(Head of Education )
"Laxmi Patel of Boyes Turner is 'always very calm under pressure, very empathetic towards clients and very organised and thorough," according to commentators. She frequently appears in sophisticated matters before the SENDIST"
Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession
"Thank you so very much for everything – all your advice and hard work...in particular, your masterpiece mark-up of the proposed EHCP."
Laxmi, a partner, joined Boyes Turner's Medical Negligence team in January 2014 to advise on education matters. Laxmi is a solicitor specialising in Education Law, specifically special educational needs (SEN). Her work ties in well with the work already done with babies and young children in Medical Negligence and with the Court of Protection team.
Laxmi came to Boyes Turner from a leading education law firm in London where she worked for over five years. During this time she guided parents through the assessment process and conducted appeals, including representation, to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST). Her work now involves helping parents through every stage of their child’s statutory assessment process and includes conducting appeals to SENDIST against:
- The Local Authority's refusal to conduct an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment
- The Local Authority's refusal to issue an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- The contents of an EHCP, including the school named
Laxmi advises parents on how and when to ask for an EHC needs assessment and what to do when if they are either unhappy or unsure about the adequacy of their child's educational provision. She also provides health checks on the contents of existing Statements/EHCPs and advises parents on how to amend these if, for example, they want a different school (maintained, independent, special or mainstream, residential or day).
Laxmi has successfully handled cases of children with complex and wide-ranging learning disabilities including:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Asperger's Syndrome
- Speech and language difficulties
- Hearing and visual impairment
- Down's Syndrome
- Emotional behavioural difficulties
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Sensory processing disorder
Laxmi enjoys working closely with parents in order to achieve the best possible outcome for their children. She has achieved successful outcomes for children with complex needs requiring tri-partite funding from education, health and social services and has successfully led cases for independent/non-maintained residential schools. She has regularly attended meetings with parents, local authority, experts and the school to resolve issues as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Laxmi is a member of the Law Society and an active committee member of the Education Law Association (ELAS), often leading talks on the SEN special interest group. Prior to Boyes Turner she was a volunteer education law advisor for the National Autistic Society (NAS).
Before her legal career Laxmi worked in a large comprehensive inner London school and was an associate school Governor for over five years. During this time, Laxmi studied part-time and qualified with a First Class Honours degree in Law (LLB Hons). She then completed the LPC, again part-time.
Laxmi enjoys travelling, the further away the better. She is an avid reader and enjoys world cinema and spending time with her family.
- Favourite Book - Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie or Posionwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
- Film - The Bridges of Madison County
- Saying - "There is more to life than simply increasing its speed"