Ian Brownhill

Year of call:
2009
Email:
Ian.Brownhill@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“He is knowledgeable, takes a no-nonsense approach and he is very good at problem solving. He very quickly gets straight to the heart of the issues.”
Chambers & Partners
“Incredibly bright, articulate, approachable, and responsive.”
The Legal 500

Ian specialises in public law, human rights and regulatory law.

Ian has a broad public law and human rights practice which focusses on mental capacity, education law, criminal justice, prison law and community care. Much of Ian’s regulatory practice complements his public law work and he is often instructed in cases which involve safeguarding, social care or healthcare. In recent times, Ian has increasingly advised on regulatory matters related to sport.

Ian’s international practice is varied but primarily focusses on matters relating to mental capacity, criminal justice or wider human rights issues. He has been instructed by, or worked on cases with, lawyers from: Canada, the United States, Germany, Cyprus, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, Ireland and the Isle of Mann. In addition, Ian is often instructed by charities, NGOs and companies with an international reach, especially in respect of safeguarding matters.

Ian is recommended as a leading junior for Court of Protection (Health and Welfare) by The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. He is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission C Panel of Counsel. Ian acts pro bono for the families of missing people, he acts for the mother of Ben Needham and the mother of Damien Nettles.

Ian is a Trustee of the Sentencing Academy and HM Assistant Coroner for Kent.

Court of Protection


Ian often acts in complex health and welfare cases, most regularly on behalf of, ‘P’. In the last two years he has regularly appeared in Tier 3 (High Court) Court of Protection cases instructed by the Official Solicitor on P’s behalf, as both as a led junior and a junior alone. In a number of cases he is acting against leading counsel, as a junior alone.

The majority of Ian’s Court of Protection work has a safeguarding aspect. In particular, Ian’s cases often feature: (i) allegations that P is the victim of physical, sexual or financial abuse; (ii) an assessment that P themselves it at the risk of offending; (iii) concerns that P has been radicalised, brainwashed, trafficked or groomed. Ian is instructed in cases which concern high levels of physical and chemical restraint.

When he is not acting on P’s behalf, Ian is regularly instructed by NHS Bodies, both CCGs and hospitals as well as private care providers. Local authorities often instruct Ian in cases with a complex safeguarding issue, or where there is an intersection with another jurisdiction.

The clear majority of Ian’s property and affairs work surrounds the financial abuse of vulnerable adults. Ian regularly appears in cases involving the operation of LPAs, EPAs and Deputyships. In addition, Ian has dealt with cases involving statutory wills and has been instructed by the Public Guardian.

In addition, Ian appears in applications in the Family Division of the High Court relating to the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court in respect of vulnerable adults, judicial reviews with regard to the treatment of vulnerable adult prisoners and inquests involving the deaths of vulnerable adults. Ian has also advised the CQC on prosecutions relating to deaths in care settings.

Cases

A Local Authority v JB [2020] EWCA Civ 735 – leading case on capacity to make decisions as to sex (led by Parishil Patel QC)

R. (on the application of EG) v Parole Board [2020] EWHC 1457 (Admin) – judicial review claim in respect of the treatment of prisoners who lack capacity to conduct their parole process (led by Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC)

Re SF (injunctive relief) [2020] EWCOP 19 – the power of the Court of Protection to make injunctions.

Re EOA [2019] EWCOP 54 – interim decisions in respect of P who had been the alleged victim of indoctrination.

A Hospital v JJ [2019] EWCOP 41 – serious medical treatment case involving capacity related to diabetes and the validity of an advanced decision.

Public Guardian v TW [2016] EWCOP 18 – appointment of deputies where there is a history of family disputes.

 

Education


Ian has an established education law practice most of which is centred around: (i) the handling of complaints by schools, colleges and universities; (ii) the exclusion of students; (iii) governance disputes; (iv) safeguarding issues.

Ian has challenged decisions of OFSTED by way of judicial review and has successfully challenged an examination board before an OFQUAL panel. Ian has defended claims for judicial review against schools and universities. In addition, Ian has acted as the legal advisor to the panel at hearings at schools and universities.

