Rising Stars

Education: individuals in London

Douglas Silas Solicitors

The team at Douglas Silas Solicitors is ‘very experienced with helping SEN children and their parents‘, who instruct the firm to assist with complex claims related to discrimination and equality. The bespoke firm has a long history of advising on disability and education issues to secure appropriate educational provisions for students with special educational needs. Douglas Silas, who has over 25 years of experience providing guidance on EHC plans and broader equality matters, leads the firm and remains widely recognised in the sector.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Silas


‘As a client, one feels in very experienced hands. The extensive case experience is evident, and importantly, the legal lead is superbly expert in human psychology and the tactics of interparty negotiation.’

‘Douglas Silas and his team were simply excellent to work with. Not only was the legal advice spot on, the strategies developed were incredibly insightful, all underscored by empathy and emotional guidance.’

‘Douglas Silas Solicitors is a bespoke and highly specialised practice, which means that one is in the extremely capable hands of a genuine expert. Thanks to Douglas Silas, we achieved the right and favourable outcome.’

‘A small and very knowledgeable team, very experienced with helping SEN children and their parents through the EHCP process and attaining the right provision for education. Extremely diligent in keeping on top of all matters. We owe a lot to Douglas Silas and his team.’

‘Douglas Silas is methodical and left no stone unturned through our process. He took the time to explain the probable hurdles we would face along the way. We had faith that we were in good hands when working with him.’

‘We have always found Douglas Silas Solicitors to be professional and very thorough. The Team has always been good and helpful with any queries.’

‘Douglas Silas has good understanding of EHCPs and knowledge of the local authorities and SEN departments. Douglas writes very concisely, and you know where you stand from day one.’

Work highlights

Doyle Clayton

The education practice at Doyle Clayton comprises ‘real experts in the education sector’ who offer extensive experience representing teachers and university lecturers in a variety of discrimination, contract breach, and misconduct claims. In addition to a record of handling high-profile cases related to free speech and harassment, the team is also capable of acting for students and parents in claims related to academic misconduct, discrimination, SEN issues, and safeguarding. The practice is led by Simon Henthorn, a ‘hugely experienced, clever and strategic‘ lawyer who acts for teachers and professors across a wide range of mandates related to misconduct, discrimination, and general employment issues. Peter Daly is also highly recommended for his employment and discrimination expertise and is noted for his work on freedom of expression issues and breaches of contract. Other key contacts in the team include Amara Ahmad, a specialist for SEN and disability issues, and Anna Blackden, who advises on immigration issues.

Practice head(s):

Simon Henthorn

Other key lawyers:

Peter Daly; Amara Ahmad; Anna Blackden


‘Amara Ahmad was able to give me good advice and lead me towards a successful resolution of my case.’

‘Doyle Clayton is an excellent firm with a range of genuine specialists in the education sector, covering all areas from FTT appeals to civil claims and higher education. They have a particular flair for discrimination work.’

‘Amara Ahmad is absolutely superb. She has unending patience and compassion for clients, but is also able to give very clear advice about a client’s best interests. Her written advocacy in terms of witness statements and applications is top-notch. I would unhesitatingly recommend her in this field. Simon Henthorn is similarly excellent.’

‘Doyle Clayton are building a strong reputation in the education law world.’

‘Amara Ahmad is a wonderful solicitor. She is bright, diligent and has an exceptional memory. Her handle of the facts on any case is exceptional. Peter Daly is also absolutely fantastic.’

‘Doyle Clayton are the market leaders in representing university lecturers. The education team consists of real experts in the education sector.’

‘Simon Henthorn is one of the best education lawyers there is. Hugely experienced, clever and strategic, emotionally intelligent, and dedicated to his clients.’

‘Simon Henthorn is unflappable. Excellent judgment with a great client manner and communication skills. Simon has handled cases with high levels of skill and care.’

