Nicola Brown

Position: Partner
Phone: +(44)(0)1223 222282
Fax: +(44)(0)1223 222258
Offices:Cambridge

What can I do for you?

I specialise in providing employment advice to educational institutions, most of which are higher education institutions (HEIs). I also advise FE colleges, schools and charities. I split my time almost equally between our London and Cambridge offices.  

Nick Abbott and I lead our team of employment lawyers who work for educational institutions. In addition, I am the client partner for a number of our clients. As client partner, I ensure that our team works collaboratively with our clients’ teams.

The mixture of roles provides an exciting environment, which has resulted in an in-depth understanding of the way HEIs operate and the challenges they face. Frequently, an issue one client is facing is similar to an issue being faced by another client, and I particularly enjoy making introductions to enable knowledge sharing.

Supporting my clients’ objectives

I really enjoy working as part of a team and being able to consider issues beyond the purely legal concerns. This often happens when I am working with clients on performance issues with senior staff (including academics). Issues that arise include identifying the overall objectives of our client, the timescales that are relevant, any public relations angle (whether that be internal, external or both), the costs in terms of management time and legal costs as well as the legal considerations. Having identified the key issues in each particular case, it is rewarding to work with our client to deliver the solution.

HEIs are often subject to greater equality duties than commercial employers. Helping our clients to bring the theoretical public sector duties into practice by training managers and governors, advising on impact assessments and updating policies and procedures has been particularly rewarding.

What do others say?

Chambers UK said: “Nicola Brown enjoys a reputation in the higher education sector for her ‘ability to talk in plain English and her efficiency’.” 

Legal 500 said: Nicola Brown has "outstanding legal and higher education knowledge".

What else should you know?

I belong to the Employment Lawyers Association, which enables me to let clients know of key issues/developments in employment law.

I regularly speak at Universities Human Resources (UHR) national conferences and enjoy the opportunity that these events produce to share ideas and catch up with people.