Baker Small are a firm of solicitors who provide legal advice to the Council on SEN appeals and tribunals and can represent the Council at Special Educational Needs Tribunals. The Council use Baker Small for representation and advice when parents appeal to the Tribunal in order to increase its chance of winning and thereby reduce the cost of its education bill. The Tribunals are supposedly informal and parents are advised that they do not need representation. This can lead to situations whereby the local authority is legally represented out of the public purse and parents are not. There is no public funding available for parents to be legally represented at Tribunal.
For more information on the Council's relationship with Baker Small see this post and this post.
Payments to Baker Small:
1/8/13 Other Hired and Contract Services £ 7000.00 (link)
8/5/13 Other Hired and Contract Services £10000.00 (link) (Corrected figure 13.07.13)
6/2/13 Other Hired and Contract Services £ 7000.00 (link)
21/9/11 Other Hired and Contract Services £ 8000.00 (link)
29/3/11 Other courses - course fees £ 850.00 (link)
Total £32850.00 (ex VAT)