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Higher education employment and HR resources

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Our national team of experienced higher education 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 higher education HR teams have 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 across the full spectrum of HEI employment matters. 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, our process, and the outcome.

What we offer

  • Advice on a comprehensive range of HEI employment law issues, including recruitment, contractual and settlement agreements, workplace policies and procedures, and equality, diversity, and inclusion.

    We also advise on governance, remuneration, pensions, trade unions, and industrial action and strikes, as well as 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.
  • Advice on immigration issues within higher education employment, 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 higher education 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 in higher education and employment, acting for our HEI clients in employment tribunals, as well as the county and high courts.

Why choose Browne Jacobson higher education employment lawyers?

We are a national team of experienced employment lawyers, specialising in higher education 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...

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

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

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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Legal updates

The role of the SHAPE (Social Sciences, Humanities & the Arts for People and the Economy) subjects in knowledge exchange

Following publication of the first iteration of Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) results in Spring 2021, the British Academy released its report ‘Knowledge Exchange in the SHAPE disciplines’ (the Report) in June 2021 which presented a diverse range of case studies showing that knowledge exchange in SHAPE disciplines yields significant social, economic and cultural benefits.

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