Slide background

Local Government Lawyer News

Slide background
Slide background
Slide background

  LATEST HEADLINES

April 03, 2020

Baker becomes President of Lawyers in Local Government following first virtual AGM

Quentin Baker has been appointed President of Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) following the organisation’s first ever virtual annual general meeting.
April 03, 2020

Tribunal stays information rights cases for 28 days

The First-Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber (Information Rights) has – with immediate effect – stayed for a period of 28 days all proceedings under section 48 of the Data Protection Act 1998, section 162 of the Data Protection Act 2018 and section 57 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
April 03, 2020

Institute of Licensing issues protocol for licence applications and hearings under Licensing Act 2003 during COVID-19 pandemic

The Institute of Licensing has published a Protocol designed to assist licensing authorities in complying with their obligations and duties under the Licensing Act 2003 during this emergency period.
Apr 03, 2020

Former employed barrister in Government Legal Department takes tenancy at Francis Taylor Building

Michael Brendan Brett, who previously practised as an employed barrister in the Government Legal Department, has joined Francis Taylor Building with immediate effect.
Apr 03, 2020

High Court judge quashes refusal by council of disabled facilities grant

Councils cannot treat disabled facilities grant (DFG) applications from council tenants differently to those from others, the High Court has ruled.
Apr 02, 2020

Government issues regulations giving local authorities flexibility on conduct of meetings, including remote attendance by members

The Government has issued the regulations that will give local authorities greater flexibility in the conduct of meetings, including allowing members to attend remotely, and for public and press access to those meetings.
Apr 02, 2020

Council and police shut pub that held lock in during lockdown

Ashfield District Council has used its powers working with Nottinghamshire Police to shut a pub under new rules introduced during the COVID-19 outbreak, after the licence holder held a lock in at her pub.
Apr 02, 2020

Social landlord loses appeal over whether it granted inter-generational tenancy

A housing association has lost an appeal over whether it granted an inter-generational tenancy to a resident.
Apr 02, 2020

Council wins appeal over tribunal ruling requiring it to issue caravan site licence

The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) acted irrationally and put a council in an impossible position when it ordered it to issue a caravan site licence, the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has decided.
Apr 02, 2020

Met Police hit with legal challenge over governance of safer schools officers

The Metropolitan Police face a judicial review over the governance of its safer schools officers and whether their presence could have disproportionately negative consequences for black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups.
Apr 02, 2020

Supreme Court rules on vicarious liability for data breach

The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that supermarket chain Morrisons was not liable for the actions of employee who published staff salary data.
Slide background
Apr 02, 2020

Birketts eyes national presence for social housing team with Hulley hire

Law firm Birketts has appointed Jonathan Hulley as a partner in its social housing team as part of a drive to create a national practice in the sector.
Apr 01, 2020

Families of disabled children threaten legal challenge over government limit on outdoor exercise

A pre-action protocol letter has been sent to the Government calling on it to reconsider the policy that all citizens are only permitted to leave the house for exercise once per day.
Apr 01, 2020

NICE amends Covid-19 critical care guideline after judicial review threat

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (‘NICE’) has changed the COVID-19 guideline for clinical care after being threatened with a judicial review challenge.
Apr 01, 2020

CIPFA issues warning over poor organisational controls and increased risk for councils of fraud during pandemic

More than two thirds (69%) of local government professionals believe poor organisational controls leave local authorities vulnerable to fraudsters, research by CIPFA has found.
Apr 01, 2020

Government issues guidance on how local authorities can use Care Act ‘easements’

The Department of Health & Social Care has published guidance setting out local authorities can use the new 'easements' under the Coronavirus Act 2020 that mean they no longer need to meet certain duties under the Care Act.
Apr 01, 2020

Cornerstone Barristers appoints Joint Heads of Chambers

Philip Coppel QC and Tom Cosgrove QC have been appointed as Joint Heads of Chambers at Cornerstone Barristers with effect from 1 April 2020.
Apr 01, 2020

Sharpe Pritchard names Mendelle as new Senior Partner

Sharpe Pritchard, the London-based firm of public and commercial law specialists, has appointed Justin Mendelle as its new senior partner.
Mar 31, 2020

Guidance issued on remote access to Court of Protection

The Vice-President of the Court of Protection has today (31 March) issued updated guidance on remote access to the court.
Mar 31, 2020

High Court says Black Country car cruising injunction should continue in force

An order prohibiting car cruising in the Black Country continues to fulfil the purposes for which it was granted, and appears to be operating satisfactorily, the High Court has said.
Mar 31, 2020

