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Legal Services

The Head of Legal Services is James Fearn. He supports the University Secretary and others by giving a qualified legal opinion on a range of issues.  James's specialisms include joint ventures, third party contracts, the student contract, intellectual property-related contracts (such as licences), data protection, international agreements (such as on course delivery abroad), human rights law, advice on students and staff with criminal records, legal relationships with LUU, research ethics and generally anything with a legal tone that is not litigation, employment or real property-related.

James manages Legal Services, which includes four further solicitors, Caroline Coulsey, Alex Evans, Helen Phillips (all part-time), Heather Jefferson and Mark Warner (full-time).

Caroline has over 18 years of experience in litigation and dispute resolution. These will typically involve contract disputes either with suppliers, joint venture partners, research partners or international contracts. The disputes may arise due to non-payment for services and/or alleged breaches of contractual terms, either on the part of the University or another party to the contract. Caroline also deals with the legal aspects of Health and Safety, child protection, and any other contentious areas which do not involve real estate or employment.

Alex has over 11 years experience in employment related matters. This includes advising the University, often in conjunction with Human Resources, on appropriate good practice, policy and procedures, issues relating to employment contracts, legal aspects of equality and diversity, and handling disputes and claims taken to the Employment Tribunal.

Heather is an employment solicitor with 5 years’ experience and worked as in-house solicitor before joining the University. Heather is experienced in drafting and reviewing a range of documentation including employment contracts, settlement agreements and HR policies and procedures. Heather advises the University and Human Resources on a wide range of issues including termination of employment, avoidance of discrimination claims and advice relating to potential tribunal claims.

Mark has practised as a solicitor in England and in Scotland and has specialised variously in litigation, dispute resolution, professional misconduct and negligence and university research contracts.  Mark now focusses principally on contracts and general commercial work for the University.

Legal Services do not represent staff or students in an individual capacity.


Other University policies on which Legal Services can be consulted include:



You can contact the Legal Affairs team by sending an e-mail to Tracey Crombie.


Updated: 21 May 2024 (HJP)