Local Government Law

Local Government Law

Matrix barristers practise across the full range of local government work. Our local government team brings together experts from several relevant areas of law, including specialists in public law and human rights, equality, education, health and social care, environmental and planning law, public procurement, data protection and freedom of information, and election law. Members act for claimants, for a wide range of local government bodies and businesses (such as care homes).

Matrix members deal with all aspects of local government work, including:

  • Governance and decision-making;
  • Adult community care (including ordinary residence disputes and cases in the Court of Protection);
  • Children’s services (including education, age assessments, children leaving care and community care services);
  • Education law, including special educational needs law;
  • Procurement and state aid;
  • Cuts to public services (with particular expertise on issues of consultation and the public sector equality duty);
  • Planning and environmental claims;
  • Election petitions;
  • Welfare benefits;
  • Employment;
  • Public inquiries such as the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Notable cases

Examples of recent, high profile local government cases in which members have appeared include:

  • R(Salvato) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2021] EWHC 102 Admin; [2021] HRLR 4 – successful judicial review of universal credit proof of payment rule;
  • MI v London Borough Waltham Forest [2021] EWHC 281 (Admin) – judicial review challenging legality of Waltham Forest’s decision to impose significant budget cuts to SEN budgets without public consultation;
  • R (Friends of the Earth Ltd) v. Heathrow Airport Limited [2020] UKSC 52:  [2021] 2 All ER 967 the designation of the Airports National Policy Statement was found by the Supreme Court to be lawful;
  • R (Somerset County Council) v Secretary of State for Education [2020] EWHC 1675 Admin successful judicial review brought by County Council of Academy Order undermining local authority led process seeking to restructure unviable three-tier school system;
  • R (Shaw) v. Secretary of State for Education [2020] EWHC 2216 (Admin); [2020] ELR 677: judicial review of the modification to SEN duties made as in response to the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • AD V Hackney [2020] EWCA Civ 518; [2020] PTS 1587: judicial review challenging legality of Hackney’s decision to impose significant budget cuts without public consultation;
  • Girling v. East Suffolk [2020] EWHC 2579 (Admin);  [2021] JPL 553: judicial review of the grant of planning permission for the development of a nuclear power station;
  • R (SH) v Norfolk County Council [2020] EWHC 3436 (Admin): successful judicial review of Norfolk’s decision to change the basis on which it calculates the charges made to a disabled claimant for Council provided care substantially increasing the charges;
  • R(SC and ors) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] EWCA Civ 615;  [2019] 1 WLR 5687 : 7-judge Supreme Court decision pending. Judicial review of two-child limit on receipt of child tax credit on human rights grounds;
  • Flynn v Southwark LBC [2019] EWHC 3575 (Admin): claim by social housing campaigners challenging the legality of the £600m redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre in South London on the basis of unlawful failure to provide sufficient social housing;
  • CP V North East Lincolnshire [2019] EWCA Civ 1614;  [2020] PTSR 664 –  young disabled woman challenging interaction between discharge of local authority’s social care and education obligations resulting in provision under neither legal regime.