Public & Administrative Practice Group

“St John’s public and administrative group has dealt with significant judicial reviews recently.” Legal 500 (2016)


Our public and administrative law practice group are highly experienced and provide expert advice and specialist advocacy in all courts from Magistrates’ Courts to the Supreme Court.

The increasing workload and regulatory activities of local authorities and other statutory bodies have created a rapidly growing demand for specialist legal support in this complex field.

Our advocates appear for clients at public inquiries, tribunals, local licensing committees and other bodies including the Lands Tribunal and Special Educational Needs Tribunals.

Specialist teams provide expertise in all the main areas including:

We act for individuals, corporate and business clients, as well as a range of departments of local government at county, borough and district level and for other public bodies. We also receive instructions via licensed access from planning consultants, chartered surveyors and others and understand the working practices of fellow professionals.   In appropriate cases, members also undertake public access work from the general public.

We also undertake prosecution and defence work in the criminal courts, particularly in the public and regulatory fields.

To make our service as cost-effective as possible, we are happy to appear in court without an instructing solicitor or other professional present when appropriate and where the Bar Code of Conduct permits.   We are happy to provides realistic quotes for and agree costs, where that can reasonably be done, at the outset of a case.

This group covers all areas of Administrative Court work including judicial review and statutory review, public inquiries, tribunals and boards, the Human Rights Act 1998, local authorities, regulatory offences and coroners.

One area of expansion has been in Village Green work following decisions in recent years by the House of Lords and Supreme Court.   It forms an important part of the PAL group’s work and various members of the group are happy to advise in this area.

Finally, the increasing use of judicial review (JR) as a means of challenge in all areas of public law – against an increasing range of public and quasi-public bodies – has meant that the Public & Administrative Law Practice Group has dealt with many commercial cases in the JR field as well as the more conventional challenges by JR to public bodies.

St John’s Chambers has Solicitor Regulation Authority External Continuing Professional Development Accreditation. Members regularly conduct seminars either in Chambers, at solicitors’ offices, or at other chosen venues, not just across the Western Circuit, as we are regularly instructed to appear on cases in London and other areas of the country.

If you would like any further information or help in producing a training programme, please contact Rob Bocock, Practice Manager.

Our friendly and efficient team of clerks will be happy to answer any of your questions.