Administrative and Public Law

Our leading public law barristers have a long-standing reputation for taking on cutting-edge challenges against public authorities.

"The clerks are an asset to their chambers. They will go out of their way to accommodate potential instruction and also in continuing case support in the form of facilitating conferences."

Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide

"The clerks are incredibly responsive, efficient, friendly and engaging to work with. They have excellent foresight."

Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide

"The set's well-known expertise in areas such as immigration and civil liberties is grounded in a firm command of public law principles and judicial review. Its capability in this area is strongly geared towards safeguarding the rights of vulnerable groups and individuals, in challenging policies of the Home Office and other government departments."

Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide

"Barristers from this set have appeared in numerous high-profile cases on immigration detention, including Lawal v SSHD, a successful challenge to the deportation of witnesses shortly after the death of an immigrant in detention. The barristers possess notable experience covering policy on human trafficking, mental health and criminal justice.

Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide

To contact the Public Law Clerks, please email publiclawclerks@gclaw.co.uk or phone 

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

Legal 500 2022: Top Tier Set

We help our clients pursue public law challenges against all public authorities including government departments, courts and tribunals, coroners, the police, housing authorities, schools and prisons.

Areas of Expertise

  • Challenges to government policy and secondary legislation
  • Constitutional challenges to all the key departments of state
  • Challenging cuts to public services
  • Access to justice
  • Deaths for which the state could be responsible
  • Public inquiries
  • Human rights and international humanitarian law
  • False imprisonment, administrative detention and prisoners’ rights
  • National security and counter-terror measures
  • Social welfare and health
  • Criminal justice
  • Discrimination
  • Trafficking and modern slavery
  • Environmental and planning

Our public law barristers specialise in bringing challenges that defend the rights of individuals and have a wider lasting and beneficial impact for society and affected groups.

Public law challenges arise in nearly all of Chambers’ specialist areas. Our core strength is the multi-disciplinary expertise we can offer at all levels of seniority. We pursue bold and innovative points of law to secure the best possible outcome for our clients.

Our public law barristers write leading texts on judicial review and regularly train others on how to pursue judicial reviews. We are always happy to discuss creative ways in which we can work with you and add value to your work. 

Garden Court Chambers won the Human Rights and Public Law Set of the Year Award at the Chambers Bar Awards 2016 and was shortlisted for Public Law Set of the Year at the Legal 500 Awards 2017. We are ranked in the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide for Public Law.

Recent notable cases and news

Important judgment on the correct approach to assessing eligibility under ARAP

Our Nicola Braganza KC and Maria Moodie of the Garden Court Public Law Team successfully represented MA, instructed by Siobhan Foulner of Wilson Solicitors.

20 February 2024

Adrian Berry assists in securing damages for client as Home Office settles for breach of GDPR

Our Adrian Berry acted alongside Matt Lewin of Cornerstone Barristers and David Lemer of Doughty Street Chambers, instructed by Raman Kumar, Nazia Khan and Paviter Juss of Duncan Lewis in the Administrative Court Judicial Review.

20 February 2024

High Court challenge to Legal Aid Agency’s decision to refuse public funding to Windrush victim in compensation claim while new report finds 'structural weaknesses' in Windrush Compensation Scheme

Grace Brown, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, is acting in an upcoming High Court challenge to grant legal aid to a claimant under the Windrush Compensation Scheme (WCS) and is among the contributors to KCL's research report.

14 February 2024

Secretary of State for the Home Department’s Discretionary leave policy for trafficking victims declared unlawful: Upper Tribunal decision in VTL (Vietnam)

The Applicant was represented by Gráinne Mellon, Eva Doerr & Hannah Lynes of Garden Court Chambers. Counsel instructed by Ben Goldberg of Turpin Miller Solicitors.

8 February 2024

High Court finds local authority subjected disabled asylum seeker to inhuman and degrading treatment for seven months

Gráinne Mellon and Nadia O’Mara of Garden Court Chambers represented the Claimant, TMX. Counsel were instructed by Monica Kreel of TV Edwards.

29 January 2024

Garden Court represent tax credit claimant in a landmark Court of Appeal decision on access to justice

Desmond Rutledge and Ollie Persey of Garden Court Chambers acted for the respondent, instructed by Joe Power of Kirklees Citizens Advice & Law Centre and led by Jamie Burton KC of Doughty Street Chambers.

19 January 2024

Government to be challenged in High Court over ‘discriminatory’ PCSC Act

FFT will be represented by Stephen Simblet KC and Nadia O’Mara of Garden Court Chambers. Wendy Smith will be represented by Marc Willers KC and Ollie Persey of Garden Court Chambers.

