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UK-Bar Guide

Local Government — London (Bar)

Band 1

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

11KBW is an extremely well-regarded local government set that handles a broad spread of work but has a particular focus on education and public procurement cases. The set is home to a bench of skilled practitioners who have expertise in a range of cases including those concerning the provision of public services and the ECHR. Sources say "11KBW is a first resort for any local government matter" and has "barristers who are all very professional" and are "held in very high regard." Members act both for and against local governments in high-profile cases such as R (Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Liverpool City Council and Others) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, a case concerning the allocation of EU funds to local authorities. The set also handled R (Derbyshire County Council) v Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham & Sheffield Combined Authority, a judicial review claim challenging the lawfulness of a public consultation seeking to extend the combined authorities' borders.

Client service: "The clerking is excellent in every respect." "They are well versed in the matters at hand, are helpful and readily available to assist, and enquiries are responded to in an excellent timeframe." Lucy Barbet and Mark Dann head the clerking team.

SILKS

Nigel Giffin QC
Seasoned public law silk with extensive expertise encompassing social care, housing and education matters. He regularly appears in significant cases with complex civil liberties and human rights aspects.
Strengths: "He has a razor-sharp intellect and an impressive grasp for detail. He's a real strategic fighter with a strong pragmatic streak."
Recent work: Led in Beddows and Others v Islington LBC, a case settling claims involving massive data breaches, including the accidental posting of sensitive personal data belonging to all local authority tenants on a public website.

James Goudie QC
An erudite silk with a broad practice, he handles all manner of administrative and public law cases and is a noted expert in employment law. He advises on the most significant local government matters including cases concerning local authority finance and governance. His significant contributions in the field have earned him the nickname 'the Godfather of local government'.
Strengths: "Still the recognised local authority guru. Swift and incisive comments, always recognising the clients' objectives." "He just knows everything there is to know."
Recent work: Led in R (Derbyshire County Council) v Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority, a judicial review claim challenging the establishment of a new combined authority under new legislation implemented by the coalition government.

Clive Sheldon QC
Esteemed practitioner whose top-tier advocacy is lauded by peers and clients alike. He has vast experience of acting on behalf of a wide range of government departments. He was a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Treasury Counsel from 2007 to 2011.
Strengths: "Clive is brilliant. He's a heavy hitter, he cuts through the detail and gives practical advice. He is very intelligent and is measured in his approach." "He is an excellent problem solver who shows good judgement in complex and sensitive matters."
Recent work: Acted in O’Neill v London Borough of Lambeth, a challenge to the decision of the local authority to amend a lease enabling the construction of the Garden Bridge over the River Thames.

Jason Coppel QC
Highly regarded practitioner with noted local government expertise. He handles this work as part of his broader practice, which encompasses areas such as public procurement and human rights. He acts both for and against local authorities in a range of local government issues such as housing and PFI waste contracts.
Strengths: "Jason Coppell QC is our barrister of choice for procurement and commercial local government work. Simply superb both in written and face-to-face advice. A really good guy who is very good with clients, and without condescension."
Recent work: Acted in R (Liverpool CC and Others) v Secretary of State for Health, a challenge to the level of funding available to local authorities for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards following the Supreme Court's 2014 ruling in Cheshire West.

Jonathan Swift QC
An extremely well-respected public lawyer whose cases often touch upon civil liberties, constitutional law and environmental issues. He is a familiar face in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He has regularly acted for the NHS, the South Yorkshire Police Commissioner and Transport for London.
Strengths: "He is responsive, practical and provides clear advice on complex public sector issues."

Peter Oldham QC
A renowned advocate in the field of public law who brings the full weight of many years' experience to bear when undertaking cases. He regularly handles complex education, equality law, procurement and state aid matters. He acts in judicial review challenges, and boasts expertise in governance and standards, data protection and accounts.
Strengths: "He is very, very responsive and very approachable. He gives clear advice and is also pragmatic to meet the needs of the authority."
Recent work: Represented the local authority in R ota A and C v Oxfordshire CC. This concerned a challenge to the local authorities' decision to close most of its children’s centres.

Karen Steyn QC
Popular choice for local authorities, claimants and other public bodies in the most significant local government cases. Her broad practice encompasses such areas as social security, education, community care and human rights.
Strengths: "She's not fazed by anything. She is calm, measured and doesn't get flustered by anything the other side say."
Recent work: Counsel for Liberty in DSD & NBV v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. This concerned claims brought pursuant to Article 3 of the ECHR in regard to investigative failures of police.

Charles Bourne QC
A recognised expert in public law, employment and local government. He regularly advises government bodies, regulators and private individuals, and is an accomplished mediator.
Strengths: "He's a distinguished local government practitioner. He's impressive, compelling and a fine lawyer."
Recent work: Acted in Torbay Quality Care Forum v Torbay Council, a judicial review challenge to the council's decision setting care home rates.

Jonathan Moffett QC
New silk who tackles a wide range of complex public law matters involving local government issues. He demonstrates notable skill in cases pertaining to EU and environment law, and is a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel to the Crown. He acts for local authority clients at all levels of court and also represents central government.
Strengths: “He is absolutely brilliant in a wide range of areas; he seems to be able to turn his hand to anything and produces compelling advice. He's very modest, creative and extremely hard-working. He works extremely well with other barristers; he really has all the talents.”
Recent work: Acted for the Fire Authority in R (London Borough of Southwark) v London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, a case concerning potential liability for the Lakanal House tower block fire in which six people lost their lives.

Andrew Sharland QC
Dynamic silk with considerable expertise in local government, community care and employment law. He is well known for his adroit representation of a range of clients, including public authorities and NGOs. He represents both claimants and local authorities across the full range of local government cases including those concerning planning, education and human rights.
Strengths: "He's well measured and thorough."
Recent work: Acted in R (Jewish Rights Watch) v Leicester City Council, Swansea Council and Gwynedd Council, a high-profile challenge to three councils' decisions to impose boycotts on Israeli goods produced in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

JUNIORS

Paul Greatorex
Seasoned local government practitioner with additional experience of handling antisocial behaviour cases, employment matters and issues involving immigration and asylum. He habitually acts for a range of prominent public authorities in major challenges to administrative decisions.
Strengths: "He's an excellent orator and he has a positive and calming influence on the client."
Recent work: Acted in Isle of Wight Council v Platt, a case concerning the lawfulness of taking children out of school and on holiday during term-time.

