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  • Activity from
    Jane Oldham

  • Recent cases

    Court of Appeal dismisses appeal concerning local authority's cuts to youth services budget: refusal of relief

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    Rochdale MBC's Council Tax Support Scheme Upheld

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    11KBW's response to the legal aid consultation

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    Divisional Court hears challenge to GCSE English award

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Jane Oldham

Jane Oldham

Jane Oldham

BIOGRAPHY

Jane specialises in public, local government, information, education and public procurement law.

Jane has been ranked consistently in Chambers and Legal 500 Directories as a leading junior in Local government, Education and Public Law. She has appeared at all appellate levels.

Directories’ comments include:

2013:

“First-rate lawyer”
“Very impressive”
“Noted for her ability to ‘reduce complex legal arguments to the relevant bare bones’”

2012:

“Another highly thought of junior is Jane Oldham who is praised for her "commercial sense and judgment". A lawyer who "puts clients at ease"”;
"graciously determined advocate; ”
“Jane Oldham is "a wise choice for local government matters at the intersection of commercial and public law." Sources note her thorough reliability and also the fact that she advises local authorities extensively in relation to their freedom of information duties”

Previous four years:

“Fluent, punchy and approachable”;
"eagle eye for detail";
"she is enormously thorough and never misses a thing" ;
"A hard worker who is extremely good";
"barrister of choice in commercial matters";
“immensely sensible, thorough and driven”;
“With bucket loads of experience and calm approach to advocacy that never fails to impress”;
“Interviewees praised Jane Oldham for her “genius and sheer hard work”. Her client care is also highlighted as a particular strength”;
“Oldham continues to be a notable force in work relating to the interface between local government and the private sector”;
“Jane Oldham is “on the ball straight away” and handles complex cases well. She is further considered an advocate who “understands the law, works well with clients, and possesses intellectual weight””;
“Jane Oldham is perceived as “a feisty lawyer who goes from strength to strength””;
“Jane Oldham also covers a wide canvas but is particularly known for the work she does relating to local authorities and their business relations with the private sector”.

Public law

Jane practises principally in public and administrative law; she has practised also in commercial law and has particular experience in cases at the intersection of these areas, such as the Interest Rate Swap litigation between banks and local authorities, public procurement, information law disputes concerning commercial matters, litigation about wrongful trading through companies in which local authorities have interests.

Other public law expertise includes judicial review concerning utilities, civil aviation, higher and further education (including funding), broadcasting, health service (health authorities’ proposed financial arrangements, hospital closures, pharmacy licensing, dentists’ and GPs’ contracts with health bodies) and bodies regulating professions, powers of police bodies.
Public law work in the last six months includes acting successfully in judicial reviews of, respectively, the 2012 English GCSE Awards and the new Council Tax Support Schemes.

Local Government

Jane advises and appears regularly in cases concerning local government: judicial review, vires issues, contract and restitution claims, freedom of information, public procurement, education, equalities duties (particularly in the context of spending cuts), political balance and monitoring issues, capital finance, economic development, community care.

She has advised frequently on issues arising from large capital projects undertaken by public bodies and in large scale district auditor investigations (one involving proceedings over £120 million of challenged expenditure of public funds) for both local authority and auditing body.

She has advised the local authority interest in several disputes with health bodies in funding disputes involving vires issues and restitution claims.

Jane has also represented local authorities in mediations.

Current work includes advising on the new local authority power of general competence and participation in projects with commercial and third sector bodies.

In February 2013 Jane defended successfully a consultation and equalities judicial review challenge to Rochdale MBC’s local Council Tax Support Scheme for 2013-2014.

Information Law

Jane has been instructed extensively for and against public authorities and for the Information Commissioner on Freedom of Information Act, EIR, DPA and Art 8 issues and has appeared in both the Information Tribunal (over 30 cases in the last few years) and High Court. She is frequently instructed in matters concerning commercial interests in both the FOIA and EIR fields, and on behalf of national cultural institutions.

She is on the Information Commissioner’s List of Counsel and has been a contributor to the Information Law Reports since their inception.

