Public and Regulatory
Alice currently acts as Junior Counsel for Ofsted across multiple strands of IICSA led by Mathew Gullick QC and Sarah Hannett QC. IICSA looks at how various institutions have failed to protect children from sexual abuse – this includes schools, religious institutions, and care homes.
Alice is actively involved with the Inquiry’s investigations into:
- Residential Schools
- The Roman Catholic Church
- The Anglican Church
- Nottinghamshire Councils
- Child protection in religious organisations and settings
- Effective leadership of child protection
Through her public inquiry work, Alice has developed specialist knowledge in the field of safeguarding, sexual bullying, and sexual violence. She works alongside schools, ISVAs, government bodies, charities, and women’s rights organisations to develop policies and practices that aim to better protect victims of sexual violence.
Alice is regularly instructed by local authorities and families in judicial reviews concerning disabled children.
Alice has worked very closely with Ofsted providing specialist advisory and advocacy services in all areas it inspects and regulates, from social care to independent schools to unregistered schools. Alice’s experience has been used at Ofsted to focus on Equality Act matters and drafting guidance for their inspectors. Alice worked on a range of complex Equality Act 2010 matters, advising HMCI directly on high-profile matters, such as segregation and sex education. She has also been involved in drafting guidance for inspectors and the public, including the Education Inspection Framework, and assisted in the delivery of various public consultations.
Alice also has experience in inquest work involving school children who have died, including cases involving drug-misuse.
Whilst working for the Government Legal Department, Alice assisted with many matters ranging from Immigration, employment and discrimination cases and the Kenyan Emergency Group Litigation.
Alice De Coverley is a well-regarded junior barrister with expertise covering a wide range of education matters. She is regularly instructed to represent government bodies, schools, universities, families and students, and is experienced in the handling of exclusions and disability discrimination claims.
Strengths: "A phenomenal, astute barrister who has a friendly demeanour and an in-depth knowledge of this specialist area of law." "An extremely capable legal mind."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Bell v The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, a judicial review challenging the algorithm used by Ofqual to generate A-level results during the COVID-19 pandemic in the absence of examinations.
Chambers UK 2022/Education/London Bar
Strengths: "Very knowledgeable and passionate. She really helps her clients to understand what the issues are and identifies the legal risks and next steps." "She is very approachable, very supportive to parents and very calm and collected in a stressful environment."
Recent work: Represented Ofsted in several strands of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
Chambers UK 2021/Education/London Bar
‘‘She is empathetic with clients, strong in her advocacy and formidable in terms of her drafting style. ’’
Legal 500 2022/Education/Rising Star/London Bar
‘‘Very knowledgeable in her field, has excellent communication skills and is an all round great advocate. ’’
Legal 500 2021/Education/Rising Star/London Bar
"Alice is extraordinarily understated and approachable for someone quite so terrifyingly clever. She combines a forensic and encyclopaedic legal mind with a keen eye for strategy and an absolute commitment to her clients, and she has an understated confidence that just allows you to relax. It was clear from the start that we were in Rolls Royce hands - whatever happened, in instructing Alice we’d given our child his absolute best chance. That confidence proved very well placed, as she managed to secure absolutely everything we sought. She achieved a complex EOTAS package for him, which are rarely granted. It’s the only area with SEN Tribunals where the parent is unlikely to succeed – yet Alice did, with bells on. She didn’t just secure our child a Personal Budget, she achieved a mid 5-figures one, including elements even the SEN Code says should be restricted to exceptional circumstances. We have two disabled children, both of whom are represented by Alice. We wouldn’t consider instructing anyone else.”
“Thank you so much for fighting our corner so hard. [My child] is over the moon. You gave me hope where before I honestly had none.”
“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.”
- City Law School GDL (Commendation)
- City Law School BPTC (Very Competent)
- Durham University BA Hons Theology (2:1)
- "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
- Attorney General’s Junior Junior panel
- Editorial Board Member of Counsel Magazine.
- Education Law Association (ELAS)
- Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA)
- Centre for Women's Justice
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