Higher education and Further education

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Our Education team is one of the most experienced of its kind, and provides expert commercial, regulatory and compliance advice to over 50 further education colleges, Oxford colleges, universities and higher education charities.

Our services

Our team draws together experience and skills from across the firm to provide pragmatic and commercial advice on:

  • Governance, administration, education law and charity regulation
  • Banking  finance and funding for development
  • Property and estate management, including disposals and acquisitions
  • Management of investment properties and rural estates
  • Redevelopment and construction of buildings, teaching areas and student accommodation
  • Knowledge transfer and research
  • Commercial contracts, procurement and outsourcing
  • Corporate, IP commercialisation and spin-outs
  • Data protection and information governance
  • Employment, pensions and immigration
  • Dispute management
  • Equality and discrimination
  • Information governance including data protection and freedom of information
  • Student discipline and student complaints
  • Fast track debt collection, student loans and consumer credit 
  • Income generation, fundraising and legacies

In addition to the above areas of specialisation, we also regularly provide added value services such as secondments of staff and contributing to knowledge transfer (e.g. e-bulletins, guest lectures, contributions to legal text-books, entrepreneurial legal services and conference attendance and participation).    


Our clients include:

  • Universities of Reading, Winchester, Cardiff and South Wales
  • Oxford Colleges (we advise more than half of the Oxford University Colleges)
  • Further education colleges

Significant experience

Examples that highlight the Education Team’s broad range of skills and experience include:

  • Advising an HEI on a large disputed legacy.
  • Drafting a complex medical research grant agreement.
  • Obtaining a Royal Charter for an existing educational institution.
  • Advising on the overhaul of Universities’ IP policies and several IP licensing and spin-out projects.
  •  Advising on the establishment and governance of special purpose vehicles for collaboration between Universities and each other, and between Universities and FE colleges
  •  Advice on State Aid implications of various projects and activities, in particular the treatment of IP in collaborative research projects and spin-outs.
  • Advising several Chartered institutions on obtaining Supplemental Charters, revisions of Charters, Statutes, Regulations and Ordinances.
  • Advising on the acquisition of degree-awarding powers.
  • Advising on franchising and validation of HE courses.
  • Advising on a University and FE College merger
  • Advising several Universities on the establishment of a special-purpose subsidiaries.
  • Advising on the arrangements between Welsh HEIs and the Student Loan Company.
  • Advising on the lawfulness of a University Library keeping and lending copies of unclassified films.
  •  Advising a funding council on its statutory powers and other constitutional and European law matters relating to University funding. 

Pro-bono work

  • University of Hertfordshire - UHInvest programme 2013/2014 providing entrepreneurial services to students and staff.
  • City University - participating in programmes, lectures and entrepreneurship clinics for staff, student and local tech city business.
  • SouthamptonSolentUniversity - providing an external expert to the University's IP Advisory Panel.
  • Southampton University - Pathways to Law programme, promoting access to the legal profession for people from state school backgrounds.

“Their awareness of higher education issues is of significant benefit.”

Chambers UK A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession, 2014

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