Legal 500 Education East Anglia

“The Winckworth Sherwood team is extremely approachable and has excellent legal knowledge. They offer pragmatic advice in an accessible way. I always feel supported and our collaboration feels like a partnership. If I have a request that requires expert legal advice, the partner or employee I am talking to will consult with a colleague or forward my request to the appropriate team of specialists. “In-depth knowledge of the education sector, including; transformation process of the Academy, documents and contacts; PFI regulations for schools; legislation concerning the operation and responsibilities of schools; land contracts, lease and license management, and procedures for obtaining approval from ESFA, if required. “Aida Smajlovic`s decision is relevant because of her extensive experience in labour law, but her expertise in the industry sets her apart from her competitors. She is a bright light for sound and practical advice for her clients in the education sector, but she is also persistent and hard at supporting the best interests of her clients. “Our main point of contact is Ruth Neave, who has proven to be a great service. She coordinates all our tasks and reports regularly on progress. I have a monthly meeting with her, which is very helpful in checking where the most difficult cases have arrived. Their attitude feeds the lawyers who do the work, who listen carefully to the brief and, in our experience, have provided sound legal advice. SEN Legal is a specialist law firm based in Bury St Edmunds that focuses on special educational needs and disability work in the education sector and works on a variety of issues affecting children in need of support. The team is led by Melinda Nettleton, who is “a long-time leader in the field, very experienced and very competent,” and Hayley Mason, who is “wise beyond her age – tenacious and an unstoppable force.” The Cambridge office of Stone King LLP is a key pillar of the firm`s national network and is known for “the team`s availability and responsiveness, willingness to provide practical advice when areas are grey or unclear, and thoroughness.” The firm has over 30 years of experience advising publicly funded schools and colleges, as well as centuries of experience working for independent schools, founded in 1850.

Education is the company`s largest practice and counts Unity Schools Partnership and West Suffolk College among its clients. Roger Inman leads the company`s education sector, works closely with colleagues in Bath and Leeds and is “keen to respond quickly and thoroughly”. Julie Moktadir, an immigration specialist, is also recommended. Doyle Clayton represents parents, students, teachers and teachers in matters of discrimination, misconduct and bullying. Practice Director Simon Henthorn is “professional, knowledgeable and friendly – he can be robust when needed, but shows great compassion”. Peter Daly, who joined Slater and Gordon in early 2021, has represented clients in high-profile cases of alleged harassment and bullying based on philosophical beliefs. Amara Ahmad, Partner, focuses on children`s rights and specializes in special educational needs and protection counselling. Withers LLP advises schools on real estate, privacy and reputation management. The work with the academy`s foundations dates back to the consultation of the academy`s first renovation in 2003.

The team is led by Alison Paines, who advises charities and nonprofits, Chris Priestley, who oversees commercial projects, and Philip Reed, who advises independent schools, university foundations and other education providers on critical issues such as governance, strategic advice and restructuring. “Everyone we worked with was exceptional. However, Ella Westby deserves a special mention. She is extremely knowledgeable and often has answers to more complex questions at hand or can advise quickly. She is persistent in her dealings with other lawyers, and her updates are detailed and offered in plain English, allowing us outside the legal profession to easily and often understand important and far-reaching decisions. Manche Cooper LLP of Pennington in Cambridge has “a fantastic team with unparalleled legal knowledge,” notes one client, adding that “they have impressive expertise in managing complex and sensitive investigations.” Hilary Aldred, senior partner and employment specialist, is co-lead of the firm`s national education practice. She is “hardworking, brilliantly intelligent, and her judgment is second to none.” Sophie Whitbread, a “very knowledgeable and superbly organized” senior partner, advises educational institutions and charities on the legal aspects of their day-to-day management of employees, taking into account the duties of directors and their additional obligations to the Charities Commission. “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. “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. “From the beginning of the work, Jamie Childs tried to establish himself as a member of our team rather than an independent legal advisor. Jamie is extremely knowledgeable, and he also had a good understanding of the complexity of the political environment in which the negotiations took place and was able to explain complex legal issues in plain English. Mills & Reeve LLP has a multidisciplinary education team that acts as a panel for various universities and academic organizations. The firm is led by Gary Attle, who focuses on higher education legislation, governance and freedom of information. Martin Priestley deals with the commercial side of educational work. Jonathan Greenwood works in the education sector in corporate affairs, from mergers and acquisitions and restructuring to governance and joint ventures.

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