HMCTS issues listing priorities for civil courts

HM Courts and Tribunal Service has published listing priorities for civil courts, dividing cases between work that must be done and work that could be done.
Mar 31, 2020

Directors disqualified after abandoning care homes, diverting council funds

The directors of two care homes in the Midlands have been disqualified after they diverted council funds before abandoning elderly residents and staff, the Insolvency Services has revealed.
Mar 31, 2020

Council to appeal High Court ruling that stroke unit reconfiguration was lawful

Medway Council has lodged an appeal against a High Court decision which found that a joint committee of clinical commissioning groups had acted lawfully when dealing with health inequalities when they decided the locations of three hyper acute stroke units (HASUs) in Kent.
Mar 30, 2020

Divisional Court to consider application for suspension of ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy

The Divisional Court will this week (3 April) consider whether to suspend the Home Office’s ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) policy.
Mar 30, 2020

Network of priority courts launched for essential face-to-face hearings

The Ministry of Justice, HM Courts and Tribunals Service and the judiciary have created a network of 157 priority courts and tribunal buildings that will remain open for essential face-to-face hearings during the coronavirus pandemic to make sure the justice system continues to operate effectively.
Mar 30, 2020

Head of legal nets fresh employment hearing after tribunal member found to be asleep

A council head of legal secured a fresh Employment Tribunal hearing because a member of the original tribunal was asleep for part of the proceedings, it has emerged.
Mar 30, 2020

Leading licensing QC appointed associate fellow at University of Westminster

The University of Westminster’s Centre for Law, Society and Popular Culture has appointed Philip Kolvin QC as an Associate Fellow.
Mar 27, 2020

Housing association gains injunction against social gathering

Manchester housing association Mosscare St Vincent’s has been granted an urgent injunction against a tenant who continued to ignore government guidelines on social distancing by hosting parties for up to twenty people.
Mar 27, 2020

Court of Appeal remits possession case after housing association wins appeal despite breach of public sector equality duty

The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by a housing association in a case where it breached the public sector equality duty when seeking possession of a property.
Mar 27, 2020

All ongoing housing possession action to be suspended from today

The Master of the Rolls has decided that from today (27 March) the court service will suspend all ongoing housing possession action.
Mar 27, 2020

Public law specialist Broach moves to 39 Essex Chambers

Leading public law junior Steve Broach has joined 39 Essex Chambers with immediate effect.
Mar 27, 2020

Company wins High Court battle over business rates and subletting

A company was not liable for business rates on a building it does not wholly occupy, the High Court has found.
Mar 27, 2020

Secretary of State defeats challenge to refusal of permission for building described by inspector as "quite brilliant"

The High Court has rejected an appeal by a developer over a building described by a planning inspector as “a brilliant response to its context".
Mar 26, 2020

Coronavirus Act 2020 receives Royal Assent

The Coronavirus Act 2020, which contains a wide range of emergency measures as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, has been given Royal Assent.
Mar 26, 2020

Court of Appeal rules for council in case on eviction for rent arrears against backdrop of domestic violence

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal over whether it was not reasonable for the appellant to stay in a property from which she was evicted for rent arrears given that there was evidence she had been subjected to domestic violence.
Mar 26, 2020

Ombudsman suspends complaints enquiries of councils and care providers

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has suspended all casework activity that demands information from, or action by, local authorities and care providers, in light of the current coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 26, 2020

High Court judge highlights clash between diplomatic immunity and child protection

A Family Court case has highlighted a “virtually insoluble dilemma” between diplomatic immunity and child protection, leading Mr Justice Mostyn to call for an amendment to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Mar 25, 2020

Judge gives guidance on application to Court of Appeal for interim relief

Lord Justice Hickinbottom has given guidance on making applications to the Court of Appeal for interim relief, in a housing case he declined to conclude because it had become academic.
Mar 25, 2020

Upper Tribunal rules on burden of proof when statutory defence to HMO offence is pleaded

The Upper Tribunal has ruled on where the burden of proof lies when it is said that the manager of a house in multiple occupation had a reasonable excuse for conduct which, but for that defence, would amount to a relevant housing offence under section 249A, Housing Act 2004.
Mar 25, 2020

Upper Tribunal cuts £572k civil penalties in housing case by 70%

The Upper Tribunal has allowed in part an appeal over civil penalties of £236,000 imposed on each of two defendants for housing offences, reducing the total amount to be paid to £174,000.
Mar 25, 2020

Barristers positive about experience of appearing in one of first remote substantive hearings in Planning Court

Barristers who took part in one of the first remote substantive hearings in the Planning Court have said the experience demonstrates that the courts should remain open for business during the coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 25, 2020

Landlord fails in Upper Tribunal appeal over requirement to attend training on tenancy management

