Back to United Kingdom - Solicitors

Education: institutions in London

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP advises numerous HE and FE institutions, with experienced education lawyers handling employment issues, student matters, charity law and litigation and dispute management work. Other areas of strength for the 'responsive and knowledgeable' team encompass real estate, corporate and commercial, IP and constitutional issues and regulatory advice. The group has a developed network of specialists: with offices in Shanghai, Dubai, Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam, Riyadh and the US, the department is exceptional at advising education institutions globally. Practice head Diane Gilhooley is a highly regarded education and employment law specialist, who has extensive experience advising on complex tribunal proceedings, industrial relations and governance issues. 'Exceptional practitioner' Glynne Stanfield leads the international education and corporate governance sub-group, and is a go-to expert for education mergers and regularly advises on innovative public and private sector interactions.

Practice head(s):

Diane Gilhooley

Other key lawyers:

Glynne Stansfield; Chris Mordue; Nicola Bennison

Testimonials

‘Glynne Stansfield is an exceptional practitioner, whose advice and counsel has proved invaluable over many years.’

‘Responsive, knowledgeable team, ably meeting our organisation’s needs.’

‘What is exceptional about Eversheds Sutherlands is their willingness to listen and engage, which ensures their professional advice is always relevant, appropriate and clear. They have excellent relationships across the sector which can be invaluable when seeking both formal and informal solutions.’

‘The breadth of expertise offered is impressive, and all the lawyers strive to understand the context of our business.’

‘Worked with the firm on complex mediations and conducted a number of different and complex cases over the years. Very good with technology and creative with solutions.’

Key clients

London South Bank University

Middlesex University

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association

National Oceanography Centre

Richmond, the American University in London

Portsmouth University

University of Reading

Vanta Education

BPP University

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

University College London

Capital City Colleges Group

New City Colleges Group

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Hult Education

Global University Systems

Northeastern University

Medical Research Council

University of Essex

Barnet and Southgate College

Basingstoke College of Technology

King’s College London

Canterbury Christ Church University

Work highlights

  • Advised Vanta on its £600m refinancing of the BPP University Group as a precursor to a sale.
  • Provided funding, marketing agreement and collaboration advice to Richmond, the American University in London, concerning an investment by China Education Group.
  • Provided legal advisory work and training to The Universities and Colleges Employers Association’s over 170 members in relation to a range of areas, including institutions’ responses to Covid.

Farrer & Co

The ‘highly knowledgeable and responsive‘ higher education practice at Farrer & Co acts for numerous prestigious UK universities, advising on issues across the sector including investment fund management work, charity law, domestic and international major joint ventures and consumer law. Other key areas of expertise include property and construction matters, employment and student disputes, and reputation management and crisis management issues. Complex employment and staff issues, including unfair dismissals, race and gender discrimination cases, and whistleblowing claims are another core pillar of work. The group is also known for its expertise in international collaborations, UK/China collaborations in particular. Practice head David Copping is a key name, advising higher education clients on major IP and commercial matters. Sam Macdonald advises universities on UK charity law and the related tax issues. The ‘proactive and knowledgeable’ Kathleen Heycock specialises in higher education employment matters and student safeguarding.

Practice head(s):

David Copping

Other key lawyers:

Sam Macdonald; Kathleen Heycock

Testimonials

‘The team is very knowledgeable and has great insight into sector practices.’

‘The lawyers in the team are all very bright and responsive. They are both technically good and practical in their approach and advice, and the advice is not abstract but actionable.’

‘The individuals are personable, helpful, knowledgeable and well connected.’

‘Highly knowledgeable and responsive team.’

‘Kathleen Heycock – pragmatic approach, proactive and very knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Imperial College London

The University of Cambridge

The University of Oxford

King’s College London

Universities UK

London Business School

The Open University

The Rhodes Trust

The University of Westminster

University of Warwick

Work highlights

  • Appointed as legal advisers to Imperial College London, across both employment and general legal matters.
  • Advised a number of leading UK universities on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including on consumer law issues, IP aspects of online teaching, and R&D and other activities relating to battling the pandemic.
  • Advised King’s College London and a number of other UK universities on major international collaborations, including King’s planned ground-breaking multi-year collaboration with SUSTech (Southern University of Science and Technology) in Shenzhen, China.

