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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Public sector > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings




Nearly 100 law firms are ranked across the London administrative and public law section of the Legal 500. With rankings rating firms on areas such as administrative and public law; civil liberties and human rights; education and local government, the firms included are diverse and include many national players.  The firms with the most rankings in the section include Bates Wells Braithwaite; Sharpe Pritchard; Eversheds Sutherland and Bevan Brittan.

Administrative and public law

Index of tables

  1. Administrative and public law
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Bindmans LLP’s wide-ranging practice is acknowledged as a leader in the field of public law challenges, with an extensive team led by John Halford and Saimo Chahal QC (Hon) acting on some of the most high-profile cases in this area for organisations and groups of individuals. Significant recent highlights involved successful challenges to the Lord Chancellor’s legal aid cuts and Salima Budhani’s successful challenge to the Home Office's stance on the use of medicinal cannabis to treat epilepsy. Jamie Potter is acting for charity Plan B in the judicial review into the government’s failure to revise the UK’s carbon reduction targets. Public inquiry actions constitute a significant part of the practice; recent highlights in this field include acting on the Infected Blood Inquiry and the Undercover Policing Inquiry. Halford is also instructed to pursue a public inquiry into the EU referendum campaign. The team also acts on numerous defence matters, including defending a challenge to the independent press regulator IMRPESS. Vulnerable people are also represented by the firm in relation to unlawful arrests and the denial of rights, privacy and freedoms.

Practice head(s):John Halford; Saimo Chahal QC (Hon)

Other key lawyers:Jamie Potter; Salima Budhani


'An excellent team of public lawyers for all aspects of administrative law'

'John Halford is without a doubt the best public law solicitor in the United Kingdom'

'Salima Budhani is extremely committed, hardworking and produces top quality work. She provides amazing support for clients and barristers'

'Jamie Potter has exceptional experience and judgement in relation to public law. He is highly efficient and a great person to have on your side'

'Jamie Potter's expertise in judicial review is second to none. He comes up with creative litigation strategies and is a pleasure to work with'

'John Halford is a phenomenal lawyer, combining comprehensive knowledge of the law with an absolutely dogged commitment to his clients'

'Bindmans' key strengths include strategic and creative thinking, which secure fantastic results for clients in many cases. It can hold its own and more against Magic Circle firms, including in high-stakes, large-scale public law litigation'

'Bindmans has great breadth and depth in terms of administrative and public law'

Key Clients

Grenfell survivors and families of the deceased

The Law Society of England and Wales

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Chris Leslie MP and Tom Brake MP

RD and others (Portage service users)

The National Union of Students


Alfie Dingley


Fair Vote Project

Plan B Earth


Dawat-e-Hadiyah Trust (UK)


Work highlights

  • Acting in a number of public inquiries, including representing approximately 200 bereaved relatives, survivors and residents in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry; acting for over 130 core participants in the Undercover Policing Inquiry; and representing a core participant who was given infected blood products by the NHS in the Infected Blood Inquiry.
  • Successfully represented The Law Society in a challenge to £36m of legal aid cuts.
  • Advising the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in proceedings against the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in respect of guidance which purported to prohibit Local Government Pensions Schemes from divesting in certain areas relating to UK foreign policy.
  • Acting for Chris Leslie MP and Tom Brake MP as interveners before the European Court of Justice concerning the manner in which any notice given under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union can be revoked.
  • Acting for IMPRESS in successfully defeating a challenge to its recognition as an independent press regulator.

The 'exceptional' Deighton Pierce Glynn is at the forefront of a number of key contemporary public law matters, acting in highly publicised judicial review claims with an emphasis on human rights. Significant recent outcomes for the firm include a successful judicial review into the Electoral Commission’s stance on Vote Leave’s campaign donations during the Brexit referendum (led by Polly Glynn) and a successful Supreme Court challenge regarding civil partnerships for same-sex couples (led by Louise Whitfield). Ongoing claims include challenges to the government’s treatment of immigration detainees, representation of victims of trafficking, challenges to the government’s surveillance programme and an intervention concerning the Home Office’s treatment of rough sleepers. Practice head Sue Willman is a leading name in challenges to UK foreign policy (specifically regarding arms sales) and Joanna Thomson and Zubier Yazdani also act in important civil rights claims throughout the domestic and European courts. Adam Hundt heads the Bristol-based office and has a reputation for challenges to NHS charging regulations and further campaigns concerning access to healthcare.

Practice head(s):Sue Willman

Other key lawyers:Louise Whitfield; Polly Glynn; Joanna Thomson; Zubier Yazdani; Adam Hundt


'Excellent - client focused yet able to see the bigger picture'

'Always goes the extra mile to get the best results'

'Zubier Yazdani is intellectually very good with a sound legal knowledge and a very strategic approach'

Key Clients

Good Law Project

Rebecca Steinfeld & Charles Keidan

Rights Watch UK

Human Rights Watch

Amnesty International

British Red Cross

AIRE Centre

Humanists UK

Work highlights

  • Represented the Good Law Project in a successful judicial review of the Electoral Commission's failure to investigate donations made by Vote Leave during the Brexit referendum campaign.
  • Acted for Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan in the successful Supreme Court challenge concerning civil partnerships for opposite sex couples.
  • Representing a client in an ongoing challenge to the government’s failure to conduct an investigation compliant with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into alleged incidents of abuse and ill-treatment at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre.
  • Representing an individual denied NHS treatment due to his immigration status.
  • Representing The AIRE Centre as intervenor in a challenge to the Home Office policy of removing rough sleepers.

Fieldfisher is a prominent firm for bringing public law challenges on behalf of high-profile commercial clients. Significant recent instructions involved bringing judicial review claims against the Advertising Standards Authority, the Financial Ombudsman Service, city councils, the NHS, HM Treasury and HMRC. The broad nature of the matters saw professionals including Matthew Lohn and senior associate David Northfield acting on issues concerning the provision of unlicensed medicinal treatment, the unfair banning of advertising content and numerous applications challenging the introduction of new laws and regulations by government bodies. The team also acts for a number of clients on judicial review defence mandates. Martin Smith is a leading name for inquests and public inquiries, having acted on a number of highly publicised matters such as providing advice to the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority in connection with the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Regulatory investigations and general public law advisory work such as advising on the scope and application of a governing body’s powers is also covered by the firm; senior associate Carina May is developing a name in this field.

Practice head(s):Sarah Ellson; John Cassels

Other key lawyers:Matthew Lohn; Martin Smith; Carina May; David Northfield


'Martin Smith is encyclopaedic about all things to do with inquiry and inquest law. A first-rate lawyer and strategist'

'Nicola Margiotta, Oliver Carlyon, Abigail Scholefield, Alex Merity and Ashleigh Shepherd are all highly committed, very hardworking public lawyers who understand the inquiry world'

'Jonathan Hoffstetter is a very experienced and capable litigator who takes a careful approach to the strategic implications of cases for his clients'

Key Clients

Kellogg Marketing and Sales Company (UK) Ltd

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Sky Blue Sports

Roche Products Limited

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Construction Industry Training Board

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Sir John Saunders (Manchester Arena Inquest)

The Coroner, Mrs Justice Keegan (Ballymurphy Inquests)

The Coroner, Sir Peter Thornton QC (Birmingham Inquests)

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the coroner, Sir John Saunders, to act as the solicitor to the inquests into the 22 deaths that occurred as a result of the bombing at the Manchester Arena.
  • Instructed by the coroner in relation to the inquests into ten deaths which occurred in the Belfast suburb of Ballymurphy between 9 and 11 August 1971.
  • Acted for Kellogg's in pursuing a challenge on public law grounds against a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority banning an advertising campaign.
  • Acting for Roche Products Ltd as an interested party in a judicial review of the NHS provision of bevacizumab (also known as Avastin).
  • Advising the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) on the scope and application of its powers and duties under its charter and byelaws, as well as on its regulatory systems and decision making.

The public law team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides market-leading defence expertise to a client roster of household commercial names, global financial institutions, utilities companies, statutory regulators and government bodies. The team has acted on a multitude of high-profile cases, with practice head Andrew Lidbetter representing both the Church of England and Zurich Insurance in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and Cuadrilla Resources in the judicial review into its plans to commence fracking operations. Nusrat Zar and Jasveer Randhawa both have a wide-ranging portfolio of highly publicised mandates which encompasses claimant as well as defence matters; their involvement in court proceedings concerning the resettlement of Chagos Islanders is a representative case. Procurement work is a growth area for the team, which handles procurement challenges, litigation and general public procurement advice. In addition to significant commercial work, the team also has a substantial pro bono platform for acting on human rights issues; Lidbetter and senior associate Anna Eliasson’s intervention on behalf of the AIRE Centre concerning the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s handling of human trafficking is a significant recent example.

Practice head(s):Andrew Lidbetter

Other key lawyers:Nusrat Zar; Anna Eliasson; Jasveer Randhawa


'The team has substantial expertise in administrative and public law including public inquiries. There is real depth in the team and the individuals are without exception very hardworking and very responsive'

'The best of the Magic Circle firms for commercial public law'

'The team provides excellent, detailed advice and is always accessible and available'

'Andrew Lidbetter and Peter Frost bring strategic expertise, energy and good judgement. They are committed to the work and willing to go the extra mile'

'Andrew Lidbetter has an unbeatable combination of strengths: practical, client-friendly and endowed with excellent commercial judgement'

'Jasveer Randhawa is a first-class person to work with; she quickly grasps the key points of an issue and provides her clients with clear and direct advice'

'Nusrat Zar is very calm and collected, very receptive, and a great listener'

'Senior associates Lara Nassif, James Wood, Karam Jardaneh, Claire Hall, James Wood, Sousan Gorji and Sahil Kher are equally bright and receptive to client needs'

'The firm is always thinking one, if not two, steps ahead'

Key Clients



Church Commissioners for England and the Archbishops' Council

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants


British American Tobacco

Financial Reporting Council


Zurich Insurance

Associated British Foods

Work highlights

  • Acted for KPMG in its successful defence of a novel judicial review brought by a Barclays customer in relation to mis-sold interest rate hedging products.
  • Successfully represented Telefónica in judicial review proceedings in relation to Ofcom decisions concerning the award of 2.3 and 3.4 GHz radio spectrum bands by auction.
  • Representing Cuadrilla in various ongoing judicial and statutory reviews in relation to its plan to commence fracking at sites in Lancashire.
  • Representing the Church of England in relation to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Acting pro bono for the AIRE Centre in an intervention regarding a decision of the Secretary of State relating to human trafficking.

The market-leading practice at Hogan Lovells International LLP regularly handles high-profile public law issues for international corporate clients, government departments, regulators and other public bodies. The team offers experience in bringing judicial review challenges against HMRC, NHS England and the EU Commission. Recent cases involved complex disputes including a portfolio of instructions from Uber concerning its business-critical run-ins with Transport for London, handled by practice head Charles Brasted. The team is frequently called upon to provide advisory support to UK and European government bodies, with a particular emphasis on the public law ramifications of Brexit. Matters often involve significant regulatory and constitutional issues, such as the successful devolution of the management of the Scottish assets of the Crown Estate to the Scottish government.

Practice head(s):Charles Brasted

Key Clients


The Crown Estate

National Air Traffic Services

British American Tobacco

Pension Protection Fund

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry



Biggin Hill Airport


Work highlights

  • Advised Uber on a string of judicial review challenges to Transport for London's regulatory burdens including the English language requirement and the complaints line requirement.
  • Acted for The Crown Estate in process of devolution of the management of its Scottish assets to the Scottish government.
  • Acted in a Supreme Court judicial review against HMRC concerning its governing powers, where significant public interest was cited.
  • Advised the Secretary of State for Education on the public law issues of the part-sale of its student loan book.
  • Advised air traffic control provider NATS on a range of contentious and non-contentious public law issues, including a claim in the High Court  regarding the calculation of terminal air navigation charges in London pursuant to the EU Charging Regulation.

Kingsley Napley LLP has seen a significant expansion of its public inquiry practice, having recently been instructed by religious institutions, education bodies, police officers and other individuals to assist with a number of highly publicised inquiries, such as the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the Westminster Bridge Inquests and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The team led by Adam Chapman also handles a broad range of judicial review mandates, acting for claimants, interested parties and public body defendants. Recent instructions have come from former police officers contesting the grounds of dismissal, individuals challenging local council policies and medical agencies challenging regulatory decisions. A number of key regulatory bodies are counted on the client roster, which instruct the team to handle public law litigation and provide general advisory support.

Practice head(s):Adam Chapman


'The firm has an amazing engagement with clients and barristers with a real sense of teamwork'

'Provides high-quality public law advice to public and private sector organisations alike'

'The team has a strong focus and the determination to achieve what is required'

'Adam Chapman is an excellent public and regulatory lawyer. Very solutions focused and practical'

'Sophie Kemp and Caroline Day bring not only great skill in legal matters but also a very personal and humane attitude when dealing with sensitive issues'

Key Clients

Westminster Bridge Inquests

Catholic Council for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)

IICSA: Downside and others

London Fire Brigade

IICSA: Diocese of Westminster

Federation of Awarding Bodies

Former Senior Metropolitan Police Officer

Individual, supported by The Kennel Club

Marcus Beale

Med Chambers Limited/Prime Medicals Limited/ML Doctors Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Michelle Palmer and Angela Clark (sisters of PC Keith Palmer) in the inquest into his death during the terrorist attack at Westminster Bridge and the Palace of Westminster.
  • Instructed to act for Downside Abbey and Downside School in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse hearing on Downside and Ampleforth.
  • Instructed by the London Fire Brigade to represent seven former employees who have been required to give evidence at Phase II of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Advised a former senior Metropolitan Police officer in connection with the Undercover Policing Inquiry.
  • Obtained an interim injunction and brought highly expedited judicial review proceedings on grounds of the appearance of bias for former Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale in relation to the panel hearing on his dismissal.

Leigh Day is a prominent firm in the public law space, having acted on some of the most high-profile and wide-ranging recent judicial review claims. Jamie Beagent is a leading figure in the fields of planning and environmental law and immigration detention issues. He recently handled a number of successful judicial review applications into grants of planning permission and is currently bringing a challenge against the Home Office's treatment of immigration detainees (new recruit Stephanie Hill and Waleed Sheikh are also developing practices in this field) and victims of sex trafficking. Rosa Curling is acting for the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) in its challenge to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ decision to license the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. Tessa Gregory leads on refugee rights and domestic human rights challenges, including successfully challenging numerous elements of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions' roll-out of universal credit. Associate Benjamin Burrows acts exclusively in the field of prisoner rights, including in judicial reviews into the treatment of trans prisoners. Sean Humber has a wide-ranging practice which includes data protection and Freedom of Information applications.

Practice head(s):Sean Humber

Other key lawyers:Jamie Beagent; Rosa Curling; Tessa Gregory; Benjamin Burrows; Waleed Sheikh; Stephanie Hill


'The team has an enthusiasm for the law and for what it can do to hold the powerful to account'

'Leigh Day's multi-disciplinary public law team is made up of committed and skilled individuals who are well resourced and have a great deal of corporate experience to draw down on'

'The firm has vast experience acting for the widest range of clients on innovative and cutting-edge legal challenges'

'Leigh Day has a fantastic public law team. Extremely creative, thoughtful, courageous and diligent'

'Jamie Beagent and Sean Humber are both well known and respected in the field of public law'

'Waleed Sheikh is conscientious, thorough, knowledgeable and committed to speaking truth to power'

'Rosa Curling is supremely clever and a tactical expert with huge emotional intelligence'

'Rosa Curling's energy and dynamism makes the Leigh Day public law team one of the strongest in the country'

'Rowan Smith is a clever, courageous lawyer who is building a strong practice in public, planning and environmental law'

'Tessa Gregory is a stand-out public lawyer who brings tenacity, intelligence and a wealth of experience to her cases'

'Tom Short is bright, efficient and hardworking, and is building a really interesting practice in public and environmental law'

Key Clients


Privacy International

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Help Refugees


Prison Reform Trust

Amnesty International

Campaign Against the Arms Trade



Work highlights

  • Regularly instructed in unlawful detention claims by individuals who have been detained for lengthy periods of time despite evidence that they are suffering from mental health conditions or are victims of torture.
  • Acting in a judicial review of the Secretary of State for the Home Department's "right to rent" scheme.
  • Acting for two trans women in judicial review cases concerning their treatment while in prison.
  • Instructed on behalf of 300 core participants in the Infected Blood Inquiry.
  • Successfully represented local community campaign Save Wornington College in its attempts to keep open a local further education college in the North Kensington area.

Baker McKenzie advises corporate clients and public bodies on high-profile public law litigation, independent inquiries, public procurement matters and judicial review applications. Sector specialisms include the media, technology, utilities and human rights. Ongoing contentious work involves applications against HMRC, judicial review challenges to regulatory decisions and a suite of interventions on behalf of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees challenging actions by the Secretary of State for the Home Department. Regular public procurement work consists of proceedings against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office challenging the provision of contracts and other contentious decisions, and challenges to NHS procurement processes. The team also takes on pro bono work, including recently representing an LGBT charity in an intervention concerning transgender rights. Practice head Joanna Ludlam specialises in administrative and public law, procurement law, litigation and investigations.

Practice head(s):Joanna Ludlam


'Baker McKenzie's administrative and public law team provides an excellent and responsive service at the cutting edge of the industry'

'The team has a pragmatic and engaging approach, and is well attuned to clients' commercial priorities. The breadth of expertise and skills is unique and a powerful asset to any client'

'Joanna Ludlum is a stellar litigator, with excellent commercial judgement and an engaging manner'

'Francesca Richmond has an excellent mix of commercial, public law and competition law expertise'

Key Clients

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


Stonewall Equality Limited

Associated Newspapers Limited

Government of Scotland

Financial Conduct Authority

The Walt Disney Company

British Airways



UK Power Networks

Kwik Fit

Work highlights

  • Acting for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in a series of cases, including a recent intervention before the Court of Appeal in a case against the Secretary of State for the Home Department.
  • Successfully acted for the LGBT rights charity Stonewall in its first ever intervention before the Court of Appeal in a case concerning transgender rights.
  • Advised a healthcare company on addressing disclosure requests from a high-profile UK public inquiry.
  • Advising Kwik Fit Group in a long-running dispute with HMRC concerning interest deductibility.
  • Advising a technology company on the evidence it has been asked to give to an independent inquiry focusing on the presence of child sex abuse on the internet.

Melanie Carter leads the rapidly growing team at Bates Wells, which has a considerable breadth of expertise across the field of administrative and public law. Of particular note is the team’s experience with public law in the third sector, with Carter and Emma Dowden-Teale advising a number of household names on statutory inquiries and engagements with the Charity Commission. The firm has an established inquiries practice, with Claire Whittle advising a number of non-departmental public bodies on their engagements with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The team often appears on both sides of judicial review challenges, and regular defence instructions are received by regulatory bodies such as the Advertising Standards Authority; Rupert Earle is currently defending this client against a challenge to its ruling on misleading advertising of broadband technology. The team's extensive list of claimant work includes applications against the NHS and the British Standards Institute and other regulators in the charity, education and healthcare sectors. Notable additions to the team include a number of public law practitioners from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, DAC Beachcroft LLP and Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Practice head(s):Melanie Carter

Other key lawyers:Emma Dowden-Teale; Claire Whittle; Rupert Earle


'A class act in public law that provides intellectual strength and a high quality of service'

'A team of intelligent and efficient communicators'

'The team applies very strong strategic thinking to each case'

'Melanie Carter has many years of public law experience and is an acknowledged leader in the field'

'Alistair Williams is calmness and efficiency personified'

'Melanie Carter is a fantastic lawyer and her experience is second to none. She is incredibly client focused and committed to delivering a good service, which flows through to the rest of the team'

'Melanie Carter is a star in the field. She is bright, approachable and very well regarded'

'Emma Dowden-Teale, Claire Whittle and Joanna Howard are efficient, proactive, approachable and friendly'

'Emma Dowden-Teale has strategic judgement beyond her years'

'Melanie Carter combines an encyclopedic knowledge of public law with an approach rounded in the practicalities and realities of judicial review'

Key Clients

National Audit Office

Wales Audit Office

Advertising Standards Authority

British Council

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

Single Source Regulations Office (regulating the defence industry)

Airport Coordination Limited

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Compliance Officer

Council of the Inns of Court (regulating barristers)

Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

Office of the Senior Traffic Commissioner (Tribunal, licensing and enforcement functions)

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

General Dental Council

General Osteopathic Council

Farriers Registration Council

Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council

General Optical Council

Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments Ltd

London Pensions Fund Authority

Work highlights

  • Advising the National Audit Office on the financial propriety and legality of local government and NHS bodies for external auditors, including cutting-edge advice on austerity measures and creative financial initiatives.
  • Advising the ASA on numerous, frequently complex, UK and EU law and European Convention issues and threats of judicial review.
  • Conducting the Ramblers’ Association's strategic public law litigation.
  • Retained by the compliance officer for the Independent Standards Authority since its inception (post-MP expenses scandal), advising on the investigations conducted under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 and First Tier Tribunal appeals.
  • Handled a high-value challenge for US manufacturing company Microport against a decision by the British Standards Institute to refuse a certificate for a hip implant device.

Bevan Brittan LLP has a strong presence in the healthcare field of public law, with a number of key NHS bodies and clinical commissioning groups counted on the client list. Typical instructions in this field include defending clients against mistreatment claims by patients (including a recent case concerning a trans patient in Broadmoor Hospital) and challenges to planning and funding decisions, and advisory work concerning policy, decision making and the statutory remit of ombudsman clients. Practice head Virginia Cooper and Olivia Carter also have expertise in representing both claimants and defendants in judicial review challenges to procurement decisions. Other public bodies on the client list include local authorities, policing commissioners and councils. Regular mandates include defending challenges to redevelopment plans, restitution claims pursuant to the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and alleged breaches of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Practice head(s):Virginia Cooper; Judith Barnes

Other key lawyers:Olivia Carter


'Virginia Cooper is very responsive and sensitive to the needs of her clients'

Key Clients

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Local Government Association

NHS England

University of Oxford

Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

London Borough of Southwark

London Borough of Barnet

Work highlights

  • Defending the West London NHS Trust against a series of challenges to its decision to detain an individual under the Mental Health Act.
  • Defending the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman against a challenge brought by Wokingham Borough Council regarding an assessment.
  • Defending the South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner in a judicial review brought by the former chief constable of South Yorkshire Police relating to the Hillsborough Inquests.
  • Defending the West London NHS Trust in a judicial review challenge to a decision to seek to transfer a transgender patient to Broadmoor Hospital.
  • Defending Scarborough Borough Council in a judicial review challenge concerning its decision to redevelop a theatre site.

Civil liberties firm Bhatt Murphy has an established reputation for advancing public law claims on behalf of vulnerable individuals such as state detainees, asylum seekers, protesters, victims of miscarriages of justice in the police system and Grenfell Tower Inquiry core participants. The practice has also seen an increase in instructions from NGOs; Jed Pennington is representing Medical Justice in a challenge to the Home Office’s revised definition of torture and Shamik Dutta is representing campaign group Liberty in the ongoing challenge to the government’s use of mass surveillance. The firm’s ten-partner team, which includes noteworthy individuals such as Janet Farrell, Michael Oswald and Mark Scott, has extensive experience in bringing judicial review challenges at all levels of the domestic courts as well as applications to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Other recent mandates include advising on the public inquiry into undercover policing, challenges to the abortion regime in Northern Ireland and defending individuals' rights to protest against fracking.

Other key lawyers:Janet Farrell; Michael Oswald; Mark Scott; Jed Pennington; Shamik Dutta

Work highlights

  • Represented a child migrant in a successful application to have him reunited with a family member in the UK.
  • Represented the Medical Justice NGO in a challenge to the Home Office's revised definition of torture for the purposes of identifying vulnerable detainees.
  • Currently representing human rights organisation Liberty in a High Court challenge to the government's Investigative Powers Act.
  • Successfully challenged the Home Office's detention of a Nigerian national with bipolar disorder.
  • Handled a successful judicial review claim against the prison service which argued that the process to decide the treatment and allocation of a female trans prisoner was unfair.

The administrative and public law practice at DAC Beachcroft LLP provides advisory and judicial review defence expertise to a client list of public sector bodies - notably NHS trusts, local authorities and educational institutions, as well as unique clients such as the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Association of British Insurers. Standout examples of advisory instructions include Stephen Hocking’s advice to the Office for Students on the creation of its regulatory framework, and Alistair Robertson’s public law advice to Post Office Limited concerning its network development programme. Defending challenges to NHS policy decisions, such as the Accountable Care Organisation model and pricing structures, comprises the bulk of contentious instructions, with a prominent mandate seeing Robertson defending the NHS in a judicial review lodged by campaigners headed by Prof Stephen Hawking. Further contentious mandates involved misconduct inquiries and defending clients in the higher education sector  against challenges to their disciplinary procedures.

Practice head(s):Stephen Hocking

Other key lawyers:Alistair Robertson

Key Clients

NHS England

Office for Students

Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Office for Fair Access

Disabilities Trust

Association of British Insurers

Information Commissioner's Office

Post Office

The Faraday Institution

Work highlights

  • Providing ongoing advice to the NHS concerning its powers to obtain and use certain pharmaceuticals.
  • Advised the Office for Students on all matters concerning the establishment of its regulatory framework for higher education.
  • Defending Imperial College London in a judicial review brought by a student challenging a disciplinary decision.
  • Providing public law advice to Post Office Ltd concerning its transformative network development programme.
  • Instructed to provide all public law advice to the Information Commissioner's Office, including on its status as a non-departmental public body.

Public inquiry work is the main point of strength for the public law offering at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, with the team acting in some of the most significant ongoing matters in this field. The team has been instructed by an extensive list of public and regulatory bodies as core participants in the Infected Blood Inquiry, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and a host of others in the police, healthcare and private sectors. The practice also provides expertise in defending and forwarding judicial review claims, with recent cases involving the provision of special needs learning assistance, wrongful terminations and the extent of regulatory bodies’ powers. Cardiff-based Peter Jones and Birmingham-based principle associate Isabelle Mitchell are particularly highly praised by clients for their expertise across the full suite of instructions.

Practice head(s):Bridgette Wilcox; Paul Pugh; Huw Jones; Sarah Jones

Other key lawyers:Peter Jones; Isabelle Mitchell


'Impressive in terms of public inquiries work'

'The public inquiries team is friendly, approachable, immensely hardworking and very knowledgeable. It probably has more experience than any other UK firm in this field'

'Offers second-to-none strategic guidance on large-scale projects'

'The most experienced and most impressive team working in the area of public inquiries and investigations'

'Peter Jones is incomparable, matchless and the most experienced lawyer in the UK in the public inquiries field'

'Peter Jones brings considerable experience with an intelligent but pragmatic approach'

'Isabelle Mitchell is incredibly diligent, thorough, analytical, approachable, pragmatic, dedicated and accurate. She pays good attention to detail, is very grounded in her manner and provides clarity in her advice'

'Isabelle Mitchell is a true pleasure to work with who commands a great deal of respect from her own team and clients'

'Angharad Shurmer and Isabelle Mitchell display impressive knowledge of the cases in which they are involved'

Key Clients

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office

LGPS Central Limited

Independent Schools Inspectorate

Welsh Language Commissioner

Teaching Regulation Agency

Education Workforce Council

The University of Manchester

Construction Industry Training Board

Transport for Greater Manchester

Serious Fraud Office

Telford & Wrekin Council

The Haemophilia Society

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office as a core participant in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Advising the Teaching Regulation Agency on hearings concerning allegations of misconduct against teachers.
  • Representing the Haemophilia Society in the Infected Blood Inquiry.
  • Appointed by Telford & Wrekin Council as the commissioning body of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Telford.
  • Instructed by the Education Workforce Council to advise on allegations of misconduct against registrants.

Simpson Millar LLP has a strong reputation for bringing judicial review applications on behalf of vulnerable individuals challenging their treatment, with regular cases being brought against central government bodies and local authorities. Recent judicial reviews involved the denial of children’s rights under Article 8 of the ECHR, Supreme Court interventions concerning local authorities' breaches of duty towards vulnerable underage people, and inquests into suspicious deaths in mental health institutions. The arrival of Chris Callender from Edwards Duthie Shamash has bolstered the seven-partner team headed by Oliver Studdert. Dan Rosenberg is noted for bringing challenges against public bodies regarding their spending cuts and Angela Jackman acts on issues regarding access to health services, notably the judicial review concerning the refusal of vital abortion services by the NHS in Northern Ireland.

Practice head(s):Oliver Studdert

Other key lawyers:Angela Jackman; Dan Rosenberg; Chris Callender


'The team is very efficient, thorough and dedicated to providing an exceptional service to its clients'

'A powerful team with a wide range of expertise'

'Determined and resourceful'

Key Clients

Advocacy Focus

Official Solicitor


Refugee Council

Howard League for Penal Reform

Alone in London

British Red Cross

Coram Voice

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Children’s Society

Work highlights

  • Representing charities Article 39 and Care Leaver's Association in a Supreme Court intervention concerning the duty of care of local authorities in respect of all child protection functions.
  • Instructed to represent a child as an interested party in his father’s judicial review of social services’ decision to place the child on the child protection register.
  • Acted for an individual in a successful judicial review challenge to a policy followed by Lambeth Council which sought to avoid its obligations to vulnerable homeless children.
  • Instructed by clients in a challenge to the policy of the Secretary of State for Health in England which refuses NHS funding for abortion services for women in Northern Ireland.
  • Acted on behalf of a 19-year-old asylum seeker in a landmark case challenging the cuts in financial support to victims of trafficking.

Addleshaw Goddard’s recent highlights include assisting its corporate and public sector clients with a range of contentious actions and advisory support. The team acts for a number of utilities companies and NHS bodies in judicial review applications against national regulators and local authorities, with recent mandates involving the recovery of business rates and charging arrangements implemented by Ofgem. Further matters concerned procurement challenges and tax disputes with HMRC. Current advisory work involves assisting with the reconfiguration of public healthcare services, advising commercial clients on planned regulatory changes, and handling requests for confidential information where issues of particular public interest are involved. Devising strategies for mitigating the risk of public law challenges is also a significant aspect of the practice. Leeds-based Simon Kamstra is particularly active in international and energy sector matters.

Practice head(s):Michael Barnett

Other key lawyers:Simon Kamstra


'The team provides sound, in-depth advice on all sectors of public law and always goes the extra mile'

'Addleshaw Goddard's level of service, knowledge and ability to communicate complex issues in a commercial and practical manner is outstanding'

'Provides a pragmatic, commercial approach which maintains good client relationships'

'Simon Kamstra inspires confidence in his clients'

'Clare Dwyer is a superb technician with a great eye for detail'

'The team has a strong understanding of its clients' needs and is commercially pragmatic and creative in coming up with legal solutions'

Key Clients

Scottish and Southern Energy plc

Totally Wicked Limited (Pillbox 38 UK Limited)



Build-a-Bear Workshop Inc (and its UK subsidiaries)

United Utilities plc

Manchester Airports Group

Microgeneration Certification Standards Board

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Supported Scottish and Southern Energy as an interested party in a judicial review challenging Ofgem's changes to electricity transmission charging arrangements for embedded generators.
  • Instructed by 17 NHS foundation trusts in a joint High Court claim seeking to recover business rates paid to a number of defendant local authorities.

