Samantha is joint head of the Public Law Group at Landmark Chambers.
Samantha’s practice encompasses a wide spectrum of cases with a public law angle including:
- Health care – pharmaceutical regulation, hospital downgrades, NHS charging schemes, NHS investigations.
- Education – academisation process, SEN, exclusion, Ofqual issues.
- Immigration – systemic challenges, business, EU, removal, human rights, asylum.
- Human Rights – across a range of fields including family law & parentage, surrogacy, regulating access to police DNA databases, discrimination, UNCRC.
- Disciplinary / regulatory / code of conduct – e.g. proceedings before SDT, BSB, as well as challenges to decisions of such bodies & others, e.g. LSO.
- Local authority – allocation of responsibility (‘who pays’), community care, powers, conduct issues.
- Welfare – PIP.
- Inquests – air accidents, marine accidents and hospital deaths
- Public international law – questions of public international law arising out of the creation of the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Bases Areas.
Samantha is individually ranked in the directories in Administrative and Public Law and in Immigration. She is a contributor to the textbook NHS Law and Practice (2018). She is also a Recorder and sits in the Crown Court. She was appointed as a member of the European Human Rights Commission’s Panel in January 2020.
Samantha acts for individuals and campaign groups seeking to bring public law challenges, as well as for a range of clients from central and local government, and regulators. She acts across the range forums, from judicial review and statutory appeals, to disciplinary matters and inquests.
Prior to becoming a KC in February 2017, she was appointed to the Attorney General’s A panel of Junior Counsel. This was following her previous appointments where in 2001, Samantha was appointed to the Attorney General's C Panel of Junior Counsel and in 2005, to the B Panel. In 2008, she was appointed to the Bar Standards Board Complaints Committee. In 2019, she was appointed as legal counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s B Panel.
Public and Administrative
Jurisdiction / Procedural
- YD v SSHD  UKAITUR PA076522017 (27 February 2019) – Upper Tribunal, extradition, slip rule, remaking a decision, fairness, procedure where successful party neither appeals nor engages with the procedure rules.
- ZN (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1059;  5 WLUK 198 – immigration, costs orders, human rights claims.
- Hysaj v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1633 (16 December 2014) – case in the Court of Appeal listed before the Vice-President with two others in order to enable the court to give guidance on the approach that should be taken to applications for extensions of time for filing a notice of appeal following the decisions of this court in Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd  EWCA Civ 1537,  1 WLR 795 and Denton v T.H. White Ltd, Decadent Vapours Ltd v Bevan and Utilise T.D.S. Ltd v Davies  EWCA Civ 906,  1 WLR 3926. In each case the applicant failed to file a notice of appeal within the time prescribed by CPR 52.4(2), which made it necessary for him to seek an extension of time. The question was whether the Mitchell/Denton approach applied notwithstanding the fact that such applications are not technically the same as an application for relief from sanctions.
- UZ (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1319 (15 October 2014) – Court of Appeal decision on the correct interpretation on the transfer provisions conferring jurisdiction on the Upper Tribunal to hear certain claims for judicial review and resolving the question as to whether the Upper Tribunal or the High Court had jurisdiction over the instant claim.
- Z (Children), (Application for release of DNA Profiles), Re  EWHC 1999 (Fam);  Fam. Law 1235 – whether the High Court had jurisdiction to order the disclosure of a DNA profile derived from a crime scene sample held by the police for use in determining paternity in the face of the putative father’s refusal to consent. This judgment was successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal (Master of the Rolls): X & Anor v Z (Children) & Anor  EWCA Civ 34.
- Rajaratnam v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 8 – immigration case in which the central issue in the Court of Appeal was whether the judge in the Upper Tribunal erred in law or acted unfairly in reopening and departing from findings of fact made by the First-tier Tribunal as to the genuineness of the relationship.
