Next Generation Partners

Public sector in Wales

Blake Morgan LLP

The 'client focused, responsive and hardworking' multidisciplinary team at Blake Morgan LLP effectively draws from the expertise of lawyers with core public sector expertise from across several key practice groups, including employment, social housing and commercial. In addition, unlike some of the ranked firms, it has a core focus on public law and, in particular, in-depth expertise on Welsh devolved law in areas including healthcare. In this context, the instructions are not purely restricted to Wales-based entities but also often to English clients seeking guidance as to the interaction with Welsh law. The 'outstanding' Eve Piffaretti heads up the overarching group and provides 'balanced and thorough' public law advice as it pertains to health and social care, including on safeguarding issues, mental health and mental capacity law. Graham Miles ' professional regulatory expertise also regularly seems him involved in the health and social care setting, particularly in the context of advising regulatory bodies investigating and presenting fitness to cases involving practitioners in the space. Miles also has niche prowess in relation to fertility law and genetics and continues to represent the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, including in relation to the defence of judicial review challenges. The team is also noted for its ability to provide 'high quality advice on the most complex of public sector procurements'. In this setting Penri Desscan  and Simon McCann  regularly take the lead on the non-contentious front, while Joanne Thompson handles public procurement litigation, both for public sector organisations as well as for failed bidders. At an associate level, Sarah Whittle is particularly skilled at defending public sector health care entities against judicial review challenges, and Emily James  has a flourishing state aid practice. 

Practice head(s):

Eve Piffaretti


All of the lawyers are very client focused, responsive and hardworking.’

Eve Piffaretti and her team have provided my Local Authority with legal support for Education and Court of Protection work during the pandemic. They have a wealth of experience of both sides of the fence which is evident in the legal advice they provide, as it is always balanced, thorough and first class.’

The team of experts are able to advise and provide high quality advice on the most complex of public sector procurements.’

‘Eve Piffaretti has been outstanding in her communication at all times and her people skills have made the client department and indeed myself feel at ease and as if nothing is too much trouble.’

Key clients

Welsh Government & The Welsh Ministers

NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

NHS England & NHS Improvement

Natural Resources Wales

Transport for Wales

Welsh Language Commissioner

Senedd Cymru/ Welsh Parliament

Children’s Commissioner for Wales

Equality and Human Rights Commission (in Wales)

Older People’s Commissioner for Wales

Social Care Wales

Education Workforce Council

Development Bank for Wales

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent

Clwyd Alyn Housing Association

Pobl Housing Association

Cardiff and Vale College

Health Care Professions Council

Work highlights

  • Provided the Welsh Government with a broad range of legal support across a range of legal specialisms including advice on IT infrastructure and Welsh Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Providing legal support to NHS England and NHS Improvement throughout the pandemic.
  • Acting for a wide range of public sector clients including regulators such as Social Care Wales, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Human Tissue Authority.

Geldards LLP

Benefiting from 'incredible strength in depth' in the public sector (which is reflected by its strong showing in the various NPS lots), Geldards LLP provides 'excellent quality' work to a broad cross-section of clients including local authorities, central government, and regulatory bodies. As well as being able to draw upon the strength of lawyers with public sector expertise from across the firm's full-service offering, the firm is also noted for its pure public law knowledge with a real understanding of 'the law in Wales and the differences that now exist with the law of England and Wales'. Construction head Tony Norris is 'stratospherically brilliant' at advising Welsh Government on key infrastructure projects, as well as in any arbitrations which should subsequently arise. 'Exceptionally well-organised and calm' litigator Jonathan Griffiths is particularly effective at handling judicial review matters for claimants and defendants, as well as in procurement-related cases.  Recognised as a 'keen tactician', Charles Felgate  has a particular focus on public sector panning matters and regularly represents local authorities 'when they hit a brick wall in their toughest cases'. As part of her core public sector employment expertise,  Helen Snow 'is outstanding in her knowledge and experience' within the agricultural space and continues to advise The Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales on aspects relating to agricultural workers.


The team has incredible strength and breadth in advising the public sector. They understand law in Wales and the differences that now exist with the law of England and Wales.’

Their work is tailored to us, always of excellent quality and always delivered swiftly.’

Charles Felgate is a highly experienced adviser on planning matters in Wales – local planning authorities turn to him regularly when they hit a brick wall in their toughest cases. He is a keen tactician and active litigator.’

Jonathan Griffiths is exceptionally well-organised and calm.’