Irwin Mitchell

The multidisciplinary education law team at Irwin Mitchell advises young people and their families on a wide range of discrimination, equality, and SEN issues under the leadership of experienced Sheffield-based human rights lawyer Yogi Amin. The practice is well-equipped to handle claims, disputes, and judicial reviews related to educational provisions and accommodations. London lawyer Angela Jackman KC (Hons) has a record of handling issues at the intersection of education and human rights law, having been instructed to deal with issues surrounding school placement, home tuition, and safeguarding. The team also benefits from the expertise of Bethany Parr, a specialist for SEN matters who regularly helps young people attain appropriate educational provisions and independent placements, and Rachael Smurthwaite, who regularly acts for families in disability discrimination claims and judicial review challenges and also assists with EHC assessment applications.

Practice head(s):

Yogi Amin

Other key lawyers:

Angela Jackman; Oliver Studdert; Rachael Smurthwaite; Bethany Parr; Esther Salter


‘Angela Jackman has a reassuring wealth of experience in discrimination and minority representation, which made her the perfect contact. She has a relatable manner and professional expertise. She secured a successful outcome for our case that and provided reassurance and guidance in uncertainty. In terms of clarity of service and client support, I hold Irwin Mitchell in high regard and do not hesitate to recommend them, and in particular Angela, to anyone. Their successful track record in SEND speaks for itself.’

‘The team is exceptionally compassionate, competitive and open to accept our opinions. I recommend the firm very highly.’

‘Bethany Parr was extremely helpful, friendly, and really knew her stuff. It was a relief to get Bethany on board, and her advice really helped us. Respectful, polite, and very professional.’

‘Esther Salter is a superstar SEND lawyer. She has pioneered the use of Exceptional Case Funding in SEND Tribunal proceedings. Really exceptional. Rachael Smurthwaite is a delight and very robust in discrimination matters.’

‘Angela Jackman really knows her stuff and does everything she can for the client.’

Work highlights

Rook Irwin Sweeney LLP

Rook Irwin Sweeney LLP fields a rapidly growing team of education lawyers who are ‘highly skilled and knowledgable about all areas of SEND law‘ and excel at handling court challenges, disability discrimination claims, and Tribunal cases related to school placements and exclusions, issues related to EHC plans, and alternative educational provisions. The team has acted for the parents of young children in a number of unique Tribunal challenges concerning education other than at school packages, and the practice’s offering is broadened by a social justice fund available to families struggling to afford legal advice. The practice is jointly led by Caroline Barrett, Anne-Marie Irwin, and co-founding partner Polly Sweeney, all of whom have extensive experience acting in a wide range of Tribunal appeals and judicial reviews concerning SEN law. Jennifer Wright, who joined the firm in April 2022 and regularly advises on matters related to the Equality Act 2010, is also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Polly Sweeney; Anne-Marie Irwin; Caroline Barrett

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Wright


‘This is a firm that really puts a huge effort into getting its clients the right outcome. Each partner is highly skilled and knowledgable about all areas of SEND law.’

‘Polly Sweeney is a cut above the rest when it comes to supporting clients to get the best and right provision for their children with special needs. She is the type of litigator that every family needs – she’s tenacious, powerful, calm and focussed whilst putting her clients at ease knowing they have the best advice. She’s exceptionally bright and detail orientated and an utter pleasure to deal with.’

‘Polly has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the education system as well as infinite kindness and compassion for her clients. Her support has been invaluable. Her approach is conciliatory, but extremely effective.’

Work highlights

Simpson Millar LLP

Public law expert Dan Rosenberg and education and care specialist Sarah Woosey jointly lead Simpson Millar LLP‘s highly regarded London-based education practice, which stands out for its ability to represent children with special educational needs and their families in claims and disputes related to school inclusion, safeguarding, and equality policies. Rosenberg is a ‘market leader‘ with extensive experience advising on social care and SEN educational provisions, and he has additionally handled high-profile religious discrimination claims in the education sector. The practice expanded in September 2022 with the arrival of Rachel Scales, who has acted in a number of judicial review proceedings against local authorities concerning insufficient educational provisions for children with special educational needs.