Jane Oldham
Has a fine track record of handling sophisticated public, information and education law matters. She often represents clients in major appeals, and is adept at handling cases concerning the legality of funding cuts, assets of community value and large-scale auditor investigations.
Strengths: "She's thorough, detailed, fully engaged and a pleasure to deal with." "She has an ability to explain complex procurement issues with a calm and warm approach."

Jonathan Auburn
Highly praised junior with extensive knowledge of local government matters, particularly those relating to the provision of health services. He offers expert representation and guidance to both local authorities and claimants, and demonstrates notable insight into cases concerning complex issues of mental health and capacity. He has acted in numerous high-profile cases including significant judicial review challenges and Human Rights Act claims.
Strengths: "He's great, very knowledgeable and he provides us with advice at short notice which is helpful." "He has a very measured style in court which goes down very well with judges."
Recent work: Acted as an independent investigator in order to carry out an inquiry into allegations published in the Evening Standard and other newspapers of alleged links between councillors and a radical imam who posted discriminatory and anti-Semitic material on social media.

Joanne Clement
Continues to run a thriving public law, human rights and community care practice. She routinely acts both for and against local authorities in complex, high-profile cases, and has broad experience in claims for judicial review. Recent local government work includes cases concerning adult social care, education and local government standards.
Strengths: "She fights hard for her clients." "She is very good – she gets on very well with clients but is robust when she needs to be. She's clear in her advice and the way she handles everything."
Recent work: Acted in R (Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Liverpool City Council and Others) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, a judicial review of the Secretary of State's allocation of £10 billion of EU funds to local authorities.

Holly Stout
Offers a broad practice acting mainly for local authorities in matters involving judicial reviews, community care and immigration. She is appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel to the Crown.
Strengths: "Holly is charming and personable." "She is very hard-working."
Recent work: Acted in MC v LB Camden and Secretary of State for the Home Department, an interim relief hearing concerning the lawfulness of offering accommodation for the respite period afforded by the Trafficking Convention.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Landmark Chambers has market-leading local government expertise, especially in regard to planning, property and environment law. With a bench of erudite practitioners acting for and against local authorities, the set has been involved in a variety of cases concerning issues of regeneration, education and human rights. Examples include R (Aron Wyn Jones) v Denbighshire County Council, a challenge to the council’s decision to close a rural Welsh-medium primary school, and East Sussex County Council v Information Commissioner, concerning duties of local authorities under the Environmental Information Directive. Market commentators say that the set is "brilliant – they have the full range of barristers available," "who are sound, responsive and very approachable."

Client service: "The clerking is very good and very efficient." "It is very helpful that they are able to move things around to get things booked in even at short notice." Jay Fullilove leads the clerking team.

SILKS

Richard Drabble QC
Fine local government barrister who is universally respected by his peers. He is held in particularly high esteem for his advocacy skills and makes regular appearances before the Administrative Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He is also well versed in European law, and routinely represents clients before the ECJ and the ECHR.
Strengths: "Richard is one of the leading social security lawyers in the UK. He is loved by judges and is the person to present controversial cases."
Recent work: Acted in R (on the application of Carmichael) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a Supreme Court case concerning the 'bedroom tax'.

Stephen Knafler QC
Handles some of the most significant cases in the sphere involving complex aspects of public, commercial and criminal law. He is a highly experienced representative of healthcare bodies, regulators and care homes. He is regularly instructed in cases concerning community care, housing allocation schemes and immigration matters.
Strengths: "He was very good on his feet, I was very impressed with his advocacy; he certainly had the court's attention."
Recent work: Acted in R (SG) v Haringey London Borough Council, a case addressing issues involving accommodation entitlements for both successful and failed asylum-seekers.

David Elvin QC
Has over three decades of experience at the Bar, practising in a wide range of areas including local government, civil liberties and European law. Particularly adept at handling complex highways and regeneration matters.
Strengths: "He provides clear and effective advice on planning and regeneration judicial review issues. He's vastly experienced and has an outstanding oral advocacy style."
Recent work: Acted in R (Faraday Development Ltd) v West Berkshire Council, a challenge to elements of a regeneration scheme in Newbury.

James Maurici QC
Experienced public law silk with a fine track record of advising public authorities on complex matters arising within the context of housing and education. He is regularly instructed in high-stakes local government disputes and has a solid understanding of EU law, human rights and funding issues.
Strengths: "His style is excellent in that he's not bombastic and he knows the power of the argument will prevail when acting as advocate."
Recent work: Acted in R (Canterbury CC) v LB of Redbridge & Annington Properties Ltd, a judicial review of a decision made by the London Borough to enter into and negotiate an agreement for a 30-year lease of 147 residential units.

Timothy Corner QC
Specialises in planning, local government and public law and advises local authorities in relation to large regeneration developments. He is engaged in multiple compulsory purchase orders on behalf of local authorities.
Strengths: "He is very good with clients. His great skill is his personality, he manages to orchestrate large groups of experts very skilfully and with a great deal of humour. He is very good technically and very approachable."
Recent work: Acted for the local authority in London Borough of Haringey (Wards Corner Regeneration Project) Compulsory Purchase Order 2016. This concerned the redevelopment of the Seven Sisters area.

David Forsdick QC
Renowned local government silk with extensive expertise across a plethora of public and environment law issues. He routinely acts as lead counsel for public authorities involved in high-stakes vires disputes. Over the last year he has acted in a number of cases regarding local government powers and the relationship with central government.
Strengths: "He is fantastic, mainly because of his cross-examination. I was very impressed by his robustness as an advocate."
Recent work: Resisted judicial review on behalf of the council in R (Smith) v Warwickshire County Council. This case concerned the council's approach to finding emergency camps for Gypsies and Travellers.

Daniel Kolinsky QC
Acts for a range of clients in important local government matters, including public authorities, individuals and NGOs in cases involving planning and valuation. Well known for his advocacy skills and is a familiar face in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Upper Tribunal.
Strengths: "He's very impressive in terms of his advocacy."
Recent work: Acted for the Mayor of London in his successful defence of a challenge to his decision to act as planning authority to determine whether a major regeneration project should be granted planning permission.

Timothy Mould QC
Has over two decades' experience in this sector advising on an array of matters, including public sector law, environmental law and infrastructure projects. He is also highly adept at handling civil liberties, community law and tax disputes for a number of prominent clients.
Strengths: "Outstanding client manner – he is extremely reassuring and he makes you feel like your matter is the most important matter that he has to advise upon."
Recent work: Acted in Brewster Waste Management Limited v Greater London Authority, a land compensation claim following the Olympics compulsory purchase order.

