Next Generation Partners

Education: schools in London

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP provides ‘exceptional advice and guidance‘ to schools and academy trusts and is active on the full range of education matters, including safeguarding, data protection, Ofsted inspection challenges, responses to industrial action, and parental complaints. The team is particularly well-regarded for its close relationships with many of the country’s largest multi-academy trusts, who frequently instruct the team to provide corporate advice in the context of restructuring, academy conversion, and governance matters. The team comprises multidisciplinary specialists across the UK and is led by Nottingham-based lawyer Mark Blois, who handles a wide array of governance matters and is also highly recommended for his ability to provide advice on new DfE guidelines surrounding employment and safeguarding issues. Other key contacts in the team include the Exeter-based Julia Green, who is reputed for her expertise in academy conversions, Birmingham lawyers Richard Freeth and Philip Wood, who are key contacts for pastoral and admissions issues, and Nottingham-based Ofsted inspections expert Katie Michelon. In London, Charlotte Antoniou is noted for her close relations with academy trusts and her ability to handle restructuring matters and parental complaints.

Responsables de la pratique:

Mark Blois


Autres avocats clés:

Julia Green; Richard Freeth; Kate Michelon; Nick Mackenzie; Charlotte Antoniou; Dai Durbridge; Philip Wood


Les références

‘The education team at Browne Jacobson offers exceptional advice and guidance to the sector, both in terms of paid legal advice and the pro bono support they provide to help build sector capacity.’

‘Mark Blois, partner and head of the education practice, is exceptional. He is a national leader of governance, a disability champion, and a highly valued colleague. Nick Mackenzie is also a wonderful colleague – always on the other end of a telephone, he always offers caring, compassionate and astute advice.’

‘We value the confidence of knowing we can be open and honest about any areas of concern we have. We work very closely with Mark Blois, who is our point of contact, and Katie Michelon. Both offer added value through providing insight into sector challenges and opportunities without compromising relationships with other clients.’

Principaux clients

Accord Multi Academy Trust


Achievement Through Collaboration Trust


An Daras Multi Academy Trust


Ansford Academy Trust


Arthur Terry Learning Partnership


Aspire Education Trust


Bath & Wells Diocesan Academy Trust


Beckfoot Trust


Believe Academy Trust


Blessed Edward Bamber Catholic Multi Academy Trust


Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College


Bright Futures Educational Trust


Brooke Weston Trust


Central RSA Academies Trust


Champion Education Trust


Changing Lives Learning Trust


Cheshire Academies Trust


Chiltern Learning Trust


Principaux dossiers


Farrer & Co

As a ‘leading light in the field of education and schools‘, Farrer & Co works with a diverse client base that encompasses independent schools and associations and offers ‘pioneering guidance in areas such as safeguarding and EDI‘. In addition to its widely recognised safeguarding expertise, the team is also well-equipped to handle cross-border commercial matters, with lawyers regularly advising on partnerships and school openings, mergers, and trade marks. Increasingly, the firm also assists clients with their attempts to challenge the results of ISI and Ofsted inspections. Practice head Jonathan Eley often advises on high-profile employment matters, including strike action and crisis management, and frequently works with vastly experienced safeguarding specialist David Smellie, employment lawyer Alice Yandle, and former barrister Katie Fudakowski to handle complex safeguarding, SEN, and equality issues. Sam Macdonald continues to be a highly recommended specialist for restructuring and governance matters, and Paul Jones is a key contact for commerical contracts and partnerships. Maria Strauss is particularly noted for her expertise in safeguarding investigations.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jonathan Eley


Autres avocats clés:

David Smellie; Sam Macdonald; Alice Yandle; Katie Fudakowski; Paul Jones; Maria Strauss


Les références

‘Our counsel at Farrers understand the unique needs and culture of our school in a way that is unlike any other legal firm I have worked with. They are highly responsive and can be relied upon to give timely, thorough and helpful advice. Their knowledge of safeguarding issues in education is second to none.’

‘Katie Fudakowski is a fountain of knowledge, especially as it pertains to safeguarding issues in education. When we work with her, we feel that we are in very good hands and that we are getting top-of-the-line legal advice.’

‘Their depth of knowledge is unparalleled and the overall quality of their team is consistently impressive. Their special expertise in safeguarding matters is hugely valued.’

