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Administrative and public law in London

Bindmans LLP

Bindmans LLP was recently involved in numerous major cases, touching on issues concerning immigration, the rights of EU nationals and the pandemic, among others. In a standout matter, the team represented five clients, including the Good Law Project, in proceedings against the government challenging its approval and financing of a mass national testing programme expected to cost over £100bn, against the advice of its own body on national screening programmes. John Halford specialises in litigation involving human rights abuses and discrimination issues, representing individuals, campaign groups and a wide range of other public sector clients. The 'utterly brilliant' Jamie Potter is an expert in all areas of public law and has particular expertise in judicial reviews. Associate Salima Budhani is singled out for her work on behalf of vulnerable people, including migrants and victims of human trafficking, bringing claims against the government. Fellow associate Karen May stands out for her expertise in judicial reviews focusing on education law and community care issues.

Practice head(s):

John Halford; Jamie Potter

Other key lawyers:

Salima Budhani; Caroline Robinson; Jessie Brennan; Karen May

Testimonials

‘The Bindmans public law team is packed full of outstanding lawyers and is exceptionally well led by Jamie Potter and John Halford. All the team members are very adept at working to the extremely tight timescales required by public law cases. They have the right support infrastructure to progress public law litigation effectively.’

‘Jamie Potter and John Halford are both genuine leaders in public and administrative law. They provide excellent support to their team members while at the same time taking forward the most important litigation themselves.’

‘Jamie Potter – huge experience, great breadth of knowledge, wonderful sense of litigation strategy and realities, client focus, and extremely easy to work with.’

‘John Halford is exceptional and a true star among public law and human rights solicitors.’

‘Salima Budhani – absolutely brilliant – a real asset to any team – and always an absolute delight to work with.’

‘Bindmans’ great strengths are their depth of knowledge of public law, relationships with specialist counsel and ability to advise both individuals, organisations and companies. They are fantastic to work with and formidable opponents.’

‘Jamie Potter’s team is wholly committed to innovative public law and human rights litigation. They are a delight to work for and with.’

‘Jamie Potter is truly a delight to work with: very knowledgeable regarding both substantive law and procedure, highly organised and with exceptional people skills. He is truly objective, and does not shy away from giving clients clear and impartial advice, but is also exceptionally committed to fighting a corner where that is needed. He manages his team exceptionally well.’

Key clients

The Law Society of England and Wales

Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley

the3million

Jewish Voice for Labour

British Standards Institution

Association of Child Psychotherapists

Good Law Project

Doctors Association UK

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Law Society in an urgent judicial review challenge concerning changes to arrangements for the assessment of Civil Legal Aid bills during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acting for various individual claimants in a succession of significant cases arising in the light of Covid-19, including acting for two adults with learning difficulties seeking priority access to the Covid-19 vaccine on an equal basis with other highly clinically vulnerable individuals.
  • Acting for members of the ‘Shrewsbury 24’ who were convicted for various crimes allegedly committed during the Building Workers’ strike in the early 1970s. Their convictions have been quashed by the Court of Appeal following a successful judicial review.

Deighton Pierce Glynn

Deighton Pierce Glynn‘s ‘passionate and extremely knowledgeable’ team is well known for representing individuals and charities in highly sensitive judicial reviews and inquiries, covering the government’s handling of the pandemic, Home Office policy and practices, and safeguarding issues. Team head Adam Hundt stands out for his depth of expertise in immigration cases, challenges to NHS policies and civil claims for damages arising from failings of the state to honour its duty of care. Polly Glynn is a go-to lawyer for clients seeking to challenge the failures of public bodies, including campaign groups and migrants, while Joanna Thomson stands out for her expertise in immigration detention, and has been acting for core participants in the public inquiry into abuse at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre. Sue Willman, praised by one client for her ‘astute tactical judgement’, has a strong reputation in international human rights cases. Zubier Yazdani is cited for 'always plumbing the depths of law and evidence in search of the just outcome for his clients.'

Practice head(s):

Adam Hundt

Other key lawyers:

Polly Glynn; Joanna Thomson; Sue Willman; Zubier Yazdani

Testimonials

‘DPG is an industry leader in public law strategic litigation cases. They are very knowledgeable in the areas of law impacting asylum seekers, refugees and migrants more generally. They have a genuine passion for advancing justice for those discriminated against because of their migration status. As a team they are approachable, responsive, passionate and extremely knowledgeable.’

‘Passionate, committed and highly knowledgeable. They have exceptional expertise within the team, combined with a level headed and realistic approach and genuine empathy for the people they represent.’ 

‘Sue Willman – extremely committed and effective public lawyer. Responds to emails quickly, keeps counsel appropriately updated, files papers efficiently, and acts indefatigably in her client’s best interest. She has a great deal of experience and this is manifest in her astute tactical judgment and the creative way she approaches issues in order to best serve those she acts for.’

‘DPG’s communication is exceptional. They are prompt, expert, paying attention not just to the client’s legal situation but also to their personal circumstances, needs and capabilities.  Flexible, compassionate, understandable and accessible.’

‘Deighton Pierce Glynn is staffed by professionals who truly care to support those whose rights are not respected and have been treated unfairly by statutory services. They are respectful, knowledgeable and thorough. They strive to support individuals as well as make systemic changes.’

‘This firm is like no other – their dedication, passion and commitment to social justice and helping vulnerable individuals is extraordinary.’

‘I have worked with both Joanna Thomson and Sue Willman. Joanna is a delight – hardworking, very wise tactically, very detail oriented, a brilliant solicitor all round. Sue is also fantastic- very creative, excellent judgment as to how best to advance her clients’ interests, a formidable litigator.’

‘DPG consistently focus on the best interests of the client; they combine excellent technical legal skills with complete and unwavering commitment to often very vulnerable clients.’

Key clients

ECPAT UK

Anti-Slavery International

DMA & Others

Big Brother Watch

Open Rights Group

English PEN

Work highlights

  • Acting for an individual who was the successful claimant in a judicial review of the DPP’s decision not to prosecute a former UAE diplomat for human trafficking.
  • Acting for Claimants in a test case before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights challenging the legality of the UK Government’s mass surveillance.
  • Acted in a challenge of the Defendant’s decision to accommodate the Claimants, who are vulnerable asylum seekers, at Napier Barracks in Kent where there has been a widespread outbreak of Covid-19.

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher continues to take on numerous high-profile legal proceedings, inquests and public inquiries, acting for both claimants and defendants. In a standout matter, Tim Suter and Abigail Scholefield are acting in the public inquiry into the death of Jermaine Baker, who was shot by a Metropolitan Police Office in 2015. Group co-head Matthew Lohn is well known for his expertise in financial, electoral, sporting and healthcare regulation, which he utilises to assist clients with judicial reviews, information transfers and fair process issues, while fellow co-head Martin Smith specialises in inquests, public inquiries and independent panel reviews. Barrister Oliver Carlyon stands out for his comprehensive experience in major inquests and public inquiries; he is currently assisting the Coroner in the inquest into the death of four men murdered by a serial rapist and killer. Carina May advises a broad range of clients in connection with governance issues, judicial review proceedings and appeals.

Practice head(s):

Martin Smith; Matthew Lohn

Other key lawyers:

Tim Suter; Abigail Scholefield; Sarah Ellson; Carina May; Oliver Carlyon

Testimonials

‘The level of professionalism offered by the team is a huge source of comfort to decision-makers. The team is able to get grips with new issues presented to them very quickly and is then able to demonstrate their understanding of the key issues faced by the organisation and advise accordingly.’

‘The leading firm in the market to act as solicitors to a public inquiry or large-scale inquest.’

‘Strength and depth in public inquiries and inquests. The go-to team for high-profile, complex, cases.’

‘Martin Smith – senior statesman of the inquiry world. Has seen it all in his time. Able to manage the most difficult inquiries with seamless efficiency.’

‘Tim Suter – a superb lawyer, a formidable whirlwind of productivity.’

‘Sarah Ellson is a first class operator in the public sector – administrative and public law area. She has the breadth and depth of experience that clients need in difficult cases. She is responsive and practical as well as having excellent knowledge of the law.’

‘Martin Smith – the market leading expert in public inquiry law.’

‘Tim Suter is astute, sensible and very capable.’ 

‘Sarah Ellson is an outstanding lawyer. She offers a reassuring level of insight into complex sector specific matters helping in-house lawyers build trust and shepherd decision-makers in the right direction.’

Key clients

Live Nation (Music) UK Limited

Bluebird Boats Limited

Construction Industry Training Board (‘CITB’)

Manchester Arena Inquiry

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (‘IICSA’)

Jermaine Baker Inquiry

Sudesh Amman Inquest

East London Inquests

British Association of Shooting and Conservation

Boston House Dental Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Live Nation (Music) UK Limited on a combined judicial review and public procurement challenge to the decision of The Royal Parks to award the contract to run the 2020-2025 Hyde Park Music Festivals to AEG Presents Ltd, Live Nation’s main competitor.
  • Advising the Chair in relation to the conduct of the Manchester Arena Inquiry.
  • Advising the Coroner in relation to the inquests into the deaths of four men (East London Inquests).

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'excellent public law team' handles an impressive range of contentious and regulatory matters in the field of administrative and public law, acting for claimants, defendants, interested parties and interveners. In addition, the team has a fantastic pro bono practice, which supports charities in important cases against the government. In a recent matter, solicitor advocate Andrew Lidbetter acted for AIRE (the Centre for Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) on a pro bono basis as an intervener in two important cases regarding access to benefits and human trafficking; in the first case, the Court of Appeal found in favour of the claimants, asserting that it is unlawful to prevent those with pre-settled status from claiming benefits. Solicitor advocate Nusrat Zar has diverse experience, spanning judicial reviews, statutory appeals, regulatory disputes, human rights issues and procurement matters. Of counsel Jasveer Randhawa and senior associate Anna Eliasson are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Lidbetter

Other key lawyers:

Nusrat Zar; Jasveer Randhawa; Anna Eliasson

Testimonials

‘The HSF team stands out for its exceptional experience and knowledge of public law litigation, particularly with a commercial aspect. The team have a real, practical, understanding of their client’s businesses and commercial needs, and how to use public law litigation to serve those needs.’

‘I would single out Andrew Lidbetter as a real star. He has exceptional knowledge of the substance and procedure of public law, combined with great judgment as to what is likely to work in court and achieve the desired result. His calm and assured manner inspires confidence in clients. He is definitely someone I would like on my side if I were faced with a legal difficulty in this area.’

‘Nusrat Zar displays similar qualities to Andrew, being a very experienced and knowledgeable litigator in this field, with fine commercial judgment.’

‘Anna Eliasson has demonstrated a real understanding of public law litigation and how to use it to achieve practical results for clients.’

