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Claire Tonks

Partner - Commercial Contracts

DD: 01332 227592

Claire has advised clients in the Public Sector and in the Education Sector for many years in relation to contracts, intellectual property rights, and procurement issues. She has a wealth of experience on all types of commercial contracts, including collaboration agreements, outsourcing contracts, standard terms and conditions, framework supply agreements, funding agreements, consultancy services, IT agreements and software licencing.

Claire is known by her clients for her solution oriented, commercial approach and her dedication to understanding the operating environment of her clients.

Examples of her experience in the Education Sector include:

  • Advising ten Special Schools in Derbyshire on their soft federation collaboration, the first of its kind within Derbyshire.
  • Advising an FE college on its bespoke apprenticeship programme with a number of leading car manufacturers which included drafting and negotiating the apprenticeship services agreement, advising on the funding implications under the college’s main funding agreement with the Skills Funding Agency
  • Drafting the template Partnership Agreement for an FE college to be rolled out with its sub-contractors (which accounted for twenty million pounds of revenue for the college) who deliver courses and training to learners on its behalf. This involved advising from a compliance/risk management perspective in respect of the Funding Agreement and the Skills Funding Agency Rules.
  • Advising an FE on its collaboration with a Chinese University in the establishment of apprenticeships in the Chinese market, including drafting and negotiation the collaboration agreement.
  • Advising a number of schools and MATs on the procurement of new catering services, including advice on use of frameworks, negotiating and agreeing the final contract terms and concession arrangements;
  • Running training seminars for Governors/trustees on data protection/freedom of information compliance and conflict of interest policies;
  • Part of the project team who advised Derby College on EU Procurement in relation to the Joseph Wright Centre, ensuring the project was in compliance with the OJEU procedures, including advice on the timings, advertisements, notices and procedures for compliance, tender documents, and notification and acceptance procedure.
  • Advising on the process and specific compliance and procedural aspects involved in the expansion of academies to provide 3-19 “all through” provision, including the consideration of funding options.
  • Conducting a thorough data protection audit of the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership which included arms-length and face to face information gathering, as well as assessment of and advice concerning existing policies and procedures and actions required to ensure compliance across the partnership.

As well as a professional interest in academies and education, Claire is currently a governor of Lichfield Cathedral School, and Bramcote Hills Primary School

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