“A star performer admired by clients, opponents and the court alike.”
Chambers & Partners 2016
Jenni Richards has an extensive public law and regulatory practice acting for individuals, public bodies and public interest groups in all areas affected by public law and regulation. She is recognised as “a star of the bar” and as being “as brilliant on her feet as she is on paper” (Chambers & Partners). She is a versatile advocate, appearing regularly in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, the Court of Protection and before a range of tribunals. She is currently representing the ambulance service in the Hillsborough Inquest.
Jenni’s public law expertise includes local government, human rights, mental health, health care, social (community) care, financial services, education, prison law and immigration/asylum. She is frequently asked to advise public bodies, especially local authorities, health trusts and regulatory bodies on a wide range of issues relating to their powers and duties, consultation processes, regulatory processes, budgetary decision-making and compliance with the Human Rights Act. Current/recent cases in which she acted or is advising include: representing a couple in judicial review proceedings challenging the refusal of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to allow the expert of their late daughter’s frozen eggs, representing two doctors in a judicial review of an adverse report from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, representing the General Medical Council in a judicial review of its guidance relating to assisted suicide and representing a private prison in a challenge to segregation brought by a high-profile female prisoner with a whole life tariff.
Jenni’s regulatory and disciplinary work covers a wide range of areas. She has a particular interest in financial services regulation and has represented the Financial Services Authority in R (Canada Inc) v FSA  EWHC 2766 (Admin) and R (T) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSC 35 as well as in various enforcement proceedings in the Upper Tribunal. She has appeared before CIPFA and has advised the ICAEW. Recent advisory work has included advising a regulator on intervention in a forthcoming Supreme Court case concerning sanctions for professional misconduct, advising a regulator on the lawfulness of its guidance to registrants and advising a regulator on policies and procedures in relation to obtaining and relying upon evidence from children and vulnerable adults. Jenni has particular expertise in the regulation of health care professionals by the GMC, HCPC and others, the regulation of fertility services by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the regulation of hospitals and care homes and the regulation of teachers. She acts for regulators and for individual professionals facing fitness to practise or disciplinary allegation in proceedings before conduct/fitness to practise panels, in statutory appeals and in judicial review challenges. Recent work includes representing a leading psychoanalyst in disciplinary proceedings before a non-statutory body, representing fertility practitioners in licensing proceedings before the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and representing the Health and Care Professions Council in a judicial review of a decision not to refer a case to a conduct committee.
Jenni has extensive experience in difficult and sensitive inquests and inquiries, in particular those in which there is a public component such as the responsibility of the state in relation to the cause of death. She has represented local authorities, NHS trusts, central government, families, employers and other properly interested persons at inquests ranging in subject matter from asbestos exposure to deaths in custody. She has been involved in many leading cases concerning the investigative and substantive obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, including Savage v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust  UKHL 74, Rabone v Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust  UKSC 2, and R (Lewis) v HM Coroner for Shropshire  EWCA Civ 1403. Jenni has been representing the Yorkshire Ambulance Service at the Hillsborough Inquests since 2014.
Jenni is often instructed in the most complex or novel cases under the Mental Capacity Act involving difficult decisions relating to capacity, medical treatment (especially end of life cases) and deprivation of liberty. She is currently advising in relation to the threatened move of a number of long-term residents from a specialist learning disability facility. She acted for the family of Mr L, a severely brain damaged Muslim man in a challenge to a hospital’s decision to withhold life-saving treatment contrary to his religious principles. She represented the local authorities in the Supreme Court appeals in Cheshire West and Chester Council v P/P and Q v Surrey County Council, concerning deprivation of liberty under the Mental Capacity Act. She has a particular interest in the interaction between the Court of Protection’s jurisdiction and public law.
Jenni is an experienced mediator, who trained with CEDR. As counsel, she is frequently involved in dealing with matters through mediation and many of her cases are resolved successfully without the need for judicial determination. As a mediator she focuses upon judicial review disputes (of all kinds) and Court of Protection cases. She has acted as mediator in a range of cases involving disputes between individuals and public bodies, including disputes over the provision of services to individuals, as well as disputes between different public bodies as to their respective responsibilities.
Jenni’s local government practice is wide-ranging. She has carried out an independent standards investigation into allegations of misconduct on the part of the leader of a county council. Recent cases in which she acted or advised include: acting for a local authority in an appeal to the Upper Tribunal on the qualifying criteria for exempt accommodation under the housing benefit regime; advising a local authority in relation to challenges to its setting of care home fee levels; and representing a local authority in a claim for damages under the Human Rights Act arising out of alleged failures to protect a vulnerable service user. In the education field she acts for local authorities, individuals, statutory regulators and educational establishments. Past education work includes advising higher education institutions on issues relating to HTS status and Tier 4 guidance, on disputes with students over course provision and the requirements for ATAS certificates, and representing a pupil in a claim against a school for breach of Articles 3, 5, and 8.
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