Administrative and public law in London
Bindmans LLP’s wide-ranging practice is acknowledged as a leader in the field of public law challenges, with an extensive team led by John Halford and Saimo Chahal QC (Hon) acting on some of the most high-profile cases in this area for organisations and groups of individuals. Significant recent highlights involved successful challenges to the Lord Chancellor’s legal aid cuts and Salima Budhani’s successful challenge to the Home Office's stance on the use of medicinal cannabis to treat epilepsy. Jamie Potter is acting for charity Plan B in the judicial review into the government’s failure to revise the UK’s carbon reduction targets. Public inquiry actions constitute a significant part of the practice; recent highlights in this field include acting on the Infected Blood Inquiry and the Undercover Policing Inquiry. Halford is also instructed to pursue a public inquiry into the EU referendum campaign. The team also acts on numerous defence matters, including defending a challenge to the independent press regulator IMRPESS. Vulnerable people are also represented by the firm in relation to unlawful arrests and the denial of rights, privacy and freedoms.
John Halford; Saimo Chahal QC (Hon)
‘An excellent team of public lawyers for all aspects of administrative law‘
‘John Halford is without a doubt the best public law solicitor in the United Kingdom‘
‘Salima Budhani is extremely committed, hardworking and produces top quality work. She provides amazing support for clients and barristers‘
‘Jamie Potter has exceptional experience and judgement in relation to public law. He is highly efficient and a great person to have on your side‘
‘Jamie Potter’s expertise in judicial review is second to none. He comes up with creative litigation strategies and is a pleasure to work with‘
‘John Halford is a phenomenal lawyer, combining comprehensive knowledge of the law with an absolutely dogged commitment to his clients‘
‘Bindmans’ key strengths include strategic and creative thinking, which secure fantastic results for clients in many cases. It can hold its own and more against Magic Circle firms, including in high-stakes, large-scale public law litigation‘
‘Bindmans has great breadth and depth in terms of administrative and public law‘
Grenfell survivors and families of the deceased
The Law Society of England and Wales
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Chris Leslie MP and Tom Brake MP
RD and others (Portage service users)
The National Union of Students
Fair Vote Project
Plan B Earth
Dawat-e-Hadiyah Trust (UK)
- Acting in a number of public inquiries, including representing approximately 200 bereaved relatives, survivors and residents in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry; acting for over 130 core participants in the Undercover Policing Inquiry; and representing a core participant who was given infected blood products by the NHS in the Infected Blood Inquiry.
- Successfully represented The Law Society in a challenge to £36m of legal aid cuts.
- Advising the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in proceedings against the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in respect of guidance which purported to prohibit Local Government Pensions Schemes from divesting in certain areas relating to UK foreign policy.
- Acting for Chris Leslie MP and Tom Brake MP as interveners before the European Court of Justice concerning the manner in which any notice given under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union can be revoked.
- Acting for IMPRESS in successfully defeating a challenge to its recognition as an independent press regulator.
Deighton Pierce Glynn
The 'exceptional' Deighton Pierce Glynn is at the forefront of a number of key contemporary public law matters, acting in highly publicised judicial review claims with an emphasis on human rights. Significant recent outcomes for the firm include a successful judicial review into the Electoral Commission’s stance on Vote Leave’s campaign donations during the Brexit referendum (led by Polly Glynn) and a successful Supreme Court challenge regarding civil partnerships for same-sex couples (led by Louise Whitfield). Ongoing claims include challenges to the government’s treatment of immigration detainees, representation of victims of trafficking, challenges to the government’s surveillance programme and an intervention concerning the Home Office’s treatment of rough sleepers. Practice head Sue Willman is a leading name in challenges to UK foreign policy (specifically regarding arms sales) and Joanna Thomson and Zubier Yazdani also act in important civil rights claims throughout the domestic and European courts. Adam Hundt heads the Bristol-based office and has a reputation for challenges to NHS charging regulations and further campaigns concerning access to healthcare.
‘Excellent – client focused yet able to see the bigger picture‘
‘Always goes the extra mile to get the best results‘
‘Zubier Yazdani is intellectually very good with a sound legal knowledge and a very strategic approach‘
‘An amazing team of highly professional and committed lawyers‘
‘Louise Whitfield is an exceptional lawyer who knows how to use the law strategically to achieve the best results. She will go the extra mile for her clients‘
‘Adam Hundt and Sue Willman are exceptional and ahead of the curve‘
‘Polly Glynn is one of the best public law litigators around. She is smart, great with clients and a tough opponent‘
‘Deighton Pierce Glynn is at the cutting edge of administrative and public law. The team members are leaders in their fields and have been at the forefront of many major cases‘
Good Law Project
Rebecca Steinfeld & Charles Keidan
Rights Watch UK
Human Rights Watch
British Red Cross
- Represented the Good Law Project in a successful judicial review of the Electoral Commission’s failure to investigate donations made by Vote Leave during the Brexit referendum campaign.
- Acted for Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan in the successful Supreme Court challenge concerning civil partnerships for opposite sex couples.
- Representing a client in an ongoing challenge to the government’s failure to conduct an investigation compliant with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into alleged incidents of abuse and ill-treatment at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre.
- Representing an individual denied NHS treatment due to his immigration status.
- Representing The AIRE Centre as intervenor in a challenge to the Home Office policy of removing rough sleepers.
Fieldfisher is a prominent firm for bringing public law challenges on behalf of high-profile commercial clients. Significant recent instructions involved bringing judicial review claims against the Advertising Standards Authority, the Financial Ombudsman Service, city councils, the NHS, HM Treasury and HMRC. The broad nature of the matters saw professionals including Matthew Lohn and senior associate David Northfield acting on issues concerning the provision of unlicensed medicinal treatment, the unfair banning of advertising content and numerous applications challenging the introduction of new laws and regulations by government bodies. The team also acts for a number of clients on judicial review defence mandates. Martin Smith is a leading name for inquests and public inquiries, having acted on a number of highly publicised matters such as providing advice to the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority in connection with the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Regulatory investigations and general public law advisory work such as advising on the scope and application of a governing body’s powers is also covered by the firm; senior associate Carina May is developing a name in this field.
Sarah Ellson; John Cassels
‘Martin Smith is encyclopaedic about all things to do with inquiry and inquest law. A first-rate lawyer and strategist‘
‘Nicola Margiotta, Oliver Carlyon, Abigail Scholefield, Alex Merity and Ashleigh Shepherd are all highly committed, very hardworking public lawyers who understand the inquiry world‘
‘Jonathan Hoffstetter is a very experienced and capable litigator who takes a careful approach to the strategic implications of cases for his clients‘
‘Tim Suter is immensely organised, hard-working and productive.’
Kellogg Marketing and Sales Company (UK) Ltd
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Sky Blue Sports
Roche Products Limited
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Construction Industry Training Board
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
Sir John Saunders (Manchester Arena Inquest)
The Coroner, Mrs Justice Keegan (Ballymurphy Inquests)
The Coroner, Sir Peter Thornton QC (Birmingham Inquests)
- Instructed by the coroner, Sir John Saunders, to act as the solicitor to the inquests into the 22 deaths that occurred as a result of the bombing at the Manchester Arena.
- Instructed by the coroner in relation to the inquests into ten deaths which occurred in the Belfast suburb of Ballymurphy between 9 and 11 August 1971.
- Acted for Kellogg’s in pursuing a challenge on public law grounds against a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority banning an advertising campaign.
- Acting for Roche Products Ltd as an interested party in a judicial review of the NHS provision of bevacizumab (also known as Avastin).
- Advising the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) on the scope and application of its powers and duties under its charter and byelaws, as well as on its regulatory systems and decision making.
The public law team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides market-leading defence expertise to a client roster of household commercial names, global financial institutions, utilities companies, statutory regulators and government bodies. The team has acted on a multitude of high-profile cases, with practice head Andrew Lidbetter representing both the Church of England and Zurich Insurance in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and Cuadrilla Resources in the judicial review into its plans to commence fracking operations. Nusrat Zar and Jasveer Randhawa both have a wide-ranging portfolio of highly publicised mandates which encompasses claimant as well as defence matters; their involvement in court proceedings concerning the resettlement of Chagos Islanders is a representative case. Procurement work is a growth area for the team, which handles procurement challenges, litigation and general public procurement advice. In addition to significant commercial work, the team also has a substantial pro bono platform for acting on human rights issues; Lidbetter and senior associate Anna Eliasson’s intervention on behalf of the AIRE Centre concerning the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s handling of human trafficking is a significant recent example.