Jane has also advised and appeared in collateral interventions in proceedings in which disclosure issues have been raised. For example the challenge to the lawfulness of the government’s policy concerning the detention of children of unsuccessful asylum-seekers pending their deportation, in which Jane intervened successfully for a Local Children’s Safeguarding Board re the disclosure of a Serious Case Review (Suppiah v Sec State for Home Dept and Others [2011] EWHC 2 (Admin)).

Education

Jane’s recent education work has included  the judicial review of the 2012 English GCSEs, Academies’ admissions arrangements and admissions appeals, college closure, freedom of information, exclusion appeals (in the latter area Jane has also previously appeared with James Goudie QC in one of the leading cases in the House of Lords R(L) v Governors of J School [2003] AC 633), further and higher education, funding disputes between university and affiliated body, freedom of information issues for a collegiate university, challenge to decision to fund closure of college and transfer its courses to a different institution, appropriate remedy for use of incorrect assessment criteria in student examination, school reorganisation.

Procurement

Jane advises both public authorities and tenderers on procurement and has enabled them, respectively, to defeat proposed challenges and avoid proceedings, and to persuade public authorities to recommence tendering procedures where defective. Proceedings in 2012 include acting for a trade union in its judicial review challenge to PCTs’ proposed outsourcing of their family health services.

General

Jane was called to the Bar in 1985 and was awarded prizes by Trinity College, Cambridge, where she read law, and Middle Temple. She is a member of the Administrative Law Bar Association, the Commercial Bar Association, the Procurement Lawyers’ Association and (in relation to her local government practice) the Planning and Environmental Law Bar Association.

Jane practised part-time between 1992 and 2010, plus various periods of family leave during that time, and returned to full-time practice at the end of 2010.

Cases

R (Hunt) v North Somerset Council
[2013] EWCA Civ 1320; [2012] EWHC 1928 (Admin) (18 July 2012); [2012] EqLR 951
Public sector equality duty judicial review challenge to Council’s decision to reduce funding for, and review methods of provision of, youth services.

R (Branwell) v Rochdale MBC
[2013] EWHC 1024
Consultation and equalities challenge to local authority’s council tax support scheme for 2013-2014.

R (Lewisham London Borough Council and Others) v AQA and Ofqual
[2013] EWHC 211
Judicial review challenge to the 2012 English GCSE awards

R (UNISON) v NHS Wiltshire Primary Care Trust and Others
[2012] EWHC 624 (Admin) (15 March 2012) [2012] ACD 84
Trade union’s judicial review challenge to ten PCTs’ proposed outsourcing of their family health services in alleged breach of procurement requirements and Wednesbury rationality.

R (Omotosho) v The Governing body of Harris Academy Crystal Palace
[2011] EWHC 3350 (Admin) (18 November 2011)
Judicial review of Academy school’s admission arrangements and admissions appeals process.

Davis v Information Commissioner and Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery
EA/2010/0185 (16 September 2011)
Legal professional privilege exemption in FOIA, representing the public authority.

Sikka v Information Commissioner and HM Treasury
EA/2010 0054 (12 July 2011)
Disclosure of report into collapse of BCCI; representing the Information Commissioner;

Suppiah v Sec State for Home Dept and Others
[2011] EWHC 2 (Admin) (2011) 108(4) LSG 18
Unlawful detention of failed asylum seekers and their children pending removal - intervention on behalf of Local Children’s Safeguarding Board re the disclosure of a Serious Case Review.

Ministry of Justice v Information Commissioner
EA/2010/0181 (10 March 2011)
Ministry of Justice’s appeal against the Information Commissioner’s decision, based on the MoJ’s evidence then supplied, that a letter from the then Prime Minister to the Secretary of State for Justice relating to the End of Custody Licence Scheme, should be disclosed. Acted for the Information Commissioner.

R (M) v Oxfordshire County Council and SSHD
(June 2010): CO/133379/2009 and CO/12546/2009
Age assessment of asylum-seeker. This was one of the first judicial reviews re age assessment of asylum seeking children post- the decision of the Supreme Court in R (a) v LB Croydon [2009] UKSC 8. Jane argued successfully that another local authority - and not her local authority client - should be the substantive defendant.

Youth Justice Board v Information Commissioner and Children’s Rights Alliance for England
EA/ 2010/0013
Disclosure of training manual re restraint techniques to be used on children in custody, representing the Information Commissioner resisting the appeal against his decision, resulting in the YJB withdrawing its appeal and disclosing the information.

