Thomas Amraoui acted for one of the two successful local authorities (Essex County Council) in this challenge brought under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. A Nigerian family, in the UK unlawfully, sought assistance from Essex County Council and the London Borough of Newham, claiming destitution. Both authorities having declined to assist, interim relief was ordered against Newham. Newham assessed the family and was not persuaded that the children were ‘children in need’ for the purposes of section 17. Judicial review proceedings were brought against both authorities, who were alleged, among other things, to have erred in asserting that the children were ‘within the area’ of the other authority. In a detailed judgment, Mrs Justice Swift dismissed every ground of challenge against Essex, holding in particular that Essex had not acted unlawfully by arguing that at the material time the children were not within its area. The judgment also places significant weight on the recent decision in MN & Anor v London Borough of Hackney  EWHC 1205 (Admin) in which Tom successfully represented the defendant local authority.