The Upper Tribunal has rejected an appeal by a landlord over the imposition of a condition on his licence requiring him to attend training on how to manage tenancies.
Mar 25, 2020

CaseLines releases electronic bundles tool in bid to help courts maintain service

In response to courts moving online during the COVID-19 crisis, CaseLines has released a tool, eBridge, that allows them to move to electronic bundles for hearings using existing filing protocols.
Mar 25, 2020

Family Group at 42 Bedford Row boosted by Berthelsen arrival

Eleonore Berthelsen has joined the Family Group at 42 Bedford Row from Atlantic Chambers in Liverpool.
Mar 25, 2020

House of Commons Library issues briefing paper on provisions in Coronavirus Bill on local authority meetings

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on provisions in the Coronavirus Bill on local authority meetings.
Mar 24, 2020

Government issues procurement policy note on paying suppliers during coronavirus outbreak

The Cabinet Office has issued a procurement policy note (PPN) setting out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during and after the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mar 24, 2020

Vice-President of Court of Protection issues further guidance for judges and practitioners on hearings

No hearings in the Court of Protection which require people to attend are to take place unless there is a genuine urgency and it is not possible to conduct a remote hearing, the Court’s Vice-President has said.
Mar 24, 2020

Bar Council gives updated guidance for barristers on attending hearings

The Bar Council has told barristers that the Prime Minister’s message yesterday evening was “clear that everyone must stay at home to inhibit all contact and stall the spread of Covid-19” and that this affects all court hearings.
Mar 24, 2020

Government to protect commercial tenants from eviction if they miss rent payments over coronavirus outbreak

Commercial tenants who miss a payment in the next three months because of the coronavirus outbreak will be protected from eviction, the government has announced.
Mar 24, 2020

Council officers responsible for enforcing regulations requiring businesses to close during lockdown

Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will be able to issue prohibition notices to enforce regulations requiring non-essential businesses and premises to close during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mar 24, 2020

LGSS Law sees £1.425m equity capital injection from three shareholding authorities

The company balance sheet at social enterprise law firm LGSS Law is being restructured with an injection of £1.425m of equity capital, shared equally between its three shareholding authorities, Northamptonshire County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and Central Bedfordshire Council. A report…
Mar 24, 2020

Leading claimant housing barrister joins Garden Court

Nick Bano, a barrister specialising in representing homeless people, residential occupiers, and destitute and migrant households in both public law and private law disputes, has joined Garden Court Chambers.
Mar 23, 2020

Virtual local authority meetings

Amendments to the Coronavirus Bill will rule out uncertainty over whether local authority meetings can be held online, writes Charles Holland.
Mar 23, 2020

Judiciary issues guidance as remote hearings to become the norm immediately in Family Court

it should be possible to continue substantially the full operation of the family justice system, albeit on a remote access basis, notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic, guidance produced by the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary has said.
Mar 23, 2020

Ministry of Justice clarifies those key workers seen as “essential to the running of the justice system”

The Ministry of Justice has shared a list of key workers considered “essential to the running of the justice system” during the coronavirus outbreak and therefore whose children will be prioritised for education provision, the Bar Council has revealed.
Mar 23, 2020

Landowner loses Upper Tribunal appeal over certificate of appropriate alternative development for site acquired for link road

The owner of a field that was compulsorily acquired to provide land for the construction of a link road has lost his appeal over the certificate of appropriate alternative development he was given.
Mar 23, 2020

Defendant jailed for five years after defrauding council of nearly £32k through Grenfell subletting claim

A man who claimed to be a Grenfell Tower resident who was in hospital recovering from surgery when he was actually in prison at the time, has been convicted of fraud and jailed.
Mar 23, 2020

London borough launches challenge to grant of planning permission by Secretary of State for 1,500-home scheme

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets last week launched a legal challenge to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s decision to grant planning permission for the Westferry Printworks site.
Mar 23, 2020

Judiciary issue protocol on conduct of remote hearings in civil justice

The judiciary have published a protocol on the conduct of remote hearings in civil justice in England and Wales.
Mar 23, 2020

LGA issues briefing on Coronavirus Bill, calls for temporary relaxation of FOI and GDPR requirements

The Local Government Association has called for additional powers to be given to local government as it published a briefing on the measures contained in the Coronavirus Bill.
Mar 20, 2020

Barristers call for changes to Coronavirus Bill to avoid wholesale removal of duties to provide adult social care

Barristers from 39 Essex Chambers, 11KBW and Monckton Chambers have set out proposed amendments to the Coronavirus Bill, warning that, as it is currently drafted, the legislation is likely to have a serious negative impact on adults with care and support needs and their carers.
Mar 20, 2020

