Independent Education We act for over 435 schools in the independent and maintained
All Your Needs Covered by One Service
sectors. As well as acting for individual schools, we act for trusts
We have specialists with significant expertise in all aspects of
and other organisations operating multiple schools and have
independent school life. About 60% of our work as a firm is with
constant experience of dealing with some of the most challenging
education and charity clients, which is therefore truly at the heart
strategic and operational issues across the sector, whether that
of the firm. Currently more than 25 members of our Education
be governance, safeguarding, staff issues, parental complaints,
& Charity team work full time on pure education and charity
fee collection, mergers & demergers, construction law or
law/governance matters, with 30 other qualified lawyers (in our
property, employment, IPR, dispute resolution and commercial
Members of our team contribute to the work of schools as
teams) whose time is primarily or wholly spent in acting for
governors and trustees of educational charities and we have
education and charity clients.
excellent networking relationships with national organisations in the independent schools sector, including the ISC, Inspiring Futures (who are both clients), ISA, ISBA and CISC.
Governance/Charity/Company Law ◆ Assisting clients with constitutional issues and with all aspects
of governance and operational leadership, with particular Through this wide school client base and our sector contacts, we
experience in balancing the respective requirements of trustees
genuinely understand both the challenges and opportunities for
and the school executive.
independent schools. Our expertise allows us to help schools be proactive rather than reactive in responding to key legal challenges.
◆ Acting for charities “hiving off” schools ◆ Advice to charitable funds supporting Schools
National Quality at an Affordable Price
◆ The provision of training for governors and trustees
We are independently rated by Chambers UK as one of the joint top-three firms for education law (Institutions – Schools) nationally. We succeed in delivering this level of quality at an affordable price because of our regional office structure and our flexible and clear range of fees.
◆ Advising clients on all aspects of public benefit, including a
bespoke “audit” of their school.
Education Law ◆ Advice on operational issues such as the interpretation of parent
contract terms and conditions, safeguarding, the law governing educational standards, disability and other equality duties. We have a particular expertise in Special Educational Needs. ◆ We have considerable experience and a proven track record in
resolving parental complaints. ◆ We act regularly in the establishment of new schools in both
the independent and maintained sectors. ◆ Our education team has advised on the establishment of over 250
Employment Law ▲
More than 60% of our employment team's time is spent on work
relating to the education sector, which gives us a unique
understanding of the operational context within which
◆ We provide a bespoke debt collection advice service.
employment decisions are made in schools. This work includes: ◆ Recruitment
◆ We advise on all forms of parent and student disputes, including
breach of contract claims, educational negligence and non-
◆ Preparing Contracts of Employment and Policies
employment related discrimination claims. ◆ Our team can assist with all forms of commercial dispute.
◆ Advising on access to pension schemes.
◆ We can act for schools in the criminal courts regarding health and
◆ Assisting in relation to capability issues
safety and other enforcement actions involving criminal sanctions. ◆ Assisting in addressing grievances ◆ Advising generally in relation to alleged misconduct allegations
and the holding of investigations and disciplinary hearings. ◆ Acting in Tribunal hearings including providing in-house advocacy. ◆ Advising in relation to Transfer of Undertakings
Commercial, IP and IT ◆ We advise on all corporate and regulatory issues including
statutory interpretation and guidance. ◆ We have dealt with IP/IT and related matters on numerous charity
transactions. ◆ Providing bespoke training on employment issues. ◆ We provide practical operational advice on data protection and
Property We carry out all forms of property related work for independent
◆ We have acted on numerous development projects, including a
large international partnership venture with a major independent
◆ Acquisition and disposal of school sites.
school into the Middle East.
◆ Property development projects including advice on planning /
building obligations / construction procurement / uplift and overage. ◆ Housing advice, notably as regards caretakers and staff (including
use by former employees).
Training and Knowhow We produce a range of publications and bulletins that address topical issues within the sector and we run regular workshops and seminars addressing current issues and legal developments for
◆ Bespoke Hiring Agreements for schools and grounds and facility
sharing agreements, including with maintained schools and the
independent schools. We also provide bespoke training for schools on request, including a highly regarded workshop on Governance.
public sector. ◆ We have advised regarding consultants’ appointments and
Your key contact
building contracts in relation to school building schemes, including the related leasing structures relating to VAT efficiency. ◆ We have carried out several portfolio reviews and bulk registration
John Clarke Head of Independent Education Team
programmes for schools in relation to their registered estate.
Stone King LLP 13 Queen Square Bath BA1 2HJ Tel. 01225 337599 Fax. 01225 335437 16 St John’s Lane London EC1M 4BS Tel. 020 7796 1007 Fax. 020 7796 1017 Thirty Station Road, Cambridge CB1 2RE Tel: 01223 451340 Fax: 01223 314027
© Stone King LLP 09/2013
Stone King LLP - registered limited liability partnership no OC315280, registered office 13 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HJ