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  LATEST HEADLINES

April 16, 2021

Secretary of State calls on councils to show pragmatism, avoid “overzealous interpretations” of rules on outdoor hospitality

The Communities Secretary has called on councils to ensure that that government guidance on outdoor structures is applied proportionately and consistently, to support businesses in their areas to reopen safely and to avoid overzealous interpretations of the rules.
April 16, 2021

Jackie Weaver and IT professionals join calls for continuation of virtual council meetings in England

The Chief Officer of the Cheshire Association of Local Councils, Jackie Weaver, and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, have together joined growing calls for the Government to make online council meetings lawful post after the expiry of emergency legislation.
April 16, 2021

LLG invites students to apply for first legal talent work experience week

Students are being invited to apply from 19 April to take part in LLG’s first legal talent work experience week this summer.
Apr 15, 2021

Government consults on requiring care home workers to have Covid-19 vaccination

The Government has launched a five-week consultation on requiring care home providers, caring for older adults, to deploy only those workers who have received their COVID-19 vaccination.
Apr 15, 2021

Businessman criticised in Liverpool best value report launches judicial review against police

A businessman criticised in the best value report into Liverpool City Council has revealed that he has launched judicial review proceedings against Merseyside Police for unlawful arrest and using unlawful search warrants.
Apr 15, 2021

Court of Appeal allows appeal over decision by Family Court judge not to separate mother and baby

The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by a local authority over a judge’s decision not to separate a mother and a baby.
Apr 15, 2021

Law firm Capsticks promotes 21 lawyers in latest round

Law firm Capsticks has promoted a total of 21 of its lawyers, with three promoted to equity partner, three being promoted to salaried partner, six to the role of legal director and nine to the role of associate.
Apr 15, 2021

Upper Tribunal awards £22k costs against council in dispute over EHC plan

A borough council has had a costs order of £22,000 made against it by an Upper Tribunal Judge in a dispute over an Education, Health and Care plan for a man with learning disabilities.
Apr 14, 2021

London borough fails in High Court challenge over HS2 construction traffic routes

The London Borough of Hillingdon has lost a High Court judicial review against two Whitehall departments over routes for HS2 construction traffic in the borough.
Apr 14, 2021

Ombudsman upholds complaint by landlord over council advising tenants to stay in property after possession order

Brentwood Borough Council has been found by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) to have caused injustice to a local landlord.
Apr 14, 2021

Aarhus claim brought by parish sees district council quash permission for 64-home scheme

Legal action by a parish has seen Babergh District Council agree to quash outline planning permission it granted to developer Catesby Development Land for 64 homes.
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Apr 14, 2021

Landlord ordered to pay £90k+ for safety failings

A prosecution brought by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has seen a landlord and his management company ordered to pay more than £90,000 in fines and legal costs over safety failings.
Apr 14, 2021

Council prosecution sees hotel chain fined £80,000 after guest sustains life-changing injury in fall

Sefton Council has successfully prosecuted Britannia Hotels after a guest at one of its hotels fell through rusted iron railings, sustaining life-changing injuries.
Apr 14, 2021

High Court to hear judicial review challenge this week over carbon emissions levels permitted under new emissions trading scheme for UK

The High Court will this week (14-15 April) hear a judicial review challenge over the volume of carbon emissions permitted and the exclusion of waste incinerators from the UK’s new emissions trading scheme.
Apr 14, 2021

Bevan Brittan appoints property finance lawyer as partner

National law firm Bevan Brittan has appointed property finance specialist Jessica Church as a partner.
Apr 14, 2021

Law firm advises G15 housing group on partnership deal

Bevan Brittan has advised G15 housing association Catalyst Housing Group on its partnership with Rosebery Housing Association.
Apr 13, 2021

University legal team considers artificial technology to assist workflow

The legal department at Liverpool John Moores University is looking to use legal technology, potentially Artificial Intelligence (AI), for routine legal work in a bid to allow its legal team to focus on more complex matters.
Apr 12, 2021