Mills & Reeve LLP

The education team at Mills & Reeve LLP stands out for its 'great technical capability' and 'ability to navigate complex transactions'. The practice assists university clients with transactional matters and litigation, liability work and compliance issues, including governance mandates. Group co-head Gary Attle is highly regarded for his regulatory expertise; he focuses on providing strategic advice, with areas of significant knowledge including HE legislation, governance work, equality law and liability issues. Joint head Martin Priestley leads the firm's South East Asia desk - accordingly, much of his work is cross-border and includes assisting universities with international strategies and complex procurement projects. 'Pragmatic, accessible and focused' principal associate Poppy Short advises universities and FE colleges on commercial and corporate issues including partnerships and collaborations, mergers, business transfers and governance matters.

Practice head(s):

Gary Attle; Martin Priestley

Other key lawyers:

Richard Sykes; Poppy Short

Testimonials

‘Very knowledgeable and responsive and commercial and pragmatic in their approach. Gary Attle is excellent on the regulatory front.’

‘Very responsive – even at short notice our request for advice is always acknowledged and appropriate contacts made. Excellent communication – going above and beyond to resolve matters, explaining issues in a clear and engaging way.’

‘The team have a very broad range of expertise, which means we can obtain all our legal advice from one source. The breadth of this expertise is supplemented by exceptional depth which, when combined with the care they take to understand our institution and its needs, means they rarely, if ever, disappoint.’

‘The various teams at Mills & Reeve who have carried out the University’s work have consistently shown a comprehensive breadth and depth of knowledge.’

‘Deep understanding and knowledge of the HE sector. Advice provided is always pragmatic and commercially-focused.’

‘Poppy Short – pragmatic, accessible and focused.’

‘Great technical capability and ability to navigate complex transactions.’

Key clients

Royal Veterinary College

King’s College London

Imperial College London

University of West London

Kingston University

SOAS University of London

University of London

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

University of Cambridge

The University of Birmingham

University of Salford

Anglia Ruskin University

The University of Northampton

Work highlights

  • Advised Imperial College on its application to the Bank of England to participate in the Covid Corporate Finance Facility, and on the negotiation and completion of a revolving credit facility with Lloyds Bank plc.
  • Acted for Kingston University in relation to its project with Equitix and Engie (in consortium) for the funding, design, refurbishment and operation of 1,332 student rooms.
  • Advised higher education institution clients across England and Wales on changes to the regulatory landscape, including highlighting concerns with clients and sector bodies about a) the regulator’s approach to “reportable events” and b) an onerous new condition of registration relating to unconditional offers to undergraduate students.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP provides a first-rate service to universities across a broad range of issues. With a commercial, regulatory and governance sub-group led by Gayle Ditchburn in Birmingham, the practice is an excellent choice for regulatory, constitutional and structuring support. The group also handles significant amounts of contentious work, advising on freedom of speech issues, discrimination cases and complex fitness to practice and disciplinary cases. Employment law in the HE sector is another strength; the team has extensive expertise in restructurings and redundancies, equal pay and pay transparency issues, TUPE exercises and employment disputes. Practice head Victoria Goddard focuses on handling complex development structures for student accommodation projects. The department counts funder-side work in the private sector and university partnering arrangements as stand-out areas of recent growth.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Goddard

Other key lawyers:

Gayle Ditchburn; Helen Corden; Julian Sladdin

Testimonials

‘Exceptional market knowledge, great contacts, skilled negotiation and drafting, user friendly, personable, helpful.’

‘The team has a vast amount of sector experience and is able to meet all of our needs.’

‘Gayle Ditchburn – very engaging and helpful.’

‘I have always found the team at Pinsents to be extremely pragmatic and commercially focused. This approach has been invaluable to our organisation over the years.’

