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HR and employment in higher education

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Our national team of experienced employment lawyers and specialist education HR advisors work with higher education institutions (HEIs) on a daily basis. We understand the issues facing your sector and the need to be agile to take account of new opportunities and challenges. HEIs are having to think even more strategically about their future and your HR team has a key role to play.

We are praised for our practical, robust advice and our ability to deal with urgent matters that need an immediate response. We operate very much as part of our clients’ HR teams supporting them in every way we can and, as a result, they really trust us.

What we offer

  • Advice on a comprehensive range of employment law issues including recruitment, contractual and settlement agreements, workplace policies and procedures, equality, diversity and inclusion, governance, remuneration, pensions, trade unions, industrial action and strikes, safeguarding, whistleblowing, organisational change, communication and reputational management matters
  • Advice on immigration issues, including matters relating to inbound international staff, the employment of PhD students and UKVI audits.
  • A practical solutions approach to internal disputes including grievance, disciplinary, ill health and performance related issues
  • Bespoke training – tailored, practical and interactive training to ensure HR teams, academic and professional services staff and senior management are up to date with latest developments
  • A “one team” approach – we act as an extension of your HR team, especially during periods of increased workload, absence or capability
  • Advocacy services – we have a wealth of experience acting for our HEI clients in the employment tribunals, county and high courts.

Why choose Browne Jacobson employment lawyers?

We are a national team of experienced employment lawyers, specialising in employment law for HEIs. For more information, please contact James Tait.

recent experience

  • Carrying out an in-depth review of a university’s current contractual arrangements with all its contractors and freelancers to ensure it is compliant with IR35 legislation

  • Advising a university in relation to the removal of a senior member of staff as result of complex and potentially very damaging whistleblowing allegations

  • Representing a university in relation to a high-profile sex discrimination claim with significant media interest

what the directories say...



"They are flexible and will adapt their advice and style," notes one client, who also praises the lawyers for being "solutions-driven, knowledgeable and reliable."

Chambers 2021


My overall impression of the firm is they are the perfect working partner for a business. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.

Chambers 2020


The Browne Jacobson LLP employment team is 'incredibly responsive, knowledgeable and thorough in its approach.'

Legal 500 2020

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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