Professionals back retention of supervision orders as option for courts in care proceedings, but half call for changes to be made

Nine out of ten professionals think standalone supervision orders should continue to be an option in care proceedings, according to a survey by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (NFJO).
Apr 12, 2021

Judge considers whether local authority obliged to assess members of ‘original family’ of mother who herself was adopted

A Family Court judge has issued a ruling on whether, within public law proceedings, there was any obligation on a local authority to assess members of the biological/birth family of the mother of the subject infant child, where the mother herself was adopted as a child and raised by adoptive…
Apr 12, 2021

South West council appoints eight firms to £8m legal services framework

Cornwall Council has selected eight law firms to a six-lot legal services framework worth an estimated £8m.
Apr 09, 2021

Rare appeal allowed over refusal by judge to adjourn final care hearing

A mother's appeal of a decision by a family judge not to adjourn an imminent final hearing in care proceedings has been allowed in a "rare" case before the Court of Appeal.
Apr 09, 2021

Legal threat prompts council to retake decision to block humanist from religious education committee

Southampton City Council's religious education committee, the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE), has agreed to retake a decision to block a humanist from becoming a full committee member following a threat of legal action.
Apr 08, 2021

Government issues guidance on Housing Possession Mediation Service

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has issued guidance on the Housing Possession Mediation Service.
Apr 08, 2021

Government to support legal action over ability of councils to hold remote meetings

The Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has said the Government will support the High Court claim being brought by Lawyers in Local Government, the Association of Democratic Services Officers and Hertfordshire County Council over the ability of councils in England to hold remote meetings.
Apr 08, 2021

Leader of borough council steps down after report from external lawyers on planning issues

A report by a law firm has led to the resignation of a council leader over planning issues.
Apr 08, 2021

TfL given permission for appeal in Streetspace dispute

Transport for London has been granted the right to appeal against a High Court ruling that its traffic reduction policies were unlawful.
Apr 08, 2021

Hospitality industry in Wales crowd fund legal challenge over later reopening than non-essential retail

Hospitality industry figures in Wales are trying to crowdfund a legal challenge to the country’s policy on the reopening of venues as lockdown eases.
Apr 07, 2021

20-6 or 4-1: Council wins High Court battle over lease of stately home

A High Court judge has likened the result of a trial of a lease dispute involving Wigan Borough Council to the outcome of rugby league and soccer matches.
Apr 07, 2021

Religious organisation wins County Court ruling over removal by council of adverts on buses

A religious organisation has won a county court case against Blackpool Borough Council and its wholly-owned Blackpool Transport Services, which refused to advertise its rally on the sides of buses.
Apr 07, 2021

Court of Appeal gives permission for judicial review challenge over low traffic neighbourhood policy in Hackney

A local campaign group opposed to the London Borough of Hackney’s policy of closing streets to through traffic has been given leave for a judicial review at its third attempt.
Apr 07, 2021

Transport for Greater Manchester names six law firms to major projects panel

Transport for Greater Manchester has appointed six law firms to a lot in its £88m Professional Services Framework covering legal services for major or complex projects.
Apr 07, 2021

Merseytravel to appoint single firm as advisors on rail matters under £750k contract

Merseytravel has given notice of its plans to appoint a single law firm or ABS (alternative business structure) to act as its principal external legal advisors in relation to rail matters under a contract worth an estimated £750,000.
Apr 07, 2021

Minister blames election and Covid-19 pandemic for “overdue” Government response to key report in 2019 on local government ethical standards

The Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government has acknowledged that the Government response to the Committee for Standards in Public Life’s January 2019 review, Local Government Ethical Standards, is “overdue” but has not given a date for its publication.
Apr 07, 2021

DWP facing legal challenge over lawfulness of ‘consultation’ ahead of National Strategy for Disabled People being drawn up

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is facing a legal challenge over the lawfulness of its consultation on the proposed National Strategy for Disabled People.
Apr 06, 2021

Covid-19 status certification likely to have significant implications for councils: LGA

