Annabel Lee

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+44 (0)20 7832 1111

Annabel specialises in public and regulatory law, in particular, in healthcare and mental capacity law. She also accepts instructions in commercial and construction law.

As a public lawyer, her broad experience encompasses areas such as: judicial review, human rights, mental capacity, mental health, inquests, education, information rights, community care, healthcare, immigration and public international law. Annabel regularly appears in a wide range of courts and tribunals, including the High Court.

Administrative & Public

In public law, Annabel has acted in a number of judicial review challenges in the Administrative Court including R (Keep Wythenshawe Special) v Central Manchester CCG [2016] EWHC 17 (Admin) and R (O) v London Borough of Bexley [2015] EWHC 1843 (Admin) She represented the successful claimant in the high profile challenge to the prison book ban in R (Gordon-Jones) v Secretary of State for Justice [2014] EWHC 3997 (Admin) (led by Jenni Richards QC and Victoria Butler-Cole). She also recently represented three Labour Party Councillors in a High Court election petition as sole counsel: Williams v Patrick and others [2014] EWHC 4120 (QB). Shortly after pupillage, Annabel was awarded the Pegasus Scholarship and undertook a 3-month traineeship at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Mental Capacity and Mental Health

Annabel frequently appears in the Court of Protection and is instructed by individuals, the Official Solicitor, local authorities, NHS bodies and care homes. She has dealt with a wide range of disputes regarding residence, care, deprivation of liberty, contact, property and financial affairs, and serious medical treatment. She has acted in complicated welfare proceedings, including High Court medical treatment case dealing with issues such as the withdrawal of artificial hydration and nutrition from a patient in a minimally conscious or permanently vegetative state (e.g. Cumbria CCG v S [2016] EWCOP 32); the provision of antibiotics, dialysis and CPR to a patient in a coma; and the administration of anti-retro viral medication to a patient with schizoaffective disorder. She has appeared in a leading case on the international protection of incapacitated adults in cross-border placements: HSE Ireland v PA, PB and PC [2015] EWCOP 36. She has particular expertise in dealing with deprivation of liberty cases having acted in the case of Re MOD and others (Deprivation of Liberty) [2015] EWCOP 47. As a judicial assistant in the Supreme Court, Annabel was involved in the seminal case of P v Cheshire West and Chester Council; P & Q v Surrey County Council [2014] UKSC 19 (deprivation of liberty under Article 5 ECHR). She is a contributing editor of 39 Essex Chamber’s Mental Capacity Newsletter and the leading practitioners’ textbook, Court of Protection Practice 2016.

Annabel has been instructed in a wide range of mental health proceedings including Mental Health Tribunal hearings and applications to displace a nearest relative. She has also been involved with a number of judicial review challenges concerning aftercare duties under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Community Care and Healthcare

Annabel regularly advises on and acts in a full range of community care and healthcare disputes such as ordinary residence, service provision, charging provisions and NHS Continuing Healthcare. She is regularly instructed in judicial review proceedings including a high profile challenge to the reconfiguration of hospital services in Greater Manchester (R (Keep Wythenshawe Special) v Central Manchester CCG [2016] EWHC 17 (Admin) and as sole counsel in a judicial review challenge to the provision of a care package for an adult with learning disabilities (R (OH) v London Borough of Bexley [2015] EWHC 1843 (Admin). Annabel has also been instructed in a number of judicial review applications regarding funding disputes.


Annabel regularly appears in inquests including those concerning Article 2 ECHR. Recent appearances include:

  • Acting for the family of the deceased who died in prison
  • Acting for a hospital in an Article 2 inquest concerning the death of a patient detained under the Mental Health Act 1983
  • Acting for an NHS Trust concerning the suicide of a mentally-ill patient who had been discharged from hospital
  • Acting for the family of the deceased in an inquest concerning a death on train tracks.

Information Rights

Annabel has advised a number of public bodies in relation to their obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the applicability of various exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Annabel has appeared in the Information Rights Tribunal in a case concerning the meaning of “personal data” including “sensitive personal data”. As a judicial assistant, Annabel was involved with the case of Kennedy v Charity Commission [2014] UKSC 20 (right to receive information).

Education law

Annabel advises and represents schools, local authorities and parents in a wide range of education law matters including admissions appeals, infant class size appeals, school reorganisation, land transfers, special educational needs and disabilities. She appears in the Special Education Needs and Disability Tribunal. She is a contributor to the third edition of McManus’ textbook “Education and the Courts” (third edition).

Immigration & Asylum

Annabel was recently instructed for the claimant in a judicial review challenge relating to entry clearance (led by Lisa Giovannetti QC). She appears in the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal in bail applications on behalf of immigration detainees. Annabel has experience in proceedings concerning the unlawful detention. As a judicial assistant in the UK Supreme Court, Annabel worked on the case of R (on the application of EM (Eritrea)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] UKSC 12 (ill-treatment of asylum seekers under article 3 ECHR).

Public International

Annabel has a keen interest in public international law and has advised NGOs, including Oxfam and Amnesty International, on issues such as treaty law in relation to the UN Arms Trade Treaty and international refugee law. Annabel has also advised a foreign government on the applicability of State immunity from prosecution in foreign domestic courts (led by Hazel Fox QC). Annabel has also appeared in a leading case about the international protection of adults: HSE Ireland v PA, PB and PC [2015] EWCOP 38.

Regulatory & Disciplinary

Annabel has experience in regulatory law, particularly in the healthcare and financial services sector.

In the field of healthcare, she has undertaken a secondment at Monitor where she dealt with regulatory law issues including competition law, licence conditions, enforcement, sanctions and appeals.

In the financial services sector, Annabel has undertaken a secondment at the Financial Ombudsman Service where she dealt with legal issues arising in the context of a wide range of financial services including payment protection insurance, pensions, life assurance and mortgages.

Annabel has appeared in the magistrates’ court in a licensing matter regarding “fitness to practise”. She has also advised the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on the appeal processes in relation to decisions of economic sector regulators. She is a contributor to “Disciplinary and Regulatory Proceedings” (eighth edition) published by Jordan.

Annabel has appeared in the Employment Tribunal including in multi-day trials. She has dealt with matters of jurisdiction, unfair dismissal, misconduct, human rights, discrimination, unlawful deduction from wages and whistle-blowing.


Annabel has a broad commercial law practice and has experience of acting in contractual disputes. She has advised in respect of a wide range of financial services including loan agreements, pensions, mortgages, consumer credit and insurance. She has represented clients in the Bankruptcy Court and Companies Court.

In construction law, Annabel was instructed as junior counsel in a multi-million pound construction dispute concerning a nuclear facility. She has practical experience of complex adjudications and arbitrations. She is also a contributor to Wilmot Smith’s Construction Contracts: Law and Practice (OUP 2014).

Related Cases

Administrative and Public Law

R (on the application of Keep Wythenshawe Special) v Central Manchester CCG [2016] EWHC 17 (Admin)

R (on the application of OH) v London Borough of Bexley [2015] EWHC 1843 (Admin)

R (on the application of Gordon-Jones) v Secretary of State for Justice and Governor of HMP Send [2014] EWHC 3997 (Admin)

Williams v Patrick and others [2014] EWHC 4120 (QB)

Court of Protection

Re S [2016] EWCOP 32

Re ARL; Public Guardian v ICL [2015] EWCOP 55

MOD and others (Deprivation of Liberty) [2015] EWCOP 47

HSE Ireland v PA, PB and PC [2015] EWCOP 38

Information Law

Julian Farrand v The Information Commissioner & London Fire Brigade EA/2013/0051


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