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Editorial

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.

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