The education sector is tasked with delivering the qualifications, skills and innovation that underpin our economy and it is a diverse sector, encompassing maintained schools, academies, independent schools, Sixth Form College, further education colleges, tertiary colleges, universities and other varied organisations.

As organisations, your structures, size and priorities may be diverse, but your legal requirements have a common thread - the need for legal advice which is commercial, proactive and sector aware, and which appreciates and has expertise in dealing with education, charity and public law issues.

Our Education Team comprises lawyers with a track record in the sector and the ability to deliver the support you need on these and other legal issues.

Our approach

We are committed to the sector and have recruited lawyers specifically for their experience in advising education institutions. We know that you need the comfort of speaking to those who understand your business. We spend time getting to know you, understanding how your organisation operates and how we can best support your objectives.

Our work and our clients

Our lawyers have advised universities, FE colleges, independent schools and maintained schools. We act for university colleges, the further education sector, an academy, schools and research-led organisations. We are a CPC framework panel member for the East and the South East regions. Members of our team act, or have acted, as governors of schools, board members of FE colleges and as a non-executive member of a university council.

We offer comprehensive advice to all our education clients including advice on:

  • governance
  • joint ventures
  • academic and student accommodation
  • PPPs
  • procurement
  • commercial contracts for a wide range of requirements
  • funding and refinancing
  • estate development and major construction projects
  • employment issues
  • disputes
  • health and safety
  • student issues (such as complaints, discipline, fitness to practise, appeals, risk management and policy and procedure reviews, crisis management and judicial reviews)
  • charity and trust issues
  • debt collection
  • intellectual property protection and exploitation
  • corporate spin outs
  • corporate structures
  • federations
  • academies
  • shared services.

Education newsletter

We produce a variety of newsletters covering changes in legislation, topical news and issues affecting our clients. You can download the latest issue of Education Matters, our newsletter for our clients and contacts in the education sector, from our newsletter page. If you would like to automatically receive future issues please register your details.

Legal 500 UK 2020 Top Tier  

Key contacts

Liz Brownsell

Partner, Head of Charities

+44 (0)1473 406383

+44 (0)7525 735802


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Erika Clarke

Legal Director

+44 (0)1603 756525

+44 (0)7917 625645


* denotes required fields.


* denotes required fields.

Abigail Trencher

Head of Education

+44 (0)1223 326622

+44 (0)7983 385842


* denotes required fields.

Meet the full team

"They are knowledgeable in our field and can draw on experience with other similar organisations. This gives me confidence that my issues are understood and that the advice is appropriate."

Legal 500 [UK 2020]