The Local Government Association has urged the Government to work closely with councils on any proposals for Covid-19 status certification.
Apr 06, 2021

Good Law Project sends pre-action letter to Secretary of State over allocation of 'Levelling Up Fund'

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government is facing a potential legal challenge over the allocation of local authorities to different categories of the £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund.
Apr 06, 2021

Councils may have suffered because of ‘pre-paid cards’ cartel, according to provisional findings of regulator

Local authorities may have missed out on an alternative supplier of pre-paid cards or products that were either cheaper or better suited to both their needs and the needs of those using such cards, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has said after provisionally finding that five companies engaged…
Apr 06, 2021

Torbay Council names lawyer as chief executive and head of paid service

An extraordinary meeting of Torbay Council has unanimously appointed solicitor Anne-Marie Bond as the authority’s Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service on a permanent basis.
Apr 06, 2021

Campaigners seek oral hearing after refusal of permission for statutory review challenge over adoption of Local Plan

A campaign group has filed a request for an oral hearing after a High Court judge refused permission on the papers for a legal challenge over South Oxfordshire District Council’s decision to proceed with its Local Plan 2035.
Apr 06, 2021

Devonshires promotes two lawyers to partner

Law firm Devonshires has promoted two lawyers to partner, taking the total number of partners at the firm to 43.
Apr 06, 2021

Housing Ombudsman forecasts increase in enquiries and complaints during 2021/22 as a result of pandemic

The Housing Ombudsman has predicted that the volume of enquiries and complaints the service receives will continue to rise in 2021/22, and that there will be a growing number of more complex complaints requiring investigation of a landlord’s actions in the light of Covid-19 alongside the complaint…
Apr 06, 2021

Health and care regulator names two firms to panel worth up to £6m

The Health and Care Professions Council has appointed two law firms to a legal services framework worth up to £6m over five years.
Apr 06, 2021

Trowers & Hamlins advises social landlord on strategic partnership with investment firm

Law firm Trowers & Hamlins has advised The Hyde Group on the formation of a strategic partnership with global investment firm M&G, which will lead to the development of £500m new sustainably designed affordable homes.
Apr 01, 2021

London airport to pay £86k to homeowners due to expansion noise

The Upper Tribunal has ruled that London Southend Airport should pay over £85,000 compensation to homeowners whose properties depreciated in value after a runway expansion increased noise in the area.
Apr 01, 2021

City Solicitor at Liverpool to retire at end of May after 25 years at council

The City Solicitor at Liverpool City Council, Jeannette McLoughlin, is to retire from her post at the end of May, after 25 years at the local authority.
Apr 01, 2021

Lawyers who act for social housing providers and local authorities among partner promotions at Winckworth Sherwood

Law firm Winckworth Sherwood has promoted five lawyers to partner, effective from the beginning of April.
Mar 31, 2021

Council prepares to retender expiring legal services framework worth £1.6m

Norfolk County Council is seeking expressions of interest for a legal services contract worth an estimated £1.6m to support the in-house insurance team deliver its claims service.
Mar 31, 2021

Public Law Group at 39 Essex Chambers takes on three new members

39 Essex Chambers has bolstered its Public Law Group with the arrival of three new members from Kings Chambers with immediate effect.
Mar 31, 2021

Former elected mayor for Liverpool eyes legal challenge against council over legal costs following arrest

Liverpool City Council’s former elected mayor is expected to take the authority to judicial review over its refusal to pay his legal costs following his arrest in December on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
Mar 31, 2021

Claimant wins housing case against council in part but judge rejects anonymity bid

A disabled resident has won part of her housing case against the London Borough of Croydon but failed in a late bid to be made anonymous.
Mar 31, 2021

Claimant secures interim relief in dispute over age assessment by county council

The High Court has ruled that Kent County Council must support and accommodate Sudanese refugee LYB as though he is a child until a full hearing can resolve his age.
Mar 31, 2021

Judge refuses permission for legal challenge to age assessment

The High Court has refused to allow a judicial review of an age assessment by Cardiff City Council.
Mar 31, 2021

