Whether you are a university, college, school, local authority, educational charity or spin-out company we are able to field a team of experts to provide solutions-orientated legal advice to meet your specific requirements. Our experience spans the full spectrum of legal services affecting the education sector including:

  • Admissions and policies
  • Charitable and trading activities
  • Commercial contracts
  • Disability discrimination
  • Energy services projects including Carbon Reduction Commitment
  • Estates and facilities 
  • Freedom of information
  • Human Resources
  • Litigation and dispute resolution
  • Major capital construction projects
  • Planning
  • Property management
  • Rights and duties of trustees, boards and governors
  • Risk management including trips and excursion policies

As a single-source legal services provider, Hill Dickinson delivers added-value solutions that can save you time, minimise your financial risk and protect and enhance your reputation. We work closely with clients to understand their commercial objectives, enabling us to contribute to strategic development, anticipate change and turn risk into opportunity.

Proven track record

  • Estates and facilities: Acquiring a new campus for a university from a local authority and advising on the procurement of a large scale redevelopment by an FE College which included the construction of new apartments and accommodation dealing with funding, construction and development agreement documentation.
  • Commercial contracts: Advising a well known North West based education establishment on a proposed joint venture with Salford City Council to create Salford Innovation Park. This also entailed dealing with a proposed acquisition of a further site from Salford City Council and appointment of a service provider to manage the park.
  • Intellectual property: Advising an educational institution on specialist intellectual property issues, including copyright licences, confidentiality agreements and licensing agreements.
  • Energy services projects including Carbon Reduction Commitment: Our award-winning team is a market leading provider of legal advice on energy projects, including recently advising an educational institution on a large-scale energy scheme with a capital value in excess of £10 million.
  • Human resources: Recent experience includes advising a school regarding the suspension of a head teacher and subsequent disciplinary proceedings and advising in respect of an internal grievance issued by a university lecturer and allegations relating to stress at work.
  • Litigation and dispute resolution: Providing advisory and dispute resolution services to colleges, schools, universities and their insurers, we have advised institutions on internal complaints procedures and have defended court proceedings against them. Our experience includes admissions issues and challenges, data protection compliance and student disciplinary problems (including plagiarism, and protecting students and campuses from harassment by excluded former students), legal responsibilities for risk management, such as where students or applicants are found to have convictions for violent or sexual offences, triggering potential obligations to third parties otherwise at risk.
  • Disability discrimination: In disability cases we have advised on the duty to make adjustments to support students and how to avoid discrimination claims.
  • Planning: Our niche planning team provides a full service on all planning issues including advice on making applications, preparation of planning appeals and negotiation of agreements with local authorities such as planning obligations and highways agreements to facilitate development. Recent instructions have included the negotiation of a section 106 planning agreement to enable the redevelopment of a prominent North West based secondary school under the Building Schools for the Future Programme.
  • Risk management including trips and excursion policies: Advising on matters relating to school trips, including child protection issues, accidents and crisis planning and response.

Our clients

“In a short time Hill Dickinson has amply justified our decision to appoint them as our legal advisers. Their advice has been as practical as any commercial client requires and their service level as responsive, personal and committed to our interests as we hoped.” Adrian Lee, Director of Legal Services, University of Chester

Hill Dickinson acts for over 100:

  • Universities
  • Independent schools
  • State funded schools
  • Colleges and the Crescent Purchasing Consortium
  • Diocese and religious bodies
  • Other educational organisations

Key contacts

David Rawlinson
David Rawlinson
+44 (0)151 600 8416
Iain Campbell
Iain Campbell
+44 (0)161 817 7224
Kerstie Skeaping
Kerstie Skeaping
+44 (0)151 600 8498
Catherine Kennedy
Catherine Kennedy
+44 (0)151 600 8809

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Hill Dickinson LLP is well known for its schools work.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Advises clients in the maintained and independent schools sectors on matters such as academy conversions, employment, governance, property, admissions and exclusions.

'They understand our business needs.'