Education Law FAQ

Will I know who is handling my case?

You will be told who is dealing with your case and who will supervise them. Sometimes it is more efficient to have more than one person working on a case and you will be told if this applies to you. You can contact all staff through the main office number. If the person dealing with your case is not available, a colleague will do whatever they can to assist, or will take a message.

Will I have to attend your office?

We work for people from all over the country, communicating with them by telephone, e-mail or post. In most education and community care cases it is not necessary for us to meet clients face-to-face. However, in clinical negligence matters we do usually meet clients in person in the early stages and from time to time as the case continues. Clients who need to meet us are welcome to visit the office, which is fully accessible for wheelchair users and offers car-parking facilities on site. If travel is a problem, we can discuss other options for meeting, including home visits.

Will I win?

In most cases, we will only be able to pursue a case under public funding if we think you have good prospects of winning. If you are paying privately, we will advise you on what we consider to be your prospects of success so you can decide whether or not to invest money in the case. We will advise all clients as the case develops of any change in the situation.

How might legal action affect my relationship with a local authority or a doctor?

While it is understandable that a client will be concerned that future services or treatment will be harder to get if legal action is threatened or pursued, most public authorities are used to the idea of legal challenges and the client’s ability to access services is not harmed. Our approach is always to be practical and professional and to settle issues by negotiation if possible so that relationships are left on a better footing for the future. We are often able to negotiate settlements without the need for court proceedings. If you feel that the threat of legal action is interfering with your access to treatment or services, you can discuss this with us and we can advise you on how to proceed.

How long will it take?

This will, of course, depend on the type of case.

School exclusions and admissions appeals are generally dealt with in a matter of weeks though challenges to those appeals can take a number of months or more. Special educational needs appeals, last approximately five months from start to finish. Clinical Negligence claims can take two or three years to complete if they are contested. Very complex or high value claims can take longer. The initial investigation of the claim usually takes no more than a year. The time frames in our other areas of work tend to be much shorter. Our initial advice will usually include an estimate of how long we expect your particular case to take. If you want to clarify, please just ask.

How much will it cost?

There are separate pages on the website on costs. As solicitors, we are obliged to tell you at the outset if you are going to be liable to pay us for our work. We will never charge you without advising you first on what the cost is likely to be and obtaining your agreement that we can proceed. We run various fixed fee and reduced fee schemes to help clients manage finances.

Contact us now to discuss how we can help you by completing our, no obligation, online enquiry form and we will call you back or you can call us on freephone: 0808 129 3320.

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Imogen Jolley - Education Law Solicitor | Simpson Millar| Lancaster

Imogen Jolley
Partner, Head of Education & Community Care

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