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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 > Administrative and public law > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Administrative and public law
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Head and shoulders above its competition’, Bindmans LLP is ‘outstanding’ for claimant judicial reviews. Public interest litigation and human rights expert Saimo Chahal QC (Hon) – who is ‘a fine example of what is best in the legal profession’ - co-heads the practice and recently brought a CrowdJustice-funded High Court challenge against the Secretary of State for Health (SSH), Jeremy Hunt, on behalf of Justice for Health and four directors, who alleged that the SSH did not provide clarity on whether he would impose a contract on junior doctors; the court found that no contract had been imposed upon the doctors, stating that they were free to negotiate with their employers. ‘A legend in his field’, and widely regarded as ‘the best claimant solicitor in the country’, practice co-head John Halford represented the Public Law Project in successfully challenging the former Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling’s decision to introduce a "residence test", which could have restricted access to legal aid for migrants. Jamie Potterhas excellent experience’ and has been retained by Palestine Solidarity Campaign to file a judicial review against the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (SSCLG) pertaining to amendments in Local Government Pension Schemes, which allegedly prohibit from using pensions and procurement to divest from companies involved in Israeli human rights violations. Recent personnel changes saw Salima Budhani promoted to associate and senior consultant Selman Ansari join from Bates Wells Braithwaite, where he garnered expertise in third and charitable sector mandates.

Fieldfisher’s ‘experience and competence is unrivalled’ across the full range of litigation and advisory work, including high-profile inquests, inquiries and judicial reviews. The ‘exceptionally well organised and hard-working’ Tim Suter leads the inquests and inquiries team with Martin Smith, who ‘has a wealth of experience’; together, they are advising the chair, panel, and secretariat of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) on conducting the inquiry and lawfully exercising their powers. Senior partner Matthew Lohn is well regarded for healthcare, financial, sport and education sector work, and recently advised the Financial Reporting Council on implementing new EU directives for structuring audit supervision into domestic legislation, which saw the firm handle governance changes, outsourcing and disciplinary changes, among other work. Manchester-based department head Sarah Ellson has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge’ of health and social care matters, and is defending the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in a judicial review brought by a clinic, which is opposing its decision to change how information to users of "Choose a Fertility Clinic" web pages is displayed. Other clients include The Electoral Commission, Immediate Media and Sport England. At senior associate level, Carina May (née Dalton) is recommended with qualified barristers David Northfield and Oliver Carlyon, who has ‘very good legal instincts and attention to detail’.

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, ‘exceptionally talented’ practice head Andrew Lidbetter ‘is a market leader’ for a range of high-profile matters. In a recent highlight, he represented Cuadrilla Resources in appealing Lancashire County Council’s decision to deny planning permission for fracking at Preston New Road (PNR) and Roseacre Wood (RW) to the SSCLG; in addition to handling the reopening of a public inquiry for RW, the firm is now acting for the company in three judicial reviews that are at challenging the government’s decision to grant planning permission at PNR. British American Tobacco retained the practice in filing a dispute relating to revisions that were made to The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), and lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court concerning the UK’s regulations on plain packaging for tobacco products. Non-governmental organisations such as the Public Law Project and the Child Poverty Action Group instruct the firm with public bodies and leading companies, including Coats Group plc and EDF Energy. The ‘terrific lawyer’ Nusrat Zar is highly recommended with senior associates Anna Eliasson and Natacha Heffinck, and the ‘brilliant’ Jasveer Randhawa, who was promoted to of counsel and has the ability to ‘get under the skin of issues and give clear advice’.

Charles Brasted has ‘tremendous knowledge of the law, combined with a great sense of practicality’ at Hogan Lovells International LLP, where he became practice head following Paul Dacam’s retirement. In other personnel changes, Julia Marlow was promoted to counsel and handles a variety of matters, ranging from implementing government policies to litigation. The ‘high-quality’ team is advising The Crown Estate on devolving the management of its estate in Scotland to the Scottish Government, and the practice has also been instructed by NATS in several mandates, including advising on the implications of Brexit and acting for its subsidiary NATS (En Route) plc, as an interested party, in a judicial review pertaining to changes the company had made to UK airspace arrangements around Gatwick Airport, which had been permitted by the defendant, the Civil Aviation Authority. ExxonMobil and Mars feature on the first-rate client roster.