Ian has extensive experience in cross examining children and acting for them. Ian has cross examined children as young as 3 and acted for children with a variety of disabilities and special educational needs. Ian is particularly sought after in cases where there are education disputes involving young people who lack capacity to make decisions as to their education.

Ian is Chair of the governing body at a primary academy.

Inquiries & Investigations


Ian primarily acts for the families of the deceased or for private companies and charities who have been recognised as an interested party. The vast majority of Ian’s inquests as counsel involve deaths: (i) where there are questions as to a person’s mental health or capacity; (ii) in custody; (iii) which are related to education or social care settings.

Ian’s advisory practice in respect of coronial law is varied and has included: (i) civil claims against coroners; (ii) Attorney-General’s fiat; (iii) judicial reviews of coroners; (iv) advice as to issues of mental capacity arising in the inquest context. Ian has been instructed to advise inquest participants as well as coroners.

In addition to his inquest practice, Ian is instructed to advise on other safeguarding review processes. In particular, Ian has advised Safeguarding Adult Boards and Domestic Homicide Review panels.

Ian accepts inquest instructions across the country but does not act as counsel in his coronial jurisdiction of Kent.

Deaths involving mental capacity issues

Inquest touching upon the death of GS
Article 2 inquest, acting for the family of the deceased, which included complex issues as to capacity to make decisions as to hospital discharge and conveyance to hospital. Inquest concluded with findings of failings by public bodies and PFDs made.

Inquest touching upon the death of Molly Frank
Jury inquest, acting for the deceased’s employer.

Deaths in custody

Inquest touching upon the death of Solomon Bygrave
Article 2 jury inquest, acting for the family of the deceased. The jury concluded that the failure to complete checks on Mr Bygrave contributed to his death and that staff were not adequately briefed about the risk of Mr Bygrave self-harming, which the jury also concluded contributed to Mr Bygrave’s death, together with a failure to complete properly an ACCT document.

Inquest touching upon the death of Edward Ham
Acting for the family of deceased.

Deaths involving education and healthcare settings

Inquest touching upon the death of Tyrese Glasgow

Other high profile inquests

Inquest touching upon the death of Phil Townshend
Instructed for the family on a direct access basis

Prison & Police Law


Ian is an established prison law practitioner and started his career at the Prisoners’ Advice Service where he was the first man to act as the Women Prisoners’ Caseworker. Through his time at PAS and at the Bar, Ian has dealt with the entire range of prison law cases. Ian has taught on the LAG introduction to prison adjudications course and has edited cases for the prisoners’ legal rights group bulletin. In 2018, Ian was appointed a Trustee of the Sentencing Academy.

Ian still accepts instructions in prison law advocacy matters and is often instructed to act in extremely complex cases (especially those involving large quantities of psychological or psychiatric evidence), or where the prisoner is high profile.

The majority of Ian’s police law instructions are related to the way in which the police have interacted with people with mental or physical disabilities. Ian has succeeded in civil claims in relation to the unlawful use of section 136 of the Mental Health Act and the deployment and use of tasers. Ian is often instructed in respect of complaints against the police, especially on behalf of professionals.

Ian is well known for his pro bono work on behalf of the families of missing people.

Cases

R. (on the application of EG) v Parole Board [2020] EWHC 1457 (Admin) – judicial review claim in respect of the treatment of prisoners who lack capacity to conduct their parole process (led by Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC)

Shields-McKinley v Secretary of State for Justice [2019] EWCA Civ 1954 – the calculation of remand time following an extradition from an EU country (led by Philip Rule).

R. (on the application of PL) v Parole Board for England and Wales [2019] EWHC 3306 (Admin) – judicial review challenge where parole board had failed to grapple with the evidence in relation to PL’s personality disorder and the potential detriment to its management in open conditions.

R. (on the application of Steele) v Secretary of State for Justice [2018] EWHC 1072 (Admin) – judicial review of refusal to convene a category A review oral hearing,

R. (on the application of Goldsworthy) v Secretary of State for Justice [2017] EWHC 2822 (Admin) – judicial review of a terminally ill prisoner’s recall from a care home to prison.

