We recently welcomed partner Mark Taylor to our Birmingham education team.

Mark advises further and higher education institutions on commercial issues, mergers, corporate transactions and constitutional reviews. Having drafted part of Universities UK’s guide to international collaborations, Mark has particular expertise advising UK-based institutions on overseas partnerships.

With more than 16 years’ post-qualified experience, Mark – who will be based at our Birmingham hub but working with clients nationally – has joined the firm after more than six years as a partner at Eversheds Sutherland.

Mark said: “I have worked opposite the Shakespeare Martineau team for years, and it would be impossible not to be impressed by them. I am also passionate about and heavily involved in pro bono work, so the firm’s status as a B Corporation is a real attraction.

“I have always been just as interested in education as I am in law. I led school volunteer projects when I was in secondary school, and I worked for a further education charity when I was at university and law school. When I stumbled into education law as a trainee, everything fell into place for me.”

Mark is a member of the Birmingham Law Society’s Pro Bono Committee, having previously chaired it for a number of years. He is also a regular speaker at education sector conferences and client training events on commercial, corporate and governance issues.

We are proactively seeking talented people to join the firm on its growth journey, including mergers, team recruitment and lateral hires nationally. Mark’s appointment is the latest in a string of new partner hires as part of our growth strategy, broadening our footprint both north and south.

Smita Jamdar, partner and head of education, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Mark to the firm; his technical knowledge, broad sector-specific experience and commitment to excellence in service delivery will be a real asset to our team to continue supporting educational institutions to thrive in an ever-evolving and rapidly changing landscape.”

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Smita leads the team that works to shape the universities and colleges of the future by providing strategic advice and sector specific insight across all their legal needs. Smita is a recognised leader in her field, specialising in constitutional, governance and regulatory advice which helps educational institutions thrive in a rapidly changing landscape. She has helped institutions to innovate and develop, to widen their reach, build institutional resilience, and deliver the best outcomes for students and other stakeholders. Smita has also been recognised in this year’s Legal 500 2020 as a leading individual in Education.

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Published: 19th September 2023
Area: Education

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Further Education

As a full-service law firm with a focus on the education sector, we’re able to tailor our service offering to fit your needs. Our track record speaks for itself. We’re proud to have education as one of our firm’s longest standing key sectors, acting for over 100 further and higher education institutions.


We understand that what is important to you is that your pupils be the best they can be. Each school and group of schools have their own culture and ethos, and we work with you to get to know your institution and to support you in achieving your aims.

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