Qualified in 1987. Derek is Section Leader and solicitor in Essex Legal Services. He started work with Essex County Council in 2005 having previously worked as a solicitor for Local Authorities on Merseyside and in Cambridgeshire where he specialised in child care law and social services law. He is presently the lead solicitor on education law for the Council and heads Essex Legal Services Virtual Academies Team.
- Advising and clerking education admissions appeals and Independent Review Panels dealing with school exclusions.
- Advising on all education, special educational needs, social care and immigration issues.
- Representing schools in disability discrimination claims before the First Tier Tribunal.
- Representing local authorities in SEN claims before the First Tier and Upper Tribunals.
- Advising schools and the Council on a wide range of matters including school transport, school organisation, disclosure of records and data protection, admissions, and exclusions.
- Advising on adult social services matters generally, including ordinary residence, safeguarding vulnerable adults and Court of Protection matters. He has represented the Council in the Court of Protection.
- Advising on mental health matters and representing AMHP's in applications to the County Court.
- Advising on Academies.