Education sector legal experts

As one of the leading providers of legal services to public sector organisations in Wales, we are experienced in advising universities, colleges, schools and local authority education providers and currently act for several educational institutions.

Advice for further and higher education providers

We can support further and higher education providers with:

  • advice on their property and estates portfolio, on all aspects of construction, planning and commercial property, including acquisition, disposals and land development, property litigation, and landlord and tenant law
  • advice and conduct of proceedings relating to Judicial Review
  • advice on student complaints in the further and higher education sectors, including cases before the OIA
  • commercial advice, including on contracts, partnerships and collaborations, public procurement, IP and franchise arrangements, IP disputes, GDPR and data protection issues, freedom of information, subject access requests and data breaches
  • employment law advice and HR services, including recruitment, employment procedures, restructures, TUPE, immigration, pensions and handling employment tribunal claims.
  • advice on corporate law, including on mergers and acquisitions, restructures and the formation of university spin-off companies
  • banking advice, including on funding options for major projects
  • advice on H&S, fire and environmental regulations, and on the Building Safety Act 2022 and CDM regulations
  • fitness to practise issues and student disciplinary matters
  • constitutional, charity law and regulatory advice, as well as guidance and training in relation to good governance and governance structures.
Advice for schools

We can support schools with:

  • special educational needs tribunals
  • school appeals panels
  • school attendance prosecutions
  • school re-organisations


Key contact

A partner and head of our employment and HR services team, Louise is an experienced employment lawyer and head of the firm’s education sector.

She has experience of advising further and higher education providers and schools on large scale TUPE transfers of staff (including drafting indemnities and warranties, advising on potential employment and pensions liabilities and information and consultation obligations), changing terms and conditions, restructures/redundancies, complex grievances, senior management disciplinary/exit strategies and employment tribunal claims.

Louise also specialises in pensions and employee benefits and is noted in The Legal 500 for employment and pensions work. She is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and the Association of Pension Lawyers.

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Recent experience

Our experience includes:  

  • advising Cardiff University on the TUPE transfer of over 300 staff and 3,000 separate training courses from the University to a newly created body, Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW)  
  • advising Cardiff University on various commercial property matters in relation to its estate portfolio, including advising on the landmark re-development of the University’s Centre for Student Life  
  • advising Coleg Gwent college on a range of commercial property matters, including in relation to the development of a new sixth form centre, the disposal of a former campus site, and the development of its Newport Information Quarter and Torfaen Learning Zone  
  • providing Cardiff University and Coleg Gwent with charities advice  
  • defending a Higher Education provider against a personal injury claim for noise-induced hearing loss  
  • assisted a school in relation to an investigation conducted by the ICO into a data breach  
  • drafted policies and procedures on behalf of the Welsh Government, for example, non statutory guidance for the Department for Education and Skills in relation to the capability of school teaching staff and Headteachers  
  • defending a University regarding a complex and sensitive disability discrimination case  
  • acting as presenting officers on behalf of the Education Workforce Council in relation to fitness to practice hearings  
  • providing commercial litigation advice to two high schools in respect of contract disputes  
  • advising on an IP dispute involving a leading Welsh University  
  • advising a University regarding a dispute which arose in relation to a member of staff’s pension benefits under the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and the Universities Superannuation Scheme  
  • providing commercial advice and putting the agreements in place for an individual who is entering a partnership agreement with a North Wales University   
  • advising Cardiff Business Technology Centre – a collaboration between Cardiff University and Cardiff Council - on commercial property issues  
  • delivering training on cladding safety to a number of further education colleges, post-Grenfell  
  • advising on licensing issues in relation to University campus bars.

Cardiff University pro bono scheme

Since 2006 we have run a successful pro bono programme with the Law department of Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics.

Over 1,000 students have benefitted from the scheme so far. It focuses on the delicate issue of NHS funding for care home fees. The scheme allows students to gain real-life, hands-on experience of what it’s like to work at a law firm and how NHS Continuing Healthcare claims are handled.

The scheme is led and delivered by our leading Nursing Care team.

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   Find out more about the pro bono scheme 

Schools mentoring

We are proud to support a mentoring scheme in partnership with Willows High School in Cardiff.

Through the scheme, 20 students attend our Cardiff office on a monthly basis to receive mentoring from a number of Hugh James volunteers, including partners, solicitors, paralegals and Central Services employees.

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