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Index of tables

  1. Education
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s ‘very professional’ practice is led by Manchester-based Nancy McGuire and has particular strength in real estate, construction and employment matters within the education sector. The team includes construction and engineering expert David Shaw and Andrew Pettinger, who also heads the local government group.

Led by Frank Suttie, the education team at DAC Beachcroft LLP includes real estate expert Eve Gregory and employment and pensions partner James Rhodes. Gregory has been leading the team assisting the University of Sheffield with a number of transactions.

Eversheds LLP’s national team handles major transactions for both national and overseas institutions. Manchester-based practice head Diane Gilhooley advises on contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including high-value tribunal proceedings, whistleblowing and trade union issues. The team includes Ben Wood, who primarily handles academy work.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s education department is headed by Martin Priestley, who leads on commercial matters, and Victoria Goddard, who handles real estate matters. Also recommended are employment specialist Christopher Mordue and Julian Sladdin, who was promoted in 2015.

At DLA Piper UK LLP, Roger Gough specialises in commercial contracts, joint ventures and IT agreements for clients such as the University of Sheffield. The team is led by Andrew Clarke and Richard Taylor.

Irwin Mitchell’s team is headed by Laurence Gavin, who advises on commercial matters for educational institutions at all levels, and Kirsty Ayre, who leads on employment matters. Julie Morrissy has been advising Sheffield Hallam University on a number of real estate and procurement matters.

Schofield Sweeney recently expanded its West Yorkshire offering following its merger with Armitage Sykes. The ‘approachable and calm’ Helen Hirst primarily advises multi-academy trusts on governance structures, as well as academy conversions. Also recommended are employment partner Simon Shepherd and the ‘knowledgeableAndrew Hurst.

Led by Simon Anderson, Walker Morris LLP acts for further education institutions on a wide range of matters, including employment, campus redevelopments and commercial transactions. David Kilduff led the team assisting Every Child Matters Academy Trust with the conversion of three schools to academy status.

Ward Hadaway’s ‘outstanding’ multidisciplinary practice is headed by the ‘extremely good’ Graham Shaw. It advises educational institutions at all levels on a wide range of issues, including governance, employment and commercial contracts. It also handles academy conversions. Karen Andrews, who splits her time between Newcastle and Leeds, led the team advising St. Aidan’s Church of England High School on its move from a single academy trust to a multi-academy trust structure.

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP’s ‘proactive’ group is led by ‘excellent negotiator’ Elizabeth Wilson and the ‘outstanding’ Chris Billington, and is noted for its ‘overall excellent service’. Clients include educational institutions and charities.

Lupton Fawcett Denison Till’s education team is jointly headed by Jonathan Moore and the ‘knowledgeableMichele Phillips, who has been leading the team advising Bradford Diocesan Academy Trust on a number of academy conversions.

Rollits LLP is noted for its ‘impressive sector knowledge’. The team is led by the ‘insightful’ Tom Morrison, who handles strategic and commercial issues, and includes the ‘excellent’ Caroline Hardcastle, who is highly experienced in dispute resolution matters.


One of the top firms’, Capsticks LLP’s team includes the ‘highly experiencedLisa Geary, who has particular strength in real estate matters. Ian Cooper has been leading the team advising 38 NHS organisations on the Care Quality Commission’s new inspection and enforcement regime. The six-partner group is headed by employment specialist Rachael Heenan and clinical negligence expert David Roberts. Commercial partner Robert McGough and associate James Atkins are also recommended.

The ‘very knowledgeableEve Gregory leads DAC Beachcroft LLP’s ‘first-class’ practice, which includes the ‘unflappablePeter Merchant, who led the team representing the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Trust in an inquest concerning the death of a patient following a collision between an ambulance and a bus.

Hempsons’ team is singled out for its regulatory knowledge, which clients consider ‘second to none’. It also assists healthcare clients with employment, litigation and real estate matters. Adrian Parker leads the team, which includes the ‘extremely hardworkingAdam Hartrick and ‘astounding’ corporate partner Ross Clark. Andrew Davidson and litigation head Adrienne D’Arcy are also recommended. In 2015, Kathleen Wilson returned to the firm from Capsticks LLP, while Simon Massey went in-house at Lend Lease.

Led by co-heads Bill Gilliam and Paul Dight, Addleshaw Goddard LLP advises on healthcare-related mergers, commercial outsourcing, franchising and acquisitions. Gilliam is currently leading the team advising the NHS Trust Development Authority on a number of matters, including the dissolution and transfer of the Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust into two providers.

Walker Morris LLP’s ‘strong’ cross-departmental practice is noted for its ‘excellent client care’. The practice advises health trusts on contracts and procurement, as well as regulatory and real estate matters. Key figures include practice head Andrew Northage, who is ‘charming and easy to work with’, and regulatory and compliance head Jeanette Burgess.

Local government

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s team handles major outsourcing and partnership transactions, as well as procurement and state aid law matters. Department co-head Andrew Pettinger led the team advising City of York Council on a service agreement with the recently formed Make It York company regarding the council’s marketing, tourism and business development functions. The practice is also headed by Manchester-based Michael O’Connor.

DWF provides ‘a very good level of service’ under the leadership of Michael Mousdale in Manchester and Jonathan Branton, who stands out for his ‘strong commercial insight’. Branton has been advising the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council on state aid issues concerning Green Port, a major investment project in the renewable energy sector. Colin Murray was promoted to partner in 2015.

Walker Morris LLP’s local government team is led by the well-regarded David Kilduff and advises on the full range of public law issues, including procurement, employment, governance and litigation. Richard Auton, who is ‘excellent on procurement’, is also recommended.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s team includes Frank Suttie, who has particular expertise advising local governments on major projects in the education, health and transport sectors. Judith Barnes is now at Bevan Brittan LLP.

The ‘excellent’ team at DLA Piper UK LLP is led by Robert Smith in Leeds and Vikki McKay in Sheffield, and often handles matters in the transport, regeneration, housing and waste sectors, among others. Allison Page, who specialises in PFI and PPP transactions, is also recommended. Glenn Sharpe has joined DWF.

At Eversheds LLP, Peter Nesbit is advising the West Yorkshire Combined Authority on the delivery of a new station project in Bradford. The team includes Robert Pritchard. Frances Woodhead is now at Bevan Brittan LLP.

Anne Bowden leads the ‘proactive and supportive’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP, which includes the ‘very experienced and personableJonathan Riley. Riley specialises in major regeneration schemes and major national infrastructure projects.

The team at Freeths is led by Birmingham-based Nathan Holden, and includes Philip Myers, Liz Banks and Joseph Hale. Its expertise includes advising local authorities on construction, partnership, employment and governance matters.

Irwin Mitchell’s group assists educational institutions at all levels with local government joint procurement initiatives. Laurence Gavin’s clients include charities and not-for-profit organisations such as Sheffield City Trust and Maltby Learning Trust.

Headed by Tim Shaw and Mark Rocca, Nabarro LLP’s highly experienced team advises clients on major public procurement work, education sector issues, regeneration schemes and real estate matters. ‘Helpful’ senior associate Kuldip Dhanoya is also recommended. James Duckworth joined Squire Patton Boggs.

Plexus Law provides ‘practical and cost-effective’ advice on a wide range of civil litigation matters for local, police and fire authorities, among others. Practice head Simon Hills specialises in abuse and social care work, as well as complex highway defects claims.

Ward Hadaway’s team is led by Melanie Pears, who is based in Newcastle, and public sector property expert Karen Andrews in Leeds. The team handles major outsourcing agreements and joint ventures between private and public sector entities.

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