Public sector in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP has ‘a highly effective‘ public sector offering that spans the education, health and local government sectors. Education head Mark Blois is ‘outstanding‘; he works with Peter Ware, a specialist for local government commercial matters, procurement and transport, who heads the government and infrastructure team. Other key partners based in Nottingham include education specialist Adrian Shardlow, East Midlands health head Simon Tait, and Leanne Wareham, who took a lead role in the team advising NHS England on issues related to the pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Peter Ware; Mark Blois; Gerard Hanratty (Manchester)

Other key lawyers:

Simon Tait; Adrian Shardlow; Lorna Hardman; Richard Barlow; Anja Beriro; Laura Hughes; Chris Stark; Alex Kynoch; Craig Elder


‘We have referred a variety of matters in different areas to the team at Browne Jacobson. We have always been impressed wit their speed of response and subject knowledge in all the areas (commercial, property, education) in which we have engaged them. Billing/fees are realistic given the funding pressures faced by the education sector.’

‘Our principle point of contact is Adrian Shardlow at partner level, who has referred to several partners and/or associates for more detailed advice and guidance as necessary. All are knowledgeable in their specialist area and offer clear advice and the opportunity for clarification as required.’

‘The team is excellent at advising on the education sector with regards governance, exclusions, HR matters.’

‘Having now worked with two legal firms on school academisation projects, and as such have points of reference, it has become clearly evident that Browne Jacobson LLP provide a highly effective service. The provision of a single account point of contact has enabled wide ranging requests and queries to be targeted to the correct department. Response times have been rapid and advice received both accessible and helpful.’

‘Good range of expertise and specialisms. Collaborative approach to providing advice. Generally provide advice in a timely manner. Extremely knowledgeable.

‘The quality of the advice and solicitors is exemplary.’

‘Mark Blois is outstanding.’

Key clients

Archway Learning Trust

Flying High Trust

Greenwood Academies Trust

Diverse Academies Trust

The Mead Educational Trust

Community Inclusive Trust

Apollo Partnership Trust

Our Lady of Lourdes Academy Trust

Thomas Deacon Education Trust

Lionheart Academies Trust

Transform Trust

Loxford School Trust

Nova Education Trust

Hearts Academy Trust

Believe Academy Trust

Spencer Academy Trust

Humber Education Trust

Diocese of Nottingham

Diocese of Leeds

Diocese of Hallam

Teaching Regulation Agency

Department for Education (RPA)

Chesterfield Borough Council

Oxford City Council

Derbyshire County Council

Scape Group Limited

North West Leicestershire DC, Rushcliffe BC & Broxtowe BC

Derby and Derbyshire CCG

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust

Lincolnshire CCG

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS FoundationTrust

NHS England

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

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG

Nottingham CityCare Partnership CIC

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Primary Integrated Community Services Limited

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised a range of education clients in relation to parent challenges following the government’s change of approach to awarding GCSE and ‘A’ Level grades in the summer 2020 examinations.  Advised on the potential for appeals and/or complaints, the process to be applied and the alternative routes available to parents and students to challenge the assessments provided by the clients. Also advised on the potential for malpractice and/or maladministration in the assessment of grades.
  • Acted for the three district councils in relation to the Midlands Engine Development Company and Corporation, which is set to create 84,000 jobs and add billions to the regional economy.
  • Acted as one of only a small number of firms to advise NHS England on the various issues they have faced during the pandemic. This ranged from deploying staff to treat only Covid positive patients, through to legal issues on the vaccine rollout programme.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's  public sector team in Nottingham is recognised for its expertise in real estate work advising on major developments and property joint ventures. Headed by Nathan Holden and Stephen Pearson, the team further advises on matters relating to procurement projects and state aid and has recently being involved in matters concerning support for service providers who were facing difficulties due to COVID-19 lockdown measures. Pearson has niche specialisms in conduct investigations and related governance advice. The litigation team assists local authorities in property litigation matters as well as in judicial review proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Nathan Holden; Stephen Pearson

Other key lawyers:

Gillian Roberts

Key clients

Derwent Housing Reporting Group

Aspect Education Limited

Abbotsholme School Limited

Cardinal Newman College

Envance Limited

Governing Body of Wyvern Federation

Innovative Solutions For Education Limited

Midlands University Consortium Reporting

Repton School Trust

Swalcliffe Park School CIO

University College London

University of Sheffield

Werrington Primary School

Zaskin College Limited

Kaplan Reporting Group

Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust Ltd

Europa School UK

Jak (Leics) Limited

Sound Training for Reading Limited

Century-Tech Limited

Elevate Education (United Kingdom) Pty Ltd

St Bartholomews CofE Multi Academy Trust

Burford School Foundation

ASD Learning Limited

Kerem Schools

Training at work group Ltd

Lincoln Arts Trust Limited

African Cultural Exchange Limited

Nina & Pinta Consulting Services Ltd

Dragon School

Sir Roger Manwood’s School

The Business Continuity Institute Limited

Leicester College

Tutorful Limited

University College Oxford

White House Farm Day Nursery

International Schools Partnership Ltd

Westcliff High School for Boys Limited

365 Homecare Ltd

Oxford Trust (Science Oxford)

