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  LATEST HEADLINES

January 20, 2021

Boating company wins permission for judicial review over decision not to offer interim concession contract

A High Court judge has granted a company permission to bring judicial review proceedings in relation to a decision by The Royal Parks Limited (TRP) not to grant it an extension to a concession contract for the operation of boating facilities in Hyde Park, on the Serpentine and in Greenwich Park.
January 20, 2021

Taxi drivers win High Court challenge over Streetspace plan

London’s taxi trade has hailed High Court rulings in which it won on four out of five grounds under which it challenged Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Streetspace plan.
January 20, 2021

Council not entitled to refuse to assess needs of Vietnamese woman on basis of preliminary age assessment by different authority, judge finds

A London borough was not entitled to refuse to assess the needs of young Vietnamese woman on the basis of a preliminary assessment of age carried out by another council, a Deputy High Court judge has ruled.
Jan 20, 2021

Former councillor at London borough jailed for electoral offences

A former councillor at the London Borough of Redbridge has been jailed for electoral offences and banned from holding elected office for five years.
Jan 19, 2021

Official Solicitor wins appeal over ability of mother and step-father of autistic man to leave homes to provide care during first lockdown

The Official Solicitor has won an appeal on behalf of a 30-year-old with autism and communication difficulties over whether his mother and step-father had a reasonable excuse during the first national lockdown to leave their homes to provide him with care.
Jan 19, 2021

Law firm teams up with CommercialGov to deliver governance for commercial activity masterclass for LGA

Sharpe Pritchard is working with CommercialGov to provide a commercial governance masterclass for the Local Government Association.
Jan 19, 2021

Court and tribunal buildings are safe, insists acting chief executive of HMCTS

Buildings operated by HM Courts and Tribunals Service are safe for those that need to use them, the organisation's acting chief executive has insisted.
Jan 19, 2021

Legally-qualified chief executive to step down after 17 years at helm of London borough

One of the longest-serving legally-qualified chief executives in local government is to step down from his role at a London borough.
Jan 19, 2021

Council pays £8k+ after failing to protect children from older brother

Three young children were left without any protection from their violent older brother after Somerset County Council failed to help their family, an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
Jan 18, 2021

Senior judges issue guidance on wearing masks and face coverings in courts

The Senior Presiding Judge, Lady Justice Thirlwall, and the Deputy Senior Presiding Judge, Lord Justice Haddon-Cave, have issued new guidance on the wearing of masks and face coverings in courts.
Jan 18, 2021

Family Division judge sets out future lessons for non-notification cases after dismissing application by local authority

A High Court judge has set out lessons for the future in non-notification cases, after refusing to endorse a local authority’s decision not to disclose the existence of a 10-month-old boy to his father.
Jan 18, 2021

Judge dismisses application for interim relief for homeless asylum seeker after breach of duty of candour

A Deputy High Court judge has dismissed an application for interim relief in the form of suitable accommodation submitted on behalf of a street homeless former asylum seeker, both on the merits and because of the claimant’s breach of the duty of candour.
Jan 18, 2021

Public Procurement Review Service received 123 complaints in 12 months to end September 2020

The Public Procurement Review Service received 123 complaints from businesses over the tendering of contracts in the year to 30 September 2020, the Cabinet Office has revealed in response to a freedom of information request.
Jan 15, 2021

Government launches independent review of children’s social care

The Government has launched an independent review of children's social care to “radically reform the system” and address poor outcomes for children in care.
Jan 15, 2021

Law Society calls for two-week pause of non-custodial Crown and Magistrates court work

The Law Society has called for urgent action including a possible two-week pause of non-custodial Crown and magistrates’ court work “amid escalating safety concerns”.
Jan 15, 2021

May 2021 elections still on but situation will be kept under review: Minister

The May 2021 elections look set to go ahead after the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution told MPs this week there should be “a high bar for any delay”.
Jan 14, 2021

Consortium of Scottish economic development agencies names four firms to £8.7m legal services framework

A consortium of three Scottish economic development agencies has named four law firms to a legal services framework worth £8.7m.
Jan 14, 2021

London borough left homeless family in B&B for too long: Ombudsman

Two London schoolchildren were left in bed and breakfast accommodation for too long by Redbridge Council, according to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Jan 14, 2021

Ombudsman criticises council for failure to consider relaxing local connection criterion for domestic abuse victim

A London council failed to consider the exceptional circumstances of a victim of domestic abuse when assessing her housing needs, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
Jan 14, 2021

Cafcass updates guidance on advisers seeing children and families during lockdown

Cafcass has published updated guidance on arrangements for Family Court advisers to see children and families, work in Cafcass offices and attend court under lockdown restrictions.
Jan 14, 2021

Developer loses Court of Appeal battle over whether 'tilted balance' applied to 50-home scheme

It was not unfair for a planning inspector to find that the ‘tilted balance’ did not apply to an application for a housing development, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Jan 14, 2021

Judge rejects legal challenge to planning permission for ‘extra care’ residential development

