Many of our commercial clients have dealings with public bodies or, increasingly, private sector organisations retained to provide public services.
These organisations must ensure that they conform to high standards of public administration and governance. For example, a public body must act reasonably and fairly in its decision-making processes, or may have a duty to consult.
Our Public Law Litigation and Advisory Group advises both public bodies and commercial clients on alleged breaches of public law rights and duties.
We routinely advise clients on challenges to procurement decisions taken by public bodies across a wide range of commercial sectors and also advise on State Aid. We handle judicial reviews across all sectors including tax, planning and environmental disputes.
We advise on a varied range of general public law and regulatory issues including:
- funding and other disputes and regulatory issues in the healthcare sector including procurement disputes
- care home disputes (fees and safeguarding issues) and cases involving the Care Quality Commission
- customer discrimination claims and general complaints handling
Commercial Judicial Reviews including in the security, transport, freight, waste and education sectors
- Education Judicial Reviews as to funding, disability/special educational needs, and also advice on interactions with and cases before the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, Ofsted, Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal and wider issues such as education appeals, contract and negligence claims, complaints, discipline, mental health, disability, fitness to practise and safeguarding
- Planning Judicial Reviews involving commercial developments, heritage assets, retail, leisure and housebuilding
- cemetery regulations, police and crime commissioner powers (PCC), use of public funding in national Infrastructure projects.
Our cases often involve Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Subject Access Requests and we are experienced in these.
The court’s jurisdiction to review the conduct of public and quasi public bodies is often underestimated. We have considerable experience of exploiting the innovative and increasingly used remedy of judicial review. In common with many other public law remedies tight deadlines apply.
Both our principal contacts are solicitor advocates and keenly appreciate the importance of preparing a case for presentation in court. However, we also appreciate the need to identify and secure pragmatic, commercial solutions, whenever possible.