‘Andrew Lidbetter – the best public law solicitor out there; a tactical genius with an encyclopaedic knowledge of public law.’

‘Excellent City public law team. Very hard working and led by the highly experienced Andrew Lidbetter. Great blend of commercial and public law expertise.’

Key clients

Stagecoach

Severn Trent Water

Church Commissioners for England and the Archbishops’ Council

Post Office

British Land

Parkdean Resorts

Centre for Advice on Individual Rights in Europe (AIRE Centre)

Cuadrilla

Zurich Insurance

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)

Good Law Project

EdF (Nuclear)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Severn Trent entities as defendants in major group litigation brought by around 140 claimants concerning the application of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
  • Acting for Stagecoach as a Claimant in two judicial reviews and two Part 7 claims in the Technology and Construction Court relating to the highly publicised decisions of the Secretary of State for Transport to disqualify Stagecoach from the East Midlands rail franchise competition and the South Eastern rail franchise competition.
  • Acting for the Church of England in relation to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP's 'pragmatic and collaborative' practice specialises in judicial reviews and non-contentious public law matters involving clients in heavily regulated sectors, leveraging its global regulatory practice, public affairs expertise and dedicated team of specialists. It is also highly regarded for its work in the technology sector, acting for major household names, including Uber and Airbnb, in relation to policy regulations and litigation. Solicitor advocate Charles Brasted  works for a diverse range of clients, including The Crown Estate, in relation to constitutional law challenges, complex regulatory matters and judicial reviews; he is currently acting for the Pension Protection Fund in judicial review proceedings raising complex questions of EU law. Solicitor advocate Julia Marlow maintains a diverse practice, focusing primarily on assisting clients with the complex regulatory aspects of their operations in the UK. Associate Andrew Eaton is recommended for his expertise in public international and constitutional law.

Practice head(s):

Charles Brasted

Other key lawyers:

Julia Marlow; Andrew Eaton

Testimonials

‘Always available to tackle our panoply of legal challenges, the team is adaptable and tuned in with our business and sectoral challenges. Top legal brains combined with real business acumen and an understanding of the work product their clients actually need as opposed to what law firms like to churn out – what is not to like?’

‘Hogan Lovells regulatory team are the gold standard for all regulatory lawyers, and all external counsel. They are the best team of lawyers that I have worked with. Razor sharp intellect, creative, awesome client service, and brilliant personalities too. I actually get excited before calls with this team.’

‘Julia Marlow – a true subject matter expert who takes time to really understand the client’s business.’

‘Charles Brasted – an excellent coordinator for the London team but also across the region.’

‘A highly knowledgeable and effective team of commercial regulatory and JR lawyers. They have unparalleled experience in running complex regulatory judicial reviews.’

‘Andrew Eaton is an excellent associate who is very easy to work with.’

‘The best blue-chip public law outfit in the market by a country mile. Handle many of the market leading commercial judicial reviews.’

‘Accessible, pragmatic, collaborative, played as a team, with the client, and internally among themselves. Good communication, and clear thinking from team leader, Charles Brasted.’

‘The best public law practice in the city. Outstanding intellectual ability and creativity.’

Key clients

Uber

The UK Gambling Commission

NATS

West Cumbria Mining Limited (WCM)

London Metal Exchange (LME)

The Crown Estate

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF)

Airbnb

Ofgem

ITV

Betting and Gaming Council

Vodafone

Lloyd’s of London

Work highlights

  • Represented Uber in its front-page appeal against the decision of Transport for London (TfL) to refuse to renew its London operating licence, having previously successfully acted for Uber in 2018 when the same issue was before the courts.
  • Instructed by West Cumbria Mining to issue a claim for judicial review, alongside applications for expedition and specific disclosure, of the Cumbria County Council’s decision not to grant planning permission in respect of the development of a metallurgical coal mine in West Cumbria.
  • Advised NATS, the UK’s leading provider of air traffic control services, on its most important administrative and public law matters, and its strategic response to the ongoing challenges of Covid-19, post-Brexit regulation of aviation and technological change.

Kingsley Napley LLP

Kingsley Napley LLP has a thriving contentious practice, known for representing a diverse range of clients in public inquiries, major inquests, high-profile judicial reviews and appeals. Adam Chapman's prominent work has included acting on behalf of Leave.EU founder Aaron Banks; he is also representing the Labour Party in connection with the ECHR's investigation into anti-Semitism within the party. Sophie Kemp, who recently succeeded Chapman as head of the public law team, stands out for her work on behalf of institutions in prominent inquiries concerning safeguarding and sexual abuse claims, including the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse; she is also highly regarded for her expertise in international human rights law. Associate Nick De Mulder, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in March 2020, is also recommended for his diverse portfolio of contentious work, touching on issues concerning human rights law and government policies.

Practice head(s):

Sophie Kemp

Other key lawyers:

Adam Chapman; Nick Wrightson; Emily Carter; Stephen Parkinson; Nick De Mulder

Testimonials

‘Sophie Kemp – absolutely outstanding in helping me think through some very complex issues; very patient and also clear and concise.’

‘Their manner is excellent. They understand your needs and are sympathetic to them. They listen. Their advice is thoughtful and realistic.’

‘Adam Chapman has public law experience that is second to none, after a long career with the Government Legal Department followed by a move into the private sector. He is trusted by clients and has excellent judgement.’

‘Knowledgeable specialist staff, wide use of technology, good international response, no diminution in service whatsoever during Covid. Well connected to specialist counsel. No time wasting.’

‘The team has a broad range of skills and handles all public law issues effectively.’ 

‘Sophie Kemp combines high level knowledge of the law with a very personal approach.’ 

Key clients

The Labour Party

The University of Cambridge

The Catholic Council for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

English Benedictine Congregation

The Financial Reporting Council

The London Fire Brigade

Spire Healthcare

The CORE Coalition and International Commission of Jurists

Former Metropolitan Police Commander

Traidcraft Exchange

Work highlights

  • Advised the Labour Party on the anti-Semitism inquiry conducted by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, and related litigation.
  • Advising the Catholic Church through the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Acting for an interested party in the major judicial review proceedings concerning the Government’s approach to procuring PPE in the pandemic.

Leigh Day

Leigh Day stands out for its varied work in the field of public law, encompassing immigration and refugee issues, social welfare work, environmental matters and healthcare regulations. The team is particularly well-regarded for its work on behalf of NGOs, charities and individuals in connection with significant human rights litigation. Team leader Jamie Beagent specialises in contentious matters involving planning and environmental law, in addition to the detention and welfare of immigrants and asylum seekers. The 'strong, clear and articulate' Tessa Gregory specialises in human rights disputes, in which she acts for individuals bringing cases against the state; she is representing the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter Terrorism in her intervention in proceedings challenging the Secretary of State's decision to deprive a young woman of her British citizenship. Benjamin Burrows, who became a partner in April 2020, represents former and current prisoners in various cases, including challenges under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010. Emma Jones stands out for her work in major public inquiries, including the Infected Blood Inquiry, while associate Waleed Sheikh is recommended for his expertise in immigration and unlawful detention claims.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Beagent

Other key lawyers:

Tessa Gregory; Benjamin Burrows; Emma Jones; Waleed Sheikh

Testimonials

‘The firm has established itself as a top public law outfit over the last ten years.’ 

‘Tessa Gregory at Leigh Day is an outstanding public lawyer. She has been involved in many leading cases involving welfare and benefits, and has been successful in many of these cases. She has superb strategic oversight, and does brilliant work in obtaining evidence to support her cases.’

‘The LD public law team is the go-to firm for strategic litigation in the public law field. It constantly handles cases with implications far beyond the narrow interests of the particular client.’

‘Tessa Gregory is a brilliant public lawyer. She understands her field perfectly, has exceptional judgment, is highly organised, and builds and leads her team with dedication and aplomb. She is the sort of solicitor that you dream of working with.’

‘The Leigh Day public law team are real experts in public law, with a particular strength in working with NGOs on difficult and ground-breaking cases.’

‘Tessa Gregory. One of the best out there. Strong, clear, articulate and an excellent lawyer and tactician.’

Key clients

UN Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights

Wild Justice

Declassified

John’s Campaign

Mencap

Prison Reform Trust

Freedom From Torture

Campaign Against the Arms Trade

Global Witness

Work highlights

  • Representing Afghan civilians in a number of public claims relating to allegations of unlawful killings of civilians by British Special Forces.
  • Representing a cross-party group of MPs and the NGO All the Citizens as it seeks to force the Government to conduct an independent investigation into alleged Russian interference in elections.
  • Representing a client in two challenges against the Cabinet Office regarding the accessibility of voting for blind and partially sighted people.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie's 'commercial and pragmatic' team has recently handled an increasing number of public law cases concerning environmental law and issues related to Brexit. Additionally, the firm continues to advise clients in relation to major human rights cases, challenges to government policies and public inquiries and inquests. Joanna Ludlam, who sits as co-chair of the firm's global compliance and investigations practice, represents private and public sector clients during judicial reviews, public inquiries and broader litigation. In one of her ongoing cases, she is acting for a major US healthcare and life sciences client implicated in an inquiry established by the French Assemblée Nationale to examine the management of the Covid-19 crisis in France. Associate Joanne Redmond is recommended for her regulatory expertise in the healthcare and media sectors, in addition to her ability to handle crisis management issues.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Ludlam

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Redmond

Testimonials

‘The firm continue to provide advice on a wide range of high profile/high value cases on behalf of an extremely impressive and diverse client base.’

‘We have dealt a lot with Joanna Ludlam. She epitomizes the spirit of Baker McKenzie: friendly, creative, collaborative and energetic.’

‘A really sound team. Very personable, client-focused. We had not used them previously but they turned their hand to several public law issues and disputes in new areas for them with aplomb and professionalism – really mastering the detail of our business very quickly. Was extremely impressed by this, and they have got us very good outcomes.’

‘Commercial, pragmatic, pursues every angle. Responsive and reliable on cost estimates.’

‘Joanna Ludlam provides excellent, pragmatic advice and is extremely knowledgeable in her field.’

Key clients

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Clean Air for Schools

The Good Law Project

CLDN

Work highlights

  • Acted, on a pro bono basis, for several claimants in judicial review proceedings that challenged the Government’s failure to review six Energy National Policy Statements, which determine how decisions are made on proposals for large fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable energy developments.
  • Advised UNHCR on several important and high-profile refugee law cases.
  • Represented Clean Air 4 Schools in relation to threatened judicial review proceedings against a local authority in relation to a consultation on planned road diversions and the detrimental impact they will have on traffic flow and air quality in the borough.

