39 Essex Chambers

Local Government Department

London (Bar)
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39 Essex Chambers is a highly regarded set with a noted expertise in local government matters. Members are regularly instructed in complex and high-profile matters relating to planning, tax, education and procurement, and have experience appearing before the courts at all levels, up to and including the Supreme Court. Cases concerning local authority powers and duties are also a key area of strength for the team. The set's barristers act for a wide range of clients, including individual claimants, businesses, care homes and local authorities across the UK.

Client service: "The clerks are really responsive, efficient and helpful." "The clerks are very helpful and organised. You're never left in the lurch." "Senior practice manager Sheraton Doyle is absolutely first rate. She's extremely intelligent, she understands how to deal with solicitors and has fantastic emotional and intellectual intelligence. She's an absolute delight to deal with." Alastair Davidson and Michael Kaplan are the joint senior clerks.


Fenella Morris QC

Erudite local government silk advising local authorities and individuals in complex cases incorporating various aspects of both public and private law. She is also well known for her deep knowledge and understanding of healthcare, education and community care work.
Strengths: "She is able to put complex arguments in easy to understand language." "She understands the main issues of cases and what the way forward should be, and her advocacy is very clear."
Recent work: Acted for the respondent in R (L) v Buckinghamshire County Council, a challenge to the council's decision to close 19 of the county's 35 children's centres.


Jack Anderson

Has a broad local government practice and a particular focus on cases concerning education, social care and Court of Protection. He regularly represents local authorities and appears in the Administrative Court and the Upper Tribunal. He also has experience appearing for his clients in claims for judicial review. Anderson currently sits on the Attorney General's B Panel of Counsel.
Strengths: "His submissions are always very powerful and well thought through." "Very helpful, responsive and has a pleasant manner with clients." "Extremely bright and knowledgeable."
Recent work: Successfully acted for the London Borough of Richmond in resisting a claim for judicial review of a consultation in relation to substantial changes to Richmond's SEN policy.


James Strachan QC

A dynamic local government silk with an excellent track record in local authority disputes and vast experience in judicial review proceedings. He routinely advises on high-profile infrastructure projects. He is regularly instructed to act both for and against local authorities. He also has experience acting in major compulsory purchase orders.
Strengths: "He's very calm and collected, and his advice is always accurate and strategic." "An effective advocate - he's exceptionally well prepared." "Completely unflappable in court."
Recent work: Acted for United Utilities in its promotion of a compulsory purchase order to provide new sewerage infrastructure in the Manchester Ship Canal to drain the Salford area.


Jenni Richards QC

Enjoys a solid reputation for her work in public law, including matters relating to local authority vires, civil liberties and regulatory law. A highly experienced practitioner, she acts predominantly for local government bodies and public interest groups. She is regularly instructed in cases involving healthcare and mental health issues.
Strengths: "She has an absolute mastery of the law - her written work is clear and her advocacy is amazing. She's great with clients and is really approachable." "Jenni is a real expert in pure local government work. She's an excellent advocate and has the ear of the court."
Recent work: Successfully represented the local authority in R (AA) v Rotherham Council, a challenge to the council's decision to close day centres for people with learning disabilities.