Practice Summary

Siân has a busy practice in all of Chambers’ core areas, with a particular specialism in public law. She regularly appears as sole counsel in the County Court, Court of Protection, and High Court, and has also been instructed as led counsel in the Court of Appeal and Privy Council. From 2017-2018 she worked for the Ministry of Justice as judicial assistant to Lord Justice Hamblen (as he then was) in the Court of Appeal, where she was exposed to a judicial perspective on the court’s day to day work and proceedings.

She is direct access qualified and welcomes instructions on this basis in appropriate cases across all her practice areas.

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Public & Administrative

Siân’s practice specialises in public and administrative law. She regularly acts in judicial review challenges involving both central and local government, and in private law claims raising public law issues. She is instructed both by claimants and by public authorities and acts at all stages from urgent applications for interim relief through to final hearing. She is an active member of the Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association and the of the Human Rights Lawyers Association. 

Local Government

Siân has spent time seconded in house at a major local authority so has experience of the practical pressures and issues which face local government and the solicitors who act for them. She acts both for and against local authorities in a range of matters. Recent instructions include advising on implementation of the national ‘Everyone In’ policy adopted as part of the Covid-19 response; advising on the use of public health powers in response to breaches of the Covid regulations; and advising on the application of s. 11 Children Act 2004 in local authority decision making.

Current and recent cases include:

  • Stanley v Welwyn Hatfield [2020] EWCA Civ 1458 – represented the Appellant in this significant case on the operation of the legal regime for homelessness assistance under Part VII Housing Act 1996;

 

  • R (S) v Bexley (CO/296/2021) - represented the local authority in an application for judicial and urgent application for interim relief following alleged breaches of duties owed under the Children Act 2004;

 

  • R (O) v Newham (CO/1332/2021) – representing the claimant in a judicial review challenge concerning the duties owed under the Care Act 2014 to those with no recourse to public funds.

Commercial Judicial Review

Siân has a growing practice in commercial judicial review, and accepts instructions from both public bodies and challengers. Her recent work includes:

 

  •  Acting for the Secretary of State in the landmark Covid-19 procurement policy judicial review R (on the application of Good Law Project) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 346, led by Philip Moser QC and Ewan West

 

  • Advising on the implications of Covid-19 for procurement at local government level, in particular the use of ‘emergency’ and ‘exceptional circumstance’ provisions;

 

  • Defending a challenge to a Service Level Agreement entered by a local authority brought on the basis that the pricing structure gave rise to ‘apparent bias’.

Public Inquiries 

Siân has experience of inquiry work and is currently instructed on the Brook House Inquiry.

Equality & Human Rights

Siân has expertise in cases raising issues under the Human Rights Act 1998 and Equality Act 2010.

As a pupil she worked with supervisors Toby Vanhegan and Annette Cafferkey and was closely involved in a number of the leading cases on the application of the public sector equality duty under s. 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (Forward v Aldwyck Housing Group Ltd [2019] EWHC 24 (QB), London and Quadrant v Patrick [2019] EWHC Civ 1263 (QB), and Powell v Dacorum BC [2019] EWCA Civ 29). She was also involved in judicial review challenges under the Equality Act 2010 including a challenge against the ‘Right to Rent’ policy (R (Goloshvili) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 1263). 

She is presently instructed in a number of high profile human rights matters, including:

 

  • Representing the claimant in a challenge alleging systematic breach of s. 55 Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (R (WA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (CO/1207/2021));

 

  • Acting (led) for the claimant in a claim against the police for failure to investigate allegations of rape and harassment;

 

  • Acting (initially as sole counsel in the successful application for interim relief, later as led counsel in the forthcoming three-day High Court trial) for the claimant in a claim for injunctive relief and damages against asylum accommodation provider Clearspring Ready.

Education and Employment 

Siân brings to her growing education and employment work her broad experience of equality and discrimination law.

Her current and recent instructions in the fields of education and employment law include:

 

  • Acting in a claim for costs in the SEND Tribunal on the basis of unreasonable behaviour;

 

  •  Advising in relation to local authorities’ duties to make provision for special educational needs;  

 

  •  Advising on an application to set aside summary judgment in a claim for breach of the Agricultural Wages Act 1948 and Agricultural Wages (England and Wales) Order 2012.  

Siân has particular expertise in cases at the intersection of education / employment, and public law. Her recent work in this area includes acting for the successful applicant in a claim for judicial review against the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants ([2020] EWHC 3059). Siân remains instructed in the forthcoming appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Planning & Environment

Siân has a growing practice is planning and environmental law, and acts in a range of planning matters from the advisory stages through to final hearing. She has experience of acting for planning authorities, land owners, and individuals in a broad range of matters. She is a member of the UK Environmental Law Association and the Planning and Environmental Bar Association.

Siân’s current and recent cases include:

 

  •  Advising a local authority in relation to an appeal against a decision to issue a certificate of lawful commencement of development;

 

  • Acting for the claimant in an urgent claim for urgent interim relief injuncting further construction works from taking place outside the scope of permissions granted;

 

  • Acting for the defendant property developer in an ongoing planning dispute with a local business.

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council 

Siân’s work in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council complements her areas of expertise in UK law. Her current and recent work includes:

 

  • Represented the successful appellant in a claim against the state for wrongful arrest and unlawful detention (Betaudier v Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago [2021] UKPC 7);

 

  • Represented the appellant in a claim for damages for breach of the constitutional right to liberty and security of the person (Duncan & Jokhan v Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago JCPC 2018/0090, judgment awaited);

 

  • Acting in an upcoming appeal concerning the scope of the equitable doctrine of relation back (Jogie v Sealey JCPC 2017/0090);

 

  • Acting in an upcoming appeal on the lawfulness of a policy in Trinidad and Tobago which (Ministry of Social Development and Family Services v P (JCPC 2021/0021).

Recent Reported Cases

Betaudier v Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago [2021] UKPC 7; [2021] 3 WLUK 502 – Siân acted for the successful appellant in this appeal against unlawful arrest and detention, led by Anand Beharrylal QC.

R (on the application of Good Law Project Ltd) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care [2021] EWHC 346; [2021] WLR(D) 117; [2021] WLUK 274; [2021] ACD 49 – Siân acted for the Secretary of State in this high profile Covid-19 procurement policy challenge, led by Philip Moser QC and instructed by the Government Legal Department.

London Borough of Ealing v M (Local Government Lawyer, 2 February 2021) – Siân acted for the Defendant this successful application for an adjournment and the appointment of a litigation friend in proceedings governed by the Magistrates Court Act 1980.

Awodola v Association of Chartered Accountants [2020] EWHC 3059; [2020] 4 WLR 162 – Siân represented the claimant in this successful application for judicial review, alongside co-counsel Joshua Hitchens. Siân further represented the claimant in his subsequent costs application and in resisting the Defendant’s application for permission to appeal ([2020] EWHC 3369).

Stanley v Welwyn Hatfield [2020] EWCA Civ 1458 – Siân represented the Appellant in the Court of Appeal, led by Toby Vanhegan.


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