SEND

Leading Special Education Needs and Disability legal expertise for local authorities
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Special Education Needs and Disability issues are often emotive, highly challenging and legally orientated. Parents understandably want the best educational support for their children, but local authorities are under increasing budgetary pressure to fund and provide services.

With over 60 years' combined experience in education law, and more than 10 years' experience of acting for local authorities in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) matters, our team of experts have an acute understanding of the need for consistent, value for money legal services.

We combine practical understanding of how the public sector works with specialist advice providing a comprehensive end-to-end SEND service from responses to appeals, assisting witnesses throughout the process, advising on the cost and risk and end-to-end case management.

Our team is also highly experienced in advising and managing SEND Tribunals and are regularly instructed by a number of local authorities to represent them at Tribunals, with advocacy being conduct by our in-house specialist SEND Solicitor, Shejal Patel.

Meet the team

Areas of expertise

  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunals
  • Upper Tier Tribunal
  • Education, Health and Care Plans
  • Judicial Review
  • Higher Needs Funding Policy
  • Disability Discrimination

Our expertise

  • SENDIST: Decisions made on pupils during Special Education Needs and Disability Tribunals, advising on appeals made to the First Tier Tribunal.
  • Upper Tier Tribunal: Advice on appeals in respect of SENDIST decisions to the Upper Tier Tribunal.
  • EHCPs: Advice on EHCP document and on appeals of the contents, which sets out the plan for education, health and care needs and necessary support.
  • Collating documents: Organising and collating the documents you need for appeals and tribunals.
  • Drafting Responses: Assisting with the drafting of responses to appeals to SEND related claims.
  • Witness Statements: Arranging and assisting with the organisation of witness statements which in many cases is crucial evidence.
  • Judicial Review: Advice on judicial reviews from start to finish of challenges on decisions or actions made.
  • Higher Needs Funding Policy: Advising on funding and appeals to the allocation of funding for SEND and Alternative Provision students.
  • Disability Discrimination: Defending cases, complaints and claims of disability discrimination directly or indirectly which took place in an education setting.

Our approach

With a wealth of experience in SEND related issues, we know just how different each case is, and often the involvement of social care, health care, parents and schools can make matters even more complex.

Our team of specialist lawyers provide practical, timely advice with unparalleled knowledge of SEND law and exposure to the issues local authorities face.

Having come from a local authority background, we understand the restraints you operate in, and the need to show compliance and demonstrate value for money when engaging an external legal supplier, even with highly emotive SEND cases.

We will advise on the best course of action during difficult and often complex claims and complaints from parents and schools, guiding you through the tribunal process to resolve and avoid further legal issues.

Our team

Our team has many years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating SEND and education, and are experience in defending a range of judicial review claims.

We have five members of the team who may work on your matter and they will be supervised by Justine Soutter, Senior Solicitor and Head of Dispute Resolution and Employment at Invicta Law.

Education and SEND News

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Our Team

Shejal (Sage) Patel

Senior Solicitor

Sage is praised by clients for his enthusiasm, tenacity and speed.

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Justine Soutter

Head of Dispute Resolution and Employment

I take a very commercial approach to my clients’ problems and deal with them in the same way that I would wish to be dealt with myself.

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Mark Radford

Senior Solicitor

Mark prides himself on engaging with problems from the client’s perspective. Clients praise him for his efficiency, speed and technical expertise.

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Hayley Titchner

Solicitor

Hayley’s clients praise her for her proactivity, dedication and support.

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Client testimonials

“Sarah provides excellent advice, often off the cuff at the end of the phone when urgent matters arise. She is extremely good at explaining the intricacies of planning law in layman’s terms, which is very much appreciated. Sarah is a reliable and conscientious colleague who I do not hesitate to contact for guidance and clarity in often high-pressured situations. She is well respected amongst her peers and colleagues, and officers very much appreciate her knowledge and calming influence.”
Planning & Highways Client
“I am writing in praise of your support. As someone in the firing line of an ultra-aggressive legal team for the first time in my life, this was a traumatic and, at times, upsetting process. You were at my side, dispensing wise and calming counsel throughout. You have been readily available when crises occurred, have been a wonderful listener and, in the end, we reached an outcome that was highly satisfactory for our school and its pupils. I cannot speak highly enough of the way that you handled this case, and I thank you and your firm for the support you gave me. Being a chair of governors, sworn to confidentiality, can be a lonely business! You kept me sane.”
Chair of School Governors
“You’ve been incredibly helpful with this. Thanks for always replying so promptly and for being a star.”
Private Sector Town Planning & Development Consultancy
“The whole team at Invicta Law are really professional, efficient and courteous in their approach to our Development Agreement works. This I find makes my role much easier particularly when this is a specialist subject that I often need to seek their advice with.”
Planning & Highways Client
“The experience has been really top end. Rather than just offering the options, they have given some real solid advice on the best route. It's a good business 'partnering' approach.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
“Their employment advice has always proved to be sound. I’ve worked with lots of different lawyers in London boroughs and. I’d also say that Invicta Law is the most solution-focused.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service

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Invicta Law Ltd
Priory Gate
29 Union Street
Maidstone ME14 1PT
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