“A very clear-thinking and effective barrister”
Chambers & Partners 2022
“Clear, committed, reliable, very knowledgeable and very easy to work with”
The Legal 500 2022
Sian Davies has experience in advocacy, advice, and drafting in public law matters, across the full range of legal issues encountered by adult social services, children’s services and housing departments. She also has a background in immigration, asylum and EU law as well as a strong Court of Protection practice.
Sian provided legal literacy training on the Care Act 2014 in conjunction with the Association of Assistant Directors of Social Services and the Department of Health in 2015. She also provides training to local authorities and other training providers on topics which have recently included eligibility of persons from abroad for services under Housing Act 1996 and Children Act 1989, Care Act 2014 and Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Administrative & Public
Children Act 1989
Various cases concerning local authority powers and duties in respect of children either looked after or seeking support with their families. Regularly instructed by local authorities to provide immigration advice to be put before the Court in care proceedings. Recently drafted Special Guardianship Order Allowances policy and Child Arrangements Order Allowances Policy for London Borough of Hackney.
- R (C, T, M and U) v LB Southwark  EWHC 3983 (Admin): Local authority obligations to support families from abroad without recourse to public funds under s.17 Children Act 1989, alleged breach of art.8 ECHR by placement in sub-standard accommodation
- X v LB Tower Hamlets  EWCA Civ 904;  4 All R. 237;  1 F.L.R. 1076: whether Children Act and / or statutory guidance require parity of remunerative payments as between related and unrelated foster carers
- KA v Essex CC  EWCA Civ 1261 Section 17 Children Act 1989 duties to families with no extant immigration application but intending to appeal against removal directions once set, whether human rights (procedural aspect of art.8 ECHR) required person in that position to be accommodated and supported to enable the appeal right, eventually, to be exercised
- Prenga v LB Barnet  EWHC 1765 (Admin) and R(N) v LB Barnet  EWHC 2019 (Admin): both age assessment disputes concerning unaccompanied asylum seeker claiming to be minors owed Children Act 1989 duties in which the Court was required to make a finding of fact following live evidence as to the age of the Claimant.
Local Authority Law
Cases cover areas such as homelessness assistance, allocation of social housing, housing licensing schemes, council tax reduction schemes, and consultation on social housing stock transfers.
- R(AM) v LB Tower Hamlets and LB Havering Court of Appeal, 17.11.2015. Interplay between Housing Act 1996 and Children Act 1989 in circumstances where a family was placed out of borough pending inquiries into a homelessness application, was found not to be owed a long term accommodation duty, and sought assistance from the “host” borough under CA 1989
- R(Regas) v LB Enfield  EWHC 4173 (Admin);  H.L.R. 14: judicial review challenge to local authority decision to designate borough for additional and selective licensing of landlords
- Temur v LB Hackney  EWCA Civ 877;  1 All E.R. 311;  P.T.S.R. 1;  H.L.R. 39: powers and duties under homelessness provisions of Part 7 Housing Act 1996 of local authority to revise decision following change of circumstances and request for statutory review
- Viackiene v LB Tower Hamlets  EWCA Civ 1764;  H.L.R. 13 Another Part 7 Housing Act 1996 appeal arising from finding of intentional homelessness; issue was whether the local authority was entitled to rely on a failure of the applicant to take up an offer made by her landlord which would have prevented homelessness as the “deliberate act” required for s.191 HA 1996
- Konodyba v LB Tower Hamlets  EWCA Civ 982;  P.T.S.R. 13;  H.L.R. 45. Whether a subsequent homelessness application and appeal raising a point which had been raised and then abandoned before the Court of Appeal on a previous application was an abuse of process. Also, as to the correct test to be applied when assessing whether an applicant was temporarily incapacitated when considering whether she retained worker or self-employed status for the purposes of EU free movement rights
Advising and representing in relation to community care/ care and support matters including:
- challenges to service provision decisions
- powers and duties in relation to persons from abroad including families with children
- disputes between local authorities as to ordinary residence/ residence for the purposes of community care services/ Mental Health Act aftercare, and between local authorities and central government in relation to asylum support, and between local authorities and the NHS regarding continuing health care entitlement.
- This includes acting as Arbitrator in disputes between local authorities as to which is responsible for provision of Care and Support services/ Mental Health Act s.117 (“aftercare”) services.
- R (McDonald) v Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea  UKSC 33: local authority decision to meet assessed needs of continent but mobility impaired adult by provision of incontinence products rather than overnight carer challenged on Disability Discrimination Act and art.8 ECHR grounds
- Nassery v Brent LBC  EWCA Civ 539;  P.T.S.R. 1639 and Admin Court  EWHC 2326 (Admin) Lawfulness of local authority assessment that applicant, whose mental health difficulties caused sporadic self-harming behaviour, was not in need of care and attention for purposes of s.21 National Assistance Act 194
- R (De Almeida) v RB Kensington and Chelsea  EWHC 1082 (Admin); (2012) 15 C.C.L. Rep. 318 Judicial review of decision that HIV+ Portuguese national was not entitled to accommodation under s.21 National Assistance Act 1948 and also not eligible under Schedule 3 Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, and that support was not necessary to avoid a breach of human rights because he could return to Portugal
- R(Giwa) v LB Lewisham  EWHC 1934 (Admin) Interim relief application concerning local authority decision that children of immigration overstaying parents were not “in need” for purposes of s.17 Children Act 1989 on the basis of inference from long residence in UK without local authority support and partial disclosure of resources.
Court of Protection
Advice and representation at all levels in cases before the Court of Protection and in relation to Mental Health Act 1983 applications for Guardianship and displacement of nearest relative and related matters.
- Bournemouth BC v PS  EWCOP 39: whether severely autistic adult requiring 24/7 care in his home and the community is deprived of liberty, application of P&Q v Cheshire West (SC, 2014)
- RB v Brighton and Hove CC  EWCA Civ 561;  C.O.P.L.R. 629; Times, June 12, 2014 Second appeal from Court of Protection. Issue was whether in assessing capacity for purposes of the “mental capacity” requirement of the Deprivation of Liberty safeguards in Mental Capacity Act 2005 the court was obliged to give less or no weight to P’s ability to weigh information where the relevant decision was an emotional one, and as to the approach to be taken to authority (IM v LM) by the CoP.
Inquests/ Inquiries/ Serious Case Reviews
Experience of inquests and related judicial review proceedings.
Represents local authorities in inquests typically concerning deaths in care homes or in circumstances where the deceased was provided with care and support/ community care services by a local authority or was a looked after child.
Advisory work in relation to Serious Case Reviews concerning deaths of children known to local authority housing and/ or social care departments.
Chambers and Partners 2016.
“Acts for local authorities, and has a practice with an emphasis on housing, community care and Court of Protection work. She is praised by clients for her knowledge on the role of EU law, and in cases where there is crossover with immigration law”
Strengths: “She has a sound knowledge of the practice area and a very calm approach”
Chambers and Partners 2015
“Noted practitioner with particular knowledge and understanding of migrant eligibility for community care services. She is aided by parallel expertise in social housing”
“Her practice operates at the interface between housing and immigration, as well as welfare assistance” The Legal 500
“A first port of call for crossover matters” The Legal 500
“A very skilful and knowledgeable barrister.” Chambers and Partners 2020
“She’s a robust advocate and is very charming outside of court.” Chambers and Partners 2020
“She is an all-rounder and very able to talk about the interplay between different areas of law and apply them in a way that gives the best service for clients.” Chambers and Partners 2020