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Bond Dickinson LLP’s robust client base includes Northumbria University, Gateshead College, and Durham University, while new clients for 2015 include St Hilda’s Academy Trust, Arnold Hill Academy Trust and St Thomas of Canterbury Academy Trust. Recent highlights include advising 12 schools on a £100m pathfinder project led by the Education Funding Agency under a new version of PFI. Kevin Robertson, Emma Moody and Claire-Jane Nicol are the key contacts.

At Burnetts, Natalie Ruane advises head teachers and governing bodies of schools and academies, and recently advised the governing body of a school in the dismissal of its head teacher on grounds of gross misconduct. The highly experienced Kuba Strycharczyk heads the team and acts for longstanding client the University of Central Lancashire. Joanne Stronach’s primary focus is on the further education sector.

Muckle LLP’s team is singled out for its ‘superb’ reputation on academy conversions. Highlights included advising East Durham College on the £12m redevelopment of its Houghall campus, and advising an academy trust on a challenge to the outcome of an OFSTED inspection. Practice head Tony McPhillips attracts praise for his ‘incredible breadth of knowledge’.

Ward Hadaway’s education-sector clients cite the practice’s ‘outstanding response times’, ‘excellent knowledge and a network of extended expertise that is second to none’. PFI and academy conversion specialist Tim Care leads the team, which includes Karen Andrews, who advises on regeneration projects, and Paul Scope, who is experienced in advising on staffing strategies.

David Jenkins leads Watson Burton LLP’s practice, which acts for academies, universities and further education institutions. Recent work includes numerous conversions for multi-academy trust Wellspring, and acting for a further education college on the procurement of two new education centres.


Index of tables

  1. Health
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Hilary Parker - Sintons LLP
    • Melanie Pears - Ward Hadaway

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s clients include South Tees NHS Foundation Trust, Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, and Sheffield Teaching NHS Foundation Trust. Practice head David Weatherburn is experienced in group actions and high-value claims and Gill Weatherill specialises in mental health, capacity law and deprivation of liberty. Senior associate Andrea Proudlock ‘is very responsive and helpful and gives excellent advice’.

Hempsons’ practice attracts praise for providing a service that is ‘tailored to each individual client’. In Newcastle, team head Janice Barber ‘understands the health sector and has a passion for work that is unrivalled’. Stephanie Green stands out for her ‘efficiency and excellent understanding of clients’ requirements’. Based in the Harrogate office, the ‘very thoroughRichard Pickeringis an excellent adviser on litigation matters’. Experienced healthcare litigator Elizabeth Grey joined in 2015 from DAC Beachcroft LLP.

Amanda Maskery and Victoria Armstrong lead a team at Sintons LLP that delivers ‘outstanding service levels, excellent industry expertise and a client-centric approach’. The team is advising South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust on a number of matters including an integrated care hub, governance arrangements for St Benedict’s Hospice and the establishment of a healthcare charity. Hilary Parker is also highly regarded.

In addition to acting for over 60 NHS organisations, Ward Hadaway’s team has been reappointed to the Healthtrust Europe panel and gained new clients including Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool GP Federation and Salix Health. Jeffrey Keeble leads the team and has extensive experience in high-value cerebral palsy and complex mental health cases. Other recommended individuals include Melanie Pears, who is highly experienced in PFI transactions, Lisa Evans, who represents healthcare clients in inquests, and Stuart Craig, who advises NHS Trusts on contentious and non-contentious matters.

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