Allen & Overy LLP provides an integrated approach to public law, offering expert advice in judicial review proceedings to a broad range of clients in the private sector. Large-scale transactions where public and administrative law issues arise are another point of strength, and the team has considerable experience in issues relating to broadcasting licensing, media pluralism and data protection. The team often assists financial sector clients with their interactions with the relevant regulators, including regulatory challenges in the High Court. Practice head Andrew Denny and senior associate Maeve Hanna also act on issues pertaining to human rights, including a recent Supreme Court intervention in a case regarding the UK government’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.

Practice head(s):Andrew Denny

Other key lawyers:Maeve Hanna


'Andrew Denny has an instinctive eye and a broad understanding of public law issues. The lawyers he leads are experienced and hardworking and together they make a formidable team'

'The team at Allen & Overy has a broad range of experience and is responsive, hardworking and thorough'

'Great responsiveness and a truly impressive knowledge of public law'

'Sarah Garvey is extremely knowledgeable, client oriented and very pleasant to deal with'

'Antonio Bavasso and his team have first-class expertise, judgement and commitment to client care'

'Antonio Bavasso has excellent judgement in representing clients on sensitive issues of public policy'

Key Clients

21st Century Fox

Bail for Immigration Detainees

The AIRE Centre

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants


Work highlights

  • Advising a major international hedge fund in judicial review proceedings relating to the deportation of a former employee following the theft of highly valuable, confidential information.
  • Advising 21st Century Fox on the intervention into its £11.7bn takeover of Sky due to public interest concerns.
  • Representing the AIRE Centre as intervenor in the Supreme Court case concerning the UK government's responsibilities under the Refugee Convention.
  • Advising the AIRE Centre on a case involving duty of care and the protection of children.

The administrative and public law practice at BDB Pitmans has a strong track record for public inquiry work, with Matthew Smith representing a number of individuals involved the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the London Bridge Inquests and the Westminster Bridge Inquests. The team’s client roster recently expanded, bringing in a number of key local councils acting as interested parties in a judicial review concerning local government reform. Other judicial review challenges are regularly acted on in the fields of planning and climate change, with a highlight being an ongoing instruction by the Committee on Climate Change against the central government. Procurement advice is covered by David Mundy, with the landmine clearance charity HALO being a significant client.

Practice head(s):Matthew Smith; David Mundy


'Richard Langley is shrewd, realistic and highly experienced - a good person to have on your side'

'The team's organisation and management of major cases is second to none and it consistently shows up-to-date knowledge of the law in the field'

'Natasha Davis is a rising star in the field and consistently demonstrates a high level of intelligence and rigour in her work'

'Sian Jones provides outstanding legal expertise, coupled with acute tactical judgement and excellent client management'

Key Clients

National Audit Office

The Chief Coroner of England and Wales

Mrs Jane Jones and Mr Peter Rice

Committee on Climate Change


The Health and Care Professions Council

The Corporation of Trinity House

Dorset County Council; Purbeck District Council; Bournemouth Borough Council; Poole Borough Council; East Dorset District Council; Dorset Councils Partnership

Work highlights

  • Acted for eight Dorset councils as interested parties in a judicial review forwarded by another local council to the Secretary of State concerning local government reform.
  • Assisting the Committee on Climate Change with a judicial review claim concerning the Secretary of State's refusal to revise the 2050 carbon reduction target.
  • Representing the former safeguarding co-ordinator for the Archdiocese of Birmingham in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Appointed by the chief coroner of England and Wales in the Westminster Bridge Inquests and the London Bridge Inquests.

Hickman & Rose has broad experience in bringing public law challenges on behalf of individuals (including high-net-worth clients), commercial entities and charities. The team has a well-established reputation for public inquiry work; practice head Daniel Machover is acting for core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and associate Helen Stone is acting for INQUEST as intervenor in a judicial review concerning a senior coroner’s determinations. Stefano Ruis and Kate Maynard also have a wealth of expertise in bringing judicial review applications against policing bodies, regularly acting for victims of state abuse, detainees, bereaved families and individuals contesting breaches of Article 8 of the ECHR. Another unique aspect of the practice is its expertise in challenging Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) decisions alleging breaches of rights to privacy.

Practice head(s):Daniel Machover

Other key lawyers:Kate Maynard; Stefano Ruis; Helen Stone


'The team consists of extremely dedicated and technically excellent lawyers, with very considerable experience in public law challenges'

'Daniel Machover is very dedicated to his clients, and is a technically brilliant lawyer and a clever strategist'

'Kate Maynard is a very impressive lawyer; she is a great strategist who builds strong relationships with her clients and works extremely hard'

Key Clients

Ali Babitu Kololo


Paul Tomlin (father of Duncan Tomlin)

Amnesty International and Redress

Ann Power

Marcia Rigg-Samuel

Work highlights

  • Assisting Ali Babitu Kololo in a judicial review claim against the Metropolitan Police commissioner seeking to impugn evidence which led to a life sentencing in Kenya.
  • Acting for INQUEST in its judicial review intervention concerning the relevant standard of proof in inquests which consider verdicts of suicide and unlawful killing.
  • Handled a public law challenge to a police decision to disclose information to the DBS relating to a historic allegation of sexual assault dating back over 30 years, of which the client was acquitted.
  • Acted for Amnesty International and Redress as intervenors in a judicial review of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's granting of potential immunity to an Egyptian general suspected of torture.
  • Acting on a public law challenge to the process followed by a university in dealing with an allegation of sexual assault.

The team at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors has a strong public inquiry practice; Jocelyn Cockburn is representing core participants in a number of inquests concerning allegations of police misconduct (and continues to handle matters relating to the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry) and air pollution levels, and Nancy Collins is supporting core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Alice Hardy has a strong reputation for handling judicial review challenges with a particular emphasis on representing vulnerable individuals such as detainees, care home residents and sexual assault victims subject to rights violations by public bodies. Through her work with Humanists UK, Collins is also a leading figure in the challenge to the government’s assisted dying laws.

Practice head(s):Susie Labinjoh

Other key lawyers:Jocelyn Cockburn; Alice Hardy; Nancy Collins


'A great firm with many talented lawyers in the field of administrative and public law'

'A top-rate practice'

'Alice Hardy is absolutely amazing'

'Jocelyn Cockburn is excellent'

Key Clients

Neville Lawrence

Kissi-Debrah family

Humanists UK

Core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Ian Cook

Sarah Burwin as litigation friend for her daughter Katie Stafford

The family of Matthew Gray

Jobson and Clemo

Numerous protestors bringing claims against the police

Dunn, Higgins & Jones

Work highlights

  • Representing Dr Neville Lawrence OBE in an inquiry into undercover policing practices following the death of his son, Stephen Lawrence.
  • Representing the family of Ella Kissi-Debrah in seeking a new inquest to investigate whether air pollution was a contributing factor to her fatal asthma attack.
  • Acting for Humanists UK in an intervention in a case challenging the ban on assisted dying.
  • Representing over 40 core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, including bereaved families.
  • Representing over 60 anti-English Defence League protestors in claims against the Metropolitan Police arising from their mass arrest.

The team at Irwin Mitchell has a depth of experience in bringing judicial review challenges against local authorities concerning the provision of public services, such as in relation to special educational needs provision, healthcare reconfigurations, and hospital and library closures. The team handles public law challenges concerning human rights such as the Supreme Court application challenging the blanket ban on assisted dying (handled by Yogi Amin, senior associate Anne-Marie Irwin and associate Faith Salih). A diverse client base of charities, individuals and campaign groups instructs the team on public law challenges, with other mandates involving challenges to decisions made by the Crown Prosecution Service, applications against the Department for Work and Pensions and applications against a number of NHS trusts.

Practice head(s):Yogi Amin

Other key lawyers:Anne-Marie Irwin; Faith Salah

Key Clients

Noel Conway – Dignity in Dying

Kian Hollow and others

Bower and Jackson - 'Hands Off HRI Hospital' campaign

Roger Nettleship- 'Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign' group

Alexander Maximus Howard Drewelus and others


Gurpreet Kaur, by her litigation friend and mother, Satnam Kaur Juttla

Sienna Scott, by her mother and litigation friend  Emma Turner

Liam Thomas Murphy, by his mother and litigation friend  Angelina Sclafani Murphy

A university treatment research facility

Work highlights

  • Represented Noel Conway in the application to bring a judicial review challenging the law on assisted dying.
  • Represented Kian Hollow and others (children with special educational needs) in a judicial review concerning Surrey County Council’s decision to cut £20m from its SEN budget.
  • Represented Rachel Nettleship of the 'Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign' in a judicial review of the decision to reconfigure hospital services at South Tyneside Hospital to move to Sunderland.
  • Acted for Alexander Maximus Howard Drewelus and others in a judicial review of Hackney Council's provision of SEN funding.
  • Represented the claimants in a judicial review concerning Northamptonshire County Council’s decision to close 21 libraries.

Linklaters LLP’s public law strength lies in handling judicial review claims for the firm’s high-profile commercial clients. Unique recent mandates in this field involved proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal concerning significant corporate mergers, challenges to competition decisions imposed by Ofcom and challenges to new gambling regulations implemented by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The team has a strong presence in the fields of infrastructure and utilities, often advising on issues such as pricing reviews, public procurement and judicial review defence. Further clients are drawn from a diverse range of sectors, including financial services, technology, charities and advertising, to which the team led by Tom Cassels regularly provides advisory support on firm-wide transactions.

Practice head(s):Tom Cassels

Key Clients


Hutchison 3G UK Ltd

Barclays Bank

Lendlease Group

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK)

Thames Water Utilities

Work highlights

  • Acted for Sainsbury's in its successful judicial review concerning the Competition and Markets Authority's investigation into the client's merger with Asda Group.
  • Acted for Hutchison 3G UK Ltd in three judicial review proceedings against Ofcom concerning its decision to impose competition measures in the Public Sector Spectrum Release programme.
  • Acted for Barclays Bank as an interested party in a judicial review brought against KPMG.
  • Handled Thames Water Utilities' business plan submission to Ofwat as part of the regulator's 2019 price review.

On the contentious side of public law, the team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP regularly defends judicial review claims (as well as providing mitigation strategies) for a client list of local councils, housing developers and regulators, high-profile individuals and commercial names in the homecare and infrastructure sectors. Lucy James is the go-to name in this field and typical mandates include defending planning and development decisions, advising on information requests and unique challenges concerning claims of breaches of constitutional rights. Helen Randall leads on non-contentious issues such as reviewing constitutional and governance arrangements, and advising on complex vires issues, the reconfiguration of public services, the establishment of income-generating corporate structures for local councils, and multi-jurisdictional project management.

Practice head(s):Lucy James; Helen Randall


'Provides extremely professional and thoughtful advice in a timely fashion'

'Very responsive to clients' requirements and flexible in approach'

'Scott Dorling is always exceptionally helpful and very responsive'

'A charming, intelligent, friendly and approachable team'

'Incredibly responsive and engaging'

'Scott Dorling is always willing to take on a challenge and to think outside the box'

Key Clients

Homes for Haringey

Dorset County Council

Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames

Local Government Association

London Councils

District Councils Network (via Grant Thornton)

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

Regulator of Social Housing

Work highlights

  • Conducted a review of the constitutional and governance arrangements of Reading Borough Council at the request of the Improvement and Development Agency (an international body for improving performance in local government).
  • Advising East Cambridgeshire District Council in connection with the development of a Combined Authority wholly owned development company.
  • Represented Homes for Haringey and the London Borough of Haringey in a judicial review claim brought by a local leaseholder group.
  • Advising Dorset County Council on the public and administrative law aspects of the future provision of commercial waste services that are currently being delivered by the Dorset Waste Partnership.
  • Advising the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames in relation to its public law powers to vary the provision of special educational needs to work within its financial constraints.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors acts on judicial review claims challenging the treatment of vulnerable groups, with specialist expertise in representing migrants, asylum seekers, detainees, people with disabilities and LGBT prisoners. The team regularly acts on challenges to government policies and bodies including the Home Office, with recent actions concerning the treatment of religious minorities in the prison system and the unlawful detention of migrants. A high-profile matter saw Toufique Hossain challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s failure to investigate abuse at the Brook House Immigration Removal Centre. Further mandates involved judicial review challenges to HMRC and local authorities regarding tax and levy disputes. The firm is also involved in challenging the government’s reduction to legal aid funding.

Practice head(s):Alex Peebles; Bernadette Adusei; James Packer; Jenna McKinney; Rohena Wallace; Toufique Hossain; Trevor Hatton


'Toufique Hossian has built a strong team with clear aims dedicated to improving the rights of migrants within the detention system and victims of trafficking'

'Highly experienced individuals with the ability to deal with every aspect of a public law claim'

'One of the best law firms in the country for the cross-over between immigration, administrative and public law'

'The future of legal aid will benefit from the lawyers Toufique Hossian has trained'

'James Packer is outstanding; very intelligent, very knowledgeable and very committed'

'Kate Newman is a bright star for the future - a mature and wise solicitor'

'James Packer has great judgement and he always keeps his eye on the bigger picture'

'Kate Newman is extremely dedicated and highly recommended for complex judicial review claims'

Work highlights

  • Representing four of five appellants challenging their detention contrary to Articles 28 and 2(n) of the Dublin III Regulations.
  • Representing two individuals facing removal to Afghanistan by challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department's 'removal window' policy.
  • Acting on a legal challenge to the Secretary of State for the Home Department's immigration detention centre pay regime, arguing breaches of Article 14 of the ECHR and Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.
  • Acting as the claimant in a claim for a judicial review into the Legal Aid Agency's refusal to backdate legal aid certificates.
  • Instructed in a unique challenge to the use of the lock-in regime and room conditions at the Brook House Immigration Removal Centre.

Matthew Gold & Company Limited, solicitors' strength lies in handling public law claims for vulnerable clients, with an emphasis on migrant and asylum seekers' rights (including for families with no recourse to public funds), victims of policing misconduct and economically deprived families seeking to challenge local authority decisions. Building on this experience, practice head Clare Jennings and Rachel Etheridge recently acted for migrant children’s rights organisation Project 17 in a judicial review challenge to the London Borough of Lewisham’s policy and criteria for assessing applicants' financial and accommodation needs. Jennings also has substantial experience with handling judicial review applications and inquests challenging coroners' decisions, NHS charging decisions, Human Rights Act breaches and regulations deemed discriminatory against Zambrano carers. The team is also developing its practice in the field of the data privacy rights of individuals.

Practice head(s):Clare Jennings

Other key lawyers:Rachel Etheridge


'A fantastic boutique specialising in judicial review claims that manages to combine the expertise of larger firms with great one-on-one attention to detail'

'An excellent law firm'

'Clare Jennings is a public law powerhouse, combining broad experience with great skill and passion'

Work highlights

  • Represented human rights organisation Project 17 in its judicial review of the London Borough of Lewisham's policy and criteria for assessing families with no recourse to public funds.
  • Acted for a client in a judicial review challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department's failure to uphold its responsibilities under Article 8 of the ECHR to a vulnerable asylum seeker.
  • Acted for an individual in a judicial review challenging the London Borough of Camden's policy on the subsistence it pays to families with no recourse to public funds.
  • Acting for a family in a police inquest concerning the suicide of a family member following his arrest.
  • Handled a successful judicial review of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham's child in need assessment, which had resulted in the homelessness of a family of five.

The team at Saunders Law has an established reputation for bringing civil cases against police and prison institutions on behalf of clients claiming wrongful treatment. Regular instructions involve abuse claims, medical negligence, false imprisonment and breaches of Article 8 of the ECHR. The team is representing core participants in a number of key public inquiries, such as the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Undercover Policing Inquiry. Judicial review applications also form a core part of the practice, with recent mandates involving claims against the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Crown Prosecution Service. Further mandates for the firm include challenges to coroners' decisions, appeals against the Electoral Commission and claims concerning the disclosure of personal data. Practice head Nia Williams regularly handles cases against the police and prisons relating to abuse of power, discrimination and deaths in custody.

Practice head(s):Nia Williams

Key Clients

Darren Grimes

Family affected by the Windrush scandal

Jalloh Ibrahima

Michael Mansfield QC and Azhar Khan (Undercover Policing Inquiry)

Core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Family of Kyle Maher

Group claim against Sodexo (HMP Peterborough)

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Darren Grimes to appeal a £20,000 fine issued by the Electoral Commission for alleged Brexit irregularities.
  • Advising a family in relation to the Home Office's Windrush compensation scheme and related legal matters.
  • Acting for Michael Mansfield QC and Azhar Khan as core participants in the inquiry into undercover policing.
  • Representing a number of core participants involved in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Representing 47 clients in a claim against Sodexo, arising out of 150 unlawful breaches of national strip search policy.

Weightmans LLP has a robust public law defence offering, regularly acting for NHS bodies, clinical commissioning groups, coroners and councils in judicial review claims brought against them. Recent instructions involved claims of ultra vires policy making, allegations of breaches of duty of care, challenges to coroners' determinations, challenges to planning permission decisions and allegations of misconduct against council members. Simon Goacher and Martin Forshaw are also representing Rotherham Borough Council and Rochdale Borough Council, respectively, in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Further expertise includes experience with challenges to clients' information-sharing practices and legal advice to public inquiry commissioners.

Practice head(s):Martin Forshaw

Other key lawyers:Simon Goacher

Key Clients

NHS Blood & Transplant

Rochdale Borough Council

York City Council

South Worcestershire CCG

The Senior Coroner of the County of Cumbria

Rutland County Council

Thornton Hall Hotel

Rotherham County Council

Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Accountability and Culture Change at Oxfam

Selby District Council

Work highlights

  • Defended NHS Blood & Transplant in a judicial review concerning the lawfulness of its 2005 Directions.
  • Retained as the legal adviser to the Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Accountability and Culture Change at Oxfam.
  • Defended South Worcester Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in a judicial review brought by a neighbouring CCG concerning the historic responsibility for an NHS patient's care costs.
  • Acted on behalf of the senior coroner of the county of Cumbria in a judicial review application by a father challenging the coroner's findings.
  • Appointed as legal representative for Rochdale Borough Council as a core participant in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Birnberg Peirce & Partners acts on public law applications against the police, the Home Office and other governing bodies. The team's expertise covers complaints of mistreatment in the prison system, claims against the Crown Prosecution Service, immigration detention cases and police protection failures. The firm also represents families in inquests and public inquiries  concerning suspicious deaths involving state and public bodies and state misconduct. Gareth Peirce and Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hon) are key contacts.

Other key lawyers:Gareth Peirce; Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hon)

Public inquiry work is a strong point for Browne Jacobson LLP’s public law offering, which operates from offices in London and Nottingham. A recent representative matter involved practice co-heads Laura Hughes and Richard Barlow advising the Northern Ireland Audit Office on the Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry. The team’s client roster includes a substantial number of regulatory bodies in the environment, healthcare and education sectors, and Ros Foster advises a range of regulatory and health clients in judicial review challenges and disciplinary investigations, among other matters. The team often advises its clients on mitigation strategies to prevent future judicial reviews.

Practice head(s):Richard Barlow; Laura Hughes

Other key lawyers:Ros Foster


'A firm that punches above its weight; one of the market leaders in public law'

'Professional, timely and extremely helpful'

'Ros Foster has immense practical knowledge and expertise and provides thoughtful, detailed and committed advice'

'Gerard Hanratty provides excellent, authoritative support'

'Ros Foster has a real enthusiasm and commitment to the cases that she's involved in'

Key Clients

Larwood School

Professional Standards Authority

The Money Advice Service

South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Integrated Care System

Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP)

Northern Ireland Audit Office

The Pension’s Advisory Service

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Professional Standards Authority in its application to intervene in proceedings against the General Medical Council.
  • Supported South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System in the development of a new regional model of governance for public bodies, melding central government policy with existing statutory obligations.
  • Advising the Northern Ireland Audit Office on its position in the Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry.
  • Assisting Larwood School in its application to the Department of Education to remove the residential provision at the school providing out-of-hours special need support.

The team at CMS draws from the firm’s expertise in practice areas such as media, energy, regulation, waste management and gambling to provide judicial review claimant expertise to a broad range of corporate clients. Recent issues involved judicial review applications against political and regulatory decisions by the Advertising Standards Authority, the Competition and Markets Authority, the Gambling Commission, HMRC and HM Treasury. The team also provides pro bono representation, including assisting with a recent action opposing a draft legislative reform order affecting the horse-racing industry. Practice head Dan Tench specialises in high-profile judicial reviews, administrative challenges and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):Dan Tench


'Omar Qureshi is an extremely pragmatic lawyer; he is a problem solver who is good at thinking outside the box for solutions'

Key Clients

Biffa Waste Services Limited


CityFibre Limited

Paradigm Land

The Arora Group

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

viagogo AG

Work highlights

  • Acting for CityFibre in a judicial review claim against the Advertising Standards Authority concerning the use of the term "fibre" in broadband advertising.
  • Acting for the Arora Group as an interested party in five judicial review claims against the government concerning the policy framework for the Heathrow expansion.
  • Represented Biffa Waste Services in two successful judicial review claims against HMRC concerning the repayment of overpaid landfill tax.
  • Acting for several gambling operators in relation to enforcement investigations and licence reviews by the Gambling Commission.
  • Represented BT in the Court of Appeal on points of legal construction and public law issues to determine whether the client was able to change the index for pensions increases.

Gowling WLG’s dedicated public law and regulation practice has a solid client roster of national regulators (in fields such as utilities and education), central government bodies, local authorities and other regulated companies. Recent non-contentious mandates involved drafting regulatory frameworks and reforms, licence modification projects, advising on regulator’s price control proposals, and further vires and administrative law issues. Contentious public law experience encompasses defending clients in judicial reviews of regulatory decisions, handling applications to the Competition and Markets Authority, and representing clients in third-party interventions (such as assisting Oxfam as intervenor in the challenge to granting arms export licences to companies selling to Saudi Arabia). Practice head John Cooper has a strong reputation for advising on administrative law in highly regulated markets.

Practice head(s):John Cooper


'Provides pragmatic and useful advice'

'John Cooper and Gus Wood are standout partners with significant expertise in the energy sector'

Key Clients

Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual)

Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat)

Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR and known as the Utility Regulator)

London Borough of Croydon


Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP)

National Association of Citizens Advice


Work highlights

  • Assisting the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation in drafting the regulatory framework through which it will regulate new and reformed vocational qualifications.
  • Advising the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation on the legal framework for settling disputes between consumers and energy suppliers.
  • Representing Oxfam as intervenor in a judicial review brought by the Campaign Against Arms Trade challenging the government's grant of export licences to companies selling arms to Saudi Arabia.
  • Advised the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) on its licence simplification project, which aims to better reflect Ofwat's regulatory approach and objectives.
  • Represented the London Borough of Croydon in a judicial review challenge to its decision to undertake a pilot scheme to create pedestrianised zones around several Croydon schools during drop-off and pick-up times.

Sinclairslaw, which was formed by the merger of Sinclairslaw, John Ford Solicitors and Match Solicitors in May 2018, specialises in bringing public law claims on behalf of individuals challenging their treatment by state bodies. Recent mandates have seen John Ford and Helen Gill bringing judicial review claims against universities, clinical commissioning groups, local authorities, educational institutions and healthcare authorities. Standout matters included complex challenges concerning individuals' access to healthcare provisions, breaches of duty by safeguarding bodies, denial of community care services and breaches of the Human Rights Act. The firm also has experience with challenging school closures, discrimination claims and licensing appeals.

Practice head(s):John Ford

Other key lawyers:Helen Gill


'A small but dedicated team with a commitment to public law which provides a very personal service to the client'

'One of the top teams around for public law'

'Helen Gill is a first-class public law professional with a real eye for detail'

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in judicial review proceedings against a University.
  • Represented a client in judicial review proceedings against a local authority for failing to carry out a lawful assessment.

Wilson Solicitors LLP has a well-established legal aid practice, representing individuals in challenges to public authorities. Of specific note is the firm’s expertise in the field of immigration detention, with matters involving the mistreatment of victims of trafficking and torture, people with disabilities and vulnerable children. Recent applications have been against the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Home Office and a number of policing bodies. The team is undergoing expansion with Nina Rathbone Pullen and Katy Robinson making partner.

Practice head(s):James Elliot

Other key lawyers:Nina Rathbone Pullen; Katy Robinson; Hannah Watkins


'Very dedicated and knowledgeable'

'The firm is at the top of its game in immigration and associated public law challenges'

'Second-to-none experience in immigration-related public law. Compassionate lawyers who put their clients first'

'James Elliott shows excellent leadership and support to his team'

'Hannah Watkins shows great insight and tactical awareness beyond her years of practice'

'Katy Robinson is extremely bright and committed'

'Katy Robinson and Jennine Walker are hardworking, enthusiastic and very competent'

'Nina Rathbone Pullen is compassionate, knowledgeable and great to work with'

'James Elliot is very strong technically and shows huge commitment to his clients'

'Nina Rathbone Pullen is a creative and experienced lawyer who gets great results'

Work highlights

  • Representing a number of vulnerable refugees in a challenge to the Department for International Development's funding of refugee camps in Libya.
  • Represented a victim of trafficking in contesting the Home Office's 'leave to remain' policy.
  • Brought a claim for false imprisonment against the Secretary of State for the Home Department on behalf of a victim of human trafficking who was detained under immigration powers. In addition, the claim challenged breaches of the claimant's human rights under Articles 4 and 8 of the ECHR.  
  • Representing a 'Windrush generation' client in a potential claim for compensation arising out of the Secretary of State’s failure to confirm his settled status.
  • Brought a successful challenge to the Home Office’s decision to cut the financial support given to asylum seeking victims of trafficking, resulting in reinstatement and backpayments to all those affected.

The housing and public law team at the 'outstanding'¬†Anthony Gold¬†has a solid offering in housing-related judicial reviews, acting for the Residential Landlords Association and numerous individuals as claimants in applications against local authorities and the central government. Recent mandates included judicial reviews of the government‚Äôs ‚Äúright to rent‚ÄĚ scheme and other legislative amendments, proceedings against local licensing plans and an appeal against an emergency prohibition order. The team also fields expertise in the education and environment sectors; in a recent case, practice head Andrew Brookes¬†handled a challenge to the way a council provides education for visually impaired children.

Practice head(s):Andrew Brookes


'Exceptionally hardworking lawyers who are unique not only in their knowledge of the law but their ability to apply that knowledge with creative solutions'

'Anthony Gold has such a unique range of outstanding staff to call upon; it should be your first port of call with any housing matters'

'The go-to team for anything and everything to do with housing law'

'David Smith's knowledge is second to none'

Key Clients

Residential Landlords Association

Core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Sam Najafi

Michael Higgs

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Residential Landlords Association in threatened judicial proceedings against three local authorities over their operation of property licensing schemes under the Housing Act 2004.
  • Acting for a visually impaired child in challenging the way Redbridge Council supports visually impaired children in mainstream education.
  • Acting as legal representative to two core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Instructed by an individual to appeal against an emergency prohibition order imposed by Northampton Borough Council which prevented the occupation of a rented property by more than one person.
  • Acting for the Residential Landlords Association in a High Court judicial review concerning the roll-out of 'right to rent' provisions.

Burges Salmon LLP has a number of key public sector bodies and local authorities on its client list, for which the team provides a broad range of expertise on matters involving public and administrative law. Recent instructions involved public sector projects, procurement strategy (including for the Greater London Authority’s regeneration programme and Transport for Wales’ rail service tender) and council-led development projects. The team also handles matters involving regulators' statutory powers; in a standout example, it advised Ofwat on future changes to water market regulation. The firm's broader litigation department acts on contentious issues for commercial clients, including a recent judicial review claim against the Competition and Markets Authority. The practice is jointly led by local authority specialist Gary Solomon and John Houlden, whose experience includes public sector procurement litigation.

Practice head(s):Gary Solomon; John Houlden

Key Clients

Department for Education

Ministry of Defence

Department for Transport

Home Office

Ministry of Justice


Babcock International Group

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Welsh Government


Bristol City Council

Isle of Anglesey

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Work highlights

  • Representing the Co-operative Group in a claim against the Competition and Markets Authority regarding an investigation into potential infringements in the retail pricing of tobacco products.
  • Advising the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets on complex administrative law issues raised in the context of the defence of an employment tribunal claim.
  • Advising the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) in relation to its Water 2020 programme.
  • Advising the Greater London Authority and Transport for London on a series of connected major regeneration projects in east London.
  • Advising Isle of Anglesey County Council on its response to the proposed development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa.

The public law defence practice at Capsticks LLP counts key public bodies among its clients, including a considerable number of NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). Recent mandates saw an uptick in the defence of judicial review applications, defending against challenges to health service reconfiguration strategies implemented by CCGs throughout Dorset, South Tyneside and Oxfordshire. Further regular work in the healthcare space includes Leeds-based practice co-head Ian Cooper’s pre-inspection support to NHS trusts in respect of the Care Quality Commission’s inspection regime. Police forces and regulatory bodies (including the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care) are also present on the client roster, with typical mandates including defending appeals against regulators' decisions and disclosure challenges. Practice co-head Peter Edwards advises public bodies in the healthcare sector on their governance and statutory powers.

Practice head(s):Peter Edwards; Ian Cooper


'The team applies its extensive experience and expert knowledge to provide sound legal advice'

'The level of expertise and professionalism displayed by Capsticks is exceptional'

'Peter Edwards provides invaluable wisdom and support'

'Peter Edwards is simply brilliant'

'The team is solutions based, patient and pragmatic'

'Francis Lyons is a first-rate solicitor. He has an excellent manner and clients love him'

'An exceptional public law team with particular strength and expertise in healthcare matters'

Key Clients

Public Health England

Bar Standards Board

Solicitors’ Regulation Authority

NHS Employers

NHS Dorset CCG

NHS South Tyneside CCG

NHS Oxfordshire CCG

Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership

Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

North Central London CCGs

Work highlights

  • Assisting London Ambulance Service NHS Trust with its involvement in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Acted for NHS South Tyneside CCG and Sunderland CCG in successfully rejecting an application for judicial review concerning their reconfiguration plans.
  • Defending NHS Dorset CCG in a judicial review application concerning changes to the administration of health services in Dorset.
  • Assisting a total of 13 NHS trusts with pre-inspection support in preparation for the Care Quality Commission's "well led" inspections.
  • Advising the General Pharmaceutical Council as intervenor in a judicial review application concerning whether a university can conduct enhanced criminal record checks.