The Voluntary & Community Sector Learning

Game Academy Limited

Ketka Limited

Micro:bit Educational Foundation

Caja Limited

Christ’s College Finchley

Twin Training International Limited

Activate Learning

Newlands Girls’ School

Trinity College Reporting Group

University of Lincoln

Birmingham Metropolitan College

Dalmore Capital Reporting Group

Landau Forte Charitable Trust

Childbase Partnership Limited

Nottingham High School

St Aubyn’s (Woodford Green) School Trust

Pearson College Limited

University of Birmingham

Dartmoor Multi-academy Trust

University of Portsmouth

Oxford Brookes University

Chesterfield College

Higher Education Policy Institute

Virtual Alliance Ltd

Oxford University Press

Nanaksar Thath Isher Darbar Trust

School Explained Limited

Aura Newcastle Limited

The Milford Academy

British Education Suppliers Association

Axiom International Limited

New College Oxford

Swanbourne House School Trust Limited

Wadham Reporting Group

University Of Leeds

Derby College

Portland College

City of S O T Sixth Form College

Brunel University Enterprises Ltd

Imperial College London

Tutora Limited

Potteries Educational Trust

London Borough of Camden

London Borough of Newham

London Borough of Hackney

London Borough of Hillingdon

The Cornwall Council

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service

Middlesbrough Borough Council

Durham County Council

NEPO – The Council of the Borough of South Tyneside

Guildford Borough Council

Mole Valley District Council

Waverley Borough Council

Spelthorne Borough Council

Hart District Council

Kirklees Council

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Leeds City Council

Wakefield Council

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Leicestershire County Council

Surrey County Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

London Borough of Havering

Mercury Land Holdings Limited

Ipswich Borough Assets Limited

London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Swindon Borough Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council

London Borough of Lambeth

Added Value Portal Limited (PAGABO)

Birmingham City Council

Staffs Moorlands DC

Place Partnership Limited (wholly owned LA company)

Acivico (Design, Construction and Facilities)

South Somerset District Council

Hanborough Parish Council

Gloucester City Council

The West Midlands Growth Company

Public Power Solutions Limited

Ipswich Borough Council

Woodstock Town Council

Northumberland County Council

Willington Parish Council

Broughton Astley Parish Council

East London Waste Authority

Lindfield Rural Parish Council

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Derbyshire Building Control Partnership

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Wakefield Metropolitan District Council

Castle Point Borough Council

Boston Borough Council

North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce

Maldon District Council

London Borough of Ealing

Enfield Council

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Nottingham City Council

Kettering Borough Council

Solihull MBC

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Rushcliffe Borough Council

Luton Borough Council

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council

Newark & Sherwood District Council

Nottingham City Homes Limited

Peterborough City Council

Northamptonshire County Council

Bedford Borough Council

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority

Charnwood Borough Council

Doncaster Children’s Trust

High Peak Borough Council

Gloucestershire County Council

Derbyshire Dales District Council

Rugby Borough Council

Chesterfield Borough Council

Kent County Council

Harborough District Council

Huntingdonshire District Council

Welwyn & Hatfield Borough Council

Northampton Borough Council

Telford and Wrekin Council

Daventry District Council

Lincoln City Council

Ashfield District Council

Dronfield Town Council

Transport for the North

Sheffield City Council

Hertfordshire County Council

Bassetlaw District Council

Old Bolsover Town Council

South Northamptonshire Council

Nottinghamshire Police Authority

Shropshire Council

Rushmoor Borough Council

Scape Group Ltd

Worcester City Council

North Hertfordshire District Council

Leicestershire County Council

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Boston Borough Council

North West Leicestershire District Council

Merton London Borough Council

Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Services

Blaby District Council

Central Bedfordshire Council

Derby Homes Ltd

Plymouth City Council

Fenland District Council

Oxford City Council

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Authority

Gedling Borough Council

Sutton London Borough Council

Arc Property Services Partnership Ltd

Babergh District Council

Uttlesford District Council

East Staffordshire Borough Council

Melton Borough Council

East Lindsey District Council

Bolsover District Council

Wellingborough Borough Council

Cheshire East Council

North East Derbyshire District Council

North Lincolnshire Council

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Nottinghamshire County Council – Pension

