18 KEYNOTE SPEAKER For many years David headed the firm's employment team and schools' group, and today, while remaining a key member of both, he separately leads the firm’s safeguarding unit. In advising schools David focuses on issues relating to staff, pupils and parents – from sensitive dismissals to pupil exclusions and parental complaints. David's leadership of the safeguarding unit stems from many years of advising schools on safeguarding and child protection. He founded the firm's safeguarding unit in 2015, which advises organisations either working or coming into contact with children. These include schools, universities, charities, churches and religious organisations, visitor attractions, sports clubs and the medical sector. David advises on the full range of safeguarding issues, from creating safer systems to handling live cases and carrying out retrospective reviews. He is particularly well known for his role in advising on the Southbank International Vahey case where he led the Farrer & Co team in conducting the Independent Review of Hugh Davies QC and in advising Chelsea FC on its independent reviews of non-recent child sexual abuse, current safeguarding systems, and non-recent racial abuse. David Smellie David is head of the safeguarding unit at Farrer & Co.

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