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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 > Yorkshire and the Humber > Public sector > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings




Index of tables

  1. Education
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Education clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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


The cross-departmental education team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is considered 'excellent in all respects'. The team acted for the University of York on the development of a new college, which included variation to an existing partnership agreement, construction and property documentation as well as handling funding documents with the US parent company.  Praised for his 'thorough professional knowledge' and 'an outstanding quality of service' Ben Wood advised both Doncaster College and North Lindsey College on all aspects of their merger. Litigation partner Alison Oldfield is a key name to note and leads the dispute resolution team for clients across the education section. Chris Mordue joined from Pinsent Masons LLP, bringing extensive employment law experience in the higher education sector. Other changes to the team include James Fry's departure to join Mills & Reeve LLP, and the promotion of Mark Taylor and Ash Woodcock to partner,  Robert Gray to the role of legal director.

The 'always helpful and knowledgeable' education practice at DLA Piper UK LLP is comprised of specialists based in both the Sheffield and Leeds offices, who 'understand the business and provide pragmatic solutions'. The Leeds-based Andrew Clarke heads the team alongside Richard Taylor, who splits his time between the Sheffield and Birmingham offices. The practice is adept at advising clients across further and higher education in addition to acting for the Department for Education and the London Grid for Learning. The team advised Aston University on reviewing and drafting standard terms for the licensing of its IP. The 'very experienced' Roger Gough has particular expertise advising higher education clients on corporate and commercial transactions.

The education group at Irwin Mitchell Sheffield offers 'excellent service' with individuals based across Leeds and Sheffield who 'understand their clients’ needs' and respond with 'professionalism, and the willingness to find alternative solutions'. The practice represents a diverse range of clients in the further education, higher education and school sectors. Praised for his 'calm, responsive and considered approach', the 'excellent' Laurence Gavin heads the team and is leading advice to Telford College of Arts and Technology on its merger with New College Telford. This matter requires consideration of issues of governance and trustee duties, corporate arrangements, property and complex funding. In addition, the practice has significant experience acting for multi-academy trusts and was recently instructed by Maltby Learning Trust on the incorporation of St Thomas Wharton Academy into the trust. The team also works in partnership with the Association of Colleges in operating an employment helpline advising members on a range employment law matters.

The universities and higher education group at Pinsent Masons LLP handles a range of matters including regulatory issues, establishing campuses abroad, IT procurement and lending. Victoria Goddard heads up the practice which includes Julian Sladdin who specialises in litigation for university clients. The team was instructed by the University of Sussex on the £200m procurement of student accommodation. The team advised the same client on the procurement of IT integration services. In a high-profile representation, Sladdin led a team which successfully defended the University of Sheffield in a sensitive dispute relating to the removal from a course of a MA student following discriminatory comments posted on social media. Martin Priestley joined Mills & Reeve LLP.

Schofield Sweeney is highlighted for its 'excellent service' and 'value for money' acting for school and academies. Bradford-based +Helen Hirst heads the four-partner education and charities group spread across the firm's Bradford and Leeds offices. The practice is largely known for assisting clients on academy conversions. Andrew Hurst led a team instructed by Beckfoot Trust on the academy conversion of Priestthorpe Primary School and The Phoenix Special School into the trust. This required in-depth negotiations with Bradford Council of contractual and land issues, as well as procurement and TUPE advice in relation to a catering contract at one of the schools. The team also handles disputes, in addition to data protection, freedom of information, exclusion, commercial matters and procurement. Simon Shepherd, in the Leeds office, is recommended, particularly for employment law advice.

Highlighted for its 'depth of expertise in education', Stone King LLP is attracts praise for its 'extremely good response times' and 'outstanding level of service'. The 'totally exceptional' Graham Shaw heads the Leeds-based education practice which able to leverage the firm's national education sector group led by Roger Inman in Cambridge. The team is known for its representation of schools and multi-academy trusts and is additionally experienced acting for further education clients. Shaw led advice to Newcastle Bridges School on forming a new multi-academy trust and the academy conversions of Newcastle Bridges School and Linhope. This required extensive negotiations with the Department for Education on supplemental funding in relation to the Newcastle Bridges School alternative provision, special educational needs and hospital-based education aspects.

