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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

“Ollie is my go-to education law specialist, providing me with reliable and considered advice for some of the more complex areas of this practice area, and often going the extra mile to facilitate access to justice by collaborating on applications for exceptional case funding.”

Linda Ewen, Solicitor, GT Stewart

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 public law barrister with particular expertise in education, community care, mental capacity, mental health and retained EU law issues. Having been a lawyer at Public Law Project, he has an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of judicial review litigation.

Administrative and Public Law

Overview

Ollie acts for individuals and NGOs in judicial review claims against a range of public bodies including local authorities and central government departments. He has particular expertise in claims concerning equality law and/or retained EU law. He is currently writing a chapter on retained EU law for a new Legal Action Group textbook on discrimination law for public lawyers.

Many of Ollie’s cases are high profile and have led to systemic change. For example, he was recently junior counsel for Here for Good (led by Charlotte Kilroy QC and Hollie Higgins of Blackstone Chambers) in a successful judicial review of the Home Office’s COVID-19 guidance for the EU Settlement Scheme.

Ollie has a detailed knowledge of all aspects of judicial review procedure having previously worked as a lawyer at Public Law Project. He is happy to assist from the earliest stages of a potential claim. He provides practical advice on securing funding, costs protection, evidence-gathering and working collaboratively with civil society groups.

Notable Cases

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. 

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Education Law

Ollie has a busy education law practice. He frequently appears in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal in Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) appeals and disability discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010. He is currently instructed in a number of appeals to the Upper Tribunal on complex questions of equality law.

Ollie acts in education-related judicial review proceedings, including urgent cases, and has particular expertise in challenging discriminatory treatment of racialised and SEND children including unlawful school exclusions.

Ollie is a former university lecturer and draws upon this experience when representing students in academic appeals and complaints before internal university panels and onward complaints to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).  

Ollie is actively engaged in campaigning and policy work to address the discriminatory treatment of marginalised children in the education system. He is on the steering committee of the School Inclusion Project (SIP) and is a committee member of the Education Law Association.

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Community Care Law

Ollie is developing a community care practice spanning asylum support, children’s rights and adult social care. He is experienced in acting in ‘National Trial’ cases in the SEND Tribunal, which concern the provision of health and social care to children with EHCPs. He is also a volunteer duty scheme advocate with the Asylum Support Appeals Project (ASAP).

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Court of Protection

Ollie has a growing Court of Protection practice. He is frequently instructed by the Official Solicitor, litigation friends and local authorities in a broad range of health and welfare matters.  

Ollie’s expertise in mental capacity law informs his wider public law practice. He is currently instructed as junior counsel (led by Amanda Weston QC and Desmond Rutledge) before the Court of Appeal in MOC v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a challenge to the ‘adult hospital’ rule for Disability Living Allowance as it applies to an adult with severe learning disabilities. He also represented Migrants Organise (led by Amanda Weston QC and Bijan Hoshi) in a systemic judicial review challenging the inadequacy of the mental capacity policy for the EU Settlement Scheme, which led to the Home Office introducing specific safeguards.   

Outside of practice, Ollie is a volunteer litigation friend in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) through Migrants Organise’s Migrant Mental Capacity Advocacy project. He is also a trustee of The Elfrida Society, a charity that provides holistic support to people with learning disabilities.

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Mental Health Law

Ollie has a background in representing individuals with serious mental health issues. He welcomes instructions in any area of mental health law.

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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 and The Elfrida Society, a charity that supports individuals with learning disabilities.

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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