Principaux clients

Alleyn’s School


Alpha Plus Group


Benenden School


Bryanston School


Charterhouse


Cognita


Danes Hill School


Downe House


Dulwich Prep School


Eton College


Grey Coat Hospital


Hampton School


Harrow School


Highgate School


Independent Schools’ Bursars Association


King’s College school Wimbledon


Latymer Upper School


Magdalen College School


Manchester Grammar School


Marlborough College


Methodist Independent Schools Trust


Nottingham High School


Shrewsbury School


St Catherine’s School Bramley


St George’s College Weybridge


St Mary’s School Ascot


St Paul’s Girls School


St Paul’s School


The Bury Grammar Schools


The Mill Hill School Foundation


The Perse School


Tonbridge School


Uppingham School


Wellington College


Westminster School


Winchester College


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised Shrewsbury School on its collaboration with Tutor Impact for the opening and operation of a new, premium international boarding school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  • Advised City of London Freeman’s School on an agreement with international partner schools for the delivery of the School’s virtual GCSE and A-Level programme.
  • Advised the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association (ISBA) on the drafting and annual updating of the ISBA Model Parent Contract, which is used by independent schools across the UK and which is widely regarded as the model for best practice in the industry.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Harrison Clark Rickerbys stands out for its relationships with schools and governing bodies such as the Independent Schools Bursars’ Association, who instruct the firm’s ‘high-performing and experienced’ education team to advise on a wide range of matters, including safeguarding issues, strikes, pensions, and new and emerging DfE guidelines. The firm also regularly handles corporate and governance issues related to mergers and school acquisitions, and it is well-equipped to provide strategic guidance on issues related to employment and charity law. Practice head and safeguarding Kristine Scott is based in Cheltenham and maintains close relations with a many of the firm’s governing body clients. Also in Cheltenham, Rachel Parkin and Oliver Daniels are recommended for their experience handling employment issues and their advice on teachers’ strikes, while real estate expert Morgan West is a key contact for land sales and purchases as well as academy conversions.

Responsables de la pratique:

Kristine Scott


Autres avocats clés:

Rachel Parkin; Oliver Daniels; Morgan West


Les références

‘Professional, effective and efficient.’

‘The Education team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys is a high performing and experience team of partners and associates who are market leaders in their sector. They provide a comprehensive and ‘one stop’ option for busy clients who require timely and pragmatic advice to complex issues.’

‘Kristine Scott is outstanding, recognised nationally by schools and various professional associations as the ‘go to’ person for advice and support. Despite running the busy Cheltenham office and heading up the education practice, she makes herself personally available to clients in order to provide boards and schools with the best support possible.’

Principaux clients

Canford School


Cheltenham College


Cheltenham Ladies College


Headington School


Holy Cross Preparatory


Independent Schools’ Council


St Dunstan’s College


St Mary’s School Ascot


St Peter’s York


Stamford Endowed Schools


Stowe School


The Independent Schools’ Bursars Association


The Royal Masonic School for Girls


Uppingham School


Wellingborough School


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised the Independent Schools Bursars’ Association (ISBA) on significant issues for the education sector.
  • Advised the Headington School (Oxford) on September 2022 updates to school guidelines, which formed part of the school’s inspection evidence when inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.
  • Advised St Edward’s School, Cheltenham on a proposed sale or merger by helping to find them a buyer or merging partner as well as providing the legal advice on the actual sale or merger.

Stone King LLP

Stone King LLP offers its roster of state school, faith school, multi academy trust, and independent school clients across England first-rate advice on admissions policies, especially in connection with safeguarding and equality matters. The team is also active on contracting and commercial issues, having advised on a number of mergers and academy conversions as well as on the establishment of new schools in the UK and abroad. The multidisciplinary team is jointly led by four lawyers based across the UK. Roger Inman, who is based in Cambridge, is a trusted advisor on school governance matters, especially with respect to SEN policies. London-based lawyer Graham Burns is reputed for his work on PFI school conversions and transfers, while Tom Morrison, who practices from Bath, is a safeguarding expert, and Leeds further education specialist Tom Morrison advises MATs on their governance and structuring policies. The practice heads are further supported by London-based lawyers Laura Berman, an admissions and safeguarding specialist, Lee Coley, who maintains close relations with a number of faith schools, and Stephen Ravenscroft, who is trusted to handle mergers and academy conversions.

