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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 11 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. A recent review in Local Government Lawyer states:

"Cornerstone Barristers are one of a select number of chambers who have become the 'go-to' people for dealing with public law challenges, and they have reinforced their position with this and other branded public law volumes for the practitioner."

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.

Barristers in this area

Publications

Corporate Liability: Work related deaths and criminal prosecutions
Cornerstone on Councillors' conduct
Cornerstone on Planning Court
Cornerstone's Electoral Legislation 2016
Licensed Premises: Law, Practice and Policy
Cornerstone on Social Housing Fraud
Cornerstone on Anti-Social Behaviour
Cornerstone on Information Law