Leaseholders win battle with City of London over service charges

Leaseholders have won a Court of Appeal case against the City of London Corporation over whether certain repairs to their homes are chargeable to them.
Mar 31, 2021

Upper Tribunal judge rules online hearing of EHC Plan case not unfair to visually impaired litigants

A hearing held online involving visually impaired litigants was not unfair – or if there was any such unfairness, it made no material difference, the Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeals Chamber has found.
Mar 30, 2021

Ex-local authority lawyer joins Public Law team at Spire Barristers

Former local authority lawyer Holly Littlewood has joined the Public Law team at Spire Barristers.
Mar 30, 2021

NHS trusts give up £2 billion business rates dispute with councils 

Eleven NHS trusts have abandoned plans to petition the Court of Appeal as part of a dispute with councils over the business rates they have to pay on hospitals.
Mar 30, 2021

Government faces legal challenge over ministerial use of self-deleting messages on Signal, WhatsApp  

Ministers who use messaging platforms that delete correspondence automatically have been threatened with legal action by a non-profit organisation over concerns about transparency and democratic accountability in government.
Mar 29, 2021

Average time for care proceedings continued upward trend in 2020 – with final quarter reaching levels not seen since 2013

The average time for a care or supervision case to reach first disposal was 38 weeks in 2020, up 5 weeks from 2019, it has emerged.
Mar 29, 2021

Judge orders defendant to pay back £90,000 after Right to Buy fraud

A defendant who admitted fraud under the Right to Buy scheme has been ordered to pay back more than £90,000.
Mar 29, 2021

Welsh Government issues taxi and private hire vehicle guidance ahead of development of new legislation

The Welsh Government has issued guidance for local authorities to ensure taxi and private hire vehicle operators and drivers meet licensing requirements.
Mar 29, 2021

Judge gives green light for judicial review challenge to decision by private care home provider to stop providing care services

A judge has given permission to apply for judicial review of a decision of a private care home provider to cases providing the relevant care services, it has been reported.
Mar 29, 2021

Law Society agrees to facilitate creation of new Law Council of Wales

The Law Society has agreed to provide the secretariat for the new Law Council of Wales and to facilitate its establishment.
Mar 29, 2021

Family President asks Court of Appeal judge to consider how to achieve efficient return to court, but predicts some form of remote working likely to foreseeable future

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has asked Lord Justice Baker to examine how the most efficient return to court can be achieved over the coming months.
Mar 29, 2021

Housing Ombudsman names first Independent Reviewer of Service Complaints

The Housing Ombudsman has appointed a former Chief Legal Ombudsman as its first Independent Reviewer of Service Complaints.
Mar 29, 2021

Housing Ombudsman publishes 'systemic framework' covering how it will deal with wider issues beyond individual disputes

The Housing Ombudsman has published its new ‘systemic framework’ setting out how it will look beyond individual disputes to identify key issues that impact on residents and landlords’ services.
Mar 26, 2021

Supreme Court gives green light to appeal over lawfulness of voter ID pilot schemes

The Supreme Court has given a former member of Braintree District Council permission to appeal in a case concerning the lawfulness of the voter identification pilot schemes in the 2019 local elections.
Mar 26, 2021

Supreme Court refuses permission to appeal in dispute over cut by London borough to element of SEND provision

The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal over the Court of Appeal’s rejection of a claim that a 5% reduction in one element of a London borough’s SEND provision was unlawful because the council was in breach of a duty to consult under s.27 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
Mar 26, 2021

Dismay among councils as Government confirms there will be no extension to emergency legislation regarding virtual council meetings

Emergency legislation regarding virtual council meetings in England will not be extended, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has confirmed.
Mar 26, 2021

Parish council eyes legal challenge after permission granted for housing developments intended to facility heritage works at visitor attraction

A parish council has raised more than £12,000 towards a legal challenge over Durham Council’s decision to give a developer permission for a 72-home development.
Mar 26, 2021

