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constitutional and governance advice in higher education

Higher education building

Higher education institutions (HEIs) are unique organisations with complex structures and subject to wide ranging regulation. In common with all organisations, effectiveness governance at HEIs plays an important role in supporting and ensuring effective operational performance. Ensuring compliance with constitutional, governance and regulatory requirements is also key to managing risk in this area.

Our experienced team of education lawyers, with its excellent reputation for providing practical, commercial and innovative advice and adding value whenever we can, advises on all aspects of constitutional and governance issues.

What we offer

We advise on the full range of issues HEIs are likely to face including:

  • The Office for Students (OfS) and charity regulatory frameworks and registration with the OfS
  • All constitutional matters, including governance structures, Charters, Statutes, Ordinances and Articles of Association and constitutional change
  • Reportable events
  • Relations with students’ unions
  • Senior pay
  • Fundraising, gifting, legacies and endowment
  • Borrowing and investment
  • Charity and company law
  • Counter-fraud
  • Crisis management and reputational challenges
  • Schemes of delegation
  • The rights and duties of Council and Board members
  • Training for Council and Board members.

Why choose Browne Jacobson higher education lawyers?

We provide specialist legal advice on constitutional and governance issues affecting the higher education sector. For more information, please contact Dominic Swift.

recent experience

  • Reviewing the approach of a university to ensuring compliance with consumer protection law including a review of its Student Protection Plan and its arrangements for ensuring that current and future students were well informed about their choices and the arrangements in place to ensure continuity of programmes of study.

  • Advising a Russell Group university on the duties and responsibilities of Members of Council across the full regulatory regime including in their roles as charity trustees.

  • Advising a university on its obligations in relation to reporting reportable events to the OfS following updated guidance.

  • Advising a university on the incorporation of a trading subsidiary to manage its intellectual property portfolio and implement its wide-reaching technology transfer initiatives.

focus on...

University spinouts and joint ventures – developing your in-house expertise

Catch up on this on-demand video where intellectual property expert Selina Hinchliffe and corporate specialist Sam Sharp discussed spinouts and joint ventures providing significant commercial opportunities for universities to capitalise on their research and innovation expertise.

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Legal updates

be connected newsletter for higher education - April 2021

In this edition of our higher education newsletter, we provide you with the latest in legal updates, news and insight from the higher education sector.

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Legal updates

Responding to supplier administrations

Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the financial pressure that many companies are currently under may prove insurmountable. The financial support schemes cannot go on indefinitely and, when they are removed, it is likely that we will see the number of insolvencies increase.

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Legal updates

Gradings without exams – arrangements for the Class of 2021

Assessment arrangements for those due to finish their level 3 studies in 2021 are being finalised at present, to create a system that is deemed to be as fair as possible and to avoid a situation where the grades are felt not to reflect the students’ capabilities and efforts.

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