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Community Care Law

"Garden Court Chambers advises across the full spectrum of community care issues. Members often appear before the UK Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

"The clerks are extremely professional and always revert back to you with an answer. They are very obliging and efficient, and nothing ever seems too much trouble."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

"The barristers at Garden Court Chambers are experienced in the handling of a wide range of community care matters, drawing on the set's recognised strengths in complementary areas such as public law, human rights, immigration and social housing."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

"Members are highly adept at handling cases involving the closure of care homes and hospitals, needs assessments and the funding of community services... The barristers often appear before the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, as well as the ECtHR."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

To contact the Community Care Clerks, please email commcareclerks@gclaw.co.uk or phone

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

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Top Ranked Chambers UK Bar 2021
Legal 500 Top Tier Set 2021

Our community care team is recognised in the highest Band 1 ranking of the Chambers & Partners Bar Guide.

We undertake significant litigation and our team has cross-disciplinary expertise that sets it apart from other chambers. We regularly advise individuals in need of community care services as well as charities and non-governmental organisations both in the UK and internationally.

We also regularly provide legal advisory support to organisations during parliamentary inquiries and the passage of key community care legislation. We have particular strength in the field of migrant rights.

Areas of Expertise

  • Support for looked after children and care leavers under the Children Act 1989
  • Support for vulnerable adults and carers under the Care Act 2014
  • Support for parent carers and young carers
  • Support for persons subject to immigration control (including those subject to Schedule 3 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002)
  • Age assessments
  • Education, including school exclusions and support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
  • Support for victims of trafficking
  • Asylum support
  • Support for those on immigration bail under Immigration Act 2016, Sch 10
  • Disabled facilities grants
  • Continuing healthcare and access to NHS treatment
  • Disputes between social services and health authorities
  • Charging issues arising from health and social care
  • Support under s117 Mental Health Act 1983 following discharge from hospital
  • Human rights and discrimination issues arising in all of these areas

Our community care team

Our community care barristers are regularly instructed in judicial review proceedings and have appeared at all court and tribunal levels from the First-Tier Tribunal through to the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. A number of team members are on the preferred panel of counsel for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The strength of the team lies in individuals’ expertise across related areas of law such as public law, immigration, housing, civil liberties and human rights, welfare benefits, equality and anti-discrimination, Court of Protection, mental health, trafficking and LGBTI issues. Garden Court is ranked by Chambers & Partners in Band 1 for immigration and social housing and Band 3 for civil liberties.

 

Recent notable cases and news

Home Office settles case challenging adequacy of accommodation provided to Asylum Seeker that posed risks to their children

The Claimant is represented by Tim Baldwin instructed by Scott Laing of Bhatia Best solicitors.

7 July 2021

High Court judge orders “rolled up” hearing on adequacy of accommodation provided by Home Office given risks to children

The Claimant is represented by Tim Baldwin instructed by Scott Laing of Bhatia Best solicitors.

7 June 2021

High Court orders expedited “rolled up” hearing for failure of Home Office to disperse vulnerable Asylum seeker to accommodation in Bristol

The Claimant is represented by Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Chambers Community Care Team and the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team. Tim is instructed by Scott Laing of Bhatia Best solicitors.

24 May 2021

High court give permission for judicial review of Home Office’s failure to provide asylum seeker with adequate accommodation

The Claimant is represented by Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Chambers Community Care Team and the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team. Tim is instructed by Scott Laing of Bhatia Best solicitors.

24 May 2021

High Court legal challenge to No Recourse to Public Funds policy

Amanda Weston QC of Garden Court Chambers leading Bijan Hoshi and Ollie Persey of the Public Law Project instructed by Project 17.

6 May 2020

Court of Appeal's judgment in the case of James v Hertsmere Borough Council: What does it mean for jurisdiction of County Court?

Nick Bano of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team discusses the Court of Appeal's judgment in the case of James v Hertsmere Borough Council.

2 April 2020

Nick Bano joins Garden Court Chambers as a new tenant

Nick specialises in representing homeless people, residential occupiers, and destitute & migrant households in both public law and private law disputes.

12 March 2020

Garden Court Chambers ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020

We are delighted to have once again been ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020.

17 October 2019

HMRC defeated at European Court of Justice on rights for pregnant self-employed EU Citizens

Adrian Berry and Desmond Rutledge of Garden Court Chambers represented Ms Dakneviciute, instructed by the Welfare Rights Service of the City of Wolverhampton Council.

19 September 2019

Essex County Council admits unlawful practice in turning away homeless children from care

D was represented by Shu Shin Luh and Tessa Buchanan of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Kelly Everett of Coram Children's Legal Centre.

