Lee specialises in a mixture of ecclesiastical, education and property matters with a particular focus on the Church of England, although he acts for other Christian denominations and faith groups.

Summary

Lee is Registrar and Legal Advisor to the Bishop and Diocese of Leicester. He was previously the Registrar of the Diocese of St Albans and Joint Registrar of the Diocese of Guildford. As a result, Lee is well-used to dealing with the day-to-day legal activities of a Church of England diocese as well as giving advice on more contentious issues to senior staff and others on such issues as clergy discipline, safeguarding and data protection. He has acted for individual clergy and parochial church councils on property and purely ecclesiastical matters.

Lee has expertise in historic educational and ecclesiastical trusts and has advised numerous Church of England dioceses and schools on such issues.

He acts for a number of Church of England diocesan boards of education nationally on all issues that they have to deal with in connection with the Church of England schools within their diocese. He also acts for a variety of diocesan and school-led multi academy trusts, again nationally, in the conversion of maintained schools into them as well as academy to academy transfers. As part of this he has developed an expertise in the School Sites Acts and associated tax issues and issues to do with the development of church school sites.

Post conversion / transfer, Lee provides advice to those trusts on governance and other related issues.

Professional Experience

Lee is Registrar and Legal Advisor to the Bishop and Diocese of Leicester. He was previously the Registrar of the Diocese of St Albans and Joint Registrar of the Diocese of Guildford. As a result, Lee is well-used to dealing with the day-to-day legal activities of a Church of England diocese as well as giving advice on more contentious issues to senior staff and others on such issues as clergy discipline, safeguarding and data protection. He has acted for individual clergy and parochial church councils on property and purely ecclesiastical matters.

Lee has expertise in historic educational and ecclesiastical trusts and has advised numerous Church of England dioceses and schools on such issues.

He acts for a number of Church of England diocesan boards of education nationally on all issues that they have to deal with in connection with the Church of England schools within their diocese. He also acts for a variety of diocesan and school-led multi academy trusts, again nationally, in the conversion of maintained schools into them as well as academy to academy transfers. As part of this he has developed an expertise in the School Sites Acts and associated tax issues and issues to do with the development of church school sites.

Post conversion / transfer, Lee provides advice to those trusts on governance and other related issues.

Expertise

Ecclesiastical law and Church of England property

Conversion/transfer of Church of England schools to academies under the Academies Act 2010

Diocesan Registrar and legal advisor to the Bishop and Diocese of Bristol

Academic Experience

Lee has led numerous seminars on ecclesiastical and educational matters nationally and has a Master’s Degree in Canon Law from Cardiff University.

Case Studies / Accomplishments
  • Leading the conversion of a mix of 16 Church of England and community schools in the Chelmsford Diocese, the largest single joint application for conversion dealt with by the Department for Education.
  • Working with the senior staff of the Diocese of Leicester to address the challenges faced by the
  • Diocese following the City of Leicester being the first area in England to be put into a local lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

What our clients say

“Your support in the last few weeks and relentlessness to ensure Greenwich finally signed was very much appreciated by Paul and myself.”

Windrush Primary School, Endeavour Partnership Trust

What our clients say

“On behalf of the school I would like to thank you personally for the time and effort, you, Myles, Dan and Andrew put into this; it wasn't the most straightforward of conversions, that has to be said.”

The Windrush Primary School, Endeavour Partnership Trust

What our clients say

"Schools with a Church foundation, possibly also involving trustees and potentially complex land arrangements are in my experience a particularly specialist area. Graham Shaw and Lee Coley have I believe a national reputation for expertise in this field."

Yorkshire Causeway Schools Trust

What our clients say

"Schools with a Church foundation, possibly also involving trustees and potentially complex land arrangements are in my experience a particularly specialist area. Graham Shaw and Lee Coley have I believe a national reputation for expertise in this field."

Yorkshire Causeway Schools Trust