King’s College London terminates contract of lecturer who set up legal firm to help students challenge exam results

Daniel Sokol’s firm charges students between £500 and £1,000 for representing them

Education Editor

A top university has terminated the contract of a lecturer who set up a business offering legal advice to students who wanted to challenge their exam results.

King’s College London has told Daniel Sokol, he will cease to be an honorary senior lecturer in medical ethics and law at the institution from the end of February.

At the centre of the row is Dr Sokol’s decision to set up a private company - Alpha Academic Appeals - which offers help to students with exam appeals, charging them between £500 and £1,000 for representing them.

The university said it was concerned that publicity for the company would suggest the college endorsed the company - which it did not.

It said that - following media publicity (in the Times Higher Education magazine) for his enterprise - it had “taken the decision to terminate Dr Sokol’s contract with three months’  notice in line with the terms and conditions of his honorary appointment”.

“Upon reading the letter one might have been forgiven for thinking I had set up a brothel for students with an endless supply of Class A drugs,” said Dr Sokol in a letter to the THE published on Thursday.

“The wisdom or otherwise of King’s decision is of no general interest but the attitude it reflects - the apparent distaste for students seeking paid legal help to appeal against university decisions they consider to be unfair - should be.”

He added; “There is a good reason why students who believe they have been unfairly treated turn to lawyers.  They know that, by and large, they will get better representation.”

Dr Sokol said that he had advised 70 per cent of the students that had approached him that their case had poor prospects for success - and had not charged them.

However, universities’ academic and disciplinary decisions “can radically change students’ lives for the worse, affect entire families and shatter long-held dreams”, he added.

“They matter tremendously.  In this David versus Goliath scenario, students need all the help they can get.”

KCL pointed out that students were able to access free, independent advice and representation through the Academic Advice Service offered by the King’s College London Students’ Union.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Commercial Property Surveyor

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading firms of Cha...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Central London, Bank

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Structural Engineer

£22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A keen Graduate Structural Engineer with...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Data & Delivery Guru

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Data & Delivery Guru is required to...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible