Jenni Richards QC

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+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“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.

Administrative & Public

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.

Regulatory & Disciplinary

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 [2011] EWHC 2766 (Admin) and R (T) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] 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.


Inquests & Inquiries

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 [2008] UKHL 74, Rabone v Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust [2012] UKSC 2, and R (Lewis) v HM Coroner for Shropshire [2009] EWCA Civ 1403. Jenni has been representing the Yorkshire Ambulance Service at the Hillsborough Inquests since 2014.

Mental Capacity

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.


Local Government

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.



Jenni is recommended as a leading silk in Administrative & Public Law, Civil Liberties & Human Rights, Court of Protection, Local Government, Mediation, Professional Discipline and Community care in Chambers & Partners.  Jenni is also ranked by The Legal 500 in Administrative and public law (including local government), Inquests and Inquiries and Civil liberties and human rights.


 “A leading silk for all things Court of Protection. A star performer admired by clients, opponents and the court alike.” “You go to her for technical excellence and a measured approach.” Chambers & Partners 2016

 “She’s calm, very well prepared and nothing throws her.” Chambers & Partners 2016

Obviously excellent. She is a pleasure to work with and a really tough advocate.” Chambers & Partners 2016

She is just brilliant. She is strategic, very clear and her written work is excellent.” “She is thorough and a strong advocate.” Chambers & Partners 2016

“Extremely clever and pragmatic.”
A highly impressive advocate.”
“Highly impressive” Legal 500 2015

“She has a big brain and really gets behind the case. Her commitment is incredible. She represents with passion.” “She is consistently brilliant, both on paper and in court.”
“Her advocacy is brilliant – she’s exceptionally hard-working and truly believes what she does, which really shines through.” “She is a leading silk, particularly in relation to mental health issues.”
“She’s fantastic – she has a huge knowledge of this field, is a very persuasive advocate and is well-rounded and versatile.” “She’s very good to work with, invariably pleasant with opponents, but also has a steely core, and is extremely robust in defence of her clients’ interests.”
“One of the best around, who is both extremely clever and pragmatic; she understands capacity law inside out.” “Her advocacy is brilliant; she’s exceptionally hard-working and truly believes in what she does.”
“A very compassionate person, who has fabulous advocacy skills and a vast knowledge of the law.” Chambers & Partners 2015

“A true star.”
“An incredible advocate; knowledgeable, helpful and a safe pair of hands.” Legal 500 2014

“If I had a case which required leading counsel, I would go to her without a doubt.” “She is a knowledgeable, well-organised and enthusiastic specialist who shows impressive commitment.” “She is a class act. She is very easy to deal with, great with clients and a very robust advocate.” “Consistently brilliant, both on paper and in court.””She is very bright, and an aggressive and effective advocate.” “A very skilled advocate. She is extremely good at absorbing large amounts of information and has a down-to-earth approach.” “She is a superb local government all-rounder, and someone you want on your side.” “She’s very businesslike and gets on with it. She knows how to advance things,” “She is supremely knowledgeable when it comes to regulatory law, and confident and assertive in court.”“She is truly excellent in terms of her attention to detail. She can drill down into large amounts of paperwork on many people and still pick out the perspective of one individual.”  Chambers & Partners 2014

“‘knowledgeable’ and ‘persuasive’, and has ‘excellent advocacy skills’” Legal 500 2013

“a guru of all things public law”, “incredibly bright”, “can turn her hand to anything”, “very clear, very logical and great at cutting to the chase and identifying the key issues” Chambers & Partners 2013

“clever and incisive, and thinks about cases strategically and from all perspectives”, “depth of knowledge in public and human rights law is astonishing” Legal 500 2012

“excellent with clients and always manages to somehow get the judge on her side”, “outstanding knowledge of health and welfare matters”, “great on her feet”, “adds to the ranks of the set’s outstanding silks” Chambers & Partners 2012

“highly rated”, “always a pleasure to work with”, “outstanding” Chambers & Partners 2011

“extremely clever and imaginative,” Chambers & Partners 2010

“a consummate expert in the field of community care and enjoys one of the highest profiles in the arena. Advising local authorities on their powers and duty of care is her particular forte” Chambers & Partners 2010

“a bullish opponent who’s as brilliant on her feet as she is on paper.” Chambers & Partners 2009

“she’s friendly, approachable and great to have on your side” Chambers & Partners 2009

“committed, hard-working and imaginative” Chambers & Partners 2009

“a complete star” Legal 500 2009

“she manages to fight her corner, whilst remaining charming and measured” Chambers & Partners 2008

“a genuine expert” Legal 500 2008

A “tenacious advocate, who can be relied upon to put the point across in a forceful way … astute and level-headed” Chambers & Partners 2007

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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