Responsables de la pratique:

Roger Inman; Graham Burns; Helen Tucker; Tom Morrison


Autres avocats clés:

Laura Berman; Lee Coley; Stephen Ravenscroft


Principaux clients

Ark


Astrea Academy Trust


Future Academies


Greenshaw Learning Trust


Hoddesdon School Trust


Ivy Learning Trust


Leigh Academies Trust


The Kemnals Academy Trust


Oasis Charitable Trust


Middlesex Learning Trust


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised The Kemnals Academies Trust on their admission arrangements to ensure that these are robust and legally secure.
  • Advised a collective group of 55 academy trusts on a successful collective class action which resulted in a major concession by Education Software Solutions and positively affected 70% of the academies in the country who contract with ESS, and which in addition led to a positive intervention by the CMA.
  • Advised Oasis Charitable Trust on the establishment of the UK’s first secure school in Medway.

VWV

The education team at VWV stands out for its strategic and operational expertise and is widely considered a ‘market leader in the independent schools sector’. The team is trusted to assist with high-value projects, including major school acquisitions and sales, restructuring matters, and academy trust formations. Clients also frequently instruct the team, which has strong relationships with major sector organisations and regulators, to advise on regulatory matters in the context of safeguarding and equality issues. Barney Northover, who has advised independent schools on some of the most significant mergers and governance matters in the sector, co-leads the practice from Bristol with Chloe Brunton, who provides advice to academies and MATs on conversions and reorganisations. Also in Bristol, Simon Bevan continues to be highly regarded for his expertise across the spectrum of employment and discrimination matters. Alice Reeve, who divides her time between Bristol and Birmingham, has advised on major safeguarding matters and provided employment advice in the context of industrial action, and London-based lawyer Yvonne Spencer is a key contact for complex regulatory matters involving parental claims and complaints.

Responsables de la pratique:

Barney Northover; Chloe Brunton


Autres avocats clés:

Simon Bevan; Alice Reeve; Yvonne Spencer; Nick Murrell; Sian Champkin


Les références

‘VWV’s team has a broad range of experience, which means that we are confident that any legal query will be dealt with by someone with an understanding of the education sector.’

‘Chloe Brunton is a genuine leader in the sector. She is responsive, empathetic and comes up with solutions rather than focusing on the worst case scenario. Nick Murrell has provided valuable advice on some tricky employment law issues and has a very sensible approach to solving problems.’

‘Good, broad knowledge of all education law.’

Principaux clients

Aurora Academies Trust


Aylesbury Grammar School


Charterhouse School


Cheltenham Ladies’ College


Clifton College


Concept Education


Cranleigh School


Creative Education Trust


E-ACT


Enlighten Learning Trust


Haberdashers’ Aske’s Federation Trust


Harris Federation


JFS School


London Diocesan Board for Schools


Monmouth Schools


Orchard Hill College Academy Trust


Pangbourne College


Rugby School


Sikh Academies Trust


South Bank Academies


The Golden Thread Alliance


The Harpur Trust


The Heart Education Trust


The Skinners Company


The Skinners’ School


Tove Learning Trust


United Learning Trust


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised The Skinners’ Company and its family of schools on the formation of a new multi academy trust.
  • Advised the Moreton Hall Educational Trust on the sale of the school, providing strategic advice and technical advice including charity, corporate, employment, real estate, commercial and regulatory compliance.

Bates Wells

Bates Wells maintains close relationships with a large roster of independent schools and multi-academy trusts, who instruct the team to advise on wide-reaching governance reviews, school reorganisations, and matters related to charity law. The team also regularly handles contentious mandates, including in relation to employment and contracting issues, and assists with a growing number of school mergers and acquisitions. For charity law and governance issues, practice head Jean Tsang, who has extensive experience advising on the establishment of new schools and educational charities, is a key contact. Claire Whittle is highly recommended for her ability to handle regulatory compliance and contentious issues, and Mark Traynor, who provides real estate advice in connection with school mergers and acquisitions, is a further name to note.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jean Tsang


Autres avocats clés:

Claire Whittle; Mark Traynor


Les références

‘The Team immediately understood the organisation and brief, even before we met for the first time. Different members of the team were able to assist with different aspects of our requirement, and it felt like each individual was very knowledgeable on our organisation.’

‘We were very ably assisted by Jean Tsang. She always came to each meeting with great energy and knowledge on each topic we discussed.’

