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  LATEST HEADLINES

December 04, 2020

MoJ issues call for competition for £2.5m housing possession mediation services pilot

The Ministry of Justice is to use an accelerated procedure for the procurement of a £2.5m, 6.5-month possession mediation services pilot.
December 04, 2020

Ombudsman criticises council after cancellation of transport sees teenager with autism miss start of term

A council has agreed to pay more than £2,400 in compensation after an investigation from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman into the termination of a child’s transport to school.
December 03, 2020

Council legal team wins LawWorks Pro Bono Award

The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham In House Legal Team has won the ‘Best Contribution by an In-house Team or an In-house Solicitor’ at the LawWorks Pro Bono Awards 2020.
Dec 03, 2020

When must an unsuccessful litigant accept "No" for an answer? Court of Appeal hands down latest ruling in long-running planning battle

A planning dispute that has been the subject of nine court hearings must be brought to an end, the Court of Appeal has said.
Dec 03, 2020

High Court judge warns councils over procedural failings in obtaining injunctions on occupation of land by 'persons unknown'

A High Court judge has questioned “disturbing discoveries” about how councils have used injunctions issued to prevent occupation of land by ‘persons unknown’.
Dec 03, 2020

Court of Appeal finds for housing association over grounds maintenance service charge

A social landlord was entitled to impose an extra charge on residents for grounds maintenance in a case affecting some 3,400 tenancy agreements, the Court Of Appeal has ruled.
Dec 03, 2020

Court of Appeal upholds adoption after rare hearing of substantive application for revocation

The Court of Appeal has turned down a rare case in which heard an application by a mother for the revocation of adoption orders for her three children.
Dec 03, 2020

Council defends High Court challenge over decentralised model of specialist educational support

The London Borough of Redbridge was entitled to operate a decentralised system of specialist support under which teaching assistants are employed directly by schools, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Dec 02, 2020

Local authority legal team shortlisted in two categories for LawWorks pro bono awards

The London Borough of Barking & Dagenham is in the running for two awards in the LawWorks Pro Bono Awards 2020.
Dec 02, 2020

Children’s Commissioner for England hits out at number of extremely vulnerable children in unregulated settings

The Children’s Commissioner for England has expressed concern at evidence of a growing number of children who are locked up but who do not appear in any official statistics and who are not living in places designed to hold children securely.
Dec 02, 2020

Ministry of Justice consults on reforms to arrangements for obtaining permission to appeal from Upper Tribunal to Court of Appeal

The Ministry of Justice is seeking views on proposals for reforms to arrangements for obtaining permission to appeal from the Upper Tribunal to the Court of Appeal and arrangements for second appeals to the Court of Session.
Dec 02, 2020

MoJ to open three more ‘Nightingale’ courtrooms handling family cases at Westminster HQ

The Ministry of Justice is to open three additional ‘Nightingale' courtrooms at its headquarters that will handle family cases until summer 2021.
Dec 02, 2020

Court of Appeal urges consideration of rule changes to procedure for judicial review claims after dismissing challenge to ‘lockdown’ regulations

The Court of Appeal has expressed concern at the trend towards the “rolling” approach to judicial review and also “excessive prolixity and complexity” of grounds of challenge, after rejecting a businessman’s appeal over the ‘lockdown’ regulations made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dec 01, 2020

Council sends pre-action protocol letter after being placed in Tier 3

A district council is to bring a judicial review challenge over the Government's decision to put it into Tier 3 after the current lockdown restrictions end.
Dec 01, 2020

Charity hails amendment that means in-person contact to facilitate kinship care not prohibited by lockdown restrictions

The Family Rights Group, which last month sent a pre-action letter to the Department of Health and Social Care over the lack in lockdown restrictions of an exemption for children to meet potential kinship carers, has welcomed changes to new Covid regulations that come into force tomorrow (2…
Dec 01, 2020

Family President introduces requirement for court to notify Ofsted of unregistered placements where inherent jurisdiction used to authorise deprivation of liberty of child

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has amended the practice guidance he issued in November 2019 explaining the registration and regulation structure applicable in England and, separately, in Wales for residential care facilities for children and young people.
Dec 01, 2020

High Court gives permission for legal challenge to decision to close hospital A&E department temporarily as part of plans for Covid-safe “Green Site”

A High Court judge has given permission for a legal challenge over a decision to close Grantham and District Hospital’s A&E department and replace it with an urgent care centre until at least 31 March 2021.
Dec 01, 2020

Government issues regulations for new enforcement notices local authorities can issue in bid to reduce public health risk of Covid-19

The Government has published the regulations for three new notices local authorities in England will be able issue to reduce the public health risk posed by the coronavirus.
Nov 30, 2020

Campaign group crowd funds judicial review challenge of Stonehenge dual carriageway plan

A group in opposition to the government's recently approved plan to build a dual carriageway beneath the Stonehenge World Heritage Site has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund a judicial review of the decision.
Nov 30, 2020

Court of Appeal highlights need for early legal advice where adoption placements near point of breakdown

The first reported occasion on which the courts have had to consider whether prospective adopters gave notice of their wish to return the child highlights the need for early legal advice, the Court of Appeal has said.
Nov 30, 2020