Fiona Scolding QC Recognised for her knowledge and experience in local authority disputes, she routinely takes instructions from major public sector clients across the country. She is highly regarded for her broad practice, which encompasses education, housing and social care. She has recently represented local authorities in cases concerning claims under European and human rights law.
Strengths: "She's fantastic, extremely approachable, brings a creative element to the case and she's a joy to be against."
Recent work: Represented a local authority in a test case concerning a claim under the Human Rights Act 1998 involving an elderly person incorrectly moved into a residential home in breach of her human rights.

JUNIORS

Charles Banner
Provides legal expertise across a range of government and regulatory matters. He acts for local authorities and NGOs, as well as commercial and private clients.
Strengths: "He is a very effective advocate, highly intelligent and fair-minded."
Recent work: Acted in R (Faraday Development Ltd) v West Berkshire Council, a judicial review challenge to a development agreement for the regeneration of the London Road Industrial Estate in Newbury.

David Blundell
Acts for both sides in complex local authority disputes and is a seasoned adviser to government departments in a range of civil and EU matters. He is a particularly experienced representative of clients at the upper levels of the UK judicial system, as well as the ECHR and the ECJ. He was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel to the Crown in 2015.
Strengths: "He is charming and brilliant."
Recent work: Acted in R (Southwark LBC) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, a challenge to the Secretary of State's refusal to confirm a compulsory purchase order for the redevelopment of the Aylesbury Estate in the Elephant & Castle area.

Tim Buley
Impressive junior with strong experience in public law and public sector matters, particularly cases arising within the context of community care, social housing and planning. Advises a range of clients, including individuals, commercial entities and pressure groups.
Strengths: "He's a brilliant drafter – he's diligent and enthusiastic." "He's a good tactician – he's very attuned to the points that will play well."
Recent work: Acted in R (Hardy) v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, a test case requiring a change of approach by local authorities across the country in regard to the use of discretionary housing payments by local governments in 'bedroom tax' cases.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Cornerstone Barristers is home to a bench of accomplished local government practitioners. Its members focus on issues such as planning, social housing and community care, and act both for and against local authorities. In addition, they offer expertise in local government powers, procedure, finance and governance. One recent example of the work they have handled is Stonegate Homes v Horsham District Council, a challenge to a neighbourhood plan which had passed referendum based on a failure to correctly apply the requirement under EU law to consider alternatives. Commentators say: "They're our go-to chambers. The barristers and clerks are progressive and flexible. They're really friendly, accessible and always willing to help."

Client service: "The clerks are very responsive, always happy to help and pass on messages. They're good at filing after court, and are happy to follow up and liaise with judges' clerks. I've only got good things to say about the chambers." Ben Connor is the senior clerk.

SILKS

Mark Lowe QC
A highly experienced silk with extensive expertise spanning the fields of public sector, planning and environment law. His local government practice is particularly focused on cases concerning powers and finance. He is often instructed in landmark cases due to his stellar reputation and is a familiar face in the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "He picks complex matters up easily and has a good client manner."
Recent work: Appeared for Cornwall Council in RLT Built Environment Ltd v Cornwall Council, a judicial review of the St Ives neighbourhood plan.

Ranjit Bhose QC
Expert in a variety of high-stakes public sector disputes, he is regularly called on by a diverse range of local authority clients. He has significant experience at the Bar and is particularly well versed in cases concerning powers and duties, finance, property and housing.
Strengths: "I was impressed – he is really good. He works hard, gets to the point and is very flexible."
Recent work: Acted in R (Muir) v LB Wandsworth, a judicial review claim challenging the vires of the local authority to grant rights to use and occupy Wandsworth Common.

Philip Coppel QC
A highly popular choice of local government counsel who is particularly well known for his appellate practice. His broad expertise encompasses further areas, such as information law and commercial disputes.
Strengths: "He's very able, very attentive and very tenacious – he's a good advocate."

James Findlay QC
Garners significant praise for his knowledge of administrative and public law, local government and environment matters. He habitually handles judicial reviews and statutory appeals at many of the highest courts in the UK, including the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "He's always well prepared for conferences and is a good advocate."
Recent work: Advised Guildford Borough Council on the preparation and presentation of its Local Plan.

Matthew Hutchings QC
A civil and commercial litigation specialist who offers further expertise in real estate, housing and public sector law. Having recently taken silk, he is highly sought after by private individuals, public authorities and commercial entities.
Strengths: "He's ferociously bright and incredibly commercially minded."

Lisa Busch QC
Regularly instructed in public law and local government matters, including major challenges to local authority decisions at the High Court and Court of Appeal. She is well versed in civil liberties and human rights issues. She is a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel and the EHRC’s B Panel of Counsel.
Strengths: "She is very helpful. She's very efficient, gets on well with clients, and is very hard-working. She is very good on her feet."
Recent work: Acted for the Education Funding Agency in an appeal involving Hackney London Borough Council, who refused planning permission to convert a former police station into a free school.

JUNIORS

Wayne Beglan
Versatile junior handling a broad range of local government work, including planning, housing, regeneration and employment matters as well as major challenges to administrative decisions. He regularly represents clients in tribunal proceedings in the High Court and is a familiar face in the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "He has encyclopaedic knowledge of this area of law."
Recent work: Represented the council in XPL v Harlow Council, a judicial review challenging the legality of a breach of condition notice that restricted the hours of operation of a coach depot.

Jennifer Oscroft
Known for her work in social welfare, housing and community care. She primarily acts for local authorities in matters involving social services and planning law. She has recently been involved in cases concerning asylum and local government duties under the Equality Act 2010.
Strengths: "She is a very nice opponent, she's tough but fair."
Recent work: Acted in R (A) v London Borough of Croydon, a judicial review of the local authority's decision to provide services under the Children Act 1989 to a destitute family who had no recourse to public funds.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

39 Essex Chambers' accomplished local government sector practice is celebrated as a result of the high-quality work it does for a large variety of local authorities. The chambers houses a particularly strong bench of silks with expertise across the whole range of local government issues, including cases concerning powers and duties, community care, planning and environmental matters. Recent key cases include R (Tinsley) v Manchester City Council, an appeal concerning local authorities entitlement to refuse to provide care to an individual who had received a personal injury award. Members also acted in R (Spitalfields Historic Trust Limited) v Mayor of London, the first challenge to the exercise of the Mayor of London’s powers to take over strategic planning applications.

Client service: "The clerks are very good; they're always available, always happy to take a call and will always recommend barristers who are the right fit." Alastair Davidson and Michael Kaplan are the joint senior clerks.