‘The team has substantial expertise in administrative and public law including public inquiries. There is real depth in the team and the individuals are without exception very hardworking and very responsive‘
‘The best of the Magic Circle firms for commercial public law‘
‘The team provides excellent, detailed advice and is always accessible and available‘
‘Andrew Lidbetter and Peter Frost bring strategic expertise, energy and good judgement. They are committed to the work and willing to go the extra mile‘
‘Andrew Lidbetter has an unbeatable combination of strengths: practical, client-friendly and endowed with excellent commercial judgement‘
‘Jasveer Randhawa is a first-class person to work with; she quickly grasps the key points of an issue and provides her clients with clear and direct advice‘
‘Nusrat Zar is very calm and collected, very receptive, and a great listener‘
‘Senior associates Lara Nassif, James Wood, Karam Jardaneh, Claire Hall, James Wood, Sousan Gorji and Sahil Kher are equally bright and receptive to client needs‘
‘The firm is always thinking one, if not two, steps ahead‘
Church Commissioners for England and the Archbishops’ Council
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
British American Tobacco
Financial Reporting Council
Associated British Foods
- Acted for KPMG in its successful defence of a novel judicial review brought by a Barclays customer in relation to mis-sold interest rate hedging products.
- Successfully represented Telefónica in judicial review proceedings in relation to Ofcom decisions concerning the award of 2.3 and 3.4 GHz radio spectrum bands by auction.
- Representing Cuadrilla in various ongoing judicial and statutory reviews in relation to its plan to commence fracking at sites in Lancashire.
- Representing the Church of England in relation to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
- Acting pro bono for the AIRE Centre in an intervention regarding a decision of the Secretary of State relating to human trafficking.
The market-leading practice at Hogan Lovells International LLP regularly handles high-profile public law issues for international corporate clients, government departments, regulators and other public bodies. The team offers experience in bringing judicial review challenges against HMRC, NHS England and the EU Commission. Recent cases involved complex disputes including a portfolio of instructions from Uber concerning its business-critical run-ins with Transport for London, handled by practice head Charles Brasted. The team is frequently called upon to provide advisory support to UK and European government bodies, with a particular emphasis on the public law ramifications of Brexit. Matters often involve significant regulatory and constitutional issues, such as the successful devolution of the management of the Scottish assets of the Crown Estate to the Scottish government.
The Crown Estate
National Air Traffic Services
British American Tobacco
Pension Protection Fund
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
Biggin Hill Airport
- Advised Uber on a string of judicial review challenges to Transport for London’s regulatory burdens including the English language requirement and the complaints line requirement.
- Acted for The Crown Estate in process of devolution of the management of its Scottish assets to the Scottish government.
- Acted in a Supreme Court judicial review against HMRC concerning its governing powers, where significant public interest was cited.
- Advised the Secretary of State for Education on the public law issues of the part-sale of its student loan book.
- Advised air traffic control provider NATS on a range of contentious and non-contentious public law issues, including a claim in the High Court regarding the calculation of terminal air navigation charges in London pursuant to the EU Charging Regulation.
Kingsley Napley LLP has seen a significant expansion of its public inquiry practice, having recently been instructed by religious institutions, education bodies, police officers and other individuals to assist with a number of highly publicised inquiries, such as the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the Westminster Bridge Inquests and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The team led by Adam Chapman also handles a broad range of judicial review mandates, acting for claimants, interested parties and public body defendants. Recent instructions have come from former police officers contesting the grounds of dismissal, individuals challenging local council policies and medical agencies challenging regulatory decisions. A number of key regulatory bodies are counted on the client roster, which instruct the team to handle public law litigation and provide general advisory support.
‘The firm has an amazing engagement with clients and barristers with a real sense of teamwork‘
‘Provides high-quality public law advice to public and private sector organisations alike‘
‘The team has a strong focus and the determination to achieve what is required‘
‘Adam Chapman is an excellent public and regulatory lawyer. Very solutions focused and practical‘
‘Sophie Kemp and Caroline Day bring not only great skill in legal matters but also a very personal and humane attitude when dealing with sensitive issues‘
Westminster Bridge Inquests
Catholic Council for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)
IICSA: Downside and others
London Fire Brigade
IICSA: Diocese of Westminster
Federation of Awarding Bodies
Former Senior Metropolitan Police Officer
Individual, supported by The Kennel Club
Med Chambers Limited/Prime Medicals Limited/ML Doctors Limited
- Represented Michelle Palmer and Angela Clark (sisters of PC Keith Palmer) in the inquest into his death during the terrorist attack at Westminster Bridge and the Palace of Westminster.
- Instructed to act for Downside Abbey and Downside School in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse hearing on Downside and Ampleforth.
- Instructed by the London Fire Brigade to represent seven former employees who have been required to give evidence at Phase II of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
- Advised a former senior Metropolitan Police officer in connection with the Undercover Policing Inquiry.
- Obtained an interim injunction and brought highly expedited judicial review proceedings on grounds of the appearance of bias for former Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale in relation to the panel hearing on his dismissal.
Leigh Day is a prominent firm in the public law space, having acted on some of the most high-profile and wide-ranging recent judicial review claims. Jamie Beagent is a leading figure in the fields of planning and environmental law and immigration detention issues. He recently handled a number of successful judicial review applications into grants of planning permission and is currently bringing a challenge against the Home Office's treatment of immigration detainees (new recruit Stephanie Hill and Waleed Sheikh are also developing practices in this field) and victims of sex trafficking. Rosa Curling is acting for the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) in its challenge to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ decision to license the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. Tessa Gregory leads on refugee rights and domestic human rights challenges, including successfully challenging numerous elements of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions' roll-out of universal credit. Associate Benjamin Burrows acts exclusively in the field of prisoner rights, including in judicial reviews into the treatment of trans prisoners. Sean Humber has a wide-ranging practice which includes data protection and Freedom of Information applications.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has an enthusiasm for the law and for what it can do to hold the powerful to account‘
‘Leigh Day’s multi-disciplinary public law team is made up of committed and skilled individuals who are well resourced and have a great deal of corporate experience to draw down on‘
‘The firm has vast experience acting for the widest range of clients on innovative and cutting-edge legal challenges‘
‘Leigh Day has a fantastic public law team. Extremely creative, thoughtful, courageous and diligent‘
‘Jamie Beagent and Sean Humber are both well known and respected in the field of public law‘
‘Waleed Sheikh is conscientious, thorough, knowledgeable and committed to speaking truth to power‘
‘Rosa Curling is supremely clever and a tactical expert with huge emotional intelligence‘
‘Rosa Curling’s energy and dynamism makes the Leigh Day public law team one of the strongest in the country‘
‘Rowan Smith is a clever, courageous lawyer who is building a strong practice in public, planning and environmental law‘
‘Tessa Gregory is a stand-out public lawyer who brings tenacity, intelligence and a wealth of experience to her cases‘
‘Tom Short is bright, efficient and hardworking, and is building a really interesting practice in public and environmental law‘
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
Prison Reform Trust
Campaign Against the Arms Trade
- Regularly instructed in unlawful detention claims by individuals who have been detained for lengthy periods of time despite evidence that they are suffering from mental health conditions or are victims of torture.
- Acting in a judicial review of the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s “right to rent” scheme.
- Acting for two trans women in judicial review cases concerning their treatment while in prison.
- Instructed on behalf of 300 core participants in the Infected Blood Inquiry.
- Successfully represented local community campaign Save Wornington College in its attempts to keep open a local further education college in the North Kensington area.
Baker McKenzie advises corporate clients and public bodies on high-profile public law litigation, independent inquiries, public procurement matters and judicial review applications. Sector specialisms include the media, technology, utilities and human rights. Ongoing contentious work involves applications against HMRC, judicial review challenges to regulatory decisions and a suite of interventions on behalf of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees challenging actions by the Secretary of State for the Home Department. Regular public procurement work consists of proceedings against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office challenging the provision of contracts and other contentious decisions, and challenges to NHS procurement processes. The team also takes on pro bono work, including recently representing an LGBT charity in an intervention concerning transgender rights. Practice head Joanna Ludlam specialises in administrative and public law, procurement law, litigation and investigations.
‘Baker McKenzie’s administrative and public law team provides an excellent and responsive service at the cutting edge of the industry‘
‘The team has a pragmatic and engaging approach, and is well attuned to clients’ commercial priorities. The breadth of expertise and skills is unique and a powerful asset to any client‘
‘Joanna Ludlum is a stellar litigator, with excellent commercial judgement and an engaging manner‘
‘Francesca Richmond has an excellent mix of commercial, public law and competition law expertise‘
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Stonewall Equality Limited
Associated Newspapers Limited
Government of Scotland
Financial Conduct Authority
The Walt Disney Company
UK Power Networks
- Acting for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in a series of cases, including a recent intervention before the Court of Appeal in a case against the Secretary of State for the Home Department.