Bates Wells

Bates Wells advises the full spectrum of third sector clients in relation to policy developments, inquiries, safeguarding issues, advertising standards and various other facets of operations. Team head Melanie Carter specialises in policy law, acting for both government bodies and clients seeking to challenge the decisions of public authorities. Emma Dowden-Teale is a true generalist in public law, known for assisting clients in regulatory actions taken by Ofqual, CQC and local government departments. Associate Claire Whittle regularly works alongside Carter on public law challenges, including judicial reviews; the pair are currently advising on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the Infected Blood Inquiry. Associate Alistair Williams has a strong track record in investigations and judicial reviews targeting the audit industry.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Carter

Other key lawyers:

Emma Dowden-Teale; Claire Whittle; Alistair Williams

Testimonials

‘Emma Dowden-Teale and the other team members have gone the extra mile to assist us with a large project, working at pace and delivering on time. The team is approachable, offers quality advice and has a real understanding of the nature of our business.’

‘Emma Dowden-Teale is a joy to work with and always goes the extra mile to help. Her approach is such that she knows our business well and feels like an extension of our team. Emma’s knowledge and experience is so valuable and she is clearly a specialist in public law.’

‘Bates Wells’ team is responsive, flexible and committed to giving high quality advice on public law matters.’

‘Claire Whittle is focused and able to separate key issues from lower impact risks.’ 

Key clients

Birmingham Children’s Trust

Architects Registration Board

Royal Parks

Catholic Insurance Services

GambleAware

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

National Audit Office

Wales Audit Office

Advertising Standards Authority

AQA

Airport Coordination Ltd

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Compliance Officer

The Ramblers Association

Canal & River Trust

National Council of Voluntary Organisations

National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux

Social Work England

Work highlights

  • Advising the National Audit Office in relation to its new statutory Code of Audit Practice.
  • Advising AQA in relation to the fast-moving developments in respect of the GCSE and A-level exam series in Summers 2020 and 2021.
  • Advising ARB on the implications of Brexit for its functions, particularly in relation to the recognition of foreign qualifications and the need for new domestic legislation.

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP's 'highly professional and efficient' team is particularly well known for its expertise in the health, social care, education and housing sectors, where it provides full-service support to clients in relation to judicial reviews, discrimination claims,  special educational needs and mental health matters. Among recent highlights, the firm successfully represented NHS England in proceedings brought by the British Homeopathic Association regarding the client's decision to include homeopathy on the list of medicines and treatments which should not be routinely prescribed by GPs. Virginia Cooper, who co-leads the group with Judith Barnes, is an expert in the contentious and non-contentious aspects of public law, with an emphasis on issues concerning local government and healthcare clients. Stuart Marchant stands out for his niche in complex mental health litigation, which he handles alongside broader regulatory work in the health and social care fields. Olivia Carter is recommended for her expertise in procurement challenges and judicial reviews.

Practice head(s):

Virginia Cooper; Judith Barnes

Other key lawyers:

Olivia Carter; Amy Tschobotko; Jason Tandy; Stuart Marchant

Testimonials

‘BB is unique in being a full-service law firm with a deep understanding of public sector clients and their particular needs. In my area of commercial and public procurement law, that means that I can take it as a given that the commercial lawyer I speak to will also be aware of public procurement and wider public law considerations that may impinge on the commercial law advice given, as well as the particular challenges and sensitivities that public sector entities face in their commercial dealings with external parties.’

‘I worked with Bevan Brittan on a complex matter concerning allegations of forced marriage. My experience was that the firm was highly professional and efficient in dealing with that case.’

‘Virginia Cooper – highly responsive and in tune with client’s needs and keen to meet them in a helpful and pragmatic way.’

‘I felt that the team, in addition to possessing the legal expertise that would be expected of a private practice team, were very client focused. The advice was pragmatic and always timely.’

‘I was very impressed with Olivia Carter’s legal skills; we were seeking specialist skills in litigation which we do not have in-house. Also her ability to work with us as part of the team. Olivia was always very client-oriented.’

Key clients

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Local Government Association

NHS England and NHS Improvement

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Financial Conduct Authority

Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire

London Borough of Barnet

London Borough of Greenwich

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust

Somerset CCG

Bhatt Murphy

Bhatt Murphy specialises in representing state detainees, bereaved families in custodial deaths, protestors and victims of crime in public law litigation. Alongside this core offering, the firm has developed a reputation for its work on behalf of NGOs and charities, including major cases before the ECJ and the ECHR. Janet Farrell focuses primarily on representing vulnerable clients detained under immigration law, including pregnant women, children and victims of torture; she is currently representing Humanists UK in a number of interventions challenging the abortion regime in Northern Ireland. Jane Ryan frequently acts for prisoners in proceedings before the Parole Board and in claims against the Prison Service, in addition to representing clients in high-profile investigations relating to abuse in custody involving women and children. Mark Scott stands out for his leading role in major immigration and unlawful detention cases.

Other key lawyers:

Janet Farrell; Jane Ryan; Mark Scott

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

With particular expertise in the transport, infrastructure and utilities sectors, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP regularly advises clients in relation to transformational projects, regeneration schemes, outsourcings and procurement processes. In addition, the firm has a strong public inquiries division, which focuses on cases involving safeguarding issues and historic abuse claims. Huw Jones, who is based in Cardiff, leads the firm's local government practice, advising clients in relation to governance and public law issues. In Birmingham Sarah Jones, stands out for her work in highly sensitive public inquiries across various sectors; she is currently leading the team appointed as the Commissioning Body in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Telford. Birmingham-based principal associate Isabelle Mitchell, described as 'outstanding' by one client, is also a key member of the firm's public inquiries and investigations practice.

Practice head(s):

Huw Jones; Sarah Jones

Other key lawyers:

Isabelle Mitchell

Testimonials

‘The Eversheds team have provided consistent, reliable and good advice on various issues I’ve dealt with in the field of public law.’ 

‘Isabelle Mitchell in the commercial disputes/public inquiries team is outstanding and incredibly commercial in her approach.’

‘To my knowledge, the leading firm in this area with unrivalled experience in public inquiries. Strength in depth. Committed. Work collaboratively with us. Fantastic working relationship. Transparent on fees.’

‘It’s their sector specific expertise (in the higher education field) which ensures that they understand the strategic and operational issues which we are facing and can provide tailored and focused advice.’

Key clients

The University of Manchester

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Plc

The Haemophilia Society

Telford and Wrekin Council

Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board ( AHDB)

UK Biocentre Limited

Department for Transport

Network Rail

National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc

Gold Jennings

Gold Jennings specialises in cases involving immigration law, claims against the police and inquests, including cases concerning deaths in custody and police shootings. The firm has recently handled several test cases resulting in policy change; it was successful in its judicial review of the Home Office’s blanket policy of seizing mobile phones from migrants arriving by boat. Group leader Clare Jennings  specialises in judicial reviews involving the rights of asylum seekers, with a particular niche in cases regarding the No Recourse to Public Funds law that prohibits migrants from accessing welfare. Name partner Matthew Gold has particular strength in legal challenges involving the miscarriage of justice, while associate Rachel Etheridge is noted for her work on behalf of migrants, victims of human trafficking and survivors of sexual and domestic violence.

Practice head(s):

Clare Jennings

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Gold; Rachel Etheridge

Testimonials

‘Decades worth of diverse experience; very committed to providing tailored and sensitive advice, supported by strong junior solicitors.’

‘Clare Jennings is a leading expert in the field. Rachel Etheridge is a rising star.’ 

‘The team were efficient, very helpful and understanding at all times. They are professional, very knowledgeable, friendly and pro-active. I would highly recommend them.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in a landmark Supreme Court ruling concerning the standard of proof for suicide and unlawful killing.
  • Represented clients in a series of judicial reviews against the Secretary of State for Education’s policy regarding free school meals during the pandemic.
  • Representing clients in an ongoing judicial review challenging the use of army barracks as accommodation centres for asylum seekers on a number of human rights grounds.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's team, based primarily in Leeds, represents private and public sector clients in connection with contentious and non-contentious matters in the field of public law, with a particular focus on the transport, infrastructure and energy sectors. Its public inquiries practice is particularly prominent, evidenced by the team's ongoing involvement in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Manchester Arena Bombing Inquiry. Simon Kamstra represents clients from various heavily regulated sectors in judicial reviews, international disputes and arbitration proceedings, while Bill Gilliam has a strong track record in acting for clients in major procurement challenges and outsourcing disputes. Louise Dobson, who became a partner in May 2020, stands out for her regulatory and contentious work in the health and pharmaceuticals sectors.

Practice head(s):

Simon Kamstra; Bill Gilliam

Other key lawyers:

Louise Dobson; Ryan Geldart

Testimonials

‘Bill Gillam (the lead partner) is highly experienced, tactically astute, extremely easy to deal with and always calm under pressure.’

‘AG’s administrative and public law practice is excellent, one of the best in the country teams. Their strength lies in excellent, tight knit teamwork, great communication within their team and the teams at large, a very good working relationship with Counsel and the client and a tenacious approach to getting the right results for their clients.’

‘Bill Gilliam is the best solicitor that I have ever worked with. He has first class judgment, provides great leadership to his teams, deploys his knowledge of the law and the commercial needs of his client to great tactical effect and is a pleasure to work with. ‘

‘Louise Dobson is a relatively new partner but a ferocious litigator who goes the extra mile for her clients. She is very focused on her clients’ commercial needs and is astute in using the law to achieve their required results.’

‘The Addleshaw Goddard team are simply at the top of their game. All of the individuals I deal with know the law backwards but are also very skilled and adept at knowing how to apply it practically and to best effect.’

‘Bill Gilliam, Ryan Geldart and Louise Dobson are all superb. They are very easy to deal with, they pre-digest the material, are a useful source of checking and challenge, have constructive and original ideas and are very good at managing the interface with the clients.’

Key clients

Department for Transport

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

Scottish and Southern Energy plc

Totally Wicked Limited (Pillbox 38 UK Limited)

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

United Utilities plc

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.

Microgeneration Certification Standards Board

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

McKesson UK / LloydsPharmacy

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited

Highlands and Islands Airport Limited

Scottish Future Trust

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended the Department for Transport/Secretary of State in the Rail Franchising Litigation 2019 proceedings, which comprised one of the largest and most complex public procurement claims litigated to date in the UK, involving claims by multiple bidders across the three franchises with each of the disqualified bidders seeking damages in excess of £100m.
  • Acted for HS2 Limited in its successful defence of a major challenge to its £1.3bn procurement of a construction partner for the design and delivery of Old Oak Common Station, a transport super-hub and one of the biggest brownfield regeneration projects in Europe.
  • Acted for the NHS FTs in a claim in the High Court to recover 80% of the business rates paid to defendant local authorities for hospital properties.

