Administrative & public


The exercise of power by public authorities is regulated by a set of legal principles that are commonly referred to as public law. This area of specialism involves the analysis and application of constitutional and administrative law, primarily in the context of challenges to the decision-making by public authorities and inferior tribunals.

The separation of powers and judicial oversight of the executive branch are cornerstones of the British constitutional law that guarantee those subject to and affected by the exercise of executive power, whether individuals or corporate entities, access to the courts to review and adjudicate upon the lawfulness of decisions involving the exercise that power, providing specialist remedies where excesses of power warrant intervention.

The practice of public law has grown significantly since the latter part of the twentieth Century, reflecting the ever-increasing breadth and complexity of state regulation of individuals and corporate entities under domestic and European legislation. Since October 2000, the Human Rights Act 1998 has made it unlawful for public authorities to act in a way that is incompatible with the rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and empowers individuals to challenge the lawfulness of public authorities action in legal proceedings. The impact of the Human Rights Act on public law jurisprudence has been widespread and continues to develop.

The recent legislative reforms to the tribunal system, which reorganised individual Tribunals into a new, unified tribunals structure has also had a significant impact on the practice of public law. Tribunals are specialist judicial bodies that decide disputes in particular areas of law and appeals to Tribunals are generally against a decision made by a Government department or agency and engage the principles of public law.

The expertise and experience of the Administrative and Public Law group at Six Pump Court reflects the diversity and range of Chambers’ other Areas of Specialism, especially those which involve the statutory regulation of public authorities and inferior tribunals. There is considerable overlap between the practice of Public Law and our other specialist areas of CrimePlanningEnvironment and Regulatory Law.

The Members of our Administrative and Public Law group also offer our clients with expert advocacy and advisory services over an extensive range work involving civil and criminal regulation. We offer experience at all levels of seniority, advising and appearing in cases involving judicial review and statutory challenges in the High Court, including cases assigned to the specialist Planning Court, appeals by way of case stated in the Divisional Court and statutory appeals within the specialist jurisdictions of First-tier and Upper-tier Tribunals.

Barristers in Chambers also have considerable experience of a diverse range casework involving challenges to and appeals against the decisions and actions of governments, public authorities and quasi-public bodies, which engage public law principles in other courts, councils, tribunals and inquiries, including those constituted on an ad hoc basis. Click here for details of our Inquests and Inquiries work and click here for details of our work relating to Professional Discipline.

Our clients include those seeking to challenge the lawfulness of the exercise of power by public authorities and the many and varied government departments, agencies, public authorities, local authorities, inferior tribunals and other regulators whose decisions and actions are subject to review and oversight by Courts and Tribunals applying public law principles. The strength and depth of talent and experience in Chambers is built upon our commitment to act on behalf of claimants and respondents in this area. Our clients benefit from the insight and knowledge of our Members that can only be gained from accepting instructions from claimants, respondents and interested parties in public law proceedings.

Many of our barristers are recognised and recommended as experts in cases involving public law challenge, including judicial review, statutory challenge and administrative appeals. For full details of members recognised by the UK Legal Directories click here. Our members also appear on behalf of the government as current or former members of the Attorney General’s specialist panels of civil and regulatory counsel – click here for a full list of our Regulatory List Counsel.

Latest news

19th May 2023

Judgment addresses lawfulness of fresh asylum claims where applicant has not lost an appeal before an immigration judge

Mr Justice Morris recently handed down judgment determining an important human rights issue.

28th June 2022

Withdrawal of Public Body’s decision did not end the First Tier Tribunal’s jurisdiction

Stuart Jessop acted for the Appellant in an appeal to the Upper Tribunal concerning the jurisdiction of the First Tier Tribunal when the public body decision maker withdraws its decision.

27th June 2022

Court of Appeal decision on calculating lawful residence in the UK

The Court of Appeal on Friday handed down its decision in Marepally v Secretary of State for the Home Department.

29th September 2021

Six Pump Court barristers recommended in nine areas of law in the Legal 500 2022

Six Pump Court has been recommended in 9 areas of law in the Legal 500 2022 with 62 individual recommendations.

30th June 2021

Farmers’ market sues London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Council for damages for Covid-19 power abuses

Robert Griffiths QC and Nicola Strachan represent small traders in claims against London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Council following closure of weekly farmers’ markets.