Practice head(s):

Dan Rosenberg; Sarah Woosey

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Scales


‘Listened to our concerns, navigated us through the difficulties and skilled strategist. Experienced and professional and represented us amazingly.’

‘Sarah Woosey and the team are amazing. Sarah’s skilled at talking us through complex legal issues to enable us to make informed decisions.’

‘Sarah Woosey is excellent – patient, supportive and hugely knowledgeable about education issues. She has been a very valuable resource in a complex and fraught situation, and we would highly recommend her to anyone in similar need.’

‘Highly knowledgeable, very professional and also very personable and approachable. Great communication, and all is explained clearly. The client/practice relationship feels very much like a collaborative team effort, with our thoughts and views very valued.’

‘I cannot speak highly enough of Sarah Woosey – fantastic knowledge and understanding of the law, and clear in her advice and guidance.’

‘A well established firm with an experienced team of lawyers in SEND law.’

‘The gold standard education legal aid firm. Full of absolute stars that are a real pleasure to work with.’

‘Dan Rosenberg is the best lawyer around for school exclusions work.’

Work highlights


With a demonstrated record of acting for students, children, parents, and members of staff in a diverse array of disputes and claims against schools and universities, the education practice at Sinclairslaw continues to provide first-rate advice to its clients. The team handles a broad range of admissions and safeguarding issues concerning discrimination against and lacking provisions for students with special educational needs. Helen Gill, who practices from London, is a key contact for this work and co-leads the practice with Cardiff-based lawyer Michael Charles, an expert on SEN matters who also represents students in exclusion and admissions claims. The London team also benefits from the expertise of Paul Conrathe, who has acted for parents and members of academic staff in a number of matters concerning school sex education policies, and discrimination expert John Ford. Cardiff-based lawyer Christopher McFarland is also recommended for his ability to act for children and their parents in claims related to educational provisions.

Practice head(s):

Helen Gill; Michael Charles

Other key lawyers:

Christopher McFarland; John Ford; Paul Conrathe; Louise Eardley


‘Superlative team with an absolutely top tier understanding of education law.’

‘Michael Charles combines a brilliant grasp of the law in this area with great tactical acumen.’

‘Michael Charles is a legend in the field. Excellent at identifying and pursuing novel points of law and passionate and tireless in his work for his clients. Chris McFarland is very hard-working, pragmatic, great with clients and excellent written advocacy.’

Work highlights

Bindmans LLP

Bindmans LLP retains a ‘highly knowledgeable and well resourced team‘ that is capable of handling a wide range of cross-disciplinary matters for individuals. The practice has acted in tribunal appeals related to school placement on behalf of children with special educational needs and also advises on freedom of speech issues, allegations of academic misconduct, and school exclusions. Karen May, who leads the team, is highly recommended for her expertise in SEN matters and regularly acts alongside key contact Alex Temple in complex judicial review and tribunal cases. Other key contacts in the team include Kate Goold, an experienced criminal solicitor who acts in cases related to serious criminal and disciplinary accusations, and Emma Varley, who is noted for her expertise in educational matters with discrimination elements.

Practice head(s):

Karen May

Other key lawyers:

Kate Goold; Alex Temple; Emma Varley


‘Quick to respond and personable, clear advice.’

‘Karen May is confident and clear in her advice.’

‘Karen May is outstanding, kind, and knows how to build a rapport with a client. Great knowledge of local authorities, with exceptional clinical skills and understanding. Great at fighting in your corner.’

‘Claimant focused education law team that is excellent for community care cross-over work.’

‘I have been impressed by the way in which the Education team at Bindmans can use the firm’s cross-sector expertise (i.e. intersection between the crime team and education team) in higher education matters relating to student discipline.’

‘I would recommend Emma Varley without hesitation. She has been proactive, collaborative, responsive and shown great attention to detail.’

‘This is a very highly knowledgeable and well-resourced team. They will leave no stone unturned to provide the best solution for clients. The team is very hard-working and extremely professional.’

