Public Sector Disputes

Public law is the law which governs our relationship with the government, and public organisations. It includes administrative and constitutional law, and those public organisations include housing associations, county councils, and utility or transport companies.

Individuals and businesses can take legal action against the government or public organisations in order to protect or assert rights which are taken away from them or restricted. Often that legal action takes the form of an application for Judicial Review of a particular decision or outcome, but it is often the case that other sorts of claim can be pursued

Michelmores act for and against different government or public organisations in a range of matters.

For Government or Public Organisations

For Businesses and Individuals

Our lawyers act for a broad range of government and public organisation clients in transactional and contentious matters. We take time to build strong, sustainable, relationships with our public sector clients, and always seek to broaden our understanding of the challenges faced by those clients.

Because many of our teams, such as planning, property, and projects have such strong relationships with public sector clients we are able to quickly understand new challenges and work together with our clients to achieve the best outcomes. For instance our Planning Team has great relationships with many local authority clients, which means that when matters become contentious we instantly understand the internal challenges and policy objectives which dictate actions.

We also have very strong sector knowledge, which also helps us to work effectively and collaboratively with our clients and as a Firm to meet our clients’ objectives. For instance, our Agriculture Team has an unrivalled presence in the Agriculture Sector, which means that we are first choice for organisations looking for assistance with claims involving rural land, farming, and rural businesses.

Our collaborative and engaged approach means that we advise upon a much broader range of contentious or potentially contentious issues than just the matters which are going to court.

We also advise upon:

  • Cabinet procedure
  • Vires and constitutional problems
  • Structuring decision making processes
  • The conduct of officers and members

Our dispute resolution teams collaborate seamlessly with our other teams across the firm to provide an efficient and joined up approach to our clients’ problems.

We recognise that the dividing line between a ‘public law’ dispute and any other sort of dispute is sometimes difficult to find, and that there may be more than one sort of opportunity to bring a claim. Our broad experience allows us to move seamlessly across all parts of a dispute, and provide our clients with a service which covers all of the bases.

We advise upon a broad range of claims against the government and other public bodies, including:

  • Compulsory purchase and compensation
  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest and other environmental designations
  • County Council Smallholdings
  • Planning decisions and enforcement
  • Financial Conduct Authority decisions and appeals
  • European Subsidy claim disputes
  • Public rights of way applications and appeals

Recent experience

Police Force: acting on the £multi-million disposal of a 19-hectare site to a residential developer.

Police Force: legal, strategic and procurement advice on ICT contracts.

Police Force: acting for the Metropolitan Police Service on the acquisition of the Empress State Building in Earls Court, London for £250m

NHS Trust: assisted with drafting all procurement documentation relating to £50m redevelopment programme, and with establishing appropriate selection criteria.

Health Trusts (various): Tribunal hearings (whistleblowing), TUPE, organisational change management, major service outsourcing projects.

Health body: advising in relation to an agreement to commercialise two IT-based workflow products.

Local Authority: assisting with all aspects of the competitive dialogue procurement of a strategic materials recycling facility project.

Local Authorities (Key London Authorities and South West): High-profile tribunal hearings (equal pay, whistleblowing, discrimination, victimisation, freedom of expression); contentious grievance issues and appeals; negotiating compromise agreements; union recognition issues; secondments; drafting contracts and policies; TUPE; outsourcing; Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act requests.

Local Authorities: superfast broadband. Advising on £100m project and the £2.5bn roll out under the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) national programme.  On-going support as member of BDUK’s core specialist advisory team, including FOIA requests.

Local Authority: preparation of template contracts for purchasing goods and services and for framework arrangements.

Government Department:  private developer schemes, at sites across England and Wales, under which the department contracted with developers for the construction of significant buildings, then taking a lease on completion of the works.

Universities UK member: procurement through the Competitive Dialogue procedure of a £100 million plus student residences project on a greenfield/farmyard site.

Executive Agency: employment litigation. TUPE and procurement training. Advice on procurement of a supercomputer under competitive dialogue including negotiation with bidders on legal/commercial issues.

Executive Agency: advising the Met Office on a major procurement of its multi-million pound supercomputer. Also providing secondment support.

Ombudsman: advising on all the employment law aspects of statutory transfer of staff and assets to new body.

Mark Howard
Mark Howard
Adam Corbin
Adam Corbin
Ben Sharples
Ben Sharples
Emily Aggett
Emily Aggett
Senior Associate