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Samantha Broadfoot QC

Call: 1997Silk: 2017
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Practice Summary

Samantha’s practice encompasses a wide spectrum of cases with a public law angle: from consultation challenge in a hospital downgrade case, declarations of incompatibility in family law cases, to the legality of refusals to provide material from the DNA database, to questions of public international law arising out of the creation of the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Bases Areas.  She is individually ranked in the directories in Administrative & Public Law and in Immigration. She acts across the range forums, from judicial review and statutory appeals, to disciplinary matters and inquests.

Prior to becoming a QC in February 2017 she was on the Attorney-General’s A panel. She 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 also has experience of arbitration having spent the first half of 2014 involved in an arbitration against a water authority relating to Water Regulations.

She is a contributor to the textbook NHS Law and Practice (2018).

Samantha is also a Recorder and sits in the Crown Court.

What the directories say:

  • “She is a sensible and persuasive advocate, like and respected by her opponents and the courts” (Legal 500, 2018).  Ranked: Tier 1 for 2017 silks, in Public & Administrative Law.
  • “A smooth and calm advocate who is pleasant to deal with.” “Fair, sensible and impressive.” (Chambers & Partners, 2018 – Administrative & Public Law)
  • “Scientifically thorough and attentive to detail when it comes to case preparation and presentation. Her knowledge of law is second to none and her ability to convey complex matters in a simple fashion is phenomenal.” (Chambers & Partners, 2018 – Immigration)
  • “Intellectually she is really impressive and her advocacy style is very attractive.” “She has the ability to get on top of key issues very quickly.” (Chambers & Partners, 2017);
  • “A delightful advocate, very hard-working, and she produces clear, thorough and well-reasoned arguments. Her analysis is always thoughtful and accurate, and she is a real team player as well. Completely reliable, hard-working and very nice” (Chambers & Partners, 2016);
  • “Absolutely delightful to deal with” (Legal 500, 2017).

Recent cases include:

  • Jones v Birmingham City Council [2018] EWCA Civ 118; [2018] 5 WLUK 422; [2018] 2 Cr. App. R. 23 – compatibility challenge to the provisions on gang-related injunctions, whether civil standard of proof a breach of Article 5 ECHR
  • ZN (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 1059; [2018] 5 WLUK 198 – immigration, costs orders, human rights claims
  • Hickey v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2018] EWCA Civ 851; [2018] 4 W.L.R. 71; [2018] 3 All E.R. 563; [2018] 4 WLUK 330 – social security, personal independence payments, interpretation of Activity 9 in the PIP regulations
  • Cherwell DC v Oxfordshire CCG [2017] EWHC 3349 (Admin); [2017] 12 WLUK 634 – proposed downgrade of Horton Hospital, consultation, fairness
  • Awuku v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 178 – rules of private international law, compatibility with EU law
  • Z (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 157; [2017] 1 W.L.R. 4255; [2017] 3 WLUK 670; [2017] 2 Costs L.R. 311; [2018] 1 F.L.R. 956; [2017] 2 F.C.R. 404 – Legal Aid, costs of translations, family proceedings
  • Mirza & Ors, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] UKSC 63, [2017] INLR 325, [2017] Imm AR 716, [2017] WLR 85, [2017] 1 WLR 85, [2017] 3 All ER 824 – immigration, statutory construction
  • & Ors (Human Fertilisation And Embryology Act 2008) [2015] EWHC 2602 (Fam); [2016] 1 All E.R. 273; [2015] 3 F.C.R. 555; (2015) 146 B.M.L.R. 123; [2015] Fam. Law 1333 – statutory construction, human rights, parenthood, declaration of incompatibility sought.

Jurisdiction / Procedural

Hysaj v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] 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 [2013] EWCA Civ 1537, [2014] 1 WLR 795 and Denton v T.H. White Ltd, Decadent Vapours Ltd v Bevan and Utilise T.D.S. Ltd v Davies [2014] EWCA Civ 906, [2014] 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 [2014] 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 [2014] EWHC 1999 (Fam); [2014] 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 [2015] EWCA Civ 34.

Rajaratnam v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] 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 [2013] 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 [2013] 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.

Human Rights – Freedom of Speech

London Christian Radio Ltd & Anor, R (on the application of) v Radio Advertising Clearance Centre [2013] EWCA Civ 1495; [2014] 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.

Regulatory – Professional Conduct

Crawford, R (on the application of) v The Legal Ombudsman & Anor [2014] 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 [2014] 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.


SM & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 1144 (Admin); [2013] 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 [2012] 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) [2010] 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 [2010] 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 [2008] EWCA Civ 806; [2009] 2 W.L.R. 992; [2008] 3 C.M.L.R. 24; [2009] 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

Social Security

Brookes v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & Anor [2010] 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.

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.

JP v Standards Committee of Surrey County Council [2011] 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 [2009] 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.

Education - Schools Admissions

R (on the application of Drayton Manor High School Governers) v Schools Adjudicator [2008] EWHC 3119 (Admin); [2009] 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.

Regulatory – Cancellation of Care Home Registration

Marshall v Commission for Social Care Inspection [2009] 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 [2009] 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 [2008] 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.

Other – Vexatious Litigant

Ewing v Director of Public Prosecutions & Anor (Rev 2) [2010] 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 [2008] EWHC 2655 (Admin).


Samantha studied for an LLB in English and French Law at the University of Kent. She followed this with an LLM in European and Human Rights Law from Exeter University. In 2001 she was appointed to the AG’s C Panel of 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.


Contributor to NHS Law and Practice: Samantha wrote Chapter 8 on NHS Regulators

Article for Lexis Nexis news analysis section of its current awareness service for practitioners on Jones v Birmingham CC – June 2018

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