‘Emma Varley and Karen May are very knowledgeable about their areas of law, have an excellent grasp of procedure, and are very practically-minded.’

Work highlights

Geldards LLP

Geldards LLP‘s team is active across a wide range of mandates related to education and social care and is instructed by parents and young people to represent them in SEND Tribunal claims in both England and Wales. Led by disability law specialist Adam Friel, the team regularly acts in contested hearings related to education other than at school packages, independent school placements, school exclusions, and EHC plan applications. Kevin McManamon is the team’s key contact for cases that require appearances before the Welsh SEND Tribunal and has regularly acted against Welsh local authorities in cases with complex safeguarding elements. Salise Dourmoush is also highly recommended for her advice on school placements and disability discrimination claims.

Practice head(s):

Adam Friel

Other key lawyers:

Kevin McManamon; Salise Dourmoush; Douglas Hamer


‘Geldards’ education team is professional, and it is clear they not only know the law, but also genuinely care about achieving justice for children with special educational needs and disabilities. We felt confident about our case knowing we were being assisted by such a strong team.’

‘Kevin McManamon is very calm and puts clients at ease. He was always very patient, did his best to ensure we had access to information, and responded to communication as soon as possible. He is not only an extremely gifted solicitor, he is a genuinely good guy. We will be forever thankful to Kevin for what he managed to accomplish. I will continue to recommend Kevin.’

‘This is a great team of passionate and highly skilled lawyers, all of whom come from a variety of different backgrounds and a number of whom have first-hand experience of raising and educating children with special educational needs.’

‘Kevin McManamon is a really excellent lawyer. Highly knowledgeable about all areas of education law, as well as complementary areas like COP and health/social care. Wonderful with clients and courteous with opponents, but firm where required. Great written advocacy. Salise Dourmoush is another excellent lawyer. Excellent with clients, but pragmatic and realistic in her advice where required. Excellent written advocacy. Adam Friel needs no introduction. Great with clients, proactive in bringing opponents to the table and narrowing issues/resolving claims where it is workable. Douglas Hamer is tirelessly dedicated to his clients and excellent at spotting legal points for argument.’

‘The team are highly experienced and capable. It is a diverse team working effectively together. They have created a team of experts at the top of their field to support the appeals and litigation so that almost all cases win. They are particularly good at negotiating successfully.’

‘Adam Friel is straightforward and clear with clients, a real team player. Kevin McManamon is a master of the details of his cases and an excellent holistic thinker.’

‘Geldards is a market leader in the field of education law. The solicitors working at the firm draw on considerable experience in the field and their combined experience spans decades. They have good links with well-respected expert witnesses and are exceptionally skilled at dealing with appeals in the First Tier Tribunal on behalf of parents. They also have a good deal of experience in dealing with complex judicial review cases against Local Authorities, as well as Court of Protection matters for young adults with disabilities.’

‘Kevin McManamon is exceptionally bright and hard-working. He is my “go to” in complex JR proceedings and Court of Protection applications. He is sensitive and thoughtful and manages difficult clients very well.  Adam Friel has a significant amount of experience in education law and is very well regarded by his peers. He is a very safe pair of hands for any education case.’

Payne Hicks Beach LLP

The education practice at Payne Hicks Beach LLP specializes in acting for individuals in disciplinary procedures, investigations, and contested exclusions related to sexual and academic misconduct, breaches of academic code, and immigration issues. The team is also well-versed in acting for students contesting university and school grading procedures, especially in light of academic complications caused by COVID-19, and frequently advises neurodiverse clients on issues surrounding lacking educational provisions and disability discrimination. Dispute resolution expert Ane Vernon leads the practice and is well-versed in issues surrounding school and university admissions, exclusions, and examinations. Henry Watkinson, who joined the firm from Blake Morgan in 2022, advises clients facing criminal allegations in educational settings.