Principaux clients

AQA


Brightside Educational Trust


Central Foundation Schools of London


City of London Academies Trust


Dolphin School


HMC – The Heads’ Conference


Holland Park School


Kisharon


Mulberry Schools Trust


Olive Academies


Raine’s School Foundation


Shaftesbury Young People


St. Bede’s Foundation


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised HMC – The Heads’ Conference on a wide-ranging governance and constitutional review to ensure its governance is fit for purpose.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides ‘knowledgeable, professional, and pragmatic advice to a wide range of state and private schools across the full range of education law, with a particular capacity for advising multi-academy trusts on conversions and acquisitions, restructuring matters, and contentious and non-contentious issues in relation to safeguarding and student inclusivity. The team is also well-regarded for its advice on employment matters, having been instructed to advise on industrial actions, restructuring programs, exits from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, and employment tribunal claims. The team is co-led by Diane Gilhooley, who has vast experience handling high-profile education governance and employment matters, and Ben Wood, who regularly handles academy conversions and is also a key contact for contentious student and staff matters. Further key contacts in the team include Nicola Bennison, who has advised on complex safeguarding and admissions issues, and real estate expert Charlotte Tanikal.

Responsables de la pratique:

Diane Gilhooley; Ben Wood


Autres avocats clés:

Nicola Bennison; Charlotte Tanikal; Thomas Pollitt


Les références

‘The flexibility and pragmatic approach stands out.’

‘Ben Woods, our contact partner, is always available via email or at the end of the phone, and offers succinct, practical advice. Ben also has a good sense of when to field a query himself and when to refer a matter for specialist consideration or advice.’

‘We receive an excellent service from the team. We have a main contact who may then refer us to another team member for specialist advice, depending on the topic.’

Principaux clients

ASC International Schools


Batley Multi Academy Trust


Beacon Multi Academy Trust


Beyond Schools Trust


Chelsea Academy


Compass Learning Partnership


Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust


Frontier Learning Trust


Haberdashers’ Aske’s Federation Trust


Jewish Community Academy Trust


LEAD Academy Trust


Nova Education Trust


The Harmony Trust


Trinitas Academy Trust


Twyford Church of England Academies Trust


Windsor Learning Partnership


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised a higher education provider on the establishment of a new Maths School (i.e. a 16-19 academy) where the client acted as sponsor.

Moore Barlow

Moore Barlow is noted for its ability to handle high-value strategic work, with its Guildford-based team offering independent schools and sector associations ‘outstanding and very perceptive advice in connection with school acquisitions and mergers, charity matters, strategic policy and statute reviews, and estate acquisitions and disposals. Under the leadership of Joanna Lada-Walicki, who advises on employment, pensions, and pastoral issues, the practice is also capable of handling a wide range of contentious and non-contentious mandates related to reputationally sensitive terminations of employment, safeguarding issues, and discrimination claims. Ben Collingwood is a further key contact in this space and has advised on complex matters related to students with special educational needs, while Adam McRae-Taylor is noted for providing advice to schools seeking to exit the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. For charity and strategic matters, Gordon Reid is highly recommended.

Responsables de la pratique:

Joanna Lada-Walicki


Autres avocats clés:

Ben Collingwood; Adam McRae-Taylor; Gordon Reid; Olivia Stanton


Les références

‘Customer care is exceptional. The timely response and the knowledge that you are receiving the best available advice is why I would always pick up the phone and call Ben Collingwood if I need legal advice.’

‘Ben Collingwood simplifies complex issues with consummate ease. He is supportive and quite brilliant in his ability to communicate effectively, with the advice I need. Nothing is ever too much and Ben will always make himself available quickly when the need arises. His advice is specific and totally reliable.’

‘Their knowledge of independent sector education matters is first-rate.’

Principaux clients

All Hallows School


Alton School


Badminton School


Ballard School


Bede’s School


Brambletye School


Charterhouse


Effingham Schools Trust


Forest School


Girls’ Day School Trust


Hurstpierpoint School


King Edward’s School


King’s House School


Leighton Park School


Manor House School


Our Lady of Sion School


Royal Russell School


Seaford College


St Albans High School for Girls


The Study Preparatory School


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised Royal Russell School on the acquisition of St David’s School.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP

In addition to its well-established reputation for advising faith schools, Winckworth Sherwood LLP is capable of assisting with religious and non-religious MAT establishments, site acquisitions and disposals, employment litigations and tribunal claims, and issues surrounding parental complaints, particularly in relation to sensitive teaching materials. The practice is led by Andrea Squires, who has advised on academy conversions and is also regarded as a key contact for advice on religious matters in schools. Squires often works alongside Aida Smajlovic, who is regarded as ‘the shining example of an employment lawyer in the education sector‘, in advising on industrial action, reputationally sensitive staff issues, and payment disputes. Theresa Kerr is a key contact for advising on parent issues, especially in relation to religious freedoms as well as safeguarding and exclusion matters,

Responsables de la pratique:

Andrea Squires


Autres avocats clés:

Theresa Kerr; Aida Smaljovic; Anna Shadbolt


Les références

‘Aida Smajlovic specialises in respondent employment work for schools and other educational institutions. The team are the go-to experts for any client within the education sector looking for legal advice.’

