As specialists we can advise parents who have children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and we can assist with admission and exclusion appeals.

We also handle a large number of further and higher education cases, including representations to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).

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Our practice has experts to deal with a number of aspects of community care including obtaining care assessments and Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.

We regularly appear in the Court of Protection dealing with the welfare and property of adults lacking capacity under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

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We have a wealth of knowledge and experience, specifically in relation to Fitness to Practise proceedings and refusals of professional licences.

We also pursue Judicial Reviews and Appeals by way of Case Stated for clients.

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We can assist in all areas of Discrimination Law.

We often act on behalf of students in claims against Higher Education Institutions but if you have been treated unfairly because of your race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion or disability we can help.

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We have experience in a variety of pubic law issues including judicial review, public inquiries and Freedom of Information Law.

We assist those who have been treated unlawfully as a result of maladministration, unreasonable decision making or procedural errors.

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We have a knowledgeable team at hand to assist with Data Protection and Freedom of Information requests.

We can assist with complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office and appeals to the Information Rights Tribunal.

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About Us

Established in 1985, John Ford Solicitors has responded and adapted over the years to the demand for specialist advice and representation.

Whilst Education Law remains central to the work we conduct, we are increasingly involved in a variety of areas of law that are important to us and our clients. Assisting people with challenging public bodies, pursuing appeals and discrimination cases, we have expert solicitors at hand to provide honest and practical advice.

As a small “outstanding” team, we are committed to ensuring the rights and interests of the most vulnerable are met and we pride ourselves on the depth and quality of service we deliver.

Focused on tailored client care, we will work tirelessly to obtain the best possible results for you.

John Ford Solicitors is ranked as a leading firm in Chambers & Partners UK Guide to the Legal Profession.

John Ford Solicitors’ ‘very good’ team increasingly advises on the interface between education and community care law, and handled several instructions relating to EHC plans. The group was instructed to challenge a care plan provided for a child with autism, ADHD, ODD and an attachment disorder, which resulted in securing the child a place at a specialist independent school.Legal 500, 2015Read what others say about us.


Our Book: Education Law and Practice
In October 2016 the fourth edition of our book “Education Law and Practice” was published by Jordans. The authors are John Ford, Mary Hughes, Karen May, Marian Shaughnessy and Helen Gill.

The book is a practical and user-friendly guide to the complex area of education law and covers a wide variety of education law topics including special educational needs, higher education, discrimination, exclusions and admissions.

Otton LJ

An appreciation by Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE of “The Barrister“. View as PDF

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John Ford Solicitors merge with Sinclairslaw

Two prominent firms in the world of Education Law have announced a merger to create a leading solicitors’ practice to support the needs of disabled children, young people and adults throughout England and Wales.

JFS, based in London, and Sinclairslaw, a law firm with offices in Wales and West London have now joined together. Along with Sinclairslaw’s acquisition of specialist education firm Match Solicitors in June 2018, we now form the largest team of expert education and public lawyers in the country. FULL PRESS RELEASE (pdf)

Judgment handed down in B v. OIA

Judgment has been handed down in the judicial review brought by B, the claimant instructing Helen Gill, against the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education in R (B) v The Office of the Independent Adjudicator [2018] EWHC 1971 (Admin). In this case, the Administrative Court held that the jurisdiction of the OIA is a matter for the Court rather than for the OIA, though on the facts of this case the Court decided that B’s breach of contract claim was not sufficiently different to his complaint to the OIA (hence the OIA did not have jurisdiction).

Chambers ranking and Times "Best Law Firm 2019 guide"

John Ford Solicitors has been ranked at Band 1 of Chambers and Partners 2018, with 4 of our solicitors being ranked individually: John Ford at Band 1, Karen May at Band 2, and Helen Gill and Marian Shaughnessy at Band 3.

We have also been included in The Times Best Law Firms 2019 guide. The guide comprises a list of the 200 best law firms in the country in 31 categories of legal practice, based on recommendations from other lawyers.