Practice head(s):

Ane Vernon

Other key lawyers:

Henry Watkinson


‘Ane Vernon is simply excellent. A very fine legal mind, she is pragmatic, thinks of all possible angles, and is not afraid to give her assessment of the situation. As an Education Law specialist, she remains focused on achieving the best outcome for children. Her experience as a litigator is a particularly helpful additional skill should the need for a more combative approach be required.’

‘Henry Watkinson is one to watch. Ane Vernon is a pleasure to work with too. Exceptionally bright pair.’

Work highlights

Russell-Cooke LLP

In addition to its expertise in education matters, the ‘very knowledgeable team‘ at Russell-Cooke LLP has ‘vast experience in matters of family law‘, enabling it to regularly act for the families of students with special educational needs in Equality Act and disability discrimination claims, including SEN Tribunal appeals related to insufficiently comprehensive EHC plans, unjust school exclusions, and new school placements. Under the leadership of Eva Akins, a disability and education law expert with a thorough understanding of matters surrounding children with autims and ADHD, the practice also frequently acts on behalf of children requiring provisions for education other than at school. Lenka Wall is also recommended for her ability to represent clients in judicial reviews and Tribunal appeals. The practice underwent further growth with the arrival of Erin Smart from Irwin Mitchell in May 2023.

Practice head(s):

Eva Akins

Other key lawyers:

Lenka Wall; Erin Smart


‘Eva Akins and Lenka Wall are both absolutely fabulous – they prepare very thoroughly, they’re wonderful with clients, their written advocacy is excellent, and they give spot-on legal advice.’

‘The Education Team at Russell Cooke have a real expertise in providing technical and practical advice to preserve a child’s right to an education and educational support. They are not afraid to pursue any remedy which you might be seeking on behalf of your child.’

‘Lenka Wall is highly committed, has a great grasp of nuanced facts, and is a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Highly knowledgeable and empathetic to our needs. They do a really great job.’

‘Eva Akins is remarkable in her skills of forward-thinking, leaving no stone unturned and being prepared for every eventually. I am blown away by her genuine care, empathy and compassion, and her ability to balance this with her exceptional knowledge of the law to achieve great effect. Lenka Wall also displays astounding knowledge and understanding of the law, continuing the Russell-Cooke standards of exceptionally high client care.’

‘Very knowledgeable team with vast experience in matters of family law.’

‘The team has an extensive knowledge of the area but can also combine that with a pragmatic and practical approach.’

‘Eva Akins is a stand-out partner, an exceptional lawyer and counsel. She has very extensive experience in education law, including special education and disabilities support. She understands the nuances of the educational system and always provides pragmatic and holistic advice, with candour and a focus on ensuring her clients achieve the best outcomes. I particularly appreciate her willingness to boldly challenge opponents and seek practical solutions to complex issues. She also leads her team effectively so that clients experience consistency in the level of support and professionalism in her absence. Eva is a real pleasure to work with.’

Work highlights

SEN Legal

Boutique firm SEN Legal is unique in its focus entirely on work related to special educational needs and disabilities, in the context of which it is ‘consistently successful‘ in achieving positive outcomes for clients in Tribunal appeals against local authorities’ school placement decisions, EHC plan rejections, exclusions, and insufficient provisions for education other than at school. The team provides also provides a significant amount of pro bono advice to the parents of children with autism and dyslexia. Cambridge-based lawyer Hayley Mason is well-regarded for her advice on school placement issues, and both Melinda Nettleton and Richard Nettleton, who are based in Bury St Edmunds, are highly recommended for their expertise in SEN Tribunal appeals.

Practice head(s):

Hayley Mason

Other key lawyers:

Melinda Nettleton; Richard Nettleton


‘Very well-organised and forward-thinking. Consistently successful in negotiating before hearings to try and resolve matters positively for their clients.’

‘Excellent knowledge of Education Law. Good understanding of children and young people with SEN.’

