Jennifer Thelen

Year of call:

+44 (0)20 7832 1111

Jennifer has a broad legal background, having practiced both corporate and regulatory law before being called to the Bar. That breadth is reflected in her practice, which spans public and commercial law. She is experienced in education, as well as regulatory, law. As a member of the Attorney General’s B Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown, Jennifer is regularly instructed in immigration and prisons matters, including judicial review. She is also instructed by HMRC in VAT and customs and excise cases before the First-tier Tribunal (Tax) and the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber). She has recently been instructed in a six-week trial in the Chancery Division, on behalf of a local authority, in a fraudulent conspiracy claim involving a maintained school.

Public Law

Jennifer’s public law practice focuses on judicial review.  She has particular experience in the areas of immigration and prisons.  She also has, given her background, a keen interest in commercial judicial reviews.  Jennifer also has experience of the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights), acting for public authorities.

Current and recent cases include:

  • R (Drax) v HM Treasury – Represented HM Treasury/HMRC, as a junior, in this challenge to the removal of the RSE Exemption to the Climate Change Levy in both the High Court and Court of Appeal
  • R (AA) v SSHD – Representing SSHD, as junior to James Strachan QC, in this unlawful detention claim which considers provisions of the Immigration Act 2014 which go to the detention of children. Listed for the Court of Appeal in February 2017
  • R (Hacini) v SSHD –Represented the SSHD in this challenge to a refusal of an application for naturalisation
  • R (Chen) v SSHD – Represented the SSHD in this challenge to a decision that a Chinese national would have to return to China to apply for a visa
  • R (Bibi) v SSHD – Represented the SSHD in a challenge to the grant of DLR rather than ILR
  • R (Jackley) v SSHD – Jennifer represented the SSJ in this challenge to decision-making under the Access to Justice programme
  • R (Ismail) v SSHD – Jennifer was instructed on behalf of the SSHD in this detention challenge

Education Law

Jennifer regularly appears both in the High Court, Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) and the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) in education law matters. Jennifer has appeared on behalf of Appellants and local authorities in challenges to statements of special educational needs and disability claims.  She has represented local authorities as well as central government in a variety of education-related matters. Jennifer has also been instructed in a number of higher education claims involving breach of contract as well as internal appeals.

Current and recent cases include:

  • Old Co-operative Day Nursery v HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services & Skills (Ofsted) – Instructed by Ofsted in the challenge to a grading of a nursery.
  • SM v Hackney Learning Trust – Jennifer was instructed to represent the local authority in this appeal concerning the correct test to apply when comparing costs between two schools maintained by different local authorities.
  • K v A Local Authority – Jennifer was instructed to represent the local authority in this reasons challenge to a decision of the First-tier Tribunal Jennifer regularly speaks on matters of educational law.

Local Government Law

Jennifer regularly advises on matters of public and local government law. She has acted for a number of local authorities in respect matters before the Information Rights tribunal. Current and recent cases include:

  • R (on the application of B) v Essex County Council in which Jennifer was instructed as a junior to Philip Coppel QC on a judicial review of a decision to close care homes.
  • R (on the application of Long) v Monmouthshire CC in which Jennifer was instructed as a junior to John Steel QC on a judicial review of a grant of planning permission to develop a livestock market.

Employment Law

Jennifer regularly appears for both claimants and respondents in Employment Tribunals in cases concerning discrimination (sex, equal pay, race, disability, and age), unfair dismissal (including constructive unfair dismissal), redundancy, wrongful dismissal, breach of contract and unlawful deductions from wages.  She advises on all aspects of employment law, including unfair dismissal and discrimination.

She appeared before the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the matter of Howells School v Gerrard on behalf of the Appellant.  The EAT allowed the appeal, clarifying that in making a “Polkey” deduction the anticipated level of salary of the employee must be taken into account.


Jennifer has a broad background in commercial law, having advised in contractual as well as regulatory and corporate governance issues in a corporate finance context prior to coming to the Bar.

Current and recent cases include:

  • Brent London Borough Council v Davies & ors – Jennifer is currently instructed to act for the Claimant in a fraudulent conspiracy claim made by London Borough of Brent against senior management, and governors, of Copland School
  • Clark Wilmott LLP v (1) Larkfleet Limited; (2) Renpower Investments UK Limited – Jennifer acted as junior to Hodge Malek QC in interpleader proceedings involving the construction of a share purchase agreement
  • Diamond Jewellers v Mittal – Instructed by the Claimant in this challenge arising out of an oral contract


Jennifer is regularly instructed by HMRC in VAT and customs and excise cases before the First-tier Tribunal (Tax), the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) as well as in judicial reviews in the High Court.

Current and recent cases include:

  • Brookes v HMRC (Upper Tribunal) – Represented HMRC in a challenge to a FTT’s decision which considered the dishonesty of the director
  • Boxmoor Construction v HMRC (Upper Tribunal) – Represented HMRC in a challenge to a VAT decision regarding whether or not construction works were excluded from zero-rating
  • R (on the application of) Checkprice (UK) Ltd v HMRC – Junior to Philip Coppel QC for the defendant in judicial review proceedings challenging a detention of excise goods.
  • Checkprice (UK) Limited v HMRC – Junior for the Defendant in a challenge (First-tier Tribunal, Tax Chamber) to an assessment for excise duty and VAT based on an irregularity in the movement of excise goods.  Jennifer has recently been instructed on a similar case (Connection Import & Export v HMRC) which also involves a challenge to the revocation of a WOWGR registration.

Regulatory & Disciplinary

Jennifer has been instructed by economic regulators, including Ofgem and the Office of the Rail Regulator, as well as appearing before the Enforcement Committee of the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority.  She has been seconded to the legal departments of Ofgem (2010) and the Office of the Rail Regulator (2012).  She also advised electricity generators on their obligations under the renewables regulatory framework.

She contributed to a chapter on information rights in the forthcoming edition of Harris on Disciplinary & Regulatory Proceedings.

Previous Experience

Between 2000 and 2008 Jennifer was an associate in the corporate group at Linklaters advising on US securities and corporate law matters, including multi-jurisdictional equity and debt securities offerings, and cross-border mergers and acquisitions.  Between 1997 and 2000 she worked as an associate in the litigation group at Arnold & Porter, New York, where her areas of practice included environmental and planning litigation and regulatory compliance, general commercial litigation and product liability.

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

Barrister portfolio


Click the + icon next to any barrister to add their profile to this portfolio.

Barrister Call CV Email