Public Law and Judicial Review
We are renowned for our public law expertise, with members regularly appearing in high profile cases of strategic importance before all courts. This includes judicial review, governmental and other inquiries, tribunal proceedings, disciplinary proceedings involving public bodies and statutory appeal work.
We provide commercially focused advice to both private sector parties bringing public law challenges and public sector bodies seeking to defend their acts and decisions. We act for more than 300 local authorities across England and Wales as well as numerous companies and individuals.
We also have 10 junior barristers on the Attorney General Panel’s of Counsel acting frequently for central government departments in a wide variety of disputes.
Members combine in-depth knowledge of local and central government with expertise across a broad range of areas, including planning and environment, housing, property, licensing, health and social care, Court of Protection, immigration, human rights and, privacy and data protection.
We also advise on strategic issues such as general power of competence, local government finance, councillors’ conduct, Equality Act duties, land transactions, highways, and powers of entry.
The team is a leading authority on local government law and recently published Cornerstone on Councillors’ Conduct, the definitive guide to the standards that govern the conduct of those elected to Local Government in England and Wales.
Our team includes adjudicators, inspectors, investigators, Boundaries Commissioners and officers and elected members of local bodies.
Our Pro Bono Work
- Extinction Rebellion – The Crown Prosecution Service has announced that prosecutions against a number of Extinction Rebellion protesters who were arrested under an unlawful protest ban are to be dropped. Of the 105 cases dropped, 73 people had been charged with breaching section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986, 24 had been charged with the same offence plus highway obstruction, and eight were accused of stand-alone highway obstruction. A group of barristers from the Cornerstone public law team have been advising Extinction Rebellion, pro bono, on the impact of the protest ban being declared unlawful. We advised on the impact both on ongoing criminal prosecutions and on the potential for civil claims arising from protesters being arrested and from people being deterred from protesting.
- Sex for Rent – In September 2018 a team from Cornerstone Barristers provided legal advice to Peter Kyle MP concerning the phenomenon of sex for rent, whereby landlords offer free or discounted accommodation in return for sexual services. The legal advice considered a range of matters including how other jurisdictions are tackling this issue and whether the practice could fall within the scope of the offence of causing or inciting prostitution for gain under Section 52 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Cornerstone Barristers has a good and well-deserved reputation in public law.Legal 500 (2022)
Very strong on public lawLegal 500 (2023)
- Human Rights and Democracy: Sam Fowles to Speak at the Oxford Literary Festival23 Mar 2023
- Accommodating Asylum Seekers: Legal Issues Arising from the Use of Hotel Accommodation12 Dec 2022
- Paul Marshall’s address at Queen’s University Belfast – 30th April 202226 Apr 2022
- Standards are slipping: the government finally responds to Local Government Ethical Standards report24 Mar 2022
- Book Launch: Dr Sam Fowles authors vital cross-examination of British democracy in Overruled: Our Vanishing Democracy in 8 Cases10 Feb 2022
- Court of Appeal: Permission to appeal can be granted so long as one ground of appeal satisfies second appeals test27 Mar 2023
- Climate impact of coal mining in court15 Mar 2023
- Media freedom issues considered before Tribunal in Julian Assange FOI Act appeal13 Mar 2023
- There is no blanket rule that before seeking damages for alleged breaches of art.5-6 ECHR an aggrieved person must appeal the underlying order(s).31 Jan 2023
- Supreme Court to hear gang injunction challenge30 Jan 2023