Helen Hirst

Helen developed her education expertise during six years at a regional firm who advise Academies on a national basis. She was described as “approachable and calm” in the 2016 Legal 500 directory.

Helen advises charities and social enterprise organisations with particular expertise in the education sector. Helen assists clients to choose the most appropriate charitable and social enterprise structures, as well as governance more generally.

Helen’s experience of the education sector includes steering community, foundation, faith and PFI schools through the Academy conversion process. In addition, Helen advises multi academy trusts on acquiring existing academies through re-brokerage arrangements, as well as assisting academies who are themselves being transferred to multi academy trusts.  She attends quarterly meetings with the Department for Education regarding academy conversion issues and policy decisions.

Helen supports academies and independent schools on day to day issues arising which can be very wide ranging including governance, freedom of information and data protection.

Helen completed her training in local government where she gained a solid grounding in public law and remained in local government for three years post qualification.  During this time Helen worked for three different Councils advising on projects in the education, housing and waste sectors. This included delivering a number of Building Schools for the Future Scheme. Helen draws upon this background in the advice she provides to education clients.

Helen joined Hempsons in 2018 as an Associate in the Charities and Social Enterprise department.

Areas of expertise

  • Academy conversions
  • Academy transfers
  • Charity law
  • Information law
  • Governance

The clients Helen works with

  • Multi Academy Trusts
  • Single Academy Trusts
  • Independent Schools
  • Charities
  • Social Enterprises

Recent publications

Qualifications and memberships

  • Legal Practice Course (2005)
  • Law (LLB) (2003)
  • Member of the Charity Law Association



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Trustee Training Seminars Autumn 2019

Hempsons free trustee training workshops in conjunction with haysmacintyre will help charity trustees, and also Chief Executives, to understand the responsibilities of trustees and the demarcation of roles between them and the Chief Executive.

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Academies specialist legal support

We are committed to the education sector and understand the challenges and opportunities it faces in this time of change. Whether you are considering academy conversion, transferring to a multi academy trust or expanding your mult academy trust, Hempsons are able to guide you through the process and beyond.

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