Lindsay Johnson

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Lindsay Johnson
George Regan, Senior Practice Manager

Lindsay specialises in public law with a particular focus on adult social care, healthcare, corporate governance and policy. He regularly represents local authorities, health bodies as well as individuals.

Lindsay is an experienced public law practitioner with a broad practice that ranges from adult social care and healthcare to matters relating to corporate governance and policy.

He has a particular focus on community care, in particular children and adults with disabilities and/or the elderly, housing matters, and mental health, including the Court of Protection. Each of those disciplines requires a broader knowledge of equalities and discrimination law, human rights and local government law.

His client base is diverse, including local authorities, health bodies as well as individuals.

Lindsay is qualified to accept direct access instructions. He has represented clients who need “a bit of preliminary advice” as well as those who are involved in litigation. He has advised on property matters, matters involving planning, matters relating to proceedings in the Court of Protection, and cases of pure contract.

Lindsay is the author of the Public Law update for LAG Magazine. Previously, he was the editor for several years of the Housing Encyclopaedia, the Local Government Encyclopaedia, Local Government Finance.


  • Public Law and Judicial Review

    Lindsay’s practice in this area encompasses corporate governance and policy as well as cases involving equalities law and discrimination claims, freedom of information and data protection. He has been instructed on structural challenges to local government decision-making and policy formulation, in particular with respect to both cuts (or alterations) to the provision of funded services and in relation to policies developed to address the pandemic, such as the local implementation of Everyone In.

    He has represented clients in protest cases, including in relation to challenges to the badger cull, those protesting as a result of the Occupy movement and various protests at fracking sites. Those cases inevitably involve balancing of rights under the European Convention and the marrying of those rights with domestic law, in particular the horizontal application of Article 8.

  • Housing

    Lindsay has consistently been recommended as a leading junior in the directories over a number of years for social housing and has appeared in several of the defining cases over the last decade, including two of the principal Supreme Court cases on homelessness, one of which was the first consideration by the Supreme Court of the Equality Act 2010.

    He undertakes work across the whole spectrum of housing law: from allocation of social housing to enfranchisement and service charge issues; from anti-social behaviour (including applications under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act) to regulation of housing conditions.

    In recent years, his work has focused on broader structural challenges to housing strategies and the overlap with welfare benefits created by welfare reform and issues arising from the pandemic, as well as exploring developments in homelessness legislation.

  • Health and Social Care

    Most of Lindsay’s work in this area involves children, adults with disabilities or the elderly. He advises local authorities, private companies and individuals on issues relating to the closure of care homes and regulatory issues regarding care homes, including challenges to ratings by the CQC. He regularly advises on finance issues, in particular, charging for adult social care and deprivation of assets cases, and on issues concerning social care assessment and eligibility for services.

    He advises or represents clients in cases involving access to social welfare benefits: he was involved in the Sanneh litigation concerning the rights of non-EU Zambrano carers to social assistance and has advised extensively on the consequences of the Supreme Court decision in Tigere for those students who are caught between ineligibility for student finance and ineligibility for housing benefit. He has represented local authorities in relation to structural challenges brought by protest groups in respect of the duties to provide in-area placements for children. Recent instructions have included: advising on ordinary residence disputes; advising on the lawfulness of policies adopted in relation to social care; bringing (and defending) judicial review proceedings concerning placement of eligible people and their care packages; advising in relation to age-dispute policies and procedures for purported unaccompanied asylum seeking children; and, on revisions of decisions in Continuing NHS Funding.

  • Court of Protection

    Lindsay has considerable experience of litigation in the Court of Protection, representing local authorities, CCGs, individuals and – via the Official Solicitor – those subject to such proceedings in both health and welfare proceedings and applications in relation to property and affairs.

    There is a clear cross-over with housing and with community care – hoarding cases are frequently difficult for social landlords and an understanding of care planning and local government decision-making is essential to proper determination of the issues in many welfare matters. The variety of work is varied and recent instructions have related to arrangements for sexual conduct for those lacking capacity to make decisions about with whom they have contact, restriction on travel for those who wish to travel abroad, cases involving forced (or cultural) marriage, forced medical treatment cases and seemingly unresolvable family disputes relating to care of family members.

  • Local Government

    Lindsay co-wrote the most recent version of Local Government Constitutional and Administrative Law and was a contributor for several years to Cross on Local Government and the loose-leaf Local Government Finance.

    Lindsay’s advisory work in local government relates to the broad arena of functions which local authorities exercise (from duties to children, through community care functions, to education, road traffic and finance obligations such as PFI deals) as well as to constitutional and executive arrangements and administrative aspects of local government law. He regularly appears in the Administrative Court in relation to local government powers and duties in tribunals concerning local government education and social welfare functions.

    He has advised and represented local authority clients on all manner of challenges to decision-making and in relation to use of powers, vires issues and local government decision making. He has extensive experience of issues arising from members’ conduct and of executive arrangements for local authorities from parish councils to unitary authorities. Lindsay has advised extensively on parking for those living in local authority accommodation and on the adoption of CPZs and disabled parking rights. Lindsay also advises on matters relating to local government finance, having contributed to the loose-leaf Local Government Finance for several years.

  • Property

    Lindsay has advised and represented clients over several years on pure property cases, ranging from service charge and enfranchisement disputes in the FTT, through rights of way and restrictive covenants to adverse possession claims and boundary disputes. He has advised in relation to commercial property disputes on applications for lease extensions and tenancy renewal.

    Recent property work includes matters such as: mortgage possession proceedings; disputes as to the beneficial ownership of properties (arising out of disputes between the joint owners themselves or in the context of claims by mortgagees); trusts of land; propriety estoppel; claims arising out of contracts for sale of land; boundary disputes; claims for adverse possession. Lindsay has represented clients in the LVT on service charge and leasehold enfranchisement issues.

    The obvious cross over with the private law aspects of housing law gives Lindsay a commercial insight into property matters which enables him to give effective and pragmatic advice.