- Successfully acted for the LGBT rights charity Stonewall in its first ever intervention before the Court of Appeal in a case concerning transgender rights.
- Advised a healthcare company on addressing disclosure requests from a high-profile UK public inquiry.
- Advising Kwik Fit Group in a long-running dispute with HMRC concerning interest deductibility.
- Advising a technology company on the evidence it has been asked to give to an independent inquiry focusing on the presence of child sex abuse on the internet.
Melanie Carter leads the rapidly growing team at Bates Wells, which has a considerable breadth of expertise across the field of administrative and public law. Of particular note is the team’s experience with public law in the third sector, with Carter and Emma Dowden-Teale advising a number of household names on statutory inquiries and engagements with the Charity Commission. The firm has an established inquiries practice, with Claire Whittle advising a number of non-departmental public bodies on their engagements with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The team often appears on both sides of judicial review challenges, and regular defence instructions are received by regulatory bodies such as the Advertising Standards Authority; Rupert Earle is currently defending this client against a challenge to its ruling on misleading advertising of broadband technology. The team's extensive list of claimant work includes applications against the NHS and the British Standards Institute and other regulators in the charity, education and healthcare sectors. Notable additions to the team include a number of public law practitioners from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, DAC Beachcroft LLP and Hogan Lovells International LLP.
‘A class act in public law that provides intellectual strength and a high quality of service‘
‘A team of intelligent and efficient communicators‘
‘The team applies very strong strategic thinking to each case‘
‘Melanie Carter has many years of public law experience and is an acknowledged leader in the field‘
‘Alistair Williams is calmness and efficiency personified‘
‘Melanie Carter is a fantastic lawyer and her experience is second to none. She is incredibly client focused and committed to delivering a good service, which flows through to the rest of the team‘
‘Melanie Carter is a star in the field. She is bright, approachable and very well regarded‘
‘Emma Dowden-Teale, Claire Whittle and Joanna Howard are efficient, proactive, approachable and friendly‘
‘Emma Dowden-Teale has strategic judgement beyond her years‘
‘Melanie Carter combines an encyclopedic knowledge of public law with an approach rounded in the practicalities and realities of judicial review‘
National Audit Office
Wales Audit Office
Advertising Standards Authority
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Single Source Regulations Office (regulating the defence industry)
Airport Coordination Limited
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Compliance Officer
Council of the Inns of Court (regulating barristers)
Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
Office of the Senior Traffic Commissioner (Tribunal, licensing and enforcement functions)
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
General Dental Council
General Osteopathic Council
Farriers Registration Council
Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council
General Optical Council
Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments Ltd
London Pensions Fund Authority
- Advising the National Audit Office on the financial propriety and legality of local government and NHS bodies for external auditors, including cutting-edge advice on austerity measures and creative financial initiatives.
- Advising the ASA on numerous, frequently complex, UK and EU law and European Convention issues and threats of judicial review.
- Conducting the Ramblers’ Association’s strategic public law litigation.
- Retained by the compliance officer for the Independent Standards Authority since its inception (post-MP expenses scandal), advising on the investigations conducted under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 and First Tier Tribunal appeals.
- Handled a high-value challenge for US manufacturing company Microport against a decision by the British Standards Institute to refuse a certificate for a hip implant device.
Bevan Brittan LLP has a strong presence in the healthcare field of public law, with a number of key NHS bodies and clinical commissioning groups counted on the client list. Typical instructions in this field include defending clients against mistreatment claims by patients (including a recent case concerning a trans patient in Broadmoor Hospital) and challenges to planning and funding decisions, and advisory work concerning policy, decision making and the statutory remit of ombudsman clients. Practice head Virginia Cooper and Olivia Carter also have expertise in representing both claimants and defendants in judicial review challenges to procurement decisions. Other public bodies on the client list include local authorities, policing commissioners and councils. Regular mandates include defending challenges to redevelopment plans, restitution claims pursuant to the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and alleged breaches of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
Virginia Cooper; Judith Barnes
Other key lawyers:
‘Virginia Cooper is very responsive and sensitive to the needs of her clients‘
Financial Services Compensation Scheme
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Local Government Association
University of Oxford
Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
London Borough of Southwark
London Borough of Barnet
- Defending the West London NHS Trust against a series of challenges to its decision to detain an individual under the Mental Health Act.
- Defending the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman against a challenge brought by Wokingham Borough Council regarding an assessment.
- Defending the South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner in a judicial review brought by the former chief constable of South Yorkshire Police relating to the Hillsborough Inquests.
- Defending the West London NHS Trust in a judicial review challenge to a decision to seek to transfer a transgender patient to Broadmoor Hospital.
- Defending Scarborough Borough Council in a judicial review challenge concerning its decision to redevelop a theatre site.
Civil liberties firm Bhatt Murphy has an established reputation for advancing public law claims on behalf of vulnerable individuals such as state detainees, asylum seekers, protesters, victims of miscarriages of justice in the police system and Grenfell Tower Inquiry core participants. The practice has also seen an increase in instructions from NGOs; Jed Pennington is representing Medical Justice in a challenge to the Home Office’s revised definition of torture and Shamik Dutta is representing campaign group Liberty in the ongoing challenge to the government’s use of mass surveillance. The firm’s ten-partner team, which includes noteworthy individuals such as Janet Farrell, Michael Oswald and Mark Scott, has extensive experience in bringing judicial review challenges at all levels of the domestic courts as well as applications to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Other recent mandates include advising on the public inquiry into undercover policing, challenges to the abortion regime in Northern Ireland and defending individuals' rights to protest against fracking.
The administrative and public law practice at DAC Beachcroft LLP provides advisory and judicial review defence expertise to a client list of public sector bodies - notably NHS trusts, local authorities and educational institutions, as well as unique clients such as the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Association of British Insurers. Standout examples of advisory instructions include Stephen Hocking’s advice to the Office for Students on the creation of its regulatory framework, and Alistair Robertson’s public law advice to Post Office Limited concerning its network development programme. Defending challenges to NHS policy decisions, such as the Accountable Care Organisation model and pricing structures, comprises the bulk of contentious instructions, with a prominent mandate seeing Robertson defending the NHS in a judicial review lodged by campaigners headed by Prof Stephen Hawking. Further contentious mandates involved misconduct inquiries and defending clients in the higher education sector against challenges to their disciplinary procedures.
Other key lawyers:
Office for Students
Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
Office for Fair Access
Association of British Insurers
Information Commissioner’s Office
The Faraday Institution
- Providing ongoing advice to the NHS concerning its powers to obtain and use certain pharmaceuticals.
- Advised the Office for Students on all matters concerning the establishment of its regulatory framework for higher education.
- Defending Imperial College London in a judicial review brought by a student challenging a disciplinary decision.
- Providing public law advice to Post Office Ltd concerning its transformative network development programme.
- Instructed to provide all public law advice to the Information Commissioner’s Office, including on its status as a non-departmental public body.
Public inquiry work is the main point of strength for the public law offering at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, with the team acting in some of the most significant ongoing matters in this field. The team has been instructed by an extensive list of public and regulatory bodies as core participants in the Infected Blood Inquiry, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and a host of others in the police, healthcare and private sectors. The practice also provides expertise in defending and forwarding judicial review claims, with recent cases involving the provision of special needs learning assistance, wrongful terminations and the extent of regulatory bodies’ powers. Cardiff-based Peter Jones and Birmingham-based principle associate Isabelle Mitchell are particularly highly praised by clients for their expertise across the full suite of instructions.
Bridgette Wilcox; Paul Pugh; Huw Jones; Sarah Jones
‘Impressive in terms of public inquiries work‘
‘The public inquiries team is friendly, approachable, immensely hardworking and very knowledgeable. It probably has more experience than any other UK firm in this field‘
‘Offers second-to-none strategic guidance on large-scale projects‘
‘The most experienced and most impressive team working in the area of public inquiries and investigations‘
‘Peter Jones is incomparable, matchless and the most experienced lawyer in the UK in the public inquiries field‘
‘Peter Jones brings considerable experience with an intelligent but pragmatic approach‘
‘Isabelle Mitchell is incredibly diligent, thorough, analytical, approachable, pragmatic, dedicated and accurate. She pays good attention to detail, is very grounded in her manner and provides clarity in her advice‘
‘Isabelle Mitchell is a true pleasure to work with who commands a great deal of respect from her own team and clients‘
‘Angharad Shurmer and Isabelle Mitchell display impressive knowledge of the cases in which they are involved‘
Ecclesiastical Insurance Office
LGPS Central Limited
Independent Schools Inspectorate
Welsh Language Commissioner
Teaching Regulation Agency
Education Workforce Council
The University of Manchester
Construction Industry Training Board
Transport for Greater Manchester
Serious Fraud Office
Telford & Wrekin Council
The Haemophilia Society
- Acting for the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office as a core participant in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
- Advising the Teaching Regulation Agency on hearings concerning allegations of misconduct against teachers.
