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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

Data reform in the UK

Since the UK left the EU and are now able to move away from the EU data protection regime, the UK government have implemented a national data strategy with the aim of reducing the burden on organisations but maintaining a high data protection standard.

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Legal updates

What opportunities do the REF 2021 results offer universities?

The long-awaited publication of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 provides universities with opportunities to generate additional income and build upon the quality of their research output.

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Published articles

Gloves about to come off? Representation at disciplinary and grievance hearings

Brendan Clarke Smith proposed that the right to be accompanied should be much wider than it is at present. Whilst the Bill itself was withdrawn, the idea lives on and is supported by the Education Secretary.

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Legal updates

be connected newsletter for higher education - May 2022

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

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