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James Betts

James Betts

Senior Solicitor

“He is precise, extremely knowledgeable and compassionate at all times. I would say his main strength is his high level ​of efficiency and resolute knowledge of what path should be taken.”  “He understands the challenges for a client while being able to recognise key legal issues and focus on those for the purposes of the legal proceedings.” Chambers and Partners 2022 (Star Associate)


“I was very impressed by James Betts… James was able to provide me with a specialised bespoke service which was cost effective for me and fantastic in terms of the result we achieved for my son. James has very good knowledge of the law in this area and was always able to answer my (many) questions… James is a stand out individual for education work, particularly special educational needs and judicial review.”  – Legal 500 2022 (Rising Star)


James specialises in education, community care, and mental capacity law, including claims for judicial review and in the Court of Protection. Having previously worked as a teaching assistant to children with special educational needs, over the last 10 years he has developed a particular reputation for his work in special educational needs and disability (‘SEND’) law and is recognised to be an expert in the field.

He frequently represents parents and individuals appealing to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal to obtain an Education, Health and Care Plan (‘EHCP’), assessments, changes to ensure an EHCP is fit for purpose and changes to the school named in a child’s EHCP. James has supported parents to obtain placements at specialist independent schools, residential placements and home-based education programmes (including ABA/PBS programmes).

James also works with case managers and deputies to advise on eligibility for statutory funding for the clients they support. He advises schools on pupil related issues and regularly delivers training on special educational needs law to charities, schools and other lawyers. His reported cases include:

Re Z (A Child: Deprivation of Liberty: Transition Plan) [2020] EWHC 3038 (Fam) – in which the High Court gave guidance to local authorities and families seeking to move a child into a placement where restraint and restrictions on liberty are required.

L (An Infant), R (On the Application Of) v Buckinghamshire County Council [2019] EWHC 1817 – in which, for the first time, the High Court considered the law in relation to Children’s Centres.

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