‘Victoria Goddard is fantastic as my client partner, and as the lead on our student accommodation property projects. She knows the market extremely well, giving us the confidence we need to structure, negotiate and close multimillion pound developments.’

‘Gayle Ditchburn has superb knowledge of the higher education regulatory world.’

‘Outstanding knowledge of the higher education sector, particularly on the student accommodation side. Good, practical, focused, commercial advice on all matters.’

Key clients

London School of Economics & Political Science

University of London

University College London

Kings College London

University of the Arts London

City University

China Education Group

University of Edinburgh

University of Sussex

University of Manchester

Student Loan Company

Cardiff University

Bath Spa University

JISC

Sheffield Hallam University

University of Lincoln

HESA

University of Huddersfield

University of Birmingham

Nurture Higher Education Group

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority

Aston University

Solent University Southampton

BIMM Limited

Dyson Technology Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Bath Spa University in defending high value and complex injunction and breach of contract proceedings brought by a franchised College (UKCBC) involving alleged damages of approximately £5m and expedited trial.
  • Acted for six Cambridge Colleges in a claim for alleged discrimination in admissions against over 20 higher education providers and health care regulators.
  • Advised China Education Group on its strategic collaboration and rescue of Richmond, the American International University in London at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

The 'exceptionally client-focused' team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a broad client base, ranging from Russell Group universities to small specialist institutions.  The practice is highly recommended for large-scale capital projects and estates master planning issues, domestic and international partnerships and collaborations, and advice on complex governance and constitutional questions. Other key areas of work include employment advice, disputes (particularly complex disciplinary cases involving protected characteristics) and regulatory and policy work. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the team has seen growth in requests for student contract support and advice on commercial and construction costs adversely affected. Practice head Smita Jamdar is recommended for her 'unsurpassed sector knowledge', particularly when it comes to governance, student-facing and constitutional matters.

Practice head(s):

Smita Jamdar

Other key lawyers:

David Browne; Tom Long; Geraldine Swanton

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge of the education sector.’

‘Shakespeare Martineau are an excellent legal firm with a very engaged and engaging team. They provide clear and robust advice.’

‘Smita Jamdar in particular is really excellent. She has a high national profile as an excellent and insightful speaker on a range of higher education related issues, which over the last year and the rapidly changing Government advice, and impact of consumer legislation has been hugely valuable. Smita is both hugely passionate about the issues and presents information in an accessible, engaging and convincing way.’

‘Excellent, knowledgeable, pragmatic.’

‘The Shakespeare Martineau education team is exceptionally client-focused and goes the extra mile to understand and assist with client specific needs and requirements.’

‘In-depth sector knowledge and understanding of the political landscape.’

‘Smita Jamdar – unsurpassed sector knowledge, cuts through complexity.’

Key clients

Brunel University

Royal College of the Arts

University of Hertfordshire

University of Exeter

University of Cambridge

University of Worcester

Kings College London

School of Oriental and African Studies

London South Bank University

University College London

University of the Arts London

University of Roehampton

Goldsmiths, University of London

University of West London

Italia Conti Academy of Theatre

Istituto Marangoni School of Fashion

Wiltshire College

Royal Veterinary College

Abingdon and Witney College

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College

Universities UK

West Dean College

Work highlights

  • Advised a university in connection with a senior member of staff who was dismissed for falsifying a hate crime on campus and is now suing for discrimination on multiple grounds.
  • Advised Staffordshire University on its £55m campus redevelopment.
  • Advised various universities on handling complex, sensitive and highly contentious cases of sexual misconduct.

VWV

The 'user-friendly and practical' education practice at VWV advises a range of FE colleges and public and private HE institutions, and draws on its extensive charity and regulatory expertise. Jane Byford in Birmingham, who leads the higher education group, focuses on complex and strategic HR issues; these include senior recruitments, terminations, restructurings and complex employment tribunal litigation. The team regularly advises HE institutions on collective consultation and trade union relationships and employment policies and procedures. Bristol-based Emma-Jane Dalley leads the further education team, and concentrates on strategic projects including transactions and mergers, commercial projects and structural reviews. Other key strengths of the department include governance and fundraising issues and international franchise projects.

