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  1. Education: individuals
  2. Leading individuals: education (general)

Niche education practice Douglas Silas Solicitors advises exclusively on SEN cases. The firm represented the parents of a child with autism, developmental delay and a number of associated difficulties, in a transfer to a special school from a mainstream school a year early. Douglas Silas is ‘excellent'.

Irwin Mitchell is a ‘leader in its field' and displays ‘exemplary' commitment to cases. The firm represents students in complaints to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, and advises on non-attendance proceedings. Angela Sandhal is an ‘expert'; Polly Sweeney is ‘exceptional' and displays ‘outstanding client care skills'. Yogi Amin leads the team.

‘Market-leader' Match Solicitors is led by founding partners Salima Mawji and Anita Chopra, who are ‘client-focused and excellent at negotiating with educational institutions'. Chopra advises on appeals to the First Tier (SEND) Tribunal, and represents teachers on compromise agreements with schools. Mawji overturned a penalty for a student accused of plagiarism.

‘Expert' Eleanor Wright, who ‘achieves brilliant results', heads the team at Maxwell Gillott Solicitors, and is leading on a challenge to a school placement on behalf of the parents of a disabled child. Angela Jackman is ‘superb with clients and is not afraid to run difficult cases', and Elaine Maxwell is also recommended.

The ‘outstanding' team at John Ford Solicitors consists of ‘knowledgeable pioneers who are always prepared to push the boat out and make new law'. The firm has a growing practice acting for students, and continues to be instructed by parents of schoolchildren. Principal John Ford, department head Karen May and Helen Gill are ‘tenacious and determined, and have been at the forefront of their field for many years'. Judith Lancet and Marian Shaughnessy are also recommended.

Imelda Brennan leads the team at Langley Wellington LLP Solicitors. The firm’s work includes appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) and disability discrimination claims.

Alison Millar and Charlotte Skouby at Leigh Day acted for a child with severe autism and sensory processing difficulties in obtaining a specialist school placement. Richard Stein and Rosa Curling continue to advise on challenging the establishment of free schools and academies.

Principal Melinda Nettleton leads the team at SEN Legal. The firm acted for the claimants in Parents of C v The Trustees of Stanbridge Earls School, a disability discrimination claim. Karen McAtamney is also recommended.

Chris Barnett leads the team at Levenes, whose work includes advice on SEN, school transport, school admissions and exclusions, and complaints to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

The Children's Legal Practice Ltd advises on SEN issues, including SENDIST appeals and child protection issues.

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Legal Developments in London for Education: individuals

  • TRANSFER OF UNDERTAKINGS (PROTECTION OF EMPLOYMENT) AND AGE DISCRIMINATION

    I have been asked to cover the topic of Employment law within my half an hour speaking slot today. I have narrowed my subject down to Transfer of Undertakings and Discrimination, with the focus on providing an update on the recent spate of cases on service provision change and on the important developments in the law of age discrimination. Needless to say, in my presentation I shall not be able to cover the level of detail which is contained in my written paper, which I will leave you to read.
    - 11KBW

Legal Developments in the UK

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  • Home Office announces extension of support service for SMEs

    An online support service for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) which need to recruit skilled overseas workers has been extended until 28 February 2014. The pilot was launched by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and provides a step by step guide to sponsoring an overseas worker. This service is available via the GLA website.
  • Penningtons Manches' immigration team considers new changes to the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance

    The Home Office has recently published new Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance, version 12/13. This guidance is to be used by all prospective and existing Tier 4 sponsors from 11 December 2013.
  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

  • Behind the corporate veil: is that all there is?

    That companies have an existence entirely separate to that of their shareholders and directors is a foundational principle of English law and commerce.

  • Playing fair with penalty clauses

    It is often difficult to predict what will be recoverable as damages for breach of contract. To provide some certainty, parties will often seek to agree the sum that will be payable in the event of specified breaches. 

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?

  • New Immigration Bill, October 2013: cause for concern or appeasing public sentiment?

    The year 2013 has seen a string of reforms to the immigration system by the current coalition government. On 10 October, the government published a Bill aimed at continuing its drive to reduce net migration figures. 

  • New Schengen EU Regulations: impact on short-stay visa visitors

    The publication on 26 June 2013 of the European Union Regulation EU 610/2013 modified the incumbent Regulation EU 562/2006 in relation to third country nationals (ie non-EU citizens) and those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. Exceptions include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area together with foreign nationals holding either long-stay or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

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