3PB Direct

Living with Special Educational Needs (SEN) means that you may face challenges every day before you even get to the school gates. SEN services in the UK can be excellent and balanced to your needs, but if those services fail, it can leave you daunted and unsure of where to turn.

If you are (or you care for) a child or young person with SEN and you want to challenge a local authority decision, you need an experienced barristers who understands your needs. John Friel and his team at 3PB Direct has been at the forefront of helping clients across the UK make successful challenges where:

  • A school or local authority may not be recognising the child or young person’s needs
  • There’s difficulty obtaining a diagnosis
  • There’s been disability discrimination
  • There’s been issues accessing the appropriate support in schools or colleges
  • There are difficulties accessing a Home Education package where a child or young person can’t attend school
  • You’re having trouble accessing suitable school transport
  • You need to secure statutory funding for independent school placements (including residential schools and colleges, therapeutic provision and 1:1 support)
  • You need to obtain and challenge the contents of Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans
  • You need to transfer a Statement of Special Education Needs to an EHC Plan.

We pride ourselves on being the national, go-to barristers of choice for parents, solicitors, case managers and other professionals, and for turning-around and getting successful results in cases that were failing beforehand.

We understand that these situations can be tough for everyone, compounding the difficulties of living with SEN but our barristers are recognised as one of the leading authorities in this legal area.  We offer as much assistance as you need. We can challenge the local authority’s decision by appealing to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) where we can provide full representation, or, we can quietly provide special educational needs (SEN) advice in the background. The choice is yours. We have an exceptional track record of successfully acting in complex Tribunal appeals, mediations and annual reviews. We are experts in the changes to SEN law introduced with the Children and Families Act 2014 and have been involved in the judicial reviews of local authority duties under the Act.

We have also, in partnership with leading specialist solicitor Melinda Nettleton of SEN Legal, co-authored “Special Needs & Legal Entitlement – The Essential Guide to Getting Out of the Maze” which will help you understand what the legislation requires of local authorities and their EHC plans and get the best possible support from both schools and local authorities.

For help and advice please contact Tom Cox on +44 (0)3333 231 586 or email us.

Education Barristers legal services that we provide

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How to instruct a barrister

Our experienced team of specially-trained clerks make instructing a 3PB Direct barrister simple. Watch our video for a step-by-step guide on how to work with us to achieve a resolution to your legal issue.

We’ll be here every step of the way to support and guide you through the legal challenges at hand.

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Special Educational Needs (SEN) Barristers


John Friel

Lawyer since 1974

Katherine Anderson

Lawyer since 2005

Jennifer Agyekum

Lawyer since 2009

Alice de Coverley

Lawyer since 2014