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Ollie Persey

Year of Call: 2017

“I have been impressed by Ollie’s breadth of knowledge in public law and education law. Ollie’s passion and commitment to the profession is evident in the way he deals with clients, is always fully prepared and conveys his advice in a language and style that instils confidence in the client. It is not a coincidence that Ollie has won most of the cases we have sent him!”

Salima Mawji, Solicitor, IBB Law

“Ollie is extremely approachable and always ready to share his impressive legal expertise on any complex questions arising from my public law cases. He is thorough, very knowledgeable and an impressive SEND advocate. I cannot recommend Ollie highly enough as a public law barrister, with heaps of passion and drive.”

Esther Salter, Solicitor, Simpson Millar

Contact

If you would like to get in touch with Ollie Persey please contact the clerking team on:

To contact Ollie Persey direct: oliverp@gclaw.co.uk

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Ollie is a claimant public law barrister specialising in education, community care, mental capacity and mental health law. He has significant expertise in discrimination law and is a contributing author of the new Legal Action Group textbook, ‘Discrimination in Public Law’.

Before joining Garden Court, Ollie was a lawyer at Public Law Project for four years and a lecturer and researcher at the London School of Economics and Oxford University.

Administrative and Public Law

Overview

Ollie has a busy public law practice. He acts in urgent and complex claims for judicial review as sole and led junior. He has litigated at all levels, from the First-tier Tribunal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Current and recent cases include:

  • An ongoing judicial review challenging the Director of Legal Aid Casework’s interpretation of the legal aid means regulations in SEND Tribunal appeals (led by Amanda Weston QC with Isaac Ricca-Richardson). See coverage in The Law Society Gazette here.
  • An ongoing judicial review challenging a local authority’s failure to undertake equalities monitoring and ensure non-discriminatory access to special educational provision (led by Nicola Braganza QC).
  • An ongoing intervention in the European Court of Human Rights regarding parental responsibility and surrogacy arrangements (led by Amanda Weston QC).
  • Representing a severely disabled man with impaired mental capacity in the Court of Appeal in a high-profile challenge to the adult hospitalisation rule for Disability Living Allowance (led by Amanda Weston QC with Desmond Rutledge). 
  • Representing Here for Good, an EU citizens’ rights NGO, in a successful challenge to the COVID-19 guidance for the EU Settlement Scheme (led by Charlotte Kilroy QC with Hollie Higgins).
  • Representing The3million, an EU citizens’ rights NGO, in a challenge to the introduction of digital only immigration status (led by Sarah Hannett QC and Chris Buttler QC with Bijan Hoshi).
  • Representing a student at a further education college in a successful urgent claim for judicial review challenging an unlawful permanent exclusion (sole counsel). 

Ollie was a lawyer at Public Law Project for four years and has a detailed knowledge of all aspects of judicial review litigation. He is happy to advise from the earliest stages of a potential claim. He provides practical advice on securing funding, costs protection, evidence-gathering and working collaboratively with NGOs.

Notable Cases

Challenge in the Court of Appeal to the adult hospitalisation rule for Disability Living Allowance

MOC (by MG) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2022] EWCA Civ 1 (11 January 2022) ICLR summary: [2022] WLR(D) 16

Acted for a severely disabled man, MOC, whose Disability Living Allowance was suspended during a stay of 12 months in hospital.  It was argued that the rule discriminates against MOC by reason of his impaired capacity to make decisions concerning his personal care and treatment, such that he had to rely on his sister, MG, to monitor and facilitate his care on the hospital ward, by analogy with Mathieson v SSWP [2015] UKSC 47.  Led by Amanda Weston QC with Desmond Rutledge.

 

Home Office EU Settlement Scheme COVID-19 guidance changed following legal challenge
Here for Good v Secretary of State for the Home Department CO/932/2021
A claim for judicial review brought by the EU citizens’ rights charity, Here for Good, challenging the lawfulness of the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s guidance on COVID-19 related breaks in continuous residence for applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme. Following the claim being issued, the Defendant withdraw its guidance and introduced more generous guidance. Junior counsel for Here for Good, led by Charlotte Kilroy QC and Hollie Higgins.

Challenge to ‘digital only’ proof of immigration status
The3million v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1159 (Admin)
A claim for judicial review challenging the introduction of digital-only proof of immigration status on the basis that a lack of physical proof would discriminate against Roma, elderly and disabled migrants. Junior counsel for the3million led by Sarah Hannett QC, Chris Buttler QC and Bijan Hoshi.