Tony Norris is stratospherically brilliant.’

Helen Snow is extremely efficient, responsive and is an expert in her field.  She understands the mechanisms of policy development and Government processes and she is outstanding in her knowledge and experience.’

Key clients

Senedd Commission

Snowdonia National Park Authority

South Derbyshire District Council

The Welsh Ministers

Development Bank of Wales plc

The Natural Resources Body for Wales (Natural Resources Wales)

The Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Estyn (the education and training inspectorate for Wales)

Torfaen County Borough Council

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority

Gwynedd Council

Bridgend County Borough Council

National Museum of Wales

Vale of Glamorgan Council

The Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales

Caerphilly County Borough Council

Carmarthenshire County Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Snowdonia National Park Authority on the Hillside Parks Ltd v Snowdonia National Park Authority [2020] EWCA Civ 1440 planning dispute, in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
  • Representing the Welsh Ministers in the defence in the High Court of an application for a declaration in relation to a Development Consent Order for the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.
  • Advising a local authority on the restructure of its senior leadership team.

Capital Law Limited

The ‘extremely cohesive, efficient and well organised’ multidisciplinary team at Capital Law Limited is ‘fantastically knowledgeable‘ in the space, as was recently underscored by its impressive showing across a multitude of lots on the NPS. The undoubted ‘star player‘, however, remains team head Nicola Mead-Batten  who has ‘the right blend of technical expertise and client facing skills’ and is according to one client: ‘probably the best public law solicitor in England and Wales at the moment’. This expertise manifests itself in a range of ways, including in relation to freedom of information requests and judicial review matters.  ‘Extremely efficient and organised‘ senior associate Trish D’Souza is also a key member of the team, particularly as a result of her ‘excellent knowledge of higher education in the public sector’. 

Practice head(s):

Nicola Mead-Batten

Other key lawyers:

Trish D’Souza


‘The team is fantastically knowledgeable and wise as a result of experience on both sides of the fence.’

‘The team is extremely cohesive, efficient and well organised.’

Nicola Mead-Batten is the star player and has a real depth of knowledge of medical regulatory judicial reviews.’

Nicola Mead-Batten is a strategic three-dimensional thinker with an eye for hidden issues others might miss.’

‘Nicola Mead-Batten is probably the best public law solicitor in England and Wales at the moment, in terms of having the right blend of technical expertise and client facing skills.’

Trish D’Souza is extremely efficient and organised, inspiring confidence in clients.’

Key clients

Welsh Government

Gambling Commission

UK Anti-Doping

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

Development Bank of Wales

Bridgend College

Future Generations Commissioner

Welsh Language Commissioner

University of South Wales

Bridgend County Borough Council

Caerphilly County Borough Council

Solicitors Regulation Authority

British Medical Association

Natural Resources Wales

Qualifications Wales


Transport For Wales

Work highlights

  • Reappointed as adviser to the Solicitors Regulation Authority across a wide range of legal, policy and regulatory matters for the General Counsel team.
  • Acting for the British Medical Association (BMA) in its public law challenge to the government’s changes to public service pension schemes, including the NHS Pension Scheme.
  • Representing the BMA and five test claimant GP practices in their High Court claim against NHSPS in challenging the basis of these demanded service charges.

Hugh James

Public sector-related work has been pivotal to Hugh James‘ strategy since its formation over 25 years ago and it has consequently gained an excellent insight into the requirements of a myriad central/local authorities, as well as third sector entities. This expertise was recently underscored by the firm’s strong showing across the various NPS lots, including gaining a coveted spot as one of the firm’s specifically acting for the Welsh Government.  Ioan Prydderch and Martin Jones  co-head the multidisciplinary team which includes senior associate Justin Davies, who has a market-leading reputation advising on fire safety law and continues to represent South Wales Fire & Rescue Service on enforcement matters.

