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39 Essex Chambers

Education

8 ranked barristersBand 2London (Bar)UK Bar 2022 View ranking table
chambers review
Ranked Barristers
chambers review
Ranked Barristers

Chambers Review

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

39 Essex Chambers offers extensive expertise covering a wide range of education matters. The set's barristers are particularly well regarded for their handling of cases concerning the higher education sector, including challenges to grant decisions and admissions, and claims involving allegations of discrimination and procedural unfairness. Members have additional expertise in claims for judicial reviews concerning SEN funding and employment claims within the education sector. The team acts on behalf of a enviable roster of clients, including the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, as well as several higher education institutions, local authorities, schools and parents.

Client service:

"The clerks are really approachable, friendly and knowledgeable." Senior clerks Michael Kaplan and Alastair Davidson head the clerking team. The set began to offer its 'Quarantine Queries' service in April 2020. This service is offered to its clients and provides access to a team of barristers to discuss any queries or issues for up to half an hour free of charge.

Strengths:

Fenella Morris QC
Fenella Morris QC is a seasoned local government silk with wide-ranging expertise covering social care and procurement, as well as education law. She is particularly well known for her advocacy skills. Her education practice also covers new educational frameworks, and their regulation and funding. She is also adept at handling claims involving allegations of discrimination or breach of human rights. She further advises on cases with crossover between education and social care.
"An experienced public law QC who provides a fantastic service to her clients."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in R (Trinity Hall) v Secretary of State, a challenge to the government's decision to refuse an EU grant for the building of bio-incubator in a science park.

Strengths:

Jack Anderson
Jack Anderson handles complex and high-value SEN appeals and educational judicial reviews for both claimants and defendants. He often represents the Department for Education, Ofsted and schools, and has extensive experience before the Administrative Court and Upper Tribunal. He also receives instruction regarding private law contractual claims against further education colleges and universities. Anderson's practice also includes advising local authorities on strategy relevant to the provision of education. 
"Really committed to his clients, very easy to work with, very clever and great on his feet as well." "He's very helpful, responsive and really cares for his clients."
Recent work: Acted for the council in R (L and M) v Devon, a claim for judicial review by which the claimants challenged Devon's interpretation of the Children and Families Act 2014 and SEND Regulations in relation to the process and timescales for deciding on amendments to an EHCP.

Strengths:

Jennifer Thelen
Jennifer Thelen is considered a solid option for those seeking counsel on SEN proceedings, discrimination claims, or school exclusion disputes. She is also sought out for higher education matters involving contract law. She regularly appears before the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs) and the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals). She is regularly instructed by both central and local government, and is a member of the Attorney General's B Panel of Counsel.
"She has an encyclopedic knowledge of education law and an immense capacity for hard work." "She is fantastic and does an amazing job."
Recent work: Acted for the school in F v Responsible Body of W School, a claim concerning a challenge to the regular practice of the First-tier Tribunal of 'registering' a disability discrimination claim.

Strengths:

Katherine Apps
Katherine Apps possesses significant expertise in cases involving equality issues and university governance. She acts for a broad range of clients including several schools, universities and colleges and the Department for Education.
"She is excellent - very, very responsive, thorough and sensible." Recent work: Advised a major London state school with a religious designation on its conversion to academy status and when it can discipline staff for their compliance with requirements of that religion.

Strengths:

Katherine Barnes
Katherine Barnes is a public law barrister with a substantial practice in education law. She regularly appears before the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal in SEN appeals and claims for judicial review.
"She is extremely thorough, has great attention to detail and an exceptional understanding of the core issues in her cases. She is also a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in R (BG and LW) v Hampshire County Council, a claim for judicial review which challenged the council's policy for charging families a financial contribution towards post-16 transport.

Strengths:

Rory Dunlop QC
Rory Dunlop QC is a talented silk with a broad practice that encompasses education, public law and immigration. He frequently appears in High Court appeals by teachers, and he is also experienced in acting for the Secretary of State for the Home Department in judicial review proceedings.
"An extremely able QC who is very incisive and a pleasure to deal with." "He gets great results and is a safe pair of hands."
Recent work: Successfully acted for the Secretary of State for Education in R (T & Others) v Secretary of State for Education, a judicial review challenging the lawfulness of the government's flagship policy of making full-time childcare for three and four-year-olds free for working parents.

Strengths:

Steve Broach
Steve Broach is a notable public law barrister who acts for a number of prominent clients in the education sector. Much of his work is concerned with the special educational needs of disabled children, as well as young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. He regularly acts in judicial reviews challenging funding cuts and local authority policies. Broach has expert knowledge of the Children and Families Act 2014, as well as particular expertise regarding the law on school transport and higher education Disabled Student Allowances.
"He has excellent knowledge of law relating to special educational needs, public law and issues affecting young people generally. He also provides very clear advice and is a good advocate. He's very approachable and excellent at reassuring nervous clients."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in R (Shaw and Another) v Secretary of State for Education, a challenge to a number of statutory instruments issued by the Secretary of State for Education which downgraded duties owed to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities by reference to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strengths:

Thomas Amraoui
Thomas Amraoui is an impressive education barrister with strong knowledge of the Equality Act. He is an expert at admissions and exclusions disputes and is frequently engaged by local authorities. He is a highly regarded SEN practitioner who has appeared in a number of complex matters and established a solid client base among local authorities.
"He does a great job and is very pragmatic."

Education

39 Essex Chambers

firm
Location

81 Chancery Lane

London

Greater London

UK

WC2A 1DD

View Set Profile

Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

London (Bar)

Education


Fenella Morris QC
Band 3
Rory Dunlop QC
Band 3

Juniors

London (Bar)

Education


Jack Anderson
Band 3
Jennifer Thelen
Band 4
Katherine Apps
Band 4
Katherine Barnes
Up and Coming

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