The Administrative Court has rejected all five grounds of a challenge to Shropshire Council’s grant of planning permission for housing for older people.
Jan 13, 2021

Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers issues guidance notes on vaccination and testing for Covid-19 and mental capacity

The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers has published two rapid response guidance notes, covering mental capacity, vaccination and testing for Covid-19.
Jan 13, 2021

Court of Appeal dismisses appeal by company director over £99k penalties for breaches of HMO regulations, non-compliance with enforcement notices

The Court of Appeal has rejected a company director's appeal over penalties amounting to £99,000 imposed by the Upper Tribunal for breaches of regulations covering houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), and non-compliance with enforcement notices.
Jan 13, 2021

Government publishes White Paper on reforming Mental Health Act

The Government has published a white paper on reforming the Mental Health Act 1983, promising that its proposed changes would provide patients with greater choice and autonomy in a mental health crisis.
Jan 13, 2021

Trowers advises social landlord on selection of JV partner for major Tower Hamlets regeneration

Law firm Trowers & Hamlins has advised Poplar HARCA on the selection and the appointment of Hill as joint venture partner on the delivery of the Teviot Estate regeneration in Tower Hamlets.
Jan 13, 2021

Plexus Law names Steel as Head of Public Sector Services

Defendant law firm Plexus Law has appointed partner Andrew Steel as Head of Public Sector Services with effect from 18 January 2021.
Jan 13, 2021

Court of Appeal rules on whether VAT is payable on top of caps on costs in Aarhus Convention claims

The caps set out in the Civil Procedure Rules on the costs payable by losing parties in Aarhus Convention claims are inclusive of VAT, the Court of Appeal has ruled as part of the third Heathrow runway litigation.
Jan 12, 2021

Backing for Law Society Council governance reforms sees local government representation halved

Controversial reforms to the make-up of the Law Society Council – including a reduction in the representation of local government – have been passed.
Jan 12, 2021

Criminal solicitors body warns members it is not safe to attend Magistrates’ courts

The London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association (LCCSA) has advised its members that it is not safe to continue to attend Magistrates’ courts.
Jan 12, 2021

Government facing legal challenge over speed of provision of devices to disadvantaged children for education at home

The Good Law Project has launched judicial review proceedings over what it says is the Government’s failure to ensure, “in a timely fashion”, adequate devices are provided to disadvantaged children who require them to be educated at home.
Jan 12, 2021

Judge finds claim over procurement of cloud-based management information system for 57 schools commenced in time

A High Court judge has rejected a contention by an academy trust that a claim brought over the procurement exercise for a three-year contract to supply a cloud-based management information system was commenced out of time.
Jan 12, 2021

Social landlord names four firms to £1m panel for legal advice on complex matters

Hyde Housing has appointed four law firms to a £1m panel providing legal advice on complex matters of strategic importance to the social landlord.
Jan 11, 2021

Developer fails in appeal to Planning Inspectorate over £1.6m CIL bill for scheme

A developer has been ordered to pay an extra £500,000 towards local infrastructure after it lost an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate over a £1.6m Community Infrastructure Levy bill.
Jan 11, 2021

High Court judge dismisses challenge over lack of public consultation on NHS hospital reconfiguration in Hertfordshire

A High Court judge has dismissed a judicial review challenge over the reorganisation of hospital provision in Hertfordshire.
Jan 11, 2021

Senior family judge warns against allocation of hearing time outside normal sitting hours of court save in exceptional circumstances

The allocation of additional hearing time outside the normal sitting hours of the Family Court - between 10.00am and 4.30pm, with an adequate adjournment at lunchtime - should be seen as an exceptional occurrence, and not the norm, and should be limited to no more than a 30-minute extension to the…
Jan 08, 2021

Ministry extends ban on bailiff-enforced evictions until 22 February - save for "most egregious" cases

The ban on bailiff-enforced evictions has been extended until 22 February with no evictions expected to 8 March at the earliest, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has said.
Jan 08, 2021

Monitoring officers give lukewarm response to LGA Model Code of Conduct, unlikely to recommend implementation: LLG

Monitoring officers have given a lukewarm response to the Model Code of Conduct issued by the Local Government Association last month, LLG (Lawyers in Local Government) has said.
Jan 08, 2021

Judicial review over exit pay cap regulations to be heard in second half of March

The High Court is to hear the judicial review challenge being brought by LLG (Lawyers in Local Government) and ALACE (the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers) over the Exit Payment Cap Regulations in the second half of March.
Jan 07, 2021

London borough defends Upper Tribunal challenge over school child with learning disabilities should attend

The London Borough of Hackney has won a tribunal case in a dispute with the parents of a child with learning difficulties over which school he should attend.
Jan 07, 2021

Court of Appeal criticises both sides in Blue Badge parking dispute where claimant costs exceeded £60,000

The Court of Appeal has imposed a costs order against a London borough and criticised both sides for the way a dispute over a parking Blue Badge ended up in the courts.
Jan 07, 2021

Council wins Court of Appeal battle over fate of land subject to statutory trust for recreational purposes

