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COVID-19

Ansons Solicitors are very much still open for business. Like many others, we have decided to close our offices to the public, but please be assured that our staff are working from home and can be contacted in the usual manner, either by direct dial phone or via email. We are business as usual, and here to help all clients through these uncertain times. Please click here for our full message

Education

Ansons has a specialist education team that has experience of advising on all aspects of education law. The success of the education team is due to its understanding and ability to provide practical advice based on first hand in-house experience and the ability to draw on cross-disciplinary expertise.

The team is led by Jacob Rickett who previously worked in-house as the Head of Legal and Compliance at Birmingham City University building and developing an in-house team. Jacob has worked for a number of different universities in private practice and is able to understand the challenges of in-house teams and provide practical advice.

The education team regularly advise on:

  • Student Matters
  • Information law and data protection
  • Corporate, Governance and Commercial
  • Employment issues
  • Protection of University Intellectual Property
  • Property Estates and Construction

Student Matters

Our lawyers work closely with in-house legal teams and also directly with client officers from support services departments, faculties and schools. We are committed to ensuring we know our clients and get to know their ways of working to provide sound practical advice and to become trusted extensions of in-house teams that can be called upon when specialist advice is required or to provide additional resources and capacity. Our team has advised across a number of client complaint systems and within different statutory disciplinary and fitness to practice hearings quickly adapting to and becoming experts on new client’s policies and procedures.

Our team’s experience includes:

  • OfS registration, CMA self-assessments, student protection plans and other OfS requirements
  • CMA compliance audits and reviews;
  • Academic Regulation, committees and reviewing policies/procedures;
  • Agents and referral matters, offers, admission decisions and other enrolment issues;
  • Drafting the ‘student Contract’ and dealing with disputes;
  • Student complaints, including OIA matters;
  • Misconduct;
  • Suspensions and exclusions;
  • Fitness to practice matters, including advice and support with investigations, hearing and challenges;
  • Accommodation licences and disputes; and
  • regulatory compliance.

 Information Law and Data Protection

We are able to assist on all areas of information compliance and have experience of advising on all aspects of information requests, data protection and records management. Jacob Rickett while in a former role as the Head of Legal and Compliance at Birmingham City University was also the Data Protection Officer dealing with GDPR implementation, data subject requests, FOIs and third-party requests. We are therefore well placed not only to provide sound advice but to provide tailored and practical advice based on a full knowledge of the challenge not only of the sector but having been on the ground. Our team also has experience of advising other public bodies and police forces on data protection requirements, freedom of information and environmental information requests.

Our team can assist with:

  • Data protection advice, drafting applicable procedures, policies and creating bespoke training packages and reviewing and drafting website documentation;
  • Data audits, breaches and investigations;
  • Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations;
  • Third party requests for information, such as police or local authority requests;
  • Data protection advice on subject access and other data right requests;
  • Crisis management dealing with regulatory breaches and investigations, including DPA breaches, reporting to the ICO and reputation management;
  • Data Privacy impact assessments in regards to new forms of technologies such as new IT, web, CRM, marketing and safeguarding systems; and
  • Record management systems and retentions requirements.

We have delivered full GDPR reviews and implementation projects and regularly deliver data protection and FOI training for in-house legal teams as well as client officers and academic staff (at all levels). We can also offer an FOI review service on a fixed fee or retainer basis.

Corporate, Governance and Commercial

We act for universities, charities and businesses and advise subsidiaries of national and multi-national groups. We have developed a leading reputation for dealing with mergers and acquisitions; however, we provide the complete range of corporate, governance and commercial services.

