Public law

The standards expected of public bodies have never been higher. Combined with heightened public awareness and an increasingly aggressive private sector, this means authorities need to be clear about the structures and relationships they create, rigorous in their decision making and robust in defending challenges.

> Our lawyers
> Our public law experience
> Our clients
> What our clients and others say about us
> Legal resources you may find useful

Helping you to succeed – within the rules

We understand the importance of doing the right thing the right way, and we see public law as an enabler. Our aim is to use public law principles to help you achieve your social and commercial objectives within – and sometimes even because of – a robust legal and governance structure.

This means helping you to formulate policies and processes that will withstand scrutiny – whether they relate to procurement, freedom of information, consultation or meeting your equalities duties.

If you find that your decisions are subject to criticism, our experienced lawyers will guide you through the best way to handle a claim. Consequently, much of our best work doesn’t appear in the press.

Finally, we understand that a major challenge for our clients is just keeping up with the pace of change. That’s why we provide timely briefings to alert you to recent and forthcoming developments, keeping you up to date at all times.


Our lawyers

We have 35 lawyers, including 11 partners, specialising in public law.

Our public law experience

Our work involves advising public bodies of all types and the organisations that work with them, although we are perhaps best known for our outstanding work in the education and health sectors.

Public law is more than judicial review, although this is undoubtedly an area we do a lot of work in, having advised on more than fifty judicial reviews this year across a range of sectors. Below are some examples of our work:

  • Supporting Imperial College London on its withdrawal from the University of London 
  • Establishing the power of Cambridge University to issue a 40-year £350 million security bond, which has a AAA rating 
  • Advising on the founding of the Imperial, Cambridge and Oxford academic health science centres and their related academic health science networks 
  • Successfully defending Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust in the attempted high profile judicial review of its smoking ban at Rampton, the Trust’s high security hospital, and related human rights claims 
  • Complex structuring of outsourcing of services, including the first shared services company created by local authorities and the NHS 
  • Supporting the Care Quality Commission in its regulation of a private ambulance service, the first appeal of a section 31 decision to be heard by a First Tier Tribunal

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    Our clients

    A few examples of our clients include: 

    • Care Quality Commission 
    • King’s College London 
    • Luton Borough Council 
    • NHS Birmingham CrossCity CCG 
    • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust 
    • Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations

    What our clients and others say about us

    • The independent guide to the legal profession, Chambers UK, says we are "utterly reliable" and "extremely efficient". Their sources praise our "supportiveness and ability to come up with innovative solutions" and say our lawyers are “friendly, supportive, and give you their full time and undivided attention”.
    • The Legal 500 legal directory says we “[go] the extra mile required to meet demanding deadlines” and our “performance is outstanding”.

    Legal resources you may find useful

    • Procurement Portal: an online resource for everyone involved in purchasing goods and services on behalf of public bodies in England and Wales. The site explains the implications of the EU procurement rules that apply to public sector purchasing.
    • Fusion: bringing together the latest public, private and charity law news for the education sector in our education law blog. The blog posts are written by senior lawyers in our leading education practice.

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    Public law
    Public law