The education group at Walker Morris LLP is largely recognised for its experience representing clients in the further education sector as well as several universities. The practice is headed up by David Smedley and is instructed by Burnley College on its potential merger with Rossendale and Accrington College. In another work highlight, it is representing Leeds College of Building on construction, property and finance matters relating to its £13m development. Additionally, the practice has a growing cross-departmental schools team and advised several academies including multi-academy trusts on structures, education sector restrictions and legal requirements. The team also acted for a multi academy trust on employment matters including TUPE advice, contracts for teaching staff; a partnership agreement with the University of Hull; and an issue relating to the provider of transport services for students.

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP's broad education practice acts for local authority schools, academies, independent schools, colleges and universities across a range of practice areas. Chris Billington heads up the group and led advice to James Montgomery Academy Trust on the complicated conversion of a voluntary aided church school joining the trust. This matter was complicated by complex property considerations. The team has also acted for schools establishing new multi academy trusts, including Five Rivers Multi Academy Trust which the firm assisting on conversion to academy status and relocation into a refurbished community centre. Other key names to note are Elizabeth Wilson and Tim Wrigley.

The education practice at Addleshaw Goddard in Yorkshire is led by Nancy McGuire and Michael O'Connor both based in Manchester. The practice has a strength advising on real estate construction projects and employment issues. Clients of the firm include several higher education institutions including University of Leeds Becketts, University of Lancaster and Glyndwr University. In addition, the team is able to leverage the firm's strong charity law department's expertise in acting for and forming school trusts.

The 'strong' education team at Lupton Fawcett spans across its Leeds, Sheffield and York offices. Michele Phillips, based in Sheffield, has particular expertise acting for academies and school and jointly heads the practice alongside York-based Jonathan Moore, who specialises in representation of further and higher education clients. The practice stands out for its 'good background knowledge and understanding of the uniqueness of church school needs', and is instructed by several diocesan boards of educations on academy conversions of Church of England schools. Clients also include the University of York and Bishop Burton College in addition to several grammar schools.

'Recognised as experts in the field of education law' Rollits LLP education team has been considered to be 'outstanding'. Tom Morrison  is highlighted for his 'education expertise and client relationship management' and heads up the team which includes individuals in Hull and York. The team has advised Exceed Academies Trust on the formation of several multi academy trusts, such as the Consortium Academy Trust on their formation and the conversion of schools joining the trusts. In another work highlight, acting for Leeds City College, the team negotiated with the Local Enterprise Partnership and a bank in arranging financing for a new campus. Demonstrating the practices national reach, it is also instructed by Southampton City College on the potential merger with Southampton Solent University. In higher education sector, clients include the University of Hull, York St John University and York University Students’ Union.


Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Health clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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


The 'excellent' health care practice at Capsticks LLP offers 'industry knowledge and advice which is detailed, practicable and comprehensible'. Rachael Heenan heads the five-partner team, which has been highlighted as being 'value for money'. The practice is providing ongoing advice to NHS Employers, nationally, on issues such as the implementation of the GDPR, changes to IR35, as well as on issues surrounding Brexit. In another work example, Ian Cooper led a team which acted for Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust following a ransomware virus attack. This involved advising the trust on Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests and in relation to ICO investigations. With a 'wealth of experience and the ability to deal with complex issues' head of real estate for the North, Lisa Geary, recently acted for Humber NHS Foundation Trust on the acquisitions of GP practices in Bridlington and Hessle, as well as a surgery in Cottingham. While the NHS is a key client for the practice, it also advises private healthcare providers. Changes to the team include Claire Reynolds' departure to an in house role at Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation trust.  

