Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

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.
Click here for more details

United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > Public sector > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings




Index of tables

  1. Education
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Education clients in Yorkshire and the Humber using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Eve Gregory now leads the cross-departmental education team at DAC Beachcroft LLP in Leeds following the departure of Frank Suttie to Ward Hadaway. The team advises higher education institutions such as the University of Sheffield and the University of York, further education colleges, and various academies in Yorkshire. It also advises borough and county councils on education matters; representative examples include Cumbria County Council and Calderdale Borough Council. Recent highlights include advising Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council and Calderdale Borough Council in relation to their respective PFI schemes. The team has also been advising seven schools, including three multi-academy trusts, in a procurement matter under which new secondary schools will be designed and built on existing school sites. The team also advises the West Yorkshire Combined Authority on a range of matters, including preparing and negotiating grant awards and loan agreements in relation to its Skills Capital Funding to further education colleges.

The Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP national education team is led by Diane Gilhooley in Manchester and provides advice to higher and further education institutions as well as schools, academies and private education institutions. Based in Leeds, Ben Wood is the national lead for academy work and also specialises in further education governance work. Leeds-based litigation partner Alison Oldfield leads on disputes in the education sector, such as funding issues, project license compliance, strategies for land assembly as part of campus redevelopment schemes, and judicial review proceedings. Recent work includes the successful defence of a multi-academy trust in a judicial review challenge regarding the decision to close a swimming pool, and acting for the Association of Colleges and a sixth form college in a judicial review challenge to the approval of a new sixth form college in the London Borough of Havering. Charlotte Tanikal leads on real estate matters for schools and further and higher education clients. Christopher Mordue joined the team in April from Pinsent Masons LLP and specialises in university employment matters.

Victoria Goddard succeeded Nicola Hart as head of universities and higher education at Pinsent Masons LLP in May 2017, and specialises in complex development structures and student accommodation matters. Goddard recently advised both the University of London and the University of Gloucestershire in the procurement of new student accommodation. Martin Priestley heads the universities international group and advises on internationalisation projects, and recently advised the University of Sheffield on a deal to expand its partnership with Nanjing Technology University alongside Shanghai-based colleagues. Julian Sladdin, who ‘has a wealth of experience and great knowledge of the area’, heads the university litigation practice and represents higher education clients in a range of areas, including discrimination cases, fitness to practice, disciplinary issues, educational negligence and judicial reviews. Sladdin has recently acted for the University of Huddersfield in connection with a discrimination claim by a former student and was successful in having the claim struck out following the third strike out application, resulting in a cost award for the client.

Manchester-based partners Nancy McGuire and Michael O’Connor lead the Yorkshire education practice at Addleshaw Goddard, which is particularly strong in real estate, construction and employment matters. The team advises university clients on estate management and new site acquisitions, and has assisted local authorities with drafting subcontracts and warranties, and the review of appointments for the provision of various school buildings. The multi-disciplinary education team also advises clients on employment issues such as dismissals, discrimination claims, TUPE matters and whistleblowing.

The team at DLA Piper UK LLP is led by the ‘proactive’ Andrew Clarke (Leeds) and Richard Taylor (Sheffield). Clarke acts for the Dioceses of Leeds and Northampton and advises on real estate issues relating to its schools, while Taylor has been advising higher education institutions on various intellectual property issues. The University of Sheffield is a key client for the team, with Sheffield-based Roger Gough recently acting for the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the University of Sheffield on its research collaboration agreement with McLaren Automotive Limited, and also for the university as a member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult on revisions to research agreements relating to funding from the Technology Strategy Board. The team’s client list also includes government departments, other universities such as Sheffield Hallam and the University of Central Lancashire, and further education colleges such as Park Lane College and Newham College of Further Education.

The Sheffield-based Laurence Gavin heads the cross-departmental team at Irwin Mitchell, which advises the full range of education clients on transactional, governance, student and employment matters. Associate Mark Evans specialises in commercial and charities law and regularly advises academy trusts on conversions, mergers, re-brokering and dissolutions. Evans led the team advising Sandhill Multi-Academy Trust on a re-brokering of the client’s academies to two separate trusts, as well as on matters for other academy clients in connection with management and governance issues, and for one client, the potential re-brokering of a PFI academy. The team has also been advising a further education college with a merger, and a public funded charity on commercial matters and partnering with a local college.

