Laxmi’s professional biography
Laxmi Patel leads Boyes Turner’s leading education team. An expert in special educational needs, Laxmi works closely with parents, schools, local authorities and case managers to ensure that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) receive the support they need to achieve their potential in their education.
Laxmi provides invaluable SEN advice, representation and specialist educational support to the babies and children with profound and complex learning difficulties who are represented by Boyes Turner’s outstanding clinical negligence and Court of Protection teams. Her clients also come to her from other solicitors, social workers and through recommendation from families who have already received her help in securing suitable school placements and SEN support for their children.
Laxmi has extensive expertise in helping children with both profound and subtle difficulties. She has successfully pursued cases for children with complex and wide-ranging learning disabilities from cerebral palsy, autistic spectrum disorder, Asperger's syndrome, speech and language difficulties, hearing and visual impairment, Down's syndrome, dyslexia/dyspraxia, emotional behavioural difficulties, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sensory processing disorder.
She guides parents through every stage of their child’s statutory assessment process and conducts appeals to SENDIST against local authority refusals to conduct Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments, refusals to issue Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP), and EHCP contents, including the named school.
Laxmi advises parents on how and when to ask for an EHC needs assessment and what to do if they are unhappy or unsure about the adequacy of their child's educational provision. She provides health checks on the contents of existing EHCPs and helps parents secure amendments to the EHCPs, for example where they want a different named school, whether that be maintained, independent, special or mainstream, residential or day. Working closely with parents to achieve the child’s optimum outcome, Laxmi has secured tri-partite funding from education, health and social services and has successfully led cases for independent/non-maintained residential schools. She supports the parents at meetings with the local authority, experts and the school to resolve issues as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Laxmi is recognised as a SEND expert and is invited regularly to share her knowledge on changes to SEND legislation, government guidance and changes to practice and procedure for charities and events. She provides seminars on best practice to parents, case managers, schools and experts and regularly offers advice on how parents can support their children with SEND through the EHCP.
"Laxmi Patel of Boyes Turner is 'always very calm under pressure, very empathetic towards clients and very organised and thorough," according to commentators. She frequently appears in sophisticated matters before the SENDIST," - noted as an Associate to watch in Chambers 2017 (UK - wide).
"Thank you so very much for everything – all your advice and hard work...in particular, your masterpiece mark-up of the proposed EHCP."
Laxmi is a member of the Law Society and an active committee member of the Education Law Association (ELAS), for whom she leads talks on the SEN special interest group. In 2019 she was shorlisted for the Legal 500 Lawyer of the Year award. In the past she has volunteered as an education law advisor for the National Autistic Society (NAS).