SILKS

Jenni Richards QC
Enjoys a solid reputation for her work in public law, including matters relating to local authority vires, civil liberties and regulatory law. A highly experienced practitioner, she acts predominantly for local government bodies and public interest groups.
Strengths: "She's fantastic, she sets out her case eloquently and clearly."
Recent work: Acted for the Local Government Association in R (National Aids Trust) v NHS England and Local Government Association, an appeal concerning the liability for funding PrEP, an HIV prevention treatment.

Fenella Morris QC
Erudite local government silk advising local authorities and individuals in complex cases incorporating various aspects of both public and private law. She is also well known for her deep knowledge and understanding of healthcare, procurement, regeneration and community care work.
Strengths: "She has a nice easy manner and keeps things simple." "She is very solid, able and sensible."
Recent work: Acted in R (C, T, M and U) v LB Southwark, a case regarding the approach that councils should take in assessing the needs of children in families that have no recourse to public funds.

James Strachan QC
A dynamic local government silk with an excellent track record in local authority disputes and vast experience in judicial review proceedings. Routinely advises on high-profile infrastructure projects and is a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel.
Strengths: "He's very, very clever – one of the hardest-working at the Bar and a very nice man."
Recent work: Acted in Samuel Smith Old Brewery v Selby District Council, a challenge to the government’s new 'duty to co-operate' that was introduced into the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and imposed on local authorities.

Richard Harwood QC
Well-known public sector practitioner with aptitude and previous experience as a London borough councillor. He has a large Administrative and Planning Court practice with a focus on local government, planning and environmental law. He is particularly adept at judicial review work and frequently represents local authorities in high-profile disputes.
Strengths: "Top-quality infrastructure QC. He's good for contentious projects."
Recent work: Acted in R (Friends of Finsbury Park) v London Borough of Haringey, a case concerning local authority powers in regard to closing off parks for events such as music festivals.

JUNIORS

Jack Anderson
Has a broad local government practice and a particular focus on cases concerning education, social care and Court of Protection. He regularly represents local authorities and appears in the Administrative Court and the Upper Tribunal.
Strengths: "Jack is kind and understands the issues of local government." "He is a very good junior barrister."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Francis Taylor Building is a well-known and respected public sector set assisting local government clients with issues pertaining to local plans, judicial reviews and planning inquiries. Practitioners act for local authorities across the country in a variety of matters including compulsory purchase and compensation, land valuation, council tax, education and environment.

Client service: "The clerks' office is very well organised. When they say they're going to get back to you, they do. It's a very effective and efficient set across the board." "The clerks are always helpful and professional." Paul Coveney leads the clerking team.

SILKS

Guy Roots QC
Highly sought after for his expert advice across a range of areas, including local government, environment and land valuation. He habitually undertakes national and international work, making regular appearances before tribunals and appeal courts across the UK, Hong Kong and the Caribbean.
Strengths: "He's great and is extremely organised. He's extremely responsive and is always on hand to deal with questions, no matter where he is."

Richard Glover QC
Erudite public sector specialist who is routinely called on to represent clients in tribunal proceedings and inquiries. He is lauded for his breadth of expertise, encompassing such areas as planning, rating and compensation matters.
Strengths: "He knows the subject matter inside out and is incredibly eloquent." "He's incredibly intelligent."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Matrix Chambers is a prominent public law set offering a bench of adept practitioners operating in numerous areas of law relevant to local government. Specialists act primarily against local authorities in matters concerning education, community care and environmental law as well as issues related to data protection and freedom of information. Recent examples include A & B v Oxfordshire County Council, a judicial review challenge to the council’s closure of Oxfordshire’s children’s centres on behalf of the 19,500 children who use those centres. A further highlight, R (HA) v Governing Body of Hampstead School, explored the procedural requirements associated with any decision to send a pupil off-site.

Client service: Jason Housden leads the clerking team.

SILKS

Helen Mountfield QC
A highly accomplished silk taking on a range of high-stakes administrative and public law matters, including local authority disputes. She deals with cases involving various aspects of equality, regulatory and education law. She regularly appears in test cases at the highest levels of UK court, as well as in European courts and other jurisdictions.
Strengths: "I think that she is an excellent advocate; she is particularly authoritative on equality law but also a really good public law all-rounder."

David Wolfe QC
Outstanding local government silk with a wealth of experience. He predominantly advises claimants, including individuals and various organisations involved in high-profile actions against local authorities.
Strengths: "He's extremely clever, he thinks a few steps ahead of everyone else in terms of setting things up strategically."
Recent work: Acted in Bokrosova v Lambeth, a judicial review challenge to Lambeth’s decision to prematurely stop consulting on options for regenerating an estate.

JUNIORS

Sarah Hannett
Highly active in major local authority disputes, including matters involving human rights and education issues. She has recently acted for both claimants and councils in cases concerning local authority functions and issues of individual special education needs.
Strengths: "We rate her very highly for her public law work." "She was so authoritative when she spoke and the judge accepted it; it's impressive to have that level of authority." "Her written work is very, very good."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of Ofsted in R (Interim Executive Board of X School) v Ofsted, a case involving an important issue as to whether sex segregation constituted direct sex discrimination contrary to the Equality Act 2010.

^ See whole ranking table

Star Individuals

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Nigel Giffin QC 
Seasoned public law silk with extensive expertise encompassing social care, housing and education matters. He regularly appears in significant cases with complex civil liberties and human rights aspects.
Strengths: "He has a razor-sharp intellect and an impressive grasp for detail. He's a real strategic fighter with a strong pragmatic streak."
Recent work: Led in Beddows and Others v Islington LBC, a case settling claims involving massive data breaches, including the accidental posting of sensitive personal data belonging to all local authority tenants on a public website. 

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Richard Drabble QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Drabble QC 
Fine local government barrister who is universally respected by his peers. He is held in particularly high esteem for his advocacy skills and makes regular appearances before the Administrative Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He is also well versed in European law, and routinely represents clients before the ECJ and the ECHR.
Strengths: "Richard is one of the leading social security lawyers in the UK. He is loved by judges and is the person to present controversial cases."
Recent work: Acted in R (on the application of Carmichael) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a Supreme Court case concerning the 'bedroom tax'.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

James Goudie QC 
An erudite silk with a broad practice, he handles all manner of administrative and public law cases and is a noted expert in employment law. He advises on the most significant local government matters including cases concerning local authority finance and governance. His significant contributions in the field have earned him the nickname 'the Godfather of local government'.
Strengths: "Still the recognised local authority guru. Swift and incisive comments, always recognising the clients' objectives." "He just knows everything there is to know."
Recent work: Led in R (Derbyshire County Council) v Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority, a judicial review claim challenging the establishment of a new combined authority under new legislation implemented by the coalition government.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Nathalie Lieven QC

Blackstone Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Nathalie Lieven QC of Blackstone Chambers 
Highly sought-after local government silk with a wide-ranging practice encompassing matters relating to civil liberties, planning and environment law. She is involved in cases concerning human rights and community care matters. She acts for a diverse client base including public authorities, central government, NGOs and private clients.
Strengths: "She's a force of nature." "She is really fantastic – she's head and shoulders above the vast majority of other public law silks."
Recent work: Acted in Client Earth v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, a challenge brought to the government's air quality plan which failed to meet requirements set out by the EU air quality directive.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Fenella Morris QC

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Fenella Morris QC 
Erudite local government silk advising local authorities and individuals in complex cases incorporating various aspects of both public and private law. She is also well known for her deep knowledge and understanding of healthcare, procurement, regeneration and community care work.
Strengths: "She has a nice easy manner and keeps things simple." "She is very solid, able and sensible."  
Recent work: Acted in R (C, T, M and U) v LB Southwark, a case regarding the approach that councils should take in assessing the needs of children in families that have no recourse to public funds.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Clive Sheldon QC 
Esteemed practitioner whose top-tier advocacy is lauded by peers and clients alike. He has vast experience of acting on behalf of a wide range of government departments. He was a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Treasury Counsel from 2007 to 2011.
Strengths: "Clive is brilliant. He's a heavy hitter, he cuts through the detail and gives practical advice. He is very intelligent and is measured in his approach." "He is an excellent problem solver who shows good judgement in complex and sensitive matters."
Recent work: Acted in O’Neill v London Borough of Lambeth, a challenge to the decision of the local authority to amend a lease enabling the construction of the Garden Bridge over the River Thames.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jason Coppel QC 
Highly regarded practitioner with noted local government expertise. He handles this work as part of his broader practice, which encompasses areas such as public procurement and human rights. He acts both for and against local authorities in a range of local government issues such as housing and PFI waste contracts.
Strengths: "Jason Coppell QC is our barrister of choice for procurement and commercial local government work. Simply superb both in written and face-to-face advice. A really good guy who is very good with clients, and without condescension."
Recent work: Acted in R (Liverpool CC and Others) v Secretary of State for Health, a challenge to the level of funding available to local authorities for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards following the Supreme Court's 2014 ruling in Cheshire West.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

David Elvin QC 
Has over three decades of experience at the Bar, practising in a wide range of areas including local government, civil liberties and European law. Particularly adept at handling complex highways and regeneration matters.
Strengths: "He provides clear and effective advice on planning and regeneration judicial review issues. He's vastly experienced and has an outstanding oral advocacy style."
Recent work: Acted in R (Faraday Development Ltd) v West Berkshire Council, a challenge to elements of a regeneration scheme in Newbury.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Stephen Knafler QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Stephen Knafler QC 
Handles some of the most significant cases in the sphere involving complex aspects of public, commercial and criminal law. He is a highly experienced representative of healthcare bodies, regulators and care homes. He is regularly instructed in cases concerning community care, housing allocation schemes and immigration matters. 
Strengths: "He was very good on his feet, I was very impressed with his advocacy; he certainly had the court's attention."
Recent work: Acted in R (SG) v Haringey London Borough Council, a case addressing issues involving accommodation entitlements for both successful and failed asylum-seekers.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Mark Lowe QC 
A highly experienced silk with extensive expertise spanning the fields of public sector, planning and environment law. His local government practice is particularly focused on cases concerning powers and finance. He is often instructed in landmark cases due to his stellar reputation and is a familiar face in the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "He picks complex matters up easily and has a good client manner."
Recent work: Appeared for Cornwall Council in RLT Built Environment Ltd v Cornwall Council, a judicial review of the St Ives neighbourhood plan.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

James Maurici QC 
Experienced public law silk with a fine track record of advising public authorities on complex matters arising within the context of housing and education. He is regularly instructed in high-stakes local government disputes and has a solid understanding of EU law, human rights and funding issues.
Strengths: "His style is excellent in that he's not bombastic and he knows the power of the argument will prevail when acting as advocate."
Recent work: Acted in R (Canterbury CC) v LB of Redbridge & Annington Properties Ltd, a judicial review of a decision made by the London Borough to enter into and negotiate an agreement for a 30-year lease of 147 residential units.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Jenni Richards QC

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jenni Richards QC 
Enjoys a solid reputation for her work in public law, including matters relating to local authority vires, civil liberties and regulatory law. A highly experienced practitioner, she acts predominantly for local government bodies and public interest groups.
Strengths: "She's fantastic, she sets out her case eloquently and clearly."
Recent work: Acted for the Local Government Association in R (National Aids Trust) v NHS England and Local Government Association, an appeal concerning the liability for funding PrEP, an HIV prevention treatment.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Timothy Straker QC

4-5 Gray's Inn Square

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Timothy Straker QC of 4-5 Gray's Inn Square 
Seasoned practitioner in the field of public sector law, he routinely appears in complex, high-profile local authority disputes. He acts for London-based public authorities involved in major infrastructure and development projects, such as the construction of cycle super-highways.
Strengths: "He's an excellent advocate." "His knowledge is encyclopaedic."
Recent work: Involved in the East West Cycle Super-Highway challenge to the legality of cycle super-highways in London.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Andrew Arden QC of Arden Chambers 
Has an impressive reputation in the market for his knowledge of administrative, constitutional and local government law. He is particularly adept at advising on local authority funding, competitive tendering and procurement issues.
Strengths: "A pioneer of the social housing law world whose track record of appearing in the most important cases speaks for itself."
Recent work: Acted in Haque v Hackney LBC, which concerned how the Equality Act impacts homelessness provisions, assessments and functions by local authorities.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Ranjit Bhose QC 
Expert in a variety of high-stakes public sector disputes, he is regularly called on by a diverse range of local authority clients. He has significant experience at the Bar and is particularly well versed in cases concerning powers and duties, finance, property and housing.
Strengths: "I was impressed – he is really good. He works hard, gets to the point and is very flexible."
Recent work: Acted in R (Muir) v LB Wandsworth, a judicial review claim challenging the vires of the local authority to grant rights to use and occupy Wandsworth Common.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Philip Coppel QC

A

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Philip Coppel QC 
A highly popular choice of local government counsel who is particularly well known for his appellate practice. His broad expertise encompasses further areas, such as information law and commercial disputes.
Strengths: "He's very able, very attentive and very tenacious – he's a good advocate."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

James Findlay QC 
Garners significant praise for his knowledge of administrative and public law, local government and environment matters. He habitually handles judicial reviews and statutory appeals at many of the highest courts in the UK, including the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "He's always well prepared for conferences and is a good advocate." 
Recent work: Advised Guildford Borough Council on the preparation and presentation of its Local Plan.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

David Forsdick QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

David Forsdick QC 
Renowned local government silk with extensive expertise across a plethora of public and environment law issues. He routinely acts as lead counsel for public authorities involved in high-stakes vires disputes. Over the last year he has acted in a number of cases regarding local government powers and the relationship with central government.
Strengths: "He is fantastic, mainly because of his cross-examination. I was very impressed by his robustness as an advocate."
Recent work: Resisted judicial review on behalf of the council in R (Smith) v Warwickshire County Council. This case concerned the council's approach to finding emergency camps for Gypsies and Travellers.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Stephen Hockman QC

A

Six Pump Court

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Stephen Hockman QC of Six Pump Court 
Accomplished silk with expertise in all aspects of local government law, including planning, environment and senior officer's tenure matters. He regularly advises on health and safety, and regulatory issues.
Strengths: "He is extremely knowledgeable and has vast experience. He is a very clear and interesting advocate. He doesn't take silly points, he sticks to the main issues and the points he knows are crucial."
Recent work: Acted in Wolverhampton CC v Smith and Stokes liquidators of Echo Estates, a dispute relating to a claim by the local authority for remediation against an insolvent company.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Daniel Kolinsky QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Daniel Kolinsky QC 
Acts for a range of clients in important local government matters, including public authorities, individuals and NGOs in cases involving planning and valuation. Well known for his advocacy skills and is a familiar face in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Upper Tribunal.
Strengths: "He's very impressive in terms of his advocacy."
Recent work: Acted for the Mayor of London in his successful defence of a challenge to his decision to act as planning authority to determine whether a major regeneration project should be granted planning permission.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Helen Mountfield QC

Matrix Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Helen Mountfield QC 
A highly accomplished silk taking on a range of high-stakes administrative and public law matters, including local authority disputes. She deals with cases involving various aspects of equality, regulatory and education law. She regularly appears in test cases at the highest levels of UK court, as well as in European courts and other jurisdictions.
Strengths: "I think that she is an excellent advocate; she is particularly authoritative on equality law but also a really good public law all-rounder."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Peter Oldham QC 
A renowned advocate in the field of public law who brings the full weight of many years' experience to bear when undertaking cases. He regularly handles complex education, equality law, procurement and state aid matters. He acts in judicial review challenges, and boasts expertise in governance and standards, data protection and accounts.
Strengths: "He is very, very responsive and very approachable. He gives clear advice and is also pragmatic to meet the needs of the authority."
Recent work: Represented the local authority in R ota A and C v Oxfordshire CC. This concerned a challenge to the local authorities' decision to close most of its children’s centres.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Karen Steyn QC 
Popular choice for local authorities, claimants and other public bodies in the most significant local government cases. Her broad practice encompasses such areas as social security, education, community care and human rights.
Strengths: "She's not fazed by anything. She is calm, measured and doesn't get flustered by anything the other side say."
Recent work: Counsel for Liberty in DSD & NBV v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. This concerned claims brought pursuant to Article 3 of the ECHR in regard to investigative failures of police.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Jonathan Swift QC

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jonathan Swift QC 
An extremely well-respected public lawyer whose cases often touch upon civil liberties, constitutional law and environmental issues. He is a familiar face in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He has regularly acted for the NHS, the South Yorkshire Police Commissioner and Transport for London.
Strengths: "He is responsive, practical and provides clear advice on complex public sector issues."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Matrix Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

David Wolfe QC 
Outstanding local government silk with a wealth of experience. He predominantly advises claimants, including individuals and various organisations involved in high-profile actions against local authorities.
Strengths: "He's extremely clever, he thinks a few steps ahead of everyone else in terms of setting things up strategically."
Recent work: Acted in Bokrosova v Lambeth, a judicial review challenge to Lambeth’s decision to prematurely stop consulting on options for regenerating an estate.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Charles Bourne QC

A

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Charles Bourne QC 
A recognised expert in public law, employment and local government. He regularly advises government bodies, regulators and private individuals, and is an accomplished mediator. 
Strengths: "He's a distinguished local government practitioner. He's impressive, compelling and a fine lawyer."
Recent work: Acted in Torbay Quality Care Forum v Torbay Council, a judicial review challenge to the council's decision setting care home rates.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Lisa Busch QC
Regularly instructed in public law and local government matters, including major challenges to local authority decisions at the High Court and Court of Appeal. She is well versed in civil liberties and human rights issues. She is a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel and the EHRC’s B Panel of Counsel.
Strengths: "She is very helpful. She's very efficient, gets on well with clients, and is very hard-working. She is very good on her feet."
Recent work: Acted for the Education Funding Agency in an appeal involving Hackney London Borough Council, who refused planning permission to convert a former police station into a free school.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Timothy Corner QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Timothy Corner QC 
Specialises in planning, local government and public law and advises local authorities in relation to large regeneration developments. He is engaged in multiple compulsory purchase orders on behalf of local authorities.
Strengths: "He is very good with clients. His great skill is his personality, he manages to orchestrate large groups of experts very skilfully and with a great deal of humour. He is very good technically and very approachable."
Recent work: Acted for the local authority in London Borough of Haringey (Wards Corner Regeneration Project) Compulsory Purchase Order 2016. This concerned the redevelopment of the Seven Sisters area.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Richard Glover QC

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Glover QC 
Erudite public sector specialist who is routinely called on to represent clients in tribunal proceedings and inquiries. He is lauded for his breadth of expertise, encompassing such areas as planning, rating and compensation matters.
Strengths: "He knows the subject matter inside out and is incredibly eloquent." "He's incredibly intelligent."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Richard Harwood QC

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Harwood QC 
Well-known public sector practitioner with aptitude and previous experience as a London borough councillor. He has a large Administrative and Planning Court practice with a focus on local government, planning and environmental law. He is particularly adept at judicial review work and frequently represents local authorities in high-profile disputes.
Strengths: "Top-quality infrastructure QC. He's good for contentious projects."
Recent work: Acted in R (Friends of Finsbury Park) v London Borough of Haringey, a case concerning local authority powers in regard to closing off parks for events such as music festivals.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Timothy Mould QC 
Has over two decades' experience in this sector advising on an array of matters, including public sector law, environmental law and infrastructure projects. He is also highly adept at handling civil liberties, community law and tax disputes for a number of prominent clients. 
Strengths: "Outstanding client manner – he is extremely reassuring and he makes you feel like your matter is the most important matter that he has to advise upon."
Recent work: Acted in Brewster Waste Management Limited v Greater London Authority, a land compensation claim following the Olympics compulsory purchase order.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Guy Roots QC 
Highly sought after for his expert advice across a range of areas, including local government, environment and land valuation. He habitually undertakes national and international work, making regular appearances before tribunals and appeal courts across the UK, Hong Kong and the Caribbean. 
Strengths: "He's great and is extremely organised. He's extremely responsive and is always on hand to deal with questions, no matter where he is."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

James Strachan QC

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

James Strachan QC 
A dynamic local government silk with an excellent track record in local authority disputes and vast experience in judicial review proceedings. Routinely advises on high-profile infrastructure projects and is a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel.
Strengths: "He's very, very clever – one of the hardest-working at the Bar and a very nice man."
Recent work: Acted in Samuel Smith Old Brewery v Selby District Council, a challenge to the government’s new 'duty to co-operate' that was introduced into the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and imposed on local authorities.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Andrew Warnock QC

A

1 Chancery Lane

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Andrew Warnock QC of 1 Chancery Lane 
A highly respected personal injury specialist who regularly handles complex local authority matters. He has deep knowledge of duty of care cases and is routinely instructed in high-value claims concerning social care and education by a wide range of local authority and public bodies.
Strengths: "Excellent, particularly for complex local authority issues."
Recent work: Defended the council in CFC v Westminster City Council, a high-value claim for alleged negligent misrepresentation and planning enforcement action.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Martin Westgate QC

Doughty Street Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Martin Westgate QC of Doughty Street Chambers 
Erudite silk with vast experience at the Bar and a broad practice encompassing public sector law, housing and social care. He demonstrates particular strength in appellate work, and regularly appears before the Administrative Court.
Strengths: "He is very bright and very hard-working." "He is a very capable and very effective advocate."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Rhodri Williams QC

A

Henderson Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Rhodri Williams QC of Henderson Chambers 
Public sector law expert with deep knowledge covering all aspects of EU public procurement. He is routinely instructed by local authorities, regional governments and government departments across the UK.
Strengths: "He offers responsive, practical and robust advice, sticking to the point without over-egging unnecessarily."
Recent work: Acted in a judicial review challenge regarding the decision of the local authority to close a public library in breach of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Monckton Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Ian Wise QC of Monckton Chambers 
Well versed in complex local authority disputes, including matters relating to the duty to support children and families in need. He regularly acts for claimants and has deep knowledge of social care law. He has appeared in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal in a number of important cases concerning local authorities and young asylum seekers.
Strengths: "He is well known for his practical and wide-ranging expertise."
Recent work: Acted in R (HA) v London Borough of Ealing, a challenge to Ealing’s policy of requiring a certain period of residence before allowing applicants to go on its housing register.

^ See whole ranking table

New Silk

Matthew Hutchings QC

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Matthew Hutchings QC
A civil and commercial litigation specialist who offers further expertise in real estate, housing and public sector law. Having recently taken silk, he is highly sought after by private individuals, public authorities and commercial entities.
Strengths: "He's ferociously bright and incredibly commercially minded."

^ See whole ranking table

New Silk

Andrew Kinnier QC

A

Henderson Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Andrew Kinnier QC of Henderson Chambers
Dynamic public sector law practitioner with extensive knowledge of procurement, infrastructure projects and arbitration. His practice focuses primarily on complex advisory work for local authorities.
Strengths: "He's very user-friendly and he's extremely knowledgeable."
Recent work: Advised Nottingham City Council on the procurement and state aid issues arising from the management of its Nottingham Castle heritage site.

^ See whole ranking table

New Silk

Jonathan Moffett QC

A

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jonathan Moffett QC 
New silk who tackles a wide range of complex public law matters involving local government issues. He demonstrates notable skill in cases pertaining to EU and environment law, and is a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel to the Crown. He acts for local authority clients at all levels of court and also represents central government.
Strengths: “He is absolutely brilliant in a wide range of areas; he seems to be able to turn his hand to anything and produces compelling advice. He's very modest, creative and extremely hard-working. He works extremely well with other barristers; he really has all the talents.”
Recent work: Acted for the Fire Authority in R (London Borough of Southwark) v London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, a case concerning potential liability for the Lakanal House tower block fire in which six people lost their lives.

^ See whole ranking table

New Silk

Fiona Scolding QC

A

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Fiona Scolding QC Recognised for her knowledge and experience in local authority disputes, she routinely takes instructions from major public sector clients across the country. She is highly regarded for her broad practice, which encompasses education, housing and social care. She has recently represented local authorities in cases concerning claims under European and human rights law.
Strengths: "She's fantastic, extremely approachable, brings a creative element to the case and she's a joy to be against."
Recent work: Represented a local authority in a test case concerning a claim under the Human Rights Act 1998 involving an elderly person incorrectly moved into a residential home in breach of her human rights.

^ See whole ranking table

New Silk

Andrew Sharland QC

A

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Andrew Sharland QC
Dynamic silk with considerable expertise in local government, community care and employment law. He is well known for his adroit representation of a range of clients, including public authorities and NGOs. He represents both claimants and local authorities across the full range of local government cases including those concerning planning, education and human rights.
Strengths: "He's well measured and thorough."
Recent work: Acted in R (Jewish Rights Watch) v Leicester City Council, Swansea Council and Gwynedd Council, a high-profile challenge to three councils' decisions to impose boycotts on Israeli goods produced in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Christopher Baker

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Christopher Baker of Arden Chambers 
Has a broad practice covering various aspects of public sector law, such as strategic administration and policy work. He routinely leads in high-stakes matters at the upper levels of the courts and tribunal system. 
Strengths: "His service is very prompt and very accommodating. His grasp of the matters, involving about six different matters of law, was complete. He was able to advise on a wide range of issues."
Recent work: Acted in Poshteh v Kensington & Chelsea RLBC, a Supreme Court case involving local government homelessness functions and equality duties under the Housing Act in conjunction with Article 6 of the ECHR.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Arden Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jonathan Manning of Arden Chambers 
Experienced public law junior who is often instructed in cases concerning human rights and housing. He acts both for and against local governments. He also advises extensively on policy, strategy and transactional matters.
Strengths: "He's an excellent advocate."
Recent work: Acted for the local authority in R (Khatun) v Barking & Dagenham LBC, a judicial review challenge to the council's allocations scheme on the grounds that it is discriminatory against individuals who are disabled and require adapted housing.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Jonathan Auburn