- Sanders & Anor v Airports Commission & Anor  EWHC 3754 (Admin) (02 December 2013) – urgent challenge brought to decisions taken by the Airport Commission and the Secretary of State for Transport on the grounds of apparent bias and seeking an order quashing the sift criteria and an order prohibiting the Commission from publishing its “short list” of proposals until such time as various measures had been taken.
- ML (A Child), R (on the application of) v Youth Justice Board  EWHC 3083 (Admin) – Judicial review of the decision taken by the Youth Justice Board to transfer ML from a Secure Training Centre to a Young Offender Institution. The questions for the Court were whether the decision was procedurally unfair, was in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and whether, even if it was lawful to transfer him to a Young Offender Institution, it was nonetheless unlawful to transfer him to YOI Feltham in particular.
Regulatory - Professional Conduct
- SRA v Malik Nazeer & Malik Saleem Case No. 11664-2017 – 5 day contested hearing before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in which the two principals were accused of a large number of breaches of the SRA Principles and the SRA Code of Conduct in the context of bringing immigration cases against the Home Office.
- Crawford, R (on the application of) v The Legal Ombudsman & Anor  EWHC 182 (Admin) – judicial review challenge to a decision of the Legal Ombudsman.
- Butt, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 264 (Admin) – Samantha appeared on behalf of a firm of solicitors at a Hamid hearing in which the firm had been summonsed to attend in order to show good reason why they should not be referred to the SRA. As a result careful witness statements and submissions made to the court, the firm successfully avoided that referral.
Regulatory - Cancellation of Care Home Registration
- Marshall v Commission for Social Care Inspection  EWHC 1286 (Admin) – The High Court considered an appeal from the Care Standards Tribunal in respect of their decision to uphold the Commission’s decision to cancel her registration as a provider of a care home, without which she was legally unable to run the home. The judge agreed with the Commission’s submission that in the context of the honesty and integrity requirement the burden of proof remained on the individual even in an appeal against cancellation.
Regulatory - Suspension of Childminder Registration
- Ofsted v GM & WM  UKUT 89 (AAC) (28 April 2009) – The Upper Tribunal, Lord Justice Carnwath presiding, considered the scope of the powers granted to Ofsted for the purposes of suspending the registration of childminders under regulation 9 of the Childcare (Early Years and General Childcare Registers) (Common Provisions) Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/976), as amended and gives guidance on the test to be applied when considering the exercise of those powers. For more detail on news feed – click here.
Regulatory - Licensing and the Smoking Ban
- R. (on the application of Blackpool Council) v Howitt  EWHC 3300 (Admin); (2009) 173 J.P. 101 – the Court was required to consider whether a breach of the smoking ban imposed as a result of s.8 of the Health Act 2006 amounted to a matter that would be relevant when considering the licensing objectives set out under the Licensing Act 2003 s.4(2)(a) and in particular the meaning of the words of “crime and disorder”. The judge below held that the words “crime” and “disorder” were to be read conjunctively, so that the word “disorder” qualified the word “crime”. Accordingly she held that it was irrelevant. The High Court however upheld the Secretary of State’s submission that the word “and” in this context should be read to mean “or”. It was accordingly relevant and the appeal allowed.
Standards in Public Life
- Samantha has been instructed by various Councils over the years as well as the Standards Board for England. She has appeared at Standards Committee Hearings, as well as before the Tribunals and the High Court. Most recently in the summer of 2018 she was appointed as the Independent Legal Advisor to Worcestershire County Council in order to assist the Conduct Committee determine a heavily contested complaint against a councillor.
- JP v Standards Committee of Surrey County Council  UKUT 316 (AAC) – The Upper Tribunal gave guidance on the standard to be applied when considering an application for leave to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.
- R (Councillor Mullaney) v The Adjudication Panel for England & others  EWHC 72 (Admin) – the High Court considered the meaning of “official capacity” and “respect” in the Code of Conduct and gave guidance on the effect of Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and its relation to the need to uphold standards in public life.
