Education Law

Clients drop firm after lawyer uses Twitter to celebrate 'win' against parents of disabled children

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A British law firm suffered a sudden loss of business over the last few days, after a series of tweets by a founding partner who serves as its managing director ignited a firestorm.

Mark Small of Baker Small heads a law firm known for its leading niche representation of local government councils defending against claims by parents seeking “special educational needs” funding for disabled children, explains the Guardian.

However, Small was perceived as “gloating” over a lack of funding for disabled children by a number of observers. They pointed to a tweet about “a great ‘win’ last week which sent some parents into a storm!” and a tweet apparently responding to criticism that included a photo of a kitten and said Baker had received “great tweets” and had “just shared them with my cat,” the newspaper reports. The tweets have been deleted.

Small has since said he is “deeply, deeply sorry” for his comments, admitting that “from a publicity point of view, it is a disaster.”

So far, nearly half of the roughly 20 governmental entities represented by Baker Small in special-education cases have said they have either suspended their contracts with the firm or said they intend to do so, the Guardian reports.

However, the loss of business can be made up, Small told the newspaper—he intends to fill in the gap caused by lost business by substituting new matters in which he represents parents against the governmental entities in special-education cases.

Related coverage:

Bristol Post: “Law firm’s grovelling apology for mocking parents of special needs children who miss out on schools”

The Telegraph: “Council solicitors attacked for social media ‘gloating’ with picture of cat after tribunal win against parents of special needs child”

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