Practice head(s):

Jane Byford; Emma-Jane Dalley

Other key lawyers:

Bob Fahy

Testimonials

‘The employment law team always have a good knowledge of our sector that is applied to find appropriate and pragmatic solutions.’

‘Very user-friendly and practical.’

‘Expertise on a range of in higher education matters that affect higher education institutions. In addition to the relevant skills sets, legal advice and assistance is provided efficiently and to our required timescales.’

‘Very friendly and easy to talk to for me as a non-legal professional.’

‘Bob Fahy led the team. Very down to earth and practical in his advice. Easy to work with.’

Key clients

Brunel University London

Bishop Grosseteste University

East Sussex College Group

King’s College London

London Metropolitan University

London School of Economics & Political Science

London South Bank University

Middlesex University

New City College

Norland College

Royal Academy of Music

Royal Holloway, University of London

South Bank Colleges

The Institute of Cancer Research

The University of Law

University of Brighton

University of East London

University of Greenwich

University of Reading

University of Southampton

University of the Arts London

University of the West of England

Writtle University College

Work highlights

  • Provided advice to Royal Holloway on a wide range of employment law issues during the absence on maternity leave of the University’s General Counsel, who is an employment lawyer, and managing the distribution of work to other teams during this period, including property, commercial, immigration, student and regulatory issues.
  • Provided King’s College London with regular advice on a wide range of student matters encompassing academic and non-academic misconduct and appeals, student fee status, student welfare, equality and regulatory issues.
  • Advised a London higher education institution on various matters connected to its philanthropic fundraising and the management of gifts and legacies.

Bates Wells

Bates Wells advises a broad client base, comprising FE and HE institutions, education sector bodies in adult education and professional education, education support services and umbrella bodies. FE college mergers are a stand-out strength, and the group's HE work includes advising on Office for Students regulations, acquisitions and demerges, and handling fundraising and real estate issues for newly established institutions. The group has significant employment experience, advising on industrial relations, and  advises the NUS and 25 student unions on relationships with host institutions, governance issues and transitions from exempt to registered charity status. Expert public sector litigator Emma Dowden-Teale jointly heads up the group with senior associate Jean Tsang, who focuses on governance, charity and commercial law.

Practice head(s):

Jean Tsang; Emma Dowden-Teale

Key clients

London Interdisciplinary School

Year Here

BPP University

Richmond and Hillcroft Adult and Community College

West Herts College

Capital City College Group

Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

Council of the Inns of Court

NUS

AQA

Urdang Academy

Work highlights

  • Advised on the establishment of the Year Here Foundation, which provides bursary support to financially disadvantaged fellows on the Year Here course.
  • Completed a restructure of the National Union of Students group, resulting in its separation into charitable and non-charitable arms.
  • Provided the London Interdisciplinary School with commercial and real estate advice as well as advising on the establishment of a charity.

BLM

BLM focuses on work relating to the core delivery of student services, and has extensive experience working with sector insurers. The practice stands out for its litigation experience, handling freedom of speech claims, student occupations, disputes between collaborating institutions and academic disputes, as well as failure of facilities, fitness to practice and accommodation claims, with discrimination proceedings a particular strength. In addition to litigation, the team undertakes risk management work in relation to procedures. Elliot Pound advises colleges and universities on student and staff complaints, and all issues relating to the fairness of procedures; he has a strong track record in defending judicial reviews.

Practice head(s):

Elliot Pound

Testimonials

‘Very knowledgeable and experienced team.’

‘Very responsive and pragmatic in their approach.’

‘Elliot Pound is exceptionally competent, driven and professional and whenever I knew he was handling a case, I knew we were in good hands.’

‘BLM is a safe choice for complex disputes in the HE sector; they consistently deliver results.’

‘Listening and observing, they communicate openly and focus on goals and results in line with what is achievable and what the client wants and managing expectations. Their team members’ areas of specific expertise are diverse which enables confidence in ensuring full support. In a highly specialised area their expertise is second to none.’

