Our mission is to provide an outstanding service to leading and ambitious universities and higher education institutions. Built on our deep sector knowledge and experience, we have a track record of innovation, thought leadership, and getting things done.

Our Universities & Higher Education group includes over 150 lawyers based in our offices in the UK, Middle East and Asia Pacific. We draw on the full resources of Pinsent Masons to cover the range of legal disciplines.  We advise both UK and international institutions - whether publicly funded or private, charitable or for-profit.

UK universities are at an evolutionary turning point.  The era of generous state support is over.  As the funding of HE transforms, students and student demand will have a greater influence on the shape of the sector and of individual institutions.  The UK government is using policy changes and legislation to create a more favourable environment for private, for-profit and international institutions to set up in competition with existing, state supported and charitable universities.

UK universities are strongly autonomous institutions with the ability to develop their own institutional and collective strategies in response to this changing environment.  Strategic thinkers will see opportunities to make significant operational reforms which will stand them in good stead for the challenges of the future.

At the same time, there is increasing interest by reputable international institutions in entering the UK market.  We have helped two of them to do so, and to establish themselves as charities.  We also advise UK institutions on HE collaborations and joint ventures with partners worldwide.

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Out-Law / Universities

Our latest work

Our advisers act on domestic and international projects of all shapes and sizes, working with many of the leading names in the market. Browse our experience below, or use the filters to look-up recent work in particular geographies and industry sectors.

    Meet the team

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    Gayle Ditchburn

    Partner, Head of Office, Birmingham

    Gayle is a commercial partner specialising in advising universities, higher and further education institutions, private education providers and banks lending to the education sector on regulatory issues, commercial contracts, joint ventures, mergers and disposals, shared services, outsourcing, commercialising activities, student unions, charity law, corporate structures and constitutional and corporate governance matters.

    Ditchburn Gayle
    Helen Corden


    Helen is our UK Head of Employment & Reward and specialises in all aspects of employment law.

    Corden Helen
    Julian Sladdin


    Julian is a highly experienced commercial litigator as well as a qualified Solicitor Advocate (High Rights - Civil) and mediator.

    Sladdin Julian
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