DLA Piper represents a number of commercial judicial review claimants in their challenges to government and local authority policies; a leading example in this area saw Paul Stone handling Uber’s challenge to Knowsley Council’s licensing regulations. Procurement challenges are another strong point for the team, while Hazel Moffat’s public inquiry expertise is being applied to the Magnox Inquiry into the award of a £6.2bn decommissioning contract in the nuclear power sector. General public law advisory work is provided to a diverse range of commercial and public sector clients spanning the fields of transport and infrastructure (where the Department for Transport is a key client), energy, education, health and social housing.

Practice head(s):Paul Stone; Hazel Moffat


'The partners and associates at DLA Piper are unfailingly sensible, hardworking, down to earth and knowledgeable in the field'

Key Clients

Uber Britannia Limited

Ocean Outdoor Limited

Department for Transport

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Market Operator Services

Transport for Greater Manchester

Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association

Heineken Limited

Hitachi Rail Europe Limited

Office of Rail and Road

Work highlights

  • Representing Ocean Outdoor UK in its Court of Appeal litigation against the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham regarding the interpretation of the Concession Contracts Regulations.
  • Represented Uber Britannia Limited in successfully quashing a policy requiring drivers of private hire vehicles to confirm they intended to drive predominantly in the local area in order to secure a licence.
  • Advised the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the Magnox Inquiry into the failure of a £6.2bn contract for the decommissioning of 12 nuclear power sites.
  • Lead lawyers responsible for drafting the statutory codes and regulatory framework for the opening up of the world's largest retail market for water, worth around £2.5bn.
  • Provided continuing advice to Heineken on all issues arising from the new regulatory regime introduced by the Pubs Code etc. Regulations 2016.

The bulk of Edwards Duthie Shamash’s instructions involve handling public law claims against public bodies for vulnerable individuals such as prisoners, detainees, asylum seekers with no recourse to public funds, homeless families and people with disabilities. A number of charities are also present on the client list. Recent mandates involved challenges to the Home Office and local authorities concerning inadequate provision of services, the unlawful detention of minors, breaches of Article 8 of the ECHR in the prison system, and the failure to properly assess children and vulnerable adults. Practice head Anna O’Connell has expertise in mental health law and housing law, and regularly handles applications concerning the provision of temporary accommodation.

Practice head(s):Anna O'Connell

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s commercial public law practice sits within the wider commercial litigation department, and often acts on regulatory enforcement and human rights cases with a multi-jurisdictional element. Leading matters in this field saw Philip Rocher defending a UK-domiciled company against expropriation actions attempted by the Turkish government and Patrick Doris assisting an LGBT rights organisation with its successful challenge to Kenya’s discriminatory legislation. The team acts on domestic commercial judicial review applications, with recent claims involving challenges to the Competition and Markets Authority regarding its policy on commercial mergers and challenges to the government regarding its recent legislative changes in the betting industry.

Practice head(s):Philip Rocher

Other key lawyers:Patrick Doris

Key Clients

Human Dignity Trust




Koza Ipek Group


William Hill


Thomson Reuters Foundation


Work highlights

  • Acted for Asda in a judicial review challenge to the UK Competition and Markets Authority's investigation into its proposed merger with Sainsbury's.
  • Acting for UK-domiciled mining company Koza and its sole director, Hamdi Akin Ipek, in English proceedings challenging the Turkish government's expropriation actions on human rights grounds.
  • Represented the Human Dignity Trust in successfully overturning constitutionally sanctioned discriminatory practices against the LGBT community, and supporting the client in its drive to decriminalise same-sex practices.

The public law offering at Hill Dickinson LLP has a particular focus on the healthcare and social care sectors, with a healthy list of NHS bodies and clinical commissioning groups comprising the bulk of the client roster. Advisory work regularly involves the implementation of policy initiatives and reorganisations, particularly NHS England’s flagship integrated care system legislative framework. Emma Stockwell advises on the commissioning of pharmaceutical services. Common contentious mandates include defending judicial review challenges, procurement challenges and advising on inquiries into breaches of duty.

Practice head(s):Emma Stockwell; David Hill; Eleanor Tunnicliffe


'Always goes the extra mile while providing a personal service'

'Esther Venning and Robert McGough take a flexible and pragmatic approach to developing and identifying solutions'

'Kiran Bhogal has an excellent combination of pragmatism and legal knowledge'

'The team always meets deadlines and gives prompt feedback in a way which is understandable without the jargon'

Key Clients

NHS England

Care Quality Commission

Health Education England

NHS Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Royal Free London Hospitals NHS Foundation Tust

Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Tust

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Tust

Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Tust

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Tust

Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Tust

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

Knowsley CCG

Fareham and Gosport CCG

Midlands and Lancashire CSU

Liverpool CCG

Manchester CCG

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Tust

Work highlights

  • Providing public law advice to Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust on numerous matters in the context of proposed service reconfigurations due to financial, quality of care and workforce issues.
  • Successfully defending a procurement challenge brought against NHS England by an unsuccessful bidder for the provision of waste disposal services.
  • Provided advice to NHS England on the development and implementation of its flagship policy initiative on reorganising the NHS on the basis of 44 integrated care systems across the country.
  • Advising Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group on the inquiry into the deaths of elderly patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

Imran Khan and Partners has particular expertise in handling police discrimination claims, breach of care claims and general human rights applications. The team's experience includes assisting with inquests and public inquiries such as the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

The strategic litigation team at Just For Kids Law - a registered charity which provides legal support - takes on public law challenges against public bodies such as local authorities and police departments on behalf of vulnerable children, particularly those in the criminal justice system. Judicial review proceedings are regularly acted on for clients facing mental health, education, immigration, homelessness and benefit denial issues.

The healthcare and higher education sectors are points of strength for the public law practice at Mills & Reeve LLP. Key NHS bodies (including a significant proportion of clinical commissioning groups) and universities comprise the bulk of the client roster, with regular mandates involving the defence of judicial review applications. Recent matters involved defending challenges to policy and regulatory changes, claims of negligence and procurement challenges. Advisory work typically involves handling policy and regulatory changes with an emphasis on risk mitigation. Richard Sykes handles judicial review, Freedom of Information and data protection matters.

Practice head(s):Richard Sykes


'Very experienced and knowledgeable'

'A very strong team'

'Very personable, extremely responsive and very knowledgeable'

'Richard Sykes is extremely engaging and very responsive. He is passionate about his work and does all he can to ensure that his clients' needs are met at every stage of the process'

'Gary Attle is a genuine delight to work with and demonstrates a great depth of knowledge, sector expertise and insight'

'Richard Sykes is excellent - in-depth sector and legal knowledge, pragmatic and responsive'

Key Clients

NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in the North East and Cumbria

University of Liverpool

University of London

Bolton College

Joint Council for Qualifications

Institute For Apprenticeships

Department for Health and Social Care

Work highlights

  • Defended a number of NHS clinical commissioning groups in a judicial review application by Bayer and Novartis challenging the provision of certain cancer drugs.
  • Represented a qualification body in the Exam Results Appeal Panel concerning grade appeals.
  • Represented the Department of Health and Social Care in a procurement challenge.
  • Advised a further education college in contesting its review by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
  • Representing the University of Liverpool in an inquest concerning a student's suicide.

Sharpe Pritchard LLP is regularly instructed by local authorities across the UK to defend against judicial review applications and statutory appeals in relation to education, utilities and planning policy, among others. The team also handles judicial review claims for groups of individuals and commercial clients, with recent highlights involving applications against HMRC. Partner William Rose, who has particular expertise in obtaining injunctions for public bodies, is the key contact.

Practice head(s):Rose Sunter

Other key lawyers:William Rose

Key Clients

Local Government Association

Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council

Wandsworth London Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a procurement challenge on behalf of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham concerning the council’s decision to grant leases of two properties which permitted advertising next to a highway.
  • Acted for the Local Government Association in a claim by health authorities that they have charitable status and are therefore entitled to rate relief.
  • Advised a collective of local authorities under the umbrella of the Local Government Association on implementing changes to their agreements with relevant water companies for the collection of water charges to reflect recent changes in the law governing this area.
  • Acting on behalf of 342 claimants who have issued a claim for judicial review against HMRC challenging its decision to serve follower notices and accelerated payment notices under the provisions of the Finance Act 2014.
  • Acted for the London Borough of Wandsworth in defending a claim for judicial review brought by a local resident challenging the council’s decision to grant a lease of premises on Wandsworth Common.

The social welfare and public law department at TV Edwards LLP takes on a number of public law challenges for clients with disabilities, migrants with no recourse to public funds, homeless individuals and families, and adults with severe medical conditions. The firm's experience includes judicial review proceedings against a local authority’s housing decisions, challenges to community care assessments, Human Rights Act breaches and actions in the Court of Protection. Associate Monica Kreel specialises in advising on the rights of disabled people.

Practice head(s):Katie Brown; Jacky Starling

Other key lawyers:Monica Kreel


'TV Edwards displays a high level of specialist knowledge and client commitment in the legal aid space, with an established history in the fields of housing and community care'

'The team maintains a high degree of professionalism and always prepares cases to the highest standard'

'An extremely strong public and administrative law team with some real talent'

Civil liberties and human rights

Index of tables

  1. Civil liberties and human rights
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Bhatt Murphy is noted for its niche practice in immigration, actions against the police and state accountability. 'Leaders in this field without question', the team also acts in high-profile public inquiries and inquests, solely representing claimants. Raju Bhatt is singled out for his 'marvellous work’ on death in custody matters, as is Tony Murphy, who represents the families of those who have been abused by the police. Among the other core members of the team are Shamik Dutta, Mark Scott and Miri Weingarten, who are acting for families in the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire; Carolynn Gallwey, who has particular expertise in inquests into restraint-related deaths; and newly promoted partners Jane Ryan and Janet Farrell.

Practice head(s):Tony Murphy, Raju Bhatt, Shamik Dutta; Hamish Arnott; Simon Creighton; Jed Pennington

Other key lawyers:Miri Weingarten; Chanel Dolcy; Janet Farrell; Jane Ryan; Carolynn Gallwey


'Bhatt Murphy have a strategic brilliance; commitment to clients; and knowledge and experience in the relevant legal areas.'

'Bhatt Murphy is an excellent firm with straight A lawyers.'

Work highlights

  • Represented a vulnerable 17-year-old child migrant in a successful application for him to be reunited with an aunt in the UK.
  • Acting for Friends of the Earth and Joe Corré in challenges to injunctions sought to prevent protests against fracking.
  • Acted for civil rights campaigner Stafford Scott in his claim against the Metropolitan Police for damages for assault and battery, false imprisonment, and breaches of the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • Acted for 94-year-old peaceful protestor John Catt in his European Court challenge to the police “domestic extremism” database.
  • Represented Humanists UK in a Supreme Court intervention concerning the prohibition of abortion in Northern Ireland.

Bindmans LLP is renowned for its human rights work, both internationally and in the domestic setting. The team is overseen by heavyweights Jules Carey, John Halford and Saimo Chahal QC (Hon), and is involved in the most high-profile and complex civil liberties matters pertaining to extradition and torture, inquests, anti-terror legislation and prisoner rights. Jamie Potter is skilled in judicial reviews and 'excellent' associate Salima Budhani has expertise in discrimination cases and healthcare law. Anna Thwaites  was promoted to partner in April 2019.

Practice head(s):Jules Carey; John Halford; Saimo Chahal (Hon) QC

Other key lawyers:Jamie Potter; Charlotte Haworth Hird; Anna Thwaites; Christian Hansen; Paul Ridge; Salima Budhani


'Bindmans is one of the leading firms in terms of civil liberties and human rights claimant work. Pre-eminent lawyers there are John Halford, Tamsin Allen, and Jules Carey. Between them, they have taken some of the most important cases in this field.'

'Salima Budhani is an extremely committed solicitor and produces top quality work. She has amazing support for client and barristers.'

'John Halford is without a doubt the best public law solicitor in the United Kingdom.'

Key Clients

Families of victims of the Batang Kali massacre

Vida Poshteh


Just Fair

Dr. Salman Butt

Catherine Harvey

Guildford bombing inquests (to be resumed)

Julian Cole

Sophie Bennett

Terri Robinson

Rachel Elgy

Work highlights

  • Acting in a number of active public inquiries, including the Grenfell Tower Inquiry; the Undercover Policing Inquiry; the Infected Blood Inquiry; and the QC-led Carl Sargeant inquiry.
  • Acting for the families of 24 unarmed civilians massacred at Batang Kali in 1948 in an application to the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Acting for Dr Salman Butt in judicial review proceedings against the Secretary of State at the time (Theresa May).
  • Acting for Catherine Harvey in a judicial review challenge to the decision of the London Borough of Haringey not to pay her a “survivor’s pension” following the death of her partner.
  • Acting for Terri Robinson, the daughter of Terry Robinson, one of the Hatton Garden jewellery robbers, who died in February 2018 whilst serving a prison sentence at HMP Belmarsh.

Deighton Pierce Glynn has 'in-depth knowledge of civil liberties and human rights law' and handles a wide range of matters related to actions against the police, immigration and high-profile inquiries. Practice head Sue Willman focuses on international human rights matters, particularly those involving migrant rights, and acts for an array of clients, including NGOs such as Amnesty International UK. Polly Glynn has extensive public law expertise and is involved in Brexit-related litigation. Zubier Yazdani has expertise in migrant rights and trafficking cases. Consultant Jane Deighton is also noted.

Practice head(s):Sue Willman

Other key lawyers:Polly Glynn; Jane Deighton; Adam Hundt; Zubier Yazdani; Louise Whitfield; Jo Eggleton; Will Russell


'The team at DPG are well equipped to represent individuals who have experienced human rights abuses and are able to identify issues affecting a wider group and take on strategic litigation to challenge those issues.'

'They go above and beyond the call of duty in representing and supporting clients through every step of the way of a judicial review challenge.'

'Will Russell has an extremely good grasp on the law. He is a creative thinker and is able to develop new legal arguments to work out a legal solution to his client's problems.'

Key Clients

Amnesty International

Rights Watch UK

Human Rights Watch

Gulf Center for Human Rights

AIRE Centre


Medical Justice

Humanists UK

Arab Organisation for Human Rights

SUDEP Action

Family of Matthew Seddon

Family of Meirion James

Work highlights

  • Acting for Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Rights Watch UK in an intervention in the Court of Appeal challenging the UK Trade and Industry Minister's decision to allow arms exports to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen.
  • Acting for two parents (supported by Humanists UK) in a judicial review of non-faith schools' refusal to make assemblies more inclusive or to provide alternative educational activities.
  • Representing Rape Crisis UK and other women’s organisations as intervenors in a ground-breaking case regarding police liability under the Human Rights Act for failure to adequately investigate rape allegations.
  • Representing a client in a challenge to the Secretary of State for the Home Department's failure to hold an inquiry compliant with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into the mistreatment of detainees at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre.
  • Representing Big Brother Watch, Open Rights Group, English PEN and Constanze Kurz in European Court of Human Rights challenges to the UK government's mass surveillance regime.

A 'standout firm' for civil liberties and human rights, Leigh Day handles an arsenal of big-ticket international human rights matters, which include illegal rendition and torture and actions against the state, as well as domestic claims involving prison reform and immigration. Sapna Malik is undertaking an array of high-profile cross-border matters, including a case against the UK government, and practice head Sean Humber is working on a privacy law matter. Core members of the team include Richard Meeran, who heads the international team; Daniel Leader, who has a focus on environmental litigation; Jamie Beagent; and Rosa Curling.

Practice head(s):Richard Meeran; Sean Humber

Other key lawyers:Sapna Malik; Jamie Beagent; Tesa Gregory; Emma Jones; Alison Millar; Rosa Curling; Martyn Day; Daniel Leader


'Rosa Curling is a great solicitor, easy to work with and very able.'

'The team is full of great lawyers who are able and passionate about the work that they do. Sapna Malik is obviously very good, and Rosa Curling is a creative lawyer who is also strategic.'

'Daniel Leader combines a remarkable work ethic with a highly tuned legal brain.  He sees the "big picture" and has first-rate legal analysis. At the same time, his attention to detail is second to none. '

'Martyn Day masterminds cases - he has been at the forefront of cutting-edge cases for decades.'

Key Clients

Mr Abdul Hakim Belhaj

Kamil Najim

Abdullah Alseran. Abd Ali

Hameed Ali. Al- Waleed

Work highlights

  • Acting for Abdul Hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar in claims relating to alleged UK complicity in illegal rendition and torture.
  • Representing numerous claimants in claims against the Ministry of Defence relating to unlawful mistreatment, detention and abuse committed by UK forces in Iraq.
  • Acting for villagers and miners in claims against Gemfields Ltd arising from allegations of severe abuse, mistreatment and unlawful killings by the mine’s security forces in Mozambique.
  • Acting for farmers and traders in claims against iron ore producer Tonkolili Iron Ore Ltd (formerly a subsidiary of African Minerals Ltd) relating to the mine's alleged complicity in severe abuse, mistreatment and unlawful killings carried out by state security forces in Sierra Leone.
  • Acting for a number of claimants who were trafficked to the UK from Lithuania in claims against a British company relating to forced labour (modern slavery).

Birnberg Peirce & Partners handles a wide range of human rights matters, relating to rendition, terror offenses, immigration and actions against the police. Gareth Peirce is the 'leading name to note in the field', with more than three decades of experience in representing clients in the most high-profile cases in the country. Historical highlights include representing the Birmingham Six and the family of Jean Charles de Menezes. She is currently acting for the family of Shamima Begum and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Harriet Wistrich is recommended for her vast expertise in women's rights and holding states to account for violence against women and girls. Also among the core members of the team are Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hon), Kate Thomas and Sonia Routledge.

Practice head(s):Gareth Peirce; Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hon)

Other key lawyers:Nigel Barry Leskin; Harriet Wistrich; Sonia Routledge; Kate Thomas


'A team of very good lawyers who are also decent human beings.'

'Harriet Wistrich is just utterly brilliant.'

'Gareth Peirce is a legend whose reputation precedes her.'

Key Clients

Shamima Begum

Julian Assange

The team at Hickman & Rose is led by 'outstanding partner' Daniel Machover and handles the full scope of civil liberties matters, with an emphasis on actions against the police and authorities, as well as public inquiries related to death in custody. Kate Maynard acts for clients who have been failed by the criminal justice system and also handles judicial review claims. Stefano Ruis is noted for his expertise in police law.

Practice head(s):Daniel Machover

Other key lawyers:Kate Maynard; Stefano Ruis


'The team is absolutely dedicated to its client base, going above and beyond the work that most firms would do. They give superb advice, make excellent tactical decisions and are a pleasure to work with.'

'Daniel Machover is an outstanding individual with a mind for the complex but the compassion and skill to relay information in layman's terms. He is dignified and straight talking.'

'Stefano Ruis is one of the best solicitors I have worked with. Calm, efficient, highly intelligent, tactical, reasonable and a pleasure to work with.'

'Kate Maynard is incredibly bright and industrious: a real fighter who is able to deal sensitively with clients.'

Key Clients

Sean Rigg

Thomas Orchard

Dalian Atkinson

Sean Fitzgerald

Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry

The 'strong team' at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors is renowned for its work regarding the accountability of public authorities, including the prison service and the police. Co-led by Susie Labinjoh and Jocelyn Cockburn, the team specialises in high-profile and often high-value actions against the state and represents an array of clients, including victims of rape and sexual assault (particularly in relation to failure of the police to investigate their claims), victims of miscarriages of justice, and family members in inquests (especially relating to deaths in state detention). Nancy Collins is leading the firm's work on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Practice head(s):Susie Labinjoh; Jocelyn Cockburn

Other key lawyers:Nancy Collins; Alice Hardy; Sasha Borton; Guy Mitchell; Cormac McDonough; Claire Brigham


'They have expertise across a range of legal areas, including actions against the police, inquests, public inquiries, claims involving military personnel and miscarriage of justice compensation. They have a true depth of expertise and work collaboratively and effectively together.'

'Susie Labinjoh is hugely experienced and brings a wealth of common sense to her work.'

'Alice Hardy, Nancy Collins and Sasha Barton all are superb on the law and have an excellent eye for detail. Cormac McDonough is a definite rising star.'

'Jocelyn Cockburn, Guy Mitchell, Susie Labinjoh, Sasha Barton and Alice Hardy are all excellent lawyers working in the field. Jocelyn has taken, and won, many high-profile human rights cases.'

'The team have a longstanding commitment to their clients. They are thorough and have the ability to give holistic and sensitive advice to some of society's most vulnerable individuals.'

Key Clients

Kissi Debrah family (air pollution inquest)

Core participants to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Numerous protestors bringing claims against the police

Neville Lawrence

LXB and others (Hillsborough-related litigation)


Da Costa

Humanists UK

Dunn, Higgins & Jones


Work highlights

  • Representing the family of Ella Kissi-Debrah, who died aged six following an asthma attack, in seeking a new inquest to investigate if air pollution was a contributory factor in her death.
  • Representing over 40 core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Representing over 60 anti-English Defence League protestors in claims against the Metropolitan Police arising from their mass arrest in 2013, after participating in a demonstration against the EDL.
  • Representing Dr Neville Lawrence OBE, the father of Stephen Lawrence, in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.
  • Acting for families of victims and survivors of the Hillsborough disaster in claims for misfeasance in public office against the Chief Constable for South Yorkshire Police and the Chief Constable for West Midlands Police and claims for negligence against Chief Constable for South Yorkshire Police.

Howard Kennedy LLP undertakes a wide scope of precedent-setting international human rights work, concentrating on large and often high-profile matters pertaining to women's rights and sexual misconduct, and freedom of expression and privacy, and on representing victims of torture. Mark Stephens CBE specialises in complex litigation and has experience in media law. Elizabeth Morley is recommended for her blend of expertise in media and human rights matters.

Practice head(s):Mark Stephens CBE

Other key lawyers:Elizabeth Morley; Antonia Torr; John Martyn; Julia Wookey; David Hooper

Key Clients

Human Rights Watch

Global Witness

Index on Censorship

Media Legal Defence Initiative

Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation

Human Dignity Trust

The 'excellent' team at Irwin Mitchell handles a wide range of civil liberties matters, focusing on judicial review, human rights, prison law and healthcare. Senior associate Fiona McGhie, who splits her time between London and Bristol, is skilled in bringing claims under the Human Rights Acts, particularly Articles 2 and 3, and in deprivation of liberty matters. Her fellow practice head, Yogi Amin, specialises in judicial review claims and public inquiries. Public law experts Andrew Arthur and Gus Silverman are also core members of the team.

Practice head(s):Yogi Amin; Fiona McGhie

Other key lawyers:Gus Silverman; Andrew Arthur; Juliet Spender; Oliver Carter


'Gus Silverman is quite exceptional - calm, kind and with a thorough knowledge of his subject and the best method of obtaining our objectives. His calm expertise helped greatly to minimise the stress which we would have felt otherwise.'

'The team is helpful, courteous and professional and provides clear and concise advice.'

Key Clients

The Loney family

Artur Netyks

Douglas and Carole Shipsey

Noel Conway – Dignity in Dying

Daniel Faulkner

Brad Foster

Douglas Oak

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the daughters of Leocardo Loney, an elderly man with dementia, to represent them at the inquest into his death.
  • Acted for the family of Michal Netyks, a Polish national who was detained at HMP Altcourse and who died on 7 December 2017.
  • Acted for the parents of Bethany Shipsey in a judicial review challenge to the suicide conclusion reached by the senior coroner for Worcestershire at the inquest into Bethany's death.
  • Acted for a mother and her British baby in their claim against the Home Office for unlawful detention.
  • Acted for Daniel Faulkner in a judicial review of the Legal Aid Agency’s decision to apply the statutory charge to damages awarded following a previous test case.

ITN Solicitors' multi-disciplinary team, led by Ravi Naik, is skilled in high-profile and often precedent-setting civil liberties matters. The group is handling the full scope of matters pertaining to data protection, national security, actions against the state and terror offences. Tayab Ali has expertise in cross-border matters and has developed a niche in criminal law in the diplomatic and political spheres. Other key members of the team include Lochlinn Parker, who is noted for his work relating to the accountability of the state.

Practice head(s):Simon Natas; Tayab Ali; Lochlinn Parker; Ravi Naik


'Ravi Naik is a very able lawyer, who has a lot of energy, an appetite for a fight and is willing to go that extra mile.'

Key Clients

David Carroll et al


Detention Review Panel

Michael Segalov

Claimants in immigration curfew regime and detention challenges


Jonathan Coulter

Migrant’s Rights Network


Work highlights

  • Represented David Carroll as the lead claimant in a high-profile civil claim against data-mining and profiling firm Cambridge Analytic relating to widespread data abuse.
  • Represented RXG in a High Court application seeking an order for lifetime reporting restrictions.
  • Acting for the Detention Review Panel convened to review the detention of women activist detainees in Saudi Arabia.
  • Represented Michael Segalov in a successful judicial review challenge to the hitherto secret police accreditation system for journalists.
  • Represented various claimants in challenges to the Home Office's use of "curfews" on immigration detainees.

Simons Muirhead & Burton is renowned for its substantial work on international human rights and death penalty matters, as demonstrated by the founding of the Death Penalty Project, a legal charity, by Saul Lehrfreund MBE and Parvais Jabbar MBE. The team is skilled in complex cross-border work, resulting in landmark judgments; this was illustrated by its recent successful challenge to death penalty legislation in Barbados. Amanda Clift-Matthew has a vast criminal law practice and has represented clients in Singapore and Malaysia.

Practice head(s):Saul Lehrfreund MBE; Parvais Jabbar MBE

Other key lawyers:Amanda Clift-Matthew

Key Clients

Jamaicans for Justice

Chief Justice Ivor Archie, Chief Justice of Trinidad

Gregory August

Jabari Nervais and Dwayne Severin

Jay Chandler

Joseph Ewart Layne

Stephen Stubbs

Japhet Bennett

Dexter Johnson

Yattar Bakar

Kevin Burris

Simeon Bain

Lescene Edwards

Letitia Bosma

Work highlights

  • Acted for joint appellants Jabari Nervais and Dwayne Severin in a landmark case which successfully challenged the mandatory death penalty for murder in Barbados.
  • Acted for appellant Gregory August in a case in Belize which led to the historic declaration of mandatory life sentencing for murder as unconstitutional.
  • Acting for Letitia Bosman in a challenge to the constitutionality of the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia.
  • Acting for Jay Chandler, a death row prisoner in Trinidad and Tobago, in a potentially far-reaching case with significant implications for the mandatory death sentencing of prisoners with psychiatric disorders.
  • Acting for Michael Maharaj and Daniel Ramiah, two of ten prisoners convicted of murder in Trinidad and Tobago, in an appeal against the sentence of life imprisonment in light of crucial new evidence.

The 'fantastic' team at Tuckers Solicitors undertakes a broad spectrum of human rights work related to police reform, inquests, judicial review and data protection. Practice head Hind Ibrahim specialises in actions against the police and has vast experience in both criminal and civil proceedings. Zareena Mustafa, who heads the firm's public law team, is recommended for her experience in high-profile terrorism and arson cases.

Practice head(s):Hind Ibrahim; Zareena Mustafa; Keiron Walsh

Other key lawyers:Andrew Sperling; Andre Clovis; Kosar Mohammed


'Hind Ibrahim is a self-effacing star who does not seek the limelight but continuously delivers stellar performances which mark her out as a standout. She clearly leads by example and is never afraid to intervene with helpful advice to her colleagues.'

'Ibrahim is tenacious, obdurate but, above all, compassionate.'

'Andrew Sperling is one of the most respected prison lawyers from both sides of the table. Not only is his knowledge and advocacy first rate, but he has a sensible and realistic approach.'

Work highlights

  • Representing MH & AE, Shi’a Muslims, in both criminal and civil proceedings, raising Articles 8 and 9 of the ECHR in the defence of school absences for religious reasons.
  • Representing a youth offending team officer in data protection, breach of confidence and misfeasance claims relating to a campaign of harassment by a number of police officers.
  • Representing a client who was subject to terrorism prevention and investigation measures in a successful claim for false imprisonment against the Metropolitan Police.
  • Representing the mother of a man who died while a resident in a probation hostel in a claim over the staff's delay in providing medical treatment.
  • Representing two separate clients in claims for breaches of Articles 5 and 6 of the ECHR following disclosure failings by the CPS.

McCue & Partners LLP is a niche firm noted for its strength in international human rights matters, including public sector litigation, cross-border cases and representing victims of terrorism. Jason McCue has a wide roster of international clients, which includes numerous NGOs, and acts in high-profile and often high-value matters, recently representing clients in a class action against Facebook. Matthew Jury, who splits his time between London and Bristol, is skilled in handling multi-jurisdictional counter terrorism-related matters and cases pertaining to the death penalty.

Practice head(s):Jason McCue; Matthew Jury

Key Clients

Facebook users in a case against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

Victims of Libya-sponsored IRA terrorism

British Army veterans serving in Northern Ireland

John Murray

Families of victims of the 1998 Omagh bombing by the Real IRA

Dermot Speer

Three Scottish Soldiers Justice Campaign

Sarahjane Young

Victims of the Rohingya genocide

Work highlights

  • Representing claimants in a class action lawsuit against Facebook,  Cambridge Analytica and others filed in the US.
  • Representing UK victims of Libya-sponsored IRA terrorism in seeking compensation from the Libyan government.
  • Protecting the rights of veterans who served during the Troubles in Northern Ireland and have been called to testify in ongoing inquests into legacy incidents.
  • Representing the claimant in civil proceedings against the chief suspect in the 1984 murder of WPC Fletcher.
  • Representing the families of the victims of the 1998 bombing in Omagh, Northern Ireland, by the Real IRA in a landmark civil trial that was the first anywhere in the world to be brought against terrorists and a terrorist organisation by their victims.

Saunders Law is skilled in handling complex inquiries and actions against the police, led by practice head Nia Williams. The team is also experienced in undertaking work related to deaths in custody, where Ruth Mellor and Ceri Lloyd-Hughes are particularly active. Among other core members of the team are Jag Bahra and Ellie Cornish, who is leading the representation of the families in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Practice head(s):Nia Williams

Other key lawyers:Jag Bahra; Ceri Lloyd-Hughes; Tessa Hutchinson; Ellie Cornish; Ruth Mellor

Key Clients

Two core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry

More than 200 clients in the Hillsborough misfeasance group litigation

Family of Terry Smith

Michael Mansfield QC and Azhar Khan in the Undercover Policing Inquiry

Participants in a group claim against Sodexo (HMP Peterborough)

Jollah Ibrahima

L and others (a family affected by the Windrush scandal)

Isaac Itiary



Family of Kyle Maher

Daniel Lewis

Family of Nuno Cardoso

Buhari Nasar

Work highlights

  • Representing core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Acting for survivors and family members in the civil proceedings for misfeasance against South Yorkshire and West Midlands Police arising out of the Hillsborough disaster and the ensuing cover-up.
  • Representing the family of Terry Smith in the inquest into his death in police custody.
  • Representing Michael Mansfield QC and solicitor Azhar Khan, who are core participants in the inquiry into undercover policing.
  • Acting for Ibrahima Jalloh in a test case on the scope of the tort of false imprisonment and Article 5(1) of the ECHR and the appropriate measure of damages for an unlawful curfew.