2 July 2019

Legal Action Group publish 'Adult Social Care Law' (second edition, LAG) with contributions from Tim Baldwin and Desmond Rutledge of Garden Court Chambers

Tim Baldwin and Desmond Rutledge of Garden Court contributed chapters on Inquests and welfare benefits to 'Adult Social Care Law' by Stephen Knafler QC of Landmark Chambers.

15 July 2019

High Court’s inherent jurisdiction for the protection of vulnerable adults (Southend-on-Sea Borough Council v Meyers)

20 March 2019

Garden Court Chambers ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019

We are delighted to have once again been ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019.

5 November 2018

Local authority ordered to support young care leaver

Garden Court's Felicity Williams was instructed by Eleanor Ronson at GT Stewart.

10 May 2018

Bach Commission report calls for Rights to Justice Act and far wider eligibility for legal aid

Garden Court Chambers contributed evidence to the Bach Commission.

22 September 2017

High Court finds local authority breached Children Act 1989 for failing to carry out lawful assessment of autistic child

Gráinne Mellon represented the children in this case, instructed by Alex McMahon and Elma Tavares of Osbornes Solicitors.

31 July 2017

Proof magazine #3: ‘Life in the Justice Gap: Why legal aid matters’ launch supported by Garden Court Chambers

Garden Court Chambers is proud to sponsor Proof magazine. The third issue of Proof was co-produced by the Justice Gap and the Justice Alliance.

20 July 2017

David Watkinson poem - "The Masque of Anarchy" or "The Coalition of Chaos"

Read David Watkinson's masterful and topical poem recited at the Garden Court Housing and Community Care summer party.

18 July 2017

Inquiry into unaccompanied and separated minors in Europe

Written and oral evidence was submitted by Garden Court Chambers.

17 July 2017

Garden Court Chambers extends condolences and solidarity to all those affected by Grenfell Tower tragedy

Garden Court Chambers is horrified by the fire at Grenfell Towers. We extend our condolences and our solidarity to all those bereaved, injured or rendered homeless.

16 June 2017

Leslie Thomas QC, Judy Khan QC and Marc Willers QC elected as Joint Heads of Chambers

Garden Court is delighted to announce that Leslie Thomas QC, Judy Khan QC and Marc Willers QC have been elected as Joint Heads of Chambers.

31 January 2017

High Court orders local authority to conduct re-assessment of age and considers “significantly different conclusion” test in ADCS Guidance for the first time

The claimant was represented by Maria Moodie of Garden Court Chambers.

20 December 2016

Garden Court Chambers ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017

We are delighted to have once again been ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017.

2 November 2016

Tim Baldwin successfully challenges age assessment of unaccompanied minor from abroad

Tim Baldwin was instructed via the Official Solicitor by the team at Avon and Bristol Law Centre.

15 August 2016

All notable cases and news

Social Welfare Updates

Change to DWP guidance on recovering hardship payments for sanctioned Universal Credit claimants

Matthew Ahluwalia of the Garden Court Chambers Welfare Benefits Team was one of the counsel in the case. He was instructed by Sarah Clarke and Emma Vincent Miller of Public Law Project.

1 July 2021

Court of Appeal considers affordability of accommodation in appeal concerning intentional homelessness

Edward Fitzpatrick and Matthew Ahluwalia, both of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team, acted for the Appellant, instructed by Kevin Long of Hackney Community Law Centre.

1 July 2021

Napier barracks not ‘adequate’ accommodation for asylum-seekers

Sonali Naik QC and Ali Bandegani of Garden Court Chambers represented interveners JCWI. Blog post by Connor Johnston of the Garden Court Chambers Community Care Team.

1 July 2021

High Court orders fresh assessment of 16-year-old's needs after Discharge Care Programme Approach document under s117 MHA 1983 deemed unlawful

Blog post by Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Chambers Community Care Team. R. (on the application of AK, by her mother and litigation friend GK) v Islington LBC, North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group [2021] EWHC 301 (Admin)

1 July 2021

Proposed return to sheltered accommodation did not breach Local Authority and CCG’s duties under s117 MHA 1983

Blog post by Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Chambers Community Care Team. R. (on the application of ZK, by her litigation friend, JU) v Norfolk County Council, Norfolk and Waveney CCG and LB Camden [2021] EWHC 1249 (Admin)

1 July 2021

Home Office dispersal of asylum seekers in Bristol - failure of Secretary of State to lawfully apply her own policy

Adrian Berry and Tim Baldwin acted in the case R (on the application of IO) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department. Blog post by Tim Baldwin.

