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Work 020 8800 6464
Fax 020 8800 6066

Helen Gill

Work 020 8800 6464
John Ford Solicitors


Helen qualified as a solicitor in 2004 and joined John Ford Solicitors in 2007. Since joining the firm Helen has been successful in representing clients in a range of legal disputes. She acts almost exclusively for individuals in claims against the State, public bodies (including local authorities, Government departments, universities, schools and licensing bodies). She has extensive experience in higher education law including breach of contract, special educational needs and student finance appeals. Helen has acted for individuals and groups in a wide range of judicial review cases including cases which have been taken to the Court of Appeal. She is happy to take instructions on any potential public law claim. Areas of specialism: Education law, community care, regulatory law, public and administrative law, discrimination, Human Rights Act claims. Important cases: R (on the application of AT) v University of Leicester [2014] EWHC 4593 (Admin) Judicial review on the procedural fairness of fitness to practise proceedings at a University; R (on the application of M) v London Borough of Hackney [2014] EWHC 3470 (Admin) The lawfulness of a community care assessment; Pinnington v Transport for London [2013] All ER (D) 95 (Nov). A successful appeal by way of case stated against the decision of the Magistrates to remove a taxi driver’s licence, including an application for costs; R v the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education ex parte Duddle [2013] EWHC 4918 (Admin). The duties of the OIA to comply with the Equality Act in dealing with complaints about universities; R v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills ex-p Arogundade [2012] EWHC 2502 (Admin); [2013] EWCA Civ 823. On whether ordinary residence for the purposes of the student finance regulations had to be lawful residence.


Trained Anthony Collins; qualified 2004; solicitor Anthony Collins until 2007; John Ford Solicitors 2007-to date.


University of Cardiff (LPC); University of Warwick (LLM in Law in Development); University of Manchester (LLB (Hons)).

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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