Clients are ‘very impressed with the degree of careKingsley Napley LLP has in handling judicial reviews, public inquiries, inquests and regulatory matters. Sophie Kemp, who is ‘very sharp’ and ‘a delight to work with’, together with practice head Adam Chapman, Emily Carter and Caroline Day, is representing a number of Catholic institutions in relation to IICSA. Additionally, the firm has been particularly active in policing work, with a recent mandate coming from David Crompton, the former Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, who brought proceedings against the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner regarding a request for his resignation. Other clients include the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and Ofgem. Senior associate Nick Wrightson arrived from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Iain Miller joined from Bevan Brittan LLP, and is adept in advising on regulation and ethics in the legal sector, including public law challenges to the SRA.

Leigh Day is ‘regularly engaged in cutting-edge litigation’ and is retained by individuals and campaign groups as well as non-governmental organisations and charities such as Reprieve, Mencap and Amnesty International. Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK has instructed Jamie Beagent, ‘an up-and-coming star’, in disputing a proposal from Companies House to destroy company records, on the basis that protecting the data protection rights of company directors is allegedly prejudice to mesothelioma sufferers that are tracing historic torts. Through the efforts of the ‘outstanding’ and ‘fantastically hard working’ associate Rosa Curling, the Supreme Court ruled that the government had unlawfully discriminated against a married couple by implementing the Bedroom Tax for disabled adults. Department head Sean Humberis a first-class prison lawyer’, whose human rights expertise also includes, environmental, discrimination and information law. The ‘extraordinary’Tessa Gregory ‘instils others with the same drive and discipline that she brings to her cases’ and was made up to partner. Richard Stein retire from practice.

Allen & Overy LLPprovides real clarity and insight into the arcane world of public and administrative law’, handing everything from advice on Brexit to procurement litigation and judicial reviews for defendants and claimants. ‘Outstanding’ practice head Andrew Denny acted for the Association for Project Management (APM), as an interested party, in proceedings brought against the Privy Council by the Project Management Institute relating to the defendant’s decision to grant a Royal Charter to APM. Denny also represented Macquarie Corporate Holdings, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Europe) and Universities Superannuation Scheme as interested parties in a dispute between the Sustainable Development Capital LLP and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and UK Government Investments regarding the sale of Green Investment Bank to a consortium led by Macquarie Group. Infrastructure UK and Amey plc are additional clients of the practice, where senior associate Maeve Hanna is a rising star. James Neill is now a barrister at Landmark Chambers.

Baker McKenzie’s client list comprises of public bodies and preeminent corporate businesses, including the FCA, Disney and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The Scottish Government was a significant addition to the firm’s client roster and instructed practice head Joanna Ludlam in the Supreme Court proceedings brought by Gina Miller, in order to intervene in the government triggering Article 50 without the permission of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Another significant mandate saw the practice assist BBC Trust with the publication of Dame Janet Smith’s report into the BBC’s practices during the time Jimmy Savile worked for the broadcaster. Recently promoted partner Francesca Richmond is noted for competition, EU law, human rights and judicial review matters.

Melanie Carter heads Bates Wells Braithwaite’s practice and is lauded as ‘a highly able lawyer, who is excellent at client management’. Advising the National Audit Office on the legality of local authorities entering into lender option borrower option loans was a highlight for the practice, which is assisting NCS Trust with gaining independence from the government and establishing itself as a Royal Charter body. The Advertising Standards Authority is a long-standing client of Rupert Earle, who ‘provides sound and clear advice’ and acted for the regulator in several matters, including opposing an injunction application from JB Global to prohibit the publication of a ruling relating to misleading information in a television advertisement. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Portman Group and Single Source Regulations Office are key clients of the practice. Recently promoted partner Emma Dowden-Teale joined from DAC Beachcroft LLP and is ‘someone in whom clients feel complete confidence in’, standing out for her niche expertise in awarding body regulation, while Claire Whittle is highly regarded for her ‘knowledge and pragmatism’ and was made up to senior associate.