1 July 2021

Capacity to decide to engage in sexual relations – application for a prospective declaration of incapacity rejected

Blog post by Helen Curtis of the Garden Court Chambers Court of Protection Team. A Local Authority v A Mother and A Father and DY [2021] EWCOP 28 (Knowles J) 10 May 2021

1 July 2021

Capacity and best interests: agoraphobia, pregnancy and transfer to hospital

Blog post by Mai-Ling Savage of the Garden Court Chambers Court of Protection Team. A NHS Foundation Trust v An Expectant Mother [2021] EWCOP 33, Holman J, 13 May 2021

1 July 2021

Universal credit policy on deductions for court fines unlawful as it did not contain exception for financial hardship

Blog by Desmond Rutledge of the Garden Court Chambers Welfare Benefits Law Team. R (Blundel & Ors) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2021] EWHC 608 (Admin)

1 July 2021

Social Welfare Update: Parental responsibility and access to puberty blockers for transgender children

Blog post by Ollie Persey of the Garden Court Chambers Community Care Team. AB v CD & Ors [2021] EWHC 741 (Fam)

30 April 2021

Social Welfare Update: High Court holds a patient was "ordinarily resident", for the purposes of funding s 117 aftercare, in second local authority's area immediately before second period of detention

Blog post by Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Chambers Community Care Team. R (on the application of Worcestershire County Council) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care [2021] EWHC 682 (Admin): Linden J

30 April 2021

Social Welfare Update: Norfolk Council’s policy on charging for services unlawfully discriminated against severely disabled service-users and breached their Human Rights

Blog post by Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Chambers Community Care Team. R (SH acting through her mother and litigation friend MH) v Norfolk CC [2020] EWHC 3436 (Admin): Griffiths J

30 April 2021

Social Welfare Update: High Court confirms urgency - and mandatory obligations - for Local Authorities to progress EUSS applications on behalf of children and care leavers

Blog post by Gráinne Mellon of the Garden Court Chambers Community Care Team. Re W and Re Z (EU Settled Status for Looked After Children) [2021] EWHC 783 (Fam), 31 March 2021

30 April 2021

Social Welfare Update: Secretary of State was correct as to the responsibility for funding accommodation at Transitional Rehabilitation Unit when determining ordinary residence under National Assistance Act 1948

Blog post by Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Chambers Community Care Team. R (on the application of Lancashire County Council) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, v JM and St Helens Council [2021] EWHC 268 (admin); HHJ Eyre QC

30 April 2021

Social Welfare Update: Security of tenure for person accommodated by local authority under Everyone In

Blog post by Connor Johnston of the Garden Court Housing Team. R (Abudah Ali Ibrahim) v Haringey LBC and Capital Home Services Ltd [2021] EWHC 731 (QB), 30 March 2021

30 April 2021

Social Welfare Update: Circumstances in which court will grant mandatory order requiring local authority to provide ‘suitable’ accommodation

Blog post by Connor Johnston of the Garden Court Housing Team. R (Imam) v The London Borough of Croydon [2021] EWHC 739 (Admin), 26 March 2021

30 April 2021

Social Welfare Update: Local authority powers to accommodate rough sleepers during the pandemic

30 April 2021

Social Welfare Update: Person subject to immigration control cannot claim Carer’s Allowance as a family member of a British national who has not exercised freedom of movement rights

Blog post by Desmond Rutledge of the Garden Court Chambers Welfare Benefits Team. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v AS (CA) [2021] UKUT 24 (AAC)

30 April 2021

Social Welfare Update: Making arrangements for paid for sexual services for a person who lacked capacity to make those arrangements was not an offence under s 39 Sexual Offences Act 2003

Blog post by Bethan Harris of the Garden Court Chambers Court of Protection Team. A Local Authority -and- C (by his litigation friend, AB), A Clinical Commissioning Group and Secretary of State for Justice [2021] EWCOP 25, Hayden J, 26 April 2021

30 April 2021

Social Welfare Update: Repeat homelessness applications and local connection

R (Minott) v Cambridge City Council (2021) EWHC 211 (Admin)

26 February 2021

Social Welfare Update: Breach of Public Sector Equality Duty in bringing possession proceedings cured by subsequent compliance

Taylor v Slough BC [2020] EWHC 3520 (Ch)

26 February 2021

Social Welfare Update: Provision of support to trafficking victims following a negative conclusive grounds decision

MN v SSHD [2020] EWCA Civ 1746

26 February 2021

Social Welfare Update: Lacuna in leave to remain policy arising from delays in identification of victims of trafficking

EOG v SSHD [2020] EWHC 3310 (Admin)

26 February 2021

Social Welfare Update: Council misapplied its Allocation Scheme by treating a “preference” given to families with children as an automatic decision in their favour

R (Nur) v Birmingham City Council [2020] EWHC 3526 (Admin)

26 February 2021

Social Welfare Update: Court of Appeal rules that the exclusion of EEA citizens with ‘Pre-settled Status’ from accessing Universal Credit is unlawful

R (Fratila & Tanase) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2020] EWCA Civ 1741

26 February 2021

Social Welfare Update: Denial of bereavement support payment to family of a deceased woman who had been unable to work and pay NI contributions due to severe disability breached ECHR

