Louise Cazan and Graham Shaw
Bdaily Business News

Yorkshire Top 100 law firm advises academies

Yorkshire law firm Ward Hadaway has been chosen to advise one of the country’s leading multi-academy trusts.

The UK Top 100 firm has been picked by the Schools Partnership Trust Academies (SPTA) to provide SPTA and its schools and academies with ongoing legal support.

SPTA is the largest multi-academy trust in the North of England and currently looks after 41 academies across Yorkshire and Humberside.

The trust expects to be operating over 50 academies by the end of August 2014 and has appointed Ward Hadaway to provide SPTA and its schools and academies with the full legal advice and support they require.

Ward Hadaway, which has offices in Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester, was selected following a competitive tender and interview process.

Graham Shaw, Partner and Head of Education at Ward Hadaway, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen for such an important and prestigious appointment.

“SPTA is a leading multi-academy trust with an extremely strong track record of achievement and a distinctive approach to securing the best outcome for young people.

“To have secured this appointment against very strong competition speaks volumes for the calibre of the team here at Ward Hadaway and the hard work which everyone has put in to provide the very best legal services for organisations in the education sector.”

The SPTA is currently responsible for the leadership and operation of 37 academies including infant, primary, secondary and free schools.

Karen Bromage, Finance Director at SPTA, said: “We have received exceptional advice and support from the Ward Hadaway team with a number of our academy conversions.

“They have built up our trust and confidence over the years which we are assured will lead to an even stronger working relationship.

“We look forward to working with the team in the future on wider legal projects around areas such as employment law and education.”

Ward Hadaway’s specialist education team has already advised School Partnership Trust Academies on the conversion of a range of schools to academy status including the conversion of East Garforth Primary School in Leeds into an academy and the conversion of the Pupil Referral Unit in Harrogate into an alternative provision academy, both of which converted in September 2013.

These schools were amongst a range of academies and free schools which opened at the start of the new school year with help from Ward Hadaway.

In Yorkshire, the firm advised on the conversion of the Littleworth Grange Primary Learning Centre in Barnsley into an academy.

Ward Hadaway’s specialist education team has now advised on over 170 academies across all phases and types of education provision.

The team has also worked on a number of ‘firsts’ in the sector, including advising on the first maintained school to convert to academy status, the first maintained school to convert to academy status under a multi-academy trust and one of the first academies to be sponsored by a registered social landlord.

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