Court to hear legal challenge to planning definition of Gypsies and Travellers in December

A court will hear a legal challenge on 10 and 11 December over the lawfulness of the government’s planning definition of Gypsies and Travellers, it has been reported.
Nov 30, 2020

Council defeats High Court personal injury claim brought by cyclist who swerved on to wrong side at bend in road

A High Court judge has rejected a claim brought by a cyclist against a highways authority for personal injuries and loss suffered as a result of an accident on a bend in the road.
Nov 30, 2020

Cafcass to prioritise children most in need in South Yorkshire and Humber as caseloads soar in pandemic

Cafcass has made the decision to allocate only the highest priority work in South Yorkshire and Humber, amid concerns at a high number of open active cases, finite staffing capacity and staff absence relating to Covid-19.
Nov 27, 2020

Council wins appeal over award of damages to woman hit by cricket ball in park

The London Borough of Wandsworth has won an appeal over an order requiring it to pay nearly £35,000 in damages and costs to a woman seriously injured by a cricket ball in Battersea park.
Nov 27, 2020

Ombudsman finds county council failed to meet needs of man with dementia, leaving him to pay for some of his own care

Hampshire County Council has been criticised by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman after it failed to meet an elderly man’s needs when his finances ran short.
Nov 26, 2020

Council defeats High Court claim from waste company over alleged unlawful state aid

The High Court has thrown out a claim by a recycling company that Durham County Council priced it out of business through unlawful state aid.
Nov 26, 2020

Ombudsman criticises council after telling family of woman with dementia to change care home when her money ran out

Brighton and Hove City Council told a woman's family she would have to move to a cheaper care home when her money ran out, without assessing whether moving would harm her, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
Nov 26, 2020

Company cannot bring £8m claim over 2006 compulsory purchase, Upper Tribunal rules

A company has lost an attempt to reopen a 14-year-old case involving compulsory purchase by Lancaster City Council.
Nov 26, 2020

Councillor threatens defamation action in aftermath of confidential briefing on COVID-19 local impact

Two councillors at King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council are embroiled in a dispute that has led to the threat of a defamation action.
Nov 26, 2020

Planning Court judge rejects claim report misled committee members

An officer’s report to a planning committee did not mislead members when it failed to mention that Mid Sussex District Council could no longer require a local landowner to sell it a site, the High Court has said.
Nov 26, 2020

Judge issues ruling on deprivation of liberty for boy with behavioural problems to cover move to new residential school

Mrs Justice Knowles has issued a short judgment explaining how she came to agree a deprivation of liberty order against a 14-year-old boy with behavioural problems who was to be moved to a residential school.
Nov 26, 2020

High Court rejects challenge to decision homeless man was not in priority need

Watford Borough Council has won a High Court case over its actions concerning a homeless man but the judge dismissed the local authority's submissions questioning the court’s jurisdiction to deal with the appeal.
Nov 26, 2020

Browne Jacobson advises Homes England on largest West Midlands regeneration project agreement

Law firm Browne Jacobson has advised Homes England on its agreement, in partnership with Walsall Council, with Henry Boot PLC for the largest regeneration project in the West Midlands, Phoenix 10.
Nov 25, 2020

Court of Appeal quashes “legally flawed” decision by review officer that applicant was not in settled accommodation in period after earlier finding of intentional homelessness

The Court of Appeal has found a review officer’s decision – that a homelessness applicant had not been in settled accommodation following an earlier finding of intentional homelessness – to be “legally flawed”.
Nov 25, 2020

Failure to comply with planning enforcement notice sees landlord ordered to pay £260k

A landlord who pleaded guilty to two offences of failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice has been handed a confiscation order of nearly £260,000.
Nov 25, 2020

Court of Appeal refuses permission to appeal in long-running battle over £600m procurement of incinerator

The Court of Appeal has refused Community R4C (CR4C) permission to appeal the High Court’s dismissal of its claim against Gloucestershire County Council over the £600m+ procurement of an energy from waste plant.
Nov 25, 2020

Welsh Government to consult on changes to how alleged misconduct by senior officers in local government is tackled

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on changes to how alleged misconduct of senior officers working in local authorities in Wales is dealt with.
Nov 25, 2020

University to procure five-supplier, £2m legal services panel

The University of Lincoln is to procure an expanded panel of advisers for legal services worth an estimated £2m over five years.
Nov 25, 2020

Council to consider plan to delete Director for Governance and Regulatory Services post

Melton Borough Council will today (25 November) consider a proposal to delete its Director for Governance and Regulatory Services role.
Nov 24, 2020

Court of Appeal rules Education Secretary acted unlawfully in failing to consult Children's Commissioner and others before relaxing safeguards for children in care during pandemic

The Education Secretary acted unlawfully by failing to consult the Children's Commissioner for England and other bodies representing the rights of children in care before introducing regulations that made a range of temporary amendments to ten statutory instruments governing the children's social…
Nov 24, 2020

Judge issues second ruling sharply criticising lack of suitable regulated placement for vulnerable 16-year-old woman with complex needs