‘Aida Smajlovic is the shining example of an employment lawyer in the education sector. There is nothing she doesn’t know in terms of employment law, and she is also tactically very good. She is excellent. Harry Brown is also a rising star. Both are a safe pair of hands.’

‘Andrea Squires is excellent. Calm, thorough, knowledgeable, approachable’

Principaux clients

All Saints Catholic School


Caterham School


Department for Education


Department for Education


Diocese of Hallam


Dudley College


East Barnet School


Future Academies


Governing Body of St Paul’s CofE VA Primary and Nursery School


Kent County Council


LocatED


London Borough of Brent


London Borough of Enfield


London Borough of Hillingdon


London Borough of Southwark


Multi Academy Trust


Newham Community Learning


St Francis and St Clare CMATs


St Joseph’s Catholic Academy Trust


Tenterden Schools Trust


Text Help Limited


The Church of England Education Office


The Disabilities Trust


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised the Archdiocese of Liverpool and St Joseph Catholic MAT, a “turnaround” MAT, on its establishment and on the first waves of schools joining the MAT.
  • Advised the Church of England on a range of legal matters, including site ownership, capital programmes, funding questions, legislation, HR and employment.
  • Advised the Department for Education on matters related to PFI and schools with a religious character, including on the complexities involved for schools with site trustees on the development of new model documents and guidance for schools, diocesan authorities and local authorities.

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans' education practice is well-versed in charity and governance matters and maintains a client roster that includes a number of independent school as well as organisations such as the Independent Schools Inspectorate. The team is regularly instructed to provide advice on regulatory compliance matters and also advises on governance and regulation statutes. The team is led by Penny Chapman, who is regarded as a key contact for governance advice and also regularly assists schools with the establishment of educational charities. Nicholas Le Riche extends the team's offering into employment advice and is capable of handling both contentious and non-contentious staffing and disciplinary matters. Real estate lawyer Jonathan Fewster is also recommended for his ability to handle school site acquisitions and disposals.

Responsables de la pratique:

Penny Chapman


Autres avocats clés:

Jonathan Fewster; Nicholas Le Riche; Alice Unwin; Kate Parkinson


Principaux clients

Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools


Beechwood Park School


Bolton School


Independent Schools Bursars Association


Independent Schools Inspectorate


King Alfred School


Mill Hill School Foundation


Moulsford Preparatory School


The Mount School York


Westminster School


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS) on updating its Template Governance Manual for its member schools.
  • Advised Mill Hill School on the establishment of a separate charitable subsidiary as a bursary fund.
  • Advised Westminster School in relation to subsidiary trading arrangements.

Doyle Clayton

Doyle Clayton excels at handling contentious education work and trusted by independent schools and multi academy trusts across the country to advise on employment and student issues of a reputationally sensitive nature. The team is well-regarded for its expertise in safeguarding and discrimination matters and has represented schools in a number of claims and judicial reviews, and it is also trusted to act on matters related to pensions, industrial relations, and disciplinary procedures. Practice head Simon Henthorn is a 'knowledgeable, calm, and efficient'employment and safeguarding expert who also provides schools with non-contentious governance advice. Amara Ahmad, who specialises in matters related to students with special educational needs, and employment expert Liz Timmins are further names to note.

Responsables de la pratique:

Simon Henthorn


Autres avocats clés:

Peter Daly; Liz Timmins; Amara Ahmad


Les références

A highly competent and personable team of experts who have given our school timely, detailed and helpful advice.’

‘The team have made an effort to get to know our school and our team very well’

‘I find Doyle Clayton to be extremely responsive and Simon Henthorn in particular to be knowledgeable, calm, efficient and overall simply excellent to work with.’