A

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jonathan Auburn 
Highly praised junior with extensive knowledge of local government matters, particularly those relating to the provision of health services. He offers expert representation and guidance to both local authorities and claimants, and demonstrates notable insight into cases concerning complex issues of mental health and capacity. He has acted in numerous high-profile cases including significant judicial review challenges and Human Rights Act claims.
Strengths: "He's great, very knowledgeable and he provides us with advice at short notice which is helpful." "He has a very measured style in court which goes down very well with judges."
Recent work: Acted as an independent investigator in order to carry out an inquiry into allegations published in the Evening Standard and other newspapers of alleged links between councillors and a radical imam who posted discriminatory and anti-Semitic material on social media.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Joanne Clement 
Continues to run a thriving public law, human rights and community care practice. She routinely acts both for and against local authorities in complex, high-profile cases, and has broad experience in claims for judicial review. Recent local government work includes cases concerning adult social care, education and local government standards.
Strengths: "She fights hard for her clients." "She is very good – she gets on very well with clients but is robust when she needs to be. She's clear in her advice and the way she handles everything."
Recent work: Acted in R (Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Liverpool City Council and Others) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, a judicial review of the Secretary of State's allocation of £10 billion of EU funds to local authorities.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jane Oldham 
Has a fine track record of handling sophisticated public, information and education law matters. She often represents clients in major appeals, and is adept at handling cases concerning the legality of funding cuts, assets of community value and large-scale auditor investigations.
Strengths: "She's thorough, detailed, fully engaged and a pleasure to deal with." "She has an ability to explain complex procurement issues with a calm and warm approach."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jack Anderson
Has a broad local government practice and a particular focus on cases concerning education, social care and Court of Protection. He regularly represents local authorities and appears in the Administrative Court and the Upper Tribunal.
Strengths: "Jack is kind and understands the issues of local government." "He is a very good junior barrister."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Charles Banner
Provides legal expertise across a range of government and regulatory matters. He acts for local authorities and NGOs, as well as commercial and private clients.
Strengths: "He is a very effective advocate, highly intelligent and fair-minded."
Recent work: Acted in R (Faraday Development Ltd) v West Berkshire Council, a judicial review challenge to a development agreement for the regeneration of the London Road Industrial Estate in Newbury.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Wayne Beglan 
Versatile junior handling a broad range of local government work, including planning, housing, regeneration and employment matters as well as major challenges to administrative decisions. He regularly represents clients in tribunal proceedings in the High Court and is a familiar face in the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "He has encyclopaedic knowledge of this area of law." 
Recent work: Represented the council in XPL v Harlow Council, a judicial review challenging the legality of a breach of condition notice that restricted the hours of operation of a coach depot.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

David Blundell 
Acts for both sides in complex local authority disputes and is a seasoned adviser to government departments in a range of civil and EU matters. He is a particularly experienced representative of clients at the upper levels of the UK judicial system, as well as the ECHR and the ECJ. He was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel to the Crown in 2015.
Strengths: "He is charming and brilliant."
Recent work: Acted in R (Southwark LBC) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, a challenge to the Secretary of State's refusal to confirm a compulsory purchase order for the redevelopment of the Aylesbury Estate in the Elephant & Castle area.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Tim Buley 
Impressive junior with strong experience in public law and public sector matters, particularly cases arising within the context of community care, social housing and planning. Advises a range of clients, including individuals, commercial entities and pressure groups.
Strengths: "He's a brilliant drafter – he's diligent and enthusiastic." "He's a good tactician – he's very attuned to the points that will play well."
Recent work: Acted in R (Hardy) v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, a test case requiring a change of approach by local authorities across the country in regard to the use of discretionary housing payments by local governments in 'bedroom tax' cases.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Paul Greatorex 
Seasoned local government practitioner with additional experience of handling antisocial behaviour cases, employment matters and issues involving immigration and asylum. He habitually acts for a range of prominent public authorities in major challenges to administrative decisions.
Strengths: "He's an excellent orator and he has a positive and calming influence on the client."
Recent work: Acted in Isle of Wight Council v Platt, a case concerning the lawfulness of taking children out of school and on holiday during term-time.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Matrix Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Sarah Hannett 
Highly active in major local authority disputes, including matters involving human rights and education issues. She has recently acted for both claimants and councils in cases concerning local authority functions and issues of individual special education needs.
Strengths: "We rate her very highly for her public law work." "She was so authoritative when she spoke and the judge accepted it; it's impressive to have that level of authority." "Her written work is very, very good."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of Ofsted in R (Interim Executive Board of X School) v Ofsted, a case involving an important issue as to whether sex segregation constituted direct sex discrimination contrary to the Equality Act 2010.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Hilton Harrop-Griffiths

Field Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Hilton Harrop-Griffiths of Field Court Chambers 
Has a strong track record in local government matters and regularly handles cases concerning social care, immigration and asylum issues. He is frequently instructed in judicial review proceedings and has a deep understanding of children's law and mental health.
Strengths: "He's very approachable, gets back to you very quickly and you feel that you can ask ridiculous questions when you need a bit of reassurance. He's good at setting out risks to local authorities."
Recent work: Acted in R (Tinsley) v Manchester City Council, a case concerning whether a local authority is entitled to refuse to provide free mental health services to an individual who has received a substantial damages award following a road traffic accident.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jennifer Oscroft 
Known for her work in social welfare, housing and community care. She primarily acts for local authorities in matters involving social services and planning law. She has recently been involved in cases concerning asylum and local government duties under the Equality Act 2010.
Strengths: "She is a very nice opponent, she's tough but fair." 
Recent work: Acted in R (A) v London Borough of Croydon, a judicial review of the local authority's decision to provide services under the Children Act 1989 to a destitute family who had no recourse to public funds.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

11KBW

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Holly Stout 
Offers a broad practice acting mainly for local authorities in matters involving judicial reviews, community care and immigration. She is appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel to the Crown.
Strengths: "Holly is charming and personable." "She is very hard-working."
Recent work: Acted in MC v LB Camden and Secretary of State for the Home Department, an interim relief hearing concerning the lawfulness of offering accommodation for the respite period afforded by the Trafficking Convention.

^ See whole ranking table

A

Direct access enables barristers to be instructed without the involvement (and financial cost) of an intermediary such as a solicitor. It comes in two forms: licensed access and public access. More information can be found here.