Dear Headteacher

Many schools are considering converting to academy status and I am writing to you in case your school is preparing for possible conversion and considering who to ask for legal advice on the process.  We would like to offer our help.   At Blake Lapthorn we have an experienced team of lawyers who have already advised a number of schools on academy conversions and are now guiding a significant number of schools towards conversion this summer and autumn or next year.  We thought you might be interested in the services we can offer including a free initial consultation and briefing to schools that are interested in using our services on conversion.

Blake Lapthorn is a large regional law firm with offices in Southampton, Oxford, London and Portsmouth that specialise in providing legal advice to schools.  We have a dedicated team of education, charity, commercial, real estate, employment and pension lawyers for academy conversions.  We also advise Church of England and Roman Catholic dioceses on the conversion process for church schools.

Our experience of conversions pre- and post- Academies Act 2010 helps us to provide a focused practical conversion process supported by useful checklists and other useful materials. 

Our academy conversion service

We offer the following legal service on conversion:


Advice on governance
Company incorporation
Advice on the suitability of a single or multi academy model

Trustee/foundation consents
Local authority consent and or participation in transfer arrangements
Directors' declarations for church schools
Governors and senior management team briefings and training as required


Funding agreement
upplemental funding agreement


Due diligence
Report on title
Secretary of States direction and land registry transfer
Shared use arrangements
Residential property e.g. caretakers houses
Supplemental agreement for church schools

School transfer

Assessment of commercial legal issues to be addressed
Transfer of contracts and or replacement of contracts
Commercial transfer agreement

Employment and pensions advice

Assessment of staff related legal issues to be addressed
Advice on TUPE transfer and consultation
Ancillary employment law and pensions advice as needed

Post conversion services

Once the conversion has completed, the school will be independent of the local authority and may have a variety of requirements for legal and governance support.  We offer the following on going services post conversion:

  • Governance, charity and company secretarial support and training
  • Employment law and pensions advice, including an annual employment law support contract
  • A full range of legal services in relation to school land and use of others' facilities including charity real estate, site management and capital and construction projects
  • Health and safety compliance advice, including an annual health and safety support contract
  • Admissions, appeals and exclusions
  • Disciplinary, including auditing and rewriting if necessary disciplinary rules and procedures
  • Safeguarding, including auditing and rewriting if necessary safeguarding rules and procedures
  • Training on disciplinary procedures relating to staff and pupils
  • Commercial law and procurement including a fixed fee contract review service

If you are interested in our services, please get in touch with me on 023 808 57011 or

To subscribe to receive free updates and information for academies and other independent schools please email

Further information about out academies service is available on our website at

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Davis
Partner, Head of schools and charities team
t: 023 80857011

Blake Lapthorn

New Kings Court, Tollgate, Chandler's Ford, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO53 3LG.