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Ella is a solicitor in our Education, Ecclesiastical and Charity team. She has been singled out as one of three “Rising Stars” in Legal 500’s 2022 rankings for Education-Schools and advises clients in relation to a wide variety of education and charity law matters.
Ella has particular expertise in assisting with land, trust, funding and constitutional issues arising in relation to academies and maintained schools (including both community, foundation, voluntary controlled and voluntary aided schools). She has assisted with establishing, restructuring and dissolving a variety of academy trusts, along with the conversion and transfer of schools into and out of them. She has also acted on a variety matters arising at such schools both pre and post conversion, including (in relation to church schools) reverter, site transfers and determinations, statutory transfers under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, and applications for orders under section 554 of the Education Act 1996.
She has also assisted with the establishment, regulation, restructure and dissolution of a variety of non-education charities and is experienced in dealing with both unincorporated, incorporated and CIO charitable structures. She has also advised in relation to the acquisition and disposal of property by charities.
Some of her career highlights to date include:
- Ella has assisted with the establishment and expansion of a number of successful academy trusts, often under significant time pressures and sometimes requiring considerable negotiations with the relevant Local Authority and the Department for Education. In particular:-
- Assisting with the rebrokerage of academies into a new academy trust from a trust hit by a national scandal
- Advising on the creation of a cross-diocesan academy trust
- Assisting with the rebrokerage of a University Technical College into a Church of England Academy Trust
- Advising in relation to trusts arising under the Reverter of Sites Act 1987, along with the subsequent steps to take in the event that reverter is triggered
- Assisting with amending the objects of a charitable trust so as to enable charitable endowment to be used for other purposes, further to the partial destruction of a church building
Career to date
Ella joined LBMW in 2014 as a trainee. She qualified as a solicitor in 2016 and became an associate in 2020.
She was recently singled out as a “Rising Star” in Legal 500’s 2022 rankings for the Education- Schools sector.
She is a member of the Education Law Association, the Charity Law Association, the Ecclesiastical Law Association and Ecclesiastical Law Society. She is also a member of the Charity Law Association's model documents standing committee.
‘The service we receive from Ella Westby is exceptional. She always listens to our requirements and seeks an effective solution. She is incredibly efficient and communicates extremely well. We have used her services for ten school conversions now because the service she provides is so good.’
Legal 500 2022
'Ella Westby is incredibly efficient and a very skilled communicator. She has incredible in-depth knowledge of complicated historical land issues. She is superb at explaining complicated matters to all audiences. She works incredibly hard and responds to queries at an amazing speed. Ella works tirelessly to achieve the outcome that her clients want. When we have reached deadlock over issues which seem simply unsolvable Ella has found a way!'
'Ella Westby is a rising star for LBMW and has impressed with her academy conversion work. A thorough and professional approach has often saved us time and money or avoided pitfalls. Ella is very well organised and capable of juggling many aspects to a matter at once, helping her clients to focus on the key matters.'
Legal 500 2021