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An experienced litigator in a broad range of areas of law, Ane Vernon specialises in disputes arising in the commercial, education and regulatory sector, including safeguarding. Ane leads the Payne Hicks Beach education and public law team. She is proud of longstanding relationships with her clients whom she advises on a wide range of issues, often with a view to averting potential claims or defending existing claims.

Ane regularly represents clients in high value and multi-party litigation in the High Court, including contractual/commercial and corporate cases.

She has significant experience representing students and their parents facing exclusions or suspensions and is accustomed to handling the many sensitive issues that arise out of claims of misconduct, whether this is the victim or the person facing the allegations. Schools and institutional clients also regularly turn to Ane for advice in relation to their policies, byelaws and regulations, and in connection with membership examinations, disciplinary matters, complaints and appeals.



Understanding that litigation is not always the route best suited to achieve her clients’ objectives, Ane has an exceptional track record of careful strategic planning which leads to workable solutions for her clients. She is both experienced in taking litigation to trial and in obtaining favourable commercial outcomes through alternative forms of dispute resolution such as mediation. A skilled and efficient case manager, clients value her sound and practical legal advice and her empathy when helping them deal with the difficult and sensitive issues that can arise during disputes.

Ane has successfully represented clients in judicial review applications acting for both claimants and defendants. The decision in The London Oratory School’s claim against the Schools Adjudicator and the Secretary of State for Education attracted national media coverage and widespread public debate concerning faith schools in the UK. More recently she was involved in the judicial review challenge of the government’s decision to terminate the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.

Ane joined Payne Hicks Beach in 2001 and qualified in 2003. She was promoted to Senior Associate in 2009 and Partner in 2019.

She is a member of the International Young Lawyers Association AIJA and the London Solicitors Litigation Association.

Ane is fluent in German and Danish.

Ane has been ranked consecutively as a Next Generation Partner by The Legal 500 UK. In The Legal 500 UK 2024 rankings, Ane is recognised as leading the firm’s education practice and being “well-versed in issues surrounding school and university admissions, exclusions, and examinations. Testimony includes, “Ane is simply excellent. A very fine legal mind, she is pragmatic, thinks of all possible angles, and is not afraid to give her assessment of the situation. As an Education Law specialist, she remains focused on achieving the best outcome for children. Her experience as a litigator is a particularly helpful additional skill should the need for a more combative approach be required.” 

Comments in The Legal 500 UK include:

“Ane Vernon is a very astute operator. She is sensitive to client needs and clear in her legal analysis.”

“Will fight her client’s corner hard, but not lose sight of commercial realities.”

“Standout player in this field.”

“Excellent in a crisis situation.”

“Tenacious in pursuing the best possible outcome for her clients and has an excellent manner, always going the extra mile to put them at ease.”

“The most impressive solicitor who ever instructed me in an education/schools case.”

“She combines tenacious loyalty with real judgment; and supportive sensitivity with professional objectivity.”

“Works with outstanding diligence.”

“Always meets our expectations to the highest standards.”

“Ane Vernon is a very astute operator. She is sensitive to client needs and clear in her legal analysis.”

“Forms excellent relationships with clients and takes an intelligent interest in the wider context of the case. She is very well informed on the education sector in general and at the same time receptive to the peculiarities of a particular institution.”