Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Public sector in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP ‘consistently provides reliable, sound advice and guidance in all legal matters’ across the spectrum of public sector matters. The ‘approachable and knowledgeable’ team has particular specialisations in the education sector where it acts for, among others, schools, higher education institutions, multi-academy trusts, charities, professional associations and government bodies, as well as healthcare where it acts for various NHS bodies in relation to policy, governance, regulation, inquests, clinical negligence, staffing and insurance matters. The local government team, headed by Peter Ware, is noted for its work in liability litigation – in particular in relation to social care matters. Mark Blois heads the education offering and Gerard Hanratty leads the health team, which includes Simon Tait and Leanne Wareham.

Practice head(s):

Peter Ware; Mark Blois; Gerard Hanratty

Other key lawyers:

Simon Tait; Leanne Wareham; Heather Caddy


‘We have worked with Browne Jacobson for many years and they continue to consistently provide reliable, sound advice and guidance in all legal matters.’

‘The team at Browne Jacobson are easy to get hold of and respond quickly to any queries as well as providing regular concise updates in relation to ongoing cases we have with them. The quality of the work is good and they do all they can to minimise the cost to the public purse.’

‘All the solicitors at Browne Jacobson that I have worked with in the health team are good written and verbal communicators and assist in making legal rulings clear to understand. They have an appropriate sense of humour which is something that I really appreciate when sometimes I feel I am up against it.’

‘They manage to explain the law clearly and effectively, providing calm efficiency in a wide range of situations in the field of Mental Health Legislation, ranging from advice about Mental Health Act papers to navigating the whole Court process from application to decision.’

Key clients

Apollo Partnership Trust

Archway Learning Trust

Believe Academy Trust

Community Inclusive Trust

Department for Education (RPA)

Diocese of Hallam

Diocese of Leeds

Diocese of Nottingham

Diverse Academies Trust

Flying High Trust

Greenwood Academies Trust

Hearts Academy Trust

Humber Education Trust

Lionheart Academies Trust

Loxford School Trust

Nova Education Trust

Our Lady of Lourdes Academy Trust

Spencer Academy Trust

Teaching Regulation Agency

The Mead Educational Trust

Thomas Deacon Education Trust

Transform Trust

Bradford Borough Council

Derby City Council

Derbyshire County Council

East Suffolk Council

Elmbridge District Council

Folkestone and Hythe District Council

East Midlands Development Company (EmDevco)

Kent County Council

London Borough of Croydon

London Borough of Sutton

Nottingham City Council

Nottinghamshire County Council

Oxford City Council

Reigate and Banstead Council

Scape Group Ltd

Shropshire Council

Thanet District Council

Thurrock Council

Watford Borough Council

Derby and Derbyshire CCG

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust

Lincolnshire CCG

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

NHS England / Improvement

NHS Leicester City CCG on behalf of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) ICS

Northamptonshire ICS

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG

Nottingham CityCare Partnership CIC

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Nottinghamshire ICS

Primary Integrated Community Services Limited

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals 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 Yew Tree Primary School on a successful judicial review of the Secretary of State’s decision not to revoke its directive Academy Order.
  • Appointed by Derby City Council to advise on the development of a plot on the Infinity Park site in Derby. The site is classified as an enterprise zone and is a key part of the Council’s regeneration plans.
  • Advised 15 integrated care systems on how to set up their Integrated Care Boards and governance to enable the ICS to be ready for the new legislation due to come into force on 1 July 2022.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP‘s ‘friendly, reliable and very capable practice’ provides a full service offering to public sector clients, including local authorities and councils as well as universities, academy trusts and rescue services. Key areas of advice are in relation to procurement, subsidy control support, service contracts, service and joint venture agreements, creating joint venture bodies, governance issues as well as employment matters. Nottingham-based partner Stephen Pearson is experienced in advising on a variety of matters ‘ranging from advice on procurement matters to complex negotiations on investment partnerships’ and has a particular niche specialism in governance investigations and related legal challenges. The practice is headed by Birmingham-based Nathan Holden.

