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Bristol Legal: Litigation and community

Bristol Legal: Litigation and community

The team comprises lawyers, legal officers and legal assistants. We're a dedicated team of experienced lawyers working in local government and the public sector.

We:

  • provide advice on all aspects of civil litigation
  • provide advice to our client departments on policy and strategic issues
  • run training courses, tailored to customer requirements  
  • are efficient and costs driven
  • are approachable and client focussed
  • have our own in house advocate
  • are recognised nationally for our work both with Central Government and other public bodies

Recent example cases include:

  • successfully defending an injunction and procurement challenge
  • control and reduction of disrepair claims following an influx of claims
  • efficient and innovative co-working of cases with customers leading to highly successful, low cost outcomes
  • one of the first councils in England to get positive requirements in an anti-social behaviour injunction

Practice areas

Anti-social behaviour claims

  • Anti-social behaviour injunctions/housing injunctions
  • Housing possessions
  • Gang injunctions
  • Protection from Harassment Act injunctions (to protect employees from harassment)
  • Section 222 Local Government Act injunctions
  • Closure orders

Asylum and immigration

  • No recourse to public funds cases
  • Unaccompanied asylum seeking children
  • Age assessments
  • Human rights assessments

Children and young people

  • Judicial reviews
  • Disclosure and information sharing, data protection and public interest immunity claims
  • Children in need:
    • disabled children
    • homeless 16/17 year olds
    • advice on services and accommodation for children in need (S17/20 Children Act 1989)
    • duties to care leavers

Commercial property

  • Termination and renewal of commercial leases
  • Operation of break clauses
  • Forfeiture including Section 146 Notices and possession proceedings
  • Advice on leases including:
    • breach of covenants, for example rent
    • repairing obligations and access
  • Tenants insolvency and bankruptcy
  • Dilapidations claims

Education and early years

  • Inclusion (exclusions, alternative provision, attendance, behaviour, EPS and HES)
  • Early years
  • School improvement
  • Education admissions, exclusions, transport appeals and education (SENDIST) tribunals
  • School leadership and governance
  • Safeguarding in education
  • Finance
  • School organisation and academy conversion
  • Attendance
  • Home to school travel
  • CYPS capital programme
  • Youth services

General litigation

We deal with claims by and against the council in civil cases including:

  • judicial reviews
  • contract and procurement disputes and claims
  • insolvency and bankruptcy advice and litigation
  • housing benefit advice and tribunals
  • highways claims
  • personal injury (defendant)
  • debt recovery process which includes obtaining judgments
  • bankruptcy orders
  • designated no drinking zones
  • disability discrimination claims
  • inquests
  • injunctions, for example education and planning

Health and social care

  • Judicial reviews
  • Court of protection cases
  • Care Act
  • Safeguarding
  • Mental Capacity Act
  • Mental Health Act
  • County court action to displace nearest relatives under the Mental Health Act
  • Advising members at the guardianship panel
  • Policy advice – including drafting procedures and legal advice for reports to Cabinet
  • Health scrutiny committee
  • Health and Wellbeing Board

Homelessness and housing

  • Defending judicial reviews and injunctions often at short notice.
  • Defending County Court appeals against homelessness and housing allocation decisions
  • General advice on tenancies and eligibility for housing and homelessess
  • Policy advice on homelessness and rehousing under the Housing Act 1996

Housing and property litigation

  • Possession of council houses
  • Squatters or trespassers of residential and commercial properties or open spaces
  • Eviction of residential employees from tied accommodation, for example school caretakers
  • Disrepair advice or claims
  • Property and social care first tier tribunal matters and cases appealed to the Upper Tribunal
  • Specific performance of leases, tenancy agreements and contractual terms
  • Arbitrations and mediations
  • Agricultural and business tenancy disputes

Town and village greens (TVGs)

Acting for councils in their statutory role as the Commons Registration Authority (CRA)

Contact us

Sarah Sharland: sarah.sharland@bristol.gov.uk 
Anne Nugent: anne.nugent@bristol.gov.uk