At Simpson Millar LLP, the human rights department handles a blend of education, public law and Court of Protection matters. Angela Jackman specialises in deprivation of liberty cases which have a mental health element. Other core members of the team include 'standout partner' Dan Rosenberg, who is noted for children's rights matters, and Victoria Pogge von Strandman, who acts for vulnerable people such as victims of trafficking.

Practice head(s):Angela Jackman

Other key lawyers:Oliver Studdert; Dan Rosenberg; Julie Cornes; Victoria Pogge von Strandmann; Zena Soormally

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a particular focus on immigration, asylum, migrant workers and refugee rights work, handled by a team of specialists which includes the 'impressive' Toufique Hossain and Zofia Duszynska, who are based in the Harrow office. The team is also adept at judicial reviews and conducting emergency injunctions for their clients. Tamana Aziz advises on business immigration and public law expert Jamie Bell is praised for his ability to 'quickly demonstrate care, commitment, openness and warmth'.

Practice head(s):Toufique Hossain; Zofia Duszynska

Other key lawyers:Tamana Aziz; Alex Peebles; Jamie Bell; Fahad Ansari; Lewis Kett


'Duncan Lewis is one of the leading legal aid law firms in the country. They are involved in many of the most important cases concerning immigration and human rights.'

'Duncan Lewis' team have a wealth of experience in unlawful detention challenges. They have excellent contacts with experts and NGOs, are on top of changes in practice and policy, and bring creative and important challenges, which develop the law in this area and have a meaningful impact on an extremely vulnerable group.'

'Toufique Hossain has done a fantastic job of building his team, identifying high-profile strategic litigation and running it well. He is an excellent strategist.'

'Toufique is great, very commercially minded and a tenacious lawyer.'

'Never before have I experienced such diligence, rigour, passion and genuine care as Jamie Bell provides.'

Work highlights

  • Representing the appellant in an appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) against a decision to deprive him of his British citizenship on the grounds of national security.
  • Representing a client in a first-of-its-kind case against the Secretary of State for the Home Department challenging the use of segregation in immigration detention, known as “removal from association”.
  • Representing a client in an important and unique challenge to the use of the lock-in regime and room conditions at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre.
  • Representing a client in a test case challenging the immigration detention pay regime, which sees detainees paid £1 per hour for carrying out critical work which is essential for the running of the immigration detention centre.
  • Representing the applicants, who faced removal from the UK to Afghanistan, in a case challenging the Home Office's "removal window" policy set out in chapter 60 of the Enforcement Guidance and Instructions. This is the first legal challenge against this aspect of the policy.

Farleys Solicitors LLP has vast experience in handling abuse of power matters and inquest work. Led by the 'top-class' Kelly Darlington and Jonathan Bridge, the team undertakes a wide range of work related to Human Rights Act claims, inquests and actions against the police. Bridge is currently involved in the high-profile Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse.

Practice head(s):Kelly Darlington; Jonathan Bridge


'Jonathan Bridge, Kelly Darlington and Ariella Jones are all top-quality practitioners. They do all the work that the top London firms do but in my view do it more efficiently and provide better value for the clients.'

'Kelly Darlington has the patience of a saint. Her perseverance, determination and sense of justice are what make her successful.'

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented clients who spent 11 years in foster care in a £9.6m claim against Lancashire County Council for negligence, breach of duty and breach of the Human Rights Act.
  • Representing the family of Anthony Grainger in a public inquiry into his fatal shooting by Greater Manchester Police in March 2012.
  • Represented the father of Poppi Worthington in the second inquest into her death, in a high-profile case involving complex issues of law including human rights, self-incrimination and potential criminal prosecution.
  • Representing the family of Mzee Mohammed, who died after being detained by security staff and police at the Liverpool One shopping centre, in inquest proceedings.
  • Acting for the family of Daniel Sewell-French, who died as a result of a drugs overdose while placed at a children's home after significant failures in safeguarding procedures by the local authority, in a human rights and negligence claim.

Gherson has experience undertaking human rights, immigration and asylum matters with a domestic and international focus. Roger Gherson has expertise in complex human rights and extradition cases. Other team members include Charles Burnett, who is recommended for his strength in public and private actions against the state.

Practice head(s):Roger Gherson

Other key lawyers:Charles Burnett

Howe + Co Solicitors has experience in representing clients in actions against the state and inquiries, and in acting for victims of torture. Led by Martin Howe and David Enright, the team has been involved in the inquiries into child sexual abuse and the Grenfell Tower fire. Adam Tear left the firm to join the partnership at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors.

Practice head(s):Martin Howe; David Enright; Kieran O'Rouke

Other key lawyers:Albert Harwood; David Howe

Howells is experienced in handling civil liberties matters, including actions against the police, immigration cases, judicial reviews and inquests. Kulvinder  Gill's expertise lies in bringing actions against the police and public authorities. The wider team includes Clare Fowler, who acts on discrimination cases; Rashdah Kauser and Sarah Smith, who deal with complex immigration and asylum matters; and paralegal Iftikhar Manzoor, who has two decades of experience in undertaking civil claims against the police.

Practice head(s):Peter Mahy

Other key lawyers:Kulvinder Gill; Clare Fowler; Rashdah Kauser; Sarah Smith; Iftikhar Manzoor

Matthew Gold & Company Limited, solicitors is a 'fantastic boutique firm' which has broad expertise in judicial review claims, inquests and inquiries. The public law team led by Clare Jennings is acting in cases concerning migrant workers' rights and actions against the police. Specialist claimant lawyer Matthew Gold represents the families of victims of domestic violence in claims for damages against public authorities, and is also skilled in civil actions against the police.

Practice head(s):Matthew Gold; Clare Jennings

Other key lawyers:Rachel Etheridge


'The team is very dedicated and has an in-depth knowledge of the areas which it deals with. They are meticulous and although they can work at speed, everything is done properly and to a very high standard.'

'The team is relatively small, but very well run and they punch above their weight in terms of the cases that they take on and litigate successfully.'

'The team has a combination of professional excellence practised with humanity and an indisputably caring manner.'

Key Clients


Family of Parker

Family of Bibi

Family of Augustine

Work highlights

  • Advising on the lawfulness of the Student Loans Company’s policy of running fraud checks on students estranged from their families.
  • Acting for an individual in a claim for breach of Article 8 of the ECHR following the unlawful removal of a child from their parent, without consent or a court order.
  • Acting for the family of a deceased prisoner in a landmark test case to determine the standard of proof for the conclusions of suicide and unlawful killing in the Coroners Court and clarify the remit of a narrative conclusion.
  • Representing a family who were arrested by police officers following a raid on their home in a claim for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
  • Acting for the family of Sohbia Khan in an inquest and civil claim for breach of Article 2 of the Human Rights Act, arising from her murder by her partner, a prisoner on licence who was not being properly monitored.

Minton Morrill is experienced in undertaking a high volume of inquests work, which the 'excellent' Gemma Vine has particular expertise in, as well as being skilled in handling actions against the police. The team also represents families at inquests involving deaths in custody and acts in judicial review claims.

Practice head(s):Gemma Vine

Other key lawyers:Anya Campbell; Julia Morrill


'The team is the leading firm in the area of civil liberties and human rights across Yorkshire and the region. Their reputation means that they are involved in the leading cases in this area of law. Their team is approachable and professional and they are passionate advocates for their clients.'

'Gemma Vine is an excellent civil liberties and human rights lawyer. Her depth of knowledge in civil liberties is very impressive; she is a true specialist. Her client care skills are also second to none.'

'Gemma is attentive, thorough, understanding and honest. She is unfailingly organised, practical and forthright.'

Sinclairslaw, which was formed by the merger of Sinclairslaw, Match Solicitors and John Ford Solicitors in May 2018, has vast experience concentrated on inquests and judicial review claims. Led by Helen Gill, the team also has experience bringing actions against public authorities and the state for abuse of power. Other core members of the team include director John Ford and Marian Shaughnessy. Karen May, who led the education team, has departed the firm to join Bindmans LLP.

Practice head(s):Helen Gill; John Ford

Other key lawyers:Marian Shaughnessy


'There are no words to describe Helen Gill's outstanding integrity and stoic but compelling and forthright manner in approaching the difficult legal hurdles that have to be overcome in achieving a successful and dignified resolution.'

'This is a firm which brings much-needed intellectual and professional expertise to cases deeply immersed in matters of public and international law, by offering very highly qualified services of comprehensive legal analysis and solutions that are broadly executed and communicated through a spectrum of dedicated and passionate in-house practitioners.'

'This is a small but dedicated team, with a commitment to this area of law. They provide a very personal service to the client.'

Slater and Gordon handles mostly personal injury matters and also has experience in child abuse cases, inquests and medical law. Manchester-based Kim Harrison and Richard Scorer co-lead the abuse team, which is representing clients in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The team is also particularly experienced in actions against public authorities.

Practice head(s):Kim Harrison; Richard Scorer

Other key lawyers:Zak Golombeck; Sarah Jones; Victoria Beel


Kim Harrison is a gritty and determined fighter for human rights and civil liberties. She is passionate about her clients and about social justice.'

'Kim and her team are highly organised, practical and a dream to work with. Nothing is too much for them.'

Swain & Co Solicitors has an 'excellent reputation' as a specialist firm for prison law, representing prisoners in sentencing appeals, judicial review proceedings, and other matters. Described by one client as having 'unparalleled experience in this area', the core team includes associates Dean Kingham, who is noted for acting for transgender prisoners; Jemma Atkinson, who specialises in parole hearings and advocacy; and Sarah Blake.

Practice head(s):Dean Kingham

Other key lawyers:Jemma Atkinson; Sarah Blake


'The team at Swain and Co are excellent on criminal appeals and representation of prisoners, including on human rights issues that arise in criminal and prison law.'

'Swain and Co have an exceptional reputation for providing high-quality services to prisoners. They are prepared to give the due time and consideration needed to provide a legal challenge in complex prison law issues, and will draw upon every resource to ensure they complete the task at hand to the best of their ability. Most importantly, they are held in high regard by those prisoners who use their services.'

'Swain & Co's ethos, consistency, and persistence makes them a firm to trust. They also provide timely responses at all times of the day and evening to ensure all problems are resolved swiftly. They are a firm who truly care about the rights of prisoners.'

Key Clients

John Worboys

Paul Wakenshaw

Charles Bronson

Alex Henry

Jordan Cunliffe

Russell Causley

Work highlights

  • Acted for John Worboys in judicial review proceedings, arguing that the Parole Board's decision to release him was not irrational and should not be quashed.
  • Acted for prisoner Paul Wakenshaw in seeking a judicial review relating to the independence of the Parole Board.
  • Represented Alex Henry, who is serving a life sentence for joint enterprise murder, in an application to the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Representing a client in a test case challenging the current policy on category A oral hearings.
  • Representing an Irish prisoner in an appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the rejection of his application for early removal to return to Ireland.

The 'incredibly well prepared and dedicated team' at Wilson Solicitors LLP has a history of representing clients in actions against the police and public authorities. The team also handles judicial review claims, and complex asylum, immigration, detention and trafficking cases. 'Fantastic' public law solicitor Katy Robinson has vast expertise in handling medium to high-value immigration and migrant workers' rights cases. Newly promoted partner Nina Rathbone Pullen is recommended for her expertise in human trafficking cases.

Practice head(s):James Elliott

Other key lawyers:Katy Robinson; Nina Rathbone Pullen; Jennine Walker; Nusrat Uddin; Helen MacIntyre


'Wilsons has a visceral understanding of the importance of fighting for the civil liberties of the weakest and most vulnerable, which is evidenced in all they do.'

'James Elliot, Anita Vasisht and Muhunthan Paramesvaran are all very strong technically and show huge commitment to their clients.'

'Nina Rathbone Pullen is particularly impressive for her persistence for and belief in her clients and her balanced approach to finding legal solutions with rigour and compassion.'

Key Clients



Balvin Marshall




Neal Gray




Work highlights

  • Represented a client in a landmark judgment on the leave to remain which should be granted to victims of trafficking to ensure they are protected and assisted in line with the UK’s obligations.
  • Represented a victim of human trafficking detained under immigration powers for almost four years, securing a six-figure sum in damages.
  • Representing a ‘Windrush’ client in a potential claim for compensation arising out of the Secretary of State’s failure to confirm his settled status.
  • Represented a client held under immigration powers for over two years in a complex claim for damages, which, while ultimately unsuccessful, raised several novel legal issues.
  • Successfully challenged the Home Office’s decision to cut the financial support given to asylum-seeking victims of trafficking, resulting in reinstatement and back payments to all those affected.

Education: individuals

Index of tables

  1. Education: individuals
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Douglas Silas Solicitors is best known for its exclusive focus on special education needs (SEN), led by specialist lawyer and founding director Douglas Silas. The team has considerable expertise in this area and regularly acts for children, vulnerable people and young adults with SEN, as well as undertaking vast advisory work for parents. The firm's client base ranges from primary school children up to individuals in post-16 education and training. Silas is regularly described as the 'go-to' practitioner for this sub-area of work.

Practice head(s):Douglas Silas

Doyle Clayton is renowned in this area of education for its breadth of expertise, with practice head and standout practitioner Simon Henthorn being described as 'a class act'. The team is seasoned in handling a wide range of matters combining its experience in education and employment law, regularly acting for clients in the education sector in high-value and high-profile dismissal, retirement, disciplinary and harassment cases. Senior associate Elizabeth Timmins and business immigration specialist Anna Blackden are also key names to note.

Practice head(s):Simon Henthorn

Other key lawyers:Elizabeth Timmins; Anna Blackden


'The team at Doyle Clayton is strong at the interface of employment law and education law due to its considerable experience in both fields.'

'Simon Henthorn is extremely personable, intelligent and committed. He speaks with authority and expertise, is engaging and personable, and goes out of his way to ensure regular contact is kept.' 

'Simon Henthorn is a particularly impressive individual. He is thorough with a keen eye for detail, which adds to the strategic overview of any case that he deals with. An extremely likeable individual who is also very knowledgable.'

'Elizabeth Timmins is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.'

Key Clients

Professor Peter Edwards

Dr Jonathan Dronsfield

National Education Union

Work highlights

  • Represented Dr Jonathan Dronsfield in his claims against the University of Reading in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and High Court.
  • Acting for a professor at the University of Oxford in campaigning for a change to its statutes.
  • Acting for a professor at the University of Cambridge in challenging compulsory retirement under the university's statutes and byelaws.
  • Acting for a professor at the University of Oxford facing allegations of bullying and harassment by his students.
  • Advising a senior lecturer who was facing disciplinary allegations on negotiating an exit.

The 'excellent' education law team at Irwin Mitchell is led by public law specialist Polly Sweeney and undertakes a considerate amount of matters pertaining to SEN, disability discrimination and judicial review. The practice group also provides personal injury expertise to clients, with Sweeney being particularly experienced in community care and healthcare. Other team members include Cambridge-based Caroline Barrett, who acts for disabled adults and children in judicial review proceedings; Steven Baylis, who also represents families in SEN tribunals, and Manchester-based James Betts.

Practice head(s):Polly Sweeney; Yogi Amin

Other key lawyers:Caroline Barrett; Steven Baylis; James Betts

Work highlights

  • Acted for the parents of a 14-year-old boy with cerebral palsy to enable their child to be homeschooled to meet his individual health and education needs.
  • Bringing a challenge to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and/or Secretary of State on behalf of severely disabled children who have been affected by the education system being significantly underfunded.
  • Advised the parents of a child with profound disabilities and helped them secure a package of education tailored to his individual needs and split between an independent school and the home.
  • Challenged Somerset County Council’s proposal to reduce SEN funding and re-allocate the funds to support high-value residential placements.
  • Challenged a local authority's decision to move a child with severe health and learning difficulties from a specialist school that supports children with cerebral palsy to a different special school which would not be set up to cater to her individual needs.

At Simpson Millar LLP, the 'pre-eminent' education team, led by Imogen Jolley, advises on a range of matters for its broad client base, including cases before the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal and issues relating to home-to-school transport, failure to provide education, discrimination, admissions and exclusions. 'Top-flight' partners Dan Rosenberg and Angela Jackman are also key names to note. New partner Sarah Woosey, who joined from Irwin Mitchell, has a focus on community care and judicial review proceedings, and Samatha Hale, who also recently made partner, is expanding the Bristol office's education team and is adept at securing education provisions for children with SEN. Other team members include public law solicitor Oliver Studdert, who has experience in Court of Protection cases.

Practice head(s):Imogen Jolley

Other key lawyers:Dan Rosenberg; Sarah Woosey; Angela Jackman; Oliver Studdert


'The education law department works well within the public law team, including lawyers with expertise in community care and mental health, giving them a depth that other firms don't necessarily have. They have a particular strength in complex and high-profile cases, including the ability to take the lead in complex challenges on issues such as SEN funding.'

'Dan Rosenberg has a particular strength in complex public law and his knowledge is excellent. He is very good at thinking through the relevant strategies, and is very thorough in preparing cases.'

'Sarah Woosey exudes the right balance of empathy and skill in achieving well-targeted and highly effective responses to tricky situations regarding the needs of the child. She has the highest levels of professional skill and motivation in evaluating the situation and executes this exceptionally.'

Sinclairslaw is a specialist education firm providing a wide spectrum of services for its clients, strengthened by the recent merger of Sinclairslaw with two other leading education practices, Match Solicitors and John Ford Solicitors. The team is experienced in all areas of education law and has a particular focus on representing parents in judicial reviews claims against unlawful decisions made by institutions. Key members of the group include managing director John Ford, who has over three decades of experience, SEN specialist Michael Charles, and Marian Shaughnessy.

Practice head(s):Michael Charles

Other key lawyers:John Ford; Marian Shaughnessy; Helen Gill


'The team combines excellent expertise in education with pragmatic common sense. Their advice is always sound. They can't be faulted.'

'Sinclairs are thorough and committed, with good client care, knowledge of the subject matter and a passion for representing individuals.'

Payne Hicks Beach handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious education matters, led by newly promoted partner and 'standout player in this field' Ane Vernon, who is noted for her litigation experience. Vernon and Dominic Crossley are skilled in handling time-critical and sensitive matters such as admissions and exclusions for a range of private individual clients.

Practice head(s):Ane Vernon; Dominic Crossley


'Ane Vernon is driven, tenacious and has a keen eye for detail; she is excellent in a crisis situation. Clients are reassured by her empathetic and reasoned approach to problems.'

'Payne Hicks Beach have carved out a niche for this work, and have unparalleled expertise in the field. They are able to work effectively and strategically and demonstrate a multi-disciplinary approach.'

Eva Akins heads the education team at Russell-Cooke LLP, which has experience acting for children with SEN and disabilities, as well as for transgender and non-binary pupils who face marginalisation and difficulty accessing school facilities. Associate Georgina Downard assists clients with securing education provision and with appeals. Specialist children law solicitors Samantha Little and Sarah Richardson are also key practitioners in the team; they also handle complex cases involving vulnerable adults.

Practice head(s):Eva Akins; Samantha Little

Other key lawyers:Georgina Downard; Sarah Richardson


'Eva Akins and Georgina Downard both worked late to hit deadlines and were proactive in ensuring the right evidence was in place.'

Education: institutions

Index of tables

  1. Education: institutions
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is renowned for its work for higher education institutions, advising its large corporate client base on the full spectrum of employment and regulatory issues, mergers, and overseas establishments. The 'superb' Diane Gilhooley leads the multi-disciplinary national education team, which includes Leeds-based Ben Woods; Glynne Stanfield, who heads the corporate governance team; and Christopher Mordue, who handles contentious employment matters and dismissal claims. The group has also been involved with topical issues surrounding #MeToo in the education landscape and has provided advice on internal processes.

Practice head(s):Diane Gilhooley

Other key lawyers:Ben Wood; Glynne Stanfield; Chris Mordue


'Diane Gilhooley is absolutely fantastic and is an obvious leader in this field.'

Key Clients

London South Bank University

Middlesex University

University of Reading

Greater London

Medical Research Council

University of Essex

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

University College London

Natural Environment Research Council

Richmond the American University in London

Newham College

Hartpury College

Lambeth College

Work highlights

  • Advising a London university on the employment aspects of a major insourcing.
  • Advised the Medical Research Council on the establishment of Health Data Research UK – a charitable research institute.
  • Advising Newham on its application to establish an Institute of Technology (IoT) with its higher education partner, Queen Mary University of London, and various partners from industry.
  • Advised both New City College Corporation and Epping Forest College on all aspects of their merger.
  • Advised Barnet and Southgate College on a highly complex dispute with a former employee who disseminated confidential college information to a wide range of external parties.

The 'totally focused' multi-disciplinary team at Farrer & Co acts for a broad roster of high-profile and market-leading clients. Practice head David Copping is handling big-ticket cross-border matters pertaining to data protection and transfers, and advising higher education bodies on establishing international campuses. The 'exceedingly effective' Sam Macdonald is the key name for charity law, advising schools and universities on this area.

Practice head(s):Sam Macdonald; David Copping

Other key lawyers:Jeremy Isaacson; Elizabeth Jones; Peter Wienand


'David Copping is extremely patient and able to make legal matters very clear to non-legal colleagues. No question is too much and he has the ability to assimilate with project teams very well.'

'Peter Wienand, David Copping and Elizabeth Jones are all outstanding partners.'

'The Farrer & Co team are very knowledgeable about issues facing the higher education sector. They also endeavour to take a balanced and practical approach when advising clients.'

'The team are attentive to detail and ask key questions to understand thoroughly the nature of the work at hand. They also have great safeguarding expertise.'

Key Clients

Imperial College London

The University of Cambridge

The University of Oxford

King’s College London

Universities UK

London Business School

London South Bank University

The Rhodes Trust

The University of Westminster

Institute of Cancer Research

Work highlights

  • Advised two leading universities on the interplay between data protection and student mobility following the introduction of GDPR.
  • Advising the University of Cambridge on a range of legal issues, including constitutional and governance advice for the university’s council and senior administrators, advice on the donation and trust terms for major philanthropic gifts, and advice relating to a number of the university’s associated entities
  • Advising London Business School on a range of intellectual property and brand protection matters.
  • Advised Imperial College in relation to its agreements with Insendi, a spin-out from Imperial’s educational technology laboratory, which is focused on online learning platforms.
  • Advised King’s College London on a number of major international collaborations.

The multi-disciplinary team at Mills & Reeve LLP has 'unrivalled expertise in higher education' and is led by the 'strikingly good' Gary Attle. The team is handling highly complex and often high-value matters related to freedom of speech, counter-terrorism and academic freedom, among other issues, for an impressive roster of clients, which includes Russell Group institutions. Richard Sykes, who splits his time between Birmingham and Manchester, leads the specialist education team and has particular expertise in data protection legislation. Among the other core members of the group are Sarah Seed, who is recommended for her expertise in working with charitable bodies; employment lawyers Nick Abbott and Nicola Brown; and real estate lawyer Christian Bull, who advises higher education bodies on property matters.

Practice head(s):Gary Attle

Other key lawyers:Raith Pickup; Andrew Wood; Nicola Brown; Sarah Seed; Neil Burton; Richard Noble; Richard Sykes; Christian Bull


'Gary Attle is simply the most knowledgeable and skillful lawyer operating within this sector. His expertise is unsurpassed. The quality of his advice is superb.'

'Clients clearly trust and respect Gary Attle and his views. He is always open to novel ways of approaching a problem and is brilliant at taking a strategic overview.'

'Nicola Brown is both practical and insightful. She combines a weighty intellect with an unstuffy and approachable style and is a highly valued adviser.'

'This team are market leaders in helping complex institutions such as universities navigate diverse challenges. They are strong on both the analytical and practical levels, with an excellent feel for the client's needs.'

'This is a top-tier team for higher education cases and many Russell Group universities clearly trust and respect this team. The members of the team are known for being at the forefront of legal thinking in this area and have their finger on the pulse.'

Key Clients

Birmingham City University

The Royal Veterinary College

The University of Cambridge

The University of Nottingham

The University of Manchester

The British Council

Pinsent Masons LLP is a key name for the higher education sector. The team, led by Leeds-based Victoria Goddard, is known for its high-profile, complex, international and often sensitive work for universities, and has advised a number of market-leading players on regulatory concerns and handled litigation for these clients. The group is adept at advising on the creation and registration of universities, restructuring and financial developments. The wider team includes Julian Sladdin, who heads the university litigation group;  Helen Corden; and Gayle Ditchburn in Birmingham, who is recommended for her expertise on complex merger work and commercial projects.

Practice head(s):Victoria Goddard

Other key lawyers:Gayle Ditchburn; Julian Sladdin; Helen Corden

Key Clients

University of London

University of Sheffield

University of Sussex

London School of Economics

University of Leeds

University of Brighton

University of Huddersfield

University of York

University of the Arts London

University of Gloucestershire

University of Leicester

Birmingham Metropolitan Colleges

Equitix and Engie Consortium

Imperial College London

University of New South Wales

Work highlights

  • Advising the University of Edinburgh on the £1.1bn Edinburgh and South-east Scotland City Region Deal, a key component of the which is the Data Driven Innovation (DDI) Programme being led by the university.
  • Acting for the University of Sheffield in judicial review proceedings brought by a student on a professional course who was excluded for making homophobic comments on social media which allegedly relate to his Christian beliefs.
  • Acting for Nottingham Trent University in a claim for in excess of £800,000 brought by a disabled student who claims reasonable adjustments were not made in relation to their studies.
  • Advising the University of London on the parliamentary process to seek a new Act of Parliament to streamline its statute-making process and pave the way for member colleges to become universities in their own right.
  • Advising Heythrop College, a specialist higher education institution and member of the University of London federation, on its closure and the winding up of all of its business operations and the teaching out of its students.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's practice is led by the 'excellent' Smita Jamdar, who advises higher education bodies on regulatory, constitutional, governance and student-related matters. The team is experienced in handling high-value, complex and often sensitive matters pertaining to students, an area where Geraldine Swanton is a particular specialist. Other key members of the group include Birmingham-based Joanna Forbes; employment lawyer Tom Long, who specialises in advising large public sector clients on whistleblowing and discrimination; David Browne; and Ruth Phillips.

Practice head(s):Smita Jamdar

Other key lawyers:Joanna Forbes; Geraldine Swanton; David Browne; Ruth Phillips; Anieka Sheppard; Tom Long


'Smita Jamdar is very experienced and is an expert in the education field. Geraldine Swanton and Joanna Forbes are both very knowledgeable, responsive and personable.'

'The team have an exceptional overview of the higher education sector as a whole. They engage fully with the sector and have a really good understanding of the issues which confront institutions on a day-to-day basis.'

Key Clients

King’s College London

University College London

Roehampton University

The Royal College of Art

The Open University

Writtle University College

The Courtauld Institute of Art

University of Birmingham

Cardiff University

Dudley College

Wiltshire College

Liverpool John Moore University

London South Bank University

Work highlights

  • Represented a Russell Group university and 14 named respondents in complex discrimination, whistleblowing and constructive dismissal proceedings brought by a former employee.
  • Provided high-level advice to four universities in relation to issues pertaining to their vice chancellors.
  • Acted for a university in responding to an application for an injunction brought by a student on the graduate entry medical programme who failed their first-year exams at their first attempt.
  • Advising Wiltshire College on construction contracts for the major redevelopment of its campuses.
  • Advising a university on the development and implementation of its Brexit mitigation strategy, and in particular the development of a European hub, through a partnership with European universities.

At VWV, Bettina Rigg and Emma-Jane Dalley jointly oversee the practice, which serves a number of leading national clients across the higher education landscape. The team combines its expertise to advise universities on a range of matters involving employment, commercial property, governance, and international projects. Key members of the group include employment lawyers Jane Byford and London-based Michael Halsey; Clive Read, who is recommended for his expertise on commercial property and development projects for universities; and Doug Locke, who is a key contact for establishing educational institutions and other international projects in the Middle East and Asia.

Practice head(s):Bettina Rigg; Emma-Jane Dalley

Other key lawyers:Michael Halsey; Clive Read; Jane Byford; Doug Locke

Bates Wells assists education sector clients with a wide range of matters, from regulatory issues and procurement to post-merger work. Led by Caraline Johnson, the team has brought its cross-departmental expertise to bear in advising on mergers between further education bodies. William Garnett, who leads the employment and discrimination team, is recommended for representing senior executives. Other core team members include regulatory department partner Emma Dowden-Teale and employment head Lucy Mclynn.

Practice head(s):Caraline Johnson

Other key lawyers:William Garnett; Lucy McLynn; Emma Dowden-Teale


'This is a highly responsive, knowledgeable and solution-orientated team, offering a highly personalised service across a broad range of services.'

Key Clients


Unified Seevic Palmer’s College

West Herts College

NDC Asia Limited

Fashion Retail Academy

Amateur Swimming Association

Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)

Trinity College

Barking and Dagenham College

Work highlights

  • Advising on the merger between West Herts College and Barnfield College.
  • Advising NDC Asia Limited on due diligence in relation to a proposed acquisition of a global company.
  • Advising Barking & Dagenham College on an application to the Department for Education for funding to establish an Institute of Technology.
  • Advised USP on the acquisition of ITEC Learning Technologies Limited.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is particularly well known for assisting its higher education clients with contentious commercial property issues pertaining to restructuring, mergers and development. Led by Stephen Hocking, the team is active in high-value advisory work related to acquisitions, where Newcastle-based James Harrison and Nicola Fairbairn have particular expertise. Richard Hartis specialises in handling non-contentious property matters for public sector clients.

Practice head(s):Stephen Hocking

Other key lawyers:James Harrison; Nicola Fairbairn; Richard Hartis

Key Clients

Higher Education Funding Council for England

Higher Education Funding Council for Wales

Newcastle College

The Office for Students

Higher Education statistics agency


University of Sunderland

University of Sheffield

Faraday Institution

Work highlights

  • Acting for the University of Sheffield in relation to its strategic occupation of part of the Sheffield Royal Hallamshire Hospital for the development and operation of MRI/PET scanner facilities.
  • Acted on behalf of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne on a strategically important multimillion-pound acquisition of a prime city centre office development.
  • Advising on the disposal of an existing school site and the acquisition of a new 80-acre site together with the construction of a new £60m purpose-built state-of-the-art campus.
  • Advised the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in respect of its multimillion-pound refurbishment of the Claremont Bridge and Tower and Daysh Building, known as the Claremont Complex, forming part of the university’s city centre campus.
  • Advising on a matter concerning a medical student who was found to have committed a disciplinary offence.

Weightmans LLP's education group, led by Martin Vincent, is skilled in advising public sector clients on a range of sensitive and high-value matters, as well as undertaking cross-border work on joint venture programs. The team also has experience in representing institutions at inquests. Susan Matthews provides specialist advice to higher education bodies on governance matters, and Mark Leach is recommended for his experience in contentious employment issues.

