A large proportion of the work undertaken at 1 Chancery Lane relates to disputes involving public authorities and regulatory bodies. Chambers is listed as a leading set in the fields of Education, Police Law (categorised within Professional Discipline and Regulatory Law in Legal 500) and Civil Liberties and Human Rights in the recent editions of the legal directories. Individual members of Chambers are also recommended in the fields of Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Administrative and Public Law, Education, Police Law and Local Government. The Legal 500 (2014) observes that "1 Chancery Lane is ‘well versed in public authority law know-how and consequently works well with solicitors and clients in this area'."
Members of Chambers have expertise in conducting public and private law proceedings, both for service users and public authorities, appearing before a range of Tribunals, and providing specialist advice within these fields. There is also considerable expertise available in the Human Rights Act 1998 and other civil liberties legislation in areas such as data protection and freedom of information. Chambers undertakes work for numerous local authorities and over the past year has secured places on a number of local authority panels.
Chambers is recommended as a leading education set in The Legal 500 and a number of members of Chambers are recommended as leaders in the field both in The Legal 500 and in Chambers & Partners including Andrew Warnock QC, John Norman and Paul Stagg. Members of Chambers have appeared in a number of ground-breaking claims for damages against local education authorities relating to alleged failures to educate pupils properly, including Phelps, Adams, Rowe, Carty, Ali, Marr, Appiah and A v Essex. A pool of expertise has developed in dealing with the consequences of conditions such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and autism and claims from individuals who assert negligence in poor teaching and breaches of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Various members of Chambers are recommended in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as leading practitioners in the field. We also have experience of dealing with claims relating to personal injuries sustained by students and teachers as a result of the actions of others, such as Chittock (a case concerning a pupil who was injured on a school ski-ing holiday) and Shaw (a claimant who alleged she had been sexually assaulted and suffered psychiatric injury as a result of an inadequate response from the school).
Chambers can also provide assistance in relation to public law disputes in this area. Members have appeared in the Administrative Court, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal and before Independent Appeal Panels hearing exclusion appeals.
Members of Chambers have contributed significantly to the developing jurisprudence on the liabilities of social services authorities for their actions. These include claims relating to child care proceedings and child abuse investigations (X v Bedfordshire, Barrett, D v Berkshire), adult social services provision (X and Y v Hounslow LBC), fostering (W v Essex, Lambert), adoption (A v Essex) and the regulation of care homes (Douce). We have recently advised and represented in a number of claims brought under Articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention in relation to mistreatment and alleged infringements of the right to respect for family life.
On the public law side, there is experience in issues such as reduction of service provision (Lloyd), assessments of needs and charging for services.
Other Public Authority Claims
Public Authorities tend to be the target of a wide range of litigants and chambers can use its extensive experience in the fields above to assist with claims arising out of other public functions.
Civil Liberties and Human Rights
Members of Chambers act in an increasing number of cases involving human rights and civil liberties issues. We are recommended as a leading set of chambers at the Civil Liberties and Human Rights Bar by The Legal 500 with Paul Stagg, Julian Waters and Geoff Weddell recommended as leaders in the field.
Members of Chambers have long-standing experience of the practice and processes of the Administrative Court and of advising public bodies as to the lawfulness of their actions.
Chambers has been appointed by a number of local authorities to their panel of counsel reflecting our deep understanding of the processes and workings of local government within chambers. Members have advised on common issues such as housing allocation, local authority constitutions and elections, and esoteric matters such as the regulation of animals in circuses. Edward Faulks QC and Andrew Warnock QC are both recommended in Chambers and Partners for their local government work.
Health and Safety
Members of Chambers receive regular instructions in Health and Safety at Work cases, both for claimants and defendants, in both the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court. They can advise prior to interview with the HSE and can accompany the client at interview.
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