Wigan Council

Cumbria County Council

Halton Borough Council

Allerdale Borough Council

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

Warrington Borough Council

Blackpool Borough Council

Dorchester on Thames Parish Council

Darlington Borough Council

Oadby & Wigston Borough Council

Braintree District Council

NTU Reporting Group

University of Nottingham Reporting Group

Rita Ford Reporting Group

Massolit Online Education Limited

British International Studies Association

Review of Economic Studies Limited

UPP (Broadgate Park) Limited

East Sussex College

House of Fun Ltd

St Antony’s Catholic Primary School

Charlton Park Academy

Oakham School

The Trustees of Oakham School

University College of Estate Management

Critical Skills Reporting Group

NCHA Reporting Group

Longhurst Housing Reporting Group

Greensquare Reporting Group

INPP Reporting Group

Picfare Homes Limited

Metropolitan Housing Trust Reporting Group

Aspire Housing

BDW Trading Ltd, Miller Homes Ltd, Taylor

Crown Comm Svs Reporting Group

Cheltenham Borough Council

Midland Heart Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised South Somerset District Council on outsourcing management, operation and refurbishment of four leisure centres.
  • Disposal of land for residential development as part of wider development of Phase 2 of the Beeston Town Centre for Broxtowe Borough Council.
  • Conditional disposal on planning to Ilke Homes for modular housing development for Nottinghamshire County Council.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Diane Gilhooley leads the national education team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP while 'stellar performer' Nicola Bennison heads the education team in Nottingham. The firm offers 'a one-stop shop for high-quality legal advice' to higher and further education institutions, schools, academies and private education institutions. Advice covers all legal areas and includes litigation and dispute management, property, employment and student matters, health and safety, corporate and commercial, intellectual property, governance issues as well as regulatory advice. The team makes use of its network of international offices to advise education institutions globally.

Practice head(s):

Diane Gilhooley; Nicola Bennison


‘They have a very broad range of expertise, essentially offering a one-stop shop for high-quality legal advice.’

‘They establish a relationship with the client, ensuring that when a particular case arises they already know the strategic context of the organisation and so can ‘hit the ground running’ without the requirement to explain the strategic context again.’

‘They provide sensible and pragmatic advice, responding rapidly when needed to challenging casework.’

‘Nicola Bennison provides buckets of common sense and is quick to grasp the most complex problems.’

‘Nicola Bennison is a stellar performer who consistently adds value.’

‘The level of expertise in both education generally and further education specifically particularly in relation to complaints to regulatory bodies.’

‘Nicola Bennison has provided timely, insightful and incisive advice. She has delivered high quality work to tight deadlines.’

‘The main difference for me is their credibility. I always have absolute trust and confidence in the advice and expertise from this firm, and I have not found this same level of trust in other firms I have used.’

Key clients

Sandwell College

Moulton College

Royal National College for the Blind

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Trust Federation

Nottingham Trent University

West Nottinghamshire College

Shrewsbury College Group

University of Essex

University of Reading

De Montfort University

University of Nottingham

Leicester University

Loughborough University

ACS International Schools Limited

L.E.A.D Multi Academy Trust

Birmingham City University

Work highlights

  • Advised Shrewsbury College Group on the challenge to its Ofsted report, taking the case to Independent Complaints Adjudication for Ofsted and securing recommendations in relation to complaint handling by Ofsted.
  • Advised De Montfort University on complex employment tribunal claim.
  • Successfully defended an application to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Tribunal for Alpha Academies Trust.

Geldards LLP

Geldards LLP specialises in advising local authorities, central government and regulatory authorities on matters such as development, collaboration and joint venture agreements, land assembly and disposals, land assembly and disposals, alternative delivery structures, income generation and funding arrangements. Practice head Tiffany Cloynes is 'very approachable and always looking to find solutions' and specialises in advising on large scale, complex regeneration and infrastructure projects, a particular area of expertise. Further expertise of the team includes advice on the application of the Public Contract Regulations 2015 and on conducting procurements.

Practice head(s):

Tiffany Cloynes

Other key lawyers:

Clare Hardy; Michelle Craven-Faulkner; Rebecca Gilbert


‘Tiffany Cloynes is very approachable and always looking to find solutions. Clare Hardy is very knowledgeable and thorough.’

‘Geldards offer a seamless and rounded service.’

‘Work was delivered by both partners and more junior staff. At no time did we feel that the partners were not in control and supervising the work of others. This meant the Geldards team worked well both horizontally and vertically. Particular credit to Tiffany Cloynes and Michelle Craven-Faulkner.’

‘Very strong in advice to local authorities in relation to governance and powers and commercial ventures. Proactive and practical advice delivered on time and at reasonable cost.’

‘Clare Hardy is particularly worthy of praise for her encyclopaedic knowledge of local government law and procedure.’