Principaux dossiers


Lee Bolton Monier-Williams

Lee Bolton Monier-Williams is well-known for its ability to advise numerous schools and Diocesan Boards of Education on all educational undertakings. The practice places particular emphasis on school property transactions, having advised on complex site transfers, and is also regularly instructed to advise on a range of charity law issues, especially in connection with the establishment of new educational charities. Practice head Howard Dellar acts for numerous charities and multi-academy trusts and has a strong record of advising on academy conversions, and Ian Blaney is a key contact for Church of England school site acquisitions and land swaps. Khalid Sofi widens the team’s expertise through his ability to advise Muslim charities and schools on governance and strategic issues.

Responsables de la pratique:

Howard Dellar


Autres avocats clés:

Ian Blaney; Khalid Sofi; Susan Newell; Jane Grenfell; David Whittington


Les références

‘All team members at LBMW are extremely efficient, professional and knowledgeable. Advice is always effective and received in a timely manner.’

‘Ian Blaney’s work on academy conversions is exceptional.’

‘An exceptionally professional and personal service. The Team at LBMW take time to understand the client’s needs and have subject-matter experts to suit the different cases. The personal service is extremely valued: Many of the cases are extremely complex, and the Team at LBMW have the skill to translate the issues into jargon-free terminology.’

Principaux clients

Canterbury Diocesan Board of Education


Chichester Diocesan Board of Education


John Whitgift Foundation


Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust


Lincoln Diocesan Board of Education


Oxford Diocesan Board of Education


Salisbury Diocesan Board of education


St Edmundsbury & Ipswich Diocesan Board of Education


Whitgift Foundation


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised Canterbury Diocesan Board of Education on a possible reversion of a school site.
  • Advised Southgate Mosque and Community Centre, a new charity which had acquired a £6.6 m listed property in London to be converted into a community centre and place of worship, on the proposed structure for the charity, preparing the governing document and registering with Charity Commission.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP‘s education team stands out for its ability to advise large independent schools and multi-academy trusts on debt finance transactions, having assisted a number of schools and educational foundations on high-value private placements, and is also well-regarded for its advice on charity law matters as well as employment and safeguarding issues. Charity expert Neil Burton jointly leads the national education practice with Gary Attle and Martin Priestley. For financial matters, Sarah Seed is a key contact, while Richard Sykes is well-regarded for his understanding of sensitive student matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Gary Attle; Martin Priestley; Neil Burton


Autres avocats clés:

Sarah Seed; Richard Sykes; Alex Russell


Les références

‘Great and always reliable team with broad legal expertise.’

‘Alex Russell understands us. Excellent, reliable employment advice, offering flexibility whenever he is able to do so.’

Principaux clients

Academies Enterprise Trust


Christ’s Hospital


Dragon School


Harrow School


John Whitgift Foundation


North London Collegiate


Norwich School


St Dunstan’s School


United Westminster and Grey Coat Foundation


Wellington College


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised Dragon School on its first ever private placement of debt securities and the refinancing of its existing bank facilities.
  • Advised John Whitgift Foundation on its first ever private placement of debt securities, and the structuring of the debt facilities.
  • Advised St Dunstan’s College, an independent school located in south London, on a range of charity & wider matters.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s team of independent school specialists is well-regarded for its advice on employment, safeguarding, and governance issues, with a notable record of advising on employee compensation and pension matters as well as sensitive student and staff disciplinary issues. Practice head Gemma Woodhouse, who practices from Reading, is particularly noted for her understanding of matters related to students with special educational needs and is also a key contact for discrimination and employment issues. Katie Glendinning is also based in Reading and is recommended for her employment expertise, while London-based lawyer Hazar El-Chamaa provides schools with critical regulatory compliance advice, especially on immigration matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Gemma Woodhouse


Autres avocats clés:

Katie Glendinning; Hazar El-Chamaa


Les références

‘The education team is of genuine exceptional quality.’

‘Gemma Woodhouse is a class act. Excellent knowledge of the law, great with clients, and a wonderful crossover understanding of education/employment/safeguarding. Would unreservedly recommend.’

‘Unique ability to cover both education and employment law, so a stand-out firm for school clients. Really strong team.’

