Alice de Coverley

Year of Call: 2014
Email Address: alice.decoverley@3pb.co.uk
Telephone: 020 7583 8055

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Overview

Alice de Coverley’s practice spans public, education, equality, personal injury and commercial law.

Alice is currently instructed on a part-time secondment at the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted). She provides specialist advisory and advocacy services to Ofsted in all areas it inspects and regulates, from social care to independent schools to unregistered schools.

Alice is particularly focused on Equality Act 2010 matters. She also acts in the Care Standards Tribunal, and is currently acting for Ofsted as Junior Counsel in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA).

Alice continues to take instructions outside of her instruction with Ofsted.

Alice is on the Attorney General’s Junior panel.

Whilst a law student, Alice was the Chief Director of The School Exclusion Project. This is an award-winning pro-bono unit dedicated to representing parents of permanently excluded school children.

During this time, Alice was also a Trade Union Advocate for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). She acted on behalf of nurses, midwives and health care assistants in a wide range of disciplinary and employment disputes.

Alice de Coverley is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. Please contact Alice for a copy of her privacy policy which sets out the basis upon which any personal data she may collect about you, or that is provided to her, will be processed by her. She will provide a copy of this policy to you within 2 working days of its request.

Expertise

  • Education
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    Alice is particularly passionate about Education Law and children’s rights.

    Prior to commencing pupillage, Alice was the Chief Director of The School Exclusion Project for four years. This is an award-winning pro-bono unit dedicated to representing parents of permanently excluded school children.

    Alice is currently instructed on a part-time secondment at the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted). She provides advisory and advocacy services to Ofsted in all areas it inspects and regulates, from social care to independent schools to unregistered schools.

    Alice also acts for Ofsted in the Care Standards Tribunal, and is currently acting for Ofsted as Junior Counsel on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA).

    Alice continues to take education law instructions outside of her instruction with Ofsted.

    Alice is particularly focused on Equality Act 2010 matters.

    Alice acts for parents, children, young people, schools, Universities, Local Authorities, charities and government bodies.

    Alice is instructed to act and advise in relation to a broad range of education law matters, including:

    • Appeals to the SEND Tribunal on the content of EHC Plans
    • Discrimination (particularly disability discrimination) claims in the FTT and County Court
    • Compliance with the Equality Act 2010
    • School Exclusions
    • Judicial Review
    • Breach of contract and negligence claims involving education providers
    • School Admissions
    • Home Education
    • Internal academic appeals
    • Fitness to Practice appeals
    • Appeals to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator
    • Public consultations
    • Public inquiries
    • Data protection and subject access requests.

    Recent education law matters which Alice has been involved in include:

    • Successfully representing a child with epilepsy in a disability discrimination claim against his school, with the decision being sent by the Tribunal to the EHRC, the DfE and to Ofsted as a result.
    • Successfully representing a number of children in their Section I appeals, enabling their progress at the right school which meets their needs.
    • Successfully representing children in appeals against “refusal to assess” or “refusal to issue” EHC plans.
    • Drafting Ofsted policies and consultation responses on schools, social care settings, unregistered schools, and equality law matters.
    • Policy drafting in relation to counter-terrorism measures taken by schools.
    • Advising medical and nursing students in claims under the Equality Act 2010 where the University’s competency assessment standards conflicted with the duty to make reasonable adjustments.
    • Advising in relation to negligence claims for failure to spot learning difficulties.
    • Advising in relation to breach of contract claims involving Independent Schools.
    • Advising parents of school pupils with disabilities who have been unlawfully permanently excluded.
    • Drafting funding applications to the European Human Rights Commission, to support client’s cases concerning discrimination in education.
    • Drafting submissions to the Health and Conduct Committee/Fitness to Practice Committee.
    • Drafting submissions to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

    Alice has also helped to create a number of BBC Radio 4 programmes about school exclusions.

    Whilst Alice was Chief Director of The School Exclusion Project, it featured in the press several times addressing unlawful exclusions – for instance this Guardian article.

