Fiona Scolding KC

Call: 1996

Silk: 2017

Fionas practice involves public and administrative law, social welfare law and human rights in a variety of contexts.

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Practice summary

Public and Administrative


Practice Summary

Fiona has expertise in issues relating to safeguarding, protection of children and vulnerable adults, education, healthcare, community care and equalities legislation in a variety of contexts.

Fiona has a particular interest and understanding of concerns and complaints relating to governance, standards and organisational culture, monitoring and inspection. She is interested in policy development as a tool for cultural change and improved outcomes for individuals. She is used to undertaking work with significant media and public interest on sensitive topics.

She has spent much of her time in silk involved in public inquiries under the Inquiries Act 2005 or undertaking investigations and reviews in sectors where she is an expert. She was lead counsel to three different investigations at the Independent Inquiry for Child Sexual Abuse – relating to the Church of England and Church in Wales, schools in England and Wales and a plethora of other religious institutions resulting in four investigation reports:

Fiona then represented 297 individuals and the Hepatitis C trust in the Infected Blood Inquiry, which involved understanding and analysing all aspects of the provision of healthcare, including the role that central government plays in its management and operation of the NHS as well as a number of quangos.

She has also undertaken high profile reviews for a leading public school in respect of sexual harassment and misogyny between pupils (published March 2022 on the Westminister website) and for an NHS Trust about governance of maternity care (Published on Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust website). She has undertaken several internal reviews concerning complaints linked to governance, oversight, appointment, standards and equalities in a number of different organisations in the public sector.

Fiona has been recommended for her work in education law for over 20 years in the directories and is also recommended in the following areas: administrative and public law, civil liberties and human rights, Court of Protection and local government.

Fiona has been on the EHRC Panel of Counsel since its inception and was appointed to the Attorney General's B Panel of Junior Counsel from 2013 to 2017, before taking silk.

Fiona is a Deputy District Judge and Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals) Chamber.

Fiona is joint head of the 54-strong public law group at Landmark Chambers.

Fiona is on the advisory board of SACPA (a safeguarding advisory group providing training and advice to organisations) and is involved in a number of initiatives relating to improving safeguarding in various organisations in the United Kingdom.

Fiona Scolding KC sits on the panel of strategic legal advisors.

She undertakes work for the Bar Pro Bono Unit and other organisations.


  • French: working knowledge
  • Spanish:  conversational.

Public and Administrative

Fiona’s practice involves public and administrative law, social welfare law and human rights in a variety of contexts. Her specific expertise within this field are listed to the right. Fiona is recommended as a leading barrister in the legal directories for her work in the following public law areas: education, court of protection, community care, administrative law and human rights, education and local government (including rating law).

Other public law work:

Fiona has undertaken a variety of public law work for the Government and for individuals, charities and NGOs including cases on behalf of the DWP, the Department of Health, the Department of Education and immigration cases, to quasi commercial cases about funding. Fiona is recommended both in administrative law and in human rights in the Legal 500 for her work in this area.

Other civil claims:

Fiona has undertaken civil work concerning unlawful detention, Equality Act claims concerning goods and public services misfeasance in public office. She has also undertaken breach of contract and professional negligence claims concerning schools, local authorities and universities, and restitutionary claims against local authorities/public bodies. Fiona also has conduct of claims under the Equality Act 2010 concerning race and disability discrimination and religious and age discrimination.

Court of Protection

Fiona undertakes all aspects of health and welfare work, including medical treatment cases, and cases under the inherent jurisdiction. She represent local authorities, but also the Official Solicitor, NHS Trusts/CCGs and sometimes family members. She is listed in Chambers and Partners for her expertise in this area.

Notable instructions have included several cases of intractable familial disputes:

  • Whether or not life support should be withdrawn from someone in a PVS state
  • The medical care and treatment of disabled children when their parents were opposed to aspects of their care
  • Allegations of factitious illness; several cases concerning the appropriate setting for those with challenging behaviour and autism
  • Cases concerning the withdrawal of a passport where there was a risk of someone going to Syria to fight against Daesh.

Fiona has particular experience with young adults with learning disabilities.


Fiona has 20 years worth of experience in cases concerning education law. She has a broad compass of work from the FTT to the Court of Appeal on these issues, including Equality Act claims. She undertakes work across the whole spectrum of education law, including, contract and tort matters, governance, funding, vires and structure, exclusions, admissions, funding of schools, school transport, work for universities and colleges, and further education.

Fiona is particularly noted for her work on behalf of disabled children and young adults. She works both for individuals and for local authorities, schools (both state and independent) universities, further education colleges, charities and other training providers.

Fiona has been noted as a leader in education law since 2002 in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. She is often called upon to advise on points of principle concerning changes to the education regime. Her work on IICSA means that she has an in-depth understanding of safeguarding policies, practices and procedures.

She is qualified for Direct Access and accepts instructions in this area.


Fiona has undertaken work for the government concerning a variety of immigration matters, including Article 8 challenges, EEA nationals, asylum claims, deportation cases, cases concerning children and their welfare, unlawful detention, and torture. She has represented the government at the Court of Appeal and the Upper Tribunal in this area.

NHS, Health and Community Care

Fiona undertakes advisory work on all aspects of public law litigation and litigation concerning the healthcare sector, for both CCGs, NHS Foundation Trusts and individuals. This has included advisory work as to the legality of individual decisions in respect of continuing healthcare; the legality of policies in respect of children with long term health conditions; the relationship between health, education and social care for children and young people; and ‘rationing’ of treatment.

Fiona has also been involved with disputes with NHS England about funding specialist treatment packages and as to their approach to care planning, particularly in the context of children and young adults.