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans is best known for its strong credentials in healthcare regulation issues, parliamentary proceedings and infrastructure projects. The firm has recently advised the Government in connection with regulatory issues arising as a result of Brexit and Covid-19, and acted in significant judicial reviews concerning environmental issues. 'Sensible and pragmatic' barrister Matthew Smith has over two decades of experience in judicial reviews and statutory appeals, and has a reputation for handling complex cases before the ECHR and highly sensitive public inquiries. David Mundy is an expert in parliamentary law, with a particular focus on the legislative process, and Sinéad Lester is recommended for her strength in major inquests.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Smith; David Mundy

Other key lawyers:

Sinéad Lester

Testimonials

‘Impeccable competence in every key area: legal knowledge, case understanding and preparation, attention to detail, communication and delivery.’

‘The team has a very high level of technical ability (at both partner and associate level), in particular in dealing with major inquiries. They have handled major projects with consummate organisational ability, while showing innovating thinking and intellectual rigour.’

‘Sinéad Lester is a very capable public lawyer and demonstrates extraordinary capacity for organising teams in major projects. She really absorbs the detail of a case and analyses every issue in advance. She has considerable expertise in major inquiries and national security work.’

‘Matthew Smith is a top practitioner who delivers a high quality service. He is committed to the field. His work under the Crown Commercial framework is highly rated.’

‘Matthew Smith – down to earth and easy to work with; sensible and pragmatic in approach; his experience as a government lawyer is valuable in public law cases.’

‘Ability to deal with challenging, complex issues with ease. Excellent communication and thorough preparatory work at all stages of litigation.’

Key clients

Former Chief Coroner of England and Wales

The Forde Inquiry

Age Verification Providers Association

Health and Care Professions Council

Nuffield Health

Natural Resources Wales (NRW)

RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd

British Medical Association

Health and Care Professions Council

Sheffield City Council, Newcastle City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, Birmingham City Council

Work highlights

  • Acted as solicitors to the inquests into the deaths arising from the attack at Fishmongers’ Hall on November 29th 2019.
  • Acting as the secretariat to the Forde Inquiry, which was set up in response to allegations that the Labour Party had failed to deal appropriately with accusations relating to anti-Semitism, and other forms of racism and offensive or inappropriate behaviour.
  • Acting as the secretariat to the IFI – a judicial inquiry established to investigate the circumstances surrounding Iraqi deaths involving British forces on a case by case basis and, crucially, to satisfy the UK’s investigatory obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP handles a diverse range of contentious and regulatory public law matters. Elizabeth Morony leads the contentious practice, focusing on judicial reviews involving complex environmental, tax and human rights issues. Andrew Dean heads up the non-contentious practice, specialising in public procurement and international trade law.  Associate Oliver Carroll is also recommended, given his experience in prominent judicial reviews. In a standout matter, the team advised the UK government on the public law issues relating to the production and roll-out of the country's Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Dean; Elizabeth Morony

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Carroll

Testimonials

‘Clifford Chance demonstrates a deep understanding of their specialist areas, but have the agility to connect to other colleagues rapidly in response to client needs. They generate a confidence and assurance borne of delivering results.’

‘The team at Clifford Chance are currently advising us in relation to judicial review proceedings. The matters involve novel arguments and the team have applied their excellent breadth of knowledge and expertise in relation to judicial reviews and relevant European case law in a highly effective manner. They are quick and strategic thinkers and it is great to be able to work directly with the associates on the team.’

Key clients

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

UK Government Investments

Department for Transport

The Lifescape Project

HM Treasury

Department of Health and Social Care

Affinity – Military Flight Training System

Network Rail

Government Legal Department

UK Debt Management Office

UK Export Finance

Work highlights

  • Advising an international investment bank in retained EU law judicial review proceedings worth over £100m.
  • Advising a major online retailer on public law issues connected to a nationally significant Covid-19 related contract.
  • Advising the UK government on the public law issues surrounding the production and roll-out of the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC BEACHCROFT LLP acts for public sector and healthcare bodies in relation to contentious and regulatory public law matters. Practice head Stephen Hocking primarily defends clients in judicial review litigation, with a particular focus on issues in the healthcare and education sectors. Alistair Robertson handles a varied roster of commercial and regulatory engagements, specialising in devolution and procurement law.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Hocking

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Robertson

Testimonials

‘Alistair Robertson gives well considered advice I can trust; he is responsive, thinks round the issues, is always on top of the issues and brief and manages the case well.’

‘Stephen Hocking is sharp, on the ball and strategic. He can be relied upon for a considered opinion on anything we throw at him. He understands our organisation inside and out, which is half the battle.’

‘Stephen Hocking is both very knowledgeable and able to use that knowledge in a way that helps our organisation to execute its quasi-regulatory role with both a secure legal fact base and with a flexibility that enables us to respond to developments in science and health.’

‘Stephen Hocking is one of the leading public law partners there is. He is an excellent technical lawyer, a robust litigator and also has excellent judgement.’

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors‘boundary-pushing’ team is very active in legal challenges asserting the rights of vulnerable individuals, including asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking. In addition, the firm frequently represents clients in unlawful detention claims against the Home Office and inquiries related to various public scandals and disasters, such as the Grenfell Tower fire. The ‘innovative and brilliant’ Toufique Hossain has an active pro bono practice, which supports asylum seekers in critical challenges throughout the UK court circuit, and the ‘outstanding’ James Packer  stands out for his expertise in judicial reviews and Court of Appeal cases, with a particular focus on immigration matters. Rohena Wallace, who is an accredited supervisor and level 3 (advanced) senior caseworker, has a broad public law practice, with notable expertise in EU human rights law and cases involving the unlawful deprivation of citizenship.

Practice head(s):

James Packer; Rohena Wallace; Toufique Hossain; Bernadette Adusei; Jenna McKinney

Testimonials

‘Duncan Lewis are probably the biggest legal aid claimant immigration firm in the country. They have managed something that almost no other firm has – to have a broad coverage with a lot of fee earners and yet maintain a high quality of work.’ 

‘The team is innovative and keen to bring test cases to further this area of law. They are knowledgeable in their field and keen to make a difference.’

‘James Packer is outstanding – very smart, very experienced, very knowledgeable and a real fighter. He is someone you would want on your side in any fight.’

‘The team are regularly instructed in some of the most high-profile public law claims, particularly against the UK Home Office in matters touching on immigration issues.’

‘Toufique Hossain’s ability to stay on top of all of these cases as well as ensure a high standard of legal services is a testament to the quality of his team and his leadership.’

‘Toufique Hossein is superb- very innovative, brilliant at strategic litigation, has excellent judgment, is incredibly hardworking and committed.’

‘Boundary pushing, taking risks, and advancing the interests of their clients and the sector.’

Work highlights

  • Acting in a challenge to Home Office detention policy in light of Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acted for Eritrea Focus in a legal challenge against the UK government’s funding and support of the EU Trust Fund for Africa’s ‘Reconnecting Eritrea and Ethiopia through rehabilitation of the main arterial roads in Eritrea’ development project.
  • Representing core participants in the landmark public inquiry into abuse at Brook House.

Hickman & Rose

Hickman & Rose predominantly acts for vulnerable individuals and charities in relation to cases against the state, relating to a diverse range of areas, including unlawful detention, war crimes and coronial law. The 'highly experienced and committed' Daniel Machover has a strong reputation for his work in cases arising from inquests; he is currently representing victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster in relation to the ongoing inquiry and in separate compensation claims. Stefano Ruis is recommended for his work in public law challenges relating to criminal investigations and proceedings, while Kate Maynard stands out for her work in legal challenges and investigations relating to the criminal justice system. 'Brilliant' associate Helen Stone recently represented INQUEST as an intervener in the Supreme Court judicial review of R v HM Senior Counsel for Oxfordshire, which led to a significant change in inquest law regarding the standard of proof.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Machover

Other key lawyers:

Stefano Ruis; Kate Maynard; Helen Stone

Testimonials

‘Hickman and Rose are recognised experts in the field of administrative and public law and upholding human rights. They have led on key strategic cases and provide an exceptional service to clients. They are a formidable team and respected across the sector.’

‘Immense client commitment, impressive strategic intelligence, one of the go-to firms for difficult inquests.’

‘Daniel Machover – smart, committed, highly experienced and impressive.’

‘Daniel Machover is at the top of his field – he has comprehensive legal knowledge of police, inquests and public law, has brilliant analytical skills, and is wonderful to work with.’

‘Helen Stone is a brilliant solicitor who is extremely sharp and thorough, quickly masters the key points in a case, and very thoughtful and attentive with clients.’

‘Helen Stone is a fabulous solicitor. She is intelligent, committed and hardworking.’

‘Kate Maynard – right at the top of her profession, quietly showing real care and judgment in very difficult areas.’ 

Work highlights

  • Representing 13 individual core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, all of whom are either resident survivors, leaseholders or bereaved family members of the victims.
  • Representing the mother of Emiliano Sala, an Argentine footballer who died in a light aircraft crash while travelling between France and the UK in January 2019.
  • Acting a client in a judicial review claim against the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service for a declaration that her decision to permit Detective Chief Superintendent Hibberd to retire from the MPS was unlawful given that there was an outstanding police complaint investigation into his conduct.

Hodge Jones & Allen

Hodge Jones & Allen has amassed a strong reputation for its work in inquests and public inquires, particularly in relation to challenges against the criminal justice system. In an ongoing highlight, the team is representing multiple core participants in the Undercover Policing Inquiry, involving the excessive use of surveillance. Susie Labinjoh specialises in judicial reviews involving the miscarriage of justice, while ‘leading public law solicitor’ Jocelyn Cockburn stands out for her broad practice, which includes acting for clients in highly sensitive wrongful death claims and environmental torts. Alice Hardy is noted for her expertise in challenges against the criminal justice system, whereas Sasha Barton focuses on representing victims of sexual assault in cases where the state has failed to take action.

Practice head(s):

Susie Labinjoh

Other key lawyers:

Jocelyn Cockburn; Alice Hardy; Sasha Barton

Testimonials

‘Hodge, Jones and Allen were absolutely amazing and I can’t thank them enough for what they have done for our family. Without them we wouldn’t have justice. They kept us informed at every stage, answered any questions we had and always responded in an extremely timely manner. They are professional, approachable and know their stuff! They went above and beyond to help and most importantly they understood us and cared about the outcome.’

‘Jocelyn Cockburn is a leading solicitor in public and police law, who has a brilliant record in bringing important public interest cases, with meticulous preparation and excellent oversight.’

‘Alice Hardy and Sasha Barton – very thorough in their preparation and give pragmatic and sensitive advice.’

‘Alice Hardy is a great case strategist, planning the next moves in advance and staying several steps ahead of the opposition.’

