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Education sector legal experts

As one of the leading providers of legal services to public sector organisations in Wales, we are experienced in advising universities, colleges, schools and local authority education providers and currently act for several educational institutions.

Our specialist services

Advice for further and higher education providers

We can support further and higher education providers with:

  • advice on your property and estates portfolio, on all aspects of construction, planning and commercial property, including acquisition, disposals and land development, property litigation, and landlord and tenant law
  • advice and conduct of proceedings relating to Judicial Review
  • advice on student complaints in the further and higher education sectors, including cases before the OIA
  • commercial advice, including on contracts, partnerships and collaborations, public procurement, IP and franchise arrangements, IP disputes, GDPR and data protection issues, freedom of information, subject access requests and data breaches
  • employment law advice and HR services, including recruitment, employment procedures, restructures, TUPE, immigration, pensions and handling employment tribunal claims
  • carrying out investigations in relation to whistleblowing complaints, disciplinary and grievances and bullying and harassment complaints.
  • acting as legal adviser to disciplinary and appeal panels.
  • advice on corporate law, including on mergers and acquisitions, restructures and the formation of university spin-off companies
  • banking advice, including on funding options for major projects
  • advice on H&S, fire and environmental regulations, and on the Building Safety Act 2022 and CDM regulations
  • fitness to practise issues and student disciplinary matters
  • constitutional, charity law and regulatory advice, as well as guidance and training in relation to good governance and governance structures.

Advice for schools

  • special educational needs tribunals
  • school appeals panels
  • school attendance prosecutions
  • school re-organisations

Key contact

Louise Price


A highly specialised lawyer, Louise is a Partner and Head of Employment and HR services. Her expertise includes corporate support work, TUPE, pensions and employee benefits advice. She regularly advises private, public and third sector clients regarding large scale TUPE transfers of staff including drafting indemnities and warranties, advising on potential employment and pension liabilities, information and consultation obligations, and providing best value guidance.

Why use us?

Cost-effective, partner-led teams

We offer a partner-led team, with the Lead Partner being involved across all aspects of our service delivery. Their senior-level oversight and input throughout will ensure that you receive a quality service. Our team will also include junior lawyers who can advise on less complex, more day-to-day matters, and trainees and paralegals who can support with research and administrative tasks. Where work is done by a more junior member of the team, their work will be peer reviewed and quality checked by the Lead Partner to ensure it is accurate and of the agreed level of quality. We recognise the financial pressures facing organisations in the public and education sectors, and this approach to staff allocation helps to ensure we strike the right balance between quality, efficiency and value for money.

A commitment to upskilling

We appreciate that many in-house lawyers need to be an expert in all things! We are committed to working in partnership with you and to upskilling your teams to enable them to become more self-sufficient. We add value for you by offering secondments, as well as regular training and thought leadership.

Dedicated public sector relationship management

We have a dedicated Client Relations Manager for the public and education sectors, whose role is to ensure we deliver a quality service and keep our promises to you. Our Client Relations Manager ensures we have formal review meetings to seek feedback on our performance to support continuous improvement. They ensure that any issues are caught early before they become major hurdles. They also monitor any agreed KPIs, help to arrange any requested training and value-added activity, and provide you with regular Management Information.

Recent experience

Our experience includes:

  • advising Cardiff University on the TUPE transfer of over 300 staff and 3,000 separate training courses from the University to a newly created body, Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW)
  • advising Cardiff University on various commercial property matters in relation to its estate portfolio, including advising on the landmark re-development of the University’s Centre for Student Life
  • advising Coleg Gwent on a range of commercial property matters, including in relation to the development of a new sixth form centre, the disposal of a former campus site, and the development of its Newport Information Quarter and Torfaen Learning Zone
  • providing Cardiff University and Coleg Gwent with charities advice
  • defending a Higher Education provider against a personal injury claim for noise-induced hearing loss
  • assisted a school in relation to an investigation conducted by the ICO into a data breach
  • drafted policies and procedures on behalf of the Welsh Government, for example, non statutory guidance for the Department for Education and Skills in relation to the capability of school teaching staff and Headteachers
  • defending a University regarding a complex and sensitive disability discrimination case
  • acting as presenting officers on behalf of the Education Workforce Council in relation to fitness to practice hearings
  • providing commercial litigation advice to two high schools in respect of contract disputes
  • advising on an IP dispute involving a leading Welsh University
  • advising a University regarding a dispute which arose in relation to a member of staff’s pension benefits under the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and the Universities Superannuation Scheme
  • providing commercial advice and putting the agreements in place for an individual who is entering a partnership agreement with a North Wales University
  • advising Cardiff Business Technology Centre – a collaboration between Cardiff University and Cardiff Council – on commercial property issues
  • delivering training on cladding safety to a number of further education colleges, post-Grenfell
  • advising on licensing issues in relation to University campus bars
  • representing a further education provider in its response to a Health and Safety Executive investigation
  • advising Welsh Government on the introduction of “T-level” qualifications
  • representing a university at an inquest called to consider the death by suicide of a student
  • acting as legal advisor to school exclusion appeal boards for various local education authorities

How we act for our clients

We will meet formally with you at the outset of our working relationship to discuss the operation of the contract between us, set milestones to review our performance, and discuss the initial instruction, the options available to you, anticipated costs and practical next steps. Once matters are underway we would regularly seek feedback on our service delivery and share lessons learned. We encourage open and honest dialogue through a two-way feedback process to continuously monitor our service delivery performance.

We are committed to ensuring that you receive advice in a timely manner as soon as you need it. We are available as a minimum between 9-5 Monday to Friday, and understand that matters can crop up where you need to know the next steps quickly.  You will always have a contact for urgent matters outside these core hours. For these urgent matters, we commit to ensuring you receive advice within a two-hour period where possible.

Cardiff University pro bono scheme

Since 2006 we have run a successful pro bono programme with the Law department of Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics.

Over 1,000 students have benefitted from the scheme so far. It focuses on the delicate issue of NHS funding for care home fees. The scheme allows students to gain real-life, hands-on experience of what it’s like to work at a law firm and how NHS Continuing Healthcare claims are handled.

The scheme is led and delivered by our leading Nursing Care team.

We also act as pro bono consultants to Cardiff University in respect of its Welsh-language law course.

About our pro bono scheme
Cardiff University Logo

Schools mentoring

We are proud to support a mentoring scheme in partnership with Willows High School in Cardiff.

Through the scheme, 20 students attend our Cardiff office on a monthly basis to receive mentoring from a number of Hugh James volunteers, including partners, solicitors, paralegals and Central Services employees.

Willows High School Logo

Next steps

We’re here to get things moving. Drop a message to one of our experts and we’ll get straight back to you.

Call us: 033 3016 2222

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