Improvements secured to Home Office policy on EU citizens with impaired mental capacity
Migrants Organise v Secretary of State for the Home Department CO-549-2021
A judicial review challenging the inadequacy of the safeguards for applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme with impaired mental capacity. Following the challenge, the Secretary of State for the Home Department introduced specific safeguards for incapacious applicants. Junior counsel led by Amanda Weston QC and Bijan Hoshi.

No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) scheme successfully challenged
W v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Project 17 intervening [2020] EWHC 1299 (Admin). The High Court found that the NRPF scheme as it related to parents on the 10-year route to the settlement constituted a breach of Article 3 ECHR.  Junior counsel for Project 17, led by Amanda Weston QC and Bijan Hoshi. 

Prorogation of Parliament held to be unlawful
Miller & Cherry v Prime Minister [2019] UKSC 41
Successful judicial review of the lawfulness of the prorogation of Parliament. Public Law Project intervened to provide evidence of the impact of prorogation on Parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit-related statutory instruments. Assisted Tom de la Mare QC, Alison Pickup and Daniel Cashman.

Home Office’s removal windows policy denied migrants access to justice 
Medical Justice v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 2381 (Admin). Judicial review of the Home Office’s removal windows policy. Policy suspended by an injunction of the High Court, and ultimately held to be unlawful by the Court of Appeal. Assisted Charlotte Kilroy QC and Alison Pickup. 

Transgender man who gave birth sought legal recognition as “father” 
TT v Registrar General for England & Wales [2019] EWCH 2384 (Fam)
A transgender man (with a Gender Recognition Certificate) who gave birth challenged the Registrar General’s decision to list TT as the “mother” of his child on the birth certificate. Assisted Sarah Hannett. 

Contact Ollie

Education Law

Ollie acts for children, young people and families in all forums where education law issues arise, including the First-tier Tribunal, the Upper Tribunal, the Administrative Court, university panels, governing body disciplinary committees and independent review panels. He is deeply committed to challenging discrimination against marginalised children and young people in the education system.

Current and recent cases include:

  • An ongoing appeal (permission granted) in the Upper Tribunal to provide ‘authoritative guidance’ regarding the First-tier Tribunal’s jurisdiction to consider compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty (‘PSED’) when determining whether substantive discrimination can be justified (sole counsel).
  • An ongoing appeal (permission granted) in the Upper Tribunal concerning the anticipatory and continuing nature of the reasonable adjustments duty under section 20 Equality Act 2010 in the context of online learning (sole counsel).
  • An ongoing appeal (permission granted) in the Upper Tribunal regarding the threshold for local authorities to undertake education, health and care (‘EHC’) needs assessments under section 36 Children and Families Act 2014 (sole counsel).
  • An ongoing judicial review challenging a local authority’s failure to undertake equalities monitoring and ensure non-discriminatory access to special educational provision (led by Nicola Braganza QC).
  • An ongoing County Court race discrimination claim concerning a school’s policing of a Black student’s hair (sole counsel).
  • Representing a student at a further education college in a successful urgent claim for judicial review challenging an unlawful permanent exclusion (sole counsel). 
  • Representing a disabled child in a successful urgent claim for judicial review challenging a local authority’s breaches of section 19 Education Act 1996 and section 42 Children and Families Act 2014 (sole counsel).
  • A complex and long-running extended powers EHCP appeal in the First-tier Tribunal, funded by Exceptional Case Funding, where the local authority had a) attempted to cease to maintain the EHCP b) failed to secure special educational provision for four years. Interlocutory hearings raised issues of mental capacity and the role of the Alternative Person. Secured a specialist placement and extensive amendments to the EHCP at the final hearing (sole counsel).

Ollie is a committee member of the Education Law Association (‘ELAS’) and on the steering committee of the School Inclusion Project (‘SIP’).

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Community Care Law

Ollie’s community care practice spans age assessments, asylum support, welfare benefits, and health and social care. He specialises in representing children and Deaf people, drawing upon his expertise in education law and his knowledge of British Sign Language (‘BSL’).

He is a co-convener of Garden Court’s community care team and acts in complex and urgent cases as sole and led junior. He frequently delivers training and writes about community care issues. He was a speaker at last year’s Legal Action Group annual community care law conference and delivered a presentation at Garden Court’s flagship Nationality and Borders Bill conference on the upcoming reforms to age assessments. His recent Legal Action magazine article with Tim Baldwin on Caldicott Guardians and equality and safeguarding issues in health and social care information management can be found here.