‘This is a great team. Passionate and highly skilled, with a fantastic and well-tested system for prepping cases right from the moment the appeal is put in. I’m fortunate to work with many outstanding education lawyers, but as a firm this is possibly the best-coordinated in terms of internal systems and techniques for case preparation.’

‘Hayley Mason is a powerhouse. A real fighter and also a very accomplished lawyer. No one will work harder for your child than Hayley Mason. Richard Nettleton is superb, pragmatic, great with clients, very responsive. Melinda Nettleton is a legend in the field.’

‘This is the firm I would use if my own children needed this type of support. I think SEN Legal are the best out there for EHC Plan work. Their expertise is unrivalled.’

‘This practice specialises in law surrounding the needs of families of children with additional needs; in my experience families in this position are desperately in need of skilled and qualified help. SEN Legal support and advocate for families in desperate situations and most importantly, they get results that make a measurable difference to families coping in impossible circumstances. I would wholeheartedly recommend them to any family of a child or young person with additional needs who is struggling to find support.’

‘I refer to Melinda Nettleton  as “my Rottweiler” because she’s very nice really, but she’s got teeth. Thankfully, she is not afraid to use those teeth to go into battle repeatedly and, in her own words, is not afraid to be disliked. She has advocated for my incredibly disabled, complex son and ensured that his needs are met.’

‘Hayley Mason has dealt with my son’s case from the very beginning of his journey. She is astute, dedicated, approachable and she leaves no stone unturned. I have no doubt that she prioritises her clients’ best interests in every situation and I consider myself very fortunate to have found her expertise at the very moment that we needed it and have recommended her to many parents in similar situations.’


The education team at IBB Law has a ‘very good practical understanding of the education sector‘, which enables it to regularly act for students and parents in contentious matters of both disciplinary and academic nature against schools and universities. Under the leadership of experienced litigator Salima Mawji, the team has notably advised on matters related to sexual harassment, breaches of contract, discrimination, and unfair exclusions. Mawji is well-equipped to handle educational matters with significant public law and human rights elements and has regularly acted in judicial reviews, as well as representing clients in both internal and court claims. Celia Whittuck extends the team’s expertise into safeguarding and SEN-related matters, having represented parents in Tribunal claims related to discrimination and exclusions.

Practice head(s):

Salima Mawji

Other key lawyers:

Celia Whittuck


‘IBB offer unrivalled skill and expertise when it comes to education law matters. They are very well-placed to represent students in all types of public and private law claims against universities. They also do a lot of work in the schools sector, in particular when representing parents in claims against independent schools. They are knowledgeable in the main areas of law that cut across these and associated areas of the education sector. Given their level of experience in these areas, they also have a very good practical understanding of the education sector and are geared towards achieving good practical outcomes for their clients.’

‘Salima Mawji is an education law specialist of great repute, who is particularly well known for her work in the higher education sector in relation to which she really knows her stuff. Celia Whittuck is an education law specialist that I hold in high regard, and she has real strengths when it comes to schools-related work.’

‘The gold standard team for higher education work. IBB is one of my main instructing solicitors and I always feel completely confident that they will do an excellent job for the client. The cases are meticulously prepared, and they are very client-focused and practical in their approach.’

‘Salima Mawji is vastly experienced and the best tactician in the sector. Whenever I am asked to recommend a higher education solicitor it is always IBB as first choice because of Salima’s unparalleled expertise in this area. Celia Whittuck is totally dedicated, with unrivalled attention to detail. She is wonderful with vulnerable clients and brings with her a huge amount of litigation experience, which is used to excellent effect.’

‘Salima Mawji has excellent judgement and client care and is building a great team. I also highly recommend Celia Whittock.’

Work highlights

Kingsley Napley LLP

Kingsley Napley LLP specialises in advising individuals facing disciplinary investigations in schools and higher education institutions and is strongly equipped to handle cases with criminal liability elements. The team regularly acts for students in sexual and academic misconduct cases, and it boasts a notable record of advising on academic appeals related to examination results, including appeals with disability discrimination elements. The team is co-headed by Iain Miller, Sophie Kemp, and criminal defence expert Sandra Paul, who regularly defends students against allegations of sexual offences. The team also draws on the expertise of regulatory experts Shannett Thompson, Julie Matheson, and Julie Norris, who are well-versed in handling disciplinary proceedings following allegations of academic misconduct.

