Louise is a public law specialist, with 14 years’ post-qualifying experience of conducting high-profile judicial review claims across a wide range of subject areas including discrimination and equality duties, public sector funding and procurement, medical services and community care, claims based on breaches of the Human Rights Act, and claims relating to inquests and prisoners’ rights. Louise is highly recommended in administrative and public law in Legal 500 and is recognised in the next edition of the chambers directory (2012) as a leader in the field of administrative and public law, as well as civil liberties and human rights.
Louise’s recent casework has focused on public law discrimination challenges arising from the public sector equality duties. She represented the claimants in leading cases on s71 of the Race Relations Act (the race equality duty) and s49A of the Disability Discrimination Act (the disability equality duty). She has advised on a number of gender equality duty cases and regularly represents women’s organizations on a wide range of public law issues. In 2007 she represented the claimants in the first cuts case to rely on the disability equality duty. In 2011, she represented the claimants in a successful challenge to London Councils’ proposals to cut their grants budget by £10 million. She regularly advises and represents the claimants in a wide range of issues arising from the reductions in public sector funding and services, including most recently cuts to transport services, closure of day centres, support groups for people with learning disabilities and women’s refuges.
During her time at the Public Law Project (PLP), Louise developed a particular specialism in representing voluntary sector organizations and their service-users in challenging funding cuts or other unfair public body decisions. For example, she brought a successful claim against Leicester City Council resulting in the overhaul of their funding of the voluntary sector and she acted in proceedings which established that health authorities could fund advice agencies targeting those with mental health problems. Louise is a member of the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector, set up and funded by the Baring Foundation to consider and comment on voluntary sector independence; Louise was asked to join the Panel because of her expertise in public law and her wide experience of representing voluntary sector organisations.
Louise was also heavily involved in PLP’s work to extend the availability of protective costs orders (PCOs) – a crucial development in enabling NGOs to challenge unlawful government decisions; she led on the intervention by PLP in the case of The Corner House, the leading decision on PCOs.
Louise has also represented the claimants in a number of successful judicial review challenges arising from the unlawful detention of vulnerable individuals with a particular focus on policy challenges arising from the conditions of detention.
Louise has extensive experience of delivering public law training to lawyers and non-lawyers, having designed, developed and delivered a wide range of courses ranging from conference workshops on public law basics and the equality duties, to one-day events on judicial review pre-action tactics and strategy for claimants’ representatives.