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Russell Kennedy provides schools, tertiary institutions and other educational clients with practical legal advice that demonstrates our comprehensive understanding of the social, political, legislative and operational challenges that our clients face.

We guide our clients to manage high-level strategic issues through to day-to-day operations. Our expertise spans stakeholder management, workplace relations, contract law and procurement, compliance and governance, dispute resolution, debt recovery, property and planning, information technology and privacy. 

A significant portion of our work in the education sector relates to crisis management. We help our clients avoid or otherwise manage critical incidents that risk negative media exposure and regulatory oversight.

We pride ourselves on our ability to provide practical solutions that reduce the risks of disputes occurring in the first place. However, where necessary we represent our educational clients in the Fair Work Commission, courts and tribunals across the country in relation to all variety of disputes. 


We understand schools, and pride ourselves on being trusted advisers to principals and their school boards. We have worked with Victorian schools for more than 35 years, and also act for a number of schools across Australia, giving us a wealth of valuable insights into the different issues and regulatory regimes affecting schools in each state and territory.

We support our school clients with developing codes of conduct and policies, plain English parent and student agreements, and assisting with issues including student behaviour, parenting arrangements, child safety, and confidentiality and privacy.

We work with schools to ensure that staff perform their duties in accordance with their professional standards, and their behaviour is consistent with a school’s code of conduct and values.

We also understand that schools are large not-for-profits, and assist schools with the variety of commercial issues that they now encounter on a daily basis. These vary from standard commercial contracting arrangements, to advising on large-scale capital projects, through to governance review and reform.

Our team’s experience means that we are recognised for our skills and experience, and we are regularly asked to speak at national school conferences across the country (including those offered by LegalWise, LawSense, Television Education Network, the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia and the Principals’ Association of Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools).


Australia’s world-class universities play a crucial role in generating economic growth. Our tertiary sector is globally competitive, delivering financial and societal benefits that flow from investment in higher education and research.

We are committed to providing exceptional legal services and solutions to our tertiary education clients. We support a number of universities and other higher education institutions across a variety of issues – from achieving strategic priorities to undertaking innovative research that will benefit the broader community.

We regularly advise and negotiate on behalf of both grant originators and recipients across a range of fields including agricultural research, technology research and development, broadband infrastructure, climate change research, community programs, vocational education and training programs, health and medical research, manufacturing research and development, and tourism projects.

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