Shropshire Council has won a case in the Court of Appeal over what happens when a local authority disposes of land subject to a statutory trust for public recreational purposes without complying with the relevant statutory requirements.
Jan 07, 2021

Upper Tribunal rejects request for copies of notes made by First-tier Tribunal judge during information rights hearing

The Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) has refused an applicant permission to appeal a ruling that he was not entitled to receive a copy of the notes made by a First-tier Tribunal judge in an earlier hearing.
Jan 07, 2021

Councils call for clarity on whether 6 May 2021 elections will proceed

The latest lockdown has raised the possibility of elections due on 6 May being postponed, some of which are already delayed from May 2020.
Jan 07, 2021

Environment Agency warns it does not have resources to carry out enforcement work effectively: report

The Environment Agency (EA) has too little money to carry out its enforcement work effectively, a letter obtained by The Times has said.
Jan 06, 2021

Borough council to adopt Lexis Visualfiles case management system

The legal department at Rochdale Borough Council is set to adopt the legal workflow and case management solution, Lexis Visualfiles, as its electronic file system.
Jan 06, 2021

Leader of Welsh council suspended for seven months for code of conduct breaches, vows to appeal

The Adjudication Panel of Wales has suspended the Leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Cllr Kevin O’Neill, for seven months for breaching the local authority’s code of conduct.
Jan 06, 2021

Divisional Court hands down ruling on requirements for charges under s. 179 TCPA

A Welsh council has won an appeal to the Divisional Court over a ruling that informations it laid under s.179 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 were defective.
Jan 06, 2021

Twenty law firms make it on to £60m Welsh public sector legal services framework

The National Procurement Service of the Welsh Government has selected 20 law firms for its £60m framework for the provision of solicitors’ services to the Welsh public sector.
Jan 06, 2021

Standards committee for Welsh Parliament consults on new code of conduct including new principle of ‘Respect’

The Senedd Cymru's standards committee last month launched a consultation on a proposed new Code of Conduct for Members of the Senedd.
Jan 05, 2021

Deputy High Court judge criticises council over handling of judicial review challenge to housing allocation scheme

A recent judicial review case over decisions made by a council in relation to the allocation of rented housing was “an object lesson in how a public body should not respond to public law proceedings”, a Deputy High Court judge has said.
Jan 05, 2021

Ministers insist work of courts and tribunals must continue either remotely or in person during fresh lockdown

The Lord Chancellor has said the vital work of courts and tribunals “can and should continue”, with the use of remote hearings wherever appropriate, during the latest national lockdown.
Jan 05, 2021

Council defeats appeal over ruling that it did not breach public sector equality duty in possession case

A High Court judge has dismissed an appeal over a ruling in a housing case that there had been no breach by Slough Borough Council of the public sector equality duty.
Jan 05, 2021

Council wins Upper Tribunal appeal over ‘reasonable excuse’ for failure to license house in multiple occupation

Thurrock Council has won an appeal from a decision of the First-tier Tribunal to cancel a civil penalty imposed for the offence of managing or being in control of a house in multiple occupation that is required by the Housing Act 2004 to be licensed, when it was not so licensed.
Jan 04, 2021

Environment Agency obtains £2.1m confiscation order against operator of illegal waste site

The Environment Agency last month secured one of its largest confiscation orders, against a defendant who operated an illegal waste site.
Jan 04, 2021

Local authority secures compliance with High Court injunction to restore plot of land to open countryside

Buckinghamshire Council last month secured compliance with a High Court injunction to restore land to open countryside.
Jan 04, 2021

Council wins appeal over finding of negligence over personal injuries suffered by teaching assistant

A county council has won an appeal over a ruling that it was liable in negligence for personal injuries suffered by a teaching assistant.
Jan 04, 2021

Law firm given £240k contract to advise new body for protection of rights of EU and other citizens

Law firm Browne Jacobson has been appointed to a £240,000, one-year contract to augment the in-house legal team being set up for the Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA).
Jan 04, 2021

North Wales social landlord names council and eight law firms to legal services framework

A Welsh housing association has named a county council and eight law firms to a multi-lot legal services framework.
Dec 23, 2020

Council defeats legal challenge over environmental impact assessment for oil wells development and assessment of indirect greenhouse gas emissions

A Planning Court judge has dismissed a legal challenge to Surrey County Council’s grant of planning permission for the drilling of four new oil wells.
Dec 23, 2020

High Court judge allows legal challenge but declines to quash experimental traffic order

A High Court judge has allowed a legal challenge to the introduction of an experimental traffic order (ETO) in the City of London, but refused to quash the ETO.
Dec 23, 2020

National park authority secures interim injunction to prevent unauthorised felling of trees

The New Forest National Park Authority earlier this month (11 December) obtained an interim High Court injunction preventing further unauthorised felling or other works to trees protected by a woodland Tree Preservation Order.
Dec 23, 2020

Health Secretary facing legal challenge over failure to provide sight-impaired people with shielding information in accessible format

A blind woman has brought a legal challenge over the government’s alleged failure to provide her with accessible shielding information during the COVID-19 pandemic.