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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > West Midlands > Public sector > Education > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Education
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Education clients in West Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Browne Jacobson LLP 's repertoire in education includes advising on employment, property and governance issues. Nick Mackenzie heads the team and recently advised Pershore High School on its conversion into a multi academy trust and the establishment of new governance arrangements. He also assisted The Mercian Trust with setting up a new multi academy trust, which incorporated both Queen Mary’s Grammar School and Queen Mary’s High School. Academy conversions expert Richard Freeth is also a key figure, who advised Everton Football Club on its arrangements with a nearby MAT, the DfE and ESFA, which involved supporting the club’s academy players with their educational needs. Helen Badger works on employment matters and advised a multi academy trust on a grievance and whistle-blowing investigation.

Mills & Reeve LLP has a strong reputation in handling employment, administrative, commercial and real estate matters, with clients that include Aston University, Birmingham City University and Coventry University. Employment specialist Nick Abbot heads the practice and recently advised Aylesbury College on its merger with Amersham & Wycombe College to become the Buckinghamshire Colleges Group. Public and administrative law specialist Richard Sykes is known for his ‘very impressive technical expertise in HE legal issues’ and advised Nottingham Trent University on its compliance with GDPR. Real estate specialist Christian Bull advised The University of Birmingham on its new exhibition venue at the Municipal Bank building in Birmingham. Associate Robbie Turner is also experienced in property matters. Construction specialist Stuart Pemble has ‘an acute concern to do the best for his clients while still being commercially pragmatic’. Tim Winn advised University of Nottingham on renewing its agreements with veterinary hospitals, zoos and placement providers. Helen Tringham  focuses on non-contentious matters and is ‘an extremely competent lawyer’ with 'an articulate and objective analysis on issues’.

Pinsent Masons LLP is headed by Gayle Ditchburn, who has extensive experience in regulatory, governance, constitutional and structuring matters. She advised the University of London on the University of London Bill 2016 which made new provision for the making of statutes for the University of London and for related purposes. She also assisted Dyson Technology with establishing the Dyson Institute of Engineering. Employment specialist Helen Corden is also a key name, with strong expertise in advising on TUPE regulations, restructurings and employment disputes. Former practice head Nicola Hart has retired.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP is known for its ‘excellent service’, with expertise in real estate, governance, regulatory, contentious, commercial and employment matters. Smita Jamdar heads the team and is ‘very knowledgable about the HE sector’ and ‘has a fantastic network’. One client noted: ‘we constantly want to clone her. She is both pragmatic and strategic and she can bring the dullest subject to life’. She recently advised the University of Warwick on its partnership with Dyson. Director  Geraldine Swanton is also a key figure and is ‘good on information governance issues’. Joanne Forbes is experienced in constitutional matters and recently advised Bishop Grossesteste University on becoming an incorporated company limited by guarantee. Transactions specialist Gary Davie advised the University of Central Lancashire on acquiring the training association 'Training 2000'. Employment specialist Tom Long advised a university on setting up a subsidiary for employing non-academic staff.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is led by Diane Gilhooley , who is particularly strong on employment and governance matters. Glynne Stanfield  is an expert in education mergers and recently advised a 6th form college in Hampshire on its conversion to academy status. Nicola Bennison  is an expert in student-related issues and assisted the National College for High Speed Rail with procurement, pensions, governance and staffing issues, relating to the client’s new mobilisation programme. Mark Taylor was made partner in 2017, and advises on corporate, commercial and governance issues. Recent work highlights of his include advising Nottingham College on the financing behind its new build project in Nottingham City Centre.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) work in this space stems from a number of practice areas, with notable expertise in commercial, employment and dispute resolution matters. Frances Anderson is a key figure who works primarily on commercial matters for universities and their industrial partners. Jane Byford, Kathy Halliday and Alice Reeve focus on contentious and non-contentious employment matters. Hallidy advised the King Edward VI Foundation on converting King Edward VI academies into one multi-academy trust (MAT). Dee Kundy is an expert in commercial litigation, particularly on debt recovery matters. Also recommended are property specialists Clive Read, Adrian Watson and Julie Newell . Read recently advised the University of Northampton on a new tannery/leatyher centre on its campus.

Ashley Norman  is a key figure for Bevan Brittan LLP  and specialises in employment and immigration matters.  Recent work highlights include advising the London School of Economics & Political Science on Brexit's impact on its workforce.

The ‘approachable’, ‘adaptable’ and ‘authoritative’ FBC Manby Bowdler LLP focuses on commercial, corporate, transactional, constitutional and governance work. Stuart Rea heads the practice and is known for his ‘depth of knowledge’ in this sector, with a strong background in corporate-related matters. He advised Wolverhampton Grammar School on the establishment of a Charity Commission Scheme for the vestment of functional permanent endowment land on the school grounds. He is supported by senior associate David Raymont, who specialises in property issues.

Lanyon Bowdler ’s skillset in this space includes advising on employment, real estate and planning, corporate and commercial and disputes. The  team ‘responds promptly’ and ‘when research is required they turn it around quickly’ and ‘think through challenging issues in creative ways’. William Morse heads the practice and focuses predominantly on employment matters. He recently advised Severn Bridges Academy Trust on its formation and conversion to a multi academy trust. Corporate partner Gráinne Walters advised Great Chatwell on the legal aspects of delivering accredited courses and workshops. Also recommended are planning specialist David Brammer and property expert Andrew Evans.

Shoosmiths LLP focuses on special educational needs under its consumer litigation Access Legal brand. Education specialist Victoria Federico has ‘a wealth of knowledge’ and ‘goes the extra mile’. She recently advised parents of a child with special educational needs on appealing at the Special Needs Tribunal for the child to attend and reside at an independent specialist college, paid for by the local authority. She also assisted on obtaining an Education, Health and Care Plan for a child with cerebral palsy, hemiplegia and ADD.

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