Practice head(s):

Iain Miller; Sandra Paul; Sophie Kemp

Other key lawyers:

Shannett Thompson; Julie Matheson; Julie Norris


‘A market-leading firm with incredible dynamism and will to progress.’

‘Shanett Thompson is a great lawyer with a real flair for client management and an innate understanding for what makes clients tick.’

‘A really thorough and very well-prepared team. They prioritise client care over everything else. Very intelligent solicitors.’

‘Shannett Thompson is very bright and manages client expectations very well. Impeccable judgement.’

‘Shannett Thompson is an excellent tactician’

‘Julie Norris and the team were excellent. Each member of the team was very responsive and knowledgable in their field of expertise. Good resource allocation and clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Under Julie’s direction a strategic approach, was agreed to which all team members were aligned and understood. I highly recommend Julie and the team.’

‘Julie Norris is a standout lawyer. Very quick to grasp the issue, and she is a great strategist. She is extremely responsive and available, a great communicator and dealt with sensitive issues well. Julie has enormous experience in her field and brought the matter to a swift and very satisfactory conclusion. I unreservedly recommend her.’

‘The KN Education team have a unique expertise in this growing but niche area. KN have built up a body of experience by advising students and representing them at hearings across a wide range. Plagiarism has been a particular topic, and KN are alive to the new challenges posed by AI.’

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP‘s education team offers ‘strong, knowledgeable, prompt and professional‘ advice on issues such as religious discrimination, grading and qualification standards, and sexual and academic misconduct in educational settings. The team frequently acts for individuals in appeals against school and university exclusions and disciplinary procedures, with a track record of handling cases involving young people with special educational needs. The practice is headed by discrimination and equality expert Robert Lewis, who frequently advises on exclusions and complaints in educational institutions, and is bolstered by the expertise of James Murray, a key contact for freedom of speech issues, and Victoria Pigott, who regularly advises clients facing disciplinary hearings.

Practice head(s):

Robert Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Pigott, James Murray


‘Mishcon have a superbly professional operation in education – a really first class service.’

‘Robert Lewis is really excellent. Very perceptive, intelligent, easy to deal with and flexible.’

‘The Mischon de Reya education law team are consummate professionals. Experts in their subject knowledge, top-notch with their strategic thinking, very clever with their tactical ideas, and totally devoted to their clients. They are a real pleasure for the counsel team to work with.’

‘Mishcon are becoming a real force to be reckoned with in education. They bring tactical acumen and a strategic focus to a sector where that was and is very much needed, and are great at developing trusting relationships with their clients.’

‘Robert Lewis has in-depth, first-hand, knowledge of the education sector. Great judgment and very good with clients.’

‘Robert Lewis. He is one of the best solicitors I’ve retained. Not only is he knowledgeable in his field, he truly cares about his client’s best wishes. He is very easy to speak to. I cannot thank him and his team enough.’

‘The team has impressive expertise in the whole field of law relating to higher education. They have also led the way in providing a reliable and detailed commentary on the implications of the new statutes affecting universities – particularly in the area of academic freedom – that have come into force this year. I have been particularly struck by the intellectual strength of the group. Their collective cleverness quotient is exceptionally high.’

‘James Murray is a master of the field of education law and one of the smartest lawyers with whom I have worked. His advice is characterised not only by a deep knowledge of the law, but also by a tactical deftness and shrewdness of judgment that make his advice doubly valuable. His counsel is regularly a model of clear exposition, impressive argument, and succinctness. Not a word, nor a moment of time, is wasted.’

Key clients

The Social Mobility Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advised The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) in relation to public exams and engaging with Ofqual, the exam “watchdog” which regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England.