Practice head(s):

Nathan Holden

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Pearson


‘They have strength and depth and cover all matters pertaining to local government – a real all rounder!’

‘I have worked with Stephen Pearson on a number of matters ranging from advice on procurement matters to complex negotiations on Investment Partnerships. Stephen is very comfortable in presenting to councillors and his approach puts them at ease.’

‘I have found Freeths to be a friendly, reliable and very capable practice willing to help on an urgent basis when needed. They not only provide legal advice but real practical solutions, which is invaluable and, in fact, exactly what clients want.’

Key clients

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Milton Keynes Development Partnership

Buckinghamshire Council

Cherwell District Council

Solihull MBC

Mansfield District Council

Enfield Council

Nottinghamshire County Council

Cambridge City Council

Leicester City Council

Derby City Council

Milton Keynes Council

Telford and Wrekin Council

Walsall Council

Kettering Borough Council

North West Leicestershire District Council

Broxtowe Borough Council

London Borough of Ealing

Lincoln City Council

West Northamptonshire Council

North East Lincolnshire Council

Nottinghamshire Police Authority

London Borough of Bromley

Kent County Council

Hertfordshire County Council

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Nottingham City Council

East Northamptonshire District Council

Cheshire East Council

Rugby Borough Council

Huntingdonshire District Council

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council

Luton Borough Council

Rushcliffe Borough Council

North Lincolnshire Council

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority

Newark & Sherwood District Council

Oxford City Council

Worcestershire County Council

Central Bedfordshire Council

Harborough District Council

Bolsover District Council

High Peak Borough Council

Charnwood Borough Council

East Lindsey District Council

Leicestershire County Council

Old Bolsover Town Council

Rushmoor Borough Council

Shropshire Council

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Gloucestershire County Council

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Comb

York City Council

North Yorkshire County Council

Derbyshire Dales District Council

Isle of Wight Council

Stratford Upon Avon District Council

Peak District National Park

Ashfield District Council

Peterborough City Council

Coventry City Council

South Staffordshire Council

Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service

Boston Borough Council

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Authority

Bassetlaw District Council

Chesterfield Borough Council

Bedford Borough Council

Lincolnshire County Council

Doncaster Children’s Trust

Dronfield Town Council

Staffordshire County Council

Daventry District Council

North Hertfordshire District Council

North East Derbyshire District Council

Erewash Borough Council

Wolverhampton City Council

Plymouth City Council

Herefordshire Council

Fenland District Council

London Borough of Sutton

Melton Borough Council

Cotswold District Council

East Hertfordshire District Council

Wigan Council

Warrington Borough Council

Cumbria County Council

Halton Borough Council

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

Allerdale Borough Council

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Blackpool Borough Council

Middlesbrough Borough Council

Northumberland County Council

Durham County Council

Gateshead Council

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

London Borough of Camden

London Borough of Hackney

London Borough of Newham

London Borough of Hillingdon

Tamworth Borough Council

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service

West Midlands Combined Authority

Guildford Borough Council

Mole Valley District Council

Runnymede Borough Council

Waverley Borough Council

Kirklees Council

Leeds City Council

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Wakefield Council

Leicestershire County Council

Stoke on Trent City Council

London Borough of Lambeth

The Police & Crime Commissioner for Kent

Surrey County Council

South Somerset District Council

Portland Town Council

Gravesham Borough Council

Darlington Borough Council

London Borough of Havering

Gloucester City Council

The West Midlands Growth Company

EMC North Northamptonshire Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Swindon Borough Council

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

The Cornwall Council

Birmingham City Council

Ipswich Borough Council

Crawley Borough Council

Elmbridge Borough Council

Reading Borough Council

Bingham Town Council

Derbyshire Building Control Partnership

Woodstock Town Council

Hanborough Parish

Rochford District Council

Broughton Astley Parish Council

Wakefield Metropolitan District Council

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Fretherne with Saul Parish Council

Billinge Chapel End Parish Council

Landau Forte Charitable Trust

University of Nottingham

Corby Borough Council N

Merton London Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Newark and Sherwood DC on Yorke Drive Regeneration project.
  • Created a new JV entity for North West Leicestershire District Council to deliver exemplar “Green” housing development.
  • Advised on a major JV project for South Cambridgeshire District Council related to the new quarter of Cambourne “New Village”.