Principaux clients

Arnold Lodge School


Association for the Education and Guardianship of International students


Beaconsfield Educational Trust (Davenies)


Bedford Greenacre Independent School


Brampton College


Cambridge Tutors College


Caversham Preparatory School


Cognita Schools


Crosfields School


Falkner House Preparatory School


Haberdashers’ Aske’s Elstree Schools Limited


Hampstead Hill School


Independent Schools Association


King’s House School


Mander Portman Woodward


Notre Dame Prep School


Prior’s Field School


Reed’s School


Scarisbrick Hall


School’s Enterprise Association


Shrewsbury House School Trust


St John’s College School


St John’s Preparatory School


Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship


The Licensed Trade Charity


The Oratory Schools Association


The Stephen Perse Foundation


Wellington College


Principaux dossiers


  • Acted for The Oratory Schools Association on the disposal of a significant development site to a UK housebuilder.
  • Advised a leading Charity with three Independent Schools on the review of its employment contracts and on the application of legislation to the calculation of holiday.
  • Advised Haberdashers’ Aske’s Schools on complicated disciplinary and grievance issues, with potential safeguarding consequences.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

The education team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP excels at handling governance and real estate work for its client base, which encompasses private schools, academies, charities, and local education authorities. The practice is particularly well-regarded for providing project and real estate advice to the Department for Education on the development of new schools across the country, and it also regularly assists with PFI projects and school constructions in the UK and abroad. Experienced commercial lawyer Amardeep Gill, who is based in Birmingham, co-leads the practice with London-based projects and procurement expert Assad Maqbool. The duo have also led the practice toward an increasingly diverse workload involving school mergers and sales, academy conversions, and corporate contract matters. The team is further bolstered by the expertise of Patrick Morris, a key contact for his advice on educational developments.

Responsables de la pratique:

Assad Maqbool; Amardeep Gill


Autres avocats clés:

Patrick Morris


Principaux clients

Caterham School


Department for Education


Dudley College


Kent County Council


LocatED


London Borough of Brent


London Borough of Enfield


London Borough of Hillingdon


London Borough of Southwark


Text Help Limited


The Disabilities Trust


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised the London Borough of Brent on the conversion of the JFS school to a new academy by reviewing and proposing amendments to the PFI Agreements and other original project documents and by drafting ‘public sector’ interface agreements to enable a new corporate body to replace the existing governing body.
  • Advised Caterham School on a number of different matters, including in relation to the establishment of trading subsidiaries and in relation to a merger with a smaller charity.
  • Acted for the DfE, particularly the department responsible for the development across the country of new build free schools as well as the Priority School Building Project, on the drafting and negotiation of building contracts as well as numerous acquisitions and leases.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP‘s focuses on advising on multi academy trusts as well as organisations such as the Department of Education on the delivery of major school projects and is well-regarded for its ability to handle the property elements of academy conversions, restructuring projects, free school establishments, and PFI contracts. In addition to its wide-reaching project expertise, the team is also capable of advising on governance statutes and contracting matters as well as contentious student and parent issues. The national practice is co-led from Newcastle by Kevin Robertson, who advises on academy conversions and school transfers, and school governance expert Emma Moody. Leeds-based lawyer Nicholas Moss is also recommended for his expertise advising on major trust expansions and academisation projects.

Responsables de la pratique:

Kevin Robertson; Emma Moody


Autres avocats clés:

Nicholas Moss; Peter Cantwell


Les références

‘The Team is professional, energetic, and inspires confidence in all services it provides.’

‘Kevin Robertson and the entire team inspire confidence and are always responsive to need regardless of time or day. I cannot speak highly enough of their work. They have guided us through some very difficult situations and complex issues.’

‘Excellent knowledge and experience across the sector and particularly on complex matters. Take the time to get to know the team, and this really shows. Extremely professional service.’

Principaux clients

Bishop Bewick Catholic Academy Trust


Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust


Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust


Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust


Bradford Girls Grammar School


Department for Education


Eden Learning Trust


Education & Skills Funding Agency


Holley Park Academy


Horizons Specialist Academy Trust


LocatEd


Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School


Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust


Pocklington School


Sewell Education York Limited


Skills for Life Trust, Kent


St Lawrence Education Trust (which operates Ampleforth College and St Martin’s Ampleforth (prep school))


The Constellation Trust


Vision Academy Learning Trust


Waterton Academy Trust, Wakefield


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised the Department for Education and LocatED on the Free School programme and the ongoing refurbishment of the entire UK school and further education estate via the Schools Replacement Programme.
  • Advised multiple academy trusts (including Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust and Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust) on academy conversions across England.
  • Advised St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust on the transfer of 17 academies across York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding as part of the Diocese of Middlesbrough’s schools restructure.

Bevan Brittan LLP

'An exceptional firm with unique expertise', Bevan Brittan LLP is turned to by both local authorities and national government bodies for its capabilities in schools building projects. Practice head Andrew Tobin, Birmingham-based academy conversion specialist Kirtpal Kaur-Aujla, and the 'exceptional' Bristol-based project finance expert Rosemary Jago are the key names to note.

