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Particularly well known for education law, including higher education, appeals and special educational needs, John Ford Solicitors is a committed and reliable firm, with a small, dedicated team that works tirelessly to ensure the rights and interests of the most vulnerable are met.

The firm: Established in 1985, John Ford Solicitors has responded and adapted over the years to the demand for specialist advice and representation. Education law is central to the work conducted by the firm, but it is increasingly involved in a variety of other areas of law.

John Ford Solicitors assists people in challenging public bodies by way of judicial review, pursuing school and higher education appeals and discrimination cases. For the most part, it works for individuals and families; however it also takes instructions from schools, charities and other organisations. It is dedicated to assisting new clients from professional referrals as well as to its existing client base.

Changes to legal aid mean that the firm is assisting more and more clients on a private funding basis. As such, it is willing to negotiate the best and most affordable rates for clients.

Despite the uncertain future of legal aid the firm continues to go from strength to strength, bolstered by its dedicated team, who continue to expand their skills and knowledge within the areas of law practised.

Types of work undertaken:Education law: John Ford Solicitors is a leading education law firm and a member of the Education Law Association. The firm has specialised in this field for over 20 years and its team of highly experienced solicitors has effectively advised parents, students, schools and other organisations. It is able to provide assistance and representation in all areas of education law, and works with and for parents who have children with special educational needs (SEN), using judicial review against unlawful decisions made by educational institutions. The firm can also provide advice in relation to exclusion and admissions appeals.

Court of Protection and community law: the firm is committed to fighting for the rights of vulnerable people, and aims to resolve matters quickly and simply, outside court where possible. However, if necessary it will enforce rights in the courts using judicial review and other legal remedies. John Ford Solicitors regularly appears in the Court of Protection (including the High Court), dealing with disputes over the welfare and property of adults lacking capacity under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It offers legal aid for people who qualify.

Regulatory law: John Ford Solicitors has a wealth of knowledge and experience in relation to regulatory law. It is experienced in advising and representing people who have been subject to disciplinary proceedings, and assists with appeals against the findings of the General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Panels, for clients ranging from university students to qualified doctors. The firm has also provided specific assistance to clients such as nurses, teachers and social workers also facing fitness to practise or similar panels.

Discrimination: John Ford Solicitors specialises in all areas of discrimination law, using the Human Rights Act to argue for privacy and the respect for private life afforded by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It has also acted in cases where discrimination was alleged under Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. A large amount of the firm’s work involves claims against higher education institutions, but it is not limited to this area, and can offer assistance and tailored services for all information, data requests and appeals.

Public and administrative law: John Ford Solicitors holds a contract in public law which enables it to assist clients who may be unlawfully treated as a result of maladministration, negligence, procedural errors or unreasonable decision-making. It has experience in all aspects of judicial review, including obtaining interim relief and emergency orders in the Administrative Court and pursuing judicial review matters, if necessary to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and has provided assistance in relation to the rights of looked-after children, student finance and failure to educate.

Information law: the firm has experience in assisting people with subject access requests, appeals to the Independent Monitoring Board and freedom of information requests. It has advised record keepers (data controllers) on how to comply with the requirements of the Information Commissioner’s office and has helped clients obtain access to personal records and files held by public bodies.

Breakdown of work %Education law 30
Community care 30
Administrative and public law 30
Discrimination 5
Regulatory law 3
Information law 2

Number of UK partners 1

Number of other UK fee-earners 4

Above material supplied by John Ford Solicitors.

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