Practice head(s):Martin Vincent

Other key lawyers:Susan Matthews; Andrew Roberts; Vincent King; Mark Leach

Key Clients

Newcastle University

Cumbria University

Lancaster University

Open University

Keele University

Loughborough University

Leicester University

Queen Mary University

Middlesex University

University of Greenwich

Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts

Salford University

Manchester Metropolitan University

Solent University

Anglia Ruskin University

Wolverhampton University

Southport College

Coleg Cambria

Liverpool Hope University

Northern Health Science Alliance

The team at Blake Morgan LLP handles a broad range of contentious and non-contentious matters, led by Cardiff-based Matthew Smith. The group has in its remit specialist education work, employment matters and sector specialties in construction. Richard Wade and Rachel Gwilliam are currently undertaking advisory work for universities; Graham Miles handles regulatory work; and Ben Brice is recommended for his expertise in advising charities and public sector clients.

Practice head(s):Matthew Smith

Other key lawyers:Richard Wade; Graham Miles; Rachel Gwilliam; Ben Brice

Key Clients

New College, Oxford

Balliol College, Oxford

Cardiff University

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Oxford Foundation for Theoretical Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence

University of Portsmouth

Portsmouth Diocesan Trust

University of Reading

Christ Church College, Oxford

Brasenose College, Oxford

University College, Oxford

University of Winchester

University of Chichester

Hereford Sixth Form College

Swansea University

Magdalen College, Oxford

University of South Wales

Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association

Work highlights

  • Advising New College, Oxford, on the procurement approach, appointment of its design team and construction contracts in relation to its proposed redevelopment of a new quadrangle within the college estate.
  • Advising an education sector client on a long-running unfair dismissal and sex discrimination claim.
  • Advising an education sector client on a number of matters, including complex negotiations regarding the secondment of staff from a third party to ensure that trustees are sufficiently able to direct that the strategy set by the board is implemented properly.
  • Acting as legal adviser to professional conduct panels of the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) in relation to disciplinary proceedings against teachers that have been referred to the TRA in furtherance of its statutory functions.
  • Continuing to advise Cardiff University on the property and construction aspects of a new £300m research center, known as the "Innovation Campus".

The education group at BLM has broad expertise in matters ranging from discrimination claims and admissions to regulatory and contractual issues. Overseen by Elliot Pound, the team has specialisms in judicial review and in the field of discrimination. Key team members include Richard Wilkins, who handles contentious and non-contentious education matters with an emphasis on exclusions and special needs education; Martin Jensen; and associate Geneviève Rich. Public sector head Michael Pether has experience handling employers' liability claims.

Practice head(s):Elliot Pound

Other key lawyers:Richard Wilkins; Martin Jensen; Michael Pether; Geneviève Rich

Key Clients

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

The University of Cambridge

University of Surrey

King’s College London

University of East London

University of Newcastle

University of Central Lancashire

Work highlights

  • Defend a high-profile academic institution in London in High Court proceedings.
  • Acting for various universities in relation to claims brought by students relating to lost teaching time caused by the well-publicised strike action in February and March 2018.
  • Defend a university against a claim for damages threatened in the US concerning alleged misconduct by one of its academic staff in a fundraising project.
  • Acting for a university in a claim brought by a former MBA student who alleges that the university acted in breach of contract and negligently in suspending her whilst investigating allegations of misconduct.

Burges Salmon LLP has 'unrivalled experience' in the full range of education matters and is noted as being one of ten firms appointed to the national legal services framework agreement for the higher education sector. The team has particular expertise in the project arena, where practice head Matthew Ramus is active. The team also includes head of public sector John Houlden; Michael Hayles; head of corporate Richard Spink; Tim Roberts; and employment lawyer Luke Bowery.

Practice head(s):Matthew Ramus

Other key lawyers:Richard Spink; Tim Roberts; Roger Bull; John Houlden; Michael Hayles; Luke Bowery


'Burges Salmon has unrivalled experience of advising councils on the spin-out of children's trusts and alternative delivery arrangements. The approach of their lawyers is always pragmatic, whilst sensitive to the needs of clients. They work well with other advisers and get the job done.'

'Richard Spink is excellent to work with, measured, and a real support as he understands the sector and the dynamic in complex multiparty transactions well.'

'Tim Roberts is a highly capable and effective player in complex deals and remains calm throughout.'

Key Clients

Department for Education

University of Bristol

University of Exeter

York St John University

University of Oxford

The University of the West of England

Bath Spa University

Cardiff University


Office for Students

Reading Borough Council

Birmingham Children’s Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising on Reading’s major children’s services transformation project.
  • Advising the Department for Education and Sandwell Children’s Trust on a major children’s services transformation project.
  • Advising on Birmingham’s major children’s services transformation project.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a large offering for its higher education clients, regularly acting in academy transfers and mergers. Head of charities Emma Moody is a key name to note, as well as Craig Moore, who stands out for his commercial property advice to schools. Christina Tolvas-Vincent is experienced in handling employment matters pertaining to dismissals, discrimination and management issues. Kevin Robertson, who regularly advises schools and colleges, is also a key contact.

Other key lawyers:Emma Moody; Christina Tolvas-Vincent; Kevin Robertson; Craig Moore

The multi-disciplinary education team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is regularly instructed by leading UK universities and other higher education institutions on a number of matters pertaining to commercial property concerns, joint venture agreements, contracts and litigation. The group led by Gemma Woodhouse combines specialist employment and immigration expertise; immigration specialist Pat Saini and head of private wealth immigration Hazar El-Chamaa are both recommended. Corporate partner Simon Bickerdike advises on multi-jurisdictional transactions and projects, and also handles merger-related matters.

Practice head(s):Gemma Woodhouse; Hilary Aldred; Daff Richardson

Other key lawyers:Pat Saini; Hazar El-Chamma; Simon Bickerdike

The key contacts in Trowers & Hamlins LLP's education practice group are Paul McDermott, Helen Randall and Amardeep Gill. The department advises on PFI contracts, education PPPs and employee relations. The team also includes commercial property specialist Sangita Unadkat, who acts for a range of educational institutions, and Assad Maqbool, who assists education sector clients with construction and project work.

Practice head(s):Paul McDermott; Amardeep Gill; Helen Randall

Other key lawyers:Sangita Unadkat; Assad Maqbool 

At Withers LLP, the education team is included within the charities department and advises on a broad range of areas, such as employment, real estate, tax and data protection, often with an international element. Core members of the team include Alison Paines, who has vast expertise in advising public sector clients on governance procedures; newly made-up partner Alana Petraske, whose specialisms include advising international universities; Richard Cassell, who handles international tax and trusts; and Chris Priestley.

Practice head(s):Alison Paines; Alana Petraske; Chris Priestley; Richard Cassell; James Shaw

Key Clients

Global University Systems

Syracuse University

Fondation Ecole Centrale Paris

University of Pennsylvania

Work highlights

  • Advising a university on an extensive governance restructure in respect of a UK affiliated entity.
  • Advising a US state public university on a variety of procedural and operational matters, governance and regulatory issues since forming a US/UK dual-qualified fundraising entity for the client.
  • Continuing to advise on a UK charitable foundation set up by a newly merged French university replacing Ecole Centrale Paris.

Clyde & Co LLP's education practice handles the full spectrum of national issues, as well as providing a broad international offering, with specialist education expertise in the Middle East. Led by David Hansom, who joined the firm from VWV, the team is active in advising UK universities, particularly on their expansion to the Middle East and Asia. Other key members of the team include Ross Barfoot in Abu Dhabi and employment lawyer Graham Mitchell.

Practice head(s):David Hansom

Key Clients

University College London

Jacobs Holding AG



Work highlights

  • Advised Jacobs Holding on the acquisition of global private education group Cognita.
  • Advised UCL on its contractual disciplinary procedure.
  • Advised U & I Group PLC on one of Brighton’s biggest ever regeneration projects.

Education: schools

Index of tables

  1. Education: schools
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Bates Wells' 'highly responsive, knowledgeable and solution-orientated' education team is led by Caraline Johnson, who has over two decades of experience in the sector. The team's main strengths lie in the restructuring of the state school landscape into academies, the development of multi-academy trusts and contentious matters such as discrimination claims. The firm also offers cross-departmental expertise in areas such as charity law and commercial law to national and international clients. Key names to note include employment lawyer William Garnett, public law specialist Emma Dowden-Teale and Paul Jennings, who is recommended for his expertise in discrimination law.

Practice head(s):Caraline Johnson

Other key lawyers:William Garnett; Paul Jennings; Emma Dowden-Teale; Jean Tsang; Megan Read; Louise Rea


'William Garnett provides superb support and service, which is highly practical and solution orientated. He always goes the extra mile to ensure that his customers get the desired outcome.'

Key Clients

Sky School

Mulberry Schools Trust

Abbots Bromley School

The city of London Corporation and the City of London Academies Trust

Bellevue Place Education Trust

Catch22 Multi-Academy Trust

The Urdang Academy

Core Education Trust, Birmingham (formerly Park View Educational Trust, one of the ‘Trojan Horse’ schools)

Cobham Free School

Work highlights

  • Provided advice and assistance to Sky School, an educational organisation, on its successful registration with the Charity Commission for England and Wales.

Browne Jacobson LLP 'epitomises the saying "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" and is simply exceptional' in its delivery of a diverse range of education expertise to its large client base. Led by Nottingham-based Mark Blois, the team is skilled in handling complex merger and restructuring matters, offering tailored and strategic advice to schools and academies, and representing clients in litigation proceedings. Core members of the team include the 'amazing' Julia Green; Nick MacKenzie, who is recommended for corporate and governance matters; Richard Freeth; and Adrian Shardlow.

Practice head(s):Mark Blois

Other key lawyers:Nick MacKenzie; Julia Green; Lydia Michaelson-Yeates; Adrian Shardlow; Richard Freeth; Ian Deakin


'The level of service at Browne Jacobson at every level is impeccable. They are both efficient in their response and professional in their service.'

'Nick McKenzie is simply brilliant. Nothing is ever too much for him. He is professional yet personable, and ensures the very best outcomes.'

'All the individuals we work with at Browne Jacobson deserve recognition. However, Julia Green is the linchpin and has been instrumental in developing a positive working relationship.'

'Lydia Michaelson-Yeates has been fantastic throughout. She is always contactable and always responds in a very timely manner, which is invaluable. Lydia also makes the complex subject matter easy to understand by communicating in a way that is relatable, without wrapping it up in legal jargon.'

Key Clients

Greenwood Academy Trust

Academy Transformation Trust

Community Inclusive Trust

Chorus Education Trust

Nottingham Diocese

Dronfield Junior School

The Elliot Foundation Academies Trust

Brooke Weston MAT

Thomas Deacon Educational Trust

Atlantic Centre of Excellence MAT

Lighthouse Schools Partnership

Arthur Terry Learning Partnership

Bright Futures Educational Trust

Challenge Academy Trust

Forward as One

Optimus Education

Camborne Science & International MAT

Confederation of School Trusts

Central Learning Partnership Trust

Loxford School Trust Ltd

Outwood Grange Academy Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising various education sector clients on academy transfer and rebrokerage projects.
  • Providing employment and HR advice to schools, academies and multi-academy trusts.
  • Supporting schools, academies and multi-academy trusts with special educational needs legal obligations.
  • Providing a comprehensive range of property law advice to schools, academies and multi-academy trusts.
  • Representing the Teaching Regulation Agency in relation to conduct and competency cases brought against teachers.

Farrer & Co's 'high-quality and fully engaged' education team continues to be at the forefront of acting for national schools on issues such as safeguarding, child protection, data protection and immigration. The team is led by Jonathan Eley and Sam Macdonald, and has a strong reputation for handling high-value, complex and sensitive work for clients. Recent highlights include several cross-border matters led by David Copping and David Smellie relating to the establishment of overseas institutions. Other core members of the group include contracts lawyer Paul Jones; newly made-up partner Maria Strauss, who has experience advising faith-based schools; and Ben Longworth.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Eley; Sam Macdonald

Other key lawyers:David Smellie; David Copping; Paul Jones; Maria Strauss; Ben Longworth;


'The team has a real in-depth experience of all the issues faced by schools with a particularly strong focus on safeguarding. They have a great understanding of independent schools and charity governance.'

'Farrers provide an exceptional level of responsiveness with advice that is second to none. They have strength and depth across the team, with a clear sense of a sophisticated, nuanced house style.'

'David Smellie is a very good tactical thinker, has oodles of experience and is very pragmatic, which is very reassuring.'

'Jonathan Eley is excellent - he's not afraid to challenge the client.'

Key Clients

Winchester College

Eton College

Harrow School



Downe House

Alpha Plus Group

Grey Coat Hospital

Westminster School

Independent Schools' Bursars Association

Work highlights

  • Working closely with the Council of International Schools' International Taskforce on Child Protection to devise an international protocol for managing allegations of child abuse by educators and other adults.
  • Assisting the Department for Education with the drafting of new guidance relating to sexual violence and harassment between children in schools and colleges.
  • Advising St Paul’s Girls School on its handling of multiple allegations of historic abuse by former pupils.
  • Advised Winchester College on an incident involving a pupil convicted of a petrol bombing on the M3 motorway.
  • Continued to advise a number of leading independent schools on overseas collaborations for the launch of new schools with international partners.

Stone King LLP is renowned for its education work and is described as a 'go-to' firm for schools and higher education bodies. The team is skilled in advising state-funded schools on governance matters, high-profile transfers, mergers and establishing separate entities. Graham Burns has particular expertise is recommended for his ability to handle high-value and high-profile M&A in the academy sector, while Stephen Ravenscroft is experienced in advising on education projects and is knowledgeable in the NGO field. The team also provides specialist advice to faith schools, with Lee Coley heading up Church of England schools matters.

Practice head(s):Graham Burns; Roger Inman; Tom Morrison; Helen Tucker

Other key lawyers:Stephen Ravenscroft; Lee Coley

Key Clients

United Church Schools Trust

The Collaborative Academies Trust

Oasis Community Learning

Future Academies

TBAP Trust

Learning in Harmony Multi Academy Trust

Community Schools Trust

Hasmonean High School

Greenshaw Learning Trust (previously Greenshaw High School)

Enfield Learning Trust

NAS Academies Trust

The Baker Dearing Trust

Peterborough Diocesan Board of Education

The Diocese of Worcester Multi Academy Trust

Leicester Diocesan Board of Education

Coventry Diocesan Board of Education

Greenshaw Learning Trust

David Ross Education Trust (DRET)

Work highlights

  • Handling the establishment of a seven-school multi-academy trust in Leicestershire, involving both academy conversions and transfers.
  • Advising on the establishment of a new seven-school church majority multi-academy trust in Kent.
  • Successfully prevented the issue of judicial review proceedings for a large alternative provision multi-academy trust.
  • Successfully defended a client against a complex disability discrimination claim relating to the exclusion of a child from a school trip.
  • Handled the negotiation of a settlement leading to the withdrawal of a claim relating to the permanent exclusion of a child with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

At VWV, the education practice group has an impressive client roster spanning leading independent schools, academies and colleges. Jointly overseen by Barney Northover and Yvonne Spencer who is recommended for her insight on complex matters such as serious disciplinary cases, the team combines employment and education law expertise to offer a broad service, which includes sector strengths in corporate and commercial, real estate, immigration and litigation matters. Employment lawyer Simon Bevan remains the key name to note. Other team members include Bettina Rigg, Emma-Jane Dalley and Naseem Nabi.

Practice head(s):Yvonne Spencer; Barney Northover

Other key lawyers:Simon Bevan; Bettina Rigg; Emma-Jane Dalley; Naseem Nabi

Barlow Robbins LLP acts for an impressive roster of clients which includes several high-profile schools. Led by the 'exceptional' Joanna Lada-Walicki, the team combines charity and education law expertise to cover a wide range of education matters, including employment issues, mergers, commercial contracts and governance. Ben Collingwood has a focus on safeguarding and pastoral care issues.

Practice head(s):Joanna Lada-Walicki

Other key lawyers:Ben Collingwood; Gordon Reid


'Ben Collingwood is outstanding in his measured advice, wise counsel and ability to analyse situations with great clarity and perception at great speed.'

'Barlow Robbins' education and charities department is exceptional due to key partners such as Joanna Lada Walicki, who is exceptional and outstanding in her advice, experience, professionalism, and value for money.'

'Joanna Lada-Walicki is an expert in employment law and has worked for a long time in this sector. She understands the sector very well from all angles and gives excellent advice.'

'Joanna Lada-Walicki is very diligent, very supportive and provides much-valued help and advice.'

'Gordon Reid is very helpful and provided very tailored advice when needed.'

Key Clients


West Buckland School

Boarding Schools’ Association

Independent Schools Examinations Board

Eastbourne College

Bede’s School

Hurstpierpoint College

Seaford College

Lewes Old Grammar School

Prior’s Field School

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading independent day and boarding school for pupils on complex staff disciplinary and pastoral/safeguarding issues, involving parent complaints and an emergency inspection.
  • Advised a co-educational preparatory school in London in connection with allegations of bullying from the parent of a former pupil, including threatened litigation.
  • Advised a leading co-educational senior boarding and day school regarding concerns about the head of nursing following convictions for drug-driving, disclosure of alcohol dependency, and incapacity due to drug/alcohol at work.
  • Audited a large co-educational boarding and day school’s historic records of allegations of sexual abuse and conducted a safeguarding audit.
  • Advised a girls’ boarding and day school in relation to allegations of malpractice in GCSE coursework assessments.

The education practice at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has considerable experience in the academies sector and is renowned for acting as a 'one-stop-shop' for all of the legal needs of schools. Jointly overseen by Ben Wood and Diane Gilhooley, the team has sector strengths in commercial property (where Charlotte Tanikal is particularly active), corporate law and regulatory matters, enabling it to handle complex restructurings, mergers and conversions. The team also handles judicial review proceedings and the management of social media issues such as defamation. Other team members include Glynne Stanfield, who leads the international education practice area; employment lawyer Nicola Bennison, who leads the national student team; and Helen Cairns. The corporate education practice has been strengthened with the appointment of Jon Baskerville to the partnership.

Practice head(s):Diane Gilhooley; Ben Wood

Other key lawyers:Glynne Stanfield; Nicola Bennison; Helen Cairns; Charlotte Tanikal


'Helen Cairns is an outstanding legal professional. Her support and advice is always incredibly measured. Helen’s calm demeanor immediately enables one to relax providing assurance as nothing is too much trouble'.

'High level of expertise gained through substantial experience working in the field of education'.

'A personal approach is gained through developing relationships which are supported by regular update/keep in touch meetings'.

'Not a group of personnel who are office-bound as they are keen to visit schools conducting face to face meetings resulting in positive, effective communication'.

Key Clients

L.E.A.D. Multi Academy Trust

Twyford Church of England Academy Trust

Nova Education Trust

ACS International Schools

Beacon Multi Academy Trust

Compass Learning Partnership

Batley Multi Academy Trust

The Education Alliance

The Delta Education Trust

The Bentley Wood Trust

Harrison Clark Rickerbys represents a range of schools in high-value matters pertaining to development projects and construction, as well as non-compliance and regulatory issues. Practice head Kristine Scott is known for her expertise in sensitive matters such as dismissals, pupil exclusions and parental complaints. Other team members include Emilie Darwin, who provides employment expertise, and head of academies Emma Swann, who is recommended for restructuring and conversations.

Practice head(s):Kristine Scott

Other key lawyers:Emilie Darwin; Emma Swann


'The team has a vast knowledge of the sector, experience and pragmatism. There are very experienced partners and very able junior staff.'

Key Clients

The Pointer School

The Independent Schools Bursars' Association

The Independent Schools Council

Association of Governing Bodies for Independent Schools

Boarding Schools Association

Cranleigh School

Cheltenham College

Cheltenham Ladies College

Dean Close Foundation

Work highlights

  • Providing specialist procurement and construction advice to Gloucestershire College for a new £18m further education campus in the Forest of Dean.
  • Advising the University of Gloucestershire on a wide range of issues associated with its £35m multi-phase university campus redevelopment project.
  • Representing the Independent Schools Bursars' Assocation, the organisation which supports and advises the bursars and senior management staff of 1,000-plus independent schools across the UK and overseas.
  • Represented The Pointer School, a leading mixed independent school for children aged up to 11.

Penny Chapman oversees the education and charities team at BDB Pitmans, which provides 'consistently good advice' to its national clients on all areas of education law, combined with its charity law expertise. The team has handled mergers and restructurings, regulatory work and real estate matters over the past 12 months and has seen a strengthening of its client base, with several independent schools joining the roster. The practice takes a cross-departmental, with real estate group head Jonathan Fewster advising schools on property matters. Senior associates Alice Unwin and Harriet Ainsworth are also key members of the team.

Practice head(s):Penny Chapman

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Fewster; Jesper Christensen; Alice Unwin; Harriet Ainsworth

Key Clients

Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS)

Eltham College

Grange Park School

Plymouth College (formally known as Plymouth College and Dunstan's Abbey Schools Charity)

The Mount School (York)

Cripplegate Schools Foundation –Lady Eleanor Holles

Queen’s College London

Connaught House School (prep)

Westminster School

Merchant Taylors School

Work highlights

  • Providing ongoing, comprehensive advice on charity governance, commercial, corporate, employment and property matters to Grange Park School over the past year.
  • Acting for Plymouth College, and its two subsidiary charitable trusts, in relation to a loan facility being obtained by the client and the related security that each of the three charities are being asked to provide.
  • Undertaking a detailed constitutional review for longstanding client Eltham School, as well as advising on the composition of the board and the requirements of the Companies Act 2006.
  • Advising the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS) on a detailed model school governance manual that is now available on the client's website for its member schools to download for free usage and adapt for their particular schools.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's education team is led by Lynn Povey and is known for its advice to private schools on matters such as mergers, restructurings, data protection and sensitive staff issues. The practice also draws on the expertise of the firm's private wealth team to advise education clients on establishing charitable trusts. Mike Scott has specialist expertise in the area of educational institutions and charities, while newly made-up partner and deputy head of charities Sarah Rowley has advised on a variety of projects for educational institutions.

Practice head(s):Lynn Povey

Other key lawyers:Mike Scott; Sarah Rowley; Penelope Byatt

Key Clients

Westonbirt Schools

City & Guilds

Eton College

Michelmores LLP is adept at handling a variety of education matters and is known for its advice to state-funded schools, colleges and local authorities. The team led by Antony Power handles complex and often high-value matters relating to re-brokerage and establishing new institutions. Charlotte Antoniou is particularly experienced in advising on governance structures, while Russell Holland, who splits his time between Bristol and London, is recommended for his employment law expertise.

Practice head(s):Antony Power; Charlotte Antoniou

Other key lawyers:Russell Holland; Carol McCormack; James Baker; Tom Briant-Evans; Sally Rice


'Michelmores offer a personalised and prompt service and all of their lawyers are extremely knowledgeable about their field of expertise. The speed of action is the best facet of this firm.'

'Michelmores is a firm which takes time to listen to client needs, prefers face-to-face meeting and is responsive to requests. The advice is clear and well communicated.'

'The education team at Michelmores always go above and beyond and have a rapid response time. They instill so much confidence and one feels well supported. They really do know their stuff.'

'Antony Power, Russell Holland, Charlotte Antoniou and Tom Briant are the standout colleagues.'

'Michelmores always have the client at the heart of their service.'

'The administrative efficiency of all the team is fantastic.'

Key Clients

Aspirations Academies Trust

Astrum Multi Academy Trust

Bright Tribe

One Day Trust

Wandle Learning Trust

Bellevue Place Education Trust

The Sigma Trust

South Devon College

Exeter Diocese

Link Academy Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised Bourton Meadow Academy Trust on the re-brokerage of two private finance initiative-funded schools into the trust.
  • Advising Astrum Multi-Academy Trust on the opening of a brand new Early Years and Key Stage 1 Special School.
  • Advising One Day Trust on converting into a multi-academy trust to enable it to take on the unique London Screen Academy.
  • Advising Aspirations Academy Trust on a complex school transfer in Poole, Dorset.
  • Advising Discovery Schools Academies Trust on the transfer of a nursery provision previously run by a private provider.

Sharpe Pritchard LLP is known for its breadth of work for public sector clients on infrastructure and project-related education matters. Jointly overseen by Annie Moy, who specialises in the public sector construction market, and contracts lawyer Paul O’Sullivan, the group is skilled in advising on construction, capital projects, commercial property and governance matters. Other core members of the team include Catherine Newman, who works extensively for local government, and senior associate Rachel Murray-Smith, who advises on procurement law.

Practice head(s):Annie Moy; Paul O’Sullivan

Other key lawyers:Tim Farr; David Wall; Gemma Duncan; Catherine Newman; Rachel Murray-Smith

Key Clients

London Borough of Newham

Milton Keynes Council

Education and Skills Funding Agency

London Borough of Southwark

Work highlights

  • Advising a council on several education-related schemes, including the development of new school premises and facilities and academy conversions.
  • Advising the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) on the closure of a multimillion-pound procurement for adult education budget training providers and on the procurement of apprenticeship training providers for employers who do not pay the government’s apprenticeship levy.
  • Advised the London Borough of Southwark on the construction of two new schools in circumstances where the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the freehold proprietor of the land on which the schools are to be built using funding from the ESFA.
  • Advised on the PFI academy conversion of the Cumberland School.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP has experience advising the full spectrum of education clients, including schools, colleges, multi-academy trusts and universities. Andrea Squires leads the team and has a specialty in strategic projects. The wider group includes employment lawyer James Lynas; Anna Shadbolt, who is recommended for corporate structures and commercial transfer agreement matters; and Owen Carew-Jones, who acts for trusts and schools. Theresa Kerr heads up the school support service team.

Practice head(s):Andrea Squires

Other key lawyers:Anna Shadbolt; Owen Carew-Jones; James Lynas; Theresa Kerr

Key Clients

London Borough of Haringey

Newham Community Schools Trust

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's national education team is overseen by Newcastle-based Kevin Robertson and has vast expertise in conversions, transfers, complex mergers and governance matters. Head of charity law Emma Moody is 'excellent' in handling restructuring matters and undertaking advisory work for public sector clients, and Iain Greenshields has significant experience in procurement projects. The group is noted for advising high-profile national clients on major mergers. Other members of the team include charity law specialist Samantha Pritchard and Esther Masisi, who advises public sector clients.

Practice head(s):Iain Greenshields; Kevin Robertson; Emma Moody

Other key lawyers:Samantha Pritchard; Esther Masisi

Key Clients

Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

Department for Education (DfE)


St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust

St Oswald's Catholic Academy Trust

Trent Academies Group

Zaytouna Education Trust

North View Academy

Whitworth Park School

Woodham Academy

Tees Valley Education Multi Academy Trust

St Lawrence Education Trust

Carmel Education Trust, Darlington

Waterton Academy Trust, Wakefield

Newcastle City Council

Castle Trust, Medway

Tauheedal Schools and Academies Trust

Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School

Pocklington School

Illuminare Multi Academy Trust

Vision Academy Learning Trust

Liverpool City Council

The Constellation Trust

Northumberland County Council

Doncaster MBC

St Helen's Council

Nicholas Postgate Academy Trust

St Hilda's Catholic Academy Trust

Our Lady of Light Catholic Academy Trust

Skills for Life Trust, Kent

FocusEducation (Lincolnshire) Limited

Sewell Education York Limited

Romero Catholic Academy Trust

Trinity Multi Academy Trust

Horizons Specialist Academy Trust

Extol Academy Trust

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise the ESFA and Department for Education on the flagship Free Schools programme, which includes university technical colleges and studio schools.
  • Advising 21 Catholic schools across York, North Yorkshire and East Riding on the incorporation of a new multi-academy trust, targeting the simultaneous conversion of all 21 schools.
  • Advising multiple governing bodies on their conversion to academy status.
  • Advised three Catholic multi-academy trusts on the transfer of their 20 academies to the Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust. The merger brought together 25 academies in total, bringing 9,100 pupils into one of the largest multi-academy trusts in the country, which was a significant milestone for the Middlesbrough Diocese.
  • Advised Liverpool City Council on the commercial and property aspects of the conversion of a number of its maintained schools to academy status.  This included drafting and negotiating the agreements for transferring all assets required to operate the school from the council to the incoming trust, as well as the 125-year lease of the school site from the council to the trust.

Blake Morgan LLP has a wide education law offering and is skilled at handling high-value transactional work and litigation for schools and academies. Led by Cardiff-based Matthew Smith, the practice group, which spans across six offices, is known for its academy conversions and special education needs (SEN) expertise. The team includes employment specialist Tim Forer; Sarah Peacock, who provides advice on contentious and non-contentious employment-related matters; and managing partner Mike Wilson, who acts for schools, colleges and other higher education institutions. Penny Rinta-Suksi is also a key name to note for her considerable commercial experience.

Practice head(s):Matthew Smith

Other key lawyers:Sarah Peacock; Tim Forer; Mike Wilson

Key Clients

Magdalen College School

King Edward VI School

St Swithun's School, Winchester

Capital City Academy Trust

University of Chichester Multi-Academy Trust

The Portsmouth Grammar School

St Marylebone Church of England Academy

Portsmouth Catholic Diocesan Trust

Stockley Academy

The Cherwell Academy

Winchester Diocesan Board of Finance

Solent Academies Trust

The Gregg School

Work highlights

  • Advising an academy trust company, having been instructed following a successful proposal in mid-2017.
  • Providing governance, employment and education advice to a charitable organisation which operates independent schools in Hampshire.
  • Acted as legal adviser to professional conduct panels of the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) in relation to disciplinary proceedings against teachers that have been referred to the TRA in furtherance of its statutory functions.
  • Acted as legal adviser to fitness to practise committees, investigation committees and suitability committees of the Education Workforce Council (EWC) in relation to proceedings against registered educational practitioners in Wales referred to the EWC in furtherance of its statutory functions.
  • Provided schools within a diocese with advice on all aspects of employment law.

Doyle Clayton's education team 'combines pragmatism and a commercially focused approach' and is led by the 'excellent' Simon Henthorn. The team handles high-value and often high-profile education matters pertaining to contentious employment issues, dismissal cases, child protection and safeguarding. Senior associate Elizabeth Timmins specialises in both employment and immigration advice for education clients. Anna Blackden is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):Simon Henthorn

Other key lawyers:Elizabeth Timmins; Anna Blackden


'Simon Henthorn is extremely friendly, capable and supportive. He always gives of his time, even at unsociable hours, and responds extremely quickly (often within minutes) to requests for advice. He is entirely unpatronising and very good at seeing things from a different perspective.'

'Simon gives clear and concise advice; communicates effectively and regularly; and fully understands the complexities of the education sector.'