With its ‘strength and depth across public law’, Bevan Brittan LLP is often retained by a plethora of public bodies, including the SRA, Local Government Association and Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Virginia Cooper heads the practice and represented NHS England in a judicial review brought by the Metropolitan Police to prevent the publication of a report commissioned by the NHS as part of the investigation into Sally Hodkin’s murder; ‘hardworking and intelligent’ senior associate Olivia Carter supported on the matter and is a rising star’. Cooper is representing the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner in a judicial review against the former Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, David Crompton, who challenged the defendant’s request for his resignation. In Bristol, David Owens routinely acts for NHS bodies and Emily Heard is singled out for procurement and health sector litigation, while Leeds-based Judith Barnes handles constitutional work, regeneration schemes and numerous other matters.

Praise abounds Bhatt Murphy’s practice: the ‘astonishing’ Mark Scott ‘approaches cases with irrepressible energy and determination’; Tony Murphy ‘is super confident and really knows his stuff’; Hamish Arnott ‘has an extraordinary grasp of the law with the most impressive forensic analysis skills’; and Raju Bhatt is ‘extraordinarily committed and caring’. Immigration law concerning the refugee status of children and detention have been particularly busy streams of work for the firm, with the practice handling matters relating to separation from family members in the UK for children from camps in Italy, Greece and Calais. Solicitor Janet Farrell obtained the Supreme Court’s permission for Humanists UK to be an intervener in an appeal against the SSH, which concerned the government’s decision not to provide NHS abortions in England to residents of Northern Ireland, and Shamik Dutta is representing John Catt and the National Union of Journalists in a dispute with police forces in the European Court of Human Rights over the recording of Catt’s political activities on the domestic extremism database and the monitoring of journalists. Solicitors Michael Oswald and Jed Pennington are highly regarded.

The ‘outstandingDAC Beachcroft LLP shines in the healthcare sector, providing ‘quality support on difficult issues’ concerning new treatments, judicial reviews and other complex matters. Practice head Stephen Hocking represented NHS England in a judicial review that was filed by the National AIDS Trust in the Court of Appeal, where it was decided that the NHS does have the power to fund the pre-exposure prophylaxis drug. The Health Research Authority was added to the firm’s substantial list of healthcare clients, which includes Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and Family Health Services Appeal Unit. Water UK and Association of British Insurers are other key clients. Julian Gizzi is now a consultant and is advising the Higher Education Funding Council for England on drafting the Higher Education and Research Bill. Rosalind Ashcroft is the main contact in Bristol.

Singled out as ‘one of the best claimant firms around’, Deighton Pierce Glynn is ‘absolutely committed to securing justice for its clients’. Key figures include practice head Sue Willman, discrimination expert Louise Whitfield, Zubier Yazdani, Gareth Mitchell, the ‘superb’ Jo Eggleton, and ‘dedicated and knowledgeable’ managing partner Polly Glynn; in Bristol, Adam Hundt and associate Daniel Carey are the names to note. With cutting-edge litigation as its forte, the firm has been obtaining significant victories in the Supreme Court, which included representing an unmarried woman in a crowdfunded action concerning the rights she had to her late partner’s pension and marital status discrimination. The firm also represented Medical Justice in a case centred on policies used for detaining immigrants with severe mental illnesses; the client acted as an intervenor in the disputes with Bail for Immigration Detainees, which was represented by Allen & Overy LLP. Bristol-based associate Ugo Hayter joined from Leigh Day and has ‘excellent client skills’.

At Addleshaw Goddard, Simon Kamstra and Leeds-based Bill Gilliam focus on commercial litigation and, between them, have represented clients spanning the transport, local government, healthcare and energy sectors in a range of matters, including judicial reviews, procurement disputes and arbitration actions. In Manchester, legal director Clare Dwyer and managing associate Paul Rowley are recommended with Susan Garrett, who challenged the TPD’s classification of e-cigarettes and e-liquid as tobacco-related products for Totally Wicked; the case continues to have significant ramifications on the e-cigarette market, with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) deciding to uphold the Directive’s new laws. Ofwat and Celesio UK are other key clients.

