Successful Judicial Review of Local Authority’s failure to deliver provision in an Education, Health and Care Plan

One intention of the SEN reforms in the Children and Families Act 2014 was to bring an end to the need for parents to ‘battle’ with Local Authorities for support for children with SEN. Last week, OFSTED’s Annual Report highlighted that, four years after the reforms came in, this remains an issue. OFSTED’s Chief Inspector said, in presenting the Report, that: “Something is deeply wrong when parents repeatedly tell inspectors that they have to fight

Court of Appeal Overturns Zahid Guidance

Around 18 months ago, we reported that the High Court had approved a procedure to be followed by students who wished to complain to the OIA whilst preserving the right to pursue Judicial Review proceedings directly against their university at a later date. In R (on the application of Zahid) v University of Manchester [2017] EWHC 188 (Admin), Mr Justice Hickinbottom gave detailed guidance to be followed in three types of case, namely: i) OIA

Anti bullying. The Law must change

Sinclairslaw CEO Michael Charles has called for the law to change to better protect children from bullying. Often campaigns raised in regard to anti bullying at schools get responded to by Government saying that more should be done to help. The current law which entitles young people to bring proceedings for negligence involves first having to show that a child has suffered loss and damage. Yet the Children Act emphasises the importance of child protection.

Plagiarism or Poor Referencing?

Ask the man in the street for a definition of plagiarism and he’ll probably say something along the lines of “taking another person’s work and pretending it’s your own.” He might even talk about “stealing.” The term brings to mind shady practices like handing in a friend’s essay, or doing a copy and paste job. Crucially, for most of us, plagiarism involves an element of dishonesty. And yet, for university academics plagiarism covers a lot

Post 16 Special Needs Provision in Wales. A lost generation ?

Message from Michael Charles in speech to the Wales Autism Show. Yesterday I attended the Wales Autism Show. Thank you to all who came to hear me speak. I relayed responses I had received to a freedom of information request I had issued to the Welsh Government. I spoke of a national scandal, and of a potential lost generation. As a lawyer working in both Cardiff and London I am able to compare the laws

Does a local authority have to consult an independent school requested by a parent

A topic that we are frequently asked about is whether the local authority must consult a particular independent school that a parent might elect within a special needs case. The situation is different in England and Wales although often education departments claim that the duty to educate within a mainstream school means that it does not have to consult a particular school during a statutory assessment which the parents might elect preference for, if it

Plagiarism Accusations & International Students, A Growing Injustice

Whilst all my cases are different, certain sets of facts repeat themselves. One of the more worrying trends I’ve noticed lately involves plagiarism accusations against overseas students, particularly those whose first language is not English. It goes something like this: – A student submits a piece of coursework. – A couple of weeks later, a lecturer or tutor, “invites” him/her to attend a meeting in order to “discuss concerns about misconduct” or something similarly vague.

John Ford law firm merges with Sinclairslaw

From tomorrow the incredible team at John Ford Solicitors merge with Sinclairslaw which enables the firm to further establish itself as the “go to” firm in the Education and community care sector. The merger of the two firms is on top of the Sinclairslaw purchase of the tremendous Match Solictor brand which is another leading player in the sector. From tomorrow John Ford and his team recognised as tier one practitioners within leading legal directories

Sinclairslaw respond to the SEN inquiry

Dear Sir Re: Special Educational Needs and disabilities inquiry Introduction I have had the pleasure of representing scores of families in special needs cases over the past 25 years. The inquiry is a welcome opportunity to advance some of my thoughts in the hope that it will help achieve real improvement in an area which sadly is riddled with problems. Unlike an inquiry which some may say will provide a snap shot of the times,

Wales Autism Shows: Sinclairslaw Education Law team deal with your questions

Our amazing Education Law team were ready on hand to deal with public questions and to provide guidance on the new Welsh law in special needs cases at the Wales Autism Shows. The show which is now in its second year held the event last Friday in Llandudno North Wales and scores of people attended. Chris McFarland Associate Solicitor within the Cardiff Education law department said “The turnout at the event was excellent. Sinclairslaw are

Special educational needs seminar reaches record audience

The Sinclairslaw special educational needs seminar broadcast live on Facebook on 4th June, has now been viewed by over twenty thousand people. A spokesperson for Sinclairslaw stated today “this is a wonderful achievement and demonstrates the incredible work that the Education Law team do. This is a record so far.” For those who have not yet seen it – click here to watch on the Sinclairslaw facebook page click here Today members of the Sinclairslaw

Special Needs update : Child Mediation Service apologises after Sinclairslaw challenge

A National Mediation provider appointed by scores of Local Education Authorities across England in child special educational needs cases was forced to apologise this week after a challenge brought against it by Sinclairslaw CEO Mr Michael Charles. The debate began after a client of the firm in a special needs case asked the mediation service to allow a lawyer to attend a meeting between themselves and their Local Authority in order to resolve a dispute

Seminar – 13th July 2018

A free seminar for practitioners will be hosted by Sinclairslaw’s specialist Education law and Court of Protection team in conjunction with No5 Chambers

Sinclairslaw acquires the fabulous Match brand

Match Solicitors sells its Brand to Sinclairslaw to create the go to Education Law Firm! Sinclairslaw is delighted to announce that it has bought the five star brand of Match Solicitors which now makes Sinclairslaw the leading Education Law practice in England and Wales. Match Solicitors was set up by Anita Chopra and Salima Mawji in April 2005 and after a highly successful 13 years of trading, the brand Match Solicitors now joins Sinclairslaw which

Free live seminar – Bullying , Special Need Tribunal Preparation and Negligence. Taking your questions now.

Another live seminar will take place at 6.15pm on 4th June 2018. After the incredible success of the anti bullying seminar in 2017 which saw viewing numbers exceed 15000, another free event has been announced. This one however will be different. Sinclairslaw has for 2018 produced a drama based on true events. It follows the story of 12 year old fictional character Jonathan Fletcher, who has autism and is placed at a mainstream secondary school.

Our winners are announced!

Watch the final episode of the Sinclairslaw search for an apprentice. The winners will become a solicitor. CLICK HERE Or Watch here


It is understandably rare for a court of appeal to be so critical of the conduct of an inferior court yet this month the Upper Tribunal launched what can only be described as a highly critical, some may say scathing attack on the approach taken by the President of the Welsh special needs tribunal in a case involving a parent of a disabled child who sought to register an appeal against a decision by Denbighshire

Possession Order successfully obtained at first appearance

Robert North, Director and Head of Litigation and Matthew Wyard, Barrister, have successfully secured a Possession Order for a residential landlord following his tenants threats to damage his property and amassing significant rent arrears. The key issue was whether rent was “lawfully due” from the tenants to the landlord. At the first hearing the court was persuaded to grant the order sought with immediate effect. If you are a landlord with problem tenants then contact

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