Veale Wasbrough takes on school employment specialist in education push

Veale Wasbrough Vizards has announced it has hired education employment specialist Alice Reeve to join the firm’s education practice group.

Reeve, who specialises in employment law in the education sector, joins the firm as a partner from Rickerbys, where she led the education team and practised for 14 years.

Reeve is experienced in advising on complex employment issues related to academy conversions and independent schools and has also provided advice on a broad range of restructuring and redundancy programmes, as well as grievance and capability processes and managing allegations of professional misconduct.

Reeve’s hire comes as Veale Wasbrough looks to bulk up its offering in several areas in both its London and Bristol offices through a series of strategic hires, including hiring Bristol City Council legal head Stephen McNamara as a consultant in the firm’s public sector department in December 2012 (5 December 2012) and rehiring former partner Sue Malthouse, who returned to the firm in November after 18 months as group director of legal and company secretary at Clarks Shoes, the previous month (29 November 2012).

Her appointment also comes as a select number of firms are seeking to bolster their education departments to cope with the current demand for expertise in this sector following the introduction of free schools and academy schools and the Education Act 2011 (3 December 2012).

In July last year Bath firm Stone King hired education specialist John Clarke from Maitland Walker, making him the firm’s second high-profile hire in this sector in a matter of months (20 July 2012).

Commenting on Reeve’s hire, Veale Wasbrough managing partner Simon Heald said: “Our reputation in the education sector spans nurseries to universities. Alice’s appointment complements and strengthens the existing teams. We have long been leaders in the independent schools sector and now are one of the ‘go to’ firms for state funded schools and academies. With both landscapes changing and adapting to the recession and new government legislation, we are more than equipped to capitalise on them and advise our clients on the opportunities.”

Reeve added: “It is exciting to be joining the team at VWV. They have such enthusiasm for supporting the education sector and real expertise in dealing with any challenge which a school may face. It is a particularly good time to be working within education, it is a period of rapid change and I am keen to be part of a team which is at the forefront of advising clients how to best meet the challenges and opportunities this brings.”