose a very interesting brief."

Chair of Human Resources Practitioners meeting - Acas services, including mediation and working relationships

"Your participation in the training day really helped to make it a successful day. Thank you very much indeed."

Deputy General Secretary, Educational Association - 'Handling Difficult Situations'

"Thank you once again for your hard work and expertise."

Trade Union Officer - Chairing a joint working group to 'Improve discipline, grievance and performance management practices'

Dwinder Virk Dwinder Virk - Senior Adviser/Conciliator

Dwinder has worked in the Civil Service for most of her working life. She started off in The Office of Fair Trading and then secured a managerial position with HM Customs and Revenue working with small and large businesses in the Nottinghamshire area. Dwinder then had a long career with Government office working in partnership with local authorities, voluntary and community sectors for a range of Government Departments.

She believes the management skills she used in these posts stood her in good stead for the duties she now carries out as a collective conciliator, trainer (ITOL qualified) and senior adviser which she has done for the past few years. In her current role, Dwinder provides support for businesses in Nottinghamshire. Her knowledge and experience of the day to day issues confronting employers enables her to provide advice, guidance and training which is not only soundly based but also practical and pragmatic.

When disputes arise in the workplace, Dwinder is able to help the parties find a mutually satisfactory resolution. She also has responsibility for Equality and Diversity and can assist your organisation in main streaming equalities and making equality and diversity even more central to how your organisation operates by providing Equality Diagnostics, guidance with policies and by delivering training in this area across the East Midlands.

Graeme Young - Senior Adviser/Conciliator

Graeme has been with Acas since 2009 and is Senior Advisor and Collective conciliator with responsibility for Northamptonshire. He has great experience across Acas including extensive time in managerial positions. With an excellent understanding of how Acas works and how we can help SME's his main interests are staff engagement and performance management. He also possesses a great depth of knowledge of employee relations focussing on conflict avoidance and resolution. He has a thorough comprehension of Acas' conciliation work as well as being an experienced and proficient mediator.

Graeme has broad experience of successfully delivering Acas training to internal and external clients and views Acas training and advice as a key element to achieving successful employee relations. Prior to being with Acas, Graeme ran his own successful business in the hospitality industry which gives him invaluable experience to share with those he meets and empathy with the issues faced by Acas' customers.

Simon Allen Simon Allen - Senior Adviser/Conciliator

Simon provides support for businesses in the Leicestershire area.

He joined Acas after 17 years at the Department of Work and Pensions, most of which involved managing staff, including Outreach staff in Children Centres in deprived wards, as well as managing jobcentres.

Consequently he is very familiar with HR issues but his real interest is in staff engagement and development often through increasing staff involvement in change projects.

Kenneth Bamford Kenneth Bamford - Senior Adviser/Conciliator

Ken joined Acas after working for the Ministry of Defence. He has a strong background in Equality & Diversity and is proficient in Mediation.

He focusses on assisting parties to resolve their differences through good workplace practices, and specialises in Mediation; mentoring and co-ordinating the Acas team of Mediators and supports the CIWM (Certificate of Internal Workplace Mediation) training courses.

He provides advice and support for Businesses in the Lincolnshire area.

Heather Paget Heather Paget - Trainer/ Conciliator/ Mediator

During her time with Acas Heather has been involved in a broad range of work, as well as having worked for the Benefits Agency before joining Acas in 2000. As an Advisor on our Helpline, Heather provided practical advice to thousands of callers concerning their unique employment queries.

As a Conciliator she assisted many employers and employees in resolving their workplace disputes through our free Conciliation service. Heather has also managed a team of Conciliators, having first-hand experience of the challenges that can arise for managers, employees and HR alike.

She is currently both a Trainer and Mediator within Acas and assists parties in working through areas of conflict with a view to repairing and preserving effective working relationships. The events Heather delivers range from those courses advertised on our website to bespoke sessions that she provides to employers in-house.

The variety of work Heather has undertaken has required a sound understanding of employment law; the needs of employees and employers alike and the pitfalls each can face together with how they can be avoided. Heather holds the ITOL training qualification.

Paul Bryant - Trainer/ Conciliator/ DEC Manager

Paul has been with Acas for over 19 years and has a wealth of experience in employment law having worked as an Advisor on our Helpline, as a Conciliator on potential and actual Employment Tribunal claims and has held various management positions, fully appreciating the importance of smooth employment relations in successful working environments. His areas of interest are aiding employers to instigate effective management and dispute resolution techniques.

Paul has been delivering training to delegates from the East Midlands and beyond for over 3 years and has worked with a number of businesses within the region to deliver tailored courses for employees and managers alike. Paul holds the Post Graduate Certificate in Employment Dispute Resolution.

Helen Ettridge - Trainer/ Publicity Manager

Helen has been with Acas since 2009, before which she held management and coaching positions for a worldwide Blue Chip manufacturer as well as a Nottinghamshire leading-edge technology SME, with a focus on Learning & Development and HR Management. Within Acas, Helen has worked primarily on Conciliation between parties to resolve disputes, assisting them to reach an agreed outcome and avoid the costly and time consuming litigation of a Tribunal hearing.

She has also been a Helpline Adviser and managed a small team of people, appreciating the importance of strong team work, clear management and coaching techniques and a positive working relationship. Helen is motivated by positive and inclusive working practices, and a pragmatic approach to employee relations.

Dr Gary Davies Dr Gary W Davies - Trainer/ Adviser

Gary has extensive experience in training and employment relations advice. Before joining Acas he was a lecturer in academia, teaching British History from c.1850 up to the 2000s. He taught in East Midlands universities as well as in the Netherlands and Canada. He has also worked as a personal Tutor (pastoral and life skills) at a Further Education college in Grantham.

Underlying all he does is a strong belief in the need to remove structural barriers to achievement: equality of opportunity for all, which is why he chose to work with Acas.