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Constitutional & Regulatory Advice

Constitutional and Regulatory Compliance Support for Higher Education Institutions

Higher education institutions (HEIs) are constitutionally complex organisations, subject to public and charity law and, in some cases, company law. Good governance requires clear and workable governance structures and an understanding of the different legal and regulatory regimes that apply. We support our HE clients in all aspects of their governance.

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Legal Advice on Constitutional and Regulatory Issues

Our team advises HEIs on the full range of constitutional and regulatory issues that affect them, with particular expertise in the regulatory role of the Office for Students (OfS) and the Charity Commission.

The team is led by partner Con Alexander who is recognised as a leading adviser to universities, colleges, other educational institutions and charities (particularly those operating in the fields of education). He is supported by a team of specialist lawyers based in our offices in London, Watford, Bristol and Birmingham.

Our Constitutional and Regulatory Legal Services

We advise higher education institutions on the full range of issues, including:

  • All aspects of charity law, particularly as is applies to HE institutions and other exempt charities
  • All aspects of company law, including the Companies Act 2006
  • Governance structures, including delegation
  • The rights and duties of Council and board members
  • Constitutional change, including amendments to Charters, Statutes, Ordinances and Articles of Association
  • Royal Charters, including liaison with the Privy Council
  • Obtaining Charity Commission Schemes and Orders as part of their supporting role in relation to HE institutions and other exempt charities
  • Joint ventures, collaborations and mergers
  • Advice in connection with spin-out companies
  • Trading issues, including the HMRC guidelines on the corporation tax treatment of universities
  • Advising on relationships between HEIs and students' unions
  • Research by universities, including the Charity Commission's guidance on charitable research
  • Pastoral care
  • Serious incident reporting
  • Investment and borrowing
  • Endowment, including the use of total return orders and the statutory powers introduced by the Charities Act 2006
  • Advising on grant funding arrangements, including agreements with commercial sponsors
  • Fundraising, including alumni programmes and fundraising foundations
  • Freedom of information
  • Data protection
  • Academic freedom
  • Advice on the governance issues in relation to senior pay
  • Dealing with regulation, including OfS registration

For specialist legal support on constitutional and regulatory issues affecting the higher education sector, please contact Con Alexander on 0117 314 5214.

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The team at VWV was professional, responsive and supportive in providing advice in a fast moving and cutting edge area of law. The level of resource made available was exceptional (while competitively priced) and the focus of all the team was unstintingly to support the University and protect its reputation.

  • A University Secretary

Meet the Team

Our Education team is ranked in the top tier of Chambers & Partners UK wide category and Legal 500.

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Bettina Rigg - Partner at VWV
Jane Byford - Partner at VWV
Clive Read - Partner at VWV

Commercial Property

Higher Education

Public Sector

News & Events

Growth in VWV's Higher Education Team
Claire Turner, the former Director of Legal and Insurance Services at the University of Exeter, has joined VWV as a Consultant Solicitor.
17 Jun 2019