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Administrative Law

David practices in all areas of administrative law. He frequently represents and advises on behalf of central government departments, claimants and other public authorities. He has extensive experience in immigration, human rights, national security and counter-terrorism, social security, child support, social services, prisons, local government, freedom of information, environmental and planning law. David has experience of all associated EU law issues, including in particular EU law issues arising from the interaction between immigration and social security law. David has been instructed in cases before all courts and tribunals in administrative law cases, from the First-tier Tribunal to the Supreme Court, Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights.

David is consistently ranked as a leading junior in this area in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. Recent comments include:

Chambers & Partners 2016, Administrative Law - "He's a solid advocate and barrister who is very thoughtful and precise and produces great written work." "He's particularly good at understanding what we need as solicitors. He's always user-friendly and happy to help."

Legal 500 2015, Administrative Law – “Combines excellent judgement with solid all-round skills across a wide array of public law matters.”

Chambers & Partners 2015, Administrative Law – “In cases that have an overlap of public law and immigration, he is very solid and has great judgement.”

Legal 500 2014, Administrative Law – “A bright barrister with an excellent feel for the strength of a claim and how it will be received in court.”

Chambers & Partners 2014, Administrative Law - "He is exceptionally bright, has solid judgement, and is extremely hard-working."

Chambers & Partners 2013 - David Blundell "embodies that most often sought-after combination in a public law counsel: a quick legal mind and attention to detail". He offers "practical, thoughtful and prompt advice".

Recent significant public law cases in which David has appeared include:

  • In the matter of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission [2015] NIQB 96 – acted for the Commission, in its successful challenge to the legality of the prohibition on abortion in Northern Ireland in cases of rape, incest and serious foetal abnormality (led by Nathalie Lieven QC).

  • R (XH) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 2932 (Admin) – acted for the Secretary of State in leading case on the use of the Royal Prerogative to cancel passports of terrorist suspects, and one of the first challenges to the use of closed material procedures in national security proceedings (led by James Eadie QC and Tim Eicke QC).

  • R (Richmond Pharmacology Ltd) v. Health Research Authority [2015] EWHC 2238 (Admin), (2015) 146 BMLR 160 – acted for the claimant in a commercial regulatory challenge to imposition of conditions on clinical trials, examination of the principle of transparency and certainty in public law (led by David Lock QC).

  • TN (Afghanistan) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 40, [2015] 1 WLR 3083 – acted for the Secretary of State, three linked Supreme Court cases on the compatibility of domestic judicial review with EU law and the Rashid principle (sole counsel in two cases in Court of Appeal, led by Jonathan Hall QC in the Supreme Court).

  • Joined cases C-165/14 and 304/14 CS (Morocco) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department and Rendon Marin v. Spain – sole counsel for the United Kingdom in the Grand Chamber of the CJEU, references on the application of the Zambrano principle in cases of serious criminality.

  • DIL and others v. Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis – acted for the Metropolitan Police in claims concerning alleged relationships with undercover officers (led by Jonathan Hall QC).
  • R (Cotton) v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] EWHC 3437 (Admin), [2015] ACD 20 – acted for the Claimants, instructed by Liberty, in challenge to the legality of the bedroom tax (led by Nathalie Lieven QC).

  • Chaudhry v. United Kingdom, application no. 17489/12– sole counsel for the United Kingdom in the European Court of Human Rights, challenge to the compatibility of domestic immigration appeal rights with Article 13

  • JD (Congo) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWCA Civ 327, [2012] Imm AR 719, [2012] INLR 412, The Times, 28 May 2012 – acted for the Secretary of State in leading case on the second appeals test where an appellant has won before the First-tier Tribunal and lost in the Upper Tribunal.

  • R (Shoesmith) v. Ofsted and others [2011] EWCA Civ 642, [2011] PTSR 1459, [2011] ICR 1195 - represented Sharon Shoesmith in her successful appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of the Secretary of State to remove her from post and of Haringey LBC to sack her (led by James Maurici QC).

David is currently instructed in a number of significant on-going public law challenges, including the following:

  • Case C-573/14 Lounani – sole counsel for the United Kingdom in its intervention in a reference from the Belgian courts, involving a challenge to the operation of the exclusion clause in Art 12(2)(c) of the Qualification Directive to a Moroccan convicted of terrorism offences in Belgium (hearing listed before the CJEU on 16 February 2016).
  • R (Galdikas) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – challenge to the application of the “genuine prospect of work test” to victims of trafficking.

  • R (Dan) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department – challenge to the legality of the Government’s flagship regime of “deport first, appeal later” regime under reg. 24AA of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (heard by Walker J on 18 November 2015, judgment pending).

  • Counsel to the Department of Transport in its response to the Airports Commission’s report on airport capacity (led by James Maurici QC).

  • Counsel to the Secretary of State for the Home Department in a series of challenges to decisions to revoke or cancel their passports under the Royal Prerogative, on the grounds of suspected involvement with terrorism (led by James Eadie QC and Tim Eicke QC).

  • Civil law damages action against the Security Services and various government departments relating to alleged actions abroad (led by Lisa Giovannetti QC). 

David is the Joint Editor (with David Lock QC) of the leading public law journal Judicial Review. He is also a contributing editor to Westlaw’s online legal encyclopedia “Insight”, having written the articles on irrationality, habeas corpus and legitimate expectation. He is a member of ALBA.