Andrew Hurst leads the education team at Schofield Sweeney from the Bradford office, which also houses Helen Hirst and Jennifer Clarke. The team specialises in academy conversion and provides ongoing support to its academy clients post-conversion by utilising lawyers on a cross-departmental basis. The team has recently been advising Orchard Academy Trust on the conversion and entering of Barming Primary School into the trust. The team also advises on academy conversions with a PFI element, as demonstrated by its advice to Buile Hill Visual Arts College on the documentation required by the trust it was entering into, the Consilium Academies Trust, regarding a building constructed on the Buile Hill site as part of a PFI. Another recent highlight was advising North Cestrian Grammar School, an independent fee-paying selective school, in connection with its conversion to a state-funded independent school and joining a multi-academy trust.

The Leeds office of Stone King LLP opened in June 2016 and is led by Graham Shaw, who brought his practice over from Ward Hadaway. The specialist education practice is instructed by key agencies in the sector and has a sizeable market share of academy clients. Recent highlights include academy conversions, such as that of Rossett Acre Primary School into the Red Kite Learning Trust and that of Hampsthwaite Church of England Primary School into the Yorkshire Causeway Schools Trust, and the transfer of academies operated by Oldham College Community Academies Trust into the Moor End Academies Trust. Roger Inman heads the national education sector group from Cambridge.

Employment partner David Smedley heads the cross-departmental education team at Leeds-based Walker Morris LLP, which also includes construction and engineering partner Jules Harbage as well as lawyers from the energy, infrastructure and government, and regulatory and compliance teams. Recent highlights include advising on academy conversions for Enquire Learning Trust, ECM Trust, Eveleigh Link Academy Trust, Synaptic Trust, and the conversion of Hoyland Common Primary School to a multi-academy trust (MAT), which included the conversion of Ward Green Primary School under the MAT. Led by Harbage, the team has also been working with Leeds College of Art on a major campus extension and with the Leeds College of Building on drafting and negotiating the appointments and building contract for its second phase of campus redevelopment. On the employment side, Smedley has been leading advice to New College Pontefract on the implications of a new trust that will offer sixth form and FE across three sites, and on the TUPE issues relating to the new trust.

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP in Leeds specialises in schools and academies and continues to be instructed by a portfolio of multi-academy trusts on conversions, contracts, mergers, employment matters, property issues, compliance and private finance initiatives. Chris Billington leads on governance and commercial matters, and Elizabeth Wilson focuses on property-related issues. Tim Wrigley is another key name on the education team and was promoted to the partnership in May 2016. Recent highlights for the team include advising Bright Futures Educational Trust on agreements for additional infrastructure and construction as part of a schools building programme, and advising Hull Collaborative Academy Trust on arrangements to work with another education provider to bring new school improvement strategies into the market, requiring trust policies, regulatory compliance and structuring. The team also has experience advising diocese schools on how to establish multi-academy trusts, including trusts that incorporate both faith and non-faith schools. Elsewhere, it advised a higher education client on a student disciplinary matter, advising on process and outcome and handling a representation before the University Appeals Body.

The team at Lupton Fawcett LLP is jointly headed by Michele Phillips, who heads up the academies and schools team from Sheffield, and Jonathan Moore, who heads up matters for higher and further education clients. Mark Honeywell joined the team in May 2016 from Bond Dickinson LLP and specialises in academy work. Recent highlights for the team include advising the University of York in relation to the development of new retail units and a new health centre on one of its campuses. The team has also been involved in various multi-academy trust conversions for non-faith and faith schools. Other clients include Bradford Grammar School, Bradford Diocesan Academy Trust, Leeds Diocesan Board of Education and Leeds City College.

Tom Morrison is the head of Rollits LLP’s education team in Hull and leads on commercial matters. Led by Morrison, the team has been instructed by various colleges to look at education area review recommendations and assist with implementation post review, and has also been instructed by various multi-academy trusts to advise on their effective management. Caroline Hardcastle leads on contentious matters and has been advising a large higher education client with a claim for liquidated damages following the delay of a £25m project. She also defended a large college client against claims made by students against leadership team members and governors. Clients include notable higher and further education institutions, such as the University of Hull, Leeds City College and Hull College Group, and other education providers such as Humber Learning Consortium.


Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Health clients in Yorkshire and the Humber using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The six-partner group at Capsticks LLP is the ‘leading light of healthcare law’ and is headed by Leeds-based employment practitioner Rachael Heenan. Notably in 2016/17, Heenan has been leading on the high-profile junior doctors’ contract case on behalf of NHS Employers in both the judicial review proceedings and in the finalising of the contract. NHS England is a key client for the firm, but the team has also been instructed by private sector bodies that provide health and social care services throughout England. The firm is also one of the largest suppliers of legal services to GP partnerships, and is active in the healthcare insurance market. Lisa Geary is recommended for real estate matters and has a ‘knack of explaining complex legal issues in a straightforward and helpful way’; she has recently been advising Hull & East Yorkshire NHS Trust on the property aspects of the re-tendering of a services contract provided across five sites in the East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire area, and has been assisting Great Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation with due diligence related to the acquisition of Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust. Ian Cooper is the key name for Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection, regulation and enforcement by the CEOs of many NHS Trusts across England, and recently advised the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust on published ratings by the CQC, with a successful challenge to nine specific ratings.

The health sector team at DAC Beachcroft LLP in Leeds is led by Eve Gregory and advises NHS Trusts on a range of matters, such as new care models, governance and patient issues. Gregory acts for a substantial number of public sector clients in relation to real estate matters, including The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, for which she has recently been advising on issues relating to the conditional strategic disposal of part of a hospital site in Leeds to the Homes and Communities Agency and its developers. Charlotte Burnett leads the public law and regulatory team across the north and advises on commercial integration and primary care law issues. The firm is also instructed by the NHS Litigation Authority to advise the Family Health Services Appeal Unit on appeals, the majority of which relate to pharmacy relocations. The team also represent clients in inquests, most notably this year defending Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in the first-ever prosecution of an NHS Trust for corporate manslaughter.

Head of commercial Adrian Parker leads Hempsons’ health and social care department, which draws expertise from the corporate commercial, health and social care advisory, employment, healthcare litigation and real estate practices. The health and social care advisory team provides support and advice across a spectrum of issues and acts for NHS organisations as well as private, charity and third sector social care clients. Andrew Davidson has been promoted to head of employment in the north and acts for NHS clients such as Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust and London North West Healthcare NHS Trust. Work for GP practices and individual practitioners is led by recently promoted head of GP services in the north Ross Clark, whose recent highlights include assisting with the merging of GP practices and the establishment of federations and provider organisations across the country. Adrienne D’Arcy heads litigation for healthcare clients, and the firm also has dedicated procurement litigators on the disputes team. As a whole, the department is highly regarded for its ability to keep ‘up to date with a large and fast-moving area of law’ and for combining its ‘expert knowledge with a pragmatic approach and business acumen’.

Local government

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Local government clients in Yorkshire and the Humber using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Addleshaw Goddard’s local government practice is recommended for its ‘high degree of knowledge and great insight, which helps to ensure local authorities achieve their objectives’. Leeds-based Andrew Pettinger co-heads the practice with Manchester partner Michael O’Connor. Recent highlights include work for Leeds City Council in relation to the promotion, procurement and structuring of a district heating scheme, for Stoke City Council regarding the proposed variation and refinancing of its PFI street lighting scheme, and for Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council on drafting and negotiating an outsourcing contract regarding catering for over 80 primary schools in the borough. The team has also been advising local councils on procurement matters, PPPs and retail unit acquisitions.

The ‘highly professional’ team at DWF stands ‘head and shoulders above any other firm’ for state aid issues and public procurement compliance. Jonathan Branton heads the overarching public sector department, splitting his time across several offices, including Manchester and Leeds. He is regarded as a ‘highly experienced EU practitioner – particularly in EU state aid law’ and has recently been advising West Riding and Hull councils on public investments by Siemens and Associated British Ports in the locality and related compatibility with EU state aid rules. Branton has also been leading advice to Newcastle City Council on a public investment in new research and development facilities, and to Leeds City Region LEP in supporting local Regional Growth Fund applications from third-party businesses and the administering of funds to a variety of projects in the area. Michael Mousdale splits his time between Leeds and Manchester and regularly advises on local government law, alternative service delivery, conduct and governance.

The ‘well-respected and experienced’ David Kilduff heads the energy, infrastructure and government team at Walker Morris LLP in Leeds. Led by director Elizabeth Wood, the team has been advising the London Borough of Bexley on a joint agreement with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Peabody Housing Association in connection with the Housing Zone programme, which provides funding and planning simplification to use brownfield land for housing schemes. With director Richard Auton, she has also been instructed by Cambridge City Council to advise on the potential delivery of below-market housing for people that do not qualify for social housing. Tom Peel has been assisting Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council with contract negotiations in relation to the first phase of work on its town centre redevelopment and in relation to its procurement strategy with regards to the second phase.