Work highlights

  • Represented the family of a child in a landmark inquest, resulting in the finding that air pollution in excess of the WHO Guidelines contributed to the death of the child, representing a failure of the state to protect her right to life.
  • Representing over 40 core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and over 100 claimants in the civil claims arising from the fire.
  • Acted for two individuals in a challenge to the decision of the Senior Coroner for West Sussex not to hold an Article 2 compliant inquest touching into the death of their daughter.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell represents individuals and groups in a wide range of legal challenges regarding important human rights and safeguarding issues, with a particular focus on the healthcare and education sectors. Group head Yogi Amin handles judicial reviews, human rights litigation and cases under mental capacity law. Oliver Studdert has a strong reputation in judicial reviews against the decisions of local authorities, in which he acts for charities, campaign groups and individuals. Associate Faith Salih is recommended for her expertise in legal challenges enforcing the rights of citizens to access healthcare services.

Practice head(s):

Yogi Amin

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Studdert; Faith Salih

Testimonials

‘Excellent experience with advice delivered in a practical commercial way.’

‘Irwin Mitchell are unique in offering genuinely national coverage for claimant public law. They are the only firm of which I am aware which has offices which cover every geographical area of England.’

‘Oliver Studdert is a highly experienced public lawyer who is excellent at formulating and bringing strategic challenges, often acting for NGOs. Ollie has outstanding judgment and always ensures that the evidence prepared to support a claim is entirely on point.’

‘Irwin Mitchell is a well known firm that has a firm handle on the complexities of complex circumstances that often result in complex cases.’

‘Oliver Studdert recently acted for me on a very sensitive and distressing case. I cannot imagine how many hours he gave me pro bono and I cannot thank him or Irwin Mitchell enough. His legal understanding of my case was excellent but his compassion, patience and the time he gave me surpasses any expectations I had.’

Key clients

Birthrights

St Margaret’s Church

Article 39

SXM

Work highlights

  • Advised Birthrights on the legal position concerning the recording or streaming of the ultrasound examination at antenatal scan appointments.
  • Represented Article 39 in a Court of Appeal case, in which it was declared that the Secretary of State for Education acted unlawfully in failing to consult the Children’s Commissioner for England and other children’s rights organisations before making ‘substantial and wide-ranging’ changes to legal protections for children in care.
  • Representing a client in a public law claim against Highways England in respect of the decision to implement and to continue to use Smart Motorways.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP primarily advises and represents private sector clients in connection with regulatory issues, including competition litigation, lockdown measures and licensing applications. The firm is also active in business critical judicial reviews, with a particular focus on the aviation sector. 'Very knowledgeable' group head Tom Cassels has a broad practice, which includes advising CEOs and board members on the public law aspects of major projects and transactions. Charlotte Morgan specialises in infrastructure and energy projects; and Nicole Kar has a wealth of experience in competition law investigations and merger control issues, particularly in the financial services, retail, mining and healthcare sectors.

Practice head(s):

Tom Cassels

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Morgan; Nicole Kar

Testimonials

‘Deep knowledge across many sectors, combined with extremely broad experience, gained over many years acting both for and against public authorities. Their teamwork is exceptional, matching the right level of work with the right team member while working together coherently, responsively and effectively – strong leadership and strong at every level.’

‘Tom Cassels is a role model of client-focus: a powerful combination of deep knowledge and experience, while being supremely sensible, pragmatic, commercial and friendly and approachable with it. These characteristics are mirrored in the team too.’

‘This practice combines exceptionally good understanding of legal principles with a real appreciation of the client’s practical needs and how to use public law litigation to achieve a result that is of commercial benefit to the client.’

‘I would single out Tom Cassels for his exceptional knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of public law, and his in depth understanding of his clients’ businesses and commercial needs.’

‘Tom Cassels has a wealth of experience in the sector, but remains utterly approachable. Fantastic at client handling. Very knowledgeable and great judgment.’

‘The Linklaters public team just get the job done. Quickly, incredibly efficiently, and in a very client-centric manner.’ 

‘For big-ticket public law and administrative law cases, Linklaters are a go-to firm.’

Key clients

International Airlines Group, Ryanair and easyJet

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

JD Sports

The Doggerbank Offshore Wind Farm Projects

Seagreen Wind Energy Limited

Sofia Offshore Wind Farm Limited

The Department for Transport

Medical Protection Society

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP has a well-regarded public law practice, known for pursuing high-profile cases against the government, including immigration and constitutional law matters. Emily Nicholson stands out for her work on behalf of author Gina Miller in both successful landmark challenges against the government related to Brexit: in the first case, she challenged the government's decision to trigger Article 50 without consulting parliament, and in the second case, she challenged the legality of the Prime Minister's prorogation of parliament. James Libson is a formidable litigator, known for handling highly sensitive legal challenges against the government. Associate Katy Colton leads the politics and law group, focusing on public affairs, commercial issues and media litigation.

Practice head(s):

James Libson; Katy Colton

Other key lawyers:

Emily Nicholson

Testimonials

‘Katy Colton is a fantastic associate. I worked with her on an employment matter. Dedicated, creative, and fiercely advocating for her client in what was a difficult, complex and multi-forum dispute involving civil proceedings, the GMC and Coroners Inquiries.’

‘Mishcon are known for their dogged and robust approach to litigation and excellent client care. They have an excellent specialist understanding of political party conduct matters.’

‘Really excellent profile and prepared to take on the most interesting cases even if financial rewards are meagre.’

‘They are very thorough, realistic, excellent teamworking, timely and precise communications with the client.’

‘They provide a personalised legal service; caring, very accurate and thorough, and realistic.’ 

‘This team is well known for its reputation both in the sector and the Home Office for getting bespoke solutions for high net worth clients with complex immigration and citizenship problems such as same sex trans-national adoption, celebrity work permits and high profile asylum claims. They are a serious team with serious clout who are taken seriously by the Home Office.’

Key clients

The Jewish Labour Movement

Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens

UsForThem

Triton Jersey

Ocado Retail Limited

The Criminal Bar Association

Work highlights

  • Advised the main complainant to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in relation to antisemitism in the Labour Party.
  • Acted in a high-profile pro bono judicial review, challenging the high level of Home Office fees for children to register as British citizens, which includes a profit element for the Home Office on every application of £640.
  • Advised an entrepreneur in relation to a campaign to seek to introduce a statutory public interest defence in the forthcoming Espionage Bill, in order to afford necessary legal protection to whistleblowers disclosing official secrets in the public interest.

Osbornes

Osbornes frequently handles judicial reviews and inquiries against public authorities, with a particular focus on representing children, young people and asylum seekers. In a recent matter, the firm acted in a judicial review asserting the housing rights of a vulnerable woman and her son at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Practice head William Ford takes on public law challenges involving housing rights, community care, welfare benefits and support for migrants, among other areas. His work in the field of housing law often involves challenging local authorities' refusals to honour statutory obligations. Associate Edward Taylor stands out for his expertise in legal challenges enforcing and protecting the rights of young refugees and asylum seekers.

Practice head(s):

William Ford

Other key lawyers:

Edward Taylor

Testimonials

‘Will Ford – one of a handful of specialists in social security law. Outstanding experience & knowledge of complex statutory schemes.’

‘Osbornes Law are an exceptional firm across the board from partners to paralegals and provide a consistent and exceptional legal service.’ 

‘The team is very hardworking and dedicated to achieving the best outcome for their clients. The team ensures that everything is done to a timely manner and that their clients are updated frequently. The team is approachable, friendly, and very easy to work with.’

‘Edward Taylor – knowledgeable and dedicated.’

‘Osbornes are an outstanding firm of solicitors with a deservedly strong reputation. They are very experienced in public law matters and I would not hesitate to recommend them. They are known for the important test cases they bring but are equally committed to the coalface work they do with vulnerable clients.’

‘William Ford is a very well-known and well-respected solicitor who has acted in some of the most important recent public law cases involving housing and welfare issues. He is extremely intelligent, always on top of the latest legal developments, and very committed to his clients.’

‘Edward Taylor is a highly intelligent, hardworking, and dedicated solicitor with meticulous attention to detail. It is a pleasure to work with him.’

Rook Irwin Sweeney LLP

Founded in March 2020 by three former Irwin Mitchell partners, Rook Irwin Sweeney LLP is particularly committed to taking on cases involving the rights of disabled children, adults and their families. Alex Rook represents individuals, charities and companies in various judicial reviews, with a particular focus on health and social care, mental capacity and human rights cases. Polly Sweeney, who sits as chair of the Law Society's Mental Health and Disability Committee, stands out for her prominent work in cases asserting the disability rights of children and young people.  Anne-Marie Irwin specialises in legal challenges involving health and social care issues, equality and planning law. Caroline Barrett joined the firm in December 2020 and possesses particular expertise in health and welfare cases before the Court of Protection.

Practice head(s):

Alex Rook; Polly Sweeney; Anne-Marie Irwin

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Barrett

Testimonials

‘RIS is small, agile, and highly expert in its field. There are few other firms who combine the expertise, commitment and enthusiasm of RIS. I would unhesitatingly recommend RIS for any claimant JR particularly in the social care and discrimination-related fields.’

‘Alex Rook is second to none in his field. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and very hardworking. Has a superb tactical sense.’

‘These guys have certainly hit the ground running! From nowhere they are definitely up there with the long established players, and yet they have the agility of a new organisation. They have recruited well so that the whole team is top notch.’

‘Rook Irwin Sweeney are unique in that they only work in the field of public law and human rights and every member of the team is an outstanding lawyer, with the partners all being true leaders in their fields.’

‘Alex Rook is a brilliant strategist who is able to manage the most complex cases with minimal support.’

‘Polly Sweeney is the pre-eminent education solicitor in the country, while also having deep expertise in other areas such as Court of Protection work.’

‘Anne-Marie Irwin and Caroline Barrett both combine being outstanding lawyers with the highest competence in procedural issues and client care.’

Key clients

Good Law Project Ltd

Every Doctor

The Runnymede Trust

Family Rights Group

Interlink Foundation

Stonewall

Brook

The Endocrine Society

Work highlights

  • Acting in complex and very high-profile challenges against the government in relation to its procurement of PPE during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acted for the claimants in a judicial review challenging the downgrading of important legal duties to over 350,000 children with special educational needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Simpson Millar LLP

Simpson Millar LLP specialises in mounting legal challenges to protect and enforce the rights of victims of human trafficking and asylum seekers, with a particular focus on judicial reviews challenging the UK’s refusal of take charge requests made by other nations under Dublin III. In addition, the firm is well-known for its advocacy on behalf of vulnerable children, including homeless teenagers, unaccompanied asylum seeking minors and care leavers. Victoria Pogge von Strandmann leads the group; she specialises in public law challenges in relation to the rights of children and migrants. Chris Callender handles a wide range of cases on behalf of individuals, including claims under the Children Act 1989 and claims against the prison system for failing to honour its duty of care. Senior associate Silvia Nicolaou Garcia specialises in high-profile cases involving victims of human trafficking.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Pogge von Strandmann

Other key lawyers:

Silvia Nicolaou Garcia; Chris Callender

Testimonials

‘I started working with Simpson Millar over the past few years and I have been incredibly impressed with the extremely high level of commitment they bring to every case. They are particularly well-known for challenges in the trafficking arena and also challenges by way of judicial review to refusals in respect of vulnerable asylum seeking minors or other vulnerable adults seeking to join their family members in the UK.’