Bircham Dyson Bell experienced an uptick in Brexit matters, advising on The Great Repeal Bill, election law, creating local government bodies and various other work. In addition to this, the practice’s recent caseload included the high-profile Tunisia Inquests, judicial reviews and freedom of information mandates. The ‘shrewd and creative tactician’Richard Langley represented the Garden Bridge Trust, as an interested party, in a judicial review that had been filed by a member of a campaign group, who challenged Lambeth Council’s decision to grant a lease of variation for the construction of Garden Bridge. Port of London Authority and ZSL London Zoo are additional clients of the practice, which is led by David Mundy. The ‘thorough, very effective and personable’ Sarah Clark was promoted to partner and is recommended for planning, environmental and heritage matters. Nicholas Evans is the other key figure.

Olswang LLP now operates under CMS following the global merger between the firms and Nabarro LLP. With his vast experience in judicial reviews and other administrative challenges, practice head Dan Tench represented the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association before the CJEU in challenging amendments that the UK made to taxation law for remote gambling services by focusing on the constitutional relationship between the countries, and also represented three individuals in bringing a breach of confidence and privacy claim against Google, which saw the Court of Appeal use the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to amend the Data Protection Act 1998, having found that the misuse of private information is a tort and that the claimants were allowed to recover compensation. Other clients include Ingenious Media, Sandoz and Clearcast.

As well as public inquiries and local government work, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s expertise spans procurement, judicial reviews, governance and numerous other work. Providing ‘excellent insight’ and ‘aiding decision making with his no nonsense approach’, Cardiff-based Peter Watkin Jones leads the inquiries and investigations team and is representing the Independent Schools Inspectorate and Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc in reviewing, managing and disclosing evidence to IICSA. In the same office, Paul Pugh handled various matters for the establishment and launch of Flood Re, including advice on the Water Act 2014, scheme documentation, and procuring an insurance broker and managing agent. Association of Colleges, Transport for Greater Manchester, and London and Continental Railways are key clients of the practice, which includes Sarah Jones in Birmingham.

Known for its strength in EU public law, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s Tom Snelling, together with IP partner Giles Pratt, was retained by Japan Tobacco International to challenge the validity of the TPD in the CJEU, and to bring a major judicial review against the SSH regarding new laws on plain packaging for certain tobacco products; both cases have had a significant impact on the market, with the TPD being upheld by the CJEU and the Supreme Court denying an appeal in the UK proceedings. Nuclear sector work is among the firm’s core industry focuses, with Sally Roe representing EnergySolutions EU (now trading as ATK Energy EU) in a procurement dispute against the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and how it conducted a tender for contracts to decommission 12 nuclear sites; the case will be appealed in the Supreme Court. The Ministry of Defence, Barnardo's and The AIRE Centre are additional clients of the practice, which includes regulatory and human rights expert Paul Bowden. Recent personnel changes included Will Thomas’s hire from Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP and Raj Parker’s departure to Matrix Chambers.

Daniel Machover leads Hickman and Rose’s practice and is classed as ‘a leader in his field’, who is ‘fantastic in every respect’, having acted for Amnesty International and Redress as intervenors to a judicial review that opposed Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs’ and the Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision to grant Mahmoud Hegazy special mission immunity, despite allegations of torture and murder; the case was initially dismissed and has been appealed to the Court of Appeal. Associate Eva Whittall represented INQUEST as an intervenor in proceedings for Secretary of State for the Home Department v HM Senior Coroner for Surrey and others, in relation to the Home Secretary’s application to the High Court for public-interest immunity to cover the inquest into Alexander Perepilichny’s death. Handling actions against the police is another core strength of the firm, with the ‘amazingStefano Ruis working on everything from judicial reviews to oppositions against police cautions and search warrants. Associate Helen Stone and Beth Handley are additional contacts.