Key Clients

Queenswood School

Eton End School

Stanmore College

Christ The King 6th Form College

Creative Education Trust

Ealing Fields Academy Trust

Kings School Ely

Kensington Wade

Kennington Primary School

Portsmouth Grammar School

Work highlights

  • Providing safeguarding and regulation advice to a large independent school concerning allegations against the interim head.
  • Providing pension advice to an independent school – an issue faced by many independent schools this year.
  • Defending a school against criminal allegations.
  • Providing safeguarding advice to a well-known independent school.
  • Providing post-merger advice to the largest education union in the country.

Mills & Reeve LLP's national education practice is led by sector specialist Gary Attle and handles a substantial range of matters. The core team - which also includes head of academies Stuart Pemble, Christian Bull, Jonathan Greenwood and employment lawyer Nick Abbott - has advised on high-value and cross-border issues such as development projects, complex discrimination cases and establishing overseas institutions.

Practice head(s):Stuart Pemble; Gary Attle

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Greenwood; Christian Bull; Nick Abbott


'Mills and Reeves is a very good firm in this sector and Gary Attle is the key name to note in the team.'

Key Clients

North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium

University of Brighton Academies Trust

Academies Enterprise Trust

Birmingham City University Multi Academies Trust

University of Wolverhampton Multi Academy Trust

The Diocese of Ely Multi Academy Trust

Uppingham School

Norwich School

Work highlights

  • Advising a school on a term loan facility for a leading bank. The loan was to support the school in its acquisition of another independent education provider and to refinance existing debt.
  • Advising a significant schools group on the English law aspects of the opening of a new school in the UAE in collaboration with a leading independent school. The advice focuses on the corporate and commercial aspects of the transaction, including putting in place the wider umbrella framework for potential future expansion.
  • Advised a trust on all aspects (including corporate, commercial, employment and regulatory) relating to the transfer (rebrokerage) of one of its schools.
  • Advising a trust on a series of conversions of maintained schools into the academy group, including assisting with funding structuring, governance and employment law issues, and the commercial transfer itself.
  • Advised a trust on all aspects (including corporate, commercial, employment and regulatory) relating to the transfer (rebrokerage) of an academy.

Bevan Brittan LLP is experienced in handling large construction and development projects for its education sector clients. Led by head of commercial and infrastructure Andrew Tobin, the team undertakes advisory work for schools, academies, colleges and universities. Bristol-based David Hutton has experience in academy conversions and development projects.

Practice head(s):Andrew Tobin

Other key lawyers:David Hutton

Mark Abell leads the international education team at Bird & Bird LLP, which has vast experience of advising British schools and universities on their expansion into foreign markets such as the Middle East. The group provides a comprehensive service to education sector clients, covering corporate, commercial, real estate and employment matters.

Practice head(s):Mark Abell

Other key lawyers:Nick Green; James Fowler; Nikesh Mistry

Key Clients


Sherborne School

Reigate Grammar School

North London Collegiate

Uppingham School

Sedbergh School

Westminster School

The Perse School

Royal Grammar School, Guildford

St John's College School, Cambridge

Work highlights

  • Advising Westminster School on a deal which will lead to six schools being established in China.
  • Advising Sedbergh School on its deal to build and operate a school in Guangdong.
  • Advising Haileybury on its agreement to bid for funding from the EU to open and operate a school in Malta.
  • Advising London-based early years education company Maggie & Rose on a deal which will establish a family lifestyle business under the Maggie & Rose brand in China, Macau and Taiwan.
  • Advising Vinehall School on its agreement to set up and operate specialist overseas immersion courses in the UK for Chinese pupils.

Elliot Pound is a key name to note in BLM's education team, along with Richard Wilkins. The team has experience handling issues relating to school admissions and exclusions and has sector strengths in insurance and the public sector. Other lawyers in the team include Martin Jensen; Manchester-based Jim Lister, who advises schools on governance issues; Geneviève Rich; and Michael Pether.

Practice head(s):Elliot Pound

Other key lawyers:Richard Wilkins; Geneviève Rich; Martin Jensen; Michael Pether

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's education team combines cross-departmental expertise in immigration, employment, commercial property and governance to advise clients on a wide spectrum of matters, including safeguarding and child protection as well as discrimination issues. Jointly led by Gemma Woodhouse, Hilary Aldred and Daff Richardson, the team has experience in assisting high-profile clients with historic abuse issues and defending against claims arising from this. Other key team members include immigration specialists Pat Saini and Hazar El-Chamaa.

Practice head(s):Gemma Woodhouse; Hilary Aldred; Daff Richardson

Other key lawyers:Katie Glendinning; Pat Saini; Hazar El-Chamma

Key Clients

Wellington College

Reed’s School

Crosfields School Trust

Godstowe Preparatory School

Beaconsfield Educational Trust (Davenies School)

Shrewsbury House School

The Licensed Trade Charity

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Elstree Schools Ltd

Wellington College Academy Trust

Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students

Work highlights

  • Representing a multi-site school client in respect of safeguarding issues and closure of boarding.
  • Advising a leading senior boys' school on changes to staff pay scales.
  • Advising a multi-academy trust in respect of inappropriate comments made by a teacher to students, including liaising with external authorities.
  • Advising on the constitution of a leading member association.
  • Advising an education sector client on potential criminal allegations and safeguarding issues.

Withers LLP has a vast international education practice, with work concentrated strongly in the Asian and American markets, and advises clients on the full spectrum of matters, including establishing international schools, mergers and complex restructurings. Overseen by Chris Priestley, the practice group also draws on the firm's non-profit and employment expertise. Alana Petraske, who focuses on UK-US education issues, has moved to the New York office to expand the team there. Alison Paines remains a key contact and is recommended for her experience in advising charities and other non-profit bodies.

Practice head(s):Chris Priestley

Other key lawyers:Alison Paines; Alana Petraske

Key Clients

All Saints' Church, Binfield


Index of tables

  1. Electoral
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Bates Wells is considered a 'go-to' firm for electoral and campaigning laws, and practice co-head Simon Steeden is highlighted for his all-round expertise and ability to guide clients through the legalities of running campaigns and the make up of new political groups. Rosamund McCarthy co-heads the elections, politics and campaigning team, and her work has included advising the designated lead campaign group for a remain vote in the EU referendum. Melanie Carter heads the public and regulatory group, advising on areas such as electoral law rules relating to non-party campaigning and acting for a candidate for the London mayoral elections. Associate Jessica Collings' work takes in electoral law and lobbying regulations, where she also handles contentious work, investigations and judicial reviews. The team also advises on the interface between digital campaigning and the current electoral law system.

Practice head(s):Simon Steeden; Rosamund McCarthy

Other key lawyers:Melanie Carter; Jessica Collings


'The Bates Wells team is widely acknowledged as being the go-to firm for public sector and charity law issues. Their expertise and knowledge is reliable and this is because of their vast experience in this area.'

'Simon Steeden is a real expert on campaigning and electoral law in the UK. Simon has done  a lot of pro bono work too and did not hesitate to lend his expertise to the broader social sector by leading a team to produce a series of campaigning guides to help activists understand how to run campaigns legally.'

Key Clients

Green Party for England and Wales


38 Degrees


Compliance Officer for the Independent

Standards Authority

Thomson Reuters

Unbound Philanthropy

Student Union of Bournemouth University

Work highlights

  • Continuing advice to the Green Party on a range of matters including its planned incorporation, governance and party rules.
  • Retained by SumOfUs to advise as to planned and reactive campaigning against multinational  corporations and proposed political and legal change.
  • Advised the compliance officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority on expenses claimed by an MP and relating to party political and electoral material.
  • Advising the Thomson Reuters Foundation charity on drafting a suite of guidelines on campaigning and activism to be published by the TrustLaw programme.
  • Providing assistance to Unbound Philanthropy in creating accessible guidance relating to campaigning and election law and grants funding political activity.

Edwards Duthie Shamash's deep expertise in election law is part of a broader practice that takes in areas including parliamentary boundary inquiries, parliamentary rules relating to the conduct of MPs, and reputation management. The well-known Gerald Shamash has huge experience of the political and electoral landscapes and is a long-standing adviser to the Labour Party. He also advises Labour councillors in connection with various inquiries. Frances Randle is the Labour Party’s local government solicitor, which includes work for the Labour Party in Scotland.

Practice head(s):Gerald Shamash

Other key lawyers:Frances Randle

Key Clients

The Labour Party

Of late, the team at K&L Gates LLP has been assisting election candidates and political officials in respect of issues with the Electoral Commission, the Information Commissioner's Office and the police. It is also advising many campaigning groups in relation to Brexit. Piers Coleman has vast experience  advising campaigning groups and individuals, including in relation to investigations, and Dylan Moses specialises in electoral fraud and investigations in addition to white-collar crime matters. Associate Rosie Naylor assists in these matters, which include some high-profile cases involving challenges to parliamentary and local mayoral elections.

Practice head(s):Piers Coleman

Other key lawyers:Dylan Moses; Rosie Naylor


'They provide high-quality expertise, and are very user friendly.'

'Piers Coleman has huge experience and expertise in this niche field.'

Key Clients

Liberal Democrats

Councillor Steve Jones

Various candidates for election

Various campaigning groups

Sharpe Pritchard LLP's specialist work includes advising on the complexities of  running elections and referendums and investigations carried out by the Electoral Commission. Senior advisers Alastair Lewis and Emyr Thomas are parliamentary agents and have decades of experience across all aspects of electoral law.

Practice head(s):Alastair Lewis

Other key lawyers:Emyr Thomas


Index of tables

  1. Healthcare
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Bevan Brittan LLP is particularly well known for advising the NHS on a number of innovative income generation commercial activities and international ventures, strategic estates partnerships, and complex corporate, commercial and regulatory matters, among others. Key partners in the sizeable team include Vincent Buscemi and Carly Caton for commercial projects and transactional matters; Sharon Renouf for procurements; and Rosemary Jago for healthcare infrastructure PPPs and  joint venture arrangements. Hannah Taylor is particularly recommended for serious medical treatment cases, deprivation of liberty matters and applications to the Court of Protection.  Recent hire Monica Macheng adds complementary expertise in advising care homes, dental practices, pharmacies, GP surgeries and healthcare professionals.

Practice head(s):Sharon Renouf

Other key lawyers:Rosemary Jago

Key Clients

University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust


Barts Health NHS Trust

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Imperial College Hospital London

Royal Free London NHS FT

Work highlights

  • Advising Community Health Partnerships (CHP) Limited on a new health centre in Dulwich procured by the client through the local LIFT partner, South London Health Partnerships, on behalf of Southwark CCG.
  • Advising Barts Health NHS Trust on the disposal of four surplus sites in Whitechapel to the Department of Health and Social Care in order to start the development of a research campus next to the Royal London Hospital.
  • Assisting University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust with a number of domestic and international commercial ventures, including a partnership with a hospital in the UAE for the provision of clinical services.  
  • Advised South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust in relation to the death of a patient who died after he was restrained by police in the hospital.

Browne Jacobson LLP has expanded its national healthcare practice with the recruitment of Christian Dingwall from Hempsons to the Manchester office. Across its multiple offices, the sizeable team counts an impressive list of NHS trusts and leading private healthcare providers among its clients, and has a 'solid reputation' for corporate and commercial matters, procurement, governance and public law issues, and clinical risk management. Simon Tait heads the national group and is supported Dingwall, Oliver Pritchard and Gerard Hanratty. Senior associate Charlotte Harpin  has notable expertise in CCG constitution.

Practice head(s):Simon Tait

Other key lawyers:Christian Dingwall; Oliver Pritchard; Charlotte Harpin

Key Clients

Salford CCG  - for Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership

NHS Birmingham Cross City CCG; NHS Birmingham South Central CCG; NHS Solihull

4Ways Healthcare

Langham Park Homes Limited

NHS England

Work highlights

  • Advised Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on its £650m merger with Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Advising Salford CCG -for Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership on theme 3 of the overall major service reconfiguration and development of a new health and care system in Greater Manchester.
  • Acted for NHS Birmingham Cross City CCG, NHS Birmingham South Central CCG and NHS Solihull on the largest CCG merger in the country, which created a commissioner holding approximately £2bn of the NHS budget.
  • Representing University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust in the ongoing high-profile inquest and clinical negligence claim into the death of a patient from an undiagnosed sub-arachnoid haemorrhage.

DAC Beachcroft LLP's healthcare practice continues to make its mark in the healthcare space, acting on high-value transactions and developments such as advising Ealing CCG on the largest integrated care contract procured in London and working on the London Digital Programme, a project to facilitate information sharing at scale across the city. Hamza Drabu's practice spans advising public and private healthcare providers on joint ventures with the NHS, new models of care projects, governance and regulatory issues, GP federations, NHS M&A and outsourcing, among others. Public law partner Alistair Robertson is 'simply brilliant' for highly complex judicial review cases and regulatory matters. Regulatory expert Belinda Dix also acts in complex inquests and regularly advises organisations in respect of their relationship with the CQC. Anne Crofts chairs the national practice.

Practice head(s):Anne Crofts

Other key lawyers:Alistair Robertson; Hamza Drabu

Key Clients

Guys & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust

University College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

NHS England


NHS Ealing CCG

Work highlights

  • Advising NHS England on all commercial, procurement and competition law issues relating to the national strategic procurement of PET CT services in England, an integral tool for cancer investigation as well as many other conditions.  
  • Advised NHS Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group on all aspects of its procurement to appoint a single out of hospital services provider.
  • Working with Babylon Healthcare Services on a ground-breaking deal which will enable it, when approved, to deliver digital first services to NHS patients.

Hill Dickinson LLP continued to expand its healthcare capabilities with two lateral hires from Hempsons: Jamie Foster, who has 'breadth of industry experience' advising NHS organisations, private providers, and health and life sciences start-ups on commercial and public law matters, and James Lawford Davies, a 'top specialist' in healthtech and life sciences, specifically in reproductive and genetic technologies and cell and gene therapies. Key areas of expertise include commercial and procurement, commissioning, regulatory, governance, inquests and Court of Protection work. Kiran Bhogal and Emma Galland co-head the London healthcare group. Other recommended partners include Joanna Trewin in Manchester, Robert McGough in Leeds and Sharon Thomas in Liverpool.

Practice head(s):Andrew Craggs

Other key lawyers:Kiran Bhogal; Emma Galland; Robert McGough; Joanna Trewin; Sharon Thomas


'Widely respected in the market for public law, especially representing trusts in judicial review challenges'

'Exceptionally personable team that make you feel as though you are their most important client. They are extremely perceptive to your needs and although they have access to a wide range of expertise, they also have the confidence to advise you when they do not. Their ability to provide succinct, practical and cost-effective solutions to our problems is highly appreciated.'

'Kiran Bhogal and Emma Galland both have a wealth of experience in inquests and other public law matters.'

'Kiran Bhogal is highly responsive to our needs, quick to manage our expectations, and goes beyond and above what is expected to ensure that we are completely satisfied.'

'Emma Galland is dynamic and provides impressive representation and solutions, often at short notice.'

'Robert McGough consistently delivers cost-effective expert assistance and guides you through every step of complexity, inspiring confidence.'

'Jamie Foster is approachable and skillfully translates complex situations into practical solutions.'

Key Clients

Royal Free London Hospitals NHS FT

Kings College Hospital NHS FT

Oxford University Hospitals NHS FT

Royal Marsden Hospital NHS FT

Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Richmond Psychosocial Foundation International, a charity which provides therapeutic care for adults with mental health problems in a residential setting, in relation to the inquest concerning the suicide of a young patient with complex needs whilst residing in a care home.
  • Advising NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Groups in relation to the development of a new model for collaboration between the council and the CCG as commissioners and the main providers of NHS and social care services in Bradford District and Craven.
  • Represented Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust in a number of high-profile cases before the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights in connection with the trust's decision to end treatment for a child with neurodegenerative brain disorder.

Mills & Reeve LLP's healthcare expertise spans acute care, mental health, commissioning and service reform, social care and primary care providers and life sciences. Key recent mandates include advising the Department of Health and Social Care on the design, procurement and implementation of the Future Operating Model project - a system governing over £5bn annual NHS spend - and supporting a US hospital group on the planned opening of a new London site. Jill Mason leads the group and is supported by public law specialist Dawn Brathwaite, while Rhian Vandrill focuses on NHS reforms and commercial relationships between NHS and the private sector. Natalie Wade and Peter Wainman are also of note for M&A transactions and technology contracts.

Practice head(s):Jill Mason


'Mills & Reeve is a full capacity firm giving superb legal advice in all healthcare departments.'

Key Clients

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust



Alliance Medical

Healthshare Limited

Manchester University Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising the Department of Health and the NHS Business Services Authority on the IT procurements forming part of its Future Operating Model project.
  • Advising a US healthcare insurer on entry into the UK market and on its bid to acquire NHS contracts, such as NHS England’s National Diabetes Prevention Programme.
  • Advised on Bupa Dental’s purchase of Avsan, a group of 16 dental practices across England and Scotland.

Addleshaw Goddard acts for an impressive list of NHS trusts and private healthcare providers, and has 'tremendous expertise and real depth of knowledge' in healthcare infrastructure. Matthew Newing has a 'strong reputation' acting for sponsors, investors, developers and lenders on major PFI/PPP projects, as does David Hartley. Also of note are Manchester-based partners Michael O’Connor, who also leads the national practice, and Andrew Pettinger for corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):Michael O’Connor

Other key lawyers:Matthew Newing; David Hartley; Andrew Pettinger


'The team at Addleshaw Goddard are market leaders in my view, offering excellent legal advice which is also practical and appreciates the commercial context.'

Key Clients

Bupa Care Homes Mercia Healthcare

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough (NHS) Foundation Trust


Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen NHS University Hospital Trust

Work highlights

  • Acting for STEP as development partner for a pathfinder project for the Department of Health leading to the development of two new hospitals at sites in Tooting and Kingston.
  • Advised Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (Nord), as the senior funder, in relation to the £40m Primary and Community Care Centre Project in County Antrim.
  • Advising Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Mid-Essex NHS Trust and Basildon and Thurrock Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in conjunction with KMPG, on the proposed complex three-way merger of the trusts to reconfigure services across Essex.

Bindmans LLP is the 'pre-eminent practice' for highly complex challenges to medical treatment, inquests, judicial reviews and on matters concerning Articles 2 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Saimo Chahal QC (Hon), an 'extremely tenacious and knowledgeable' healthcare advocate, is best known for her 'unmatched reputation' in challenging healthcare provisions on behalf of claimants and family members of the deceased and judicial review work in the highest courts.  Jamie Potter, Charlotte Haworth Hird and Basmah Sahib  are the other key advisers.

Practice head(s):Saimo Chahal QC (Hon)

Other key lawyers:Charlotte Haworth Hird


'Bindmans is a very impressive firm which takes a sensible view of prospects and fully supports clients through challenging litigation.'

'Bindmans are a fantastic practice, with an excellent caseload, and are exceptional in accessing funding for complex cases and really support the barristers with whom they work. '

'Basmah Sahib is extremely well informed and completely in control of her cases, her instructions could not be improved and make a real difference to the preparation of the case. A really impressive solicitor.'

Work highlights

  • Acting for family members in an inquest into the death of a convict who died imprisoned at HMP Belmarsh.
  • Brought a highly publicised medical treatment challenge on behalf of a young patient who became the first person to receive receive medicinal cannabis by means of a licence issued by the Home Office.
  • Represented a young patient who has Down's syndrome in a judicial review claim to challenge the police's failure to properly comply with equality duties and to pursue an effective prosecution following the patient's allegations of sexual assault whilst in respite care.

Bird & Bird LLP is particularly known for its strong offering in international healthcare projects; e-health and data protection; innovative public/private sector partnerships; and M&A and investment in the healthcare sector. Simon Shooter advises healthcare providers and their suppliers on operations in emerging markets in the Middle East. David Ayers is experienced with running major commercial projects, acting for both public and private sector organisations, such as advising Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust on its contract with the UK Ministry of Defence for the provision of healthcare to British forces in Germany. Stuart Cairns focuses on public procurement work. Associate Ben Woodfield is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Simon Shooter

Work highlights

  • Advised Albion Capital's portfolio company, Proveca, on a £4m fund raising to finance the commercial launch of Sialanar, a treatment for chronic pathological drooling in children, and the development and commercialisation of its paediatric product portfolio.
  • Advised Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust, supporting a consultant team with the establishment of a department in an existing Women's and Children's Hospital in Abu Dhabi.

Blake Morgan LLP has notable expertise advising a mix of public sector clients, private healthcare providers and medical technology companies on financing models and specialised commissioning. Key examples in this area include advising NHS England on PPRS arrangements, commercial access agreements and managed access agreements for new and innovative drugs, as well as assisting Irish healthcare provider Charter Medical with developing an arrangement in which Irish patients are referred to the UK for routine procedures. Bruce Potter spearheads the practice and specialises in public and drug procurement, with a niche specialisation in innovative high-cost treatments. Richard Jones specialises in mental health law and Alison Patten-Hall focuses on advising independent providers on all aspects of commercial trading. Stephen Tainsh departed to Capsticks LLP in July 2018.

Practice head(s):Bruce Potter

Key Clients

InHealth Limited

University College London NHS Foundation Trust

Medical Imaging Partnerships Limited

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended NHS England in a complex and highly publicised  procurement claim brought by AbbVie Limited relating to Hepatitis C.
  • Assisting Oxford Academic Health Science Network with the development and commercialisation of an online platform, eMAPs, a market access online information tool for partners.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's healthcare team is made up of 'highly accomplished lawyers with strong expertise' across a broad range of healthcare-related matters, notably in corporate and real estate transactional and financing work, and private equity investments in and buyouts of healthcare service providers, with key expertise in care homes, primary care and pharmacy law. Noel Wardle is the key figure for healthcare and pharmacy regulatory advice, while Tim Jenkins supports public sector and family-owned dental, veterinary and pharmacy businesses in corporate and commercial transactions. Michael Lingens is likewise recommended for financial transactions in the healthcare and care home space. David Reissner retired in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Noel Wardle


'Charles Russell Speechlys provides a comprehensive service within the pharmacy sector, supported by regulatory, employment and property teams, offering a one-stop shop for legal advice.'

'The team has a unique position as the specialist regulatory firm advising pharmacists. This gives it an insight into policy issues and developments that allows it to stay ahead of the game.'

'Tim Jenkins has a through understanding of the pharmacy sector, advising a wide range of clients from independent contractors to large multiple operators.'

'Noel Wardle is one of the leading advisers in relation to pharmacy regulation'.

Key Clients

CareTech Holdings plc

Country Court Care

Juno Health Ltd

Dentex Healthcare Group Ltd

Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain

Goddard Veterinary Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of TLC Care Homes Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of TLC to Civitas SPV131 Limited, a subsidiary of Civitas Social Housing PLC.
  • Advised AOAM Pharma Limited on its acquisition of Prince Pharmacy Limited, which operates four pharmacy branches within the Knightsbridge and Kensington area.
  • Acted on behalf of the National Pharmacy Association in its intervention in the Supreme Court hearing in patent proceedings between Warner Lambert (Pfizer) and Generics (UK) and Actavis Group concerning Pfizer’s patent rights in relation to its drug Lyrica.
  • Advised Country Court Care, a nursing care home operator, on a re-financing with alternative investment manager Cheyne Capital, including an additional £51m development facility to fund seven new-build assets nationwide.

Clyde & Co LLP has a strong track record in clinical negligence litigation, primarily representing NHS trusts and healthcare professionals in complex inquests and regulatory proceedings. The firm also advises on real estate, joint ventures and commercial transactions. National practice head Claire Petts is 'a well-known figure' for claims against medical professionals, and representation of clinicians before their regulatory bodies and in complex inquests. Gemma Brannigan is likewise 'a safe pair of hands with remarkable experience' in serious medical negligence claims and inquests. Senior associate Jacques Howell is also very active in inquests and inquiries.

Practice head(s):Claire Petts

Other key lawyers:Claire Petts; Jacques Howell


'Clyde and Co are a friendly, approachable team with a wealth of knowledge about the NHS and healthcare law.'

'The inquest team are responsive, knowledgeable and supportive, and open to challenge.'

'Gemma Brannigan is a brilliant lawyer - she's extremely knowledgeable when it comes to healthcare work and particularly inquests, where she always has the answer at her fingertips.'

'Jacques Howell is a delight to work with - very organised, client orientated and has a wealth of inquest advocacy experience.'

Key Clients

Apollo-Citrus LP

Grainger Plc

NHS Shared Business Services

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising Apollo Citrus LP on the disposal of 14 healthcare homes by way of a corporate sale to Loanstar for £53m.
  • Acting for Grainger Plc on its joint venture with Lewisham Council, including the creation of an equal partnership company, Lewisham Grainger Holdings LLP.

CMS' multi-disciplinary practice is spread across multiple offices and offers 'strong expertise' in high-value M&A transactional advice, international inward investment and NHS capital procurement, PFIs and PPP and other healthcare outsourcings. Other key areas of expertise include healthtech and regulatory matters, mental health, social care and contentious work. Department head Warren Taylor regularly acts for healthcare investors on high-value acquisitions and corporate finance matters. Candice Blackwood specialises in  investment and development transactions, while Paul Smith advises sponsors and lenders on PFI/PPP transactions.

Practice head(s):Warren Taylor


'CMS has great attention to detail, provides sound advice, and has a personable team who understand the clients' needs and, more importantly, delivering on them'

'CMS are highly recommended for providing top-level consistency, and maintaining a very deep understanding of the sectors in which they operate.'

'Warren Taylor is a standout partner who has a solid understanding of the healthcare space'

Key Clients

Barchester Healthcare

BMI Healthcare


General Optical Council

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised Cindat Capital Management on the £350m acquisition of a 51% stake in HCP UK Investments Jersey Limited and HCP UK Investments Holdings Limited.
  • Acted for the shareholders of the Danshell Healthcare Group on the sale of the learning disabilities and mental health hospital group to Cygnet Health Care Group.
  • Advising the General Optical Council in ongoing investigations relating to negligence by providers of optical services.
  • Advising NHS National Services Scotland on the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN).  

With a particularly strong healthcare regulatory practice, Fieldfisher continues to be highly sought after by start-ups, private sector healthcare providers and professional regulators such as the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care. The firm combines multi-disciplinary expertise to assist with commercial transactions, particularly in the care home sector, as well as advising on serious incidents and inquests. Alison Dennis advises on regulatory issues arising in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries. Public and regulatory law specialist Sarah Ellson heads the practice from the Manchester office.

Practice head(s):Sarah Ellson

Other key lawyers:Alison Dennis

Key Clients

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Roche Products Limited

Nursing & Midwifery Council

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Millbrook Healthcare Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Roche in a judicial review relating to the use of an unlicensed product for blindness.
  • Assisting the Nursing & Midwifery Council on a range of matters, including on the introduction of the new profession of nursing associates, a review of its overseas registration process, revalidation, litigation, support during a special review and an audit of its fitness to practise investigations.

Gowling WLG continues to be active in a wide range of significant healthcare developments and transactions, such as advising Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust on its ground-breaking public-private partnership to become an international orthopaedic centre of excellence. Other areas include GP super-partnerships, care home transactions, regulatory matters and digital health. The firm has added complementary expertise in complex public sector transactions, procurement and service reconfigurations with the hire of Alison Richards from Capsticks LLP. Key figures include department head Robert Breedon, who is noted for his work in commercial healthcare projects, joint ventures and outsourcing contracts. Hugh Maule and Andrew Litchfield are also recommended for corporate and private equity and regulatory matters, respectively.

Practice head(s):Robert Breedon

Key Clients

Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Mansfield and Ashfield CCG and NHS Newark and Sherwood CCG

Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Synlab Group (includes Labco UK, Integrated Pathology Partnerships and Synlab)

Circle Health

Work highlights

  • Advising Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust on a significant project involving the design and build of a new multimillion-pound theatre facility, to be in place by the end of 2020, and the delivery of a 15-year bespoke managed service at GST's existing orthopaedic theatres, a new modular theatre and the Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence.
  • Advised Lakeside Healthcare on its series of mergers to create one of the largest GP partnerships in England at over 90 partners.
  • Advised Central Surrey Health Limited in relation to a challenge against NHS Surrey Downs CCG arising from a procurement for adult community services in Surrey.
  • Assisted Montreux Healthcare Fund on the bolt-on acquisition of John-Edwards Care Homes by the Active Assistance Group.

Hempsons fields 'one of the best specialist teams with impressive knowledge in the field of healthcare'. The practice advises on the full spectrum of issues affecting the healthcare sectors, such as corporate and commercial work, social care, regulatory issues, contentious matters and clinical negligence.  John Holmes largely focuses on mental health, inquests and related clinical claims, while regulatory partner Nadya Wolferstan is 'excellent, bright and remains calm under pressure'. Ian Hempseed advises on corporate and governance issues and also acts for prominent health charities and social enterprises. Tania Francis and Miriam Farley are also of note. Christian Dingwall left for Browne Jacobson LLP, and Jamie Foster and James Lawford Davis for Hill Dickinson LLP. Justin Cumberlege joined in April 2019 from Cripps Pemberton Greenish.

Practice head(s):Graham Lea

Other key lawyers:John Holmes; Nadya Wolferstan


'The firm traditionally has a very strong profile in healthcare.'

'Ian Hempseed is exceptionally knowledgeable in his field and combines this with accessible advice'

'Excellent team with efficient, knowledgeable and very responsive lawyers'.

'Hempsons have extensive experience of representing hospital trusts, NHS England, and practitioners in healthcare cases. They are rightly recognised nationwide for their expertise in this area and provide expert advice with excellent continuity of cost-effective representation to hospitals , insurers and individual doctors alike.'

'Nadya Wolferstan Is excellent - easy to work with, bright and calm under pressure.'

Key Clients

Medical Defence Union

NHS Resolution

NHS England

Work highlights

  • Advised East London NHS Foundation Trust in an inquest involving a deceased woman who resided at a private provider commissioned by the NHS and was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, complex personality disorder and other serious issues, who was refused assessment under the Mental Health Act and died several weeks later after being hit by a lorry whilst intoxicated.
  • Advised the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on various governance matters.
  • Advised Jersey Primary Care Body on its lobbying tactics for the introduction of a statutory discount rate.

Pinsent Masons LLP's national healthcare practice is best known for its strong expertise in corporate healthcare, notably in international commercial activities and joint ventures involving partnerships between private sector clients and international health providers, and dental M&A and refinancing. The practice also regularly advises private equity houses, banks, corporates and management teams in respect of financing, corporate governance and regulatory matters. Joanne Ellis and Kate Orviss lead the healthcare and global healthcare projects teams, respectively.

Practice head(s):Joanne Ellis; Kate Orviss

Other key lawyers:Joanne Ellis; Kate Orviss


'Kate Orviss at Pinsent Masons is very impressive, not just for the advice she provides but for her knowledge of the industry and her passion for driving forward UK healthcare.'

