Vivienne Sedgley

Call: 2011 

'A remarkable junior whose star is in the ascendant.'

Chambers and Partners 2023

‘calm and composed’

Chambers and Partners 2022

'A standout junior'

Legal 500 2021

'An expert in this field.'

Legal 500 2023 - Elections

'Excellent judgement’

Legal 500 2021

‘an outstanding junior in election law’

Legal 500 2022

‘excellent advocacy’

Legal 500 2022

'Conscientious, calm under pressure and someone with excellent client relation skills.'

Chambers and Partners 2023

‘Her written work is of very good quality’

Chambers and Partners 2022

‘Vivienne is very good and confident in the advice she gives. She can accurately assess the detail of complex and voluminous information. She is very articulate and able to express herself fluently and clearly, using plain language for the benefit of the clients. She is also able to address and answer questions directly and deal with issues raised very well.’

Legal 500 2023 - Planning

A ‘persuasive advocate, bright, knowledgeable and a team player’

Legal 500 2021

‘assiduous and thorough’

Legal 500 2022

'Vivienne's work to be on a par with more senior counsel including King's Counsel. She is very good and confident in the advice she gives.'

Legal 500 - Local Government Law

‘Hard working, responsive, good client manner’

Legal 500 2021

‘produces work at lightning speed’

Chambers and Partners 2022

Practice Summary

“A remarkable junior whose star is in the ascendant”, Vivienne has a wide-ranging public law practice.

She is ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as a leading junior for administrative and public, election, local government, and planning law.

The directories describe her as “outstanding”, “excellent judgement”, a “persuasive advocate” who “produces work at lightning speed”.

She is a published author in her practice areas, writing for Supperstone, Goudie and Walker: Judicial Review and Parker’s Law and Conduct of Elections.

She is known for her approachability and clear written advice, particularly in tricky areas of law.

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Public & Administrative

Vivienne is well versed in the workings of public bodies, having extensive in-house experience (e.g. local authorities, government departments and the House of Commons) and knowledge of associated issues concerning access to information under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Acts.

She writes for one of the leading legal commentaries: Supperstone, Goudie and Walker: Judicial Review.

She acts for claimants, defendants and interested parties. She has experience of judicial review in a wide range of contexts. Her work includes matters as varied as:

  • Green energy schemes, including Government subsidies and local authority powers;
  • Commercial disputes concerning public authorities, including concurrent civil and judicial review claims;
  • Council tax reduction schemes;
  • Public health matters including covid-19 restrictions;
  • Education, including property acquisitions and disposals, exclusions and special educational needs;
  • Community care;
  • Strategic housing issues and the right to buy;
  • Procurement;
  • State aid/subsidy controls;
  • Cemeteries, churchyards and burial rights;
  • Planning;
  • Local government executive and non-executive decision-making;
  • Challenges to tribunals;
  • Professional regulation;
  • Consultation disputes;
  • Advising Parliamentary Committees and MPs.

She is often called upon to provide swift advice in urgent matters and did so frequently during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recent cases include:

  • F v Lord Chancellor: Legal aid decision-making;
  • A v Cabinet Office: Covid-19 secondary legislation;
  • G v Ofgem: Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentives;
  • B v DWP: Social security assessments and the Equality Act 2010.


Vivienne is an election law specialist. She is Assistant Editor to Richard Price OBE KC for one of the leading election law commentaries: Parker’s Law and Conduct of Elections. She has acted and advised in a variety of urgent, sensitive and high-profile matters. Her recent instructions include varied matters such as:

  • Emergency ‘on call’ advice on election days;
  • Election expenses at party and candidate levels;
  • Criminal offences and relief;
  • Access to the full electoral register;
  • Electoral registration;
  • Disqualification from office;
  • Donations;
  • General election campaign expenditure;
  • Terms of office;
  • Third party campaigning;
  • Validity of votes;
  • Referendums, including on local government and council tax;
  • Political party disputes and disciplinary action;

Recent cases include:

  • R (Democracy Newham Limited) v London Borough of Newham [2021] EWHC 150 (Admin) concerning the effects of Covid-19 legislation;
  • X v X: Application for relief from a criminal offences concerning election expenditure;
  • R v D: Injunction following disciplinary action by a political party.

Local Government

Vivienne specialises in local government law and acts both for claimants and defendants.

She well understands the pressures and challenges facing local government, having worked extensively in-house and as a consultant for Bevan Brittan LLP.

Her work includes matters as varied as heraldry, flag-flying and cemeteries. She is often called upon to advise on decision-making reports and claims for judicial or statutory review. Her recent instructions include:

  • Churchyards, cemeteries and exclusive rights of burial;
  • Code of conduct investigations;
  • Combined authorities (including the first reported case - R (Derbyshire CC) v Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority [2016] EWHC 3355)
  • Commercial disputes, including concurrent civil and judicial review claims;
  • Community care, mental capacity and mental health;
  • Consultations;
  • Council tax reduction schemes;
  • Development agreements;
  • Educational duties and funding;
  • Elections and referendums;
  • Executive and non-executive decision-making;
  • Finance and accounting;
  • Homelessness, temporary accommodation and housing duties;
  • Housing standards and financial penalties for housing offences;
  • Joint working, including with NHS bodies;
  • Licensing challenges;
  • Ombudsman reports;
  • Planning, including local plans, section 106 agreements and enforcement;
  • Procurement;
  • Property acquisitions and disposals;
  • Public sector equality duty and equality impact assessments;
  • Right to buy;
  • State aid/subsidy controls.

She often provides urgent and out of hours advice, and advised extensively on emergency powers and decision-making during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recent cases include:

  • L v A local authority: Selective licensing designations for housing;
  • N v A local authority: Discretionary business rate relief;
  • L and G v A Local authority: Withdrawal from development agreement.


Planning & Environment

Vivienne sits on the Planning and Environment Law Bar Association (PEBA) Committee and is ranked as a leading junior in planning law. She is experienced in high-profile and complex inquiries, judicial reviews and statutory reviews. She acts for claimants, defendants and interested parties.

Vivienne’s work includes:

  • Inquiry concerning a controversial 49.9MW solar farm over a 130 hectare site in the Green Belt;
  • Examination of a nationally significant infrastructure project valued at £55 million and one of the largest capacity proposed solar parks in the UK;
  • The refusal of a £250 million scheme for residential units and a football club, and the largest development proposal for the authority in the last 20 years);
  • Examination in Public of the London Plan;
  • Enforcement action;
  • Section 106 obligations;
  • Public sector equality duty and controversial ‘gentrification’ schemes;
  • Highways Act 1980, including varied matters such as the provision of amenities and drainage powers;
  • Compulsory purchase and associated rights to compensation;
  • Traffic regulation orders;
  • Pre-conditions for commencement of planning permission.

Recent cases include:

  • A local authority v K: Prosecution for a long-standing breach of an enforcement notice on commercial premises;
  • Re an authority: £multi-million regeneration project in Central London;
  • P v A Local authority: Challenge to a local plan.

She regularly writes articles and delivers talks on planning issues. Examples of her work include:


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