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Browne Jacobson announces Nick MacKenzie to succeed Mark Blois as head of Browne Jacobson’s education team

10 April 2024

UK and Ireland law firm Browne Jacobson’s education team will soon be under new leadership as Nick MacKenzie steps up into the role.

Nick, who has been recognised as a leading expert in education by The Legal 500 and Chambers for more than 10 years, takes over the reins from Mark Blois, who will continue his work with clients at the firm.

Over the past two decades, Mark has led the team through a period of significant growth in both its client base and breadth of work, establishing Browne Jacobson as a market leader and winning numerous sector awards.

The firm’s support to the sector now involves providing legal or HR advice to more than half of multi-academy trusts nationally and to education institutions responsible for running about a third of all maintained sector schools in England. It also works with a growing number of further education and higher education institutions.

The education team has also taken a strong thought leadership role within the wider sector via initiatives such as EdCon, a free online conference that attracts more than 1,000 delegates each year; the School Leaders Survey, which is completed periodically by over 200 governance and executive leaders who provide insights on priorities and challenges; and the #EdInfluence podcast, which features interviews with a diverse range of inspiring leaders.

Nick, an experienced lawyer and executive coach, will take over as Head of Education from 1 May.

He said: “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to take over the leadership of such a highly regarded and influential team within the education sector.

“I am hugely excited about the firm’s ambition for our education team. We have a highly talented and growing team of more than 100 legal and HR specialists, which is a great platform from which to deliver our ambitious plans in order to be recognised as a clear market leader right across the education sector.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work with Mark and the rest of the leadership group to deliver our strategy by truly engaging with our clients, and providing key insights and innovation in our service delivery to help them succeed in an evolving education landscape.”

Mark is ranked by Chambers as one of only three lawyers in band one nationally for recommended schools’ lawyers and is included in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame, which highlights law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession.

He also has more than 20 years’ experience serving in education sector governance roles and has been recognised as a National Leader of Governance (NLG) by the Department for Education.

“Having founded Browne Jacobson’s education practice and had the honour of leading it for the past 20 years, it has been a big personal decision to step down as Head of Education but I believe passionately that leadership renewal is healthy and succession planning is crucial to the success of any organisation’s growth and sustainability,” said Mark.

“I am delighted to be passing on the torch to Nick, who has proven himself over the years to be a huge asset to the firm and has played an influential role in some of our wider engagement activities within the sector that now put us at the heart of the education conversation. Our education team will undoubtedly go from strength to strength under Nick’s leadership.

“I’m also keen to stress that I am not going anywhere. I intend to continue serving as a senior partner in the team for many years to come and I am excited that, going forward, I will have the opportunity to spend more time working directly with our clients.”

Richard Medd, Managing Partner at Browne Jacobson, added: “Under Mark’s leadership, we have built a best-in-class education practice that epitomises our firm’s ambition to be at the forefront of society’s biggest issues.

“Strong succession planning is at the core of any successful business and this has been a shining example, with Mark putting in place a detailed strategy to ensure a sustainable future for the practice. We are delighted to have Nick at the helm now and are excited to see where he takes us in the coming years.”

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