Public Law

Steel & Shamash focus on many aspects of the needs of vulnerable members of society, and our Public Law team has a cross-practice capability to assist any department of the firm as the need arises, whatever the public law or human rights issue.

Over the years we have coordinated judicial review challenges in the following areas:

  • Criminal law
  • Family law
  • Community care law
  • Housing law
  • Mental health law

Most recently we have been instructed in the judicial review of Barnet L.B.C. in respect of their outsourcing of £1billion worth of local authority services to Capita PLC.

The main focus is on actions against local authorities, and the most common issues that arise concern 'needs assessments' and 'service provision'.  We have particular experience in representing children and vulnerable adults, (often with uncertain immigration status) and a particular focus of our recent work has been in age assessments involving unaccompanied children seeking asylum.  We also specialise in working with HIV+ clients, and we work with several charities in this context.

We are recommended by Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 legal directories

(Steel and Shamash) advises and represents vulnerable and marginalised members of society, including refugees, individuals who are HIV-positive, individuals with mental health problems, and care leavers. (Chambers and Partners 2014 Administrative and Public Law: Traditional Claimant) 'They never take bad points and they really know the law' (Chambers and Partners 2014)  This ‘outstanding dedicated firm’ is recognised for its public law work for vulnerable adults and children in challenges against local authorities, NHS trusts and other public bodies.  Sources attest that it is ‘a very compassionate, passionate and dedicated team providing valuable services’ (Chambers and Partners 2013) Steel & Shamash has a strong reputation for its Court of Protection work and its representation of vulnerable individuals. Janice Kaufman and Anna O’Connell are recommended (The Legal 500 2014 London: Public Sector: Civil Liberties and human rights) Steel and Shamash is ‘very strong in this area’…Anna O’Connell specialises in cases involving issues of support for children and care leavers, asylum seekers and immigrants (The Legal 500 2013)

Important public law decisions successfully brought by the firm include:-

  • R (Sessay) v South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (2011) EWHC 2617 (QB)
  • R (PM) v Hertfordshire CC [2010] EWHC 2056 (Admin)
  • R (C) v London Borough of Lambeth [2008] EWHC 1230 (Admin)
  • R (MM) v London Borough of Lewisham [2009] EWHC 416 (Admin)
  • R (Mendes & Anr) v Southwark London Borough Council [2009] WLR (D) 108
  • M v East London NHS Foundation Trust CO/1065/2009
  • R (NA) v LB CROYDON [2009] EWHC 2357 (Admin)

Our Public Law Team are:

Miss Anna O'Connell Email: anna.o'connell@steelandshamash.co.uk

Mr Andrew Bowmer Email: andrew.bowmer@steelandshamash.co.uk

Mr Chris Callender Email: chris.callender@steelandshamash.co.uk

Ms Laura Goulter Email: laura.goulter@steelandshamash.co.uk