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Freeths LLP

Work 0115 936 9369
Fax 0115 859 9600

Stephen Pearson

Work 0845 274 6900
Freeths LLP

Work Department



Partner and Head of Education Group specialising in procurement, public-private partnerships, projects, outsourcing, PFI, commercial contracts, governance issues, public sector and EU procurement law requirements. Also state aid matters and advertising law. Acted on a range of PFI and BSF projects. Acts for a range of local authorities, housing bodies, healthcare providers, universities and academies, outsourcing service providers.


Trained Notts County Council; qualified 1985. North Yorkshire County Council 1985-87; in-house counsel Peugeot 1987-89; Rover Group Plc 1989-95; Eversheds 1995-2003; Bevan Ashford 2003-05. Published articles in various journals and speaker at various conferences on outsourcing/joint service projects; ex-non-executive director for NHS Trust. Parish councillor.


Business French.


Law Society; Society of Procurement Lawyers.


University of Hull (LLB (Hons)); Law Society (Diploma in Local Government Law); RSA (Diploma Business French).


Classical music, history, real ale.

East Midlands: Public sector


Within: Education

Freeths LLP assists independent schools and further and higher education institutions with a range of property, employment, contractual and regulatory matters, including academy conversions, funding arrangements for colleges and drafting research agreements. Practice head Stephen Pearson assisted two members of the Diamond Learning Partnership Trust with their conversion into academies and managed apprenticeship agreements for Birmingham Metropolitan College. Pearson also advised the University of Nottingham on the creation of an international college for foundation training, guiding the institution through procurement process, contract drafting and immigration compliance matters. Loughborough University, Oxford Brookes University and Landau Forte Charitable Trust are also clients. ‘Technically excellent’ property specialist Gillian Roberts, who advises charitable and educational trusts on ownership matters, ‘strikes the right balance when working with in-house counsel to establish a strong client rapport’.

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Local government

Within: Local government

Commercial advice and a pragmatic approach’ is what defines Freeths LLP’s ‘efficient group of experts’. Stephen Pearsonconsiders issues from all angles and advises accordingly’; he is assisting Scape Group with the contractual, procurement and governance aspects of its joint venture with Nottinghamshire City Council, established to manage the design, construction and facilities for schools in Nottinghamshire. Pearson also advised Cambridge City Council on the creation of its joint venture with Hill Investment Partnership for the improved utilisation of public sites for new affordable housing. Other highlights included advising Chesterfield Borough Council on the formation of a joint venture to substitute a joint committee of three local authorities managing a crematorium and assisting Halton Borough Council with an investment by Alstom for the construction of a new train maintenance and manufacturing plant.

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East Midlands: Real estate

Social housing

Within: Social housing

Freeths LLP’s ‘very experienced and well-connected’ group combines ‘great sector knowledge’ with expertise in real estate, planning, financing, construction and procurement. It acts for registered providers and arms-length management organisations on housing management, governance and regulatory matters, commercial transactions and partnership agreements. ‘Solution-oriented’ team head Gary Reynolds provides ‘practical advice’ to registered providers on property development matters such as promotion and conditional agreements as well as funding structures and joint ventures. Stephen Pearson is an expert in public-private partnerships, and Matthew Grocock specialises in residential and commercial development matters. The group continues to advise Bellway Homes on the North Solihull Regeneration Partnership, the development project for social rented apartments and houses for West Mercia Homes. It also managed the creation of a public-private joint venture company for housing development projects for Bolsover District Council. Other highlights included acting for Cambridge City Council during the establishment of a public-private partnership and assisting Helena Partnerships with the multimillion-pound acquisition of 34 houses and apartments on a leasehold basis from the Stewart Milne Group combined with the disposal of shared ownership units. Bromford Housing Association and Nottingham Community Housing Association are also clients.

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London: Public sector

Local government

Within: Local government

Freeths LLP’s team has notable experience handling real estate work, with recent examples including advising Guildford Borough Council on its £20m acquisition of an office building, acting for Guildford Borough Council on multiple transactions spanning property management issues, development site acquisitions and asset disposals; and handling an investment property acquisition for Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. Other areas of expertise include employment issues and commercial work. Birmingham-based Nathan Holden heads the team nationally and is recognised for his commercial property project expertise. Outsourcing and regeneration specialist Stephen Pearson, property expert Mitchell Ball, Clive Pearce, who joined the firm in 2016 from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, London real estate head Ian Rowson and consultant Nicholas Dobson are other names to note.

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