Responsibility of Council
As LSE’s Board of Directors and Charitable Trustees, Council is responsible for ensuring that the School's legal affairs are conducted in an effective and proper manner. It has delegated operational responsibility to the Acting School Secretary, Andrew Webb. This responsibility includes the signing of contracts and other legal documents on behalf of the School. The Secretary will take advice from relevant administrative divisions or an external law firm that is contracted to LSE for a period of four years. The current contract, which runs until April 2014, is with Pinsent Masons LLP.
Internal Legal Advice
The School’s Legal Team, which is managed by Kevin Haynes, is located in the Governance, Legal and Policy Division. It specialises in the areas of student complaints and discipline, health and safety, freedom of information and data protection. It can also advise on more general matters, such as contracts, intellectual property, brand protection and equalities legislation.
The School’s Human Resources Division deals with employment legislation and houses LSE’s Equality and Diversity Team. Finance Division administers the School’s Financial Regulations and the Academic Registrar’s Division deals with most student-related matters, including academic misconduct and appeals against assessments. The (Student) Disability and Wellbeing Office is part of the School’s Teaching and Learning Centre.
External Legal Advice
The School’s ‘preferred suppliers’ of legal services is Pinsent Masons LLP. Kevin Haynes in the Legal Team manages the four-year contract between the School and Pinsent Masons. The contract enables the School to benefit from reduced hourly rates and an agreed level of customer service. As such, this firm should always be used for legal advice, unless the Secretary grants permission to go elsewhere.
Instructing Legal Advisors
Only members of the Director’s Management Team or Service Leaders have the authority to instruct Legal Advisers on behalf of the School. There are some exceptions to this rule, to enable key members of staff to instruct lawyers, but these arrangements must be agreed by the relevant Service Leader, because s/he is accountable for the expenditure of his/her Division. Members of academic departments wishing to instruct the School’s Legal Advisers should first contact the Secretary or Kevin Haynes in the Legal Team.
Instructions to Legal Advisers should normally cover the following points:
A summary of the issue, including any relevant documents;
A clear explanation of what is required;
A deadline by which the advice is required;
The name and contact details of the Person Responsible at LSE;
Whether the work should be allocated to a particular person at Pinsent Masons;
The anticipated cost of the work.
The School must alert its insurers to any legal action that might be, or has been, taken against it. Irin Wu in Finance Division is the School’s point of contact for insurance matters.