Whatever your issue in the education sector – from needing advice on project finance to equality law, intellectual property or donation agreements – our 140-strong team of specialists can help. We are leaders in this sector and provide outstanding service to more than 120 organisations.

> Our lawyers specialising in the education sector
> Our education sector experience
> Our clients
> What our clients and others say about us
> Legal resources you may find useful

Helping educational institutions to achieve objectives

Education is one of our core focus areas. We are recognised as a leading provider of legal services to the sector and act for more than 120 universities, colleges, national agencies, academies, educational businesses and charities.

We offer support for the full spectrum of legal issues you may face, including:

  • International collaborations 
  • Banking and project finance 
  • Campus developments and student accommodation 
  • Employment and pensions 
  • Equality and immigration law 
  • Intellectual property protection and exploitation 
  • Constitutional and regulatory issues 
  • Corporate structures and commercial activities 
  • Charity law and donation agreements

We invest time with our clients to understand your issues and projects so that we can offer unrivalled support and value for money. We seek to pass on fresh insights via regular briefings, workshops and – most of all – through personal engagement with those responsible for legal issues.

Our advice is underpinned with research, and we keep you abreast of the latest legal and policy developments. We are also a corporate partner to the Higher Education Policy Institute, the only independent policy think-tank in the UK.

Our lawyers specialising in the education sector

The education sector in the UK – and across the world – is experiencing significant change. This requires new solutions. For our part, we are combining a greater number of legal services to meet our clients' needs. 

Across our multi-disciplinary education sector team, we offer 40 partners and another 100 lawyers who will spend a high percentage of their time working for our education clients each year, some almost exclusively. This ensures that we can call upon a full range of commercial practice areas such as corporate finance, banking, intellectual property, spin-outs and joint ventures.

Our education sector experience

  • Our experience advising clients in the education sector is extensive. Some recent examples include:
  • Advising King’s College London on the establishment of a £40 million programme of investment for its 175-year-old law school. 
  • Advising University of Cambridge on the launch of a £350 million public bond issue, the first capital markets fundraising undertaken by the university in its 800 year history. 
  • Advising The UK Higher Education International Unit on the Science without Borders UK programme, which is worth £200 million to the UK economy. 
  • Acting for South Birmingham College in its merger with City College Birmingham. The new college, South & City College Birmingham, is now one of the largest further education colleges in the Midlands, with more than 25,000 learners and 1,200 staff. 
  • Advising Aviva Commercial Finance Limited in the largest ever single private sector residential investment in a UK university. 
  • Advising Trinity College, Cambridge on their investment in a limited partnership joint venture which owns 11 Tesco stores. 
  • Advising Academies Enterprise Trust, the largest multi-academy trust in England, to convert 21 separate schools to academies for the Government’s deadline.

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    Our clients  

    We act for over 120 education institutions across the UK, including universities, colleges, independent schools and academies. We continue to expand the range of our work in the sector as we undertake work for other major education charities and for various investors in education, such as banks, commercial investors and insurers.

    In addition to the clients named above, our clients include:

    • The Royal Veterinary College 
    • The University of Birmingham 
    • The University of Nottingham 
    • The University of Manchester 
    • The Association of Colleges 
    • Academies Enterprise Trust 
    • Universities UK 
    • The British Council

    What our clients and others say about us

    • "Very innovative and very 21st century. This really is the kind of deal that is an industry trailblazer” - The Lawyer Awards 2014, at which our work on a first-of-its-kind aggregated bond for 18 University of Cambridge colleges was recognised.
    • “Mills & Reeve is seen as a major player in the market, advising university clients on both domestic and international matters, including real estate, commercial and governance.” Chambers UK 
    • “[The Mills & Reeve education practice] provides ‘excellent response times, reasonable fees and focused advice’.” Chambers UK 
    • “Its expertise and commitment to education are beyond reproach.” Chambers UK 
    • “It is the quality of the relationship that we have with them. That relationship is constructive yet critical, based on the fact that higher education is an important issue to them – as it is a life blood to us.” Client Survey 
    • We received the Legal Business award for Best Property Team of the Year in 2013 for advising on a £440m transaction for Trinity College Cambridge in which it acquired a 50% investment in 11 Tesco stores across the UK. 
    • Head of sector, partner Gary Attle, was recognised by The Lawyer in its Hot 100 awards in 2013 for his leadership of our work in the education sector.

    Legal resources you may find useful

    • Fusion: bringing together the latest public, private and charity law updates for the education sector in our education law blog
    • Follow @GaryAttle on Twitter

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