Key clients

University of Cambridge

University of Exeter

Imperial College London

King’s College London

Newcastle University

University of Nottingham

Royal Veterinary College

University College London

Birkbeck, University of London

Brunel University London

University of Central Lancashire

Coventry University

University of East Anglia

University of East London

Goldsmiths, University of London

University of Portsmouth

University of Reading

University of Roehampton

Sheffield Hallam University

Royal College of Music

University of Surrey

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP acts for colleges, universities, governing bodies and regulators on the full range of education sector work. Stephen Hocking is the key contact in London; the team also draws on expertise in the firm's regional offices throughout the UK.

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Hocking

Weightmans LLP

The higher education-focused practice at Weightmans LLP is best known for advising on complex and strategically important projects including construction projects and work with an international dimension. It also acts for universities in highly sensitive situations including issues arising from student suicides and on-campus deaths. The team also handles a wide variety of contentious matters, including contractual issues, student-related claims and judicial reviews, defamation matters and procurement disputes; it has also defended a significant number of student claims arising from pandemic-related disruptions. Department head Martin Vincent concentrates on complex contractual issues, procurements and academic joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Martin Vincent

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Roberts; Victoria Robertson

Testimonials

‘The individual partners I have worked with have a deep understanding of our business and sector. They provide pragmatic, commercially focused advice which clearly sets out risks and opportunities.’

‘The team collaborate really effectively, have strength in depth and a diverse knowledge base.’

Key clients

The Open University

University of Greenwich

London Business School

Solent University

Queen Mary University of London

Lancaster University

University of Cumbria

Newcastle University

University of Sunderland

University of Leicester

Work highlights

  • Provided the Open University with key strategic advice on its technology partner agreements and a number of other IT agreements.
  • Assisted University of Leicester with the procurement of £80m “Space Park”.
  • Instructed by Lancaster University to lead a project responding to 250 student complaints focused on securing tuition refunds.

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP's HE and FE team is widely recognised for its advice on regulatory issues, with governance work, administration issues, education law and charity regulations as key areas of strength. The practice also handles corporate and IP commercialisation work, employment and pensions issues, estate management mandates, health and safety work and student discipline issues, with a niche in advising on overseas campuses. Practice head Matthew Smith has extensive experience in dealing with employment matters, defending claims of unfair dismissal, alleged discrimination and whistleblowing, and TUPE transfers.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Smith

Testimonials

‘Practical approach, cutting to the key issues.’

‘Very approachable and very responsive.’

‘We work with a wide range of individuals within Blake Morgan, all of which are very knowledgeable within their field and are always available when needed. Nothing is too much trouble and no level of urgency is not met.’

‘Blake Morgan have worked with the University for a number of years and are incredibly knowledgeable of the sector and the University and its processes. They are easy to talk to and are always available to assist the University with any legal requirement with speed and expertise.’

‘Excellent knowledge of legal aspects of education in supporting the college to become a single academy and then multi-academy trust.’

Key clients

New College, Oxford

Balliol College, Oxford

Cardiff University

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Oxford Foundation for Theoretical Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence

St Dominic’s Sixth Form College

Portsmouth Diocesan Trust

University of Reading

Christ Church College, Oxford

Brasenose College, Oxford

University College, Oxford

University of Winchester

University of Chichester

Hereford Sixth Form College

Swansea University

Magdalen College, Oxford

University of South Wales

Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association

Work highlights

  • Advised New College on procurement approach, appointment of its design team and construction contracts in relation to its proposed redevelopment of a new quadrangle within the College estate.
  • Advised University of Reading on proceedings spanning over six years, involving the dismissal for “good cause” of a University Professor in accordance with the University’s statute.
  • Advised Cardiff University on all the procurement, contractual and commercial aspects of its 10-year IT Network Refresh Project (valued in the tens of millions).

