Public sector in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP has a full-service practice that encompasses all areas of public sector law. Simon Tait (who heads up the health team) has particular expertise in NHS mergers, and acts for NHS Resolution and private healthcare providers, such as Bupa and Spire. The education team, which is led by Mark Blois, has a 'wealth of expertise' in academy conversions, multi-academy trusts and PFI schools. Also notable is that it launched an innovative digitalised GDPR toolkit for clients. Richard Barlow and others act on high-profile social care matters and major regeneration projects, including ‘One Cathedral Green’ in Derby.


The wealth of expertise in the education team is fantastically reassuring and way superior to another firm that we have tried for conversions.’

Key clients

Academy Transformation Trust

Apollo Partnership Trust

Archdiocese of Birmingham

Archway Learning Trust

Ashfield Academy

Aspire Multi-Academy Trust

Atlas Multi-Academy Trust

Believe Academy Trust

Boarding Schools Association

Central Learning Partnership Trust

Derby and Derbyshire CCG

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Trust

East midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust

NHS England

NHS Leicester City CCG [on behalf of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) STP]

Nottingham City CCG

Nottingham City Care Partnership

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Broxtowe Borough Council

Cheshire East Council

Devon County Council

Herefordshire County Council

Leicestershire County Council

London Borough of Croydon

London Borough of Enfield

Miller Birch (Nottingham City Council)

Nottingham City Council

Nottinghamshire County Council

Work highlights

  • Advising the Department for Education on claims brought against academy trust members of Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA).  
  • Assisted with the restructure of Worcestershire County Council’s children services into an independent entity in a project with an estimated value of £1.2billion.
  • Advising an NHS Trust facing an investigation by the Care Quality Commission for providing suspected unsafe care and treatment leading to avoidable harm, in the context of an incident where a patient fell and sustained fatal injuries.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP serves as a key adviser to local authorities, education and other public bodies. Reflective of its excellent reputation, the firm is on the legal panels of the universities of Nottingham and Birmingham, among others. Stephen Pearson is the head of the education team. Nathan Holden, who is a 'pleasure to work with', leads the local government team, which advised Leicester City Council and Rushcliffe on major expansions. Other key highlights included advising Derbyshire Dales District Council on a new system for waste collection and processing (including green waste).

Practice head(s):

Stephen Pearson; Nathan Holden

Other key lawyers:

Gillian Roberts


We’ve found members of the Freeths team very willing to engage with us and have constructive discussions.’

Nathan Holden and Gillian Roberts are a pleasure to deal with. Gillian’s pragmatic support, constructive challenge and good humour are particularly valuable.’

Key clients

NHS Property Services Limited N

NHSSS County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

South Staffordshire & Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation

Birmingham City Council

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Derby City Council

Derby College

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Authority

Leicester City Council

Leicester College

Leicestershire County Council

Nottingham City Council

Nottingham High School

Nottingham Trent University

Nottinghamshire County Council

Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Services HQ

Nottinghamshire Police Authority

Oxford Brookes University

University College London

University of Birmingham

University Of Leeds

University of Leicester

Work highlights

  • Assisted Derbyshire Dales District Council with a contract for long-term waste collection / processing garden/green waste processing.
  • Advised Loughborough College on contract for “BEST” Swim Academy
  • Assisted Newark & Sherwood District Council with contract for new HR / Payroll Software System for a consortium of 3 Local Authorities.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP acts for a broad range of clients in the education sector, including higher and further education institutions, schools, academies and private education institutions. Noted for its national reach, the team offers clients a full range of services, including employment, student matters, health and safety, and regulatory issues. The main contact in Nottingham is Nicola Bennison, who co-heads the practice with Manchester-based partner Diane Gilhooley, and is known for her expertise in contentious employment work.


The team is very responsive, understands our key concerns and has really taken time to understand our business and what matters to us in the long term. The team is pragmatic and realistic about what can be achieved, and this also saves time and money by not flogging points which are unattainable. Great to deal with, always available.’

Excellent attention to detail, and a very firm grasp of our business. Not just looking at getting a deal over the line but actually taking care to see that the terms fit with our overall long term business plan.’

Key clients

De Montfort University

University of Derby

Loughborough University

University of Essex

Nottingham College

West Nottinghamshire College

New College Stamford

Peterborough Regional College

Trent College

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Trust Federation

Sandwell College

Shrewsbury Colleges Group

Work highlights

  • Advised on the conversion of Bilborough College into a 16-19 academy forming part of the Coventry based Better Futures Multi Academy Trust.
  • Advised Greshams School on a pioneering project and cutting-edge proposal to close membership of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.
  • Assisted University of Derby with the disposal of former sports complex at former Buxton College site by the University to Persimmon for a housing development.

Geldards LLP

Geldards LLP has a well-established reputation in the public sector, where it advises local authorities, central government and regulatory authorities. The firm has been appointed to several local government legal frameworks, including East Midlands Law Share consortium and the North West Legal Consortium. Practice head Tiffany Cloynes and her team have a strong reputation in major regeneration projects and public services. Other key areas of work include planning, employment, state aid and public procurement. Clients praise the group for its 'good knowledge and understanding' of public sector work.

