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Meet the Team

Chris Barnett

Chris BarnettDirector

020 8891 4488
Education Law, Higher Education Law, Special Needs Law

Chris joined Match Solicitors as an Associate Solicitor in May 2015, and joined Sinclairs in June 2018 following the acquisition by Sinclairs of the Match Solicitors brand. He has over 12 years’ experience working in Education Law, and was previously head of a specialist Education, Disability & Public Law Department at Levenes Solicitors for over 7 years.  Chris became a director at Sinclairslaw in 2023.

Chris deals with all forms of appeals and claims that are heard by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal, and regularly represents parents in hearings at the Tribunal. In addition, Chris has acted in a number of appeals to the Upper Tribunal as well as being frequently instructed on Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court and appeals to the Court of Appeal.

He regularly acts for parents in both admissions and exclusion appeals before Admissions Appeals Panels (AAPs) and Independent Review Panels (IRPs). Additionally, Chris acts and advises on claims against Colleges and Universities, with a particular focus on disability discrimination matters.

He has written and co-written articles published in the Education Law Review, Education Law Association journal Education, Public Law and the Individual, as well as the Education Law Update. Chris has spoken at national conferences and provided training to local authorities and schools on special educational needs and disability discrimination law. Chris also speaks French.

Some of Chris’ most significant reported cases include:

  • Essex County Council v Williams [2011] EWCA Civ 1315, Court of Appeal
  • R (N) v North Tyneside Borough Council (IPSEA Intervening) [2010] ELR 312, Court of Appeal
  • Bedfordshire County Council v Dixon-Wilkinson [2009] EWCA Civ 678, Court of Appeal
  • MS v London Borough of Brent [2011] UKUT 50 (AAC), Upper Tribunal
  • Potter v Canterbury Christ Church University (13 March 2007, Canterbury County Court)

What people say

Chris is very knowledgeable across a broad remit of education law issues.” (Chambers and Partners, 2023 edition).