- Representing the Haemophilia Society in the Infected Blood Inquiry.
- Appointed by Telford & Wrekin Council as the commissioning body of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Telford.
- Instructed by the Education Workforce Council to advise on allegations of misconduct against registrants.
Simpson Millar LLP
Simpson Millar LLP has a strong reputation for bringing judicial review applications on behalf of vulnerable individuals challenging their treatment, with regular cases being brought against central government bodies and local authorities. Recent judicial reviews involved the denial of children’s rights under Article 8 of the ECHR, Supreme Court interventions concerning local authorities' breaches of duty towards vulnerable underage people, and inquests into suspicious deaths in mental health institutions. The arrival of Chris Callender from Edwards Duthie Shamash has bolstered the seven-partner team headed by Oliver Studdert. Dan Rosenberg is noted for bringing challenges against public bodies regarding their spending cuts and Angela Jackman acts on issues regarding access to health services, notably the judicial review concerning the refusal of vital abortion services by the NHS in Northern Ireland.
‘The team is very efficient, thorough and dedicated to providing an exceptional service to its clients‘
‘A powerful team with a wide range of expertise‘
‘Determined and resourceful‘
‘Oliver Studdert, Silvia Nicolau Garcia and Verity Altaras share similar qualities of commitment, dedication and a willingness to achieve the very best outcome for the client, even if that involves exceptionally hard work‘
‘Dan Rosenberg is one of the most creative public lawyers around‘
‘Silvia Nicolaou Garcia, Victoria Pogge von Strandmann, Fiona Couzens and Dan Rosenberg are all excellent, with a commitment and dedication that stand out‘
Howard League for Penal Reform
Alone in London
British Red Cross
Equality and Human Rights Commission
- Representing charities Article 39 and Care Leaver’s Association in a Supreme Court intervention concerning the duty of care of local authorities in respect of all child protection functions.
- Instructed to represent a child as an interested party in his father’s judicial review of social services’ decision to place the child on the child protection register.
- Acted for an individual in a successful judicial review challenge to a policy followed by Lambeth Council which sought to avoid its obligations to vulnerable homeless children.
- Instructed by clients in a challenge to the policy of the Secretary of State for Health in England which refuses NHS funding for abortion services for women in Northern Ireland.
- Acted on behalf of a 19-year-old asylum seeker in a landmark case challenging the cuts in financial support to victims of trafficking.
Addleshaw Goddard’s recent highlights include assisting its corporate and public sector clients with a range of contentious actions and advisory support. The team acts for a number of utilities companies and NHS bodies in judicial review applications against national regulators and local authorities, with recent mandates involving the recovery of business rates and charging arrangements implemented by Ofgem. Further matters concerned procurement challenges and tax disputes with HMRC. Current advisory work involves assisting with the reconfiguration of public healthcare services, advising commercial clients on planned regulatory changes, and handling requests for confidential information where issues of particular public interest are involved. Devising strategies for mitigating the risk of public law challenges is also a significant aspect of the practice. Leeds-based Simon Kamstra is particularly active in international and energy sector matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team provides sound, in-depth advice on all sectors of public law and always goes the extra mile‘
‘Addleshaw Goddard’s level of service, knowledge and ability to communicate complex issues in a commercial and practical manner is outstanding‘
‘Provides a pragmatic, commercial approach which maintains good client relationships‘
‘Simon Kamstra inspires confidence in his clients‘
‘Clare Dwyer is a superb technician with a great eye for detail‘
‘The team has a strong understanding of its clients’ needs and is commercially pragmatic and creative in coming up with legal solutions‘
Scottish and Southern Energy plc
Totally Wicked Limited (Pillbox 38 UK Limited)
Build-a-Bear Workshop Inc (and its UK subsidiaries)
United Utilities plc
Manchester Airports Group
Microgeneration Certification Standards Board
Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
- Supported Scottish and Southern Energy as an interested party in a judicial review challenging Ofgem’s changes to electricity transmission charging arrangements for embedded generators.
- Instructed by 17 NHS foundation trusts in a joint High Court claim seeking to recover business rates paid to a number of defendant local authorities.
Allen & Overy LLP provides an integrated approach to public law, offering expert advice in judicial review proceedings to a broad range of clients in the private sector. Large-scale transactions where public and administrative law issues arise are another point of strength, and the team has considerable experience in issues relating to broadcasting licensing, media pluralism and data protection. The team often assists financial sector clients with their interactions with the relevant regulators, including regulatory challenges in the High Court. Practice head Andrew Denny and senior associate Maeve Hanna also act on issues pertaining to human rights, including a recent Supreme Court intervention in a case regarding the UK government’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.
Other key lawyers:
‘Andrew Denny has an instinctive eye and a broad understanding of public law issues. The lawyers he leads are experienced and hardworking and together they make a formidable team‘
‘The team at Allen & Overy has a broad range of experience and is responsive, hardworking and thorough‘
‘Great responsiveness and a truly impressive knowledge of public law‘
‘Sarah Garvey is extremely knowledgeable, client oriented and very pleasant to deal with‘
‘Antonio Bavasso and his team have first-class expertise, judgement and commitment to client care‘
‘Antonio Bavasso has excellent judgement in representing clients on sensitive issues of public policy‘
21st Century Fox
Bail for Immigration Detainees
The AIRE Centre
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
- Advising a major international hedge fund in judicial review proceedings relating to the deportation of a former employee following the theft of highly valuable, confidential information.
- Advising 21st Century Fox on the intervention into its £11.7bn takeover of Sky due to public interest concerns.
- Representing the AIRE Centre as intervenor in the Supreme Court case concerning the UK government’s responsibilities under the Refugee Convention.
- Advising the AIRE Centre on a case involving duty of care and the protection of children.
The administrative and public law practice at BDB Pitmans has a strong track record for public inquiry work, with Matthew Smith representing a number of individuals involved the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the London Bridge Inquests and the Westminster Bridge Inquests. The team’s client roster recently expanded, bringing in a number of key local councils acting as interested parties in a judicial review concerning local government reform. Other judicial review challenges are regularly acted on in the fields of planning and climate change, with a highlight being an ongoing instruction by the Committee on Climate Change against the central government. Procurement advice is covered by David Mundy, with the landmine clearance charity HALO being a significant client.
Matthew Smith; David Mundy
‘Richard Langley is shrewd, realistic and highly experienced – a good person to have on your side‘
‘The team’s organisation and management of major cases is second to none and it consistently shows up-to-date knowledge of the law in the field‘
‘Natasha Davis is a rising star in the field and consistently demonstrates a high level of intelligence and rigour in her work‘
‘Sian Jones provides outstanding legal expertise, coupled with acute tactical judgement and excellent client management‘
National Audit Office
The Chief Coroner of England and Wales
Mrs Jane Jones and Mr Peter Rice
Committee on Climate Change
The Health and Care Professions Council
The Corporation of Trinity House
Dorset County Council; Purbeck District Council; Bournemouth Borough Council; Poole Borough Council; East Dorset District Council; Dorset Councils Partnership
- Acted for eight Dorset councils as interested parties in a judicial review forwarded by another local council to the Secretary of State concerning local government reform.
- Assisting the Committee on Climate Change with a judicial review claim concerning the Secretary of State’s refusal to revise the 2050 carbon reduction target.
- Representing the former safeguarding co-ordinator for the Archdiocese of Birmingham in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
- Appointed by the chief coroner of England and Wales in the Westminster Bridge Inquests and the London Bridge Inquests.
Hickman & Rose has broad experience in bringing public law challenges on behalf of individuals (including high-net-worth clients), commercial entities and charities. The team has a well-established reputation for public inquiry work; practice head Daniel Machover is acting for core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and associate Helen Stone is acting for INQUEST as intervenor in a judicial review concerning a senior coroner’s determinations. Stefano Ruis and Kate Maynard also have a wealth of expertise in bringing judicial review applications against policing bodies, regularly acting for victims of state abuse, detainees, bereaved families and individuals contesting breaches of Article 8 of the ECHR. Another unique aspect of the practice is its expertise in challenging Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) decisions alleging breaches of rights to privacy.
‘The team consists of extremely dedicated and technically excellent lawyers, with very considerable experience in public law challenges‘
‘Daniel Machover is very dedicated to his clients, and is a technically brilliant lawyer and a clever strategist‘
‘Kate Maynard is a very impressive lawyer; she is a great strategist who builds strong relationships with her clients and works extremely hard‘
Ali Babitu Kololo
Paul Tomlin (father of Duncan Tomlin)
Amnesty International and Redress
- Assisting Ali Babitu Kololo in a judicial review claim against the Metropolitan Police commissioner seeking to impugn evidence which led to a life sentencing in Kenya.
