Our lawyers understand the pressures faced by educational and training organisations. From financial constraints to government legislation and stakeholder scrutiny, our clients need a broad range of legal and commercial advice in this ever-changing sector.

We have built a reputation for taking on complex and high profile projects. Through our unique collaborative approach, we draw on experience and expertise from across the firm to build a team tailored to our clients' needs. We provide straightforward, to-the-point advice, guiding our clients through the most complex of legal matters.

Our work for both public and private sector clients gives us a unique understanding of the issues involved in delivering transformational projects in the sector, from both sides of the table.

Areas of focus

Our education sector expertise covers the following areas:

  • PPP and joint venture projects.
  • Outsourcing.
  • PFI/PF2 projects.
  • Student accommodation projects.
  • Employment disputes and tribunals.
  • Employment law advice and training.
  • Commercial and contractual matters.
  • Pension schemes.
  • Academic restructuring programmes.
  • Mergers and acquisitions.
  • Private equity.

Advising a FTSE 100 company on its successful bid to provide learning and achievement services to children and young people in the West Midlands. Learning and achievement services are services that are offered by councils to schools to support children and young people, such as direct support offered to a pupil, educational psychology services, or the training of specialist teachers and learning support. The partnership aims to raise education standards, drive significant savings and long-term investment.

Advising a FTSE 100 company on its joint venture partnerships with public sector partners to deliver core school support services to schools in the UK.

Advising central government on the establishment of independent corporate vehicles to deliver children's social care and education services on behalf of under-performing local authorities, pursuant to the Secretary of State for Education’s powers of intervention under the Education Act 1996.

Providing legal services to a leading university in relation to their student accommodation project. We advised on the acquisition of leasehold interests in a number of properties required for a new research facility, and on day to day estate management matters, including dealing with all aspects of leasing and tenancy work.

Advising a number of higher education institutions on property aspects of non-integrated campus relocations. One such matter involved the sale and lease-back of a portfolio of houses and the drafting of an appropriate profit sharing agreement. We also advised the same university on an agreement for development of student accommodation, involving complex nomination rights.

Advised on and represented a higher education organisation at a four day judicial mediation which successfully resolved a complex employment dispute. We also successfully conducted the defence of a number of employment tribunal claims covering unfair dismissal, breach of contract and discrimination.

Advising a number of higher education establishments on their public private partnerships redevelopment projects including advising a FEFC-funded college on a multi-million pound PPP to extract embedded value from an existing site. Our work included scoping the project and all procurement aspects and negotiating the necessary agreements.

Acted as independent appeals officer for a number of universities, where the relevant constitutional processes required an external appeals officer to be appointed.

Advising a top university on an academic restructuring programme and the application of the TUPE in relation to the transfer of employees where joint ventures and new companies have been established for commercial exploitation purposes.

Advising a top university on a range of corporate, commercial and contractual matters including a significant DTI backed research collaboration project involving a number of high profile industrial technology partners. We also advised on the university’s position as a potential founder member of a collaborative regional research and development centre for aerospace and related industries. This has included advising on state aid, IPR and corporate issues.

Advising a higher education institution on staff and board liability issues, including the impact of the corporate manslaughter legislation. This led to a major review of its governance and constitutional framework as well as an associated trust and a proposed joint venture.

Advising on a PFI Project for the provision of a new residential sixth form college and teaching services. In addition to the construction and FM-type services, the education services were also being delivered by the PFI contractor.

Advising an energy company on a groundbreaking grant funding and commercialisation arrangements with a leading university for the development of photovoltaic technology.

Advising the trustees of various university staff pension schemes, including assisting in obtaining sign-off from the Pensions Regulator on recovery plans of two schemes. We also worked on consolidating the rules of one scheme, reviewed the member handbook for two schemes, advised on agreements relating to the commingled assets fund, assisted with an actuarial advisor review, and advised on the covenant and statutory employer backing the schemes. In addition, we advised on the cessation of participation of a participating employer, discussed long-term plans for the schemes, attended trustee meetings and advised on a number of miscellaneous technical and administrative queries.

Providing legal services to a leading university in relation to an innovative joint venture intended to provide a pathway for international students to join degree courses, including structural, governance and commercial aspects.

Advising the founders and management of the UK's leading provider of vocational training courses on an investment by a UK private equity provider.

Advising the management and institutional shareholders on the sale of a leading provider of apprenticeships and training courses through a secondary buyout.

Advising a pre-eminent leadership consulting practice on its sale to a global buyer.

Advising leading universities on alcohol and entertainment licensing issues. These include advising on the re-structure of a major university licensed portfolio, advising on the commercial opportunities and options surrounding conferences, venue hire and events as well as managing day-to-day regulatory issues and applications.

Meet the team
Matthew Ramus

Matthew Ramus Partner

  • Head of Education
  • Defence
  • Transport
John Houlden

John Houlden Partner

  • Head of Public Sector
  • Head of Procurement and Subsidy Control
  • Projects
Roger Bull

Roger Bull Managing Partner

  • Managing Partner 
  • Employment Disputes
  • Strategic HR Projects
Michael Hayles

Michael Hayles Partner

  • Pensions
  • Public Sector Pension Schemes
  • Financial Services
Richard Spink

Richard Spink Partner

  • Corporate
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Private Equity

What others say...

Strong, knowledgeable, efficient.

Legal 500 2024

Key contact

Tim Roberts

Tim Roberts Director

  • Corporate
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Private Equity

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