16 January 2024

Garden Court responds to Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights' Call for Evidence on Safety in Rwanda (Asylum & Immigration) Bill

This consultation response is submitted by Garden Court Chambers, which is a multi-disciplinary Chambers based in London. It has over 190 barristers (including 30 King’s Counsel) and is one of the largest in the country with over 40 years of experience in

12 January 2024

Blog: Windrush - When is a Promise Not a Promise?

This blog is by Grace Brown of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration & Public Law Teams.

8 January 2024

Immigration Blog: Section 2 of the Illegal Migration Act - Duty to Remove

Blog by Eva Doerr and Isaac Ricca-Richardson of the Garden Court Immigration Team.

3 January 2024

Blog: Irena Sabic KC and Alex Grigg Reflect on the Rwanda Bill

Irena Sabic KC and Alex Grigg of our Public Law and Immigration teams at Garden Court provide reflections on the Rwanda Bill (personal views only) and with thanks to Liam Mckenna for his contribution.

22 December 2023

Louise Hooper co-authors report 'Drone incidents and misuse: Legal Considerations'

Louise Hooper of the Garden Court Public Law Team has co-authored a report with Dr Anna Jackman of the University of Reading.

22 December 2023

Mark Robinson successfully obtains a Writ of Habeas Corpus

Mark Robinson of the Garden Court Crime Team, instructed by MMA Solicitors, was successful in obtaining a Writ of Habeas Corpus in the High Court (Administrative Court - Kings Bench Division).

20 December 2023

High Court rules Home Office use of hotels for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children unlawful

Stephanie Harrison KC, Gráinne Mellon and Ollie Persey, of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law team, are instructed by Bhatt Murphy.

30 November 2023

Home Secretary admits to Article 3 ECHR breach and Equality Act breach during Harmondsworth IRC evacuation

Alex Schymyck, of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team, instructed by Lewis Kett, Nicholas Hughes and Dominic Chambers of Duncan Lewis Solicitors for the Claimants.

30 November 2023

Supreme Court rules wide injunctions have negative impact on Gypsies and Travellers' ability to pursue traditional nomadic way of life

Marc Willers KC, Tessa Buchanan & Owen Greenhall represented London Gypsies and Travellers (LGT), Friends Families and Travellers (FFT) and the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group (DGLG). Stephanie Harrison KC, Stephen Clark & Fatima Jichi represented FFT.

29 November 2023

Oscar Davies joins Garden Court Chambers as new tenant

We are delighted to announce that Oscar Davies has joined Garden Court Chambers as a new tenant.

27 November 2023

Rwanda Judgment: Supreme Court unanimously rules Rwanda policy is unlawful

Sonali Naik KC, Adrian Berry, Mark Symes, Eva Doerr and Isaac Ricca-Richardson, of Garden Court Chambers, represent AS (Iran). David Sellwood, of Garden Court Chambers, is part of the team representing RM (Iran).

15 November 2023

Welsh Ministers concede appeal of planning inspector's decision brought by a Traveller

Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Romani Gypsy & Traveller Rights Team acted for the appellant Traveller, instructed by Michael Imperato of Watkins & Gunn Solicitors.

13 November 2023

Alex Grigg obtains permission from High Court to challenge 'clearly unfounded' certification of Albanian's asylum claim

Alex Grigg, of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration & Public Law Team, is instructed by Bahar Ata, Erin Alexander McGowan and Joshua Chia of Duncan Lewis.

6 November 2023

Immigration Blog: The expansion of immigration detention in the Illegal Migration Act 2023

Blog post by Alex Schymyck of the Garden Court Immigration Team.

1 November 2023

Garden Court Chambers welcomes four new pupils

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to welcome four new pupils: Matthew Banks, Abby Buttle, Daniella Davenport, and Christopher Lambert.

9 October 2023

Rwanda Plan in Supreme Court: Garden Court representing asylum seekers

Sonali Naik KC, Adrian Berry, Mark Symes, Eva Doerr and Isaac Ricca-Richardson, of Garden Court Chambers, represent AS (Iran). David Sellwood, of Garden Court Chambers, is part of the team representing RM (Iran).

9 October 2023

Garden Court secures top tier rankings in the Legal 500 UK 2024

Garden Court Chambers is proud to be recognised as a Top Tier set again in the Legal 500 UK 2024 rankings.

4 October 2023

High Court in Cardiff grants Traveller permission to appeal planning inspector's decision

Tim Baldwin of Garden Court Romani Gypsy & Traveller Rights Team acted for the appellant, instructed by Michael Imperato of Watkins & Gunn Solicitors.

3 October 2023

Immigration Blog: Age Assessments - More Than Just a Number

Blog post by Georgie Rea of the Garden Court Immigration Team.

2 October 2023

John Beckley appointed as Circuit Judge

We are delighted to announce that John Beckley, a former member of chambers, has been appointed as a Circuit Judge.