Hodge Jones & Allen LLP is renowned for its claimant work, bringing judicial reviews in taking action against the police, miscarriages of justice and a range of other matters. Susie Labinjoh co-heads the practice and has brought a judicial review against the Secretary of State for Justice for an individual, who was denied compensation after their conviction was quashed on grounds that fresh evidence allegedly failed to show that the claimant was innocent beyond reasonable doubt. Widely considered to be ‘at the forefront of human rights law’, Jocelyn Cockburnalso leads the team and is acting for Neville Lawrence in several high-profile matters, including a National Crime Agency investigation into allegations of police corruption and the Undercover Policing Inquiry being led by Sir Christopher Pitchford. Sasha Barton is well regarded with Alice Hardy and the ‘very compassionate and knowledgeableNancy Collins, who joined from Bhatt Murphy and Irwin Mitchell, respectively.

With offices across the UK, Irwin Mitchell is classed as ‘one of the leading players’ for ‘offering genuine national coverage’ and ‘expert public lawyers’ such as recently promoted Bristol partner Polly Sweeney, who has ‘huge expertise’ in matters concerning the rights of children and young people with disabilities. Manchester-based Mathieu Culverhouse made senior associate and is singled out for his ‘impressively calm manner’. Sheffield-based Yogi Amin heads the practice and is representing an individual and Dignity in Dying in a judicial review to change legislation on assisted dying. Alex Rook, who combines ‘razor sharp judgment’ with ‘excellent client care’, acted for Keep Wythenshawe Special in a judicial review that challenged the decision of clinical commissioning groups in Manchester to not award specialist status to Wythenshawe Hospital. Official Solicitor and Public Trustee, English Bridge Union and the English Chess Federation are other clients. Juliet Spender joined in August 2017 from Fisher Meredith LLP.

Leading companies including Arcadia and Southern Water retain Linklaters LLP in an array of work, including procedural advice and judicial reviews. Practice head Tom Cassels provides ‘excellent strategic advice’ with ‘great industry and business knowledge’ in investigations, public inquiries and select committee hearings. He is representing Camelot UK Lotteries in an investigation conducted by the Gambling Commission into allegations that the client breached its licence for operating the National Lottery with a fraudulent cash prize. Taveta Investments and Arcadia have instructed the practice in various inquiries that are being led by joint select committees investigating BHS’ pension deficit, administration and sale to the now liquidated Retail Acquisitions. Managing associate Tim Miller is the other main contact.

Commercial litigator Lucy James leads Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s practice with Helen Randall, who is ‘customer focused and provides realistic and practical advice’. The team has notable strength across the board and is particularly well regarded in the local government sector. Wealden District Council retained the firm in its dispute with the SSCLG, Lewes District Council, South Downs National Park Authority and the interested party Natural England, which centred on allegations that the defendants had failed to take the effects that nitrogen deposition would have on an area of conservation into account. Outside of this, the practice obtained a victory for 12 criminal defence legal firms in challenging how the Legal Aid Agency conducted its tender for Duty Provider Crime Contracts; the tender was stopped by the Lord Chancellor following the issuance of proceedings. Greater London Authority and the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner are additional clients.

BCL Solicitors LLP’s ‘judgement of where public law and criminal law should be asked to intersect, and where it should not, is second to none’, according to one client. Its ‘first-rate’ practice is ‘excellent’ in public inquiries and investigations conducted by the FCA, Serious Fraud Office and the Competition and Markets Authority, among other work. Recent mandates for the practice included judicial reviews, internal investigations and inquests. Richard Sallybanks is ‘great’, general counsel Robin Booth is ‘a formidable detail man’ and Michael Drury and Guy Bastable are deeply experienced.

Browne Jacobson LLPis able to take on complex and difficult cases at very short notice and provides clear, thoughtful and reliable advice’. The ‘hugely knowledgeableRichard Barlow leads the practice from Nottingham and assisted the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) with a scheme to transfer assets and contracts from the Secretary of State to the Oil and Gas Authority. In the same office, the ‘excellentLaura Hughes is recommended with Anita Bradley, who joined from Cheshire East Council, while Gerard Hanratty arrived from Capsticks LLP in Manchester. Lauded for her ‘very good sense of the way in which courts work’, Ros Foster heads the London team and is defending the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PSHO) in a dispute with two GPs, who have lodged an appeal to challenge the powers of the PHSO in making recommendations for financial payments in clinical judgement cases. The National Audit Office, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Natural England and the Welsh Government feature on the extensive client roster.

