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

South East > Public sector > Public sector

(Leading individuals)

Daff RichardsonPenningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s cross disciplinary team has deep expertise advising clients in the public sector, primarily acting for higher education institutions and independent schools. Its deep bench includes Reading-based school sector expert Gemma Woodhouse as well as Oxford-based education group co-head Daff Richardson, whose experience in employment law enables her to engage with the often sensitive issues involved in student complaints and employment disciplinary matters. Collaboration with the firm’s wider departments means the team is well-placed to take on employment, immigration, corporate, commercial and IP-related mandates.

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

Daff Richardson  and Eugene Wojciechowski lead the employment team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, a local practice with an international reach which predominantly advises clients in social housing, education, tech, life sciences, financial services and construction and is highly active in boardroom disputes and other litigation. Chris Syder is ‘a superb tactician with a big heart‘  who resolves workplace issues, including through mediation. Tech companies rely on Gemma Woodhouse for advice on contentious and non-contentious matters, as well as discrimination matters.

South East > Private client > Charities and not-for-profit

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s team is led by ‘enormously experienced’ Oxford-based Daff Richardson, who specialises in employment issues; she also co-leads the education sector group. Reading-based Gemma Woodhouse also supports on employment matters for charities clients.

London > Public sector > Education: institutions

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP works largely with Cambridge, Oxford and other Russell Group universities on employment, real estate and immigration matters. Practice leaders Hilary Aldred and Daff Richardson handle Cambridge and Oxford respectively, with Aldred specialising in contentious and non-contentious matters including public law, and Richardson focusing on student complaints and disciplinary matters. Pat Saini focuses on immigration work, advising on sponsorship, student visas and the impact of Brexit and the pandemic on international students. Associate Sophie Whitbread has been described as ‘a future leader in this area of law.’

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

Oxford-based Daff Richardson and Cambridge-based Hilary Aldred co-head the department at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP that is particularly well-known for its legacy work with various local and national charities. It is well-placed to advise on the full array of legal issues and also provides specialist advice to grant making charities. It is skilled at advising on the creation of philanthropic structures as well as delivering a wide range of guidance to exempt, excepted and registered charities on governance, regulatory and charity issues.