The Enquire Learning Trust

Law firm eyes academy work in growth plans


Following several academy conversions, Durham’s largest law firm, Swinburne Maddison LLP, has its sights set on the education sector as a key strand of its business development strategy.

Most recently, the firm has concluded academy conversions at Hardwick Green Primary School, Stockton, Eastfield Primary School, Lincolnshire and Hawthorns School, Tameside and a transfer of assets of an existing academy at Middlethorpe Primary Academy, Lincolnshire. In each case Swinburne Maddison’s team advised on a wide range of issues and the firm’s professionalism has received particular praise from the DfE.

Hawthorns executive head teacher, Moira Thompson, said, "Going through change of any sort can be a daunting and unsettling time for a school. The invaluable support and professional advice we received from the team at Swinburne Maddison made the transition much smoother than I had anticipated."

Swinburne Maddison has recently made a number of new appointments to both its property and employment teams. Martyn Tennant, Partner, commented, "We are delighted to be working on behalf of The Enquire Learning Trust and helping to facilitate the development of its expanding portfolio of academies. As well as benefiting from both our professional and commercial expertise, Enquire and its academies also benefit from an exceptional partner-led personal service which has received positive recognition by the DfE.  We are already working on the next conversion and expect to undertake in excess of a further 10 conversions in the next 12 months."

Adding her thoughts on the complexities of converting, Moira said, "Changing to academy status while continuing to teach and tackle the day-to-day running of the school was a bit of a juggling act, especially when it came to understanding the process. However, the support we received from Martyn and his team eased the pressure significantly. For various reasons, it was a particularly complex transaction but with all the legal work now out of the way, we are starting to enjoy more fully the benefits of academy status and are facing the future with confidence."

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