Jane Byford > VWV > Birmingham, England > Lawyer Profile

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Work Department





With over 20 years’ experience of advising employers on all aspects of employment law, Jane specialises in complex employment litigation, particularly discrimination issues and advising on strategic HR projects, including redundancies and restructurings, mergers and collaborations, and senior recruitments and terminations. She advises commercial and charity clients but has developed a special interest and expertise in advising universities and FE colleges on employment issues.

Meeting Your Needs

Jane is commended for her practical, no nonsense approach and her experience means that she can guide employers through the most sensitive and complex employment and HR issues providing solutions that really work on the ground.

What Others Say

Chambers & Partners says that “Jane is highly regarded for her in-depth knowledge of the education sector and for her skills as a litigator. She is applauded for her wise and practical approach, with one source commenting: ‘She would never simply say what you want to hear; she deals sensitively and with emotional intelligence in an area where understanding people is vital.”

“She is easy to work with and has in-depth knowledge.”  Chambers & Partners client quote
“I find Jane very approachable and she explains the legal side in everyday language. (…) her support and advice is invaluable.” Claire Owen, HR Director, Birmingham Royal Ballet

“Best in class support, advice and representation at all levels and stages.” Cathy Abu, University of Bedfordshire


Jane is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.

Lawyer Rankings

West Midlands > Employment > Employment

Jane Byford  and Kathy Halliday co-head the department at VWV, which focuses on three key sectors namely education and charities as well as helping its strong commercial client base on a whole host of employment matters. Byford has a wealth of experience of advising universities and FE colleges on employment and HR issues. Halliday is well-regarded for her advice on change management projects and on complex employment litigation.

West Midlands > Public sector > Education

A team with a ‘broad range of experience’, VWV‘s education practice covers a diverse range of fields, from corporate and IP issues in education, to advising schools and universities on governance and regulatory matters. ‘Really knowledgeable’ practice head Jane Byford has vast experience of handling matters for universities and colleges, with a notable specialism in employment litigation. Kathy Halliday routinely advises both independent schools and academy trusts, among others, while Sarah Webb addresses IP issues within the education sector. Jaime Hobday further strengthens the practice with particular expertise in charity governance. Morag Roddick joined the practice from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in September 2022.

London > Public sector > Education: institutions

The multidisciplinary education practice at VWV is well-regarded for its expertise in contentious matters, having represented universities across the country in employment tribunal claims, data breach claims, issues related to student accommodation, and internal disciplinary investigations. Birmingham-based practice head Jane Byford has advised a wide array of clients on the contentious and non-contentious aspects of employment and HR law, and London lawyer Bob Fahy is a further trusted contact for work related to industrial relations. On the non-contentious side, the practice also actively advises on procurement matters in connection with high-value commercial initiatives and construction projects. Birmingham-based corporate expert Morag Roddick, who joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in September 2022, and Bristol-based corporate student relations lawyer Kris Robbetts extend the practice’s offering into the regulatory compliance space and regularly provide advice on important university governance issues.