What can I do for you?
I lead our team of employment lawyers, alongside Nicola Brown, working with higher education institutions. I am head of our national further education group. I am also a key member of our fast-growing academies practice.
As part of our experienced employment group, I specialise in providing employment advice to universities, colleges and academies across the country. I have assisted clients on a range of matters, from strategic advice on restructuring and the practical management of industrial disputes to the dismissal of senior academics and defending discrimination claims in the employment tribunals.
Supporting my clients’ ambitions
A crucial ingredient for successful education institutions in an increasingly competitive market is to maintain a diverse working environment, which attracts and retains expert and committed staff. I find it very rewarding to work with our clients’ management and human resources teams to help achieve this and, where complex problems arise, to identify effective solutions.
Recently, I have worked with colleagues to assist an education institution to successfully manage a serious complaint of bullying and harassment against a member of senior management. After the resolution of this matter, we worked with our client to modernise their written procedure and delivered a training programme to embed skills.
What do others say?
I am proud to work in a team about which the Director of Administration at one of our university clients commented: “The advice we have received has always been timely and extremely helpful. It has included advice in relation to some potentially high profile issues, where Mills & Reeve has shown themselves to be calm, measured and perceptive advisers.”
Chambers UK says: "Market sources deem education specialist Nick Abbott a calm and thoughtful practitioner with a wealth of knowledge and experience."
Legal 500 says "Nick Abbott's advice 'can always be relied upon', while 'junior colleagues are equally professional'. The firm is particularly strong in the education sector."
What else should you know?
I belong to the Employment Lawyers Association, which provides valuable insights that I am able to bring to my work with clients.
I regularly speak at national conferences organised by Universities Human Resources and the Association of Colleges, catching up with many people across the sector at what are frequently lively events!