The 'extremely professional and engaging' public law and health team at DAC Beachcroft LLP is highlighted for its 'excellent service' and 'value for money'. The 'impressive' practice is led by Charlotte Burnett and supported by +Tracey Longfield in the healthcare regulatory team. The 'strong team' acted for Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust on the transfer of blocks of staff residential accommodation into the trust's ownership, this required the transfer of the existing leases as well as advice on rent deposit schemes and rent apportionment. This matter also involved a simultaneous TUPE transfer and the novation of service contracts to the Trust. In another work highlight, Andrea Proudlock led a team which represented United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust on the £10m sale of property at a decommissioned hospital; this involved advice on complex historical title issues. The group is 'very knowledgeable about health systems integration' in addition to be recommended as 'extremely supportive and knowledgeable' at inquests. Former practice head Eve Gregory moved to Clarion and Eleanor Tunnicliffe joined Hill Dickinson LLP.

The 'friendly, approachable and knowledgeable multi-disciplinary' health and social care group at Hempsons are considered to be 'one of the leading firms in this practice area'.Adrian Parker heads up the 'first class team', which handles corporate and commercial transactions, health and social care advice, employment law, healthcare litigation and real estate issues. It is instructed by healthcare providers, social care clients and not for profit organisations, including the Primary Care Commissioning Community Interest Company. The 'commercial and pragmatic' Crispin Pettifer, alongside the 'diligent' associate Oliver Crich, advised Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on its procurement process for a strategic estates partnership. In another highlight, the 'amazing problem solver' Ross Clark led a team instructed by Cheshire Local Medical Committee to deliver a practice development programme to over 600 GPs and their practices, involving advice on preparation for CQC inspections, the GDPR and procurement. Also recommended are the 'hugely experienced' Stephen Evans and Adam Hartrick particularly in matters related to mental health, and inquests, respectively. 

Local government

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Local government clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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


The infrastructure, projects and energy practice at Addleshaw Goddard provides 'quality work and an effective service' to its local government clients with 'experienced and commercially astute support'. The Leeds-based  Andrew Pettinger  jointly heads the practice withMichael O'Connor in Manchester. Pettinger is leading a team acting for Leeds City Council on the procurement of a district heating scheme, including advising on state aid, procurement, corporate, joint venture and general commercial aspects. In another work highlight, the team was instructed by Transport for Greater Manchester in establishing a highways shared services arrangement with three Greater Manchester local authorities. Highlighted for 'providing good strategic oversight', John Emerton acted for the Council of the City of Salford on a review of cladding systems of tower blocks and a significant remediation programme to ensure compliance with fire safety requirements. 'Highly regarded' managing associate Stephanie Townley is also recommended.

The multidisciplinary local government department at DWF attracts praise for its 'quality of service, knowledge and response times'. The 'very pragmatic and result-focused' Jonathan Branton heads up the public sector practice which includes the local government team led by Colin Murray. The group regularly advises on public procurement and related disputes and has a reputation for handling infrastructure projects and local government insurance work. Branton led a team acting for East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council on a major investment project, which included advice on EU state aid rules. Instructed in another notable project, the department advised Leeds City Council on the state aid aspects of its investment in the Headingley cricket and rugby stadium. The team is also able to draw on the expertise of its significant national practice.

With 'quick responses, an in depth knowledge of the subject and good value for money' the energy, infrastructure and government practice at Walker Morris LLP 'understands the pressures of local government and reacts appropriately offering practical advice'. The 'very experienced and knowledgeable' David Kilduff heads up the practice and has a wealth of experience across the sector. Recognised for his 'commercial approach' Chris Woodthorpe acted for the London Borough of Bexley Council on the redevelopment of Sidcup Manor as a hotel and advised on commercial risk, state aid and public procurement, as well as addressing public law issues. In another work highlight, Kilduff acted for the same client on a potential dispute with the Department of Education relating to the transfer of property in connection with conversion of a school to academy status. The 'personable, attentive and responsive' group also includes Ben Sheppard, who has expertise in delivering waste, energy from waste and anaerobic digestion projects. Sheppard was instructed by MVV Environment to advise on its £100m residual waste treatment project with Dundee City Council.