A High Court judge has sent a second judgment in less than a month – this time “more in exasperated hope than expectation” – to the Children’s Commissioner for England, the Secretary of State for Education, the Minister for Children and others over the lack of regulated accommodation for vulnerable…
Nov 24, 2020

Administrative Court dismisses suggestion LGPS ‘exit credits’ claim was brought out of time

A judge in the Administrative Court has rejected arguments that claims in relation to Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) ‘exit credits’ was brought out of time.
Nov 24, 2020

Law Commission says acceptance of majority of its recommendations by Welsh Government will see "dramatic simplification" of planning law

The Law Commission has hailed the Welsh Government’s acceptance of the majority of its proposed reforms to planning laws in Wales.
Nov 23, 2020

Sharpe Pritchard promotes projects and procurement specialist to partner

Public law firm Sharpe Pritchard has appointed a projects and procurement specialist as a partner in the public law firm’s latest round of appointments.
Nov 23, 2020

Cafcass warns it is close to triggering prioritisation protocol after case rise in South Yorkshire and Humberside

Cafcass has warned that, following a rise in open active cases, it is close to triggering the use of its prioritisation protocol in the region that includes South Yorkshire and Humberside.
Nov 23, 2020

LLG and ALACE issue judicial review proceedings over Exit Payment Cap Regulations

LLG (Lawyers in Local Government) and ALACE (the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers) have formally launched judicial review proceedings in a bid to quash the Exit Payment Cap Regulations.
Nov 23, 2020

Coram Chambers names public law barristers as joint heads of chambers

Coram Chambers has appointed Mark Twomey QC and Alison Easton as its new Joint Heads of Chambers.
Nov 23, 2020

42 Bedford Row bolsters public law children and housing teams

42 Bedford Row has bolstered its public law children and housing teams with the arrival of two barristers.
Nov 23, 2020

North West council fined £300k after child fell three metres through railings

Cheshire West and Chester Council was last month fined £300,000 after a young child fell almost three metres to the floor from a gap in railings, sustaining serious head injuries.
Nov 20, 2020

District council forced to go to High Court to deal with planning permission errors

South Cambridgeshire District Council is to commence proceedings in the High Court after discovering two planning permission errors.
Nov 20, 2020

Regulator of health and care professions to procure £5.9m legal services panel

The Health and Care Professions Council has given notice of its intention to procure a three-lot legal services panel worth an estimated £5.9m.
Nov 19, 2020

Department store hit with £17k penalty notices after staying open in breach of COVID-19 regulations

Middlesbrough Council has hit a department store in the town with fixed penalty notices totalling £17,000 after it failed to close as required under COVID-19 regulations.
Nov 19, 2020

District council asked to reconsider how it allocates housing following Ombudsman investigation

East Lindsey District Council has been asked to review its housing allocations policy to ensure it meets its equality duties, following an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Nov 19, 2020

Welsh Government hails passing in Senedd of Bill “to revolutionise local government and democracy”

The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill – containing measures affecting elections, democracy, performance and governance – has been passed in the Senedd.
Nov 19, 2020

Court of Appeal rules for council in dispute over single offer of accommodation

The London Borough of Bromley was entitled to decide it had discharged its duty to house a woman after she refused a single offer of accommodation, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Nov 19, 2020

Financially-troubled Croydon to ask LGA to investigate senior management actions

Senior managers at the London Borough of Croydon face investigation and potential disciplinary action as the council tries to extricate itself from a financial crisis.
Nov 19, 2020

Court of Appeal agrees to hear challenge to finding of intentional homelessness after eviction from ‘move on’ accommodation

The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal in a case concerning eviction from ‘move on’ accommodation.
Nov 19, 2020

Judge finds £10.5m claim against council over refusal to allocate housing "totally without merit"

A case in which a man was at one point awarded compensation of £10.5m from a council for failing to house him has been thrown out as “totally without merit” by the High Court, with a civil restraint order imposed to prevent further litigation.
Nov 19, 2020

Developer loses Planning Court battle over GPDO and unlawful conversion

A developer must pay costs in a case where it claimed the General Permitted Development Order applied even though an unlawful conversion was involved.
Nov 18, 2020

Spending watchdog hits out at lack of transparency and inadequate documentation in procurement during pandemic

The National Audit Office (NAO) has criticised a lack of transparency and adequate documentation of some key decisions, “such as why particular suppliers were chosen or how government identified and managed potential conflicts of interest”, in the awarding of some contracts while government was…
Nov 18, 2020

South West local authority to procure £8m legal services framework

Cornwall Council has launched the procurement of a legal services framework worth an estimated £8m.
Nov 18, 2020

Top family judge calls for renewed focus on wellbeing amid reports of high level of exhaustion in judiciary, professions

The President of the Family Division has called for a redoubling of the focus on wellbeing, warning that “new-found technological facilities can easily go to increase the burden of work, and consequent stress, rather than reduce it”.
Nov 17, 2020

Campaign group vows to appeal after Divisional Court dismisses legal challenge over extensions to permitted development rights

The Divisional Court has rejected a legal challenge over Government changes to permitted development rights that came into force in August this year.