Higher education and research

The UK higher education and research sector is internationally renowned. Our market-leading team can assist clients to manage the complexities of the rapidly changing legal, commercial and regulatory landscape.

Higher education and research transform lives and play a vital role in the flourishing of the UK economy and civic society, operating at the forefront of scientific, medical and technological development.

Higher education institutions inhabit the intersection of the public, private and charity sectors, creating a unique combination of legal and regulatory issues.

We have the breadth of experience to help our clients operate successfully in a challenging environment.

We are recognised as a leading provider of legal services to the sector, acting for over 120 universities, colleges, national agencies, academies, educational businesses and charities across the UK.

Our lawyers

Our lawyers invest in long term client relationships and in understanding the policy, regulatory and commercial context in which clients in the higher education sector need to operate.

Our experience

We are market leading advisers to the sector. Some examples of our work include:

  • Advising institutions on appropriate strategy and conduct of matters such as establishing new institutions, commercial operations, corporate finance, campus redevelopment, student disciplinary issues, research misconduct, sensitive freedom of information and data protection requests and tribunals, equality and human rights, consumer law, immigration compliance, fitness to practise, pensions and employment issues, charity law, higher education regulation, health and safety/inquests, restructuring, student union issues and litigation.
  • Helping clients with international issues, including collaborations with overseas partners, setting up overseas campuses and handling contentious matters involving jurisdictions around the world.
  • Assisting many educational institutions with bonds and private placements, including the Universities of Cambridge, Cardiff, Durham, Manchester and Southampton.
  • Helping the Institute of Education merge with University College London.
  • We have advised many clients on student accommodation projects, including a £130 million project for the University of Hull, in collaboration with student accommodation provider UPP and a £90 million project for UCL.
  • Advising the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on the transfer to it of two significant Medical Research Council research units in Africa, including an internationally recognised centre for research on HIV infection and related diseases.

Our clients

We act for over 120 education institutions, including universities, colleges, independent schools and academies. 

Clients include:

  • Birmingham City University
  • The Royal Veterinary College
  • The University of Cambridge
  • The University of Nottingham
  • The University of Manchester
  • The British Council

We are national sponsors to the Association of Heads of University Administration (AHUA).  We also act for education investors.

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