‘The team is committed to assisting the most vulnerable in complex cases. I am aware of the team’s specific expertise in Judicial Reviews on behalf of unaccompanied asylum seeking children challenging decisions of the Home Office to refuse family reunification requests under the Dublin Regulations. The team is focused on achieving the best result for clients and also working in a collaborative way with other solicitors and NGOs in order to have a bigger impact.’

‘Simpson Millar are stalwarts of practice in community care and public law with an excellent and diverse team covering all areas of community care and public law. The team are consistently exceptional in terms of diligence, consistency of service and client care to provide exceptional services.’

‘Victoria Pogge von Strandmann and Silvia Nicolaou Garcia are both exceptional specialists in their fields.’

‘My experience working with Silvia Nicolaou Garcia has always been truly excellent.’

‘Simpson Millar handle innovative and cutting-edge cases for claimants in judicial review proceedings.’

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP predominantly advises local authorities in relation to various regulatory issues and legal challenges, with a particular focus on major developments and procurement processes. In addition, the firm acts for public sector clients in judicial reviews, investigations and inquiries. Solicitor advocate Lucy James is highly regarded for her expertise in procurement litigation, judicial reviews and complex regulatory matters, while Scott Dorling specialises in advising public authorities on vires, procurement issues and state aid matters.

Practice head(s):

Lucy James; Scott Dorling

Testimonials

‘Lucy James is very pragmatic and has excellent judgment in terms of what is likely to work in Court and achieve a result that is of real benefit to her client.’

‘I think what particularly makes this team stand out is a combination of real knowledge of the sectors in which their clients operate (eg social housing or local government) and an excellent understanding of the theory and practice of general public law.’

‘Lucy James at Trowers advised me with respect to a judicial review challenge to an admissions decision. She was highly responsive, strategic and realistic with respect to her advice.’

Key clients

Regulator of Social Housing

Hartlepool Borough Council

London Borough of Southwark

Belfast City Council

Gravesham Borough Council

Dorset Council

South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council

London Councils

Work highlights

  • Represented the Regulator of Social Housing in its defence of judicial review proceedings brought by Inclusion Housing Community Interest Company in respect of the Regulator’s Regulatory Judgment that judged the Claimant to be non‐compliant with the Regulator’s Governance and Financial Viability Standard.
  • Advising Belfast City Council on the state aid, procurement, governance and vires issues associated with the £100m Destination Hub – a state of the art tourist attraction in the heart of Belfast.
  • Advising on a range of public and administration law matters for London Borough of Southwark Council including the interrelationship between the public sector equality duty and public procurement law in relation to the Council’s role in purchasing services and devising an innovative Dynamic Purchasing System arrangement for providers of rehabilitation services to adults with drug and alcohol abuse.

Allen & Overy LLP

With a particular focus on the energy, financial services and TMT sectors, Allen & Overy LLP's team primarily advises private sector clients in relation to complex regulatory matters, such as the impact of Brexit on their operations, and judicial reviews. Furthermore, the team is known for advising multinational clients on the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act and its impact on cross-border trade. Team head Andrew Denny frequently assists clients with judicial reviews and public law issues arising during the course of major projects, including procurement litigation. Associate Maeve Hanna stands out for her pro bono work, including public law interventions before the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the High Court.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Denny

Other key lawyers:

Maeve Hanna

Testimonials

‘I am particularly familiar with Andrew Denny and Maeve Hanna. Andrew is a brilliant mind, creative and fantastically knowledgeable on public law, great on tactics and has built a superb team around him. Maeve is stellar and her very fast rise to partnership reflects this. She is knowledgeable, thoughtful, ultra hard working and organised and detail oriented, and has superb judgment. I have seen her always go the extra mile for her clients also. She is a joy to work with.’

‘A responsive, efficient team that constantly seeks to meet the highest standards of service.’

‘Andrew Denny is a partner with excellent knowledge of public law. He has first rate tactical understanding and is able to explain complex public law issues in a straightforward manner.’

‘Maeve Hanna is a rising star in the legal world. She is comprehensive with her advice, making complex issues clear and making herself available to clients to ensure a good understanding of the issues they face. She is thorough in her approach to her work and her analysis of the law is consistently excellent.’

‘They are absolutely fantastic- this team towers above other magic circle firms doing pro bono intervention work. They are legally astute, ultra hard working, ultra committed, brilliant on tactics. Just a delight to work with.’

DLA Piper

DLA Piper‘s ‘approachable and efficient’ team has broad public law experience, covering contentious and non-contentious matters, with a particular focus on procurement litigation. The team is also well regarded for its regulatory work for private and public sector clients across various sectors, which includes advising clients on the impact of Brexit on operations in the UK. Paul Stone is known for his expertise in major transport projects, both on the contentious and regulatory side while 'highly experienced and capable lawyer' Martyn Scott stands out for his strong track record in procurement litigation. ‘Outstanding’ senior associate Jonathan Blunden specialises in advising central government on lawful policymaking; he is also active in judicial reviews, procurement litigation and public inquiries.

Practice head(s):

Paul Stone

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Blunden; Martyn Scott

Testimonials

‘Excellent. One of the best firms that I have worked with in this area. They have real depth of experience and resources to deliver an excellent service.’

‘DLA Piper is exceptionally positive and forward thinking in valuing and developing its pro bono partnership with our charitable organisation in supporting strategic public law challenges.’

‘Jonathan Blunden is a very knowledgeable and able senior associate with an impressive depth of knowledge of public law and government administration.’

‘Jonathan Blunden is outstanding. He is really easy to work with, responsive and incredibly hardworking.’

‘Paul Stone is a great team leader. He has a gentle manner but inspires confidence and is highly capable.’

‘The team is user friendly, approachable and efficient.’

‘Martyn Scott has led the team on two cases that I have worked on and I could not speak more highly of him. A highly experienced and capable lawyer.’

Key clients

Department of Health and Social Care – NHS Test and Trace

Department for Transport

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – Magnox Inquiry

Electronic Collar Manufacturer Association and Petsafe Limited

Heineken UK Limited

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

Ocean Outdoor UK Limited

National Deaf Children’s Society

Work highlights

  • Acting for NHS Test and Trace in respect of a number of contentious and non-contentious public and administrative law matters relating to its and the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acted for the Department for Transport in the 2019 Rail Franchising Litigation, the most complex and high-value public law claims litigated to date in the UK.
  • Acting for the Magnox Inquiry in respect of its consideration of the failure of a £7bn contract for the decommissioning of 12 nuclear power sites.

Russell-Cooke LLP

Russell-Cooke LLP handles judicial reviews in various sectors, acting primarily for professional regulatory bodies. It is particularly well known for its focus on legal challenges relating to planning, housing, immigration and criminal law. John Gould has broad expertise in public law litigation and regulatory matters; he acted for former cabinet minister Peter Hain in a case involving allegations relating to the late registration of donations in the election for the deputy leader of the Labour Party. Edward Wanambwa specialises in immigration law, both in terms of advising businesses on the implications of Brexit on their workforce, and bringing legal challenges against decisions made by the Home Office.

Practice head(s):

John Gould

Other key lawyers:

Edward Wanambwa; Michael Stacey; Lauren Cormack

Testimonials

‘Russell-Cooke are specialists in crime and extradition, with an excellent and dedicated team with experience in complex and niche extradition cases.’

‘The practice is unique in its diverse range of law areas covered and more so it’s ability to quickly and efficiently draft a case and legal standing. Teamwork between different elements of the team enabled a fast result. Furthermore the ability to act remotely with Covid social distancing was a big plus.’

‘John Gould: Intellectual clarity and an ability to think outside the box. Michael Stacey: excellent understanding of administrative and public law and an unswerving desire to deliver what is possible for his clients whilst keeping balanced judgment.’

‘Michael Stacey, Partner. Michael quickly surpassed my expectations. He has an incisive mind and rapidly grasped previously unfamiliar points of law. He is thoughtful and considerate and very pleasant to work with.’

‘Senior Partner, John Gould and Associate Lauren Cormack. John fruitfully brought a wealth of experience to bear. Lauren proved to be an attentive listener [an underrated skill]. Lauren also displayed clear sightedness and creativity in compiling a jumbled array of evidence into an easily digestible format.’

‘High degree of specialist knowledge and diligence.’

Key clients

Core Participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Authentic Equity Alliance C.I.C.

Triplerose Limited

Borough Market

Work highlights

  • Representing fourteen clients who are Core Participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, including previous residents who escaped from the fire, bereaved families whose relatives were victims, and residents of the local area who were adversely affected by the fire.
  • Acting for Authentic Equity Alliance in a judicial review challenging the lawfulness of EHRC’s Statutory Code of Practice on Services in respect of separate sex and single-sex services and whether it strikes a reasonable balance between the rights of women and the rights of transgender people.
  • Acting for a developer on a planning appeal in relation to the conversion of an industrial warehouse to residential use.

Saunders Law

Saunders Law's 'first-class' team specialises in public inquiries and inquests, with a particular focus on Article 2 inquests and challenges against decisions by the police or CPS not to prosecute defendants. On the public inquiry side, the team is currently acting for 22 core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and four core participants in the Infected Blood Inquiry. Team leader Nia Williams is highly regarded for her advocacy in cases against the criminal justice system regarding the abuse of power, discrimination claims and deaths in custody, many of which involve alleged breaches of the Human Rights Act. 'Exceptional' associate Ceri Lloyd-Hughes is recommended for her expertise in civil liberties and police misconduct litigation.

Practice head(s):

Nia Williams

Other key lawyers:

Ceri Lloyd-Hughes

Testimonials

‘The Saunders team is smaller than some in the area, but they punch above their weight, handling a number of high profile and complex cases.’ 

‘Saunders Law has a dynamic team, who have both comprehensive legal knowledge of public law principles and an empathic, client-focused style of working.’ 

‘They are first class; always available to talk and keep me informed along the way.’ 

