Our clients include nurseries, day cares, private schools, independent colleges, major universities plus individual governors and managers. We understand the challenges facing governing bodies and management teams as the education landscape changes.

They appreciate our pragmatic, responsive approach, and our ability to explain complex legal processes in clear English. We take time to understand your specific needs and can provide support in every area, including new build projects, refurbishments, fundraising, governance, developing new income streams, procurement, contractual matters, HR issues and tenancies. We also help schools make the transition to academies – supporting them through the process step by step, and providing continuing advice and support thereafter.

Key Contact

Julie Hughes


+44 (0)1892 506 179

Key Contact

Peter Scott


+44 (0)1892 506 292

Key Contact

Kate Arnold


+44 (0)1892 506 337

Key Contact

Erin Willock

Senior Associate

+44 (0)1892 506 142

Key Contact

Patrick Glencross

Senior Associate

+44 (0)1892 765 419


  • Cripps supports EKC Group’s acquisition of Ashford College and Canterbury Spring Lane
  • Advising on a substantial refurbishment project for a college for international post graduate students, requiring us to negotiate and reach acceptable terms with a long term commercial tenant. Advice included the enfranchisement process, building and construction issues as well as rights to light, advising on governance and procurement issues as well as planning and regulatory issues.
  • Acting for a college on its successful defence of a complex employment claim seeking compensation in excess of £150,000, which included allegations of whistle blowing, equal pay, unfair dismissal and sex and race discrimination lasting five days in Tribunal



  • We advised on the sale of a family-owned group of five childcare nurseries, Futurepath Childcare, to Grandir UK. Grandir is an expanding French childcare operator, which also owns and operates Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries in the UK. Located in five prime locations across, the group offers a combined operating capacity for c.375 children. The owners, Peter and Jacky Barnett are experienced childcare operators who recently opened their latest addition to the group in 2019 and have established themselves as leading childcare providers in the Hampshire area. Read more here ( )
  • We advised our client on the purchase of a nursery and pre-school in Hampshire, to add to their nursery portfolio. We advised on all corporate aspects of the transaction where complexities included providing protection to the client on the working capital position without there being completion accounts (as the seller was reluctant to any post completion adjustments), liaising with a multitude of trustees for the nursery leases to arrange substitute guarantees and dealing with a seller who was represented by a retired solicitor who could not provide the usual undertakings or assist with progressing the deal in the usual way.
  • Acting for a group which operates 15 day care nurseries in connection with the establishment of a new nursery business (including advice in connection with their finance for the project).
  • Little Garden Nurseries
    We advised on the sale of Little Garden Day Nurseries, a group of four London based nurseries, to August Private equity. Julie Hughes helped prepare the business for sale and advised on all the legal aspects of the transaction.
  • The House Nurseries
    We advised longstanding client The House Nurseries on its sale to ICP Nurseries. The House Nurseries included Northcote House Nurseries in Battersea and Little House Nurseries in Wimbledon.  The buyer, ICP Nurseries’ strategy is to acquire the very best nursery settings in Greater London, the Home Counties and the South East.  Julie Hughes led the Cripps team, advising business owner Laura Digby-Bell on all of the legal aspects of the sale.
  • Bright Beginnings
    We advised the shareholders of Bright Beginnings (Twickenham) Limited and Inspirations Day Nurseries Limited to Little Dukes Limited. The team ensured that the share purchase agreement was negotiated to ensure that the sellers were not unduly exposed to risk but still affording the buyer reasonable protection to allow the deal to proceed.
  • Ferndearle Child Care Services Limited
    We acted on the sale Sale of Ferndearle Child Care Services, a Therapeutic Community in Folkestone, Kent, which provides integrated service combining therapeutic care and education with therapy, to private equity backed Compass Community. The sale was structured as a share sale but the sellers also owned the freehold property which formed part of the overall transaction.



  • Advising John Lyons on the strategic acquisition of the Business (comprising the Assets and Properties) of Quainton Hall School as a going concern in order to bring it together with The John Lyon School and form a unified co-educational 4 – 18 school with attached 2 ½ – 4 nursery, offering a high-class education to children from Harrow and the surrounding areas.
  • Providing advice to an independent secondary school on its proposed entry into a landowners’ consortium agreement with a land promoter. The agreement regulates the process by which the promoter will seek planning permission, as well as detailing the process with regard to the marketing and disposal of the consented area. Our advice covers not only transactional advice, but also extends to assisting with the tax position relating to the value created by the agreement, and the obtaining of relevant charities consents.



  • Advising on the procurement process, building contract, consultant appointments, novation agreements and collateral warranties for the multi-million pound design and construction of new school buildings for an academy school.
  • Advising on all legal issues around the rebuilding project including contractual matters for a new academy school. Reviewing the terms of the development agreement for the rebuild of all the school buildings and subsequently supporting the school in its negotiations with the relevant Government department over funding and its obligations.
  • Advising governors and management team on all issues relating to conversion to academy status including assisting with the decision making process and the consultation process and all stages through to conversion.



  • Acting for a university in a complex and time intensive £22 million PFI deal relating to the construction of over 500 flats for student accommodation on the university campus.



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