Partner and Head of Education


Mary is a partner in the Charity & Social Enterprise team and the head of the Education group. Before qualifying as a solicitor at Bates Wells Braithwaite in 1998, Mary ran a chemistry department in a comprehensive school.

Examples of recent work

  • Mergers between two London FE Colleges, and three Colleges in East Anglia
  • Advice on group restructure for an FE College involving a Community Interest Company
  • Establishment school company for groups of maintained nursery schools
  • Transfers of academies between multi-academy trust sponsors
  • Establishment of new charities and social enterprises including community interest companies
  • Reorganisations, transfers and mergers of charities and social enterprises
  • Governance advice to multi-academy trusts
  • Advice on board structures and payment of trustees for charities
  • Acting for maintained school subject to a legal challenge to the governors’ decision to convert into an academy
  • Academy conversions
  • Establishing free schools
  • Conversion of foundation school into a National Challenge Trust with three stakeholder partners
  • Governance and general legal advice to two voluntary aided schools and their trust
  • Incorporation of a long-established unincorporated charity with permanent endowment
  • Franchise agreement for a charity providing rehabilitation programmes for ex-offenders
  • Advising on a merger between two social housing charities in the mental health sector, one of which is a registered social landlord
  • Change of objects and removal of permanent endowment restriction on a charity formed from a merger of 12 independent charities
  • Advice to, and registration of, community amateur sports clubs

Qualifications and career

  • Bristol University BSc (Hons) in Chemistry
  • College of Law, Legal Practice Course (Distinction)
  • Trained at Bates Wells Braithwaite

Pro bono, memberships and appointments

  • Convenor of the BWB Education Forum
  • Community Interest Companies and Community Amateur Sports Clubs
  • Member of Education Law Association
  • Director of the Creative Education Trust
  • Legal expert advisor to The Key
  • Advisor to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nursery Schools and Nursery Classes

Publications and lectures

  • Co-author of the most recent BWB book on the Charities Act – “Charities The New Law 2006”
  • Lectures widely on general charity law, social enterprise structures, governance and academy schools.