Browne Jacobson LLP

Following Bettina Rigg's arrival from VWV in April 2020, Browne Jacobson LLP has rapidly expanded its schools and academies education practice into the HE market. Key strengths for the group include real estate, employment and transactional IP work. Rigg advises universities and colleges on operational and strategic issues, and is highly experienced in defending equality, diversity, inclusion and discrimination claims. She jointly heads up the practice with Dominic Swift, who supports clients on contractual and governance matters as well as major property projects and the development of effective estate strategies. Mark Blois, who has over twenty years' experience as an education lawyer, is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Bettina Rigg; Dominic Swift

Other key lawyers:

Selina Hinchliffe; Mark Blois

Testimonials

‘Dominic Swift is very affable and friendly – fun to deal with.’

‘Selina Hinchliffe is extremely professional and knowledgeable.’

‘The hiring of Bettina Rigg has brought strong sector experience and understanding to the firm.’

‘Very down to earth and client focused. Pragmatic advice and not too risk averse.’

‘Dominic Swift is enthusiastic, approachable – no requirement is too much.’

‘Huge enthusiasm and keenness to meet clients’ needs. They want to know and understand your business.’

‘Selina Hinchliffe – very experienced and approachable.’

Key clients

British Geological Survey

Brunel University London

Edge Hill University

Keele University

King’s College London

Loughborough University

South Derbyshire College

South Devon College

University of Hertfordshire

University of Leicester

University of Salford

Work highlights

  • Advised King’s College London, and supporting King’s internal legal team, on a significant volume of commercial instructions.
  • Advised a leading university on registering a charity as a vehicle to act as an independent hub for higher education professionals to access research, toolkits and evaluation guidance to help improve equality in the HE sector.
  • Advising on a complete reorganisation of a students’ union including reorganising and reducing the senior management team.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP's education team acts for many of the UK's leading universities, as well as governing institutions including OFSTED and the Department for Education, and providers of apprenticeships and work-based training. The practice advises universities on the spin-off of new businesses, campus building developments, employment disputes and IP work. Key areas of strength include restructurings, complex tribunal claims, and discrimination and whistleblowing cases; the department also excels in large outsourcings.  Practice head Matthew Ramus specialises in complex education sector projects.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Ramus

Other key lawyers:

Luke Bowery; Marcus Harling; John Houlden

Key clients

Department for Education

University of Bristol

University of Exeter

York St John University

University of Oxford

University of the West of England

Bath Spa University

Cardiff University

OFSTED

Office for Students

Reading Borough Council

Birmingham Children’s Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised Babcock Training Limited on the contractual arrangements necessary to enter into a partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service as lead provider in the delivery of new recruit training and assessment through two new Level 6 qualifications.
  • Advised the University of Bristol in connection with a new £300m campus development in Bristol city centre.
  • Appointed by the Department for Education to draft a substantial set of legal precedent and associated guidance documents for use by local authorities in the UK considering Children’s Services Alternative Delivery Models.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's full-service team provides an 'exceptional combination of alertness, knowledge and availability', handling a range of employment, real estate, charity and regulatory work for universities. The team stands out for its expertise in immigration changes and international student visas. The 'experienced, sensible and pragmatic' Hilary Aldred is a well-known employment specialist, and also advises on public law and regulatory matters. She co-heads the education practice with Daff Richardson in Oxford, who focuses on student complaints and disciplinary matters, as well as data protection and freedom of information issues.

Practice head(s):

Hilary Aldred; Daff Richardson

Other key lawyers:

Pat Saini; Hazar El-Chamaa

Testimonials

‘Hilary Aldred. Very experienced, very sensible and pragmatic, extremely hard working, excellent grasp of complex situations.’

‘Exceptional combination of alertness, knowledge, availability and, when necessary, lateral thinking.’

‘Hilary Aldred’s legal knowledge and ability to combine an eye for detail with an understanding of both legal and moral principles is outstanding.’

‘The team are excellent and willing to provide advice to university students on the ever changing visa regulations in the UK.’

‘Pat Saini is a true expert.’