Dentons obtained a major new client with its appointment into tier one of the Crown Commercial Service’s legal panel. Other clients include Places for People, the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company, and local and central government bodies such as Ministry of Defence, Transport for London and Essex County Council. Jan Willem van den Bos won a tender to advise the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, together with the Department for International Development and the British Council, on procurement for its telecoms network and services contract, and also handled Vodafone’s exit from its contract with the government body. Through the efforts of planning and regulatory expert Stephen Ashworth, a councillor from Winchester City Council won a judicial review in the High Court regarding changes that the council made to its development agreement with TH Real Estate for a redevelopment project. Key figures include Christopher McGee-Osborne, who co-heads government sector practice with Catherine Bingham, and public procurement practice head Mark Bassett, who is ‘an extremely capable lawyer’.

As well as handling actions against the police and human rights work, Imran Khan and Partners is active in high-profile public inquiries, inquests and judicial reviews. Sarah McSherry and Kim Vernal lead the practice with Imran Khan, who is representing Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, Blacklist Support Group and The Monitoring Group in the Undercover Policing Inquiry. Vernal acted for the family of young woman in an inquest into her death, which found that the Metropolitan Police, London Ambulance Service and Department for Work and Pensions missed opportunities to help the deceased; the clients have gone on to pursue civil claims arising from these findings. The firm is also acting for core participants in the Accountability and Reparations Inquiry, child migrant investigations and Roman Catholic Church investigations in the IICSA inquiry.

Litigation boutique Saunders Lawhas a burgeoning reputation’ in claims concerning judicial reviews, inquests and public inquiries as well as cases against the police and other detaining authorities. Practice head Nia Williams ‘truly cares about her clients’, standing out for her work with vulnerable clients in diverse mandates, including breaches to the Human Rights Act. Families of those who died in the Hillsborough disaster have retained Williams in bringing a misfeasance claim against the police for allegedly attempting to absolve West Midlands Police South Yorkshire Police of responsibility for their part in the tragedy. Two high-profile individuals, who are core participants in the Undercover Policing Inquiry, have instructed the practice in relation to violations of legal professional privilege and access to justice, which allegedly took place following surveillance that was undertaken by the police concerning the individual’s profession as lawyers. In addition to this, the practice has been acting for the family of Terry Smith in an inquest into his death; the Independent Police Complaints Commission has referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for the consideration of charging police officers with manslaughter and misconduct offences. ‘Determined and clever’ solicitor Ruth Mellor is the other key figure, ‘who is developing outstanding experience’ in filing actions against state authorities, including the Home Office and NHS Trusts.

Simpson Millar LLP fields ‘market leaders’ in education, community care and Court of Protection matters for a plethora of matters, including access to health and free care, disability discrimination and the welfare of vulnerable clients. The firm’s recent caseload included judicial reviews against social services and government bodies as well as human trafficking disputes and other immigration matters. Well-known organisations such as British Red Cross, Refugee Council and Alone in London Service refer work to the practice, which includes the ‘excellent’ Angela Jackman, Dan Rosenberg and associate Zena Soormally, with the ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ Oliver Studdert, who ‘fights his client’s corner’.

Martin Forshaw heads Weightmans LLP’s specialist police team from the Liverpool office and represented the Metropolitan Police against 68 claimants, who alleged that they had experienced kettling following their arrest at the London 2012 Olympics. Nick Peel is another key figure in Liverpool with local government practice head Simon Goacher, who advised Mansfield District Council on rewriting its constitution. In Birmingham, Chris Webb-Jenkins is acting for Rochdale Borough Council in IICSA. Belinda Moore is the name to note in Leicester. The ‘extremely experienced’ team provides ‘a highly competent, professional and economic service’ to a variety of clients, which include EM LawShare, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Anthony Gold is ‘a safe pair of hands’ for challenging the decisions of local authorities for social housing and the homeless. Sara Stephens brought a judicial review against Brent Council on behalf of a homeless client relating to the council’s decision to evict the claimant from their temporary accommodation after they turned down a request to be relocated. Giles Peaker – who has ‘a brain that is the size of a particularly large planet and a work ethic that is second to none’ – acted for a disabled client in a dispute that successfully challenged the termination of a Freedom Pass by Barnet Council. Practice head Andrew Brookes and Stephens ‘have outstanding attention to detail and excellent specialist knowledge’, and mediator David Smith is singled out for his ‘encyclopaedic grasp of policy issues’.