Government publishes Coronavirus Bill

The government has published the Coronavirus Bill with provisions covering areas such as the emergency registration of social workers, the suspension of most local authority social care obligations, the closure of educational institutions and the postponement of elections.
Mar 20, 2020

ACAS issues guidance on home-working for employers and employees

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has set out the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees when working from home, in response to government advice for many workers to stay away from the office.
Mar 20, 2020

Government sets out list of ‘key workers’ to be prioritised for education provision

Only those administrative occupations in local and national government essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response, or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms-length bodies are among those considered 'key…
Mar 20, 2020

Government issues policy note and guidance on public procurement and responses to COVID-19

The Cabinet Office has issued a Procurement Policy Note (PPN) setting out information and associated guidance on the public procurement regulations and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mar 19, 2020

Family President issues national guidance for Family Court and High Court Family Division

The President of the Family Division has published national guidance on Covid-19 that should be followed with immediate effect by all levels of the Family Court and the High Court Family Division.
Mar 19, 2020

High Court gives green light to challenge over refusal by national park authority to pursue traffic regulation order

The High Court has recently granted Green Lanes Environmental Action Movement (“GLEAM”) permission to pursue a claim for judicial review against the Lake District National Park Authority over its refusal to pursue a traffic regulation order (“TRO”) to prohibit or reduce traffic from motorised…
Mar 19, 2020

Lord Chief Justice sets out default position for hearings in civil and family cases, issues outline guidance to judges

The default position now in all jurisdictions must be that hearings should be conducted with one, more than one or all participants attending remotely, the Lord Chief Justice has said in a message to judges in the civil and family courts about the impact of the coronavirus.
Mar 19, 2020

London Mayor concedes over planning permission for London hotel site, agrees to pay council £90k in costs

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has accepted he was wrong to grant planning permission for a west London hotel site and has agreed to pay the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea costs of £90,000.
Mar 19, 2020

Court of Appeal finds for council in dispute over false statement and social housing

A false statement given in support of an application for social housing can invalidate a tenancy even if it was not directly determinative of the decision to grant it, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Mar 19, 2020

Emergency legislation to prevent start of possession proceedings for three-month period

Emergency legislation will suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while the national emergency over Covid-19 is taking place, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced.
Mar 19, 2020

Employment Tribunal awards whistleblowing doctor £857,000

A doctor who lost his job after making whistleblowing disclosures has been awarded more than £857,000 by an Employment Tribunal.
Mar 19, 2020

Office for Students successfully defends first judicial review action

The High Court has dismissed the first judicial review to be brought against the Office for Students (OfS).
Mar 18, 2020

Pubs and restaurants to be allowed to serve takeaways as part of coronavirus response

The Communities Secretary has confirmed that planning regulations will temporarily be relaxed to allow all pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways of hot food and drinks, as part of plans to help the hospitality industry during the coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 18, 2020

Housing associations body says no one should be evicted because of coronavirus

No one should lose their home because of coronavirus, the National Housing Federation has said.
Mar 18, 2020

Councils welcome measures to protect renters from eviction during coronavirus outbreak

The Local Government Association has welcomed a government commitment to bring forward measures protecting tenants from eviction amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 18, 2020

Mother sends letter before action to government over coronavirus and strategy for needs of younger disabled people, lack of testing of health and social care workers

Claimant law firm Simpson Millar has sent a letter before action on behalf of the mother of a child with a number of complex health and learning disabilities calling on the UK government to confirm its strategy for “meeting the needs of younger disabled people (children and working age adults) in…
Mar 18, 2020

LLG and ADSO write to Secretary of State on impact of Covid-19 on governance

Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) and the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) have written to the Local Government Secretary on the impact of Covid-19 on governance issues.
Mar 18, 2020

Supreme Court gives NHS trust permission to appeal voluntary overtime and holiday pay ruling

The Supreme Court has given the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust permission to appeal from the Court of Appeal’s ruling that voluntary overtime needed to be included in the calculation of holiday pay for its workers.
Mar 18, 2020

High Court to hear dispute between leisure trust and regional park authority over management fee

The High Court is due tomorrow (19 March) to hear an action brought by Lee Valley Leisure Trust as part of a bitter dispute with the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.
Mar 18, 2020

Browne Jacobson makes record 22 promotions to senior associate

Law firm Browne Jacobson has promoted 22 lawyers across its five offices to senior associate with effect from 1 May 2020.
Mar 17, 2020

Town clerk fined for blocking records with intent to prevent disclosure after FOI request

