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Marian Shaughnessy

Work 020 8800 6464
John Ford Solicitors

Work Department

Head of community care.


Marian Shaughnessy has over 14 years experience in community care and education law and over 20 years experience in public law. Qualifying in 1990, Marian joined John Ford Solicitors in 2003. She has a wealth of experience representing clients and regularly undertakes judicial reviews of local authorities in respect of community care and education decisions. She also represents clients in claims for disability discrimination. Marian has acted in the court of protection for a number of family members of vulnerable adults. Marian has also represented clients wishing to challenge the contents of their Disclosure and Barring (DBS) and Enhanced DBS certificates and represented the claimant in the leading case of R (L) v The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, which went to the Supreme Court. Areas of Specialism: Community care, education law, public and administrative law, court of protection, discrimination and human rights. Important cases: P & W v LB Hackney [2014] This Judicial Review resulted in the Local Authority agreeing to remove its limit on disabled adults’ entitlement to overnight respite; R(ES) v LB Hillingdon [2013] Marian represented the vulnerable person in the court of protection and judicial review proceedings which resulted in the Local Authority contributing to the costs of the person’s residential college placement; R(HM) v Medway [2012] Marian successfully challenged the Local Authority’s decision to cut a disabled adult’s care package; R(KM) v Hertfordshire County Council [2012] Marian represented a child in a judicial review of the Local Authority’s decision not to fund nursery care and successfully obtained funding; B v LB Islington [2011] In this judicial review the Local Authority agreed to fund a private residential school place for Marian’s client with a statement of special educational needs (SEN); R(S) v LB Hillingdon [2010] Marian represented a child who was out of school and obtained home tuition from the Local Authority; R (L) v Metropolitan Police Commissioner [2009] UKHL3 Marian represented the claimant. The Supreme Court substantially altered the interpretation of the law that requires the police to disclose information for the purposes of enhanced criminal record certificates, holding that the law as currently interpreted did not comply with the rights to respect for private life. As a result the procedures adopted by the police have had to be amended to take into account the findings of the court in this case; AB v LB Barnet [2009] – Community Care Law Reports This case concerned the application of s.20 of the Children Act 1989 – the duty of the Local Authority to accommodate children where parents are unable to do so.


Trained TV Edwards and Islington Council; qualified 1990; solicitor (housing and environmental health) LB Islington; advisory centre for education (ACE); Levenes (education) 2002-03; John Ford Solicitors 2003-to date.


Education Law Association.

London: Public sector

Administrative and public law

Within: Administrative and public law

John Ford Solicitors is ‘dedicated to doing the best they can’ for private and legal aid clients. ‘Extremely enthusiastic and determined’ associate Helen Gill receives praise for her client care and ‘impressive knowledge of the law’ in disputes with the state and public bodies, and recently acted for an individual in a judicial review against the London Borough of Havering concerning its failure to take an equality impact assessment into account for council tax. The ‘very experienced’ associate Karen May heads the education team and is adept in community care work with associate Marian Shaughnessy, who is ‘unflustered, knowledgeable, thoughtful and tenacious’. Recent mandates included disputes with local authorities relating to community care assessments and accommodation.

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Education: individuals

Within: Education: individuals

John Ford Solicitors’ ‘confident, convincing and passionate’ team stands out for its ‘attention to detail’, has ‘a deep understanding of the intricacies of the regulatory framework’ and ‘focuses on the goal to win’. Its caseload includes challenges to the decisions of local authorities and schools through judicial review proceedings and cases pertaining to local authorities’ nonconformity with statements of SEN in the SEND tribunal. Practice head Karen May specialises in education matters involving community care and child protection law. Marian Shaughnessy acts for parents in judicial reviews of local authorities’ decisions and represents clients in pursuing disability discrimination claims. Name partner John Ford and Helen Gill, who is an expert in actions against public bodies, are also noted.

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