‘Committed, diligent, efficient and empathetic.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for victims in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Successfully acted for the mother of an individual, who died in police custody in March 2018, in an inquest into his death which concluded on 9th October 2020.
  • Successfully defended an appeal in the Supreme Court concerning the scope of false imprisonment.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP acts for a diverse range of public sector clients across the country, showing particular expertise in public inquiries, Equality Act claims and administrative and corporate governance work in the healthcare sector. In addition, the firm has a very strong reputation for its expertise in large-scale environmental projects. Richard Barlow has a strong track record in advising public bodies on governance, judicial reviews and vires issues, while Laura Hughes has a broad practice, which covers public and administrative law issues in various sectors, including the education, healthcare, natural resources and sport industries.

Practice head(s):

Richard Barlow; Laura Hughes

Testimonials

‘Team punches well above its weight. Top quality individuals.’

‘Richard Barlow – hugely knowledgeable and client friendly.’

‘Laura Hughes – diligent and user friendly.’

‘They have a very strong client focus and work very closely with us and are aware of our needs and interests, while providing independent advice.’ 

‘The team are practical, extremely accommodating and will help find innovative solutions to any problem. They are able to find anyone to assist at short notice but then the team are friendly in their approach too and nothing is ever too much trouble.’

‘I have been impressed with the quality, clarity and speed of advice. They have a breadth of experience within the company and use this to provide a rounded response to queries, often exploring the wider implications of my query on the sector as a whole.’ 

Key clients

Qualifications Wales

Welsh Government

NHS Leicester City CCG

NHS Commissioning Board

London Devolution Programme – London Estates Board

Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Professional Standards Authority

Natural England

Marine Management Organisation

Independent Monitoring Authority

Pure Gym Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Pure Gym on the legality of measures introduced in response to the Covid pandemic that related to gyms and the company’s options to challenge those measures.
  • Advising the Board and senior officers of Qualifications Wales upon the approach to be adopted to public exams.
  • Advising Thurrock Council in relation to the Development Consent Order for the Lower Thames Crossing.

Capsticks LLP

Capsticks LLP specialises in representing NHS bodies in judicial reviews, particularly in relation to proposed changes to the location and configuration of healthcare services. Additionally, the team has developed a strong reputation for its work on behalf of individual patients, including matters under the Mental Health Act. Peter Edwards is known for working with policy leaders in the healthcare sector, assisting with major organisational changes and staff transfers. Ian Cooper often assists care providers with CQC registrations; he is also known for providing high level advice across the NHS regarding the inspection and enforcement powers of the CQC. Francis Lyons is also a core member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Peter Edwards; Ian Cooper

Other key lawyers:

Francis Lyons

Testimonials

‘Capsticks have a strong portfolio of clients who work in the public/regulatory sectors which means they are well placed to understand and advise on the broad and unique range of issues that can concern organisations working within these sectors. They are a full service law firm and can therefore respond to requests for advice on issues as broad as employment matters, data protection, civil litigation, judicial review and contract law.’

‘The individuals I have worked with are well versed in public law and can cut through the nub of issues to try to solve the problem. Standout partner Peter Edwards provides thorough advice on a very broad range of issues.’

Key clients

NHS Kent and Medway CCG

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

NHS Lincolnshire CCG

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust

NHS West Sussex CCG

NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG

NHS Milton Keynes CCG

NHS Oxfordshire CCG

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

NHS South West London CCG

NHS Brighton and Hove CCG

NHS South East London CCG

Solicitors Regulation Authority

Bar Standards Board

General Chiropractic Council

General Pharmaceutical Council

Work highlights

  • Represented United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and NHS Lincolnshire CCG in a judicial review claim brought by a local campaign group, alleging that the trust had failed to comply with its duty of public involvement during the pandemic.
  • Acted for West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust in a judicial review of decisions to support a business case for capital investment in the redevelopment of Watford General Hospital.
  • Successfully defended NHS Kent and Medway CCG in two judicial review claims brought in connection with the CCG’s decision to concentrate hyper-acute stroke services on three sites across Kent and Medway.

CMS

With particular expertise in the energy and life sciences sectors, CMS is a strong firm for private sector clients in heavily regulated industries. The team is well versed in contentious and regulatory mandates, providing advice in relation to procurement processes, judicial reviews and strategic negotiations with industry bodies. Dan Tench predominantly assists gambling and entertainment companies with regulatory compliance and litigation, while Gareth Morgan specialises in representing large life sciences clients in disputes before the CJEU and London Administrative Courts. Omar Qureshi stands out for his strong working knowledge of the regulations governing traditional and renewable energy companies.

Practice head(s):

Dan Tench

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Morgan; Omar Qureshi

Testimonials

‘Focused, razor-sharp and detail-oriented. Imaginative, realistic and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Omar Qureshi, partner, is astute and articulate, leading strategy whilst listening to client concerns and input from colleagues or Counsel. He is able to take or suggest a difficult judgment call.’

‘CMS’ administrative and public law work stands out for the breadth of its client base and its excellent understanding of the industries affected by public law decisions, as well as the best strategy to further their clients’ interests. The members of the team are without fail well versed in the detail, and able to bring a range of skills to bear across private and public law proceedings.’

‘Gareth Morgan stands out as a leader his field. He has exceptional industry knowledge and excellent client handling skills, often thinking years ahead of the market about new challenges and issues arising.’

Key clients

Teva Europe

AEG Presents Limited

viagogo AG

GVC Services Limited

The Arora Group

Utilita Energy Limited

Gravis Solar 1 Limited and AMP GM011

Wood Boilers LLP and GCP RHI Boiler 1 Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Teva on a case in the EU General Court in relation to the refusal to grant a marketing authorisation for a generic cabazitaxel product, an oncology therapy.
  • Represented the Arora Group as an interested party in defending judicial review litigation relating to runway expansion at Heathrow Airport.
  • Acted for AEG Presents Limited in a judicial review claim and a procurement claim brought by its global rival, Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd, against the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and The Royal Parks relating to the tender process for the 2020-2025 contract for British Summer Time Hyde Park music festival.

Gowling WLG

With a wide range of clients including regulators, central government bodies and local authorities, Gowling WLG is known for handling significant commercial judicial reviews, representing clients in competition appeals and working on major projects, such as the roll-out of smart meters across the UK. John Cooper focuses primarily on advising utilities companies in connection with public law issues, including judicial reviews in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Kieran Laird has extensive and wide-ranging experience in public law challenges, in addition to a wealth of knowledge of the constitutional issues caused by Brexit.

Practice head(s):

John Cooper

Other key lawyers:

Kieran Laird

Testimonials

‘Exceptionally deep knowledge of regulatory public law matters. Special experience of acting for and against regulators. Backed up by good general public law experience.’

‘John Cooper has outstanding knowledge and experience of the regulatory sector. He is a very fine public lawyer, who will always dig deeper for the client.’

Key clients

Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual)

Water Services Regulation Authority (known as Ofwat)

Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

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

Oxfam

Regulator of Community Interest Companies

Wales and West Utilities Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Ofqual on amending the framework governing qualifications to allow over 5 million GCSE grades and 700,000 A level grades – as well as hundreds of thousands of vocational qualification results – to be issued following the cancellation of exams due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advising the Department of Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy on the government-led smart metering rollout programme involving the installation of smart meters in all domestic and small business premises in Great Britain.
  • Advising Wales and West Utilities during the process leading up to Ofgem’s decisions setting the amounts that the company can recover from customers over the next five years and advising on applying to the CMA for permission to appeal those decisions.

Irvine Thanvi Natas

Irvine Thanvi Natas specialises in litigation involving human rights issues, and its expertise in legal challenges against the decisions and actions of the prison system is also noteworthy; it is also highly regarded for representing clients in national security cases and judicial reviews protecting the rights of victims of human trafficking. William Kenyon is often instructed by clients on unlawful detention claims and national security cases. In one recent highlight, he challenged the Parole Board's policy on the deferral of oral hearings. Lochlinn Parker frequently represents organisations and individuals seeking compensation in highly sensitive claims against the criminal justice system.

Practice head(s):

Lochlinn Parker; William Kenyon

Testimonials

‘Lochlinn Parker is an outstanding professional –  warm, generous and empathetic with clients, yet focused and determined.’

‘Just done a very tricky civil claim with Lochlinn – sensitive, required careful handling, done over CVP under great pressure. Won. Exceptional job on all levels by him. A real player in the area.’

Work highlights

  • Representing several individuals in appeals before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, in respect of the deprivation of their citizenship on national security grounds.
  • Acting for a number of clients who have been convicted of, or suspected of committing, terrorism offences in the context of reviews by the Parole Board, licence conditions and Terrorism Exclusion Orders.
  • Acted for a number of prisoners in a challenge to the law applicable to IPP prisoners and systemic delays in the release of prisoners by the Parole Board.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood stands out for its expertise in complex administrative and public law cases involving financial services clients, including challenges to sanctions and internal investigations. In addition, the firm has a strong regulatory and contentious practice in the transport sector; currently, the team is representing Ryanair in a challenge against a ruling in the CJEU declaring that the airline must compensate passengers for flights cancelled as a result of strike action. Tony Woodcock frequently assists clients with judicial reviews and internal investigations, whereas the 'tremendously clever' Sean Jeffrey has strong credentials in financial services litigation, particularly cases involving the wrongful imposition of sanctions on banks.

Practice head(s):

Tony Woodcock; Sean Jeffrey

Testimonials

‘Sean Jeffrey is a superstar. A bona fide expert public lawyer with equal expertise in FCA and regulatory work, and also commercial work. He’s tremendously clever, and in particular is the man to lead any massive complex commercial JR. Outstanding.’

‘Stephenson Harwood has a highly capable and committed team. It is led by a brilliant partner supported by very competent team of associates. They are highly responsive to clients’ needs.’

Key clients

Gibraltar Financial Services Commission

Ryanair DAC

Arriva Rail East Midlands Limited

Bank Saderat Plc

Ministry of Defence and Support for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran

North London Waste Authority

Bank Sepah International Plc

CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles)

United Kingdom Accreditation Service

Work highlights

  • Assisted Gibraltar Financial Services Commission with a statutory investigation into the collapse of Enterprise Insurance Company and the conduct of its directors and auditors.
  • Acted for Bank Saderat plc and its parent, Bank Saderat Iran, one of Iran’s largest commercial banks, in defence of EU sanctions.
  • Acting for Ryanair in respect of an ongoing judicial review against the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

TV Edwards LLP

TV Edwards LLP's 'brilliant, strategic team' focuses on representing vulnerable individuals in claims against the state, particularly in terms of its failure to provide accommodation and basic care services for children and adults in need. Katie Brown often defends clients facing eviction or possession orders as a result of benefits issues; additionally, she regularly acts for homeless individuals in claims against the decisions of local authorities. Jacky Starling specialises in all areas of housing law, including possession claims, eviction orders and benefits issues, in which she acts for defendants against the government. Jenny Hunt is also a core member of the public welfare and housing team.