    She is also a volunteer for the charity Inspiring the Future, which connects young people in state schools and colleges with those from the world of work. She has recently been part of their Inspiring Women campaign, mentoring girls from various schools to raise their aspirations and break down sex stereotypes.

    Alice is happy to provide training in relation to education law. Of late she provided training on school admissions appeals to Local Authorities, a talk on disability discrimination to a children’s charity and ran a seminar on school exclusions for solicitors. Please get in touch with her clerks should this be something you would wish to organise.

  • Personal Injury
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    Alice de Coverley appears in court on a regular basis, acting for both Claimants and Defendants in fast-track and multi-track personal injury matters.

    Alice has a particular specialism in fraudulent claims.

    She regularly advises on liability and quantum, and drafts statements of case in areas including:

    • Personal Injury claims involving education providers
    • Fraudulent claims for Personal Injury (including occupancy, low velocity impact, fundamental dishonesty)
    • Road Traffic Accidents
    • Credit Hire
    • Highways Act claims
    • Animal Act claims
    • Occupiers’ Liability
    • Employers’ Liability
    • Fatal Accidents
    • Public Inquiries.

    Alice has significant experience in working with children with disabilities, mental health conditions and special educational needs. This greatly assists her in dealing with the medical aspects of these cases and working with vulnerable witnesses.

    Alice is currently instructed on a part-time secondment at the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted). Alice is currently acting for Ofsted as Junior Counsel on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA). Alice is keen to increase her instructions in Public Inquiry and Inquest work.

    Recent examples of cases Alice has been involved in include:

    • Advising and successfully representing a child who fell from an unstable school playground structure causing significant permanent facial scarring.
    • Advising claimants in abuse claims arising out of substandard supervision by teachers at a school.
    • Advising and successfully representing claimants and defendants in fraudulent personal injury claims.
    • Successful Circuit Judge appeal on mitigation of loss in relation to a credit hire claim.
  • Commercial
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    Alice acts in a wide range of contractual matters.

    Alice has particular experience and interest in contractual matters arising in the education sector. In particular, she specialises in breach of contract claims involving schools and universities.

    She also has particular experience in contracts regarding the sale of goods, supply of services, consumer credit, school fees and debt recovery actions. She conducts claims involving issues such as agency, construction of contracts, misrepresentation and duress.

    Alice has an extensive understanding of credit hire and subrogated claims on behalf of insurers, with an in depth knowledge of the relevant statutes and case law. She has conducted successful Circuit Judge appeals in this area.

    Recent examples of cases Alice has been involved in include:

    • Successfully representing a parent in a claim for breach of contract against their child’s independent school.
    • Successfully defending universities in applications to strike out claims for disability discrimination and/or breach of contract.
    • Successfully representing a nurse at the County Court in the recovery of her unpaid wages from an employment contract.
    • Successfully defending a claim against an Architect for unpaid fees on the basis of improper conduct in how the fee was calculated and the substandard way in which the works were performed.
    • Successfully representing a joiner, in defending a claim for breach of contract in relation to extensive works done on the claimant’s doors and windows.

Recommendations

“I spoke with my client last night and wanted to relay to you how pleased she was with yesterday. She could not praise you enough and said that you went above and beyond what she expected.”

“I thought I would pass on Mr C’s comments as to how much he appreciated your time on Friday and he said what a fantastic Barrister that you are. I thought you should know how much he thought of you.”

Academic qualifications

  • City Law School GDL (Commendation)
  • City Law School BPTC (Very Competent)
  • Durham University BA Hons Theology (2:1)

Scholarships

  • "Just Rights" Human Rights - the Big Voice Mooting Competition Champion, 2013, winning in the final at the Supreme Court
  • In 2012 the School Exclusion Project won the Bar Pro Bono Award
  • In 2014 the School Exclusion Project was runner up in the Attorney General LawWorks Pro Bono Awards for ‘Best Contribution by a Team of Students’.

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • Editorial Board Member of Counsel Magazine.

Professional bodies

  • Education Law Association (ELAS)
  • Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA)
  • Freehold Real Estate Networking Group

Direct Access

Alice de Coverley is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

More Information

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