The firm, which has offices in Newcastle, London and Leeds, has been appointed as a supplier to the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC), following a successful tender application.
As an approved supplier on the LUPC framework, Watson Burton will be able to provide a range of legal services to higher education institutions and other LUPC member organisations.
Services will include advising organisations on student matters, such as academic appeals, student complaints, student disciplinary issues and data protection, and supporting human resources departments on matters such as TUPE, employment tribunals, staff contracts, policies and procedures, performance management and organisational change and restructure.
In addition, as part of the framework agreement, Watson Burton can advise LUPC members on property matters, such as the acquisition, disposal and development of land, planning, landlord and tenant issues, building contracts and bonds, warranties, guarantees and insurance and construction matters.
LUPC is a not-for-profit professional buying organisation owned by its members. Its membership includes universities and colleges of higher education in and around London. LUPC’s membership is also drawn from other not-for-profit organisations from neighbouring sectors in the arts, sciences and education.
As part of the agreement with LUPC, Watson Burton will also be able to supply legal services to members of the North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC), North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium (NWUPC), Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) and Higher Education Purchasing Consortium Wales (HEPCW).
Watson Burton has considerable experience in the higher education sector and boasts a multi-disciplinary education team which includes specialists in commercial litigation, property, employment, construction and corporate and commercial law.
Chris Graham, partner and head of commercial litigation at Watson Burton, said: “Watson Burton has a long association with the higher education sector and therefore has a real understanding of the challenges institutions face - especially in light of recent changes to tuition fees, the rise of the student as a consumer, increased competition and Brexit."
“We have the specialist legal expertise and commercial know-how to support organisations in meeting these challenges and are able to work closely with organisation’s in-house teams, advising and guiding them through complex legal processes to achieve their objectives."
“We are delighted to have been appointed to the prestigious LUPC framework and look forward to bringing our experience to bear in assisting higher education institutions on property, HR and student matters."
“Our newly established relationship with the LUPC and associated consortia affirm our position as a major national provider of legal services to the higher education sector.”
Jill Christiaens, Senior Contracts Manager at LUPC said “We believe the framework agreement, resulting from a collaborative exercise between the Higher Education consortia, has an excellent panel of capable firms. We are looking forward to working with the appointed firms”.