Practice head(s):

Jacky Starling; Katie Brown

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Hunt

Testimonials

‘Legal knowledge and organisation are key skills. Compared to other firms, the level of interaction with the legal technicalities is superior and the quality of documents produced is high level.’

‘Brilliant team. Knowledgeable and strategic. Particularly good in cases involving mental incapacity.’

‘TV Edwards is an outstanding law firm with an excellent social housing team. Its solicitors are dedicated, intelligent, determined, and empathetic. The solicitors I have worked with have particular expertise in dealing with vulnerable clients, many of whom lack capacity.’

‘This firm covers a variety of areas of public law extending from homelessness, social security law, claims against public bodies under the Human Rights Act, public law duties to children and young people and adults in need of care services. The team includes highly experienced and well-regarded practitioners.’ 

‘The team is dedicated to achieving the best outcome for clients, and they are not afraid to robustly challenge the decisions of local and national government where it’s appropriate to do so.’

Wilson Solicitors LLP

Wilson Solicitors LLP‘s ‘brilliant and dedicated’ team predominantly represents migrants, victims of human trafficking and prisoners in judicial reviews serving to protect and enforce fundamental human rights. Recently, Nina Rathbone Pullen and Hannah Watkins represented one of three claimants in a test case concerning the provision of accommodation to destitute migrants, which resulted in the High Court finding that the claimant had suffered degrading treatment in violation of Article 3. Practice head James Elliott has a strong track record in public inquests and legal challenges against Home Office policies.  Associate Nusrat Uddin , whose practice covers public law and human rights, including migrant welfare and actions against the state, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

James Elliott

Other key lawyers:

Nina Rathbone Pullen; Hannah Watkins; Jed Pennington;  Nusrat Uddin

Testimonials

‘Wilsons Solicitors LLP have a great depth of experience in this area. They are really at the top of the game in the public law field. In the immigration cross over areas in particular, they are known as being leaders in their field.’

‘Nina Rathbone Pullen is fantastic – very thoughtful, very detail-oriented, knowledgeable, highly committed to her clients’ interests, excellent judgment both on law and tactics.’

‘Wilson Solicitors LLP’s public law team stand out head and shoulders above the rest for their client care and preparation of litigation. The quality of preparation by the team is consistently excellent and all members have a sound appreciation of the legal issues and what queries to raise when instructing counsel.’

‘Brilliant and dedicated lawyers.’

‘Excellent committed solicitors. Fantastic client care, particularly good with vulnerable clients. Work incredibly hard to achieve the best results for clients.’

‘I have assisted the public law team at Wilsons in cases with an immigration context, including unlawful detention. Theirs is a uniformly great team: diligent, easy to work with, conscientious and committed to their clients. They have an in-depth knowledge of the law and procedure.’

‘Nina Rathbone-Pullen is a superb strategist.’ 

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in their challenge to the system and criteria for determining eligibility for accommodation under schedule 10 of the Immigration Act 2016, of wider relevance to many destitute migrants.
  • Represented a client in a challenge to a police policy relating to how potential victims of trafficking should be dealt with which required the officer in the case to contact Immigration Enforcement.
  • Successfully represented a client in a claim for unlawful detention spanning almost 4.5 years, with judgment handed down by the High Court, QBD in February 2021.

Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP

Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP has particular strength in judicial reviews concerning housing rights, in which the team acts for public bodies, intervenors and vulnerable individuals. 'Exceptional solicitor' Andrew Brookes specialises in housing law; he is also known for his expertise in public inquiries and is currently acting for a core participant in the Grenfell Tower inquiry. Giles Peaker is often instructed in prominent disputes protecting the housing rights of homeless citizens and tenants.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Brookes

Other key lawyers:

Giles Peaker

Testimonials

‘They are very dedicated, client-focused and bring decades of experience to their work.’ 

‘Andrew Brookes is an exceptional solicitor who is able to approach problems from ingenious angles.’

‘The service provided by the solicitors is of a very high standard. They are accessible, approachable and will take the time to discuss matters with clients in layman’s terms, providing fair and practical advice. You feel reassured that they are genuinely pursuing your best interests.’

Key clients

Residential Landlords Association

Core Participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Work highlights

  • Acted for Residential Landlords Association in an intervention in High Court judicial review proceedings.
  • Instructed by a core participant in the high-profile Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Representing individuals in an appeal against a decision to allow past criminal conduct to be relied upon in First-Tier Tribunal proceedings.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP's 'very responsive and sharp' practice is particularly well-known for advising public sector bodies on major projects, spanning numerous sectors, including the education, defence, energy and transport industries. Of particular note, the firm successfully represented First Trenitalia West Coast Rail in rail franchising litigation, which involved the defence of several procurement challenges. Gary Soloman specialises in planning applications, compulsory purchases and compensation matters, while John Houlden is singled out for his expertise in procurement law.

Practice head(s):

Gary Soloman; John Houlden

Testimonials

‘The team was incredibly strong, and absolutely pivotal in the success of our actions. Combining highly impressive technical knowledge (including a great deal of regulatory expertise they developed specifically for the purpose of this JR) with strategic insight and a sound (and in my experience unusual) understanding of business commercial objectives, they delivered an outstanding service and I have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone contemplating an administrative challenge in the energy sector and beyond.’

‘The team is very responsive and sharp. Issues are well thought through and advice is easy to follow.

‘John Houlden – responsive, sharp, pragmatic and a pleasure to work with.’

‘The team has deep knowledge of the public sector which enables them to provide pragmatic, risk-based advice which clients can easily apply.’

Key clients

First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Ltd

OFGEM (The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets)

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)

UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)

The Department for Education

Isle of Anglesey County Council

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

South Gloucestershire Council

Greater London Authority and Transport for London

Ministry of Defence

Welsh Government / Transport for Wales

Former Qila Energy Group Entities

Larkfleet Energy

Work highlights

  • Represented First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Ltd in the 2019 Rail Franchising Litigation, which involved a set of unsuccessful procurement challenges against the Secretary of State for Transport.
  • Advised the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in relation to a number of nationally significant, ground-breaking projects for the development and manufacture of vaccines and antibodies as part of the national effort to fight Covid-19.
  • Advised The Welsh Government and Transport for Wales (“TfW”) on the transfer of the CVL Network from Network Rail to TfW as part of the wider Wales and Cross-Border Rail Service and Metro.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has a strong constitutional law and human rights practice, which handles domestic and cross-border litigation on behalf of NGOs and individuals. In addition, the firm has a strong reputation for its role in cases of state corruption, specifically in relation to the expropriation of private assets by state officials. Commercial litigator Philip Rocher is known for handling highly complex financial services disputes involving public and administrative law issues, while Patrick Doris stands out for his expertise in commercial judicial reviews, expropriation cases before the ECHR and international human rights litigation.

Practice head(s):

Philip Rocher

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Doris

Testimonials

‘I have been working with the team now for over 5 years on a complex case that has taken much longer than we all initially expected. They have been an enduring pillar of support during this experience, tenacious and creative, bringing great insight, energy, and critical advice. They have also been brave compared to some of the firms we have worked with – willing to engage the authorities on tough topics, and quick to cut through attempts at deflection. It has meant sometimes the authorities are wary of them – which is no bad thing to have in our corner.’

‘Depth of commitment to public interest and pro bono work, alongside more commercial and regulatory work.’

‘Patrick Doris has made an exceptional contribution to some very important pro bono and public interest work concerning work to decriminalise homosexuality worldwide. I have been incredibly impressed by what he has brought to this work.’ 

‘Patrick Doris is a great person there on public law issues. We have been working with him on ECHR applications and he is really good and expert in his field. Very happy to work with him.’

‘Patrick Doris is phenomenal. He is knowledgeable, astute and absolutely indefatigable. I have complete confidence in him and have never felt that he is less 100% committed to our case. No ask is too big or too small.’

Key clients

Human Dignity Trust

Walmart/Asda

Facebook

UBS AG

Koza Ipek Group

Accenture

William Hill plc

AVEVA plc

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Forensic News LLC

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP specialises in providing full-service advice to NHS organisations, touching on issues related to the pandemic, corporate governance work, public inquiries, and judicial review challenges. Emma Stockwell, who is based in Liverpool, has handled a number of high-profile public inquiries and investigations throughout her career. Kiran Bhogal is particularly experienced in judicial reviews and public inquiries involving failures of the health and social care sector.

Practice head(s):

Emma Stockwell; Kiran Bhogal

Testimonials

‘I’ve dealt with five different lawyers on various legal matters, who have all been excellent. All are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. I have the utmost confidence in their ability and feel reassured by their support.’

‘The team are always accommodating and they ensure that they complete their work to a high standard but more importantly upholding our values of putting patients first. Their rates are transparent and fair and nothing is too much trouble.’

Key clients

NHS England

Health Education England

Care Quality Commission

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (comprising Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust)

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Leeds CCG

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Barts Health NHS Trust

Royal Free Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Surrey Heartlands CCG

Work highlights

  • Advising a number of NHS Trusts across the country on their disclosure of information to and their participation in the Infected Blood inquiry.
  • Instructed to represent Royal Surrey Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in respect of the reopened inquests into the Guildford Pub Bombings in 1974 following the quashed convictions of the accused perpetrators.
  • Assisted NHS England with amendments to its standard national primary medical services (i.e. GP) contracts to reflect legal changes set out within five sets of regulations governing the commissioning of primary medical services in the NHS in England.

Sharpe Pritchard LLP

Sharpe Pritchard LLP predominantly represents local authorities in judicial reviews, and is also increasingly involved in public law challenges on behalf of central government departments. Mari Roberts handles a wide range of disputes in the field of housing law, in addition to representing local authorities and individual claimants in judicial reviews. William Rose is noted for his expertise in public law cases concerning planning and zoning issues.

Practice head(s):

Mari Roberts

Other key lawyers:

William Rose

Testimonials

‘They are fluent in public law! The team convey a sense of expertise and experience that gives clients clarity and confidence in decision making. Very impressive. I have also been impressed with some of the more junior team members, who are empowered to advise and develop relationships with clients. The firm clearly has a very positive culture of developing junior lawyers.’

‘The expertise of William Rose, in particular, is much-admired – he is my go-to practitioner for planning injunctions and related High Court work. I know he is relied upon by many local authorities to do London High Court work, and I consider him to be the best in that field.’

‘The breadth of experience and expertise is palpable, which makes the team easy to recommend for a wide array of matters, certain that its members will not disappoint.’

‘William Rose – you would not find another solicitor who has the specialist knowledge that he has of procedural matters relating to injunctions, statutory review and judicial review.’

Key clients

Covent Garden Market Authority

Local Government Association

Pubs Code Adjudicator

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Vale of White Horse District Council

London Borough of Waltham Forest

Slough Borough Council

London Borough of Redbridge