Preparing independent schools for 2019 and beyond

David Smellie from Farrer & Co. will lead an overview and present a discussion of the current legal challenges facing the sector – from TPS to tax reform, from IICSA to peer-on-peer abuse, from transgender pupils to the status of VMTs – and any other legal threats on the horizon.

David Smellie (Farrer & Co.)

David Smellie

David is consistently rated one of the top employment and safeguarding lawyers in the UK. Whether advising on senior executive moves within PLCs or private equity, or the handling of serious or high-profile safeguarding cases, either past or present, David is acknowledged for the clarity and astuteness of his advice – always looking several steps ahead in an attempt to futureproof whatever action is contemplated now.

In advising schools David focuses on issues relating to staff, pupils and parents – from sensitive dismissals to pupil exclusions and parental complaints.  David's leadership of the Safeguarding Unit stems from many years of advising schools on safeguarding and child protection.  He founded the firm's Child Protection Unit (now known as the Safeguarding Unit) in 2015 which advises organisations either working or coming into contact with children.  These include schools, universities, charities, churches and religious organisations, visitor attractions, sports clubs and the medical sector.  David advises on the full range of safeguarding issues, from creating safer systems to handling live cases and carrying out retrospective reviews.  He is particularly well known for his role in advising on the Southbank International Vahey case where he led the Farrer & Co team in conducting the Independent Review of Hugh Davies QC.

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