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Mills & Reeve LLP

Work 0344 880 2666
707290 BIRMINGHAM 65

Richard Sykes

Work 0121 456 8436
Mills & Reeve LLP

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.

London: Public sector

Administrative and public law

Within: Administrative and public law

With an established track record in the healthcare and education sectors, Mills & Reeve LLP represents clinical commissioning groups and educational establishments in an array of work. It acted for a NHS Clinical Commissioning Group ("CCG") that was challenged on a funding matter. The team managed to have the client removed as a co-defendant but remain an interested party. It is also advising NHS Corby CCG on a number of matters relating to the Corby Urgent Care Centre involving two judicial reviews regarding a procurement matter and the potential closure of the centre. Richard Sykes in Birmingham is the team head and other key practitioners are  Gary Attle  in Cambridge and  Molly Sanghera in Birmingham.

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Education: institutions

Within: Education: institutions

Mills & Reeve LLP is highlighted for its 'quick response times and very good sector knowledge that is then backed up by specialist lawyers'. A substantial multi-disciplinary team undertakes diverse domestic and international work. Gary Attle, the team leader, has expertise in higher education legislation, governance and data protection. He advised Queen Mary University of London on a freedom of information matter relating to a large-scale clinical trial. The team also advised a number of universities on student disciplinary matters involving issues of potential criminal misconduct, sexual harassment and hate crimes. In other work, it assisted the University of Cambridge in setting up its Cambridge India Research Foundation. Other key members of the group include Richard Sykes, who specialises in contentious matters and is advising an education client regarding a student with a criminal conviction; Christian Bull, who assists universities and colleges with property-related matters; and financing expert Sarah Seed, who is noted as 'an industry expert for re-financing and raising corporate bonds'.

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Education: schools

Within: Education: schools

At Mills & Reeve LLP, a substantial multi-disciplinary team handles diverse domestic and international work. Practice head Stuart Pemble advises the Academies Enterprise Trust on all aspects of its operations, ranging from safeguarding to commercial contracts, and Gary Attle, the education sector head, has expertise in higher education legislation, governance and data protection. Other key members of the group include Richard Sykes; Christian Bull, who advises on real estate matters; and Nick Abbott, who has a focus on employment cases.

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West Midlands: Public sector


Within: Education

Mills & Reeve LLP has a strong reputation in handling employment, administrative, commercial and real estate matters, with clients that include Aston University, Birmingham City University and Coventry University. Employment specialist Nick Abbot heads the practice and recently advised Aylesbury College on its merger with Amersham & Wycombe College to become the Buckinghamshire Colleges Group. Public and administrative law specialist Richard Sykes is known for his ‘very impressive technical expertise in HE legal issues’ and advised Nottingham Trent University on its compliance with GDPR. Real estate specialist Christian Bull advised The University of Birmingham on its new exhibition venue at the Municipal Bank building in Birmingham. Associate Robbie Turner is also experienced in property matters. Construction specialist Stuart Pemble has ‘an acute concern to do the best for his clients while still being commercially pragmatic’. Tim Winn advised University of Nottingham on renewing its agreements with veterinary hospitals, zoos and placement providers. Helen Tringham  focuses on non-contentious matters and is ‘an extremely competent lawyer’ with 'an articulate and objective analysis on issues’.

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