Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's education team combines cross-departmental expertise in immigration, employment, commercial property and governance to advise clients on a wide spectrum of matters, including safeguarding and child protection as well as discrimination issues. Jointly led by Gemma Woodhouse, Hilary Aldred and Daff Richardson, the team has experience in assisting high-profile clients with historic abuse issues and defending against claims arising from this. Other key team members include immigration specialists Pat Saini and Hazar El-Chamaa.
The Legal 500 - 2020 edition
Penningtons Manches LLP offers 'practical, high-quality advice' and is 'sensitive to the needs and issues of higher education', according to clients. It assists a host of UK, international and alternative providers of higher education, including with immigration issues. Hilary Aldred, who provides 'no-nonsense, practical advice', and Daff Richardson, who has a focus on disputes in this sector, co-head the department. Other noted team members include Pat Saini.
Clients praise employment partner Hilary Aldred for 'trying her best to follow the client’s instructions carefully even in difficult situations'. One client in the education sector remarks that 'we receive an excellent level of service from the employment team, with immediate response times, pragmatic advice and a good understanding of the sector' and notes that Aldred has 'unrivalled in-depth knowledge and understanding of the higher education environment and academic employment and contractual matters'. Senior associate Sophie Whitbread is also recommended.
Daff Richardson is 'incisive, professional and very responsive'; her track record in the higher education sector reassures clients, who value her 'knowledge of the key people, awareness of the history or politics behind a particular problem area, and detailed understanding of the statutes and bylaws'.
The legal 500 - 2019 edition
Strong universities practice with significant experience in Tier 4 sponsor licences, data protection and freedom of information work. Also deals with academic litigation, pensions and other employment issues. Developing a strong reputation among alternative providers of higher education.
Strengths: Commentators note: ‘The firm cares about its clients. They're very knowledgeable about and interested in the education sector.’
Another source adds: ‘They give sound, practical advice and offer a great level of service and contactability.’
Hilary Aldred is a key contact.
Chambers UK - 2018 edition