Practice head(s):

Ioan Prydderch; Martin Jones

Key clients

Social Care Wales

Welsh Government

Natural Resources Wales

Denbighshire County Council

The City of Cardiff County Council

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Torfaen County Borough Council

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)

Coleg Gwent

Cardiff University

Swansea City Council

Gwynedd Council

Flintshire Council

Monmouthshire County Council

Transport for Wales

Independent Office for Police Conduct

Welsh Language Commissioner

Conwy County Council

Pembrokeshire County Council


Care Inspectorate Wales

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Bridgend County Borough Council

Carmarthenshire County Council

Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

Isle of Anglesey County Council

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

South Wales Police

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner

University of South Wales

Linc Cymru Housing Association

Trivallis Housing Association

Caerphilly County Borough Council

Hafod Housing Association

Wrexham County Borough Council

Crown Estate

Natural England

Gwent Police

Dyfed Powys Police

Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Curo Housing Association

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Aelwyd Housing Association

Bro Myrddin

Bron Afon Community Housing Ltd

Cadwyn Housing Association

Cardiff Community Housing

Charter Housing Association

Coastal Housing Association

Cynon Taf Community Housing Group

Derwen Cymru Ltd

Grwp Gwalia Cyfyngedig

Grwp Cyfnefin

Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association

Monmouthshire Housing Assocation

Newport City Homes

Newydd Housing Assocation

Pobl Group

Taff Housing Association

Tai Ceredigion

Untied Welsh Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Wrexham Borough Council on property elements of the Wrexham Gateway Project and redevelopment of racecourse stadium transferred to Wrexham AFC and supported by grant funding in the region of £25m.
  • Acted for Natural Resources Wales in high-profile proceedings concerning mineral rights before the Court of Appeal in Summer 2021.
  • Successfully represented the Welsh Government in an arbitration against Costain Limited in connection with cost overruns on a £340m road expansion project.

Watkins & Gunn Limited

Under the guidance of the 'exceptional' Michael Imperato , Watkins & Gunn Limited has developed a market-leading reputation acting for claimants seeking to challenge unlawful acts by public bodies. In this context, the firm is particularly accomplished at handling complex High Court judicial review challenges, an area that Imperato has 'an excellent track record of success built upon his vast experience'. Senior associate Lucy O’Brien 'has an amazing eye for detail, particularly in the most complex cases', including those involving Equality and Human Rights.

Practice head(s):

Michael Imperato

Other key lawyers:

Lucy O’Brien


The very professional and communicative team provides reasoned advice.’

They are really the leaders in public law cases in Wales. They have such a wide case range and are on top of so many issues, both locally and nationally.’

The public law team is the leading private sector firm in South Wales dealing with public law cases, particularly with complex High Court judicial review.’

‘It is a small and committed team with excellent client care and innovative thinking.’

This firm is very prominent with significant leading expertise in challenges to unlawful acts by public bodies.’

Michael Imperato is particularly able at conducting litigation on behalf of the his clients, often individuals who are not used to court proceedings, and at finding mechanisms for funding public interest litigation in the field of public law.’

‘Michael Imperato is a real rain maker. He is fantastic at working cases from the ground up, meeting the campaigners, working out if there is a runnable issue, getting funding in place, then liaising with counsel. He has an excellent track record of success built upon his vast experience.’

Lucy O’Brien has an amazing eye for detail, particularly in the most complex cases. She also knows how to be firm with difficult lay clients.’

Key clients

Haemophilia Wales

Haemophilia Northern Ireland


Elidyr Communities Trust

Hepatitis B Trust

Infected Blood Australia

Save Our Libraries (SOLE)

School & College Students Union

Travelling Ahead; Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Advice & Advocacy Service

Swansea Bay University Health Board

Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team Wales (EYST Wales)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Haemophilia Wales on the ongoing public inquiry into the 1980s contaminated blood scandal.
  • Acting for number of small rural schools in Powys challenging County Council’s closure proposal.
  • Acting in several Welsh traveller cases involving planning and Human Rights.

Harding Evans LLP

At Newport-based firm Harding Evans LLP, Craig Court, who was promoted to partner in May 2021, has a thriving claimant side public law practice which is gaining particular traction in the market as a result of some high-profile work for vulnerable clients in judicial review challenges against public bodies. Notably, Court has recently been instructed to represent the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Cymru in respect of the Covid-19 Statutory Public Inquiry.

Practice head(s):

Craig Court; Ben Jenkins


Craig Court is excellent with clients and pursues their interests with great tenacity.’

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Cymru Group to represent them in respect of the Covid-19 Statutory Public Inquiry.
  • Representing three claimants in a challenge to the UK Government’s introduction of the Loans for Mortgage Interest Regulations 2017 which changed the previous Support for Mortgage Interest Scheme into a repayable loan secured by way of a charge on the property.
  • Acting for the Estate of the deceased (who had a history of mental illness) in a challenge to the coroner’s decision not to engage Article 2 and widen the scope of the inquest (to allow the coroner to consider the series of failings by the community mental health team) following his death by hanging.