Kris Robbetts > VWV > Bristol, England > Lawyer Profile

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Kris is a specialist education lawyer with more than 10 years’ experience of advising schools, colleges and universities. His cases usually involve pupils, parents, inspectors and regulators and encompass admissions, complaints, exclusions, safeguarding, information sharing, discrimination and the resolution of disputes in contract and negligence.

Working as a resident assistant housemaster in a senior house (Wells Cathedral School, 1999-2001) led to Kris developing an interest and particular specialism in advising independent boarding schools, and he is often instructed to guide Governors and Senior Management teams through critical incidents involving a range of external agencies and generating local and national media interest.

Kris also works with university in-house lawyers on a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate student matters including academic appeals, disciplinary proceedings and formal complaints as well as sub-sector specific issues such as research ethics and clearance, access to disabled students’ allowance/non-medical help and the implementation of the Prevent strategy.

Meeting Your Needs

Having worked in and for the independent sector since 1999, Kris understands the pressures clients are under and the unusual challenges schools and universities can face. The most demanding situations often arise out of hours and access to specialist technical and practical advice at these times can be invaluable.

What You Might Like to Know

Kris has written numerous articles for education sector publications on topics ranging from handling complaints to implementing drugs testing regimes and the impact of social media. In 2005, Kris acted as an Assistant Clerk to a private inquiry chaired by James Townend QC into allegations of historic abuse at a London independent school during the 1970s.

Kris has been an invited speaker at conferences for the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) and in 2009 edited the second edition of Robert Boyd’s Running a School Boarding House. He has also contributed to Professional Development Courses for House staff on behalf of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMCPD), and is currently developing legal content for a HMCPD Pastoral Leadership Qualification to be moderated by the Institute of Education at the University of London.

What Others Say…

“I have total confidence in your advice and professionalism.” – Second Master, HMC Independent School

“Very calm and reassuring as well as expert in his area.” – Principal, GSA Independent School

An intelligent, informed and highly professional speaker.”  – Delegate, BSA Seminar


Kris is a member of the Education Law Association (ELAS) and was a non-executive director and trustee of a youth charity for 10 years.


Prior to embarking on a career in law, Kris achieved first class degrees in Geography (MA, Keble College, Oxford) and Modern Architectural History and Theory (MSc, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) undertaking his graduate studies in London as a British Academy and Bartlett Graduate School Scholar. He obtained his post-graduate diploma in Law with Distinction from Birmingham University Law School, winning the Branthwaite Prize.

Lawyer Rankings

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.