About EW

Ellis Whittam has evolved. We are now WorkNest.

Having been acquired by Marlowe plc in November 2020, we have joined forces with Law At Work, HRSP and other leading businesses to create a powerhouse of workforce and workplace support services.

While our name has changed, the bespoke Employment Law, HR and Health & Safety support we have always offered will continue. Personal relationships with named professionals; high-quality, commercially-minded advice; and fair, fixed fees remain at the heart of what we do – they are our DNA.

However, as WorkNest, we are excited to offer even more services, even greater expertise and even more powerful technology than ever before. And it’s all here to protect your business, nurture it and help it soar.

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Explore our services

WorkNest Law

Pragmatic advice and support from dedicated professionals to help you manage people in line with the law.

WorkNest HR

Everything from one-off projects to a fully outsourced HR department, across the entire employee lifecycle.

WorkNest H&S

Fully outsourced safety support provided for a fixed fee, plus expert training and bespoke value-added services.

The Ellis Whittam story

As Head of Employment Law at a leading regional firm of commercial solicitors, Mark Ellis and his team had built a national reputation for delivering commercially-savvy, practical advice. 

Finding that his clients were looking for a fixed-fee service that could match up to the quality of advice offered by a law firm, Mark had his eureka moment.

The idea was simple: take the quality standards and service excellence of a leading law firm into the exciting fixed-fee world of HR, Employment Law and Health & Safety services. And so, in 2004, Ellis Whittam (EW) was born.

In the 17 years that followed, EW grew into a business with a national reputation for providing pragmatic, commercial advice and exceptional service.

Fast forward to today and EW has evolved into WorkNest – joining forces with Law At Work, HRSP and other leading businesses who share the same values and vision. Now owned by Marlowe plc and under the guidance of Gavin Snell, WorkNest is recognised as a market leader in regulatory consultancy and legal services outsourcing.

With our unrivalled combined expertise, powerful technology platforms and flexible subscription models, we are trusted by thousands of employers across the UK and still hold true to our founding principles of value for money, brilliant service, honesty and integrity.


EW’s founder, Mark Ellis, qualifies as a solicitor and begins practising law at a leading firm of commercial solicitors, where he later becomes Head of Employment Law and an owning partner.


EW is born, based on the belief that professional services should prevent problems, add more value than cost, and that fees charged should be fair and fixed.


Recognising EW’s huge potential in the support services sector, EW receives significant investment from LDC to enable it to continue to provide exceptional service to its clients.


EW achieves Investors in People Silver, the international standard for people management, demonstrating its commitment to creating a great place to work.


EW becomes the first health and safety consultancy to achieve assured advice status from a primary authority, meaning its advice can be implemented with confidence across its clients’ businesses.

October 2020

EW’s Legal Team are recognised as a leading firm by The Legal 500, a testament to the quality of advice it provides its clients and its incredibly effective litigation support.

November 2020

EW is acquired by Marlowe plc, becoming the Group’s platform for growth in employment law, HR and safety compliance and enabling EW to improve and expand its service to clients.

March 2021

ESPHR, Youmanage and HRSP join EW and Law At Work to further strengthen the Group’s Employment Law and HR division.

June 2021

Marlowe acquires Cater Leydon Millard and CQC Compliance, adding further depth of employment law expertise and broadening the Group’s offering of regulated compliance services into the care market.


EW is proud to be part of WorkNest. By bringing all the best bits of each company under one roof, WorkNest fuses pragmatic advice, innovative digital solutions and hands-on consultancy to help you protect your organisation and create great places to work.

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99.2%  Client happiness rating

97%  Client retention rating

Who we work with

Proud to support over 40,000 UK employers

Our clients range from small businesses with fewer than 50 staff at a single location, through to large household names employing thousands of people at multiple sites across the UK. Whatever your size or sector, we have solutions to suit your needs.

Client stories

Meet the team

Our people are the most important part of our service.

From our highly-qualified advisory teams that deliver dedicated support to our clients, to our back-office teams that ensure a smooth service, we’re exceptionally proud of the team we have.

A secure and trusted partner

We understand that you’re trusting us with important and sometimes sensitive information. Your data privacy and software security is hugely important to us.

  • TLS data encryption and web firewalls
  • ISO 27001 certified protection
  • Advanced software security

Partner with us

Unlike mass-market providers, we build genuine, trusted relationships with our membership organisation and trade association clients, managed by our strong, experienced Partnerships Team.

  • Work in partnership to understand your long-term objectives
  • Create compelling services propositions with add value to your members
  • Proactively support your membership retention and recruitment initiatives

Careers at WorkNest

WorkNest aims to be a great place to work. If you share our values of Brilliant Service, Optimism, Integrity and One Team – and want to work for a fast-growing, Legal 500 accredited company – we’d love you to join our team.

  • Generous benefits package
  • Flexible working potential
  • Investors in People Silver
Jane Hallas