Public law

Bodies which have public law duties need to be clear about their powers and duties, robust in their decision-making and rigorous in responding to challenges. We can enable all this. 

Public law extends into many different areas, with private bodies increasingly undertaking public functions. In this highly-charged area of law, challenges are often made. Common law principles, statutes and regulatory frameworks, as well as practical and commercial issues need to be considered when setting an appropriate course.

We have the breadth of expertise to help you achieve your objectives within the public law framework, whether that is advising on the appropriate factors to consider when making decisions, procedural and governance matters, or defending or bringing legal challenges.

Our lawyers

Our large, multi-disciplinary team of expert lawyers understand the policy, regulatory and commercial context in which our clients operate, delivering focused advice that helps them achieve their objectives.

Our experience

Examples of our work include:

  • Acting for NHS clinical commissioning groups in the North East and Cumbria in successfully defending judicial review proceedings by Bayer and Novartis. The challenge concerned NHS policy regarding the prescription of certain drugs.
  • Establishing the power of Cambridge University to issue a 40-year £350million security bond.
  • Assisting a group of 11 NHS clinical commissioning groups with re-drafting their continuing care policies, following a judicial review challenge by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
  • Acting for the Department of Health & Social Care in successfully lifting an injunction and defending an application for summary judgment by DHL following a decision to award a logistics contract worth about £173million.
  • Advising two independent schools on their responsibilities and duties relating to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Advising a general qualifications body on student appeals to Ofqual.
  • Assisting education institutions in responses and challenges to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
  • Acting for the University of London on a judicial review concerning trade union recognition in relation to outsourced security guards.
  • Acting on freedom of information matters, including before the information tribunals.
  • Advising on equality and human rights matters.

Our clients

Public law issues can affect a broad range of clients. Among those we act for are:

  • NHS clinical commissioning groups
  • Universities, for example the University of Liverpool and the University of London
  • Further education colleges, for example Bolton College
  • Government departments, for example the Department for Health & Social Care
  • Joint Council for Qualifications
  • Institute for Apprenticeships
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