Ane Vernon > Payne Hicks Beach LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Payne Hicks Beach LLP

Work Department

Dispute Resolution/Education - Students, Schools & Higher Education


An experienced litigator in a broad range of areas of law, Ane Vernon specialises in disputes arising in the commercial, education and regulatory sector, including safeguarding. Ane leads the Payne Hicks Beach education and public law team. She is proud of longstanding relationships with her clients whom she advises on a wide range of issues, often with a view to averting potential claims or defending existing claims.

Ane regularly represents clients in high value and multi-party litigation in the High Court, including contractual/commercial and corporate cases.

She has significant experience representing students and their parents facing exclusions or suspensions and is accustomed to handling the many sensitive issues that arise out of claims of misconduct, whether this is the victim or the person facing the allegations. Schools and institutional clients also regularly turn to Ane for advice in relation to their policies, byelaws and regulations, and in connection with membership examinations, disciplinary matters, complaints and appeals.

Understanding that litigation is not always the route best suited to achieve her clients’ objectives, Ane has an exceptional track record of careful strategic planning which leads to workable solutions for her clients. She is both experienced in taking litigation to trial and in obtaining favourable commercial outcomes through alternative forms of dispute resolution such as mediation. A skilled and efficient case manager, clients value her sound and practical legal advice and her empathy when helping them deal with the difficult and sensitive issues that can arise during disputes.

Ane has successfully represented clients in judicial review applications acting for both claimants and defendants. The decision in The London Oratory School’s claim against the Schools Adjudicator and the Secretary of State for Education attracted national media coverage and widespread public debate concerning faith schools in the UK. More recently she was involved in the judicial review challenge of the government’s decision to terminate the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.


Ane joined Payne Hicks Beach in 2001 and qualified in 2003. She was promoted to senior associate in 2009 and partner in 2019.


Ane is fluent in German and Danish. 


Ane is a member of the International Young Lawyers Association AIJA and the London Solicitors Litigation Association. 

Lawyer Rankings

London > Private client > Contentious trusts and probate

(Next Generation Partners)

Ane VernonPayne Hicks Beach LLP

Headed by Richard Manyon, who is described as a ‘doyen of private client litigation’, Payne Hicks Beach LLP has a ‘dynamic and clever team who deals with very high-profile litigation with real experience and expertise in this area.’ Its roots lie in traditional chancery work and advising on disputes affecting some of the oldest and largest landed estates and domestic trusts. It has expanded into the international sphere and is now also a global contentious practice. Another core area of focus is advising on trusts in the context of divorce proceedings. Jessica Henson has a ‘very good reputation in the market’ for her work running the gamut of private wealth disputes. Rosamond McDowell is currently advising on several substantial pieces of trusts and estates litigation. Ane Vernon is an experienced litigator, while Emma Harris is a newly promoted partner. It also boasts an excellent stable of ‘meticulous and hardworking associates.’ Charlotte Henshall is a talented senior associate.

London > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market

The ‘innovative and dynamic team‘ at Payne Hicks Beach LLP handles disputes concerning finance (including financial services), commercial issues, fraud, insolvency, and professional negligence. The team is also instructed in company-related disputes, such as unfair prejudice claims. In addition to acting in media sector litigation, dispute resolution department head Dominic Crossley advises educational and sporting institutions, politicians, public sector bodies, and entrepreneurs; and Lucas Mooreidentifies the quickest possible route to the solution‘. Providing further partner-level support are experienced commercial litigators Georgina BayleyAne Vernon and Paul Dorrans.

London > Public sector > Education: individuals

The education practice at Payne Hicks Beach LLP specializes in acting for individuals in disciplinary procedures, investigations, and contested exclusions related to sexual and academic misconduct, breaches of academic code, and immigration issues. The team is also well-versed in acting for students contesting university and school grading procedures, especially in light of academic complications caused by COVID-19, and frequently advises neurodiverse clients on issues surrounding lacking educational provisions and disability discrimination. Dispute resolution expert Ane Vernon leads the practice and is well-versed in issues surrounding school and university admissions, exclusions, and examinations. Henry Watkinson, who joined the firm from Blake Morgan in 2022, advises clients facing criminal allegations in educational settings.