Richard Sykes > Mills & Reeve LLP > Birmingham, England > Lawyer Profile

Mills & Reeve LLP
B3 2AB

Work Department

Public law and regulatory team.


Richard is a barrister who has specialised in education law since 2001. His work covers litigation and governance matters including freedom of information and personal data. He is recognised for his work for HE and FE clients in disability discrimination and equality issues, under 18s, fitness to practise and other regulatory issues and judicial review. He also advises qualification bodies on their relationships with their regulators and equality issues.


Trained Tindal Chambers and Trinity Chambers, Chelmsford; called to Bar 1997; partner equivalent Mills & Reeve 2008.


Durham Johnston Comprehensive; Netherhall Comprehensive Cambridge; Hills Road VIth Form College Cambridge; College of St Hild and St Bede, Durham University.

Lawyer Rankings

London > Public sector > Education: institutions

The multi-disciplinary team at Mills & Reeve LLP has ‘unrivalled expertise in higher education’ and is led by the ‘strikingly good‘ Gary Attle. The team is handling highly complex and often high-value matters related to freedom of speech, counter-terrorism and academic freedom, among other issues, for an impressive roster of clients, which includes Russell Group institutions. Richard Sykes, who splits his time between Birmingham and Manchester, leads the specialist education team and has particular expertise in data protection legislation. Among the other core members of the group are Sarah Seed, who is recommended for her expertise in working with charitable bodies; employment lawyers Nick Abbott and Nicola Brown; and real estate lawyer Christian Bull, who advises higher education bodies on property matters.

London > Public sector > Administrative and public law

The healthcare and higher education sectors are points of strength for the public law practice at Mills & Reeve LLP. Key NHS bodies (including a significant proportion of clinical commissioning groups) and universities comprise the bulk of the client roster, with regular mandates involving the defence of judicial review applications. Recent matters involved defending challenges to policy and regulatory changes, claims of negligence and procurement challenges. Advisory work typically involves handling policy and regulatory changes with an emphasis on risk mitigation. Richard Sykes handles judicial review, Freedom of Information and data protection matters.