The team at DAC Beachcroft LLP leverages its broad expertise in public law, public health, real estate and private finance to advise its local government clients on a range of matters. Bristol-based Stephen Hocking heads up the national practice, which includes senior associate Ioan Davies in Leeds, who is advising Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council on its schools PFI scheme.  In another work highlight, the team is acting for Bradford City Council on all aspects of its regeneration and relocation of Bradford Markets. Other key names to note in the Leeds office include Charlotte Burnett, Lesley Hughes and Michael Peeters for matters involving public health, real estate litigation and transport projects, respectively. Former practice head Eve Gregory joined Clarion.

DLA Piper UK LLP has expertise handling major projects relating to transport, regeneration, housing and waste for its local government clients, and private sector companies partnering with public sector bodies, on projects. The team spans across the firm's two Yorkshire offices and is jointly led by Sheffield-based property law expert Nigel Howard and the head of the projects group in Leeds, Robert Smith. The practice is advising Transport of Greater Manchester on a proposed bus franchise scheme including on procurement documents, regulatory issues and is dealing with the drafting of template franchise agreements. The team is also adept at handling contentious issues, and litigation partner Paul Stone and projects specialist Allison Page are instructed by Birmingham City Council in relation to a dispute, now before the Court of Appeal, relating to a £2bn 25 year PFI contract. Roger Gough is key name to note in Sheffield, particularly for grant funding and procurement issues.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a strong  government team nationally, and regularly advises local authorities on a full spectrum of issues from inquiries and judicial review challenges, to pensions and employment law matters. In Leeds, Alison Oldfield led a team which successfully defended Reading Borough Council in a judicial review challenge of its high profile decision to close the Arthur Hill swimming pool in Reading. Michael Grimes is singled out for his knowledge surrounding waste projects, and is handling variations and extensions of several waste PFI contracts.

The local government practice at Pinsent Masons LLP benefits from being able to leverage its national network of offices, as well as its significant Leeds-based team. Anne Bowden heads up the national practice from the Leeds office and is currently instructed by South Tyneside Council on ts £100m regeneration project. This required advise on procurement of the development partner as well as planning, highways and compulsory purchase aspects. The team is instructed on some of the regions largest and most complex development projects and continues to act for Leeds City Council on its East Leeds Extension to deliver 2000 new homes and an associated major new road. Jonathan Riley is leading this matter, which includes negotiating with developers and landowners and advising on planning applications. 

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP 's local government group includes six partners based in Leeds, and has boasts the capabilities to deal with large projects, including regularly advising on public procurement, state aid and data protection issues. Jackie Gray heads up the practice which was bolstered by the arrivals of managing associate Andrew Hirst and solicitor Victoria Armitage from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and Capsticks LLP respectively. Legal director Jocelyn Denton is leading a team instructed by the London Borough of Lewisham on the £1bn re-development of a New Bermondsey site with plans for 2400 new homes and a major new sports facility. Additionally, the team has a reputation in the education sector and acted for Newcastle City Council on three private finance academy conversions. The team also successfully acted for London Borough of Lewisham on an appeal to the information tribunal concerning a request for information made by a journalist.

Bevan Brittan LLP has an 'excellent' local government practice which regularly advises clients in relation to projects and disputes nationally. The Leeds-based team works closely with the firm's Bristol and London offices to offer a full service to its local authority clients. The group is instructed by Sheffield City Council on the renegotiation of its waste and energy contract with Veolia Environment Services, requiring advice on PPP contract matters, public law, energy and procurement issues. It is also acted for a large local authority on a whistle blowing claim. Bethan Evans retired from the practice.

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