Key clients

King’s College, London

Magdalen College, Oxford

Merton College, Oxford

Florida State University

UCL Business Plc

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Navitas/SAE

ICMP Management Limited

Istituto Marangoni

St Mary’s University Twickenham

Work highlights

  • Advised King’s College London on a wide range of technology transfer and spin-out activities.
  • Advised a Cambridge College in relation to a highly sensitive issue with the College officer who had a key role in managing the pandemic response in February and March2020.
  • Advised a group of 10 Oxford colleges in Employment Tribunal proceedings issued against them by a serial litigant in person.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP's education practice stands out for its experience in advising UK universities expanding into the Middle East and Asia, having assisted institutions on establishing branded campuses in the UAE and Qatar. Other areas of work include defending employment claims and claims by students relating to teaching, staff behaviour and personal injury issues. David Hansom heads up the procurement team, and co-leads the firm's global education sector group.

Practice head(s):

David Hansom

Other key lawyers:

James Major

Testimonials

‘David and the team at Clyde & Co combine excellent knowledge and insight with a very personable style to provide support of the very highest calibre. They are knowledgeable, responsive and pragmatic.’

‘David Hansom’s insight regarding all issues of procurement law are unparalleled. He is friendly, engaging and understands the issues we face and how best to provide appropriate insight and advice.’

‘Clyde & Co really make the effort to get to know their clients which makes the advice they relevant and accessible. They go the extra mile and deliver – even to ridiculous deadlines.’

‘Easy to work with, knowledgeable and helpful.’

‘Very strong and pragmatic procurement and commercial advice for a variety of high-value matters.’

Key clients

University College London

Kings College London

University of the Arts London

Anglia Ruskin University

University of Southampton

Northern Universities Purchasing Consortium

Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium

University of Sheffield

University of Leeds

Fordham University New York

Chatsworth Schools

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is best known for handling real estate transactions, although the full-service offering also provides support on contracts, procurement issues, employment work and charities law. Assad Maqbool leads work on the Priority Schools Building Programme and also works with LocatED, a government-owned property company. He jointly heads up the team with Helen Randall, who specialises in complex education governance and contractual issues, and Amardeep Gill, who advises on the commercial aspects of education transactions.

Practice head(s):

Assad Maqbool; Helen Randall; Amardeep Gill

Testimonials

‘We used Trowers for legal advice when contemplating starting a new school. Advice passed on to us was clear and concise. The feed back to the governors was excellent.’

‘Trowers had a quietly assured, joined-up confidence.’

Key clients

Secretary of State (via the Department for Education) and LocatED

Dorset Council

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

London Borough of Brent

University of West London

Northwick Park Redevelopment

Unicorn School

Caterham School

Work highlights

  • Advised the London Borough of Brent on two Deeds of Indemnity in relation to a variation of the Jews’ Free School PFI Agreement which allows for an extension to be built on the school site.
  • Advised Dorset Council on all legal aspects of establishing a company to provide a new independent special educational needs school/education campus to serve Dorset’s SEND pupils including advice on education legislation, public law, consultation processes, procurement, employment law, pensions, corporate and charity law.
  • Advised the Secretary of State for Education (via the Department for Education) and LocatED on approximately 100 school building projects.

Withers LLP

Withers LLP's HE practice sits within the dedicated charity and philanthropy team, and draws on a core group of employment, immigration, IP, tax and real estate specialists. The group is highly recommended for international clients, with strong links to Asia and the US; dual-qualified partner Alana Petraske in New York works closely with the team. James Shaw handles spin-out activities for UK universities, while Chris Priestley has experience with large-scale projects, and Alison Paines focuses on strategic and governance advice. Philip Reed joined from Farrer & Co.

Practice head(s):

Alison Paines; Alana Petraske; Chris Priestley; James Shaw; Philip Reed

Other key lawyers:

Kenneth Mullen

Testimonials

‘Great industry knowledge.’

‘Chris Priestley is an outstanding education partner.’

Key clients

Morningside Venture Investments Limited

Glaia Ltd

Georgetown University

McGill University

University of Illinois Foundation

University of Pennsylvania