Responsables de la pratique:

Andrew Tobin


Autres avocats clés:

Kirtpal Kaur-Aujla; Rosemary Jago


Les références

Bevan Brittan is an exceptional firm with unique expertise. The key attribute is the ability to understand the level of capability and capacity of the client and respond with the appropriate level of support and advice. The understanding of the sector is second to none and that is crucial to ensure agile and appropriate support.

Rosie Jago is an exceptional lawyer.’

Principaux clients

Department for Education


Flintshire County Council


London Borough of Hackney


Rhondda Cynon Taff Council


Welsh Assembly Government


Principaux dossiers


Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP‘s solid education offering targets both state and private schools as well as sector organisations and spans a range of charity, employment, and governance matters. The practice handles disciplinary investigations as well as serious safeguarding issues and is also active across staff structuring and pension matters, and it is also capable of handling school transfers as well as charity incorporations. Matthew Smith, who has acted in numerous employment tribunal cases, leads the team and often works with Southampton-based employment expert Vicky Schollar on matters with sensitive safeguarding aspects. Cardiff lawyer Trish D'Souza, who joined the team from Capital Law Limited in October 2022, is noted for her governance expertise.

Responsables de la pratique:

Matthew Smith


Autres avocats clés:

Vicky Schollar; Trish D’Souza


Principaux clients

Brighton & Hove City Council


Education Workforce Council


Hamwic Education Trust


Heart of Mercia


Hereford Sixth Form College


King Edward VI School


Portsmouth Grammar School


Solent Academies Trust


St Swithun’s School, Winchester


Teaching Regulation Agency


The Gallery Trust


The Portsmouth Grammar School


University of Chichester Multi-Academy Trust


Winchester Diocesan Board of Finance


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised Launchpad Social Enterprise on general governance matters and provided guidance on the composition of the board of trustees, amending the charity’s Articles of Association, and ad hoc issues.
  • Advised the Education Workforce Council on the drafting and revision of rules and procedures governing their work, including those relating to disciplinary functions and those relating to the assessment of suitability for registration.
  • Advised the Teacher Regulation Authority on disciplinary proceedings against teachers as well as on revisions to rules and procedures.

Sharpe Pritchard LLP

Sharpe Pritchard LLP‘s team regularly advises local councils on PFI academy conversion projects and is also trusted to handle major school construction projects. The team acts for a number of schools and London boroughs across the full academisation process and frequently handles contentious employment and contract issues that occur in the process. The practice is led by procurement and PFI specialist Tim Farr, who regularly works alongside key contact Catherine Newman to advise local government bodies on procurement initiatives for new schools. Employment expert Julie Bann is noted for her ability to advise on the charity and employment aspects of academy conversion projects.

Responsables de la pratique:

Tim Farr


Autres avocats clés:

Catherine Newman; Julie Bann; Justin Mendelle


Les références

‘The main reason I keep coming back to Sharpe Pritchard is the personal service that they provide. They understand our culture and approach to creating and delivering contracts.’

‘Justin Mendelle has a unique ability to explain legal terminology and interpretations. His experience and knowledge is the best.’

Principaux clients

East Sussex County Council


Hammersmith and Fulham Council


Imperial College


John Whitgift Foundation


London Borough of Redbridge


Wakefield Council


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised East Sussex County Council on two PFI conversions relating to complex, multi-school PFI arrangements dating back 20 years.
  • Advised Wakefield Council on the procurement of public health services such as health visiting, early years assistance and school health support, including services delivered in schools.
  • Advised the John Whitgift Foundation on a significant programme of works being carried out at one of its schools, split across three main projects involving the car park, estates department and sixth form centre.

Withers LLP

Withers LLP maintains an in-depth charity law and crisis management offering, which it frequently leverages to advise educational trusts, charities, and foundations on a range of strategic and governance matters. The team is also capable of advising on contentious employment and student issues and regularly acts in school disciplinary proceedings and investigations. Practice head Philip Reed and key contact Chris Priestley both maintain close relationships with a number of independent schools and academy trusts, who instruct the team to advise on governance and fundraising statutes. Emma Flower is also recommended and frequently acts in matters related to student admissions and exclusions.

Responsables de la pratique:

Philip Reed


Autres avocats clés:

Chris Priestley; Emma Flower


Principaux clients

Girls’ Day School Trust