- Acting for INQUEST in its judicial review intervention concerning the relevant standard of proof in inquests which consider verdicts of suicide and unlawful killing.
- Handled a public law challenge to a police decision to disclose information to the DBS relating to a historic allegation of sexual assault dating back over 30 years, of which the client was acquitted.
- Acted for Amnesty International and Redress as intervenors in a judicial review of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s granting of potential immunity to an Egyptian general suspected of torture.
- Acting on a public law challenge to the process followed by a university in dealing with an allegation of sexual assault.
The team at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors has a strong public inquiry practice; Jocelyn Cockburn is representing core participants in a number of inquests concerning allegations of police misconduct (and continues to handle matters relating to the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry) and air pollution levels, and Nancy Collins is supporting core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Alice Hardy has a strong reputation for handling judicial review challenges with a particular emphasis on representing vulnerable individuals such as detainees, care home residents and sexual assault victims subject to rights violations by public bodies. Through her work with Humanists UK, Collins is also a leading figure in the challenge to the government’s assisted dying laws.
‘A great firm with many talented lawyers in the field of administrative and public law‘
‘A top-rate practice‘
‘Alice Hardy is absolutely amazing‘
‘Jocelyn Cockburn is excellent‘
Core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry
Sarah Burwin as litigation friend for her daughter Katie Stafford
The family of Matthew Gray
Jobson and Clemo
Numerous protestors bringing claims against the police
Dunn, Higgins & Jones
- Representing Dr Neville Lawrence OBE in an inquiry into undercover policing practices following the death of his son, Stephen Lawrence.
- Representing the family of Ella Kissi-Debrah in seeking a new inquest to investigate whether air pollution was a contributing factor to her fatal asthma attack.
- Acting for Humanists UK in an intervention in a case challenging the ban on assisted dying.
- Representing over 40 core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, including bereaved families.
- Representing over 60 anti-English Defence League protestors in claims against the Metropolitan Police arising from their mass arrest.
The team at Irwin Mitchell has a depth of experience in bringing judicial review challenges against local authorities concerning the provision of public services, such as in relation to special educational needs provision, healthcare reconfigurations, and hospital and library closures. The team handles public law challenges concerning human rights such as the Supreme Court application challenging the blanket ban on assisted dying (handled by Yogi Amin, senior associate Anne-Marie Irwin and associate Faith Salih). A diverse client base of charities, individuals and campaign groups instructs the team on public law challenges, with other mandates involving challenges to decisions made by the Crown Prosecution Service, applications against the Department for Work and Pensions and applications against a number of NHS trusts.
Other key lawyers:
Anne-Marie Irwin; Faith Salah
Noel Conway – Dignity in Dying
Kian Hollow and others
Bower and Jackson – ‘Hands Off HRI Hospital’ campaign
Roger Nettleship- ‘Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign’ group
Alexander Maximus Howard Drewelus and others
Gurpreet Kaur, by her litigation friend and mother, Satnam Kaur Juttla
Sienna Scott, by her mother and litigation friend Emma Turner
Liam Thomas Murphy, by his mother and litigation friend Angelina Sclafani Murphy
A university treatment research facility
- Represented Noel Conway in the application to bring a judicial review challenging the law on assisted dying.
- Represented Kian Hollow and others (children with special educational needs) in a judicial review concerning Surrey County Council’s decision to cut £20m from its SEN budget.
- Represented Rachel Nettleship of the ‘Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign’ in a judicial review of the decision to reconfigure hospital services at South Tyneside Hospital to move to Sunderland.
- Acted for Alexander Maximus Howard Drewelus and others in a judicial review of Hackney Council’s provision of SEN funding.
- Represented the claimants in a judicial review concerning Northamptonshire County Council’s decision to close 21 libraries.
Linklaters LLP’s public law strength lies in handling judicial review claims for the firm’s high-profile commercial clients. Unique recent mandates in this field involved proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal concerning significant corporate mergers, challenges to competition decisions imposed by Ofcom and challenges to new gambling regulations implemented by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The team has a strong presence in the fields of infrastructure and utilities, often advising on issues such as pricing reviews, public procurement and judicial review defence. Further clients are drawn from a diverse range of sectors, including financial services, technology, charities and advertising, to which the team led by Tom Cassels regularly provides advisory support on firm-wide transactions.
Hutchison 3G UK Ltd
Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK)
Thames Water Utilities
- Acted for Sainsbury’s in its successful judicial review concerning the Competition and Markets Authority’s investigation into the client’s merger with Asda Group.
- Acted for Hutchison 3G UK Ltd in three judicial review proceedings against Ofcom concerning its decision to impose competition measures in the Public Sector Spectrum Release programme.
- Acted for Barclays Bank as an interested party in a judicial review brought against KPMG.
- Handled Thames Water Utilities’ business plan submission to Ofwat as part of the regulator’s 2019 price review.
On the contentious side of public law, the team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP regularly defends judicial review claims (as well as providing mitigation strategies) for a client list of local councils, housing developers and regulators, high-profile individuals and commercial names in the homecare and infrastructure sectors. Lucy James is the go-to name in this field and typical mandates include defending planning and development decisions, advising on information requests and unique challenges concerning claims of breaches of constitutional rights. Helen Randall leads on non-contentious issues such as reviewing constitutional and governance arrangements, and advising on complex vires issues, the reconfiguration of public services, the establishment of income-generating corporate structures for local councils, and multi-jurisdictional project management.
Lucy James; Helen Randall
‘Provides extremely professional and thoughtful advice in a timely fashion‘
‘Very responsive to clients’ requirements and flexible in approach‘
‘Scott Dorling is always exceptionally helpful and very responsive‘
‘A charming, intelligent, friendly and approachable team‘
‘Incredibly responsive and engaging‘
‘Scott Dorling is always willing to take on a challenge and to think outside the box‘
Homes for Haringey
Dorset County Council
Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames
Local Government Association
District Councils Network (via Grant Thornton)
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
Regulator of Social Housing
- Conducted a review of the constitutional and governance arrangements of Reading Borough Council at the request of the Improvement and Development Agency (an international body for improving performance in local government).
- Advising East Cambridgeshire District Council in connection with the development of a Combined Authority wholly owned development company.
- Represented Homes for Haringey and the London Borough of Haringey in a judicial review claim brought by a local leaseholder group.
- Advising Dorset County Council on the public and administrative law aspects of the future provision of commercial waste services that are currently being delivered by the Dorset Waste Partnership.
- Advising the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames in relation to its public law powers to vary the provision of special educational needs to work within its financial constraints.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors acts on judicial review claims challenging the treatment of vulnerable groups, with specialist expertise in representing migrants, asylum seekers, detainees, people with disabilities and LGBT prisoners. The team regularly acts on challenges to government policies and bodies including the Home Office, with recent actions concerning the treatment of religious minorities in the prison system and the unlawful detention of migrants. A high-profile matter saw Toufique Hossain challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s failure to investigate abuse at the Brook House Immigration Removal Centre. Further mandates involved judicial review challenges to HMRC and local authorities regarding tax and levy disputes. The firm is also involved in challenging the government’s reduction to legal aid funding.
Alex Peebles; Bernadette Adusei; James Packer; Jenna McKinney; Rohena Wallace; Toufique Hossain; Trevor Hatton
‘Toufique Hossian has built a strong team with clear aims dedicated to improving the rights of migrants within the detention system and victims of trafficking‘
‘Highly experienced individuals with the ability to deal with every aspect of a public law claim‘
‘One of the best law firms in the country for the cross-over between immigration, administrative and public law‘
‘The future of legal aid will benefit from the lawyers Toufique Hossian has trained‘
‘James Packer is outstanding; very intelligent, very knowledgeable and very committed‘
‘Kate Newman is a bright star for the future – a mature and wise solicitor‘
‘James Packer has great judgement and he always keeps his eye on the bigger picture‘
‘Kate Newman is extremely dedicated and highly recommended for complex judicial review claims‘
- Representing four of five appellants challenging their detention contrary to Articles 28 and 2(n) of the Dublin III Regulations.
- Representing two individuals facing removal to Afghanistan by challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s ‘removal window’ policy.
- Acting on a legal challenge to the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s immigration detention centre pay regime, arguing breaches of Article 14 of the ECHR and Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.
- Acting as the claimant in a claim for a judicial review into the Legal Aid Agency’s refusal to backdate legal aid certificates.
- Instructed in a unique challenge to the use of the lock-in regime and room conditions at the Brook House Immigration Removal Centre.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s practice represents multinational corporate clients in high-profile public law disputes across a range of commercial sectors. Recent claimant work encompassed challenges to EU levies, a challenge to the European Commission’s emissions trading scheme and representing human rights organisations in actions against US refugee policy. Defence work involves defending licensing challenges, investigations and judicial review applications. The team also advises governments and public authorities in areas such as legislative processes, regulatory changes and constitutional amendments.