Eve Gregory heads up the Leeds branch of the DAC Beachcroft LLP local government practice and specialises in real estate matters. The team has been advising Leeds City Council on a high-value property acquisition that forms part of its investment strategy and is assisting Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council with one of the largest schools PFI projects in the UK, including the renegotiation of provider arrangements and the creation of arrangements to allow one of the PFI schools to be remodelled as a further education college. In another education-related matter, the team has been advising Calderdale Borough Council on its schools PFI scheme and also, more recently, in relation to its programme of academy conversions. The cross-departmental team is also able to advise on pensions, mental health, safeguarding, information law, corporate manslaughter, competition law, state aid and governance.

Robert Smith and Roger Gough jointly head the local government team at DLA Piper UK LLP from Leeds and Sheffield respectively. Birmingham City Council is a key client, with the team assisting it with issues arising from a PFI contract with Amey Birmingham Highways Limited; led by Leeds-based Paul Stone, the team has been acting on a series of disputes relating to adjustments made to invoices payable under the contract arising from poor performance. The team also includes Allison Page, office manager in Leeds, who has extensive experience in PFIs and PPPs and is head of the firm’s highways maintenance and street lighting team. Page has been advising a local council on a waste treatment PPP and has been instructed by another to give real estate advice in relation to a city centre development proposal.

The national local government practice at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides a ‘genuine full service’ and comprises lawyers across the firm’s Cardiff, Nottingham, Newcastle and Leeds offices. Recent highlights include acting for Sheffield City Council on the proposal for the refinancing of the Sheffield Highways PFI project and acting for Reading Borough Council defending a judicial review application that is seeking to quash the council’s decision to close a swimming pool. Key names in the Leeds practice include Michael Grimes, who is recognised for his expertise on waste projects, and litigation partner Alison Oldfield, who specialises in property disputes.

At Pinsent Masons LLP, head of local government Anne Bowden is a ‘first-class lawyer who works proactively to ward off problems’. Bowden specialises in regeneration schemes, with recent highlights including advice to the London Borough of Southwark in connection with the creation of a new town centre at Canada Water in a joint venture with British Land worth £2bn and to the London Borough of Wandsworth on its proposed regeneration of the Winstanley and York Road estates in Battersea. Planning partner Jonathan Riley has been leading the team advising Leeds City Council in connection with its first planning application for housing on the East Leeds Extension, and on an associated new road, the East Leeds Orbital Route. The team has also been advising Westminster City Council on the development of a new University Technical College and Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council in connection with their joint venture, the International Advanced Manufacturing Park.

The Leeds office of public sector firm Bevan Brittan LLP is headed by Judith Barnes and acts for a number of local governments nationally. Alongside Frances Woodhead, who has ‘experience, finely tuned judgement and a capacity for hard work’, the team has been acting for various local authorities in connection with disciplinary actions against statutory officers and on the impact of the changes to Local Authorities (Standing Orders) Amendment Regulations 2015. It has also been advising a local council on a collaboration agreement for service sharing with another local council, and a city council on various housing developments using creative funding models. Representative clients of the team include various London boroughs, such as Wandsworth, Hackney and Richmond upon Thames, as well as Leicestershire County Council and Northamptonshire County Council. Sarah Lamont and senior partner Bethan Evans also come highly recommended for their ‘excellent knowledge of local government law and good client care skills’.

Bond Dickinson LLP provides a full service to its local authority clients, including regulatory, procurement and judicial review expertise, and is advising on a number of high-profile local authority regeneration and development projects for national clients. Leeds-based Jackie Gray co-heads the team following her promotion to the partnership in May 2016. Gray leads the team advising York City council on all aspects of its £37m Community Stadium and Leisure Project, including procurement, match day agreements, the design-build-maintain-operate contract and real estate advice. Other highlights included acting for Leeds City Council on all aspects of the new Victoria Gate development, and advising the London Borough of Lewisham on the redevelopment of a site for housing and a major new sports facility.

Simon Hills heads the national public sector team at Plexus Law and specialises in contentious matters for local and police authorities. The practice advises on a range of issues for local authorities, from employers’ and public liability to judicial reviews, employment issues, professional negligence and officials’ indemnity. The firm frequently handles claims that arise from highways and highway maintenance. Previous clients include Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Durham County Council, Leeds City Council and

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to