The Manchester-based firm`s clients at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP include a number of higher education providers, as well as training providers and private educational institutions. The team handles employment and immigration issues as well as student affairs and covers contentious and non-contentious work. Recent areas of interest include issues of sexual harassment and misconduct, cybersecurity, student housing, and academic freedom. Practice Manager Diane Gilhooley is a highly respected education and employment expert. Robert Gray is an expert on employment and governance issues, while Simon Chamberlain regularly oversees construction projects. Siân Jones-Davies, Senior Partner, specializes in regulatory affairs and student matters. “Great expertise and industry knowledge in education, impressive customer base, decent education law shop. Understand our trust very well, take the time to listen and understand any problem. “The legal team worked well together to meet our needs in a timely manner. There is a good use of Teams meetings to have conversations with multiple people at once, which is helpful. Our conference with the lawyer worked well that way.
“Extensive and detailed knowledge and experience in the team. A one-stop shop for all educational/charitable matters. Quick response to any problems and always ready to help or recommend to anyone who can. “James Betts – one of the UK`s top education lawyers. I recommend it to anyone who wants a lawyer. It is very efficient and well organized; has excellent legal skills; and is very good at getting a practical result with the law. “The outstanding partner I would mention is definitely Ben Wood. He responds very quickly to legal requests by e-mail. He is very easy to reach by phone. It is readily available on the virtual platform.
“The educational practice leaders at Browne Jacobson, particularly Mark Blois and Nick MacKenzie, are fully committed to the education sector, and their moral purpose guides their legal advice and practice.” Moore Barlow advises independent schools on a variety of issues, including mental health issues, union affairs and anti-vaccination protests. Joanna Lada-Walicki advises on complex employment and pastoral issues, including issues related to bullying, sexual misconduct and allegations of abuse. Ben Collingwood advises on SEN, the protection and personal data of children. Gordon Reid has a particular focus on the charitable aspect of education law, including governance, public services and reporting serious incidents to the Charities Commission. Adam McRae-Taylor, partner, advises on security and pastoral issues. “Polly Sweeney never disappointed. That`s all you expect from a litigator. She knows when to advise to mediate or leave, and she knows when to give everything to fight for her clients` rights.
The most persevering, intelligent and strategic litigator I have ever used. She is also kind, gentle and full of empathy. Butter and butter money. Everything you expect from a legal representative when your child`s educational rights are challenged. Their knowledge of the education system and the legal rights of the child is beyond reproach. I feel extremely fortunate to have Polly Sweeney as the person I fight too often for my child`s needs. “Irwin Mitchell`s education team provides excellent support to families throughout the SENDIST nomination process. It is one of the few companies that I am sure will take the necessary steps behind the scenes before a hearing without having to be questioned or approved. These cases involve a lot of customer management, and I`ve found that the team works very well with clients throughout the process. 39 Essex Chambers stands out for its “excellent” educational offering. On the silk side, Fenella Morris KC`s workload includes advice on challenges to degrees awarded, denial of admission and negligence, and violation of university contact claims. Recent work includes Steve Broach and Jack Anderson in R (L, M, P) v Devon County Council, a case dealing with whether there is a firm deadline for local authorities to complete the review of EHCP.
“Not only is the North West team incredibly knowledgeable and confident in seeking advice, they are also practical and have a solid understanding of the education sector. Their advice is well structured, shows an understanding of the impact on the work environment and is always provided in a friendly, timely and professional manner. “Ella Westby – quick processing of work, reasonable and practical advice, good with third parties, astute and not lacking much, growing and detailed technical knowledge on matters related to ecclesiastical schools in relation to academic conversions and land issues. Ian Blaney – calm, practical and experienced, providing meticulously sought after legal advice, even on complex land matters. You have to trust him. “Excellent partnership with a wide range of specializations.