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Karen Fulton

Partner | Cape Town

Karen-Fulton

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Contact

T: +27 11 669 9513

Overview

Karen Fulton is a partner in our Cape Town office Employment & Benefits Practice.  She specialises in all aspects of South African employment law including exiting executive employees, corporate restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, bonus disputes, restraints of trade, unfair dismissal and unfair labour practice claims, unfair discrimination, sexual harassment, boardroom disputes, cross-border contracts and disputes. Karen has a special interest in gender equality and conducting investigations.

Karen has served two periods as an acting judge of the Labour Court and has sat on private tribunals in employment disputes.  Karen was the first woman to sit on Bowmans’ exco.

Experience

Karen has been a partner for almost 30 years and her regular clients include Nestle, EY, Oracle, Marsh, AngloGold Ashanti, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Abbott Laboratories. Karen has significant experience in servicing multi-national clients.

Many of the matters handled by Karen require confidential “under the radar” outcomes. She conducted an investigation for a client into allegations of “sex for jobs” and advised the client on how to tackle the matter and the outcomes of the investigation.

Karen assisted a client in identifying an employee who was making bomb threats. This involved an investigation to identify who was making the calls, court applications to obtain telephone records, the dismissal of the employee concerned and assisting the client in reporting the matter to the police.

Karen frequently manages cross border disputes. She recently advised an African bank on changes to the management team and board of directors in a matter where the board and the main shareholder were at loggerheads.

Karen advised a subsidiary of a global insurance company on the dismissal of their South African CEO and in doing so, managed a multi-disciplinary team of both corporate, regulatory and employment lawyers.

 

Awards

  • Chambers and Partners ranked Karen in Band 3 for her work in Employment for ten consecutive years (2015 to 2024).
  • Who’s Who Legal ranked Karen in the following categories Thought Leaders:  Labour & Employment;  Employment & Benefits:  Pensions & Benefits;  and Employment & Benefits:  Labour & Employment (2018).

Karen Fulton is sought out by clients for her counsel on employment disputes, including unfair dismissals, theft and corruption allegations, as well as harassment matters. She has further experience handling retrenchments, as well as cross-border matters, with a client roster featuring a number of high-profile international names, including in the healthcare sector. – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘Karen Fulton fields expertise in advising financial services sector entities on employment issues’
‘‘Karen Fulton, Rosalind Davey, and Mbali Mnyandu have been stellar in their work. Their ability to immediately provide assistance for complex matters is unique. Would always highly recommend these individuals and practice team.’’ – Legal 500, 2024

“Karen Fulton is very knowledgeable, easily accessible and very good at explaining legal issues to line managers.”
“She is a fantastic partner to work with and always pulls in experts when necessary for added comfort and guidance.” – Chambers and Partners, 2023

‘‘Karen Fulton led the team that I worked with and I found her always available at short notice, willing to take calls evenings and weekends, and solution oriented (rather than giving me the legal reasons why something could not be done, she tried to find a way to do it legally). She had good rapport with the CEO and board members and was very responsive and had quick turn-around times. Her legal advice was always good and I have never had a comeback when following her advice.’ – Legal 500, 2023

AREA OF EXPERTISE

Qualifications

  • BA and LLB degrees from Stellenbosch University.
  • Accredited Tokiso meditator and arbitrator. 

INSIGHTS

Brochures

Overview

Karen Fulton is a partner in our Cape Town office Employment & Benefits Practice.  She specialises in all aspects of South African employment law including exiting executive employees, corporate restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, bonus disputes, restraints of trade, unfair dismissal and unfair labour practice claims, unfair discrimination, sexual harassment, boardroom disputes, cross-border contracts and disputes. Karen has a special interest in gender equality and conducting investigations.

Karen has served two periods as an acting judge of the Labour Court and has sat on private tribunals in employment disputes.  Karen was the first woman to sit on Bowmans’ exco.

Experience

Karen has been a partner for almost 30 years and her regular clients include Nestle, EY, Oracle, Marsh, AngloGold Ashanti, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Abbott Laboratories. Karen has significant experience in servicing multi-national clients.

Many of the matters handled by Karen require confidential “under the radar” outcomes. She conducted an investigation for a client into allegations of “sex for jobs” and advised the client on how to tackle the matter and the outcomes of the investigation.

Karen assisted a client in identifying an employee who was making bomb threats. This involved an investigation to identify who was making the calls, court applications to obtain telephone records, the dismissal of the employee concerned and assisting the client in reporting the matter to the police.

Karen frequently manages cross border disputes. She recently advised an African bank on changes to the management team and board of directors in a matter where the board and the main shareholder were at loggerheads.

Karen advised a subsidiary of a global insurance company on the dismissal of their South African CEO and in doing so, managed a multi-disciplinary team of both corporate, regulatory and employment lawyers.

 

Awards

  • Chambers and Partners ranked Karen in Band 3 for her work in Employment for ten consecutive years (2015 to 2024).
  • Who’s Who Legal ranked Karen in the following categories Thought Leaders:  Labour & Employment;  Employment & Benefits:  Pensions & Benefits;  and Employment & Benefits:  Labour & Employment (2018).

Karen Fulton is sought out by clients for her counsel on employment disputes, including unfair dismissals, theft and corruption allegations, as well as harassment matters. She has further experience handling retrenchments, as well as cross-border matters, with a client roster featuring a number of high-profile international names, including in the healthcare sector. – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘Karen Fulton fields expertise in advising financial services sector entities on employment issues’
‘‘Karen Fulton, Rosalind Davey, and Mbali Mnyandu have been stellar in their work. Their ability to immediately provide assistance for complex matters is unique. Would always highly recommend these individuals and practice team.’’ – Legal 500, 2024

“Karen Fulton is very knowledgeable, easily accessible and very good at explaining legal issues to line managers.”
“She is a fantastic partner to work with and always pulls in experts when necessary for added comfort and guidance.” – Chambers and Partners, 2023

‘‘Karen Fulton led the team that I worked with and I found her always available at short notice, willing to take calls evenings and weekends, and solution oriented (rather than giving me the legal reasons why something could not be done, she tried to find a way to do it legally). She had good rapport with the CEO and board members and was very responsive and had quick turn-around times. Her legal advice was always good and I have never had a comeback when following her advice.’ – Legal 500, 2023

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