R. (on the application of Coghlan) v Baxter, National Crime Agency [2017] EWHC 3191 (Admin)- Judicial review challenge to the operation of functions and powers of a trustee for civil recovery as defined by s.267 and Sch.7 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

R. (on the application of Wallace) v Parole Board for England and Wales [2017] EWHC 295 (Admin)– judicial review challenge of refusal to recommend that a prisoner was moved to open conditions.

R. (on the application of Galiazia) v Governor of Hewell Prison [2014] EWHC 3427 (Admin); [2015] 1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 13; [2015] A.C.D. 18 Whether an offender had been lawfully recalled to prison for breach of licence, notwithstanding the fact that he had spent more time remanded in custody prior to sentence than the length of the sentence imposed. Led by Judith Farbey QC (as she then was)

R. (on the application of H) v Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court [2014] EWHC 2799 (Admin) Judicial review of Magistrates’ Court’s decision not to delete a person from the sex offenders register.

R. v South [2014] EWCA Crim 1414 – reduction of a sentence for violent offending due to the offender’s age.

R (on the application of E) v Governor of Hatfield Prison [2013] EWHC 775 (Admin) Judicial review of Prison’s sentence calculation following successful appeal in the criminal division of the Court of Appeal.

Jukes v Director of Public Prosecutions [2013] EWHC 195 (Admin) – Whether participants in a protest march on which conditions under the Public Order Act 1986 s.12 were imposed were subject to conditions when they left the protest.

Administrative & Public


Best known for his work in respect of mental health/capacity and criminal justice related matters. Ian has a multifaceted public law practice at 39 Essex. Ian primarily acts for individual claimants but is increasingly instructed by charities and NGOs. Ian has represented a number of schools, universities and local authorities.

The vast majority of Ian’s international work has been related to administrative and public law.

Cases

R. (on the application of EG) v Parole Board [2020] EWHC 1457 (Admin) – judicial review claim in respect of the treatment of prisoners who lack capacity to conduct their parole process (led by Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC)

R. (on the application of Coghlan) v Baxter, National Crime Agency [2017] EWHC 3191 (Admin)- Judicial review challenge to the operation of functions and powers of a trustee for civil recovery as defined by s.267 and Sch.7 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Corby Borough Council v Da Silva [2016] EWHC 2503 (Admin) – Challenge to decision of Magistrates Court to set aside council tax liability orders where there was no evidence on which the magistrates could have found a genuine and arguable dispute as to liability.

K v Crown Prosecution Service [2013] EWHC 1678 (Admin) – Youth Court conviction quashed due to appearance of bias.

Kaszowski v Poland [2012] EWHC 2871 (Admin) – Challenge to an extradition to Poland.

Goatley v Netherlands [2012] EWHC 315 (Admin) – Challenge to an extradition to the Netherlands where the Defendant had been released by the Dutch prison authorities.

Grozvos v Lithuania [2012] EWHC 161 (Admin) – Challenge to an extradition to Lithuania based on prison conditions.

Regulatory & Disciplinary


Ian has acted in these matters since he was a pupil and was one of the first barristers to appear in an aggressive trading practices prosecution and has since that time maintained a broad regulatory practice. Ian has represented: (i) two large supermarket chains; (ii) a chain of gyms; (iii) an international airline; (iv) a variety of social care providers.

Much of Ian’s regulatory work is linked to safeguarding. Ian has been involved in safeguarding investigations initiated by local authorities, the Charity Commission and others. Ian has advised on safeguarding at a Championship Football Club, in private schools and at various charities. Ian has been instructed to advise a number of international charities following sexual misconduct concerns overseas.

Outside of safeguarding, Ian has been instructed in a huge range of regulatory matters, these have included the use of community protection notices against a children’s home, noise complaints against supermarkets, various licensing matters and a number of cases which relate to the treatment of animals.

Recommendations


“He is knowledgeable, takes a no-nonsense approach and he is very good at problem solving. He very quickly gets straight to the heart of the issues.” “An incredibly passionate advocate.”
Chambers UK 2020

“Incredibly bright, articulate, approachable, and responsive.”
Legal 500 2020

“He’s a real rising star in the Court of Protection – he’s always really responsive, is very skilled in cross-examination and he’s easy to work with.” “Ian’s drafting and advocacy is always so concise.”
Chambers UK 2019

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