Higher Education Litigation

Our Higher Education team has an impressive track record of advising leading colleges and higher education providers in matters relating to the Office for Students (OfS). Our multi-disciplinary approach, which spans commercial litigation, public law, and appellant work, gives us the ideal grounding to handle even the most challenging cases in this developing area.

The education sector has changed – and legal advice needs to change accordingly. Our team has the skills and experience to help colleges and higher education institutions navigate the new legal landscape. Our advice covers everything from employment to restructuring to challenging decisions by the OfS.

The Office for Students (OfS) was formed as the new regulator for higher education with the introduction of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. It has regulatory responsibility for the entire sector, including universities and other higher education providers.

We can help with any issues relating to the OfS, from pre-registration advice to the termination of partnerships and franchises. We have assisted our higher education clients by appealing data requests, challenging ‘Minded to Refuse’ letters, and advising on the financial loss suffered as a consequence of OfS actions.

Sanctions by the OfS, including the refusal to register higher education providers, can mean those providers are unable to recruit international students and their students cannot access funding from the Student Loans Company. Ronald Fletcher Baker stands as the only legal firm to have success in challenging an OfS refusal to register a provider R (on application of Bloomsbury Institute Limited) -v- Office for Students (2020) EWCA Civ 1074.

  1. Recommendations
  2. Expertise
  3. Insights

‘This is a team that really punches above its weight in terms of value for money and sheer quality of the service they offer to clients.’

‘Rudi Ramdarshan is a sterling litigator who achieves outstanding results for clients in difficult commercial disputes, even in the face of challenging opponents.’

‘Jonathan Chan provides a friendly and accessible service, and is keen to support clients with timely advice.’

‘The team at RFB are exceptionally talented at all levels from their Partners to the more Junior Associates.’

'They are a solution-oriented, tenacious group offering exceptional value for money.’

  • Providing pre-registration advice
  • Advising several colleges and challenging “minded to refuse” letters
  • Advising several colleges on reputational and publication issues
  • Challenging by way of Judicial Review (see Bloomsbury Institute Limited and The Office for Students [2020] EWHC 580 (Admin))
  • Successfully quashing the OfS’ decision not to register a Higher Education Provider (Bloomsbury Institute Limited and The Office for Students (2020) EWCA Civ 1074.
  • Successfully appealing a Freedom of Information Act request involving the OfS
  • Claims involving access to personal data under the GDPR against the OfS
  • Successfully obtaining an order from the High Court for a Part 18 request for information and disclosure
  • Advising on financial loss suffered to colleges as a result of actions of the OfS
  • Advising on restructuring, including general employment advice and redundancies.
  • Advising on the termination of franchise and partnership arrangements
  • Assistance with public and private consultation representations