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Yvonne Spencer

Work 020 7665 0870

Work Department

Litigation and Employment




How Can Yvonne Help you?

Having worked for many years advising schools on child protection, inspection and regulation, SEN and equality, serious disciplinary incidents, complex complaints, reputation management and the media, Yvonne is well placed to assist you and your school when complex and often unforeseen incidents occur.

Yvonne also leads our work with academies and maintained schools and has overseen over 500 academy and MAT conversion projects.

International Expertise

Yvonne Spencer's international experience relates to advising overseas Governments and Local Authorities on legislative reform to introduce or reform national child protection systems.

Yvonne's experience includes technical support to Governments to establish national systems for the accreditation and inspection of children's services. She has also advised Governments on national professional standards for children's social workers and advice on equalities legislation.

Countries where Yvonne has experience: Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Jordan and Japan.

Meeting Your Needs

Yvonne is keen to ensure that you receive cutting edge and contextual advice. Her contributions to the education law arena include Butterworth's Law of Education and Jordan's Education Law Journal.

Yvonne is a regular speaker at national conferences. Recent topics include strategic advice on MAT expansion, child protection, exclusions, admissions and regulatory compliance. In 2012 she spoke alongside Professor Tanya Byron at the TES National Cyber Bullying Conference.

What Others Say

The Legal 500 recognises Yvonne as an education law expert. In Chambers & Partners, Yvonne is recommended as a key individual for education law expertise and noted for being 'a standout individual' and an 'outstanding lawyer', who has 'a great deal of presence and expertise' and 'provides sound, strategic level advice with a good understanding of the risks to which the school might be exposed.'

Chambers & Partners also states, 'The effective and efficient Yvonne Spencer has significant expertise in academy conversions. Interviewees are quick to praise her as being 'very impressive and very able', and 'someone who has done an absolutely fantastic job'.'

'I love her deep understanding of the sector; she is a dyed-in-the-wool expert. She has done a magnificent job, and is very personable.' - Chambers & partners client quote


Yvonne is the first female to be appointed Chairman of the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates.

London: Public sector

Education: schools

Within: Education: schools

VWV 'has a strong team and some excellent individual lawyers', who collectively have an impressive range of education-focused specialisms such as charities law, regulations, employment, real estate and commercial matters. The team's client list includes well-known independent schools, academies and colleges. It assisted with the establishment of the Reach South Academy Trust and is currently advising on its acquisition of two academies. It is also handling an exam malpractice matter and is acting for various schools in disputes raised by parents and pupils. Barney Northover, who is based in Bristol, and Yvonne Spencer jointly head the practice and Simon Bevan, who specialises in employment law, leads the firm's safer recruitment training programme. Other noted practitioners include Emma-Jane Dalley and Naseem Nabi. Tabitha Cave  and John Deakin  handle a range of regulatory compliances and Chloe Brunton has notable charities expertise in the education sector.

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South West: Public sector


Within: Education

VWV¬†provides ‚Äėexcellent service and sector knowledge‚Äô with ‚Äėstrength in depth‚Äô. 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.

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