DLA Piper is well regarded for its judicial review and procurement work. Edinburgh’s Hazel Moffatis a real asset’ and heads the national practice with Leeds-based Paul Stone, who successfully represented the Department for Transport - as an interested party - in a judicial review that was filed by Heathrow Airport against the Office of Rail and Road regarding rail access charges that will be implemented by the airport for allowing Crossrail services to use Heathrow Spur. Assisting Market Operator Services with statutory codes and a regulatory framework to launch a competitive non-household water market was a major highlight for the practice, which is advising Transport for the North on its formation under the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016. The ‘excellent’ practice also acts for Heineken, Student Loans Company and the British Horseracing Authority. Legal director Martyn Scott is another name to note in Leeds.

The ‘business acumen and industry knowledge is first rate’ in Gowling WLG’s Birmingham-based team, which includes director Ravi Randhawa and principal associate Kieran Laird. ‘Very professional’ practice head John Cooper – who ‘always produces tailored and relevant advice’ - represented Hovis, together with principal associate Chris Warburton, in appealing the Environment Agency’s decision to fine the company for failing to meet targets that were outlined in a climate change agreement in the First-Tier Tribunal. TradeMark East Africa and Kenya Ports Authority have retained the firm in reviewing and redrafting its port sector legislation, in order to attract investments from international port operators. The DBEIS, Office of Rail and Road, and Southampton City Council are key clients.

At healthcare expert Hill Dickinson LLP, legal director David Hill has been handling a high number of mandates for NHS England, including advising on developing sustainability and transformation partnerships, and reviewing suspension payment policies. Another recent mandate saw healthcare practice head Kiran Bhogal represent Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the Hillsborough Inquests. Rochdale Borough Council has also retained the practice in varied matters, ranging from advising on pensions to procurement and constitutional work. Led by Liverpool-based Emma Stockwell, the department’s client list includes Health Education England and East London NHS Foundation Trust. Sarah Brooke arrived from PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP as head of the commercial health team and Jessica Kohler joined from Capsticks LLP.

Matthew Gold & Company Limited, Solicitorsis committed to providing strong legal advice’ to claimants in filing claims against the police for miscarriages of justice; handling inquests for victims of domestic violence; and filing judicial reviews concerning migrant rights, among other complex work. Clare Jennings leads the public law and community care team and ‘has done some very impressive work’, including filing a judicial review for Project 17 against Lewisham Council and its robust front-door approach, which established criteria to assess migrant children whose parents had no recourse to public funds. Matthew Gold – who ‘builds strong relationships with his clients and has a considered, intelligent and creative approach’ – is representing the father Michael Hampshire in an inquest into his death. Maria O’Connell is the main contact in Brighton and heads the civil actions against public authorities practice with Gold.

Richard Sykes leads Mills & Reeve LLP’s practice from Birmingham and is adept in education sector work and matters concerning the funding decisions of local authorities. Bath Spa University retained Sykes in conducting a review and risk assessment of its exposure to bribery offences and in the same office, Jill Mason acted for the hospital managers (HMs) of St George's Hospital in a dispute with South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which questioned whether the defendants were independent from the trust for it to bring a judicial review against the panel of HMs pertaining to their decision to discharge a patient from detention under the Mental Health Act 1983. The firm provides ‘practical commercial advice that is delivered in a friendly and timely manner’ to varied clients, which include the Ministry of Defence, WJEC and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Gary Attle is recommended in Cambridge with associate and barrister Philip Grey.

Leeds-based firm Lester Morrill Solicitors rebranded to Minton Morrill after merging with Mintons Solicitors. Led by Dr Keith Lomax, the practice ‘provides an excellent service’ in all manner of work, including community care, planning and welfare benefits. Handling gypsy and traveller law is a niche expertise of the team, which filed a judicial review for claimants that challenged a local planning authority’s decision to clear land occupied by Romany gypsies without confirming how long it would take for a new site to be provided; the Court of Appeal has granted permission for an appeal. Two nurses who had been struck off in instructed the firm in bringing two successful judicial reviews against the Legal Aid Agency, which led to restoration of funding of certain statutory appeals under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act. Assistant solicitor Keith Coughtrie and associate Rhiannon Jones – who leads the housing law team – are key figures.

