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Public law and human rights (including commercial, regulatory and local government)

Tim’s general public law practice is very broad. In addition to particular specialisms in planning and environment law and immigration (see the separate links on the main page), it includes general regulatory and commercial public law, civil liberties and human rights, all areas of local government law, EU, procurement and State Aid, public international law, regulation of exports, foreign and defence policy, information law, pensions, intellectual property, funding of public services, property / public law crossover (including best value, land registration, and the Crichel Down Rules), health and mental health, the NHS, and prisons.

Tim’s many significant past public law cases include Cart (constitutional law, judicial review of the Upper Tribunal), Burnip (positive discrimination under Article 14 ECHR), Bahta and AL (Albania) (lead cases on costs in public law), Forest Heath and Devon (consultation, local government reorganisation), and Zagorski (EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, death row, export restrictions). For a full list with citations see the Cases Tab.

Notable recent and ongoing work includes:

  • Sole counsel for DEFRA in the Court of Appeal (2013) and the Supreme Court (pending, 2014) in Newhaven, as to whether the allegedly “retrospective” nature of the procedure for village green registration in the Commons Act 2006 breaches a landowners right to property in Article 1 of the First Protocol to the ECHR.
  • Sole counsel for the Ministry of Defence in a judicial review of a decision to dispose of land by private treaty, raising issues of best value, State Aid and public procurement.
  • Sole counsel in a commercial judicial review of the Comptroller of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, relating to the extent of the Comptroller’s obligation to proactively police applications to register patents, and the EU law doctrine of abuse of rights.
  • Junior counsel (led by Richard Drabble QC) for CPAG in its challenge to the “benefit cap” (JS and ors, Div Court 2013, Court of Appeal January 2014). Tim is currently instructed as sole counsel in many other notable cases in the social security field at present, for claimants, local authorities and the Secretary of State.
  • Acting for the Parole Board in the Supreme Court in Faulkner / Sturnham (now the lead cases on damages under Article 5 ECHR and the rest for release of life sentence prisoners by the Board).
  • Acting for a woman on death row in Pakistan in a challenge to the provision of UK government assistance to Pakistani law enforcement agencies.
  • In the information law field, Tim is acting in freedom of information cases for the MOJ (in relation to policy formation on judicial salaries), and for Reprieve (against the FCO, in relation to compliance with government policy on the provision of financial assistance to foreign governments).
  • Sole counsel for the Welsh Government in two linked claims for judicial review of its decision making in respect of NHS reorganisation in Wales, and for a claimant in a proposed challenge to a decision by a local authority to cut its budget for children’s disabled services.
  • For the claimant in Tolley in the Court of Appeal on the exportability of social security benefits under EU free movement rules (the Secretary of State’s application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court is pending).
  • Junior to Nathalie Lieven QC in MM and DM v SSWP, a test case under the Equality Act 2010 relating to use of judicial review to enforce obligations to make reasonable adjustments for mentally ill persons in the process of assessment for Employment and Support Allowance.
  • For HMRC in a number of cases relating to local government finance, rating and council tax.
  • Acting for a claimant in a challenge to a refusal of “exceptional funding” by the Director of Legal Aid Casework (listed as one of a number of lead test cases in Spring 2014).  
  • A judicial review relating to the government’s ex gratia scheme for compensating the successors in title to victims of Nazi persecution who had property confiscated by the British authorities during the Second World War.
  • Many notable public law cases in the Planning and Environment and Immigration and Asylum fields, including interventions for Mind and Medical Justice in Das on detention on mentally ill persons (led by Dinah Rose QC), leading counsel in a commercial planning challenge relating to Motorway Service Areas, and a number of judicial review challenges relating to EU environmental law.