O'Donnell v Department For Communities [2020] NICA 36

26 February 2021

Social Welfare Update: Suspension of DLA after 28 days in hospital did not violate Article 14 ECHR, in case of an adult patient with severe learning disabilities

MOC (by MG) v SSWP (DLA) [2020] UKUT 134 (AAC)

26 February 2021

Social Welfare Update: Health Secretary acted unlawfully by not publishing details of pandemic contracts within stipulated period breaching his own Transparency Policy

Good Law Project Ltd & Ors, R. (On Application of) v Secretary of State for Health And Social Care

26 February 2021

Social Welfare Update: Would receipt of a Covid-19 vaccine be in a mentally incapacitated person’s best interests when other treatments are proposed by a family member?

SD v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea [2021] EWCOP 14

26 February 2021

Social Welfare Update: Capacity and best interests in relation to Covid-19 Vaccination

E (Vaccine) [2021] EWCOP 7, Mr Justice Hayden, 20th January 2021

26 February 2021

Social Welfare Update: Damages of £143,000 for unlawful deprivation of liberty of incapacitous care home resident upheld

London Borough of Haringey v Emile [2020] County Court at Central London, 18 December 2020, HHJ Saggerson

26 February 2021

Social Welfare Update: Extension of Past Presence Test for DLA breaches disabled children’s Art 14 ECHR rights

Blog by Desmond Rutledge of the Garden Court Chambers Welfare Benefits Law Team on TS (by TS) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (DLA); EK (by MK) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (DLA) [2020] UKUT 284 (AAC)

23 December 2020

All social welfare updates

Past Notable Cases

 

R (on the application of AA) v The London Borough of Southwark [2020] EWHC 2487 Admin; (2020) 23 CCL Rep 649  
This was a High Court challenge to an assessment of children in need, where the social worker had disbelieved that the family was destitute.  It is one of a growing number of ‘culture of disbelief’ cases concerning local authorities’ attitudes towards destitute migrant families. The High Court was persuaded to quash the assessment, as the court found serious flaws in the process and the social worker’s conclusions.

IO v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 3420 (Admin)
The Secretary of State failed to apply her Healthcare Needs and Pregnancy Dispersal Policy when deciding that the claimant who was mentally unwell should be dispersed to accommodation in a different area.  

OA v London Borough of Camden and the Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 2357
Successful challenge under s. 17 Children Act 1989; significant analysis of EU law rights of 4-month-old baby, and derived rights of his mother by way of an extension of the Zambrano principle in Court of Justice of European Union.

R (O) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 148 (Admin)
Systemic challenge to delays in the process of making "conclusive grounds" decisions in respect of potential victims of human trafficking 

R (MN) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 3268 (QB) 
Standard of proof to be applied in determining whether there are "conclusive grounds" to believe that person is a victim of trafficking.

R (K and Anr) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 2951 (Admin); R (MXY) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 2780 (Admin)
Successful challenge to the Home Secretary’s cut of weekly subsistence for certain victims of trafficking. The High Court quashed the cuts, restoring payments to more than 1000 victims and £1million + in back payments to those affected by the cuts.

R (Mustafa) v Kent County Council and the Home Office [2018] EWHC 2025 (Admin)
First case to consider the definition of an “asylum seeker” as a matter of EU Law subsequent to the coming into effect of the Asylum Procedures Directive in 2013, in the context of a “former relevant child” seeking accommodation and support under the Children Act 1989.

R (KI) v London Borough of Brent [2018] EWHC 1068 (Admin)
Successful judicial review challenge to the failure by the London Borough of Brent to recognise a young person as a “former relevant child” under the Children Act 1989. 

R (CXF) v Central Bedfordshire Council and North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, MIND intervening [2018] EWCA Civ 2852
Leading case on whether, and in what circumstances, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities owe a duty to detained mental patients to provide them with after-care support in the community when they are permitted to temporarily leave the hospital for activities and therapy. Permission is pending to appeal the case to the Supreme Court.  

R (DA and Ors) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2018] 
Acted for the intervener, Shelter, in the Supreme Court challenge to the legality of revised benefit cap, arguing that the cap unlawfully discriminates against lone parents with young children. Judgment is awaited.

R (AS) v Kent County Council [2017] UKUT 446 
Leading case on use of dental assessments for the purposes of age assessment.

Contact team

publications

The Garden Court Community Care team regularly publish and distribute case law notes through a Social Welfare bulletin distributed monthly to practitioners specialising in community care law.

Members of the team also edit and produce the Community Care Law Reports published by the Legal Action Group.

Members of the team co-author and contribute to a number of the leading texts and resources in the area including the Community Care Law Reports and the forthcoming Migrant Support Handbook.

 

 

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