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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > South West > Public sector > Education > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Education
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Stone King LLP advises on governance, the establishment of academies, employment and property issues, and capital funding. It is adept at establishing academies and advises on the establishment of multi-academy trusts. Other areas of expertise include school property issues involving the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). Helen Tucker specialises in advising on operational matters for independent schools. Michael Brotherton focuses on high-profile contentious issues such as challenging Ofsted inspections and also advises on general day-to-day issues such as pastoral care. Ciara Campfield is adept at handling state funded project matters and academy conversions. Team Manager Jean Boyle specialises in employment and pension law in relation to the education sector. Recent highlights include acting for a school in successfully challenging the outcome of an Ofsted inspection and having the school reinspected. The firm also acted in challenge against a university over a refusal to accept late applications and advised several schools in relation to historic abuse allegations.

VWV provides ‘excellent service and sector knowledge’ with ‘strength in depth’. It advises on establishment and operation of MATs, education-related corporate property transactions such as mergers, debt finance, refinancing and corporate restructuring, pastoral care issues, policies and procedures, and disciplinary matters. Areas of specialism include procurement and state aid, charity law, governance, safeguarding children, immigration and regulatory compliance. Head of independent schools Barney Northover specialises in governance and strategic matters. Yvonne Spencer is head of academies and maintained schools, and Bettina Rigg leads on higher education. Simon Bevan focuses on regulation and compliance issues such as safer recruitment, child protection incident management and reporting obligations. Tabitha Cave deals with high-profile cases relating to student issues, disputes, regulatory issues, she also specialises historic abuse allegations against independent schools. Emma-Jane Dalley is head of further education and advises on strategic change, constitutional review, maximising assets, acquisitions and good governance. Recent highlights include acting for the University of Bristol with regards to its acquisition of St. Augustines' Courtyard for £11.75m from Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust. Another highlight includes acting for a university in relation to the defence of an employment tribunal claim brought by a former in-house lawyer for unfair dismissal, breach of contract and whistleblowing, the claim was settled before hearing for a much reduced sum.

Browne Jacobson LLP advises on a broad range of education matters such as MAT conversions, alternative structures, and acquisitions and mergers. It also provides human resources (HR) advice to schools on matters such as redundancies and restructures, disciplinary and grievance, unfair dismissal, discrimination, performance management, contractual issues and employment policies. Julia Green heads the team in Exeter and focuses academy conversions. Victoria Hatton advises on governance, the corporate aspects of academy conversions and contentious issues such as admissions, discipline, exclusions, special educational need and discrimination claims. Daniella Glynn advises maintained, academy and independent schools on a broad range of HR issues. Rachel Billen focuses on employment law matters including TUPE aspects of academy conversion. Recent highlights include advising Lighthouse Schools Partnership in increasing the size of its MAT portfolio in Bristol, which involved complex negotiations with the local authority. Other clients include Westcountry Schools Trust, South West Bristol Co-operative Learning Trust, Exmouth Community College and Keskowethyans Multi Academy Trust.

Burges Salmon LLP provides ‘excellent overall service’ and the team ‘delivers what is promised in terms of skill, bench depth, breadth of offering and value for money’. Matt Ramus heads the team and specialises in commercial projects, restructuring and business transformation, he is ‘an excellent lawyer who inspires confidence and trust’. Roger Bull focuses on employment law and senior associate Huw Cooke focuses on employment related aspects of corporate and commercial transactions such as redundancies and restructuring, changing terms and conditions of employment and senior-level exits. Recent highlights include advising the department for education (DfE) on intervention projects relating to local authority-run children’s services that were failing. This involves transferring services to not-for-profit entities. It also advised the University of Bristol of the acquisition of land for its new £300m campus in Bristol city centre. Other clients include University of Exeter, University of West of England, Bath Spa University, OFSTED and Birmingham Children’s Trust.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys provides a full range of advice to the education sector including corporate and international work, trustee advice, commercial contracts, data protection, commercial property, planning and construction, and employment advice. It is adept at handling academy conversions including PFI conversions and MATs. It also acts in the specialist area of the right to remove a child as a result of unreasonable parent behavior. Kristine Scott  heads the team and advises on safeguarding, overseas growth, historic sexual abuse claims and school closure. Emilie Darwin  was promoted to partner she advises on strategic restructures, exit packages for senior staff, performance management, ill health, and disciplinaries and grievances. Kate Hickey  specialises in corporate matters such as acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, collaborations, international projects and general corporate and governance advice. Recent highlights include acting in a cross-border matter for the University of Gloucestershire in relation to a cooperation arrangement with Yunnan Normal University in China. Another highlight involved acting for Gloucestershire College in the purchase and sale of residential properties that were used to give students practical experience in renovation. Other clients include Pate’s Grammar School, Cranleigh School, Headington School Oxford, Cheltenham College and The Royal Masonic School for Girls.

