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
  • Challenges to Competition and Regulatory decisions in the courts and at the CMA

Recent experience

Mark Howard has recently advised a company with a large real estate portfolio in relation to Crossrail 2 and the client’s risk profile for a proposed transaction. Mark drew on his previous experience of Crossrail to advise on uncertainty and potential outcomes. This allowed the client to form a realistic evaluation of its negotiating position and asset valuation.

Andrew Oldland KC is one of the leading lawyers in the country on maritime and fisheries regulation. His maritime practice includes complex marine licensing and planning issues, port and harbour governance, collisions at sea, onboard accidents and pollution. Andrew is also an expert in FCA regulatory requirements for finance businesses such as Forex and trade finance houses

Adam Corbin is acting for a number of business affected by the Welsh Government’s Heads of Valleys road improvement scheme, where he is advising upon the types of interest in land which can attract compensation, and evidencing complex business losses.

Ben Sharples is advising various sporting clients upon reviewing regulatory decisions which have significantly limited the exercise of sporting rights.

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