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Law firm scores top marks with new education service

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Taibah Rehman Khan

Greater Manchester law firm Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall Solicitors has recruited specialist solicitor Taibah Khan to head up an innovative new education service that helps schools convert to academies.

Taibah, who comes from Bury and lives in Radcliffe, will lead WHN’s dedicated education advisory team that enables schools to benefit from the firm’s expertise in key areas such as compliance, governance, commercial, employment, and property law.

Her specialist knowledge will enable her to advise on compliance and governance for a range of organisations, including schools looking to become multi-academy trusts (MATs).

David McCann, senior partner at WHN Solicitors, said: “We took a strategic decision to set up this new specialist service in response to the rising number of schools seeking to convert to MATs.

“We are thrilled that Taibah has joined us and are confident she will lead the team with dynamism, enthusiasm and professionalism. These qualities are essential to our new service, which is designed to help people in the education sector by providing expert guidance in complex and technically challenging areas of law.”

David continued: “In order to complete the MAT conversion procedure, schools need specialist legal advice on issues including the incorporation of their trust, governance and compliance issues, funding requirements, and negotiating their commercial transfer agreement.”

The new team will advise on key areas of employment law, TUPE regulations, and pensions. Property law is another crucial aspect of the conversion process and the team will support title investigations on land, buildings and estates, as well as agreeing new leases or transfers, and dealing with land registrations.

David added: “An equally important role will be advising on vital issues that must be considered before converting. These include the alignment of visions and values, representation at board level, budgetary matters, and how the MAT will engage with staff and curriculum development, along with the MAT’s long term development strategy.”

Taibah joined WHN from a Preston law firm where she worked as a corporate and commercial solicitor, specialising in areas including MAT conversions and transfers.

Previously she worked as a non-practising solicitor at renewable energy developer Green Switch Solutions, which enabled her to gain valuable commercial experience.

She completed her solicitor’s training contract in-house at Green Switch, which involved completing a secondment at a large regional law firm. Before this, Taibah studied in Manchester and completed her legal practice course (LPC) at the University of Law.

Taibah said: “Working with the friendly, professional team at WHN is tremendously fulfilling and I’m both excited and inspired by the challenge of developing our new service for schools looking to convert to MATs.

“I will also use my experience as a corporate and commercial solicitor to advise on matters such as business sales and acquisitions, management buyouts, shareholder agreements, joint ventures, partnership agreements and other general commercial matters.”