Matthew Gold & Company Limited, solicitors
Matthew Gold & Company Limited, solicitors' strength lies in handling public law claims for vulnerable clients, with an emphasis on migrant and asylum seekers' rights (including for families with no recourse to public funds), victims of policing misconduct and economically deprived families seeking to challenge local authority decisions. Building on this experience, practice head Clare Jennings and Rachel Etheridge recently acted for migrant children’s rights organisation Project 17 in a judicial review challenge to the London Borough of Lewisham’s policy and criteria for assessing applicants' financial and accommodation needs. Jennings also has substantial experience with handling judicial review applications and inquests challenging coroners' decisions, NHS charging decisions, Human Rights Act breaches and regulations deemed discriminatory against Zambrano carers. The team is also developing its practice in the field of the data privacy rights of individuals.
Other key lawyers:
‘A fantastic boutique specialising in judicial review claims that manages to combine the expertise of larger firms with great one-on-one attention to detail‘
‘An excellent law firm‘
‘Clare Jennings is a public law powerhouse, combining broad experience with great skill and passion‘
‘Rachel Etheridge is a rising star, with particular strength in judicial review and information law challenges‘
‘Matthew Gold is a standout public law practitioner. He is creative, enthusiastic and a strong team player‘
‘Matthew Gold, Clare Jennings and Olivia Halse bring dedication and commitment to their work‘
‘A very dedicated and meticulous firm with an in-depth knowledge of the field‘
‘Effective, efficient and well organised‘
‘An impressive team of lawyers with broad experience of public law issues‘
- Represented human rights organisation Project 17 in its judicial review of the London Borough of Lewisham’s policy and criteria for assessing families with no recourse to public funds.
- Acted for a client in a judicial review challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s failure to uphold its responsibilities under Article 8 of the ECHR to a vulnerable asylum seeker.
- Acted for an individual in a judicial review challenging the London Borough of Camden’s policy on the subsistence it pays to families with no recourse to public funds.
- Acting for a family in a police inquest concerning the suicide of a family member following his arrest.
- Handled a successful judicial review of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham’s child in need assessment, which had resulted in the homelessness of a family of five.
The team at Saunders Law has an established reputation for bringing civil cases against police and prison institutions on behalf of clients claiming wrongful treatment. Regular instructions involve abuse claims, medical negligence, false imprisonment and breaches of Article 8 of the ECHR. The team is representing core participants in a number of key public inquiries, such as the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Undercover Policing Inquiry. Judicial review applications also form a core part of the practice, with recent mandates involving claims against the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Crown Prosecution Service. Further mandates for the firm include challenges to coroners' decisions, appeals against the Electoral Commission and claims concerning the disclosure of personal data. Practice head Nia Williams regularly handles cases against the police and prisons relating to abuse of power, discrimination and deaths in custody.
Family affected by the Windrush scandal
Michael Mansfield QC and Azhar Khan (Undercover Policing Inquiry)
Core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry
Family of Kyle Maher
Group claim against Sodexo (HMP Peterborough)
- Instructed by Darren Grimes to appeal a £20,000 fine issued by the Electoral Commission for alleged Brexit irregularities.
- Advising a family in relation to the Home Office’s Windrush compensation scheme and related legal matters.
- Acting for Michael Mansfield QC and Azhar Khan as core participants in the inquiry into undercover policing.
- Representing a number of core participants involved in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
- Representing 47 clients in a claim against Sodexo, arising out of 150 unlawful breaches of national strip search policy.
Weightmans LLP has a robust public law defence offering, regularly acting for NHS bodies, clinical commissioning groups, coroners and councils in judicial review claims brought against them. Recent instructions involved claims of ultra vires policy making, allegations of breaches of duty of care, challenges to coroners' determinations, challenges to planning permission decisions and allegations of misconduct against council members. Simon Goacher and Martin Forshaw are also representing Rotherham Borough Council and Rochdale Borough Council, respectively, in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Further expertise includes experience with challenges to clients' information-sharing practices and legal advice to public inquiry commissioners.
Other key lawyers:
NHS Blood & Transplant
Rochdale Borough Council
York City Council
South Worcestershire CCG
The Senior Coroner of the County of Cumbria
Rutland County Council
Thornton Hall Hotel
Rotherham County Council
Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Accountability and Culture Change at Oxfam
Selby District Council
- Defended NHS Blood & Transplant in a judicial review concerning the lawfulness of its 2005 Directions.
- Retained as the legal adviser to the Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Accountability and Culture Change at Oxfam.
- Defended South Worcester Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in a judicial review brought by a neighbouring CCG concerning the historic responsibility for an NHS patient’s care costs.
- Acted on behalf of the senior coroner of the county of Cumbria in a judicial review application by a father challenging the coroner’s findings.
- Appointed as legal representative for Rochdale Borough Council as a core participant in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
Birnberg Peirce & Partners
Birnberg Peirce & Partners acts on public law applications against the police, the Home Office and other governing bodies. The team's expertise covers complaints of mistreatment in the prison system, claims against the Crown Prosecution Service, immigration detention cases and police protection failures. The firm also represents families in inquests and public inquiries concerning suspicious deaths involving state and public bodies and state misconduct. Gareth Peirce and Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hon) are key contacts.
Public inquiry work is a strong point for Browne Jacobson LLP’s public law offering, which operates from offices in London and Nottingham. A recent representative matter involved practice co-heads Laura Hughes and Richard Barlow advising the Northern Ireland Audit Office on the Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry. The team’s client roster includes a substantial number of regulatory bodies in the environment, healthcare and education sectors, and Ros Foster advises a range of regulatory and health clients in judicial review challenges and disciplinary investigations, among other matters. The team often advises its clients on mitigation strategies to prevent future judicial reviews.
Richard Barlow; Laura Hughes
Other key lawyers:
‘A firm that punches above its weight; one of the market leaders in public law‘
‘Professional, timely and extremely helpful‘
‘Ros Foster has immense practical knowledge and expertise and provides thoughtful, detailed and committed advice‘
‘Gerard Hanratty provides excellent, authoritative support‘
‘Ros Foster has a real enthusiasm and commitment to the cases that she’s involved in‘
Professional Standards Authority
The Money Advice Service
South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Integrated Care System
Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP)
Northern Ireland Audit Office
The Pension’s Advisory Service
- Acted for the Professional Standards Authority in its application to intervene in proceedings against the General Medical Council.
- Supported South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System in the development of a new regional model of governance for public bodies, melding central government policy with existing statutory obligations.
- Advising the Northern Ireland Audit Office on its position in the Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry.
- Assisting Larwood School in its application to the Department of Education to remove the residential provision at the school providing out-of-hours special need support.
The team at CMS draws from the firm’s expertise in practice areas such as media, energy, regulation, waste management and gambling to provide judicial review claimant expertise to a broad range of corporate clients. Recent issues involved judicial review applications against political and regulatory decisions by the Advertising Standards Authority, the Competition and Markets Authority, the Gambling Commission, HMRC and HM Treasury. The team also provides pro bono representation, including assisting with a recent action opposing a draft legislative reform order affecting the horse-racing industry. Practice head Dan Tench specialises in high-profile judicial reviews, administrative challenges and regulatory matters.
‘Omar Qureshi is an extremely pragmatic lawyer; he is a problem solver who is good at thinking outside the box for solutions‘
Biffa Waste Services Limited
The Arora Group
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
- Acting for CityFibre in a judicial review claim against the Advertising Standards Authority concerning the use of the term “fibre” in broadband advertising.
- Acting for the Arora Group as an interested party in five judicial review claims against the government concerning the policy framework for the Heathrow expansion.
- Represented Biffa Waste Services in two successful judicial review claims against HMRC concerning the repayment of overpaid landfill tax.
- Acting for several gambling operators in relation to enforcement investigations and licence reviews by the Gambling Commission.
- Represented BT in the Court of Appeal on points of legal construction and public law issues to determine whether the client was able to change the index for pensions increases.
Gowling WLG’s dedicated public law and regulation practice has a solid client roster of national regulators (in fields such as utilities and education), central government bodies, local authorities and other regulated companies. Recent non-contentious mandates involved drafting regulatory frameworks and reforms, licence modification projects, advising on regulator’s price control proposals, and further vires and administrative law issues. Contentious public law experience encompasses defending clients in judicial reviews of regulatory decisions, handling applications to the Competition and Markets Authority, and representing clients in third-party interventions (such as assisting Oxfam as intervenor in the challenge to granting arms export licences to companies selling to Saudi Arabia). Practice head John Cooper has a strong reputation for advising on administrative law in highly regulated markets.
