Victoria will lead the national team of over 80 employment rights lawyers and support staff. She takes on overall responsibility for the quality, efficiency, service delivery and reputation of the ERU, working with the firm's team of regional heads and the heads of equality, pensions and collective rights.

Thompsons' ERU has a formidable reputation in representing trade unions and their members and has been involved in many of the major employment law cases over the last few years, winning landmark legal victories for union members from the European Court to the Employment Tribunal.

The firm fought the case of Wilson and Palmer v Associated Newspapers to the European Court of Justice, which resulted in the government changing the law to prevent employers discriminating against trade union members in their pay and working conditions.

Victoria's cases have included Inland Revenue v Ainsworth which confirmed that workers on long-term sick leave are entitled to four weeks' paid holiday under the working time regulations and the recent victory in the case of Lee v ASLEF over the right of trade unions to expel racists and fascists from membership.

A previous President of the National Union of Students and the Labour Party National Women's Officer from 1989 to 1993, Victoria qualified at Thompsons in 1996.

She succeeds Stephen Cavalier who was appointed Client Director last year.