The education sector is currently dealing with more changes than ever, with increasing financial pressures and government legislation as well as rising internal challenges.
DMH Stallard has a strong and respected Education Group, which handles substantial and complex educational related issues. We are recognised as a leading provider of legal services to the sector and act for more than 100 universities, colleges, academies, schools, educational businesses, charities and the wider education function within local authorities. We understand the issues that educational organisations face, from business objectives such as funding requirements, to the more subtle issues such as student relationships.
Examples of our work
- We have recently advised a South East Further Education college on the redundancy of a Head of School. This included advice, assistance and ultimately representation at Tribunal for unfair dismissal and a whistleblowing claim for detriment and automatic unfair dismissal.
- We have acted for a Further Education college recently in relation to general employment law advice including advice on the dismissal of two very senior employees; one on conduct grounds and the other on performance grounds. We successfully managed the reputational risk to our client whilst achieving a swift and cost effective outcome.
- We have recently advised a number of educational establishments in relation to staff restructures. The work has involved close liaison with the senior management of those schools and the governing bodies. The firm’s approach has been to develop a clear understanding of the school’s aims and to then work with the school in reviewing areas of risk and the development and implementation of a strategy in respect of the reorganisation.
- We work in partnership with a large South East independent co-educational school. Most recently, we advised in relation to highly sensitive and complex issues relating to pupil and parental rights, and the school’s obligations in relation to those. We have also advised in relation to data protection, disclosure and confidentiality of information, and the statutory complaints procedure.
- We have advised a London College in relation to an acquisition by another college. By being involved at an early stage, we were able to minimise the potential employment issues which would have been likely to arise.
- We act for a University College in relation to several sensitive employment issues including a claim in respect of whistleblowing.
Corporate and Commercial
- Advising Local Government bodies on the ownership and use of profit-making trading companies.
- Advising a global education and training company based on the South Coast, on its options and sale of shares. We have also drafted various commercial agreements for this client over the last year.
- Advising a council and drafting the agreement for establishment of a ”Leadership Academy”.
- Advising many schools and local authorities, both as buyers and providers of goods and services.
- We are currently working for a large South East college on an upcoming major development project.
- Advising an international further education group in relation to a challenging procurement process with various UK universities.
- We advised on the sale by a local authority of a Council site with the benefit of planning permission with the requirement that that particular consent was implemented, and particular public realm works implemented. The site had boundary issues with a third party, which were resolved by negotiation. However, the Council did not want to sell the boundary land without first securing a contract for the main site and also without securing the imposition of the public realm works on both sites. The matter proceeded by way of sale of part to the third party, with a completion date triggered following completion of the main sale and the completion of s106 agreement dealing with the public realm works. The main site sale was made subject to the contract for sale of part and with an obligation to enter into the s106 agreement. The sale contained restrictive covenants to enforce construction of the particular development, support by a right of re-entry for the Council if this was not implemented.