Other - Vexatious Litigant
Ewing v Director of Public Prosecutions & Anor (Rev 2)  EWCA Civ 70 – Samantha was again appointed as an amicus in the Court of Appeal in order to assist the Court on the question as to whether judicial review proceedings are properly regarded as ‘civil proceedings’ within the meaning of s42 of the Supreme Court Act which restricts the actions of those declared to be a vexatious litigant. Samantha had been appointed as amicus before the divisional court below as well: R. (on the application of Ewing) v DPP  EWHC 2655 (Admin).
R (on the application of Drayton Manor High School Governers) v Schools Adjudicator  EWHC 3119 (Admin);  E.L.R. 127 – this was the first High Court challenge to a Schools Adjudicator decision since the change to the Schools Admissions Code. The High Court had to consider the Code’s requirement to promote equity and not disadvantage children from a particular social or racial group in the context of considering a set of over-subscription criteria which had the result of excluding children in particularly deprived area although they lived considerably closer than some children in a less deprived area who did fall within the catchment.
Human Rights and Civil Liberties
Freedom of Speech
London Christian Radio Ltd & Anor, R (on the application of) v Radio Advertising Clearance Centre  EWCA Civ 1495;  1 W.L.R. 307 – The Court of Appeal considered an appeal by a Premier Christian Radio brought in respect of a decision that a proposed advertisement breached the prohibition on political advertising contained in the Communications Act 2003. The question was whether the advertisement infringed the statutory prohibition on political advertising, whether the intention of the broadcaster relevant, whether the advertisement was “directed towards a political end” and whether role of court to decide that issue or to review lawfulness of regulatory body’s decision.
- Elsakhawy (immigration officers: PACE) Egypt  UKUT 86 (IAC) – immigration, PACE, when immigration officers must follow PACE Codes of Practice, relevance of s78 PACE (evidence exclusionary power), EEA Regulations.
- Mirza & Ors, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSC 63,  INLR 325,  Imm AR 716,  WLR 85,  1 WLR 85,  3 All ER 824 – immigration, statutory construction.
- SM & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1144 (Admin);  Imm. A.R. 1051 – Whether the Secretary of State’s policy and instruction document entitled “Discretionary Leave” issued on October 27, 2009 was unlawful when read in conjunction with the obligations relating to the welfare of children contained in the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 s.55.
- YF (China) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 77 – Appeal in the CA (Master of the Rolls presiding) from a decision of the Upper Tribunal in an immigration case. The question of law related to whether it could be said that the burden of proof had shifted on to the Secretary of State – and more generally what was the approach to be taken to such questions.
- ZN (Afghanistan) & Ors v Entry Clearance Officer (Karachi)  UKSC 21 – case in the Supreme Court regarding the construction of paragraph 352A of the Immigration Rules and whether a person who was a refugee but has since been granted British Citizenship is still entitled to benefit from the rules on family reunion which apply to refugees.
- AN (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 757 – Court of Appeal – case concerning the meaning of the immigration rules relating to domestic violence.
- HB v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 806;  2 W.L.R. 992;  3 C.M.L.R. 24;  Imm. A.R; Times, July 25, 2008 – The Court of Appeal gave guidance on the meaning of “sufficiently serious” for the purposes of Council Directive.
- Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v MM (Scotland)  UKSC 34 (18 July 2019) – Social Security – Personal Independence Payments. Samantha appeared in the Supreme Court leading Leon Glenister and Julius Komorowski in the SSWP’s appeal in respect of the correct interpretation of Regulation 9 of the PIP Regulations.
- Brookes v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & Anor  EWCA Civ 420 (29 April 2010) – Court of Appeal case concerning the duties of the CSA in taking enforcement decisions, in particular the effect of s2 of the Child Support Act and Article 8.
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.
Public Interest Litigation
EU Law post-Brexit