Daff Richardson > Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP > Oxford, England > Lawyer Profile

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Work Department

Education and employment.



Daff co-leads the firm’s multi-disciplinary education sector group, and is a partner in the employment department. 

She advises institutional, corporate and individual clients on strategic and high-value employment matters including reorganisations and restructuring. Daff also advises senior executives and employers on boardroom disputes, and executive appointments and terminations. Her employer clients include higher education institutions, household name charities, and technology sector clients. She has advised senior figures in life sciences, IT, and education. 

Penningtons Manches’ education sector group advises HEIs, private colleges, independent schools and other further and higher education institutions and charities. The group provides a full service to these clients including immigration advice, advice on corporate structures, charities, employment, real estate, governance, compliance and student issues. 

Daff’s personal practice includes advising individual academics and institutions on employment issues, particularly where disciplinary action is taken. She also advises institutions on student complaint matters. Her clients include a household name educational charity, several Colleges of the University of Oxford and a leading independent school.


Articled Morrell Peel & Gamlen 1987; qualified 1989; partner Morrell Peel & Gamlen 1995; joined Manches LLP upon the merger with Morrell, Peel & Gamlen 1997.


Employment Lawyers’ Association.


Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford (1985 Classics).

Lawyer Rankings

London > Public sector > Education: institutions

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a well-known name among universities, for whom it handles banking and finance, dispute resolution and employment law work. Led by the ‘outstandingDaff Richardson in Oxford, the practice has a niche reputational management sub-group, which assists clients with student-related issues and social media matters. In Cambridge, Hilary Aldred is a go-to for advice on contentious and non-contentious employment issues. Also recommended are immigration head Pat Saini and Hazar El-Chamaa, who advise London-based universities on student visa matters.

London > Private client > Charities and not-for-profit

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises a diverse range of clients, including educational institutions and training providers, public service and membership organisations, and ecclesiastical and faith-based organisations, as well as private individuals and philanthropic bodies. The team’s expertise spans constitutional and governance advice through to serious incident reporting and safeguarding issues. Other strengths lie in advising on data protection and complex legacy disputes. Henrietta Mason heads the team, which also includes Daff Richardson, who predominantly acts for higher education institutions.

London > Public sector > Education: schools

At Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, the education group has a wide offering spanning areas such as employment, data privacy and data protection, immigration and corporate governance. The firm also has a specialist safeguarding sub-group that acts for schools and individuals in contentious student issues and historical abuse. The practice is jointly led by Hilary Aldred, Daff Richardson and Reading-based Gemma WoodhousePat Saini and Hazar El-Chamaa are also recommended.

South East > Public sector > Public sector

(Leading individuals)

Daff RichardsonPenningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s standout education practice is known for handling matters for higher education clients including several Russell Group universities. The team’s offering covers the full gamut of issues from corporate mandates to litigation, and also assists clients requiring governance and regulatory expertise. Practice head Daff Richardson also has employment law experience and undertakes advisory and data protection mandates.

South East > Employment > Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

With offices in Oxford and Reading, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP offers comprehensive employment advice to clients from sectors including social housing, education, technology and construction. Daff Richardson co-leads the education sector group and provides guidance on business protection issues, reorganisations, restructurings, and senior executive appointments and departures. Eugene Wojciechowski advises on employment tribunal hearings, including those relating to complex unlawful discrimination and whistleblowing claims. David Bickford, Chris Syder  and Gemma Woodhouse  all joined the team in 2019, having relocated from the Basingstoke office. Senior associate Victoria Spires is a name to note.