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Social Security

Landmark is the leading barristers chambers, with unrivalled strength in depth, in the social security field. Barristers appear in courts and tribunals at all levels, from appearances on behalf of individuals in the First-tier Tribunal through to the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and Court of Justice of the European Union. Landmark’s barristers have consistently appeared in the majority of the lead cases in social security over the last four decades, and have played a key role in developing social security law, including such early House of Lords and ECJ cases as Woodling [1984] 1 WLR 348, Mallinson [1994] 1 WLR 630, Jackson v CAO [1993] QB 367 and Foster [1993] AC 754. In the last few years barristers have appeared in all of the significant social security cases in the Supreme Court, many of them involving human rights challenges under Article 14 ECHR to key aspects of current government policy.

Landmark’s barristers appear for all parties in social security litigation, including individuals, NGOs (especially Child Poverty Action Group, Mind, Shelter, AIRE Centre), central government especially the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and HMRC, and local authorities. Chambers currently has 24 members of the Attorney-General’s panels and has advised and acted for government on important policy issues and many of the key cases in the field.

Many barristers undertake significant pro bono work in this field for individuals (including via the Free Representation Unit and Bar Pro Bono Unit) and NGOs, as well as acting for individuals on legal aid.

Chambers’ expertise covers the full range of social security work, across all kinds of benefit but also including significant expertise on issues of administrative law, human rights including discrimination, EU law, immigration and rights of residence, and social welfare and NHS law.

Key Cases:

Supreme Court and House of Lords

  • R (Carmichael) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (No 1) [2016] 1 WLR 4550 – for claimants in successful challenge to the spare room subsidy / bedroom tax in cases involving need for extra room for carer;
  • Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Tolley (CJEU: [2017] 1 WLR 1261 – EU law, circumstances in which a person can export benefit and is an employed person under EU Reg 1408/71;
  • Mathieson v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] 1 WLR 1449 – DLA for children in hospital, Article 14 ECHR;
  • JS and ors v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] 1 WLR 1449 – for CPAG in the Benefit Cap challenge in the Supreme Court – members are now acting in the challenge to the Revised Benefit Cap for which the Supreme Court’s judgment is awaited;
  • Humphreys v HM Revenue and Customs [2012] 1 WLR 1545 – child benefit and shared child care arrangements;
  • R (CPAG) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2011] 2 AC 15 – recovery of benefits, for CPAG in successful challenge to government policy in the Supreme Court.

Court of Justice of the European Communities

  • Prefeta Case C-618/16, judgment September 2018 – legality of UK worker registration scheme;
  • Gusa v Minister for Social Protection [2018] 2 CMLR 23 – rights of self-employed;
  • Tolley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] 1 CMLR 23 (see above);
  • St Prix v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] PTSR 1448 – income support, pregnancy and termination of employment;
  • Stewart v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2012] PTSR 1 – free movement, invalidity benefit, habitual residence.

Court of Appeal

  • Hickey v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2018] 4 WLR 71 – PIP regulations – approach to ‘engage with others face to face’;
  • Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Carmichael (No 2) [2018] 1 WLR 3429 – jurisdiction of First-tier Tribunal in human rights appeals;
  • Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Gubeladze [2018] 1 WLR 3324 – Workers Migration Scheme unlawful, SC appeal pending;
  • Stevenson v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2017] EWCA Civ 2123 – Article 14 ECHR, Support for Mortgage interest, disability discrimination, SC appeal pending;
  • Blakesley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] 1 WLR 3150 – back payments for refugees;
  • Burnip v Birmingham CC [2013] PTSR 117 – for claimants in seminal case under Article 14 ECHR establishing Thlimmenos discrimination, more favourable treatment for disabled persons, in failure to pay housing benefit sufficient to pay for room for carer;
  • Ruas v HM Revenue and Customs [2010] PTSR 1757 – EU law, employed person, Reg 1408/71.

Administrative Court and Upper Tribunal

  • R (TP and AP) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2018] EWHC 1683 – Universal Credit, disability premiums;
  • SC v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2018] 3 All ER 785 – legality of two child rule, appeal pending;
  • FM v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2018] PTSR 1036 – legality of past presence test for Disability Living Allowance, appeal pending;
  • TW v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2017] UKUT 25 (AAC) – legality of transitional scheme to migrate DLA claimants to PIP, Article 14 ECHR, appeal pending;
  • R (Hardy) v Sandwell MBC [2015] PTSR 1292 – for disabled claimant, establishing that it will generally be unlawful discrimination to refuse a discretionary housing payment to a disabled person subject to the bedroom tax who is unable to move.
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