Fiona's community care work often involves children and adults with disabilities and/or the elderly.

Fiona undertakes a broad spectrum of cases from multi-million pound restitutionary claim between the NHS and local authorities concerning continuing health and social care, through to claims about Continuing NHS Care Funding, arrangements of health and social care packages, breach of the Equality Act 2010 and the Autism Act 2009 concerning local authorities policies and procedures, failure to consult on closures of social care institutions to claims for recoupment of monies by local authorities where LAs claim there has been deliberate evasion of fees by deprivation of capital.

Fiona has a sub-speciality in representing kinship carers and children who are in care, mainly to ensure that they have access to appropriate services.

Notable instructions have included:

  • Advising on recoupment of sums on behalf of a number of grandparent foster carers.
  • Bringing judicial review proceedings against a local authority concerning wholesale cuts to adult social care.
  • Bringing judicial review proceedings concerning placement and care packages for adults with disabilities.
  • Advising on the legality of local authority policies in respect of various aspects of social care and advising on ordinary residence disputes.

Procurement and Subsidy Control

Fiona has undertaken a significant amount of work in the area of public procurement since 2010. These cases concern a multitude of issues about procurement including delay; choice of remedy; meaning of equality of treatment under the PCR 2006; nature of mistakes within tenders; what is an effective remedy; and declarations of ineffectiveness.

She was junior counsel in 2015/16 defending the government’s implementation of a new contract for criminal solicitors, which concerned over 115 claims run on a group litigation basis.

Fiona is particularly interested in the impact of Brexit upon procurement.

Public Inquiries and Inquests

Fiona's work in the field of Public Inquiries includes:

  • Fiona was senior counsel to three separate investigations in IICSA. She was responsible for managing a team of counsel and paralegals, scoping and setting the terms of investigations and working with policy and research teams on a wide range of issues. Her work involved questioning of high profile governmental witnesses and major public figures (including all three living Archbishop’s of Canterbury).
  • Fiona represented 297 individuals and the Hepatitis C Trust in the Public Inquiry concerning infected blood, which involved understanding and advocating on a wide range of technical, expert, governmental, public policy, public health and social care issues and having to understand the inner workings of the NHS.
  • Fiona has undertaken advisory work in respect of individuals, organisations and public sector bodies in relation to a number of other public inquiries.

Social Security

Over the past five years, Fiona has developed expertise in the area of social security law, appearing in a number of the leading cases about personal independence payments, but also all aspects of social security benefits, including cases with a human rights or EU element. These include child support legislation, universal credit, pensions credits, employment support allowance and other means tested and non means tested benefits. Fiona is currently involved in two cases concerning social security before the Court of Appeal – one concerning PIP and one concerning payments of carers allowance to an EU national.


Landmark's barristers often work at the intersection of our core practice areas; bringing a wide range of skills, knowledge and experience to bear on a particular dispute or issue facing a client.

Our focus is always on achieving the best possible outcome for our client. By viewing the client's objectives in a holistic way - and not purely through the lens of one rigidly-defined legal area - we deliver the best possible advice and representation in complex matters that engage multiple specialist areas of law. 

Whether it's providing support as an individual cross-practice barrister or a cross-disciplinary team of Landmark counsel, we are able to draw on an outstanding array of complementary skillsets and knowledge bases. This often achieves a better result than instructing multiple barristers from different specialist sets. This also improves the quality of client care through increased levels of communication, quicker response times, and a coordinated approach to clerking and fees, made possible by our team-based cross-practice approach.

Please contact our practice management team for more information.


Fiona is a qualified mediator (ADR Chambers) and receives regular instructions as a mediator in her areas of expertise. She enjoys seeking to build consensus and resolve often entrenched problems.

Fiona was instructed in 2014/15 in a multi-million pound construction arbitration concerning the refurbishment of a nuclear submarine base, which involved leading a team of juniors.

EU Law post-Brexit

Local Government

Public Interest Litigation


Court of Protection



NHS, Health and Community Care

Procurement and Subsidy Control

Public Inquiries and Inquests

Social Security

Human Rights and Civil Liberties

Local Government including Local Government Finance

Judicial Review



EU Law post-Brexit

Local Government

Public Interest Litigation

Technical, strategic, honest, practical, enthusiastic and a real joy to work with."

Legal 500

Chambers Top Ranked UK Bar 2024 Uk leading silk 2024 WWL Government 2022 Rosette

Qualifications and achievements


  • 1991 – 1994: BA History, Downing College Cambridge – 2:1
  • 1994 – 1995: Diploma in Law, City University – Commendation
  • 1995 – 1996: Bar Professional Training Course, ICSL – Very Competent


  • Advocacy Trainer for Gray's Inn
  • Direct Access Qualified
  • Member of ALBA, HRLA and Education Law Association
  • Registered Pupil Supervisor
  • Upper Tribunal Judge (Administrative Appeals chamber)


  • Appointed to the Deputy District Judge (Civil) in August 2010. Sit on the South-Eastern Circuit (East Anglia). Has Family law ticket from March 2014
  • Appointed to the Treasury Counsel's B Panel (March 2013 for a five-year appointment)
  • Appointed to the Panel of Counsel representing the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2010 – present)


Practice Managers

Contact our friendly and helpful Practice Managers for more information about our barristers and services or to make an enquiry.

Ben Connor

Ben Connor

Practice Director

020 7421 2483

Zoe Bluck new

Zoe Bluck

Practice Manager

020 7421 1301

Jamie Lal new

Jamie Lal

Assistant Practice Manager

020 7421 1309

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