Education Solicitors

Education

Our Education Solicitors are dedicated to improving learning outcomes. We strive to make life easier for trusts and schools as they navigate an increasingly wide range of responsibilities.

We currently support over 70 Multi-Academy Trusts and around 1000 schools. We have recently reshaped our Education Practice to take account of the ever-growing needs of trusts and schools. Our Practice now comprises a core Education Team, with lawyers acting only for schools and academies, who are supported by over 50 specialist education sector lawyers from across the firm.

Our experts give more than legal advice; everything we do is with the improvement of teaching and learning outcomes for children in mind. Our team are passionate about the education sector with most volunteering as Governors or Trustees and bring this experience to their practice. At the heart of everything we do is a commitment to working with you to provide practical, solution-driven advice that is as much about strategy as it is about the law.

Our clients

We work with a diverse range of clients from across the Education Sector including:

  • E-ACT;
  • Aspirations Academies Trust;
  • Derby Diocesan Academy Trust;
  • Beckmead Trust;
  • Discovery Schools Trust;
  • Academies Enterprise Trust.

Our work

We offer a range of services with the aim of becoming trusted legal advisors to our clients, so that they can focus on delivering education. Though not limited to the below, we list a range of services we can offer to our education clients:

  • Academy Conversions and Transfers: the Education team has completed over 500 academy conversions and transfers since 2010 and offer end to end project management of the process (including the land transaction): liaising with the Department for Education and the Local Authority, drafting the necessary documentation, and providing strategic advice.
  • Re-brokerage: Michelmores has led on some of the country's most high-profile re-brokerages including Lilac Sky, Bright Tribe, Adventure Learning Academies Trust; Schools Company Trust and TBAP. We have acted for the incoming and outgoing Trusts and supported the interim Board of Trustees dealing with issues relating to fraud, negligence, and communications and managing the media, dismissals, health & safety, contractual disputes, FOIs, SARs as well as with the legal process of transferring the schools.
  • Company and Charity Law Advice: our team has a wealth of experience in advising Trusts in relation to their obligations under charity and company law. We also offer a company secretarial service to all our clients.
  • Compliance with data protection and privacy regulations and FOI requests: We offer ongoing support to Trusts, Schools and other educational institutions to ensure they comply with the relevant legislation. We regularly provide best practice seminars and provide training on current issues.
  • Employment Advice: Our Education team has significant experience advising individual Academy Trusts and MATs, local authorities maintained schools and diocesan schools, and further and higher education institutions. We currently provide HR and Employment law support to over 1,000 schools around the country.
  • Core Education Legal Advice: The Education Team routinely advises on specific education law issues. This includes but is not limited to: admissions policies, exclusions and behaviour, special educational needs, disability discrimination claims, child protection, complaints and school and trust governance.
  • Land and Property: As well as supporting schools and trusts through conversions and transfers, our team can offer advice to resolve ongoing land issues and new transactions. This includes, disposals, redevelopment acquisitions and rectifying historical issues.
They give really good advice and are very clear about next steps, risks and costs.
Chambers and Partners 2020
When discussing legal matters they are very clear and they take into account the practicalities of a situation when assessing risk.
Chambers and Partners 2020
The education team at Michelmores always go above and beyond and have a rapid response time. They instil so much confidence and one feels well supported. They really do know their stuff.
Legal 500 2020
Michelmores offer a personalised and prompt service and all of their lawyers are extremely knowledgeable about their field of expertise. The speed of action is the best facet of this firm.
Legal 500 2020
Michelmores is a firm which takes time to listen to client needs, prefers face-to-face meeting and is responsive to requests. The advice is clear and well communicated.
Legal 500 2020
A fantastic, five-star service: response times are almost immediate and nothing is ever too much to ask for.
Legal 500, 2018
Very impressed with their commitment to establishing a long-term relationship.
Chambers, 2016

News

Recent experience

  • Academy conversion: supporting around 200 academies across the country including the establishment of individual academies, umbrella trusts, multi-academy trusts and multi-academy sponsors.
  • Academy post-conversion support: assisting academies in relation to the range of legal issues facing them following conversion.
  • Private school: working in partnership with the wider professional team to deliver a significant development of the school’s estate within a tax efficient structure.
  • Private school: recovery of fees.
  • School: advice on PFI/PPP structures.
  • School: advising on third party occupational issues and management of occupation of the estate.
  • Free schools: advising in excess of 40 applicants across all of the application rounds to date.
  • Free schools: supporting a nationally recognised charity in the establishment of a multi-academy trust to support several applications for special free schools.
  • FE Institution: intellectual property spin-out matters and internal intellectual property procedures.
  • FE Institution: collaboration agreement, including phased tenancy arrangements between the college and a charity to establish a secondary campus focused around an innovative and dynamic teaching programme.
  • FE Institution: advising on a £multi-million disposal of surplus accommodation to a developer including strategic support and complex title issues.
  • FE Institution: advising on commercial contracts and procurement of day-to-day services including standard terms and conditions.
  • FE Institution: defending a large scale group action relating to the pension rights of part-time workers.
  • University: procurement of £133m PPP for the transfer, development and operation of campus student residences.
  • University: contentious employment matters, including allegations of breach of contract, wrongful and unfair dismissal, unlawful discrimination and whistleblowing.
  • University: procurement of an IT-based HR and payroll system and support services.