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Higher education compliance and management

higher education

The regulatory burden placed on Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) is significant. Bodies such as the Office for Students and the Information Commissioner’s Office have placed universities under greater scrutiny than ever before.

Making sure HEIs remain fully compliant with the plethora of regulation, civil law and criminal law is a major challenge. At the same time, civil and criminal enforcement and recovery powers can be draconian, and failure to comply can be costly and severely damaging to your brand and reputation.

We help you navigate the relevant regulatory framework, and provide thorough, balanced and pragmatic advice on regulatory risk management to assist you in ensuring complete HEI compliance amid regulatory investigations. Our expert regulatory and higher ed compliance team, which includes several criminal lawyers, undertakes both prosecution and defence work – giving us a unique understanding and ability to negotiate for clients involved in investigations and enforcement action.

We coordinate with our civil litigation colleagues who advise on any commercial disputes or civil claims for compensation that often follow with a regulatory investigation. We work closely with our clients to relieve the pressures that inevitably arise within matters of higher education compliance and the associated regulatory investigation and prosecutions.

What our higher education compliance and management services offer

  • Comprehensive expertise - we can advise on all regulatory HEI compliance matters, from governance and constitutional affairs, corporate manslaughter, health and safety, food safety, environmental compliance and risk management through to reporting and investigation of serious incidents, Freedom of Information and data breaches, fraud investigations and crisis management.
  • One team approach - our experienced multi-disciplinary team, including experts in regulatory compliance and enforcement, counter fraud, civil, criminal and charity law, provides a national and international one-stop shop for all your regulatory and higher ed compliance needs.
  • Training - we support your professional development programmes through tailored workshops and training available to all levels within your institution.
  • Products - you can access our unique suite of data compliance checking products to ensure you remain fully compliant.

Why choose Browne Jacobson higher education compliance lawyers?

We will ensure you are kept up to date with the latest regulatory changes and are fully compliant with the latest regulatory framework, whilst providing you with pragmatic, tailored solutions that meet your needs. For more information, please contact Andy Hopkin.

Recent experience in HEI compliance matters

  • Advised a students’ union in connection with an inquest and undertook the advocacy throughout. This included reviewing the University’s existing policies on health and well-being, volunteering, suicide awareness and halls of residence security.
  • Advising numerous university clients in a range of matters, including higher ed compliance with money laundering legislation, fire safety, police investigations involving students, and health and safety aspects of a proposed joint venture.
  • Represented a University Hospital Trust in connection with a workplace fatality, including police investigation and subsequent prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive.
  • In the wake of guidance issued by the Competition and Markets Authority in 2015, we advised an HEI in reviewing its approach to ensure compliance with consumer protection law. This included a review of its Student Protection Plan and its arrangements for making sure that current and future students were well informed about their university choices and the arrangements in place to ensure continuity of programmes of study.

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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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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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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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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