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School Management

Legal Services

Lawyer


What do we offer?

We offer a legal advice service on Education Law issues (other than insurance and employment matters) including the following: 

  • Parents and Pupils - disclosure of pupils information, exemption from school activities, matrimonial disputes/contact with children, discipline issues, access to premises (including banning letter), loss and damage to property, assaults on staff , liability of teachers on school trips and child protection issues 

  • use of materials - copyright, patent and design, music and theatrical performances and charging services 

  • contractual - claims for defective goods, hire agreement for photocopiers and claims for and against schools for breach of contract 

  • property - legal issues arising from those parts of the property for which the school has responsibility 

  • litigation - advice on whether to issue or defend any proceedings relating to the areas above 

  • Court Work - the Legal Service will act on behalf of the school in legal proceedings on the areas listed above, and this will include preparation of court documents and legal representation at court.

Why choose us?

The Council’s Legal Service has Solicitors who specialise and have extensive experience in the following areas of law: Education, Contracts, Property and Litigation.

What is provided free?

This is a wholly traded service - there is no free element.

What is chargeable?

There is a charge for all services offered, for all schools and academies. All schools can purchase the service but there is an additional separate cost for certain legal work which is unique to academies as set out below under the heading ‘cost of the service’.  

How the service can be provided/length of agreement

The length of the agreement is one year from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. 

 

Contact Point

Phillip Wirth, Principal Solicitor
Telephone:  07467 440949
Email:         pwirth@swindon.gov.uk

 

Costs 

Legal Advice - a retainer fee plus a fee per pupil is to be paid upon commencement of agreement. This retainer covers all advice except where a particular issue is exceptionally complex in that the issue requires more than 3 hours work. In these cases, any time spent beyond 3 hours will be charged at an hourly rate.

Court Work - will be charged separately at an hourly rate. In addition, additional charges may be required for experts or court fees.

Academy issues - Any legal work arising from the status of the school as an academy in particular legal work on Company law and Trust law issues will be charged an hourly rate.

Note: In the rare event of a conflict of interest between Swindon Borough Council and the school, the Legal Services must act for the Council and the school will need to obtain legal advice from elsewhere. A situation where there would be a conflict of interest is where the school is seeking to become an Academy where any legal work on becoming an Academy cannot be provided Legal Services as it will be providing legal advice to the Council.