Michelmores LLP's  ‘very knowledgeable and efficient team’ provides ‘an exemplary service’. Areas of expertise include establishing and providing strategic advice to MATs, advising on governance structures, funding agreements, commercial transfer agreements, property transfers and commercial contracts. It also provides advice on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), disability discrimination, exclusions, admissions, parent complaints and special educational needs (SEN). The firm recently advised on the establishment of a large MAT comprising three secondary and 14 primary schools. It also advised Truro and Penwith College on the purchasing of land for the development of a new £15m campus. Antony Power and Laura Partridge display ‘a client focus and creativity that delights’ and are ‘very knowledgeable in their fields’. Charlotte Antoniou was promoted to partner and specialises in establishing new schools. Tom Briant-Evans joined as an associate from Wolferstans. Clients include Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, Tring School and Sigma Academy Trust.

Bevan Brittan LLP has a strong public sector practice that acts for the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) in relation to its PSBP. Recent highlights include advising higher education institutions in relation to Brexit issues and supporting a university with Tier 2, 4 and 5 sponsor licence obligations. The firm also advises local authorities on academy conversions and how to generate revenue from education services. London-based Andrew Tobin heads the education team. Birmingham-based partner Ashley Norman is ‘professional, skilled and highly committed’ and ‘provides timely advice in a pragmatic, business-focused manner’. Clients include London Borough of Hackney, London Borough of Barnet, London School of Economics and Political Science, and Swansea University.

Foot Anstey advises on collaborations between further education colleges and private business, grant funded development schemes, international investment in education and the financing of student accommodation. Duncan Tringham heads the team and focuses on the further education and higher education sectors. Employment specialist Karen Bates advises schools and colleges on employment law. The practice acts for University of the West of England on intellectual property issues, supporting funding bids and on joint ventures and collaborations. It also acted for GEMS education on GDPR issues and advised Weston College on the creation of a law and professional services academy, which involved the acquisition of property for the college and advice on the delivery of legal services apprenticeships. Other clients include South Gloucestershire and Stroud College Commercial Services, Happy Days South West, Colyton Grammar School, South Devon College and St Paul's Girls' School.

Steele Raymond LLP provides advice on a broad range of education matters such as governance, charitable aspects, staff and student discipline, special needs and disability issues, and safeguarding. It also advises on education-related employment law matters such as service contracts, consultancy agreements, employment contracts and TUPE matters. John Andrews heads the practice, he is supported by Peter Rolph who is ‘unflappable and measured’ and provides ‘crystal clear wisdom and advice’. Tim Stone focuses on non-contentious education-related employment law and has ‘considerable patience and cordiality’.

Wilsons acts for academies, independent schools, grammar schools, prep schools and nurseries on a broad range of education issues including admissions, exclusions, safeguarding, special educational needs (SEN), disability, employment law, governance, academy conversions, intellectual property, GDPR, reputation management and HR advice. Stephen Oxley heads the team and specialises in advising senior management teams on governance issues. Recent highlights include acting for an educational institution in relation to claims of historical abuse made by a former student; the claim was defended and a review of safeguarding procedures was carried out. Clients include Farleigh School, Holland Park School, Prince's Mead School, Sandroyd School and Ocean Learning Trust.

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