A town clerk has been fined £400 and ordered to pay costs of £1,493 after being prosecuted by the Information Commissioner’s Office for intentionally blocking records with the intent to prevent disclosure.
Mar 17, 2020

Government consults on how to stop councils using Public Works Loan Board loans for commercial property investment

The government has launched a consultation this month on the development of a targeted intervention designed to stop ‘debt for yield’ activity where local authorities use low-cost loans from the Public Loans Works Board (PWLB) to buy investment property primarily for rental income.
Mar 17, 2020

Lord Chief Justice calls for more remote hearings, says it is vital administration of justice does not grind to a halt

There is an urgent need to increase the use of telephone and video technology immediately to hold remote hearings where possible, the Lord Chief Justice has said, saying it is “of vital importance that the administration of justice does not grind to a halt”.
Mar 17, 2020

Ofsted suspends all routine inspections

Ofsted has temporarily suspended all routine inspections of schools, further education, early years and social care providers as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 17, 2020

Law Commissions call for single, consistent legislative framework for elections

Electoral legislation that originates from the Victorian era is “out-dated, confusing and no longer fit for purpose”, the Law Commissions of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission have said in a report calling for the adoption of a single, consistent legislative framework.
Mar 17, 2020

Council defends challenge over provision of secure accommodation for children at risk of being detained by police

Judges have dismissed a legal challenge over an alleged systemic failure by a London council to provide adequate secure accommodation for children at risk of being detained in police cells in circumstances where normal local authority accommodation would be unsuitable to meet the risks they pose to…
Mar 17, 2020

Government to consider allowing virtual committee meetings on temporary basis: Jenrick

The government is to consider bringing forward legislation to legislation to allow council committee meetings to be held virtually for a temporary period during the coronavirus outbreak, the Local Government Secretary has said.
Mar 17, 2020

Care watchdog in immediate cessation of routine inspections in response to coronavirus

The Care Quality Commission has stopped routine inspections as it adapts its regulatory approach in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 16, 2020

Council suspends debt-related court action against residents during coronavirus pandemic

Sandwell Council is to suspend council debt-related court action against residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mar 16, 2020

Court of Appeal upholds no order for costs decision in housing case where claimant withdrew proceedings after being given new accommodation

A judge was entitled to conclude that the appropriate course was to make no order for costs in a housing case where legal proceedings were withdrawn because the claimant had obtained all the relief she was seeking, the Court of Appeal has found.
Mar 16, 2020

Judge orders dialysis treatment where refusal by 34-year-old man was manifestation of his mental disorder

A 34-year-old man’s refusal of dialysis was a manifestation of his mental disorder and so he should be ordered to undergo treatment at times when he does not consent to it, a Court of Protection judge has found.
Mar 16, 2020

Three councils in Staffordshire set up shared legal service

Lichfield District Council, South Staffordshire Council and Tamworth Borough Council are to create a shared legal service.
Mar 16, 2020

Mother launches judicial review challenge over decision not to close schools in Northern Ireland over coronavirus outbreak

Lawyers acting for a mother with a child at primary school in County Armagh have said they intend to apply for emergency judicial review of the decision not to close schools across Northern Ireland.
Mar 13, 2020

Councils and Electoral Commission welcome government decision to put May 2020 elections back by one year

The government has decided to postpone the 7 May 2020 local and mayoral elections in England for one year.
Mar 13, 2020

LLG and ADSO issue statement on local authority decision-making and democratic process in light of coronavirus

Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) and the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) have issued a joint statement on local authority decision-making and the democratic process in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 13, 2020

HMCTS issues guidance for courts and tribunals users during coronavirus outbreak

HM Courts and Tribunals Service has today (13 March) issued guidance for all court and tribunal users during the coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 13, 2020

Electoral Commission recommends delaying 7 May polls until autumn

The Electoral Commission has written to the government warning of “real risks to the successful delivery of the scheduled 7 May 2020 elections”, in light of the current and emerging situation around Covid-19 in the UK.
Mar 13, 2020

Equality watchdog demands suspension of use of automated facial recognition and predictive algorithms in policing

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has called for the suspension of the use of automated facial recognition (AFR) and predictive algorithms in policing in England and Wales, “until their impact has been independently scrutinised and laws are improved”.
Mar 12, 2020

Law firm advises district council in new leisure deal

Blake Morgan has supported Chiltern District Council in the completion of a leisure management procurement deal for three leisure centres worth nearly £36m.
Mar 12, 2020

Borough council defeats High Court challenge over permission for 200 new homes less than 100 metres from waste tip

A borough council has defeated a judicial review challenge over its decision to allow up to 200 new homes on farmland less than 100 metres from a waste tip.
Slide background