Dun v Information Commissioner and National Audit Office
EA/2010/0060
Representing the National Audit Office.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council v Information Commissioner
UKIT [2010] EA/2009/ 0069
Disclosure under Environmental Information Regulations of property search information for HIPs, and whether power to charge for disclosure, representing the Council.

Financial Services Authority v Information Commissioner
[2009] EWHC 1548 and 1784 (Admin)
Degree to which context of request for information to be taken into account in considering exemption under Freedom of Information Act 2000; whether certain information about financial services providers is confidential information under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 so that disclosure is prohibited under that act and so exempt under section 44 FOIA. Munby J also made observations about the role of both the IC and the public authority in appeals from the Tribunal, for the purposes of costs orders. Reference re costs is a separate one: [2009] EWHC 1784 (Admin).

Department of Transport v Information Commissioner
(2009)
Whether certain procurement information about train company franchises should be disclosed; appeal to Information Tribunal. After a partial hearing, the appeal withdrawn. Jane appeared for the Information Commissioner resisting the appeal.

RMGL v Information Commissioner
(2009)
Whether certain information about Royal Mail Group Limited’s spending should be disclosed. Appeal to Information Tribunal, Jane appeared for the Information Commissioner. After a partial hearing, the appeal was withdrawn.

Financial Services Authority v Information Commissioner
[2009] UKIT EA/2008/0061
Representing the Information Commissioner.

Secretary of State for Health v Crouch and (1) South Birmingham Primary Care Trust (2) British Dental Association
[2009] ICR 461, [2008] EWCA Civ 1365
Acted for the British Dental Association. Construction of the principal contract for orthodontists and whether Primary Care Trusts had a unilateral right of termination.

R (Swords) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
[2007] EWCA Civ 795
Housing transfers by local authority to housing association under government’s “decent homes” policy; lawfulness of Secretary of State’s consent. Appeared for housing association.

(Save Dartington College Limited) v South West Regional Development Agency and (1) University College Falmouth
CO/2008/1893
Representing University College Falmouth– closure of Dartington College and transfer of its courses to university, security for costs in judicial review where claimant formed company.

Lawton v Information Commissioner and NHS Direct
[2008] UKIT EA/2007/0081
Representing the Information Commissioner.

Tuckley v Information Commissioner
[2008] UKIT EA/2006/0077
Representing the Information Commissioner.

Financial Services Authority v Information Commissioner and Riverstone Management Agency Ltd
[2008] UKIT EA/2008/0047
Re disclosure by Financial Services Authority. Representing the Information Commissioner.

Boddy v (1) Information Commissioner and (2) North Norfolk County Council
[2008] UKIT EA/2007/0074
Legal professional privilege; representing the Information Commissioner.

Brook Area Residents and Shopkeepers Group v Information Commissioner and Birmingham City Council
[2008] UKIT EA/2006/0077
Whether a body is a “publicly owned company” within FOIA (relationship of local authority with a company): representing the Information Commissioner.

North Western and North Wales Sea Fisheries Committee v Information Commissioner
[2008] UKIT EA/2007/0133
Whether information is environmental information; commercially confidential information; representing the Information Commissioner.

Welsh v Information Commissioner
[2008] UKIT EA/2007/0088
Whether a request for information is vexatious (in the medical context); representing the Information Commissioner.

McBride v Information Commissioner and Ministry of Justice (formerly Privy Council)
[2008] UKIT EA/2007/0105
Whether information is “held” for the purposes of FOIA; representing the Information Commissioner.

Craven v Information Commissioner
[2008] UKIT EA/2008/0002
Disclosure by Financial Services Authority.

Salmon v Information Commissioner
[2008] UKIT EA/2007/0135
Application of FOIA to college within a collegiate university, and whether information held is confidential information; representing the Information Commissioner.

Hargrave v Information Commissioner
[2007] UKIT EA/2007/0041
Law enforcement (detection of crime, administration of justice, in the context of an unsolved murder case)); representing the Information Commissioner.


Regulatory Information

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Professional title: Barrister


Full name (as registered with Bar Standards Board of England and Wales):
Jane Oldham


VAT Number: GB 440589932


Legal Status: Sole Practitioner


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