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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...

Legal updates

be connected newsletter for higher education - July 2021

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

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Legal updates

Lifting of restrictions - what this means for employers in the higher education sector

19 July 2021 marked the lifting of many restrictions within England including the cessation of the need for social distancing, the removal of the legal requirement for face masks, and the end of required homeworking. We look at the guidance on the lifting of restrictions in the context of staff working in the higher education sector.

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Legal updates

Steps to take following a data breach: reporting, criminal charges and injunctions

Student and staff files will be full of personal data, much of which may be particularly sensitive such as health information (known under the data protection legislation as “special category” data).

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Legal updates

Long Covid

As HR teams in the Higher Education sector plan for the staffing implications of the return of students to university, they are also having to deal with the relatively new condition known as long Covid.

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