Court of Appeal to hear challenge over environmental impact assessment and end product of developments

The Court of Appeal has agreed to hear a dispute over whether a developer's obligation to provide an environmental statement describing the likely significant effects of a development, both direct and indirect, requires an assessment of the greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions resulting from the use of…
Mar 25, 2021

Court of Appeal dismisses bid by journalist for access to documents held by council in relation to public law children proceedings, but calls for guidance in form of court rules

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by a journalist after she was refused access to documents held by Southampton City Council in relation to care and placement proceedings.
Mar 25, 2021

Court of Appeal hands down ruling in housing case on where authorities issue late reviews

The Court of Appeal has ruled on two points of law that arose over a case where an applicant first wished to establish a local connection with Milton Keynes but later did not.
Mar 25, 2021

Home Secretary sets out reforms to framework for age assessment of asylum seekers, including fast-track statutory appeal right

The Government is to bring forward plans to introduce a new National Age Assessment Board (NAAB) and consult on creating a fast-track statutory appeal right against age assessment decisions it makes “to avoid excessive judicial review litigation”, the Home Office has said.
Mar 25, 2021

Judge quashes planning permission given in 2014 for lodges and caravans

The High Court has quashed planning permission given seven years ago in error which would have allowed the huge expansion of a caravan site.
Mar 25, 2021

Council wins High Court appeal over grant by inspector of permission for large digital advert

Calderdale Borough Council has won a High Court challenge to a decision by a planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to allow a large illuminated digital advertisement on a site in Elland.
Mar 25, 2021

District council loses appeal after inspector quashed enforcement notice over occupation of caravans

Braintree District Council has failed to get an enforcement notice reinstated by the High Court over the residual occupation of caravans.
Mar 25, 2021

Best value report calls for Legal Services team at Liverpool to be built up as Secretary of State decides to send commissioners into city council

The inspectors whose Best Value inspection report led to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, deciding this week to send commissioners into Liverpool City Council, have called for the local authority’s proposed recovery plan to build the prominence…
Mar 24, 2021

High Court to resolve next month issue of ability of councils to hold meetings remotely after 6 May deadline

LLG (Lawyers in Local Government) and ADSO (the Association of Democratic Services Officers) have – along with Hertfordshire County Council – been given permission to expedite their claim for a declaration in the High Court which will provide certainty for local authorities on whether they can…
Mar 24, 2021

Department of Health and Social Care issues ‘roadmap regulations’

MPs will vote tomorrow (25 March) on the Government's ‘roadmap regulations’ setting out its proposed next phase of ‘easements’.
Mar 24, 2021

Public Accounts Committee warns of “huge backlogs” in courts, justice system under “unprecedented pressure”

The Ministry of Justice "faces significant risks across the full range of its services, without a clear sense of prioritisation" and huge backlogs that have built up are causing "unacceptably long waiting times for people to access justice", the Public Accounts Committee has said.
Mar 24, 2021

MPs launch inquiry into Government approach to permitted development rights

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has launched a new inquiry to examine the Government’s approach to permitted development rights (PDR).
Mar 23, 2021

LLG calls for council legal teams to take part in its first national work experience week

Lawyers in Local Government is calling for local authority legal teams to be involved in a remote national work experience program in July.
Mar 23, 2021

HMCTS rolls out on-site rapid testing at four more courts

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) will from this week offer voluntary on-site rapid testing at four courts to people who attend scheduled hearings and are not showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Mar 23, 2021

Woman left to die alone in Surrey care home, Ombudsman investigation finds

An elderly woman was left to die alone by Surrey care home staff while her daughter was waiting in a nearby room, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) has found.
Mar 22, 2021

LLG looks for clarity on trading legal services with publication of memorandum on exemption for authorisation

LLG has drawn up, in consultation with the Solicitors Regulation Authority, a memorandum on exemption for authorisation under section 15 of the Legal Services Act 2007.
Mar 22, 2021

London borough says planning decision cannot stand after problems with broadcast stream for committee meeting