Sharpe Pritchard is ‘excellent’ for judicial reviews, statutory appeals and senior associate William Rose is ‘well known and highly impressive’ in obtaining injunctions for public bodies, especially in High Court matters concerning planning issues. Led by Trevor Griffiths, the practice is often retained by local authorities. Representing Isle of Wight Council was a highlight for the practice, where the firm brought proceedings in the Supreme Court against parents for failing to ensure that their child attended school; the case stands out for determining that the meaning of ‘regular attendance’ is in accordance with the rules outlined by schools. Suffolk Coastal District Council, Lewes District Council and Maidstone Borough Council are other clients.

TV Edwards LLP excels in housing and community care work. It handles an array of mandates for homelessness, challenges to decisions made by local authorities, Court of Protection cases, human rights breaches and numerous other matters. Practice head Jane Pritchard represented an individual in appealing a judicial review against Wandsworth Council in relation to obtaining the tenancy of their late partner’s property and breaches to Article eight of the Human Rights Act and Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Katie Brown and John Gorringe are highly experienced individuals.

The ‘excellentBirnberg Peirce & Partners is adept in the full range of work, including inquests; actions against the police and government departments; defending protestors; and reversing wrongful convictions before the Criminal Cases Review Commission. Gareth Peirce and Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hon) are the primary contacts.

Capsticks LLP has ‘very good expertise’ in the healthcare sector. Leeds-based Ian Cooper now heads the practice following Gerard Hanratty’s departure to Browne Jacobson LLP in Manchester, and successfully challenged the CQC’s publication of inspection ratings for The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, which led to nine of its ratings being amended by the regulator. Through the efforts of Birmingham’s Tracey Lucas, NHS England won a judicial review against a prisoner, who was opposed to the defendant’s decision to prevent the claimant from transferring from HM Prison Manchester to a mental health facility. Other clients include NHS West London Clinical Commissioning Group and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Sharon Lamb is highly experienced and leads the firm’s healthcare practice.

Duncan Lewis SolicitorsToufique Hossainis a leading solicitor’ for immigration judicial reviews and utilises ‘a combination of creative thinking with a huge amount of experience’. Consultant Naim Hasani is highly experienced with ‘notable individualsJames Packer and Trevor Hatton. Seher Toguz is another key figure, who heads the department with Packer and Hossain. In addition to challenging the legality of the government’s policy on detaining pregnant women, the firm has brought a high-profile judicial review on behalf of six individuals, who are challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s use of a definition of torture that was derived from the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment for the government’s policy on detaining adults at risk.

Patrick Doris is the main contact at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where he handles public international law, commercial human rights matters and challenges against government decisions in UK and European courts. New Zealand qualified associate Steve Melrose has experience in judicial reviews and other areas of administrative law.

Rebekah Carrier is highly experienced at Hopkin Murray Beskine Solicitors for judicial reviews and public law matters concerning welfare reform, local authority housing applications and homelessness. The practice recently acted for a victim of domestic violence in a judicial review brought against the government, which centred on the Bedroom Tax and its failure to exempt persons like the claimant from the controversial policy. Solicitor Ann Bevington represented claimants in a judicial review relating to a provision in Ealing Council’s housing allocations scheme that was found to have indirectly discriminated against certain groups, including the disabled and elderly; the defendant has received permission to appeal the decision.

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

At Steel & Shamash, Anna O'Connell’s expertise spans community care, immigration, mental health and housing mandates. Andrew Bowmer is the other key figure in the ‘experienced’ practice, which has been handling a high number of children’s care cases. The firm is well regarded for bringing claims against local authorities, having represented a child who had experienced physical and mental abuse in filing proceedings pertaining to their entitlement to leaving care support, and acted for an individual in an accommodation dispute, where they were a litigation friend to a claimant with mental illness.

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