‘Clare Hardy listened to our needs and requirements from all of these agreements and able to translate them into legal documents. She communicated effectively on legal terms in a clear and precise way and how they apply to our type of operations. She was always available to answer queries or provide additional advice. ’

‘The public sector team are like an extension of our own in-house lawyers covering all areas that we need. They are different from other firms in that the whole team is available as and when needed this has been a huge benefit for the council.’

Key clients

Derby City Council

Warrington Borough Council

Carlisle City Council

Derbyshire County Council

Calderdale Borough Council

Rushmoor Borough Council

Cheshire East Council

South Staffordshire Borough Council

Walsall Council

Burnley Borough Council

Wirral Borough Council

The Council of the City of Wakefield

Rushcliffe Borough Council

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

Daventry District Council

South Derbyshire District Council

Royal Borough of Greenwich

London Borough of Merton

Nottingham City Council

Nottinghamshire County Council

Milton Keynes Council

Norfolk County Council

Oxford City Council

Sheffield City Council

Leicester City Council

Dronfield Town Council

Ludlow Town Council

Transport for the North

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council

Derbyshire Dales District Council

Chesterfield Borough Council

Selby District Council

Huntingdonshire District Council

Work highlights

  • Advised the Warrington Borough Council in connection with the structuring and acquisition of two solar farms in Hull and York by way of a share acquisition following completion of the development.
  • Advised Derby City Council on the implementation of its strategic plans and overriding objective for the redevelopment of a large and prominent but neglected site in the City Centre including land assembly and disposals, structuring of transaction including vires, procurement and State aid implication, preparation of conditional sale contracts, development and forward funding agreements and associated construction documentation.
  • Acted for Derbyshire County Council on a number of major road and infrastructure projects including Ashbourne Link Roundabout and Link Road and Hollis Lane in Chesterfield (HS2 Delivery).

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Wilkin Chapman LLP's governance team advises on local government governance and powers and is lauded by clients as being 'extremely approachable' and 'very well organised'. The firm shows an impressive track record of investigations into the conduct of local government councillors, which is a particular specialism of the department. Further, the team handles grievances and disciplinary investigations and performs reviews of public sector bodies including councils, fire and policing authorities. Practice head Jonathan Goolden is 'very knowledgeable and pragmatic' and an expert in guidance on local government governance and ethics.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Goolden


‘The governance team is extremely approachable and takes the time to ensure that lay people understand the complex issues through clear and detailed explanation. Administratively they are very well organised.’

‘Jonathan Goolden is very knowledgeable and pragmatic. In addition to providing advice to our membership, he has delivered training at our events. He is an excellent presenter who combines knowledge and humour to make what can be rather a dry subject entertaining.’

Key clients

Birmingham City Council

Winchester City Council

Sandwell Council

North Hertfordshire District Council

Work highlights

  • Investigation of breaches of Birmingham City Council’s Code of Conduct by its former leader, in respect of his settlement of a city-wide industrial action by refuse collection workers.

Flint Bishop LLP

Flint Bishop LLP shows a 'high degree of knowledge in the specialist education sector' acting for a broad range of education institutions which includes nurseries, secondary schools, colleges, universities as well as voluntary aided schools, foundation schools, academies and after school clubs and wrap-around care provision. Louise Easthope heads the education team which offers advice on all employment issues, including grievances and disciplinary matters, and assists clients with advice on academy conversions and rebrokerages.

Practice head(s):

Louise Easthope


‘High degree of knowledge in the specialist education sector. Depth of resources available.’

‘Personal approach. Dedicated relationship management. Degree of understanding in how the organisation is structured/function.’

‘The team are very knowledgeable and go above and beyond when responding to queries. The team has expanded due to demand with no drop in service levels, in fact they have improved. There is always someone to talk to.’

‘The staff really care about the school and it’s staff. They take the time to get a full picture leading to much more practical and relevant advice. They are highly professional, their conduct installs confidence in their ability.’

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

Work highlights

  • Advised Embark Multi Academy Trust on the conversion of three additional primary schools and currently advising on a further conversion.
  • Advised The Rutland Learning Trust on six academy conversions joining the trust, across two counties and with complex diocesan land issues.
  • Incorporating Central Co-operative Learning Trust, advising on five academy conversions and one rebrokerage into the trust.

Howes Percival LLP

The public sector offering at Howes Percival LLP provides advice to health and education sector clients on matters relating to property, construction and employment ,as well as commercial contracts and data protection issues. The team acts for schools as well as higher and further education institutions, including colleges and nationally renowned universities. In the healthcare sector, the team advises GPs, care homes and specialist care centres. Oliver Pritchard, Graham Irons and Daniel Banton jointly head the offering.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Pritchard; Graham Irons; Daniel Banton

Key clients

Anchor Hanover Group

P J Care Limited

Anchor Carehomes Limited

Learners Trust

De Montfort University

Milton Keynes College

University of Coventry