5th February 2021

High Court finds very lengthy period of immigration detention lawful

This is the first substantive judicial review to consider returning detainees to India and the weight to be placed on the limited freedoms open to immigration detainees in prison in 2020-2021.

24th March 2020

Parliament and Brexit – a new Report

A report on "Parliament and Brexit’ was published today by UK in a Changing Europe. It explores the role Parliament has played to date on Brexit, as well as the challenges and opportunities .

29th November 2019

Jill Barrett speaks at Polar Law Symposium in Australia

Jill Barrett will be attending the 12th Polar Law Symposium in Australia, an annual gathering of the world’s leading specialists in the law of Antarctica and the Arctic.

27th September 2019

Six Pump Court barristers recommended in eleven areas of law in the Legal 500 2020

Six Pump Court has been recommended in eleven areas of law in the Legal 500 2020 with 59 individual recommendations.

13th February 2019

Black Taxis in High Court challenge to decision to grant Uber their licence

Robert Griffiths QC and Stuart Jessop will represent the United Cabbies Group on behalf of the United Taxi Action Group in the High Court today in the Claimant’s challenge to the decision to grant Uber London Limited a Private Hire Vehicle Operators licence.

10th January 2019

William Upton to be appointed Queen’s Counsel

Chambers is delighted to announce that William Upton is to be appointed Queen’s Counsel.

2nd November 2018

Six Pump Court ranked Band 1 Set and barristers ranked in twelve practice areas in 2019 Chambers UK Bar Guide

Six Pump Court Chambers is delighted to be ranked as a Band 1 Set with Set rankings in Crime, Consumer Law Environment, Health & Safety and Planning in the new 2019 Chambers UK Bar Guide.

19th September 2018

Uber decision to be judicially reviewed

Robert Griffiths QC and Stuart Jessop have been instructed on behalf of a trade association representing Hackney Carriage drivers in London to commence Judicial Review proceedings in respect of a decision to grant Uber London Limited a 15 month licence.

22nd March 2018

Treaties, Brexit and the Constitution

Jill Barrett will speak on "Parliament’s role in negotiating, concluding and implementing treaty obligations and the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010".

28th February 2018

Natasha Hausdorff to speak at the AIPAC Policy Conference 2018

Natasha Hausdorff will be speaking at the AIPAC Policy Conference 2018 in Washington, D.C. next week.

14th November 2017

Legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius (ICJ Advisory Opinion)

Jill Barrett has been invited to chair a BIICL seminar on 11 December 2017.

9th October 2017

The Balfour Centenary – A Legal Conference

Natasha Hausdorff spoke at a legal conference in London marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration with Professor Malcolm Shaw, Professor Robbie Sabel, Professor Guglielmo Verdirame and Dr. Gerald Adler.

2nd August 2017

Six Pump Court welcomes two new members to Chambers

Six Pump Court is pleased to welcome Robert Griffiths QC and Nicola Strachan to Chambers.

31st March 2017

Six Pump Court presents a series of Environmental and Public Law seminars

Members of the Environmental Law and Public Law Teams at Six Pump Court will be presenting a series of seminars covering both environmental regulation and...

9th December 2016

Important ruling for almshouse charities and residents

The Court of Appeal today handed down judgment in Watts v Stewart & ors [2016] EWCA Civ 1247 which will be of fundamental importance...

Our administrative & public team

Stephen Hockman QC

Stephen Hockman KC

Call: 1970, KC: 1990
Mark Watson QC

Mark Watson KC

Call: 1994, KC: 2018
W Robert Griffiths QC

W Robert Griffiths KC SC

Call: 1974, KC: 1993
Richard Barraclough

Richard Barraclough KC

Call: 1980, KC: 2003
Megan Thomas QC

Megan Thomas KC

Call: 1987, KC: 2020
William Upton QC

William Upton KC

Call: 1990, KC: 2019
Mark Harris

Mark Harris

Call: 1980
Mark Beard

Mark Beard

Call: 1996
Noémi Byrd

Noémi Byrd

Call: 2004
Thaiza Khan

Thaiza Khan

Call: 2006
Mark Davies

Mark Davies

Call: 2017