Geldards LLP

Geldards LLP acts for a large number of local authorities and public bodies across a variety of matters, such public procurement, employment, data protection, with an additional offering regarding infrastructure projects, regenerationsand planning of highways for councils without the relevant in-house expertise. The team is made up of ‘a pool of experienced, knowledgeable lawyers’ that also advise in relation to subsidy control, governance as well as constitutional issues and represent public body clients in proceedings that include inquiries, judicial reviews and tribunal proceedings. Tiffany Cloynes heads the department and has a focus on regeneration and infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Tiffany Cloynes

Other key lawyers:

Clare Hardy


‘A real collaborative team that is not dominated by a single discipline. Tiffany Cloynes leads the team very well.’

‘Clare Hardy deals with complex procurement and state aid issues with ease. Tiff Cloynes – responsive and understands the importance of deadlines.’

‘Great range and depth of knowledge and skills.’

‘Geldards have a pool of experienced, knowledgeable lawyers who have been immensely helpful to us on various local authority matters.’

‘Clare Hardy is extremely approachable and knowledgeable. She works effectively as part of our team and provided advice quickly.

Key clients

Burnley Borough Council

Warrington Borough Council

Derby City Council

Derbyshire County Council

Milton Keynes Borough Council

Carlisle City Council

Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Rushmoor Borough Council

South Staffordshire District Council

Leeds City Council

Redditch Borough Council

Tees Valley Combined Authority

City of York Council

Isle of Wight Council

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council

The Council of the City of Wakefield

South Derbyshire District Council

Nottinghamshire County Council

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Work highlights

  • 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 Derby City Centre which is to be redeveloped as residential, commercial, an entertainment venue and significant public realm.
  • Advised Warrington Borough Council on the acquisition of interests in a solar farm at Cirencester, having previously advised on the acquisition of interests in solar farms at Hull and York.
  • Advised Carlisle City Council and the other six local authorities in Cumbria on arrangements for local government reorganisation in Cumbria, which will involve the creation of two unitary authorities from April 2023.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has an enviable track record of acting for clients from the education sector, which include schools, academies, private education institutions and higher education institutions, providing legal support on all issues they may face. The ‘friendly and approachable’ team provides ‘concise’ and ‘thorough’ advice regarding employment issues, student matters, charity law, real estate issues, intellectual property, health and safety aspects as well as constitutional, governance and regulatory issues, among others. ‘ExcellentNicola Bennison heads the national education offering from Nottingham and is specialised in employment and student issues. The Manchester-based Diane Gilhooley is the firm’s national chair of the education sector.

Practice head(s):

Diane Gilhooley; Nicola Bennison


‘The lawyers that I have spoken to have been friendly and approachable and I think this really helps, especially when you are dealing with serious matters. Their advice is concise and their written confirmation when provided is thorough.’

‘Nicola Bennison provides excellent and thorough advice and is contactable most of the time when we need her. I also find her very pleasant to work with and her sense of humour is appreciated.’

Key clients

Sandwell College

West Nottinghamshire College

ACS International Schools Limited

Birmingham City University

De Montfort University

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham University

L.E.A.D. Academy Trust

Trent College Limited

Joseph Chamberland College

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended De Montfort University on a complex employment tribunal claim.
  • Advised Sandwell College on the development of its property portfolio, advising on acquisition and construction and procurement.
  • Advised Higher Education Institutions and HE sector bodies in relation to their response to industrial action.

