Mr Chris Billington > Wrigleys Solicitors LLP > Leeds, England > Lawyer Profile

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

Living Wage

Work Department

Education and Charities




Chris has over 25 years’ experience of advising schools, colleges and academies, and other charities and social enterprises on a wide range of issues including governance, collaborations and partnerships, funding and service level agreements, Freedom of Information and employment matters, including staff transfers under TUPE.

Trustee and Pro Bono Work – Chris is an academy governor at an outstanding secondary school, trustee of a local regeneration charity and a committee member of West Yorkshire Pro Help, which is part of Business in the Community, partnering free professional advice with voluntary and community groups. He was formerly chair of trustees of a large academy chain.

Charities – Chris’ work with charities covers incorporations and registrations, advice on legal structures, governance arrangements and group structures, including charity trading and trading subsidiaries and joint ventures.  Recent advice includes establishing an innovative group structure for a community owned renewable energy project supported by a local authority, local regeneration charity and community residents allowing for community capital and bank borrowings.

He has provided preliminary advice on the feasibility of the transfer of music and property management services from local authorities to charity and social enterprise structures and has advised on a number of projects involving Community Asset Transfers from local authorities to community groups.

Chris worked with the South Gloucestershire Leisure Trust on its externalisation from the Council, advising on the memorandum and articles of association of the charitable company limited by guarantee, including future participation in the governance arrangements of the charity by the Council. Chris also advised on the Transfer Agreement as well as the Funding Agreement and Service Level Agreement which continues to form the basis of the relationship between the Leisure Trust and the Council.

Academies – Chris leads Wrigleys Education Team on governance and contract matters and has assisted in over 450 academy and free school projects, establishing Wrigleys as one of the leading legal specialists working with academies.  In recognition of our work Wrigleys was invited to work with the Department for Education as part of their solicitors’ workshop, providing feedback on policy development relating to the template legal documents used by the Department with academy conversions.  Chris advises on all governance aspects of the conversion to academy status, including training to governors on their roles and responsibilities and on all contract documentation, including PFI arrangements and the Commercial Transfer Agreement.  Recent advice includes work on the merger of an existing PFI academy into a multi academy trust and establishing trading subsidiaries and school companies in compliance with school company regulations and the Charities Acts and Companies Acts.

Chris also advises on commercial contracts and arrangements for schools including Service Level Agreements, collaborations and partnerships.  Recent advice includes structures and governance arrangements relating to Teaching School alliances and funding agreements for Early Years Education and Children’s Centres.

Employment – Chris also advises on employment matters, including TUPE arising in relation to the transfer of staff in the work outlined above.  His work includes drafting contracts of employment, policies and procedures and dealing with discipline and grievance issues and termination including negotiating severance agreements.


  • Charity Law Association
  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Education Law Association

Lawyer Rankings

Yorkshire and the Humber > Employment > Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP‘s employment team focuses on the charity sector; clients include faith schools, academies, student unions and integrated care and disability services. Practice head Chris Billington and Sue King handle contentious and non-contentious work including sensitive senior exits, HR governance issues, TUPE, employee restructurings, grievance procedures and Employment Tribunal claims. The team also acts for rural employers, landed estates and family-owned businesses.

Yorkshire and the Humber > Public sector > Education

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP has a well-rounded education practice with experience and expertise in working with local authority schools, academies, independent schools and with further and higher education institutions. Advising on a wide range of legal issues, such as academy conversions and transfers, complex education issues, employment litigation, reputation management and more, the team around Chris Billington has a particular strength in faith schools and academies being retained by the Diocese of Sheffield for education work. An additional specialism is charity advice for schools, advising school trustees on their education and charity law position.