‘Provides pragmatic and useful advice‘
‘John Cooper and Gus Wood are standout partners with significant expertise in the energy sector‘
Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual)
Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat)
Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR and known as the Utility Regulator)
London Borough of Croydon
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP)
National Association of Citizens Advice
- Assisting the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation in drafting the regulatory framework through which it will regulate new and reformed vocational qualifications.
- Advising the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation on the legal framework for settling disputes between consumers and energy suppliers.
- Representing Oxfam as intervenor in a judicial review brought by the Campaign Against Arms Trade challenging the government’s grant of export licences to companies selling arms to Saudi Arabia.
- Advised the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) on its licence simplification project, which aims to better reflect Ofwat’s regulatory approach and objectives.
- Represented the London Borough of Croydon in a judicial review challenge to its decision to undertake a pilot scheme to create pedestrianised zones around several Croydon schools during drop-off and pick-up times.
Sinclairslaw, which was formed by the merger of Sinclairslaw, John Ford Solicitors and Match Solicitors in May 2018, specialises in bringing public law claims on behalf of individuals challenging their treatment by state bodies. Recent mandates have seen John Ford and Helen Gill bringing judicial review claims against universities, clinical commissioning groups, local authorities, educational institutions and healthcare authorities. Standout matters included complex challenges concerning individuals' access to healthcare provisions, breaches of duty by safeguarding bodies, denial of community care services and breaches of the Human Rights Act. The firm also has experience with challenging school closures, discrimination claims and licensing appeals.
Other key lawyers:
‘A small but dedicated team with a commitment to public law which provides a very personal service to the client‘
‘One of the top teams around for public law‘
‘Helen Gill is a first-class public law professional with a real eye for detail‘
‘John Ford has many years of top-flight public law experience‘
- Represented a client in judicial review proceedings against a University.
- Represented a client in judicial review proceedings against a local authority for failing to carry out a lawful assessment.
Wilson Solicitors LLP has a well-established legal aid practice, representing individuals in challenges to public authorities. Of specific note is the firm’s expertise in the field of immigration detention, with matters involving the mistreatment of victims of trafficking and torture, people with disabilities and vulnerable children. Recent applications have been against the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Home Office and a number of policing bodies. The team is undergoing expansion with Nina Rathbone Pullen and Katy Robinson making partner.
‘Very dedicated and knowledgeable‘
‘The firm is at the top of its game in immigration and associated public law challenges‘
‘Second-to-none experience in immigration-related public law. Compassionate lawyers who put their clients first‘
‘James Elliott shows excellent leadership and support to his team‘
‘Hannah Watkins shows great insight and tactical awareness beyond her years of practice‘
‘Katy Robinson is extremely bright and committed‘
‘Katy Robinson and Jennine Walker are hardworking, enthusiastic and very competent‘
‘Nina Rathbone Pullen is compassionate, knowledgeable and great to work with‘
‘James Elliot is very strong technically and shows huge commitment to his clients‘
‘Nina Rathbone Pullen is a creative and experienced lawyer who gets great results‘
- Representing a number of vulnerable refugees in a challenge to the Department for International Development’s funding of refugee camps in Libya.
- Represented a victim of trafficking in contesting the Home Office’s ‘leave to remain’ policy.
- Brought a claim for false imprisonment against the Secretary of State for the Home Department on behalf of a victim of human trafficking who was detained under immigration powers. In addition, the claim challenged breaches of the claimant’s human rights under Articles 4 and 8 of the ECHR.
- Representing a ‘Windrush generation’ client in a potential claim for compensation arising out of the Secretary of State’s failure to confirm his settled status.
- Brought a successful challenge to the Home Office’s decision to cut the financial support given to asylum seeking victims of trafficking, resulting in reinstatement and backpayments to all those affected.
The housing and public law team at the 'outstanding' Anthony Gold has a solid offering in housing-related judicial reviews, acting for the Residential Landlords Association and numerous individuals as claimants in applications against local authorities and the central government. Recent mandates included judicial reviews of the government’s “right to rent” scheme and other legislative amendments, proceedings against local licensing plans and an appeal against an emergency prohibition order. The team also fields expertise in the education and environment sectors; in a recent case, practice head Andrew Brookes handled a challenge to the way a council provides education for visually impaired children.
‘Exceptionally hardworking lawyers who are unique not only in their knowledge of the law but their ability to apply that knowledge with creative solutions‘
‘Anthony Gold has such a unique range of outstanding staff to call upon; it should be your first port of call with any housing matters‘
‘The go-to team for anything and everything to do with housing law‘
‘David Smith’s knowledge is second to none‘
Residential Landlords Association
Core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry
- Acting for the Residential Landlords Association in threatened judicial proceedings against three local authorities over their operation of property licensing schemes under the Housing Act 2004.
- Acting for a visually impaired child in challenging the way Redbridge Council supports visually impaired children in mainstream education.
- Acting as legal representative to two core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
- Instructed by an individual to appeal against an emergency prohibition order imposed by Northampton Borough Council which prevented the occupation of a rented property by more than one person.
- Acting for the Residential Landlords Association in a High Court judicial review concerning the roll-out of ‘right to rent’ provisions.
Burges Salmon LLP has a number of key public sector bodies and local authorities on its client list, for which the team provides a broad range of expertise on matters involving public and administrative law. Recent instructions involved public sector projects, procurement strategy (including for the Greater London Authority’s regeneration programme and Transport for Wales’ rail service tender) and council-led development projects. The team also handles matters involving regulators' statutory powers; in a standout example, it advised Ofwat on future changes to water market regulation. The firm's broader litigation department acts on contentious issues for commercial clients, including a recent judicial review claim against the Competition and Markets Authority. The practice is jointly led by local authority specialist Gary Solomon and John Houlden, whose experience includes public sector procurement litigation.
Gary Solomon; John Houlden
Department for Education
Ministry of Defence
Department for Transport
Ministry of Justice
Babcock International Group
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Bristol City Council
Isle of Anglesey
Financial Services Compensation Scheme
- Representing the Co-operative Group in a claim against the Competition and Markets Authority regarding an investigation into potential infringements in the retail pricing of tobacco products.
- Advising the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets on complex administrative law issues raised in the context of the defence of an employment tribunal claim.
- Advising the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) in relation to its Water 2020 programme.
- Advising the Greater London Authority and Transport for London on a series of connected major regeneration projects in east London.
- Advising Isle of Anglesey County Council on its response to the proposed development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa.
The public law defence practice at Capsticks LLP counts key public bodies among its clients, including a considerable number of NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). Recent mandates saw an uptick in the defence of judicial review applications, defending against challenges to health service reconfiguration strategies implemented by CCGs throughout Dorset, South Tyneside and Oxfordshire. Further regular work in the healthcare space includes Leeds-based practice co-head Ian Cooper’s pre-inspection support to NHS trusts in respect of the Care Quality Commission’s inspection regime. Police forces and regulatory bodies (including the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care) are also present on the client roster, with typical mandates including defending appeals against regulators' decisions and disclosure challenges. Practice co-head Peter Edwards advises public bodies in the healthcare sector on their governance and statutory powers.
Peter Edwards; Ian Cooper
‘The team applies its extensive experience and expert knowledge to provide sound legal advice‘
‘The level of expertise and professionalism displayed by Capsticks is exceptional‘
‘Peter Edwards provides invaluable wisdom and support‘
‘Peter Edwards is simply brilliant‘
‘The team is solutions based, patient and pragmatic‘
‘Francis Lyons is a first-rate solicitor. He has an excellent manner and clients love him‘
‘An exceptional public law team with particular strength and expertise in healthcare matters‘
Public Health England
Bar Standards Board
Solicitors’ Regulation Authority
NHS Dorset CCG
NHS South Tyneside CCG
NHS Oxfordshire CCG
Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership
Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
North Central London CCGs
- Assisting London Ambulance Service NHS Trust with its involvement in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
- Acted for NHS South Tyneside CCG and Sunderland CCG in successfully rejecting an application for judicial review concerning their reconfiguration plans.
- Defending NHS Dorset CCG in a judicial review application concerning changes to the administration of health services in Dorset.
- Assisting a total of 13 NHS trusts with pre-inspection support in preparation for the Care Quality Commission’s “well led” inspections.
- Advising the General Pharmaceutical Council as intervenor in a judicial review application concerning whether a university can conduct enhanced criminal record checks.
DLA Piper represents a number of commercial judicial review claimants in their challenges to government and local authority policies; a leading example in this area saw Paul Stone handling Uber’s challenge to Knowsley Council’s licensing regulations. Procurement challenges are another strong point for the team, while Hazel Moffat’s public inquiry expertise is being applied to the Magnox Inquiry into the award of a £6.2bn decommissioning contract in the nuclear power sector. General public law advisory work is provided to a diverse range of commercial and public sector clients spanning the fields of transport and infrastructure (where the Department for Transport is a key client), energy, education, health and social housing.