26 September 2023

Immigration Blog: Illegal Migration Act's implications for victims of trafficking and modern slavery

Blog post by Nadia O'Mara of the Garden Court Immigration and Public Law Teams.

4 September 2023

JUSTICE launches report calling on Government to double down on efforts to relocate Afghans who supported Britain

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to be hosting the launch of JUSTICE's report. Sonali Naik KC of the Garden Court Immigration and Public Law Teams, and Chair of the JUSTICE Committee, wrote the foreword to the report.

15 August 2023

High Court rules Local Authorities obliged to consider support requests by appeal rights exhausted care leavers

Irena Sabic KC and Alex Grigg of Garden Court Chambers represented the Claimant, anonymised as DK, instructed by Radhi Shah of Youth Legal.

27 July 2023

Gráinne Mellon advises CAJ in Belfast on immigration checks on Irish land border

The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) has commissioned a legal opinion on the legality of ongoing passport/immigration checks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland following Brexit.

21 July 2023

New edition of Halsbury's Laws on Judicial Review

Ollie Persey of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team is the Consultant Editor of the latest edition of the highly regarded public law practitioner text, Halsbury’s Laws on Judicial Review, published this month.

21 July 2023

Past Notable Cases

 

We are known for ground-breaking and successful challenges to government policy in test cases of constitutional importance.

Our barristers regularly appear in the European Court of Human Rights, European Court of Justice, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court and the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber).

Our team also fights for clients in judicial reviews that may not hit the headlines, but are nonetheless vital for protecting the rights of vulnerable individuals.

Our recent news items can be viewed above. Past notable historic cases can be viewed below. 

R (K and Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 2951(Admin)
High Court strikes down Home Office decision to cut support for victims of trafficking and modern slavery in a claim successfully challenging the policy decision of the Home Office. Reported in the Guardian and Independent

R (DS and Ors) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions UKSC 2018/0074
Challenge to revised benefit cap as unlawfully discriminating against lone parents with children under two. Supreme Court Judgment pending. See Rights Info.

Hussein v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2018] EWHC 2013 (Admin)
Permission granted to seek public inquiry into systematic abuse at Brook House immigration removal centre. Reported in the Guardian in February and May 2018.

R (PRCBC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, CO/2663/2018
High profile challenge concerning the excessive fee charged by the Home Office to children who wish to register for British citizenship. Reported in the Guardian

R (Against Borders for Children) v Secretary of State for Education, CO/8/2018, C1/2018/0763
School census data collection is breach of EU and domestic data protection principles. Further to the litigation, the Education Secretary decided in May 2018 to cease collection of such data in future school census. Reported in the Independent

R( Andrews) v SSBEI and SSHCLG, CO/3256/2018
High Court rules that Mineral Planning Authorities are not bound by statutory definition of fracking and can apply their own wider definitions

R (Medical Justice) v SSHD [2017] CO/5386/2016
High Court rules government redefinition of torture in immigration detention policy is unlawful. Wide reaching findings for hundreds of victims of torture found to have been wrongly detained in immigration detention centres. Reported in the Guardian

R (ota) CL v Greater Manchester Police [2018] CO/3515/2016 & CO/1076/2018
Boy wins right to judicial review in challenge to have details of 'sexting' incident erased by police. Reported in the Guardian.

R (oao Slade & Baxter) v HM Attorney General and the DPP (C1/2018/1351)
Successful test case to challenge the refusal by the Attorney General to conduct independent inquiry of high-profile criminal case. Reported by the BBC.

R(C) v Secretary of State for Justice [2016] UKSC 2
The Claimant successfully challenged a decision by the Home Secretary to refuse him unescorted leave in the community and maintained an order of anonymity to protect his identity. Widely reported, including by the BBC

R (Kiarie; Byndloss) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 42; [2017] WLR 2380
Landmark Supreme Court ruling on access to effective remedy for out of country appeals.

R (Joanna Dennehy) v SSJ and Governor of HMP Bronzefield  [2016] EWHC 1219 (Admin)
Successful challenge to the legality of regulations and policies on prolonged segregation of vulnerable prisoners. 

Contact team

What others say

"The set's well-known expertise in areas such as immigration and civil liberties is grounded in a firm command of public law principles and judicial review. Its capability in this area is strongly geared towards safeguarding the rights of vulnerable groups and individuals, in challenging policies of the Home Office and other government departments. "

Chambers UK Bar Guide 

 

publications

Our barristers have contributed to or co-authored many of the leading texts on public law, immigration, housing and criminal justice:

  • Judicial Review: A Practical Guide, 3rd edition 2017 – Amanda Weston KC
  • Judicial Review: A Practical Guide, 2nd edition 2012 – Amanda Weston KC
  • Judicial Review: Law & Practice, 1st edition, 2012 – Amanda Weston KC
  • Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Law and Practice, 1st edition 2018 - Michelle Brewer and contributions from other members of the public law team
  • Archbold Criminal Pleading Evidence & Practice – Maya Sikand, Contributing Editor 2015 to date
  • Blackstone’s Guide to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, OUP, 2009 – Maya Sikand
  • Blackstone’s Criminal Practice, OUP – Maya Sikand, Contributing Editor 2009 – 2014
  • Housing Allocation and Homelessness, Jordans, 4th edition, 2016 – Liz Davies KC
  • Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice – all editions have included contributions from many members of the public law team
  • Butterworths’ Immigration Law Service – Greg Ó Ceallaigh

 

Associate member expertise

We have strong academic links and boast a number of Associate Members with particular expertise in areas such as discrimination law, race and policing in the EU, gender, equality, sexuality, human rights approaches to legal gender recognition, environmental law and planning law. 

 

The Team

Stephanie Harrison KC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2013

Marc Willers KC

Year of Call: 1987

Year of Silk: 2014

Leslie Thomas KC

Year of Call: 1988

Year of Silk: 2014

Sonali Naik KC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2018

Amanda Weston KC

Year of Call: 1995

Year of Silk: 2018

Stephen Simblet KC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2020

Nicola Braganza KC

Year of Call: 1992

Year of Silk: 2022

Liz Davies KC

Year of Call: 1994

Year of Silk: 2022

Edward Grieves KC

Year of Call: 1995

Year of Silk: 2023

Irena Sabic KC

Year of Call: 2002

Year of Silk: 2023

Patrick Roche

Year of Call: 1977

Kathryn Cronin

Year of Call: 1980

Stephen Cottle

Year of Call: 1984

Christopher Williams

Year of Call: 1988

Rebecca Chapman

Year of Call: 1990

Bethan Harris

Year of Call: 1990

David Jones

Year of Call: 1994

Grace Brown

Year of Call: 1995

Louise Hooper

Year of Call: 1997

Adrian Berry

Year of Call: 1998

Gordon Lee

Year of Call: 1998

Ronan Toal

Year of Call: 1999

Bojana Asanovic

Year of Call: 2000

Felicity Williams

Year of Call: 2000

Tim Baldwin

Year of Call: 2001

Desmond Rutledge

Year of Call: 2001

Maha Sardar

Year of Call: 2002

Jodie Blackstock

Year of Call: 2003

Andrew Eaton

Year of Call: 2004

Mark Symes

Year of Call: 2004

Joanne Cecil

Year of Call: 2005

Justine Compton

Year of Call: 2005

Sarah Hemingway

Year of Call: 2006

Greg Ó Ceallaigh

Year of Call: 2006

Jennifer Twite

Year of Call: 2006

Alex Grigg

Year of Call: 2007

Kirsten Heaven

Year of Call: 2007

Richard Reynolds

Year of Call: 2007

Helen Foot

Year of Call: 2008

Gemma Loughran

Year of Call: 2008

Ali Bandegani

Year of Call: 2009

Raza Halim

Year of Call: 2009

Paul Clark

Year of Call: 2010

Owen Greenhall

Year of Call: 2010

Connor Johnston

Year of Call: 2010

Gráinne Mellon

Year of Call: 2010

Emma Fitzsimons

Year of Call: 2011

Bijan Hoshi

Year of Call: 2011

Taimour Lay

Year of Call: 2011

Maria Moodie

Year of Call: 2011

Tessa Buchanan

Year of Call: 2012

Grace Capel

Year of Call: 2012

Una Morris

Year of Call: 2012

David Sellwood

Year of Call: 2012

Michael Etienne

Year of Call: 2012

Stephen Clark

Year of Call: 2013

Nick Bano

Year of Call: 2013

Ubah Dirie

Year of Call: 2014

Ricky Blennerhassett

Year of Call: 2015

Matthew Ahluwalia

Year of Call: 2015

Franck Magennis

Year of Call: 2016

Zehrah Hasan

Year of Call: 2016

Luke McLean

Year of Call: 2017

Ollie Persey

Year of Call: 2017

Oscar Davies

Year of Call: 2018

Steven Galliver-Andrew

Year of Call: 2018

Ella Gunn

Year of Call: 2018

Nadia O'Mara

Year of Call: 2018

Eva Doerr

Year of Call: 2019

Maaha Elahi

Year of Call: 2019

Rehab Jaffer

Year of Call: 2019

Fatima Jichi

Year of Call: 2019

Georgie Rea

Year of Call: 2019

Isaac Ricca-Richardson

Year of Call: 2020

Alex Schymyck

Year of Call: 2020

Hannah Lynes

Year of Call: 2021

Josephine Fathers

Year of Call: 2022

Associate Members

Anna Morris KC

Year of Call: 2006

Year of Silk: 2023

Adrienne Copithorne

Year of Call: 2018

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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