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Wilkin Chapman LLP acts for local authorities, national organisations, police and fire authorities and city councils as well as multi academy trusts. The team is noted for its ‘combined strengths in public sector, governance and employment fields’ and has a specialisation in advising drainage boards on, among others, land drainage and governance matters. Grimsby-based practice head Jonathan Goolden is ‘nationally recognised as an expert in local government standards’ as well as in conducting complex and politically sensitive investigations for public sector bodies where he is noted ‘for his approach to handling difficult and sensitive matters’.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Goolden


‘Nationally recognised expertise in Local Government Standards work.’

‘Jonathan Goolden is a nationally recognised as an expert in Local Government Standards and a go-to’ person for advice. He leads a team that is able to carry out complex investigations into code of conduct investigations.’

‘Wilkin Chapman LLP stood out to us given its combined strengths in public sector, governance and employment fields, offering national services and a quality choice outside of traditional large city pools.’

‘Jonathan Goolden stands out for his approach to handling difficult and sensitive matters than if not handled well could easily turn into dramas. Reliable, confident and bringing a firm strategic perspective to his advice and approach.’

Key clients

Security Industry Association

Sheffield City Council

Local Government Association

Castle Point Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Instructed to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the handling of a complex HR issue including a review of the roles of managers, structural, strategic and risk issues and previous legal advice.
  • Advised on a high-profile whistleblowing complaint which involved investigating a senior councillor’s involvement with a local large-scale development.
  • Advised on the new model code of conduct adopted by the Local Government Association.

Flint Bishop LLP

Flint Bishop LLP has a focus on advising educational establishments, such as nurseries, primary and secondary schools as well as further education providers and universities, on a variety of matters. The team, headed by Louise Easthope, is particularly well-regarded for ‘pragmatic advice and guidance’ regarding human resources and employment matters where it assists clients in disciplinary, grievance and attendance management meetings and is able to support clients at employment tribunal hearings. In the scope of academy conversions, the team is experienced in advising in relation to transfers of undertakings.

Practice head(s):

Louise Easthope


‘I enjoy working with Flint Bishop; the firm’s solicitors clearly know their clients and cases very well and are always prepared to discuss both the complexities of a particular matter and the broader strategy. The solicitors are down to earth and good communicators.’

‘Louise Easthope is very down to earth and commercially aware.’

‘The team at Flint Bishop give very practical and pragmatic advice and guidance. They are very responsive and work closely with my team to provide continuity of the service and relationship and they have a good understanding of the sector we work within.’

‘Louise Easthope is exceptionally good at her job. She provides excellent advice and guidance; is very responsive; and incredibly supportive both to the organisation and to me personally with long, complex and challenging cases. Louise is always positive and friendly and approachable and I know that my team rate her advice and guidance highly as well and we all enjoy working with her. Louise is very straight and honest and easy to work with.’

‘Flints are a unique team in that they promptly respond to all questions and queries, they have given us a dedicated team member to liaise with. Flint Bishop go above for their clients and build great relationships.’

‘A warm and friendly team who work hard to remove the jargon.’

‘The team has significant understanding of the education sector including its complexities and how employment law applies in the context of a small multi-academy trust. Advice is timely and responsive acknowledging wider potential issues and implications.’

Key clients

Embark Federation

Derby College Group

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 Multi Academy Trust on the conversion of further primary schools.
  • Advised Central Co-operative Learning Trust on three conversions.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP is particularly adept at advising its public sector clients, which include universities and colleges as well as care home operators and specialist care providers, in relation to employment, construction, property, data protection and contractual matters. The practice is experienced in academy conversions having acted for a number of primary, secondary and faith schools across the country. Norwich-based Oliver Pritchard and Northampton-based Graham Irons jointly head the practice. Irons is well-versed in advice regarding transfers of undertakings in the context of academy conversions.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Pritchard; Graham Irons

Key clients

Anchor Carehomes Limited

Anchor Hanover Group

BHR Pharmaceuticals Limited

De Montfort University


Enterprise Retirement Living

E-Surgery / Total Access Health


Learners Trust

Medigold Health Consultancy Limited

Milton Keynes College

P J Care Limited

Polyco Healthline

St Matthews Healthcare

University of Coventry