Paul Stone; Hazel Moffat
‘The partners and associates at DLA Piper are unfailingly sensible, hardworking, down to earth and knowledgeable in the field‘
Uber Britannia Limited
Ocean Outdoor Limited
Department for Transport
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Market Operator Services
Transport for Greater Manchester
Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association
Hitachi Rail Europe Limited
Office of Rail and Road
- Representing Ocean Outdoor UK in its Court of Appeal litigation against the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham regarding the interpretation of the Concession Contracts Regulations.
- Represented Uber Britannia Limited in successfully quashing a policy requiring drivers of private hire vehicles to confirm they intended to drive predominantly in the local area in order to secure a licence.
- Advised the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the Magnox Inquiry into the failure of a £6.2bn contract for the decommissioning of 12 nuclear power sites.
- Lead lawyers responsible for drafting the statutory codes and regulatory framework for the opening up of the world’s largest retail market for water, worth around £2.5bn.
- Provided continuing advice to Heineken on all issues arising from the new regulatory regime introduced by the Pubs Code etc. Regulations 2016.
Edwards Duthie Shamash
The bulk of Edwards Duthie Shamash’s instructions involve handling public law claims against public bodies for vulnerable individuals such as prisoners, detainees, asylum seekers with no recourse to public funds, homeless families and people with disabilities. A number of charities are also present on the client list. Recent mandates involved challenges to the Home Office and local authorities concerning inadequate provision of services, the unlawful detention of minors, breaches of Article 8 of the ECHR in the prison system, and the failure to properly assess children and vulnerable adults. Practice head Anna O’Connell has expertise in mental health law and housing law, and regularly handles applications concerning the provision of temporary accommodation.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s commercial public law practice sits within the wider commercial litigation department, and often acts on regulatory enforcement and human rights cases with a multi-jurisdictional element. Leading matters in this field saw Philip Rocher defending a UK-domiciled company against expropriation actions attempted by the Turkish government and Patrick Doris assisting an LGBT rights organisation with its successful challenge to Kenya’s discriminatory legislation. The team acts on domestic commercial judicial review applications, with recent claims involving challenges to the Competition and Markets Authority regarding its policy on commercial mergers and challenges to the government regarding its recent legislative changes in the betting industry.
Other key lawyers:
Human Dignity Trust
Koza Ipek Group
Thomson Reuters Foundation
- Acted for Asda in a judicial review challenge to the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s investigation into its proposed merger with Sainsbury’s.
- Acting for UK-domiciled mining company Koza and its sole director, Hamdi Akin Ipek, in English proceedings challenging the Turkish government’s expropriation actions on human rights grounds.
- Represented the Human Dignity Trust in successfully overturning constitutionally sanctioned discriminatory practices against the LGBT community, and supporting the client in its drive to decriminalise same-sex practices.
The public law offering at Hill Dickinson LLP has a particular focus on the healthcare and social care sectors, with a healthy list of NHS bodies and clinical commissioning groups comprising the bulk of the client roster. Advisory work regularly involves the implementation of policy initiatives and reorganisations, particularly NHS England’s flagship integrated care system legislative framework. Emma Stockwell advises on the commissioning of pharmaceutical services. Common contentious mandates include defending judicial review challenges, procurement challenges and advising on inquiries into breaches of duty.
Emma Stockwell; David Hill; Eleanor Tunnicliffe
‘Always goes the extra mile while providing a personal service‘
‘Esther Venning and Robert McGough take a flexible and pragmatic approach to developing and identifying solutions‘
‘Kiran Bhogal has an excellent combination of pragmatism and legal knowledge‘
‘The team always meets deadlines and gives prompt feedback in a way which is understandable without the jargon‘
Care Quality Commission
Health Education England
NHS Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group
Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Royal Free London Hospitals NHS Foundation Tust
Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Tust
Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Tust
Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Tust
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Tust
Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Tust
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust
Fareham and Gosport CCG
Midlands and Lancashire CSU
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Tust
- Providing public law advice to Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust on numerous matters in the context of proposed service reconfigurations due to financial, quality of care and workforce issues.
- Successfully defending a procurement challenge brought against NHS England by an unsuccessful bidder for the provision of waste disposal services.
- Provided advice to NHS England on the development and implementation of its flagship policy initiative on reorganising the NHS on the basis of 44 integrated care systems across the country.
- Advising Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group on the inquiry into the deaths of elderly patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
Imran Khan and Partners
Imran Khan and Partners has particular expertise in handling police discrimination claims, breach of care claims and general human rights applications. The team's experience includes assisting with inquests and public inquiries such as the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Undercover Policing Inquiry.
Just For Kids Law
The strategic litigation team at Just For Kids Law - a registered charity which provides legal support - takes on public law challenges against public bodies such as local authorities and police departments on behalf of vulnerable children, particularly those in the criminal justice system. Judicial review proceedings are regularly acted on for clients facing mental health, education, immigration, homelessness and benefit denial issues.
The healthcare and higher education sectors are points of strength for the public law practice at Mills & Reeve LLP. Key NHS bodies (including a significant proportion of clinical commissioning groups) and universities comprise the bulk of the client roster, with regular mandates involving the defence of judicial review applications. Recent matters involved defending challenges to policy and regulatory changes, claims of negligence and procurement challenges. Advisory work typically involves handling policy and regulatory changes with an emphasis on risk mitigation. Richard Sykes handles judicial review, Freedom of Information and data protection matters.
‘Very experienced and knowledgeable‘
‘A very strong team‘
‘Very personable, extremely responsive and very knowledgeable‘
‘Richard Sykes is extremely engaging and very responsive. He is passionate about his work and does all he can to ensure that his clients’ needs are met at every stage of the process‘
‘Gary Attle is a genuine delight to work with and demonstrates a great depth of knowledge, sector expertise and insight‘
‘Richard Sykes is excellent – in-depth sector and legal knowledge, pragmatic and responsive‘
NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in the North East and Cumbria
University of Liverpool
University of London
Joint Council for Qualifications
Institute For Apprenticeships
Department for Health and Social Care
- Defended a number of NHS clinical commissioning groups in a judicial review application by Bayer and Novartis challenging the provision of certain cancer drugs.
- Represented a qualification body in the Exam Results Appeal Panel concerning grade appeals.
- Represented the Department of Health and Social Care in a procurement challenge.
- Advised a further education college in contesting its review by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
- Representing the University of Liverpool in an inquest concerning a student’s suicide.
Sharpe Pritchard LLP is regularly instructed by local authorities across the UK to defend against judicial review applications and statutory appeals in relation to education, utilities and planning policy, among others. The team also handles judicial review claims for groups of individuals and commercial clients, with recent highlights involving applications against HMRC. Partner William Rose, who has particular expertise in obtaining injunctions for public bodies, is the key contact.
Other key lawyers:
Local Government Association
Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council
Wandsworth London Borough Council
- Successfully defended a procurement challenge on behalf of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham concerning the council’s decision to grant leases of two properties which permitted advertising next to a highway.
- Acted for the Local Government Association in a claim by health authorities that they have charitable status and are therefore entitled to rate relief.
- Advised a collective of local authorities under the umbrella of the Local Government Association on implementing changes to their agreements with relevant water companies for the collection of water charges to reflect recent changes in the law governing this area.
- Acting on behalf of 342 claimants who have issued a claim for judicial review against HMRC challenging its decision to serve follower notices and accelerated payment notices under the provisions of the Finance Act 2014.
- Acted for the London Borough of Wandsworth in defending a claim for judicial review brought by a local resident challenging the council’s decision to grant a lease of premises on Wandsworth Common.
TV Edwards LLP
The social welfare and public law department at TV Edwards LLP takes on a number of public law challenges for clients with disabilities, migrants with no recourse to public funds, homeless individuals and families, and adults with severe medical conditions. The firm's experience includes judicial review proceedings against a local authority’s housing decisions, challenges to community care assessments, Human Rights Act breaches and actions in the Court of Protection. Associate Monica Kreel specialises in advising on the rights of disabled people.
Katie Brown; Jacky Starling
Other key lawyers:
‘TV Edwards displays a high level of specialist knowledge and client commitment in the legal aid space, with an established history in the fields of housing and community care‘
‘The team maintains a high degree of professionalism and always prepares cases to the highest standard‘
‘An extremely strong public and administrative law team with some real talent‘
‘Excellent and hardworking public law solicitors‘
‘Amanda Ford, Radhika Shah and David Araya are excellent practitioners with a solid understanding of the relevant fields of law. Highly professional and competent‘