Key Clients

Indo UK Healthcare Private Limited

Galliford Try Investments

Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust

August Equity

Care Management Group

Work highlights

  • Continuing to support Indo UK Healthcare Private and UK Global Healthcare on the implementation of the Indo UK Institute of Health Programme, an initiative supported by the British and Indian governments aiming to build 11 hospitals and polyclinics across India with the intention of bringing NHS standard healthcare to India.
  • Advising International Planned Parenthood  Federation on the DFID WISH Project, implementing the Department for International Development’s Women’s Integrated Sexual Health Programme across 23 countries in Africa and South Asia.
  • Advising August Equity on the launch of its new medically focused and consultant-led dermatology group.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP continues to be at the forefront of the health and housing arena, regularly working alongside private healthcare and social care providers and NHS trusts to develop residential units. The firm is also active in in private company M&A, joint ventures and investments in the health and social care sectors. Tim Nye and Kyle Holling co-head the practice, focusing on real estate and corporate matters, respectively. Hilary Blackwell is a 'well-known figure' in the public healthcare property sector. Alison Chivers is of note for healthcare transactions.

Practice head(s):Tim Nye; Kyle Holling

Other key lawyers:Hilary Blackwell


'Trowers & Hamlins are unique among law firms as having focused early on the growing demand in the housing-with-care space. The firm has been leading the way in assisting the sector, and developing new legal insights into the issues at hand.'

'Trowers & Hamlins provide standout sector insight and reliable resources whilst offering exceptional value for money.'

'Kyle Holling has outstanding knowledge of both the sector and property transactions. He and his team are responsive and effective in delivering timely advice.'

'Hilary Blackwell is the pre-eminent lawyer for major healthcare developments and infrastructure'

Key Clients

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust

Rangeford Retirement Living

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Cambian Group

C&C Alpha Healthcare Group

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf on the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and the London Borough of Brent on the Northwick Park redevelopment project, in the development of circa 3, 000 new housing units on land owned by a range of public sector stakeholders.
  • Ongoing advice in relation to St Pancras Hospital Development, a PPP-led re-development of the St Pancras Hospital site to create a mental health centre, including the Institute of Mental Health to be run by University College London.
  • Advising the ZCap and Castle Gate Projects on the development and funding of GP scheme in Salford.
  • Supporting West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust in connection with the planned redevelopment of three hospital sites in conjunction with BDO.

Burges Salmon LLP's full-service healthcare practice largely assists private healthcare clients with major corporate and procurement projects with the NHS and public sector bodies, commercial contracts, high-value acquisitions and financing transactions. The practice also has a significant expertise in NHS public procurement regulatory and contentious matters, where the team regularly advises independent providers and pharmaceutical businesses on contracting with the NHS. Patrick Parkin is the lead adviser in relation to contract and procurement law matters. Commercial lawyer Helen Scott-Lawler is also of note.

Practice head(s):Patrick Parkin

Other key lawyers:Helen Scott-Lawler


'Burges Salmon's healthcare practice has strong technical skills, good industry knowledge, and is well organised and resourced'

Key Clients

Optegra Eye Healthcare

Virgin Care

University of Oxford

NHS South, Central and West CSU

STERIS/Synergy Health

Work highlights

  • Advising Oxford University on the development of the UK’s first Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre.
  • Continuing to advise Virgin Care Private, a new venture by Virgin Care to provide medical and wellbeing services to self-pay clients.
  • Advised STERIS, a US-based company focused on providing infection prevention and other specialist outsourced services, on a range of matters, including negotiating a long-term agreement with an NHS trust in Kent for the provision of instrument sterilisation services; an agreement for similar services with the renowned NHS Moorfields Eye Hospital; and supply terms with an NHS trust in Bradford.
  • Advised Birmingham Children’s Trust on the council’s major children’s services transition project. The project involved externalising the council’s embedded children’s services and outsourcing to the newly formed Birmingham Children’s Trust, a corporate vehicle wholly owned by the council.

Capsticks LLP's cross-disciplinary practice is particularly active in inquests, representing NHS bodies in judicial review cases and advising on matters of public law. The team also has strong expertise in non-contentious and contentious healthcare employment. The national practice is led by Andrew Rowland, who is supported by Peter Edwards for public law and governance matters; Francis Lyons advises NHS bodies and local authorities on contentious commissioning and treatment decisions. Corporate and commercial partner Stephen Tainsh joined from Blake Morgan LLP in July 2018 as head of the medical technology group.

Practice head(s):Andrew Rowland

Other key lawyers:Stephen Tainsh


'A very good knowledge of the health sector and the legal aspects affecting it.'

'Peter Edwards has provided sound advice in relation to public law matters'

Key Clients

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Barts Health NHS Trust

Central London Community Healthcare

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust as the commissioner of a £130m managed pathology equipment procurement, which was challenged by the second-placed bidder on the basis of scoring errors and breaches of the procurement rules.
  • Advising NHS West London CCG and the NHS CWHHE collaborative (Central London, West London, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow and Ealing CCGs) in relation to their responses in the aftermath of the Grenfell Fire.
  • Representing Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust as the defendant in a judicial review claim relating to the restructuring of clinical services brought by two nominal claimants.

Irwin Mitchell is 'a well respected practice' known for acting on behalf of claimants against NHS trusts, CCGs and other health and social care providers, as well as for developing the jurisprudence in 'right to life' matters, challenging the law on assisted dying and taking on complex national human rights cases relating to healthcare. Public law expert Yogi Amin has broad-ranging expertise in the fields of medical ethics, access to NHS healthcare, medical care and social care, and mental capacity, among others.  Senior associates Mathieu Culverhouse and Anne-Marie Irwin frequently support Amin in judicial review cases.

Practice head(s):Yogi Amin

Other key lawyers:Yogi Amin; Mathieu Culverhouse

Key Clients

North Staffordshire Pensioners' Convention and individual patients

Hightown Parish Council

Work highlights

  • Continuing to represent Mr Conway, who has been supported by Dignity in Dying, in the widely publicised “right to die” judicial review against the Secretary of State for Justice, arguing that section 2 of the Suicide Act is incompatible with his right to a private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Acted for two hospital users in a judicial review of the decision to reconfigure hospital services across two hospitals in the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust leading to the loss of acute services and A&E provision at one of the hospitals.
  • Represented claimants in a judicial review of the decision to reconfigure hospital services at South Tyneside Hospital.

Kennedys boasts an impressive client roster consisting of large NHS and mental health trusts and private healthcare providers. The firm is best known for its strong offering in the mental health field, advising on complex matters raised by the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act, inquests and Court of Protection matters. Department head and mental health specialist Robert Tobin regularly acts on behalf of NHS trusts in high-profile inquests, and is assisted by associate Daniel Freeman, who advises on emergency declarations, inquests, and the training of doctors and psychiatrists on all aspects of mental health.

Practice head(s):Robert Tobin

Other key lawyers:Daniel Freeman


'Outstanding team. Exceptional in terms of responsiveness, expertise and efficiency.'

'Kennedys has vast wealth of talent and experience which allows it a key role in the healthcare litigation sector.'

'Daniel Freeman is a fabulous instructing solicitor. Efficient and incisive with great instinct in this field as to what the underlying healthcare provider requires from its legal team, whether that be the NHS or a private healthcare provider.'

Key Clients

NHS Resolution

Health and Social Care Advisory Service (HASCAS)

Barts Health NHS Trust

North East London NHS Foundation Trust

Spire Healthcare

Work highlights

  • Advised Health and Social Care Advisory Service, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and the Welsh government on the independent inquiry into alleged institutional abuse at Tawel Fan Ward, Wales.
  • Represented an NHS trust before the Court of Protection in a case to decide the treatment of a non-capacitous patient in his best interests.
  • Represented the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust in a Court of Protection matter that could develop the law concerning the right to consult relatives under the Mental Capacity Act.
  • Provided emergency advice to Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in a complex case concerning the end of life care of a young pregnant woman, who had suffered a stroke and, over a weekend, became brain stem dead. The issue related to the status and future of the unborn (living) child who remained in utero.

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP's healthcare practice predominately advises private healthcare providers and leading medical manufacturers and suppliers on M&A, joint ventures, private equity deals, financing mandates, corporate and regulatory matters, and entry into international healthcare markets. Hamid Yunis chairs the London office and has been instrumental in growing the healthcare practice; he is particularly well known for his work in public-private partnerships and major global healthcare transactions. Sharon Lamb has a wealth of expertise in regulatory matters, hospital developments, and contractual and joint venture arrangements. Associate David Gibson is also recommended for commercial healthcare.

Practice head(s):Hamid Yunis


'Sharon Lamb is the go-to person on healthcare in the UK.'

'McDermott has a good team of lawyers with excellent wide-ranging healthcare knowledge'

'Hamid Yunis is extremely experienced in international health deals. '

'Sharon Lamb is one of the most senior and experienced health care partners, with NHS, government and private sector experience'.

Key Clients

Cygnet (UHS)

 Varian Medical Systems

Alliance Medical

Babylon Healthcare

Varex Imaging


Work highlights

  • Providing ongoing advice to Varex, a leading global supplier of X-ray tubes and image processing, in relation to the set-up of a European and Asian joint venture and representative arrangements.
  • Advising Babylon Healthcare on a joint venture arrangement in connection with the delivery of digital healthcare equipment and services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in partnership with a Saudi quasi-public body.
  • Advised BlueGem Capital Partners LLP in connection with the bolt-on acquisition of The Cosmetic Skin Clinic for BlueGem’s portfolio group, The Private Clinic.

As 'one of the most recognisable names in the healthcare market' RadcliffesLeBrasseur specialises in advising on CQC regulation and enforcement issues, mental health, and care homes, as well as advising healthcare professionals. Practice head Andrew Parsons acts for a large number of private sector healthcare providers and regularly advises on regulatory matters involving CQC and the police.

Practice head(s):Andrew Parsons


'The healthcare department provide high-quality, knowledgeable advice'

'Andrew Parsons is a standout leader in this field - he knows more about the healthcare sector than anyone, and is a problem solver with a wonderful manner with clients that instills confidence'

Weightmans LLP provides 'crucial support' to public bodies spread across local government, healthcare and the emergency services, and has been active oin a high number of complex and highly publicised judicial review cases and public inquiries. As an example, the practice is currently acting on behalf of NHS Blood and Transplant in public inquiry to examine why thousands of patients were given infected blood and infected blood products in the 1970s and 1980s. Richard Jolly, Emlyn Williams and Rachel Kneale jointly lead the national group.

Practice head(s):Richard Jolly; Emlyn Williams; Rachel Kneale

Key Clients

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

NHS Blood & Transplant

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of the respondent, NHS Blood and Transplant, in judicial review proceedings brought by the claimant as to the lawfulness of the  Directions 2005, which provide for the prioritisation of organs for transplantation. Successfully defended the claimants' argument that the Directions are ultra vires as there is no enabling power in the primary legislation. The matter is to come before the Court of Appeal.
  • Acted for the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust in an inquest into the death of an young man who died from subacute bacterial endocarditis, which was caused by a dental extraction six months prior to his death, the condition remaining undiagnosed and untreated in life.
  • Successfully defended South Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust in a case brought by a mental health patient alleging that he was falsely imprisoned and deprived of his liberty when he was detained under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Osborne Clarke LLP focuses on healthcare PPP/PFI and social care accommodation development projects where it is regularly instructed to advise private healthcare providers and third-sector clients on NHS tenders and contracts, procurement and outsourcing. Janita Good heads the healthcare and life sciences group from London and is assisted by regulatory expert Catherine Wolfenden and Simon Hancock, an outsourcing procurements specialist, both based in Bristol.

Practice head(s):Janita Good


'Osborne Clarke is a first-rate team - all of them fully understand the nuances of the healthcare market. Response rates to queries are fast and advice is always carefully considered.'

'Catherine Wolfenden is a recognised industry expert'

Key Clients

GAMA Healthcare Limited

Universal Health Services Inc

Caledonia Investments

Imtech Low Carbon Solutions Limited


Work highlights

  • Assisting GAMA Healthcare on numerous NHS tenders, including successfully challenging award decisions, as well as acting on tenders in certain EU markets.
  • Advised EE Limited on the £1.2bn Home Office Emergency Services Network project to provide a next generation communication system for the ambulance and other emergency services.
  • Advised Imtech Low Carbon Solutions on three energy services agreements with Sheffield Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.
  • Continued to support Grifols in responding to major NHS procurements for blood testing technology.

Shoosmiths LLP largely acts for private companies; private equity funds operating in the healthcare sector, such as care home providers; private cosmetic surgeries; pharmacy groups; and medical device manufacturers. The full-service practice advises on corporate matters and M&A transactions, as well as on the acquisition, development and disposal of significant healthcare real estate assets. Birmingham-based Paul Batchelor is an expert in M&A transactions and private equity investments, while Hayley Saunders represents clients in inquests.

Practice head(s):Paul Batchelor


'Paul Batchelor and his team have a very good grasp of the healthcare sector'

Key Clients


Cinnamon Group

Carewatch Care Services Limited

miRNA BioTech Limited

Boots Pharmacies

Work highlights

  • Advising Carebase on a series of acquisitions of sites for care homes in the south east of England.
  • Advising miRNA Biotech on M&A, fundraising and IP matters in connection with the development of a revolutionary diagnostic test for concussion.
  • Advised Cinnamon Group on the acquisition for development of several sites for luxury care home and retirement schemes.

Simmons & Simmons predominantly focuses on advising private healthcare providers and investors on mid-market private M&A, joint ventures and private equity transactions. The team, led by Jocelyn Ormond, also has a strong offering in digital health, particularly in relation to complex IT infrastructure arrangements, market access, product liability, cross-departmental collaborations and investments. Charles Mayo specialises in public/private partnerships.

Practice head(s):Jocelyn Ormond


'Simmons & Simmons have a fantastic reputation for providing accurate, knowledgeable and thorough advice whilst remaining professional and personable. '

'Charles Mayo is an outstanding lawyer who is very methodical, offers practical advice and avoids legal jargon.'

'Charles Mayo and Jocelyn Ormond have built up a terrific practice and are very well connected at senior levels in corporates and in government departments.'

Key Clients

The Department of Health and Social Care

Spire Healthcare

Viapath Group

Weight Partners Capital

Institute of Cancer Research

Work highlights

  • Assisted pathology services provider Viapath on the steps required to comply with the GDPR.
  • Advising the Institute of Cancer Research on its IP partnerships, including its licensing and commercialisation arrangements with pharmaceutical companies.

Stephenson Harwood has a strong offering in healthcare M&A. Led by corporate partner Karima Hudson and supported by corporate finance specialist Andrew Edge, the team has seen a steady increase in healthcare acquisitions and instructions acting for funds and private equity investors.

Practice head(s):Karima Hudson


Formation Capital LLC

HC-One Limited

Salutem Healthcare Limited

Glenside Care Group

Circle Health Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Nexus Tradeco Limited, in its role as property manager of Primary Health Properties, on the merger of PHP and Medicx – creating Britain’s largest healthcare real estate investment trust.
  • Advised UAE-based private healthcare provider NMC Health Plc on its acquisition of Aspen Healthcare, a UK-based healthcare company.
  • Advised Salutem on its acquisition of care home and specialist school business and assets from SCOPE, to three education facilities, 38 care homes and ten day services located across England and Wales.
  • Advised Piramal Enterprises Limited on the sale of Piramal Imaging SA to UK-based medical imaging services provider Alliance Medical Group, part of the Life Healthcare Group
  • Advised Semperian PPP Investment Partners Group Limited (Semperian) on its acquisition of a 50% stake in the Fife Hospital private finance initiative project.

Travers Smith LLP's healthcare clients include investors and start-up companies in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors. The firm specialises in healthcare M&A and also offers complementary expertise in regulatory matters, employment, tax and contentious work. Doug Bryden, Simon Rutman and Edmund Reed are the key partners for regulatory, real estate and private equity, respectively.

Practice head(s):Doug Bryden

Key Clients

Greatbatch Medical (part of Integer Holdings Corporation)

Spire Healthcare

Impact Healthcare REIT

Peel Hunt LLP

Bridgepoint Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of specialist neuro-disability care provider The Badby Group to Elysium Healthcare, the specialist mental healthcare provider backed by BC Partners.
  • Advising VLS, a leading international life sciences venture capital firm, as fund manager of the Dementia Discovery Fund.
  • Advised Hartwood Care, investee companies of Cinnamon Care Capital, on an £18m term facility made available by National Westminster Bank plc to refinance its existing facilities.
  • Advised Hikma Pharmaceuticals on major manufacturing agreements with producers in Austria, France, China and Taiwan.

VWV's healthcare practice focuses on acting for healthcare professionals and primary care services, with GP surgeries being a key specialty of the firm. Practice head Ben Willis specialises in healthcare development work and funding, while Oliver Pool is noted for his work for GP partnerships and mergers, and has pioneered the decentralised superpartnership model. Mark Jarvis is another key member of the team in London.

Practice head(s):Ben Wills

Other key lawyers:Mark Jarvis


'Mark Jarvis is very happy to spend time understanding the details of the problems clients are facing.'

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a GP practice in relation to the incorporation of its primary care business.
  • Advised newly formed limited company College of Dentistry on the purchase of the business of BPP's dental institute.
  • Instructed by a GP practice in relation to challenging action taken against it by the Care Quality Commission.
  • Instructed by several GP practices to advise them on models for collaborative working.
  • Advised 22-practice GP federation Swale Community Healthcare on its set-up, as well as changes to the structure of the organisation.

Infrastructure (parliamentary)

Index of tables

  1. Infrastructure (parliamentary)
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

As one of the 'very top planning law practices in the country', BDB Pitmans fields a 'talented group of partners and associates' who have 'huge depth of expertise in this area'. Its four parliamentary agents - Angus Walker, Nick Evans, Nick Brown and David Mundy - are active in the promotion and opposition of major infrastructure projects in the transport, water, airports and energy areas; legislative drafting; and as advocates in inquiries and before parliamentary committees. Sarah Clark is likewise experienced in infrastructure planning, public inquiry work and securing compulsory purchase powers.

Practice head(s):Mark Challis, Stuart Thomson

Other key lawyers:David Mundy; Angus Walker; Nick Evans; Nick Brown; Sarah Clark


'Nick Brown is a sage counsellor with immense experience and a joy to work with, and David Mundy approaches his cases with infinite care and sound judgement'.

'Nick Brown is experienced, canny and able to bring momentum to even the most challenging of projects. A born diplomat with reliable delivery and first-class service.'

'Sarah Clark is a superbly safe pair of hands, with a focus and insight that clients appreciate. Impressive, effective, innovative and worth every penny. '

'BDP Pitmans brings an attention to detail, a wish to support and deliver, and a passion for the subject which helps win over even the hard-nosed members of our client team.'

Key Clients

National Audit Office

HS2 objections, including the Greater Manchester Authorities and Leeds City Council

Transport for London

Riveroak Investments

London Resort Company Holdings

Work highlights

  • Providing ongoing advice to the National Audit Office in relation to public law and parliamentary matters, including the Home Office’s handling of the Windrush affair and the financial aspects of the EU Withdrawal Agreement.
  • Providing ongoing advice to a wide range of parties affected by Phases 2a and 2b of the HS2 project, which included representation on behalf of clients before the Select Committee proceedings for the High Speed Rail Bill, negotiating assurances and undertakings from the promoters, and securing changes to the legislation.
  • Advising Transport for London on all aspects of the authorisation of the Crossrail 2 scheme, including matters regarding environmental assessment and public consultation.

Pinsent Masons LLP is actively involved in the promotion and opposition of a wide range of nationally significant projects in the railway, urban transit, ports and harbours, aviation and waterways sectors. Parliamentary agents Robbie Owen and Richard Bull are experienced in matters involving the planning and consenting process through development consent orders, Transport and Works Act (TWA) orders, and hybrid bills. Francis Tyrrell advises the public and private sectors on the powers and correct procedure of public authorities, judicial review and consultations.

Practice head(s):Robbie Owen

Other key lawyers:Francis Tyrell; Richard Bull


'The Pinsent Masons parliamentary team has a unique level of technical skill. Richard Bull is a very experienced parliamentary draftsman. He has political experience and connections which other lawyers and firms simply do not, and his understanding of parliamentary procedure and operations is formidable. He is backed by a very able team of colleagues, notably Robbie Owen, who is very committed to his clients.'

'Pinsent Masons is one of four firms that are pre-eminent in this field. Pinsent Masons stands out by reason of the leadership in this field of Robbie Owen, whose energy and commercial acumen have driven its success.'

'Francis Tyrrell is a top-tier expert in his specialised field.'

Work highlights

  • Advised various promoters of the proposed Silvertown Tunnel in London; London’s Northern line extension to Battersea; and the A14 improvement scheme in Cambridgeshire.

Key areas of expertise for Sharpe Pritchard LLP include the promotion of and opposition to major infrastructure projects, along with specialist knowledge of planning law, compulsory purchase, and environmental and highways law and practice. The team also promotes legislation for public bodies which require additional statutory powers and require support in matters of public law and regulatory work. Names to note are practice head Alastair Lewis and Emyr Thomas, both of whom are parliamentary agents specialising in the promotion and opposition of private and hybrid legislation in Parliament and electoral law. Aidan Dickinson has a niche specialisation in compulsory purchase and urban and housing regeneration.

Practice head(s):Alastair Lewis

Other key lawyers:Emyr Thomas; Aidan Dickinson


'Parliamentary work is very specialised and Sharpe Prichard has both great institutional and individual knowledge of the practices and procedures. Anyone using Sharpe Pritchard could not be in better hands.'

'Alastair Lewis has vast experience, great tactical thinking and is unflappable.'

'Emyr Thomas is extremely bright, willing and very good with clients.'

Key Clients

Staffordshire County Council

National Farmers Union (NFU)

Yarlet Trust

National Trust

Cheshire East Council

Work highlights

  • Advised on Staffordshire County Council's objection to the High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill (HS2 Phase 2A) and now advising on its objection to Additional Provision 2 promoted by the promoters of HS2 Phase 2A.
  • Acted for the National Farmers Union in its petition against the HS2 Phase 2A Bill in the House of Commons and on its objection to Additional Provision 2  promoted by the promoters of HS2 Phase 2A.
  • Objected to the Norfolk Vanguard development consent order on behalf of the National Trust.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP has 'great bench strength' in the promotion of infrastructure projects and drafting and promoting legislation, particularly private bills and other statutory authorisations and delegated legislation. The team is particularly noted for its work in the promotion of projects relating to railways and harbours, and advising on hybrid bills for central government to authorise HS2, Crossrail and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Key advisers include practice head Paul Irving, Alison Gorlov, Hazel Anderson, Alex Dillistone and Jane Wakeham.

Practice head(s):Paul Irving

Other key lawyers:Hazel Anderson; Alex Dillistone; Alison Gorlov; Jane Wakeham


'The team is one of very few that do parliamentary agency work and technical harbour authority legislative work'

'Paul Irving is an outstandingly clever and efficient partner, and the only one who I have seen leading counsel defer to on matters of law'

'The most able and authoritative firm in this specialist field. Utterly reliable and a pleasure to work with. Genuinely exceptional.'

'Paul Irving is the best there is. Superb intellect, authoritative lawyer, wonderful judgement. Modest and straightforward in all he does.'

'Hazel Anderson is a tremendous foil to Paul Irving. Fantastic drive and attention to detail. Fearless in her judgement and analysis. Engaging and refreshing team player.'

'Alex Dillistone is an excellent lawyer: he is independent minded, with brilliant client focus. Calm but tenacious with superb judgement.'

Key Clients



Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has extensive experience in providing multi-disciplinary advice to public and private sector clients, and has been involved in some of the most significant recent infrastructure deals, including the first Private Finance 2 transaction to close in the UK. The practice is headed by Mark Richards and Adam Dann. Christian Drange is recommended for planning and environmental work, as is Roll A parliamentary agent Helen Kemp.

Practice head(s):Mark Richards, Adam Dann

Other key lawyers:Christian Drange; Helen Kemp

Work highlights

  • Advised Amber Infrastructure on its successful bid in the £2.4bn government-backed ‘Priority Schools Building Programme’ using a unique financing model of a bespoke pooled aggregator funding vehicle.
  • Advised 3i Infrastructure on its investment in the Mersey Gateway Bridge, a public-private partnership project which involves the design, build, finance and operation of a 1km tolled bridge across the River Mersey in Liverpool.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's areas of expertise span the promotion and opposition of private bills in Parliament; acting on behalf of Network Rail and Transport for London, as well as local authorities and objectors, on TWA orders and other statutory orders; and compulsory purchase, land compensation and other issues affecting the implementation of infrastructure projects. Parliamentary agents Stephen Collings and Monica Peto and real estate partners Morag Thompson and Stuart Andrews are the key contacts. James O’Connor specialises in the consenting of public infrastructure projects, including the promotion of TWA orders, harbour orders and development consent orders.

Practice head(s):Stuart Andrews

Other key lawyers:Monica Peto; Morag Thompson; Stuart Andrews; James O’Connor


'The team are very focused on delivery of Hybrid Bills and Transport and Works Act Orders'.

'Stephen Collings is a capable and proactive Partner, he has a lot of experience in Hybrid Bill and TWAO promotion, which is rare in the market place. He is committed to delivering the job and will work long hours if necessary to deliver'

'Good energy and good knowledge'.



Work highlights

  • Advising Network Rail on the promotion of the Network Rail (West Coast Main Line) Orders 2003 and 2004 and continuing to act on the promotion of the West Coast Main Line upgrade project.
  • Advising PD Teesport on the harbour revision and TWA orders to authorise the Northern Gateway Container Terminal at Teesside.
  • Acting for onshore and offshore wind farm developers in connection with the consenting of wind farms and associated infrastructure.

Local government

Index of tables

  1. Local government
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

The Bevan Brittan LLP team is rated by the market for the breadth of its practice; it has worked with over 300 local authorities around the country. It advises on a comprehensive range of work from regeneration and procurement to assisting on new ways to raise finance in order to provide key services. It also assists on local government governance and reorganisations, often in cases where the authority is in financial distress. The team, which is led by David Hutton in Bristol, includes Steven Smith, Virginia Cooper and Judith Barnes, who is based in Leeds. 'Strong negotiator' Nadeem Arshad is also a key member of the team and is especially noted for his expertise in the waste industries.

Practice head(s):David Hutton

Other key lawyers:Steven Smith; Virginia Cooper; Judith Barnes; Nadeem Arshad


'The team have an exceptional knowledge about the waste industry and the market that they have been more than happy to share to ensure the correct outcomes for the project. The team have shown patience, dedication and have gone the extra mile on more than one occasion to ensure that goals were met. They are always on hand to provide advice and are an integral part of the project team.'

'Nadeem Arshad is a strong negotiator who offers support at every stage of the process.'

'Phil Roberts'  attention to detail ensures that we are fully briefed with all the facts to enable swift decision making.'

'Nathan Bradberry excels at ensuring that momentum keeps the project moving forward in a timely manner.'


Key Clients

Sheffield City Council

Surrey County Council

5 Councils: Mendip: Vale of White Horse DC: Havant DC; Hart DC; South Oxfordshire DC

London Borough of Havering

Nottingham City Council

Slough Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Sheffield City Council on the renegotiation, potential re-procurement and/or termination of their major integrated PPP contract with Veolia Environmental Services.
  • Advising Surrey County Council on the procurement of a joint venture partner in order to procure largely housing and some mixed-use developments, led by a development partner on a JV basis.  The potential matter value ranged from £250m to £1bn.
  • Advising five councils – Mendip, Vale of White Horse DC, Havant DC, Hart DC, South Oxfordshire DC – on contract management services with an outsourced provider for the provision of their back office services and including negotiating a complex variation to allow the councils to bring back strategic control of some service elements. Provided advice on contractual terms and support to a negotiation strategy designed to improve service delivery.
  • Advising  Birmingham City Council on their new waste PPP project, future waste strategy and exit arrangements from their current  contract with Veolia Environmental Services.
  • Advising Slough Borough Council on its proposed procurement of a multi-phase, residential-led regeneration of the former Thames Valley University site and other adjoining land in Slough town centre. The council is proposing to procure this flagship development through its joint venture Local Asset Backed Vehicle (Slough Urban Renewal LLP).

The 'consistently reliable' national offering at Pinsent Masons LLP  includes  real estate, housing, planning, commercial structuring and governance.  It advises on issues in the areas of education, health, energy and IT in conjunction with its understanding of political or regulatory factors. Anne Bowden heads the practice and has a focus on regeneration/housing projects and new funding, and Scot Morrison is especially skilled in structuring public sector joint venture vehicles and partnership structures in relation to property/regeneration schemes and procurement matters. Didar Dhillon has advised on large-scale projects and regional investment funds and real estate partner Nicholas Berry is also noted for his work with local authorities.

Practice head(s):Anne Bowden

Other key lawyers:Scot Morrison; Didar Dhillon; Nicholas Berry

Key Clients

Manchester City Council

London Borough of Wandsworth

London Borough of Lambeth

Leeds City Council

Birmingham City Council

Sunderland City Council

Oxford City Council

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Westminster City Council

London Borough of Brent

Work highlights

  • Acted for the London Borough of Southwark on its JV with British Land for the creation of a new town centre at Canada Water, a £2bn project.
  • Acting for Basingstoke & Deane Council in relation to the creation of a JV to deliver its 3,500-dwelling urban extension at Manydown, in partnership with Urban and Civic.
  • Advising Westminster City Council at the inception stage of its flagship 1,750-unit housing regeneration project at Church Street estate.
  • Acting for the London Borough of Wandsworth on its £1bn regeneration of the Winstanley/York Road estate beside Clapham Junction, a JV with Taylor Wimpey.
  • Advised Birmingham City Council on its procurement of a developer for its most significant new employment site at Peddimore, which will create 10,000 new jobs.

The team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP is especially skillful in relation to local authorities' challenges in financing the provision of public services. In addition to advising on a range of regeneration/housing projects, it assists on developing new ways for local authorities to work together to deliver services, including shared service arrangements and wholly owned trading companies. The team is also well versed in local authority powers, finance and procurement rules, state aid and competition law. James Hawkins heads the national team and has a track record in PPPs relating to environmental/waste services and regeneration projects. The highly experienced Helen Randall  has a background as an in-house local government advisor and Scott Dorling  is the national head of the public sector housing practice. In Birmingham,  Amardeep Gill advises on a range of commercial/PPP matters. Consultant Ian Doolittle  provides expertise in regeneration and housing projects.

