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Penningtons Manches LLP

Work 01865 722106
Fax 01865 201012
155710 Oxford 13

Daff Richardson

Work 01865 813647
Penningtons Manches 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).

London: Public sector

Education: institutions

Within: Education: institutions

Penningtons Manches LLP offers 'practical, high-quality advice' and is 'sensitive to the needs and issues of higher education', according to clients. It assists a host of UK, international and alternative providers of higher education, including with immigration issues. Hilary Aldred, who provides 'no-nonsense, practical advice', and Daff Richardson, who has a focus on disputes in this sector, co-head the department. Other noted team members include Pat Saini and Alison Talbot. Aldred leads a team that is advising Florida State University on all its UK employment matters, and in other work it is advising the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance regarding a claim from a disabled student in respect of allegations regarding his fitness to study and practice.

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South East: Human resources

Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

Within: Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

Penningtons Manches LLP is experienced in the education, life sciences and technology sectors, counting Merton College, Oxford Nanopore Technologies and IVI UK as clients. Daff Richardson and Eugene Wojciechowski are the key partners servicing the Thames Valley market out of the firm’s Oxford and Reading offices respectively. Richardson co-leads the firm’s education practice, with clients in this field including higher education institutions, independent schools and charities. Richardson also has specialisms in data protection, strategic reorganisations and severance arrangements for senior executives and academics. Wojciechowski advised M20 Property Group on all employment and pension-related matters in respect of the client’s preparation to sell a portfolio of properties across the UK, and successfully defended One Housing Group against claims for unfair constructive dismissal, breach of contract and discrimination. Senior associate Duncan Bain  is noted for his specialist expertise around the crossover between employment and immigration; he is assisting Ocado on an ongoing basis with cases where employees’ and job candidates’ rights to work are brought into question. Bill Smith is well versed in corporate-related work, especially transactions involving university spin-out companies.

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South East: Public sector


Within: Leading individuals

Daff Richardson - Penningtons Manches LLP

Within: Education

Penningtons Manches LLP provides 'an excellent level of service and responsiveness, and good value for money'. The practice handles the full range of work across the higher education sector, from advising education institutions on QAA and ISI compliance and withdrawal of accreditation, to advising early-stage university spin-out companies on technology transfer and licensing agreements with parent institutions. Other areas of expertise include employment, data protection (including GDPR), and the growing sector of alternative providers of higher education. Recent highlights include advising EdTech company Classlist on a £500,000 fundraising, and acting for St Peter's College, Oxford on its £4.1m acquisition of three buildings adjacent to the college. Practice head Daff Richardson is 'incisive, professional and very responsive'; her track record in the higher education sector reassures clients, who value her 'knowledge of the key people, awareness of the history or politics behind a particular problem area, and detailed understanding of the statutes and bylaws'. Alison Talbot has 19 years' experience in charities law and governance and is also highly recommended.

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