Twickenham Telephones Unavailable

Due to the effects of Storm Ciara at the weekend, power issues have caused an issue with the Twickenham office telephone system which we are urgently working to resolve. We are currently unable to mak any calls into or out of our Twickenham office. If you need to contact anyone at our Twickenham office, please call on 029 2038 8398 and we can forward a message on for a call back. Please do accept our

Sinclairslaw wins Court of Appeal case which ordered Local Authority to compensate for non-inclusion of education costs in Care Act 2014 personal budget.

Senior Associate Solicitor Helen Gill, along with Counsel David Wolfe QC of Matrix Chambers and David Lawson of Serjeants’ Inn, acted for the claimant CP in this case, in which the Court of Appeal ordered North East Lincolnshire Council to compensate our client. The fact that  the council’s Care Act 2014 personal budget did not include the cost of attendance at an agreed educational placement was a “clear breach” of that Act and of statutory

Success for parents in important Disability Discrimination appeal

The Upper Tribunal has rejected an appeal by an independent school which had argued that the First-tier Tribunal did not have the power under the Equality Act to make orders against a school when it had found that the school had discriminated against a pupil on the basis of his disability. The Upper Tribunal accepted that the First-tier Tribunal could make orders that schools were required to comply with, including an order that they reinstate

Nottingham University Student’s Union reverse student group affiliation decision after Sinclairslaw’s intervention

Monday 22 July – The University of Nottingham Students’ Union has reversed a decision to refuse affiliation to our client, Nottingham Students for Life, after the Union was reminded of its obligations under Equality Legislation. The Students’ Union had previously refused affiliation to the Students for Life group on the grounds that the group’s values “did not align” with those of the Students’ Union and officers of the Union had been involved in a public

Exciting Employment Opportunities in Cardiff for Lawyers

Exciting opportunities have arisen within our Court of Protection, Education Law and Public Law Department at all levels from paralegal to qualified lawyers. The Department has grown substantially within the last 2 years and has increased its market share considerably over the last year. Due to this growth and internal promotion new vacancies have arisen at all levels. Predominantly acting for vulnerable adults who lack capacity as well as disabled children, the Department has a

National Court of Protection Professional Training Update Seminar

Kevin McManamon and Sarah Newport from our leading Court of Protection Department are presenting seminars in Cardiff, Bristol and London to provide an update for RPRs, IMCAs and Litigation Friends. Whilst the seminars are free, spaces for the seminars will be limited so booking is essential. If you wish to attend, please RSVP to to confirm your place at any of our seminars. Cardiff – 22 March 2019 (1:30pm to 4:30pm) Bristol – 28 March 2019 (2:00pm

Penarth Office Renovation Works

Our charming Penarth office in the very centre of the town is currently undergoing an exciting renovation to improve both the interior and exterior of the building. Whilst the Penarth office is undergoing renovations, the staff have been temporarily relocated to our Cardiff office where work continues as normal. Should you wish to speak with anyone about making an appointment and you would usually visit the Penarth office, please do call 033 0202 0707 and

Legal Representation at University Hearings – What Rights Does a Student Have?

Those who sit on university panels will often insist they are “not courts of law.” And yet, the hearings they conduct invariably follow a quasi-legal procedure involving evidence, questioning and argument. Nor is it not uncommon for complex legal issues to arise, for example, as to; the limits of academic judgement; the statutory duty to make reasonable adjustments for the benefit of disabled students; or the admissibility of evidence. In view of the above –

Family property: pitfalls and protection

Unfortunately disputes between family members over family property are on the rise and it is becoming increasingly common for such disputes to be reported in the national media. Back in October 2018 various institutions, including the BBC, reported the plight of Clive Shaw, the son of a dairy farmer in Lincolnshire who took his parents to the High Court for the right to inherit the farm upon their demise. More recently, the Daily Mail reported

Top Human Rights Lawyer joins Sinclairslaw

Sinclairslaw today made an exciting announcement through its Managing Director Mr John Ford. “ I am delighted to announce that Paul Conrathe has joined the firm as a senior Consultant Solicitor. Paul used to be the Senior Partner of a leading Human Rights and Education practice in Croydon. His work had a national impact and he was The Times Lawyer of the Week. In 2004 Paul changed career to set up a group of schools

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

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