Practice head(s):James Hawkins

Other key lawyers:Helen Randall; Scott Dorling; Amardeep Gill; Ian Doolittle

Key Clients

Local GovernmentAssociation

West Midlands CombinedAuthority

London Councils

London Borough ofHammersmith & Fulham

Slough Borough Council

Gravesham BoroughCouncil

Harlow, Epping Forest and East Herts DistrictCouncils

Lambeth Council

Tameside MetropolitanBorough Council

Norwich City Council

London Borough ofSutton

Westminster City Council

UK Central (Solihull)Limited trading as UrbanGrowth Company (owned by Solihull BoroughCouncil)

Camden Living

Reading Borough Council

Stoke-on-Trent CityCouncil

Southwark Council

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

Bracknell Forest Council

London Borough of Newham

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Local Government Association on an innovative  project to establish a local authority mutual protection company for local authorities
  • Advising the West Midlands Combined Authority on the public sector's first intervention in the telecoms market as part of the Urban Connected Communities 5G Project.
  • Advising London Councils (the cross-party body representing the 32 London boroughs and the Corporation of London) on a ground-breaking initiative to increase the supply of good-quality temporary accommodation for homeless households, as well as cutting the increasing cost burden.
  • Advising the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham on a £100m affordable housing delivery framework scheme to provide 800 new homes over six years.
  • Advising Slough BC on an innovative solution to a high-risk private sector residential block following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

A substantial group at Ashfords LLP provides multi-disciplinary services to local authorities in London and elsewhere, many of whom are long-standing clients, and it is on a large number of panels. In addition to housing, regeneration and IT projects, it provides expertise on areas ranging from governance and state aid to corporate matters and civil and criminal disputes. Elizabeth Gibson heads the services and Paul Butterworth provides expertise on complex regeneration and development projects, social housing and public finance. Senior associate Lucy Woods assists local authorities and central government departments on various corporate and outsourcing projects and Andrew Rothwell is highly rated for his real estate advice.

Practice head(s):Elizabeth Gibson

Other key lawyers:Paul Butterworth; Lucy Woods; Andrew Rothwell


'Andrew Rothwell is exceptional - an excellent understanding of local government, creative in identifying solutions to challenging legal issues, with a calm and reassuring demeanour.'

Key Clients

HFL Group Limited

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

Wandsworth Borough Council

London Borough of Newham

London Borough of Hackney

Exeter City Council

Council of the Isles of Scilly

Cornwall Council

Work highlights

  • Advising HFL, established by the London Borough of Lambeth as the 'Homes for Lambeth' housing delivery venture. The advice includes social housing, commercial contracts, property and planning, and corporate governance matters.
  • Advising Brick by Brick (Croydon) Limited, a wholly owned company of Croydon Borough Council, on a range of matters relating to 40 schemes, aiming to deliver 1,400 housing units.
  • Continuing to provide legal services to Wandsworth and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (with which Wandsworth has been sharing services) on a broad range of matters including housing, procurement, planning and civil and criminal disputes.
  • Providing a multi-disciplinary service to the London Borough of Newham in respect of its various corporate outsourcing projects, involving the outsourcing of a vast range of services from providing school meals to core facilities.
  • Assisting the London Borough of Hackney with its Britannia Project which is a large mixed-use social infrastructure development  and includes plans for a new leisure centre and school, as well as residential developments (both social and private market) and associated infrastructure and public realm works. The project is valued at £360m.

BDB Pitmans (Bircham Dyson Bell merged with Pitmans in late 2018) has an impressive national practice, especially in areas of transport, regeneration projects and clean air/emissions matters. Mark Challis heads the department and David Mundy leads the practice area - he is a Roll A Parliamentary Agent and his expertise spans development schemes, public procurement and state aid and broad administrative law matters. Also a Roll A Parliamentary Agent, Nick Evans advises on major  infrastructure projects in the transport, energy, water and waste sectors. Angus Walker also has a focus on these sectors and 'stand out' Tom Henderson handles infrastructure planning. Senior associate Rahul Bijlani  is noted; he acted for Transport for London on numerous extensions and variations of London's congestion charging regime.

Practice head(s):Mark Challis; David Mundy

Other key lawyers:Nick Evans; Angus Walker; Tom Henderson; Rahul Bijlani


'Very customer focused, practical and always looking for solutions.  Very knowledgeable and clearly experts in their field.'

'They have longstanding expert knowledge and experience as lawyers and Parliamentary agents in relation to congestion charging and particularly workplace parking levy schemes and air quality legislation.'

'Tom Henderson is a stand-out individual and he is developing team members.  Issues are expedited diligently and professionally with a thoroughness that enables strengths, weaknesses and risks to be identified and properly considered.'

Key Clients

Allerdale Borough Council

Bath & North East Somerset Council

Riding of East Yorkshire Council

Birmingham City Council

Blackpool Borough Council

Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority

England’s Economic Heartland Sub-national Transport Body

Nottingham City Council

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Transport for Greater Manchester, Manchester City Council

Trafford Borough Council & Wigan Borough Council

Leeds City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising the Bath and North East Somerset Council on legislative instruments to put into place a clean air zone, where vehicles will be charged to enter the city of Bath.
  • Advising East Riding of Yorkshire on their plans to regenerate the harbour at Bridlington with the  Harbour Commissioners through a Harbours Act Order to facilitate the construction of a marina.
  • Advised Birmingham City Council on various matters including the interface between the local  transport arrangements with the High Speed 2 project.  Currently  advising the council on clean air zones.
  • Continuing to advise Blackpool Borough Council on the extension of Blackpool tramway, the oldest active tramway in the UK, to Blackpool North railway station.
  • Advising England’s Economic Heartland on the legislative requirements of becoming a statutory sub-national transport body, and on the regulatory burdens affecting the delivery of strategic infrastructure in their region.

Based in Nottingham, Peter Ware and Richard Barlow lead the Browne Jacobson LLP practice, which is valued for its ability to bring together a range of expertise to large projects. Ware's experience includes acting for a group of local authorities that established as one of the first pooled LGPS funds in the country. Stephen Matthew handles major procurements, infrastructure projects and joint ventures, as does Nick Hurley who has focused of late on regeneration projects. Anja Beriro acts for both public and private sector clients on procurements including for IT. The team also advises on matters such as state aid, planning and environmental law, and health and safety issues.

Practice head(s):Peter Ware; Richard Barlow

Other key lawyers:Stephen Matthew; Nick Hurley; Anja Beriro


'Extremely well linked teams within Browne Jacobson mean that a large project has been seamlessly supported even where it crosses over numerous specialisms.  An awareness of how to link the property, procurement and public law elements of a major property development quickly and with mutual understanding between the specialists is key to their success.'

'Stephen Matthew couldn't be more effective. His grasp of the detail is the best I have seen in my years in the public sector and the apparent simplicity of his pragmatic advice on the way forward is always bedded in that understanding of the many threads behind each case.'

Stephen Matthew is always approachable, knowledgeable and keen to work with us. He adopts a flexible approach and his advice is valued by clients.

Key Clients

Leicestershire County Council

Herefordshire County Council

London Borough of Croydon

Broxtowe Borough Council

Devon County Council

Shropshire Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Nottinghamshire County Council

Nottingham City Council

London Borough of Enfield

Work highlights

  • Acted for Shropshire Council on the acquisition of three linked shopping centres in Shrewsbury by acquiring the Jersey property unit trusts which held the assets.
  • Provided advice to Hereford County Council regarding the establishment of its development and regeneration programme with Keepmoat Homes and Engie Regeneration  following a competitive dialogue process. A matter potentially worth £1bn.
  • Advised Leicestershire County Council on the establishment of a corporate trading arm through which ESPO, a highly successful collaboration between a number of local authorities, will expand its commercial activities.
  • Advising the London Borough of Croydon on its ‘good to great’ programme -  a total redesign of its IT infrastructure and support.
  • Acted for Derby City Council in entering into a 3.4km underground cable easement with Western Power Distribution Services Limited through land owned by Derby City Council to enable a power connection to a Rolls Royce factory in Derby.

The team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP attracts high-value regeneration/housing and infrastructure work combined with related funding deals. Andrew Yates specialises in these matters and counts the likes of the Greater London Authority and Homes England among his clients. Other key team members include Lesley-Anne Avis (regeneration and development projects, JVs and funding); Tessa Kimber (regeneration and developments and transport infrastructure) and senior consultant Alan Aisbett, who has decades of experience advising on PPPs, real estate/affordable housing and outsourcing matters.

Practice head(s):Andrew Yates

Other key lawyers:Lesley-Anne Avis; Tessa Kimber; Alan Aisbett 

Key Clients

Homes England

Greater London Authority

Transport for London

Bath and North Somerset Council

London Legacy Development Corporation

Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Lewisham Gateway Developments Limited

South Oxfordshire District Council

London Borough of Bexley

Swale Borough Council and Maidstone Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Acted for Homes England on a £1bn housing development fund to help build thousands of new homes across England to help increase the pace and volume of housing provision.
  • Acted for long-standing client the Greater London Authority and Barking Riverside Limited. The work has included acting on the acquisition of a 51% shareholding in BRL by London & Quadrant from Bellway Homes and on the development and funding agreements for delivery of the London Overground extension.
  • Continuing to advise the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Greater London Authority  on the Blackwall Reach regeneration project, involving the redevelopment of the entire Robin Hood Gardens Estate in Poplar.
  • Continuing to advise Swale Borough Council and Maidstone Borough Council in relation to planning agreements and associated issues for development proposals in their areas.
  • Advising Homes England on a £200m loan to the Canary Wharf Group for infrastructure and public realm work at Wood Wharf, thereby unlocking c.3,200 new homes (25% are affordable).

The Bristol-based team at Burges Salmon LLP offers an impressive array of skills to a national client base spanning corporate, procurement and infrastructure matters and has notable expertise in local authority pensions matters and the provision of children's services. Gary Soloman has a focus on regeneration and compulsory purchase work; John Houlden's work includes procurement, state aid and European funding matters and Tom Dunn  and Gareth Malna advise on funding and investment funds. Marcus Harling is the lead advisor to Greater London Authority and Transport for London.

Practice head(s):Gary Soloman

Other key lawyers:John Houlden; Marcus Harling; Tom Dunn; Gareth Malna


'Gareth Malna and Tom Dunn were engaging, logical and used a common-sense approach. Both showed exceptional qualities in executing their duties.'

Key Clients

Isle of Anglesey County Council

Sunderland City Council

North Somerset Council

Greater London Authority

Gwynedd (and 12 other Welsh authorities)

Hampshire County Council

Stevenage Borough Council

Torbay Borough Council

Isle of Wight Council

Bristol City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Reading Borough Council on its major children’s services transition projects.
  • Assisting Isle of Anglesey County Council in its role as host authority for the new nuclear power station at Wylfa and associated developments.
  • Advising the Greater London Authority on a series of major regeneration projects in East London. The work includes advising on the procurement strategy to deliver in excess of £3bn of investment with multiple development partners and investors.
  • Advising Birmingham Children’s Trust on the council’s major children's services transition project.
  • Advising South Yorkshire Pension Authority on protecting and enhancing the value of its  landholdings.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's public law expertise includes advising local authorities on areas such as procurement - Jackie Heeds  is noted for her infrastructure procurement expertise. Core team members Bridgette Wilcox, Paul Pugh and Huw Jones are based in Cardiff.

Other key lawyers:Bridgette Wilcox; Paul Pugh; Huw Jones; Jackie Heeds


'The employment law team within Eversheds Sutherland have worked with us over a number of years. Their knowledge is excellent and in particular the context of working in Wales with its unique regulation framework'.

'Knowledgeable, well-versed partners at a reasonable price'.

'They are professional at all times whilst offering excellent advice and guidance whilst remaining explaining the options and solutions in a clear way that can be shared with colleagues'.

'Huw Jones provides good employment law advice'.

Sharpe Pritchard LLP provides an extensive range of expertise to local authorities throughout the country. Roseanne Serrelli specialises in procurement, especially relating to large-scale IT projects and John Sharland's broad experience ranges from PPP and PFI contracts and procurement law to governance and social housing issues. Julia Rudin, who co-heads the team with Serrelli and is the managing partner, oversees work in relation to regeneration, including the establishment of housing companies and delivery vehicles for property development. Aside from housing, the team advises on the financing and delivery of services including water, dealing with waste and education.

Practice head(s):Julia Rudin; Roseanne Serrelli

Other key lawyers:John Sharland

Key Clients

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

Hertfordshire County Council

London Borough of Southwark

West London Waste Authority

Cambridgeshire County Council

Suffolk County Council

Local Government Association


Warrington Council

Warrington Council

Milton Keynes

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Work highlights

  • Advised Hertfordshire County Council on its high-profile project for the development of its surplus land assets, including the procurement of a joint venture partner, a matter valued at up to £2bn.
  • Acted for Hammersmith & Fulham in Ocean Outdoor UK Limited v London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and successfully defended a procurement challenge to the council’s decision to grant leases of two properties which permitted advertising next to a highway. The rental income on this matter was in the region of £1.7m per annum.
  • Acting for Cambridgeshire County Council who, in partnership with the Community Land Trust of Swaffham,  is developing a project for the sale of heat to domestic and non-domestic customers from a district heating scheme proposed in the village of Swaffham Prior.
  • Having acted for Hertfordshire County Council on its waste PFI project, of late it continues to advise on several complex, related procurement matters to assist the council  to fulfill its statutory duty as a waste disposal authority.
  • Acting for Brentwood Borough Council in relation to their regeneration PPP, currently in procurement. The project is estimated to be worth £1bn over 30 years.

Based in Liverpool, Simon Goacher heads the substantial Weightmans LLP national public law team. He is noted for being especially adept in the areas of governance and vires issues and the practice is known for its handling of investigations, many of which are high-profile. John Riddell in Leicester handles litigation, judicial reviews and advisory work for local authorities while Clive Bleasdale advises on a range of real estate matters. The team also provides employment-related expertise; Mark Leach acts for local authorities on equal pay disputes and the team is also home to expertise in commercial, procurement and finance matters.

Practice head(s):Simon Goacher

Other key lawyers:John Riddell; Clive Bleasdale; Mark Leach

Key Clients

Selby District Council

Rochdale Borough Council

York City Council

Liverpool City Council

LLG (Lawyers in Local Government)

Rutland County Council

Staffordshire Moorlands County Council

Rotherham MBC

EM Lawshare

North West Legal Consortium

Work highlights

  • Advising Selby District Council on a delivery strategy for the Olympia Park. The plan  involves the proposed development of c 1,500 new homes and 23 hectares of employment land up to 2027.
  • Advised Herefordshire Council on its receipt of £23m of grant funding from the Department for Education and the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership to build a new university in Hereford.
  • Advised York City Council and BE Independent, a community interest company that it had set up, on the transfer of assets from the company to the council. The company provides emergency care and specialist equipment for use at home by vulnerable service users.
  • Acted for Rutland County Council in successfully resisting a proposed claim by a prisoner against the council’s refusal to provide care services directed by the parole board in order to secure the prisoner’s release from prison.
  • Acted for Rochdale MBC in respect of an investigation into multiple complaints against the leader of the council.

The team at Addleshaw Goddard offers a host of services to local authorities in connection with regeneration and redevelopment work, transport projects, outsourcing contracts (including ICT contracts), financing and refinancing.  Mike O’Connor and Andrew Pettinger lead the practice and Richard Goodfellow, who heads the infrastructure, projects and energy group, handles major transactions that include PPPs, project financing and renewables matters. Rob Thompson also has a focus on energy as well as the waste and health sectors.

Practice head(s):Mike O'Connor; Andrew Pettinger

Other key lawyers:Richard Goodfellow; Rob Thompson

Key Clients

West Midlands Combined Authority

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Manchester City Council

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Cheshire EastCouncil/Connecting Cheshire

Cumbria County Council

Oldham Metropolitan

Borough Council N

Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council

Burnley Borough Council

Cheshire West & Chester Council

York City Council

Leeds City Council

Luton Borough Council

Reading Borough Council

Hull City Council

Derby City Council

Somerset County Council

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Acted for Tameside (in its capacity as administrator of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund) as mezzanine lender and equity investor in a joint venture with Urban & Civic as developer in connection with the development of three residential blocks at Manchester New Square.
  • Continuing to advise Luton Airport Limited on the £200m development of a mass passenger transit system (the Luton DART) between Luton Airport Parkway railway station and the airport terminal.
  • Acted for Leeds City Council in relation to the promotion and procurement of a district heating scheme in Leeds. The advice  included state aid, procurement, corporate, joint venture and general commercial aspects.
  • Advising Wakefield City Council on a variation to its street lighting PFI agreement which will allow the council to make energy savings in excess of 60%.
  • Advising West Midlands Combined Authority on all aspects of a £340m expansion of the Midland Metro tram system, including various complex rail regulatory issues, real estate aspects and the suite of asset protection and other agreements to govern the whole life of the scheme.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP offers a broad range of services to its clients, often providing a local authority with expertise in multiple practice areas. Its skills extend to PPPs, construction, real estate and planning and it has a specialism in company set-ups, for example the establishment of a National Federation of Local Authority Trading Companies. Team head Olwen Dutton is especially known for his expertise in all facets of governance and investigations; Mark Cook  has a wealth of experience in PPP matters and Stuart Evans advises on planning issues.

Practice head(s):Olwen Dutton

Other key lawyers:Mark Cook; Stuart Evans

Key Clients

Coventry City Council

Lincolnshire County Council

Leicestershire County Council

Mendip District Council

Birmingham City Council

Tendring District Council

Northumberland County Council

Cllr Elizabeth Harvey

Oxford Direct Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Provides the planning legal service to Coventry City Council. The service covers areas including  providing officers with a planning surgery for all general planning law matters and planning enforcement issues.
  • Advises Lincolnshire County Council in developing their forthcoming 12-year highways contracts for works, design services and signalling. The total contract value is £762m.
  • Acted as legal advisers to Mendip District Council across a range of matters including: in context of a historic and sensitive matter, advising the council on its engagement with a complainant (and other public bodies) together with the response to the complaint; and advising the council on joint arrangements for service delivery with other authorities and trading, including advice on regulatory compliance, public procurement, state aid and governance implications.
  • Advising Coventry City Council on the first stages of the £300m  redevelopment of Coventry city centre.

The team at Bates Wells is well know for its specialisms in advising local government auditors and advising in relation to mutuals. It has advised on audits in relation to over 40 local authorities, including on some high-profile cases such as the budget deficit of Northamptonshire Council. It advises public sector mutuals and spin-out organisations who are using such vehicles to provide key public services. Abbie Rumbold and Melanie Carter are the experts in these areas, together with Emma Dowden-Teale and Augustus Della-Porta, who also bring charity/social enterprise and social care expertise.

Practice head(s):Abbie Rumbold; Melanie Carter

Other key lawyers:Emma Dowden-Teale; Augustus Della-Porta


'The team has expertise and wide experience in a specialised field of local audit law, covering all aspects of Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the associated regulations. I find that the staff at BWB understand what we need from them and provide us with advice rather than replaying to us what we have told them.'

Key Clients

National Audit Office

Public Sector Audit Appointments

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Wales Audit Office


Buckinghamshire County Council and

Buckinghamshire Music Trust

Buckinghamshire Learning Trust

Greater London Authority

Canterbury City Council and

the Marlowe Trust

Everybody Sport & Recreation

Hertfordshire County Council

Work highlights

  • Retained  by the National Audit Office to advise on the external audit of local government bodies and legal queries arising from the National Audit Office’s functions.
  • Acting for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport on two new funding streams to come out of the department as part of its new funding for public service mutuals.  
  • Advising the Greater London Authority on structural, governance and contractual matters relating to the  incorporation of public practice, a new social enterprise that brokers placements for planning and place shaping practitioners within local authorities.
  • Continuing to advise Canterbury City Council on the spin-out of The Marlowe Theatre.
  • Advising KPMG (as statutory auditors) in relation to the effective bankruptcy of Northamptonshire County Council, including on the issuing of an unprecedented advisory notice.

Dentons has some long-established local authority clients such as the Greater London Authority, Essex County Council and Transport for London, and has a focus on large-scale regeneration projects. Stephen Ashworth is valued for providing 'a comprehensive service' and other key team members specialise in real estate (Virginia Glastonbury) and strategic acquisitions and disposals as part of redevelopment projects (Roland Gray). Bryan Johnstone handles real estate disputes and counsel Mark Bassett is a lead on public procurement work.

Practice head(s):Stephen Ashworth; Virginia Glastonbury; Roland Gray

Other key lawyers:Bryan Johnstone; Mark Bassett


'Dentons make every effort to understand the Council's issues and provide a cost-effective solution. They invariably provide timely and helpful advice, and give an impression of wanting to help as opposed to simply providing a service'.

'Stephen Ashworth in particular makes every effort to provide a comprehensive service.'

'Bryan Johnstone has undertaken some highly complex property litigation and is extremely highly rated by our surveyors. Overall they do come across as sympathetic to the Council's aspirations.'

Key Clients

Essex County Council

Colchester Borough Council

Northamptonshire County Council

Greater London Authority

Southampton City Council

Huntingdonshire District Council

Basingstoke & Dean Borough Council

South Cambridgeshire District Council

London Borough of Greenwich Council

Transport for London

The London Borough of Southwark

Braintree District Council

Southend On Sea Borough Council

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Hounslow Borough Council

Uttlesford District Council

Mid Sussex District Council

London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Slough Urban Renewal LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising Braintree District Council, Colchester Borough Council and Tendring District Council (together the North Essex Authorities) on their proposals for three garden communities, which will together provide between 29,000 and 43,000 homes. The development value is in the region of £8-10bn.
  • Advised Northamptonshire County Council on the sale and leaseback of its One Angel Square new HQ building in Northampton to Canada Life.
  • Advising Southampton City Council on the development of Southampton Royal Pier, a multi-phase mixed use scheme with developer Morgan Sindall and fellow landowners Associated British Ports and the Crown Estate.
  • Advising the London Borough of Southwark and City of London Corporation in Supreme Court litigation relating to the extent of land which vests in Transport for London as the body responsible for strategic roads in London.
  • Continuing to advise the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham on a major regeneration scheme, the Barking Riverside Gateways Housing Zone Project.

Mark Whittaker and Perry Hill head a practice at DWF that handles a wide range of contentious cases for county and district councils and London boroughs where councils' liability is in issue. The claims range from personal injuries and professional negligence, to human rights and privacy breaches, and may relate to decisions in areas such as construction projects. The team is skilled in dealing with the insurance aspects of such claims together with the  establishment of insurance-based funds. Caroline Sanders  is also a noted team member for this work.

Practice head(s):Mark Whittaker; Perry Hill

Other key lawyers:Caroline Sanders


'They go the extra mile to deliver an excellent service to their clients and take time to really understand their client's point of view and make sure they are happy with how a case is progressing.'

'We trust who is appointed to deal with a case and know that the service will be of excellent quality and know that your case is in safe hands.'

'Special mention goes to Caroline Sanders and her team who go above and beyond to delivery a good quality service.'

Key Clients

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Westminster City Council

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

London Borough of Sutton

Surrey County Council

Brighton and Hove Council

Somerset County Council

London Borough of Ealing

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Work highlights

  • Advising the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on claims arising from the Grenfell tower tragedy.
  • Advising the City of Westminster regarding a defamation claim brought against a councillor.
  • Advising Surrey County council on the collection of social care debt.
  • Advising Somerset County Council on the establishment of new insurance arrangements for schools and academies within the county.
  • Advising Spelthorne District  Council  in respect of an inquest and subsequent threatened proceedings following the death of an individual who died from carbon monoxide poisoning at his home during the floods of 2014.

Market sources acknowledge Gowling WLG for the quality of its work, including on large regeneration projects. Procurement and outsourcing are Sarah Sasse's core areas with a focus on IT outsourcing - she co-leads the team with Michael Luckman who is based in Birmingham. Richard Beckingsale provides the real estate and joint venture projects expertise, and Giles Clifford has extensive experience in rail/transport and urban regeneration work, and related public-private partnerships. Health/the NHS, housing, leisure, waste and defence are some of the sectors in which it works and it offers a comprehensive range of disciplines, including corporate, intellectual property, governance and employment.

Practice head(s):Sarah Sasse; Michael Luckman 

Other key lawyers:Richard Beckingsale; Giles Clifford

Key Clients

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

London Borough of Croydon

Transport for London and London Underground

Docklands Light Railway

London Bus Service

London Borough of Barnet

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Be First (Regeneration) (subsidiary of London Borough of Barking & Dagenham)

Westminster City Council

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

Work highlights

  • Advising the London Borough of Croydon on the procurement of an operator to run the Fairfield Halls arts complex.
  • Assisting Transport for London and London Underground on all  aspects of the procurement negotiations with a development partner for TfL's project at South Kensington Station, which is listed in a heritage location. The advice covers real estate, property development, construction, corporate and joint venture issues.
  • Acting for Transport for London, London Underground (LUL), Docklands Light Railway and London Bus Services regarding agreements for the development of a new station entrance for LUL's West Ham Jubilee line station, and for three new bridges across the Jubilee line, and DLR tracks in the vicinity.
  • Continuing to advise the London Borough of Barnet on the £4bn Brent Cross/Cricklewood Scheme.
  • Advising the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead on the procurement of a development partner which has entered into a contractual joint venture with the council to lead the delivery of a residential-led development in Maidenhead.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP's team head, Joanna Bussell, handles public-private partnerships in respect of outsourcings, especially in the leisure and culture sectors, areas that the practice is especially known for. Simon Randall CBE has extensive experience advising both local authorities and housing associations on all aspects of housing projects and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):Joanna Bussell

Other key lawyers:Simon Randall CBE

Key Clients

Braintree District Council

Epping Forest District Council

Chelmsford City Council

East Staffordshire District Council

Canterbury City Council

Lancaster City Council

London Borough of Ealing

London Borough of Hounslow

Lichfield District Council

Slough Borough Council

East Staffordshire Borough Council

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

East Suffolk Council

Suffolk Coastal Council

London Borough of Wandsworth

Waveney District Council

Worthing Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Slough Borough Council on its varying roles and responsibilities in acting in its corporate capacity versus acting as trustee of a charity. It holds significant assets, the vast majority of which it holds in its corporate capacity, but some are held as corporate trustee.  
  • The team is advising East Staffordshire Borough Council regarding a leisure procurement. The advice covered the key risk areas and state aid matters.  
  • Advising Lichfield District Council on all aspects of the outsourcing of its leisure portfolio.
  • Advised Waveney District Council on the creation of two new Parish Councils pursuant to the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and subsequent Local Government Parish Regulations.
  • Advising Slough Borough Council as the corporate trustee of a number of key assets in Slough, including a leisure facility built on recreational ground.  

At Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP five lawyers are the regional or London team heads: Martin Stacey (London), Iain Greenshields (London/Newcastle),   Jonathan Bower (Bristol/London), Will Fraser (London) and Mark Owen  (Leeds/London). The team advises on major regeneration and redevelopment schemes involving house building, commercial, leisure and education schemes. It also advises on State Aid-compliant funding and procurement matters, and is noted for its specialism in district heating schemes.

Practice head(s):Martin Stacey; Iain Greenshields; Jonathan Bower; Will Fraser; Mark Owen

Key Clients

London Borough of Lewisham

Three Rivers District Council

West Berkshire Council

NewcastleGateshead Initiative

Durham County Council

Northumberland County Council

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Newcastle City Council

City Of York Council

Newcastle City Council

Leeds City Council

Doncaster Borough Council

York City Council

Newcastle City Council

Middlesbrough Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for the London Borough of Lewisham on the Lewisham Gateway scheme - a strategic site which is key to the regeneration of Lewisham Town Centre, a matter valued at c£375m.
  • Advising Durham County Council on all contractual and procurement aspects, including procurement strategy and designing the tender process, of the Council’s project to build a new city-centre headquarters in Durham.
  • Assisting Northumberland County Council on all procurement aspects of the council’s £47m Ponteland Schools and Leisure development project. Under this project new buildings are being constructed for a Ponteland Secondary School and Ponteland Primary School on a shared complex, together with a new leisure centre and library.
  • Advising Havant Borough Council on a number of procurement and commercial contract aspects related to the redevelopment of the Civic Campus through a competitive dialogue process - a matter valued at  £3.4m.
  • Advised Tees Valley Combined Authority in relation to the scoping and review of three potential district heating schemes in their area (which extends to the five local authority areas of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, and Darlington.

Madeleine Davitt leads Davitt Jones Bould's national practice, which advises on a range of development and regeneration projects. Its work relates to commercial investments, commercial acquisitions and sales, and various housing schemes. It also advises council-owned investment companies. Robin de Wreede  and Sean Bulman are two of the senior lawyers who advise on commercial property, investments and planning matters. John Qualtrough  and Kevin Fry, who is noted for his real estate work, are other core team members.

Practice head(s):Madeleine Davitt

Other key lawyers:Robin de Wreede; Sean Bulman; John Qualtrough; Kevin Fry


'Very happy with the service provided - efficient and thorough.'

'Kevin Fry very knowledgeable and helpful.'

Key Clients

Surrey County Council

Woking Borough Council

Hertfordshire County Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Devon County Council

North Somerset Council

Wiltshire Council

Bournemouth Borough Council

Dorset County Council

The City and County of Swansea Council

Work highlights

  • Continues to assist Woking Borough Council on the £500m+ regeneration of Sheerwater. the advice includes the property aspects and compulsory purchase order.  
  • Advising Slough Borough Council on a £40m acquisition of an office as an investment (later became their head office).
  • Advising a property investment company on its £700m+ portfolio - the company is owned by a local council.
  • Advised Poole Borough Council on its academy transfers, a niche area of real estate law.

A substantial offering at Freeths LLP comprises numerous offices around the country that advise on a broad range of development and regeneration projects, including mixed-use constructions, shopping centres and investment transactions. It provides planning, environment and real estate expertise in these areas, and more broadly also advises on areas such as tax and property litigation. Nathan Holden is a key contact in Birmingham and Stephen Pearson is noted for his broad expertise, which includes employment law. Some of the key team members include Ian Rowson and Clive Pearce for real estate, and Robert Bruce and Jennifer Roe for planning.

Practice head(s):Nathan Holden

Other key lawyers:Stephen Pearson; Ian Rowson; Clive Pearce; Robert Bruce; Jennifer Roe


'They are flexible and responsive, good engagement with both officers and members'.

'Stephen Pearson is very knowledgeable and able to brief clients in plain English and is supportive of the development new policy and excellent at Elected member briefing'.


Key Clients

Rushmoor Borough Council

Wigan Borough Council

Melton Borough Council

Nottinghamshire County Council Pension Fund

Darlington Borough Council

Leicester City Council

Hinckley and Bosworth BC

London Borough of Camden

Royal London Borough of Greenwich

Swindon Borough Council

Staffordshire Moorlands DC

Work highlights

  • Acting for Mole Valley District Council on the £6m restructuring of the long shopping centre lease of St Martin’s Walk, Dorking.
  • Acting for Rushmoor Borough Council on a £3.4m acquisition of a retail unit occupied by Marks and Spencer.
  • Successfully defended  Nottinghamshire County Council Pension Fund and Standard Life Aberdeen on a High Court challenge, and subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal to a valuable certificate of lawfulness obtained by Notts CC as land owner. The matters has been appealed to the Supreme Court.
  • Acting for Milton Keynes Development Partnership (a development partnership set up by Milton Keynes Council to promote the development of its land). The promotion is for the development of up to 1,200 homes.
  • Acting for the London Borough of Camden in connection with the development of land in West Hampstead, which comprises the development of the site for housing and office uses, including an 11-storey tower.

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