Practice head(s):

Tiffany Cloynes


The team has a good knowledge and understanding of the factors and constraints of public sector work.’

The team are easy to deal with, very responsive with good attention to detail. Their level of engagement in projects and willingness to work alongside in-house lawyers is valuable.’

Quick to understand the brief, reactive and flexible.’

Key clients

Belper Town Council

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

Carlisle City Council

Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Charnwood Borough Council

Cheshire East Council

Daventry District Council

Derby City Council

Derbyshire County Council

Dronfield Town Council

Gedling Borough Council

Huntingdonshire District Council

Kettering Borough Council

Leicester City Council

Leicester University

Lincolnshire County Council

Liverpool City Combined Authority

Llanrhidian Higher Community Council

London Borough of Bromley

London Borough of Croydon

London Borough of Merton

Ludlow Town Council

Milton Keynes Council

Norfolk County Council

Newark and Sherwood District Council

Nottingham City Council

Nottingham City Homes

Nottinghamshire County Council

Old Bolsover Town Council

Oxford City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Derby City Council as part of its strategic plans for the redevelopment of Becketwell in the City Centre.
  • Advising Warrington Borough Council in connection with the acquisition of two solar farms in Hull and York.
  • Advising Cheshire East Council in relation to the CPO and judicial review proceedings and subsequent settlement agreements to facilitate the development of a new link road.

Flint Bishop LLP

Flint Bishop LLP acts for a wide range of clients in the education sector, including secondary schools, further education providers and colleges, universities, nurseries and infant schools. Reflective of its strong credentials in the education arena, the firm was recently appointed to a University of Derby panel. The team has an excellent record in academy conversions, and acts for a number of large multi-academy trusts, many of which the firm has advised since their initial single-school academy conversions. Louise Easthope heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Louise Easthope

Key clients

Embark Federation

Derby College

The Rutland Learning Trust

Central Co-operative Learning Trust

The SENAD Group

The University of Derby

Derby Teaching Schools Alliance

Odyssey Collaborative Trust

Birkett House

Work highlights

  • Advised Embark Federation on trust set-up, conversion of seven academies and currently advising on two further conversions.
  • Advised The Rutland Learning Trust on 6 academy conversions joining the trust, across two counties and with complex diocesan land issues.
  • Advised Central Co-operative Learning Trust on incorporating the trust, advising on five academy conversions and one rebrokerage into the trust.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP has considerable expertise in the education sector, particularly in relation to academy conversions. The team has experience of advising on different structures available to converting schools, including single academy conversions and converting schools to multi academy trusts. Mark Davies, Daniel Banton, and Graham Irons are the main contacts in the East Midlands.


Howes Percival LLP is well placed to provide us with legal advice on care regulation matters, I recommend them for their insight and expertise.’

Rob Starr is our key contact and comes with a wealth of knowledge in relation to the care services sector, he understands how our business works and how we are regulated. This enables them to provide high-quality advice. Rob has good relationships with colleagues is trusted to provide good advice and assists us with a number of matters and helps colleagues through legal processes.’

Key clients

Anchor Hanover Group

P J Care Limited

Anchor Carehomes Limited

Learners Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted for Learners’ Trust on the conversion of 5 schools to academy status.

Langleys Solicitors LLP

Langleys Solicitors LLP acts for local authorities, academy trusts, independent schools and further education colleges. It advises clients on all aspects of the academy conversion process, drafting all relevant funding agreements, changing articles of association and setting up new entities with Companies House. Kate Hindmarch leads the team, which provides 'excellent guidance and information'.

Practice head(s):

Kate Hindmarch


The Langleys team are a trusted group of people who have helped me and my organisation . Working with Langleys you feel that you can overcome any problem in a constructive way. They help with all areas and provide us with incisive and robust advice. On a personal note it helps me to avoid sleepless nights but as an organisation they help provide a deep-rooted security. I would highly recommend the Langleys team.’

Such a friendly team – from the receptionist to solicitors. So very supportive, knowledgeable, emphatic and kind. Always a warm welcome and respectful service. Excellent guidance and information throughout the process.’

Key clients

Priory Federation of Academies Trust

Lincoln College

Aspire Multi Academy Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised the Priory Federation of Academies on its acquisition of 12 secondary and primary schools in Lincolnshire, including a mixture of community schools and existing academies.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited

Nelsons Solicitors Limited provides a wide range of advice to schools, academies, education providers and senior employees operating in the education sector. The firm handles academy conversions and the formation of multi academy trusts, investigations into misconduct and employment-related matters. Laura Kearsley is the head of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Laura Kearsley


Communication is a real strength of the teamwork and as a result, service is very rapid and responsive, even when one team member isn’t directly available.’

Incredible responsiveness to our individual cases and need. We can always be confident that we have access to timely support. The advice is concise, confident and well explained, but most importantly it responds to the priorities we have when there are alternative choices or options.’