Current and recent cases include:

  • An ongoing appeal to the Upper Tribunal (permission granted) concerning whether a child with reactive attachment disorder suffers from a state of arrested development of the brain or alternatively incomplete physical development of the brain which may lead to severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning within the meaning of regulation 12(5) of the Social Security (Disability Living Allowance) Regulation 1991 (sole counsel).
  • A successful urgent claim for judicial review on behalf of a suicidal homeless teenager challenging a local authority’s failure to comply with their duties under section 20 Children Act 1989. Secured interim relief on the papers which was renewed following an oral hearing (sole counsel).
  • A successful urgent claim for judicial review to prevent a local authority’s imminent breach of its duties to accommodate a disabled child in care under section 22A Children Act 1989 (sole counsel).
  • A successful extended powers health and social care appeal in the First-tier Tribunal that secured improved health and social care provision for a Deaf child (sole counsel).
  • Representing a severely disabled man with impaired mental capacity in a high-profile challenge in the Court of Appeal to the adult hospitalisation rule for Disability Living Allowance (led by Amanda Weston QC with Desmond Rutledge). 
  • Representing Migrants Organise in a claim for judicial review that led to improved safeguards for prospective applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme with mental health conditions and/or impaired mental capacity (led by Amanda Weston QC with Bijan Hoshi).

Contact Ollie

Court of Protection

Ollie has a thriving Court of Protection practice. He represents P in complex health and welfare cases and is frequently instructed by the Official Solicitor. Ollie is committed to ensuring that P is fully able to participate in proceedings. Ollie is learning British Sign Language (‘BSL'), which is improving his understanding of the barriers faced by Deaf people. He is a volunteer litigation friend in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) for Migrants Organise and was formerly a trustee of the Elfrida Society, a small charity that supports individuals with learning disabilities.

Ollie is developing a specialism in urgent medical treatment cases due to his expertise in health and social care matters, including HIV/AIDS treatment (he was a contributing editor of Professor Scott Skinner-Thompson’s textbook, AIDS and the Law), vaccinations and end of life care. 

Current and recent cases concern:

  • Capacity to make decisions regarding special educational provision in an Education, Health and Care Plan (‘EHCP’).
  • Long-term residence for a young person whose supported living arrangements broke down following allegations of carer abuse.
  • Best interests decisions regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Best interests decisions regarding end of life care.
  • Best interests decisions where placements had repeatedly broken down due to allegations of P sexually abusing other residents.

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Mental Health Law

Ollie has a growing mental health law practice. He welcomes instructions in a broad range of mental health matters, including appeals to the First-tier Tribunal, applications for habeas corpus and applications to displace nearest relatives.

Due to his expertise in Court of Protection matters, he is well-placed to act in cases raising mental capacity issues. He has significant expertise in child and adolescent mental healthcare and draws upon his background in special educational needs and disability law to provide holistic and practical advice. 

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Notable Cases & News

All related news

Background

Ollie is a committee member of the Education Law Association and a committee member and former co-chair of Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL). He is a trustee of Southwark Law Centre.

Ollie trained at Public Law Project, with a secondment to Matrix Chambers, through a Justice First Fellowship funded by the Legal Education Foundation. While studying to be a barrister he set up RebLaw UK, the largest student-run public interest law conference in the country. Prior to that, he held research and teaching positions at the London School of Economics and Oxford University. He was also a legal fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a research assistant to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Professor Philip Alston.

Publications

Ollie regularly writes for Legal Action magazine. He contributed to many of Public Law Project’s briefings on Brexit-related legislation and has been published in several law journals, including the Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law and the European Human Rights Reports. 

Training and Seminars

Ollie is a former university lecturer and experienced in delivering training. He frequently speaks at Garden Court webinars and various legal conferences (including for Public Law Project and Legal Action Group) and  is happy to provide pro bono training to law firms and NGOs.

Awards

Peter Duffy Scholarship, Bar European Group (2019)
Conference Scholarship, Administrative Law Bar Association (2018)
Shelford Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2018)
Sir Geoffrey Nice Bursary, Lincoln’s Inn (2017)
Master of the Moots Scholarship, University of Law (2016)
Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2016)
Residential Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2016)
Human Rights Emerging Scholarship Prize, New York University School of Law (2015)
Kirkland & Ellis Scholarship, New York University School of Law (2014) 

Education

BPTC, University of Law
LLM (International Legal Studies), New York University School of Law
BA (Hons) Jurisprudence, St Hugh’s College, Oxford University 

Professional Membership

Administrative Law Bar Association (Equality and Diversity Committee)
Bar European Group
Education Law Association (Committee)
FreeBar
Liberty (former Policy Council member)
Human Rights Lawyers Association 
Young Legal Aid Lawyers (Committee member and former co-chair)

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