Following a comprehensive Strategic Review, the Governors of The
College of Law ("College") today announce that the College's legal
education and training business will be separated from its on-going
charitable activities. The Governors have agreed the sale of the
legal education and training business, which will continue to be
known as The College of Law, to the leading European private equity
firm Montagu Private Equity ("Montagu") under the terms of a
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The proceeds of the sale will contribute to a significant fund, in
excess of £200million with which the charity - set to be renamed
The Legal Education Foundation - will further its charitable object
to promote the advancement of legal education and the study of law
for future generations of students through bursaries, scholarships
and grants. The Legal Education Foundation will be one of the
largest independent educational charities in the UK.
Commenting on the announcement, Professor David Yates, Chairman of
the Governors, said:
"The College of Law was established over 50 years ago as a
charitable institution with the specific object of the advancement
of legal education. Over the decades, the College has become the
leading professional law school in the UK and now competes in an
increasingly commercial marketplace. Given the changing education
environment, it was appropriate for the Governors to undertake a
major Strategic Review of the best way for the charity to meet this
objective in the future. Montagu's investment will give The College
of Law the freedom and support to continue to build its position as
a leading professional legal education institution in the UK and
internationally. The Governors were clear in their views that
Montagu would be an excellent guardian of the College, ensuring a
continuation and enhancement of the focus on academic excellence,
exceptional teaching and client service that has long characterised
the College's work.
We are delighted to have secured a significant fund in perpetuity
for The Legal Education Foundation which will be able to focus on
the charitable objectives of ensuring the legal education market is
fair, diverse and open to all."
Montagu Private Equity is one of Europe's leading private equity
firms. A new company owned by funds managed by Montagu will acquire
the entire legal education and training operations of the College.
This includes contractual commitments with law firms, as well as
"The College of Law" brand and all its accreditations, thus
enabling it to continue to award such qualifications, and
seamlessly maintain the operation of the College for all clients,
students and staff. Montagu is supporting the existing management
team, led by Nigel Savage, and staff of the College.
Montagu has also appointed Sir Tim Wilson as a non-executive
director of the newly created Board of the College. Sir Tim will
have special responsibility for monitoring academic standards and
quality, and will Chair the Academic Audit and Standards Committee.
He is a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire
and author of the recent report commissioned in the 2011 Higher
Education White Paper -'A Review of Business - University
Collaboration'. Sir Tim is also a former Board member of HEFCE and
a current non-executive director of student accommodation company
The UNITE Group plc.
In addition to supporting the continuity of existing business
operations and teaching activities, Montagu is committing to
establish a College Scholarship Fund with an investment of £2m for
the benefit of the College's students. Montagu will also place 2%
of the fully diluted share capital in the ultimate holding company
of the College, as at completion of the sale, into the scholarship
Nigel Savage, CEO of The College of Law, said:
"Today is the beginning of an exciting new era in the history of
the College for all concerned: our people, students, law firms and
all other stakeholders. The market for legal services is embracing
new business models and a change in our ownership structure will
enable us to access investment and expertise to take full advantage
of the huge opportunities in the domestic and global legal
education market. This will build on our heritage and connections
with law firms and organisations such as the Open University and
International Bar Association.
In Montagu, we have an experienced and well-resourced partner to
help us work with our first class staff to continue and enhance our
core values of world-class and innovative teaching focused on
employability. Our vision is to be the leading world-class
professional law school."
Alex Dabbous, Director at Montagu, said:
"We are very pleased to be investing in this exceptional education
institution. The College of Law's strength lies in the quality of
its education provision, decades of experience from talented staff
and management, its national footprint and excellent facilities. We
share management's vision to grow the business, enabling it to
reach its full potential, and focus on delivering the highest
standards of education that The College of Law is reputed for. We
are delighted that Sir Tim Wilson has accepted our invitation to
join the Board, as his extensive experience from his decades of
work with higher education institutions will add significant value
to the College."
The Governors of The College of Law were advised by Hawkpoint
Partners Limited and Allen & Overy LLP.