The monitoring officer at Ealing Council has advised the chair of its planning committee that a decision taken at a meeting on 10 March 2021, which saw an "unexpected problem" with the broadcast stream, cannot stand.
Mar 22, 2021

Prosecution sees pub and landlord fined for “sewer abuse”

A pub and its landlord have been fined more than £16,000 for allowing cooking fat and oil to enter a town’s sewer network, in a landmark case brought by Thames Water.
Mar 22, 2021

Law firms advise social landlords on largest stock swap to date

Law firms Trowers & Hamlins and Devonshires have advised on what is believed to be the affordable housing sector's largest stock swap so far.
Mar 22, 2021

Housing association selects seven firms for £2.2m property and development legal panel

A leading social landlord in the Midlands has appointed seven law firms to a £2.2m panel for property and development legal advice.
Mar 22, 2021

Councils to be given greater flexibility in reforms to use of Right to Buy receipts

Councils in England are to be given more freedom on how they spend the money received from homes sold through Right to Buy, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said.
Mar 19, 2021

High Court dismisses £600k+ damages claim brought by ex-employee against council over fundamental dishonesty

A High Court Master has thrown out a £600,000-plus damages claim for personal injury and loss of earnings brought by a former employee of the London Borough of Haringey after she was assaulted by a service user with learning difficulties in a facility operated by the council.
Mar 19, 2021

Ministry of Justice to consult on judicial review reforms including power to suspend quashing orders, removal of ‘Cart judgments’, and procedural changes

The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on giving the courts the power to suspend quashing orders, removing so-called ‘Cart judgments’, and introducing a series of changes to civil procedure rules, following recommendations by the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) led by…
Mar 19, 2021

Supreme Court rules employers do not have to pay care workers national minimum wage for sleep-in shifts

The Supreme Court has dismissed appeals to pay two care workers the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for hours in which they are required to sleep on-site during overnight shifts.
Mar 18, 2021

Ombudsman issues guide for dealing with children’s services statutory complaints

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has published a guide on handling complaints under the children's services statutory complaints process in order to help councils avoid the “pitfalls” seen in previous investigations.
Mar 18, 2021

ADSO and LLG issue claim in High Court in bid to extend local authority remote meetings beyond 6th May

The claim brought by ADSO (the Association of Democratic Services Officers) and LLG (Lawyers in Local Government), along with Hertfordshire County Council, to allow for the continuation of local authority remote meetings beyond the 6th May 2021 has been issued in the High Court.
Mar 18, 2021

Café owners with “complete disregard” for Covid rules ordered to close, lose licence

A café has been ordered to close by Manchester Magistrates' Court for three months and had its licence revoked by Manchester City Council for a similar length of time after its owners were found to be serving customers in breach of Covid-safety rules.
Mar 18, 2021

Parish council fails in High Court challenge to 1,200-home scheme

The High Court has rejected all the grounds of appeal argued by a parish council that wanted to prevent planning permission being given for an urban extension to Newton Abbot.
Mar 18, 2021

Tribunal allows FOI appeal in part over council investments in solar farm

The Bureau for Investigative Journalism (BIJ) has won an interim ruling in a First Tier Tribunal case to require Thurrock Council to disclose information about its investments in solar farms, it has been reported.
Mar 18, 2021

Court of Appeal says judge should have decided issue over statutory construction about timetable for producing amended EHC plans

An Administrative Court judge should have decided a point of statutory construction about the timetable for producing amended education health and care (EHC) plans instead of declining to do so since it was academic, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Mar 18, 2021

School and family settle legal row over length of skirt

A 12-year-old Muslim girl has been told she can continue to wear a long skirt for religious reasons after the settlement of a dispute with Uxbridge High School.
Mar 18, 2021

Court of Appeal upholds length of sentences for planning breaches

Eight people who committed repeated breaches of planning permission and court orders while trying to establish a site in Basildon have had their sentences confirmed after failing to convince the Court of Appeal that their punishments were too severe.
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