Our corporate and commercial experience includes:

  • company law, charity law and company secretarial advice;
  • regulatory requirements including advising on registration with the OfS, CMA self-assessments and student protection plans;
  • joint venture and shareholder agreements;
  • subsidiary set up and group re-organisations and reconstructions
  • buying and selling companies and businesses mergers and demergers
  • appointment and removal of directors
  • banking and security documentation
  • advising on endowment portfolios for Universities
  • full range of commercial agreements from basic supply contracts, to complex outsourcing and full OJEU procurement compliance
  • research agreements
  • collaboration agreements between colleges and Universities
  • joint or dual awards, validation provision and franchise arrangements between HE providers
  • agent agreement and student referrals
  • ‘the Student Contract’
  • intellectual property
  • ecommerce agreements
  • competition law
  • procurement
  • State aid and grant funding

Employment Issues

We provide sound, comprehensive legal advice and support from a team of employment law specialists with a down-to-earth, dedicated and flexible approach. Although common sense may be sufficient to deal with many employment law issues, sometimes it may be necessary to involve an employment lawyer in order to avoid any hidden pitfalls.

The team’s range of services includes:

  • bespoke employment training
  • employment health check
  • employment documentation
  • employment law advice
  • employment tribunal representation

We found that many existing employment law advisers simply tell their clients what they should not do. We focus on the practical solutions to the problems and issues that you face and can become an extension of the in-house legal and HR teams. We are able to provide Ansons On Call which is our fixed fee retainer service if you require certainty of costs. Ansons On Call includes:

  • an initial employment law health check to ensure that your current contracts and procedures are up to date with the latest changes to employment law;
  • a helpline to provide practical employment law advice when you need it at no additional charge;
  • assistance through each step of any employment law processes you face including disciplinaries, redundancies, grievances and dealing with long term sick leave;
  • regular updates throughout the year to ensure your business is compliant with the latest changes to employment law.

Protection of University Intellectual Property

Our team has experience in assisting Universities with the protection of its own Intellectual property rights in its branding and trade names and also with research and collaboration agreements and protection and exploiting rights.

Ansons also specialises in advising on disputes and litigation concerning:

  • breach of copyright
  • passing off
  • breach of design rights
  • patent infringement
  • trade mark infringement.

Our specialist dispute resolution solicitors, based in our Staffordshire offices in Cannock and Lichfield, can provide expert legal advice on intellectual property disputes.

Property, Estates and Construction

We understand that commercial property matters need to be dealt with speedily. We are recognised for our prompt and efficient service and maintain good relationships with commercial property agents to ensure you benefit from a smooth transaction. Our business-like approach also focuses on offering pragmatic and commercial advice to help meet your overall objectives.

Our lawyers can help you with:

  • purchase of a commercial property
  • financing and re-financing of property
  • landlord or tenant lease negotiations
  • property disputes
  • Student accommodation
  • planning law
  • sale of property
  • options pre-emptions and overage agreements
  • compulsory purchase orders
  • HS2
  • access agreements
  • negotiating new leases and sub-leases
  • existing lease renewals
  • assignments of leases
  • forfeiture
  • interim rent claims
  • preparing and serving break notices
  • surrenders of leases
  • variations of leases
  • landlords consent to assignment, underlease, or alterations
  • break clauses

We are experienced in acquiring property for pension funds, charities and healthcare businesses and also from insolvent sellers. We have experience in green energy work such as photovoltaic leases, wind farms and bio digester developments. We also have full property and planning teams. Our dispute resolution team specialises in property disputes involving commercial property in particular:

  • dilapidations
  • tenant breach of covenants
  • unlawful subletting
  • termination of lease
  • recovery of rent arrears
  • forfeiture and relief
  • enforcing personal guarantees
  • our specialist solicitors can provide you with expert legal advice whether you are a landlord or tenant

The planning law team at Ansons acts on either side for planning authorities, landowners and property developers. Our intimate knowledge of both perspectives ensures that our clients benefit from our guidance in determining the best approach. Our services include:

  •  planning inquiries
  • obtaining lawful development certificates
  • planning objections
  • planning prosecutions
  • section 106 and other planning agreements
  • the community infrastructure levy
  • compulsory purchase orders
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