Hannah Slarks

Hannah Slarks

Professional Summary

Called 2011

Contact Details

E T +44 (0)20 7632 8500 Clerk Michael Smith Clerk Hannah Rayner E

Hannah’s practice spans public, regulatory, commercial and employment law.

In her public and regulatory practice, Hannah has wide-ranging experience acting for both claimants and public bodies.  She is consistently instructed in policy cases of major public importance, as well as sensitive matters concerning the rights of individuals.  She has particular expertise in the community care, healthcare and education sectors.

In employment and commercial law, she regularly appears in the employment tribunals, the EAT, the county court, the High Court and the Court of Appeal dealing with all stages of litigation. She has extensive experience in complex discrimination matters.

Before coming to the Bar, Hannah worked with a number of charities and public bodies, including the Public Law Project, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, INQUEST and the Care Quality Commission.


Public, Regulatory & Human Rights

Hannah’s broad public law practice encompasses areas such as: constitutional law; unlawful detention; human rights; education; community care; healthcare, emergency services and inquests. She acts for claimants and defendants.   She acted for Liberty in the landmark Supreme Court case concerning Article 3, arising from the Black Cab rapist investigations. She regularly acts in complex litigation concerning the closure or reconfiguration of public services. She is currently instructed to advise and litigate on controversial changes to legislation made under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018.  She is also acting for the Electoral Commission against Vote Leave and other organisations that campaigned against Brexit.

Hannah’s public law specialisms in community care, healthcare and education are dealt with in separate sections below.

Examples of her work include:

R (Inclusion Housing) v the Regulator for Social Housing
Currently acting for a leading provider of specialist social housing in a challenge to a regulatory judgment challenging the provider’s economic model.  Led by Daniel Stilitz QC.

R (Juttla) v Hertfordshire Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group
[2018] EWHC 267, (2018) 21 CCL Rep 325, QBD (Admin Ct), February 21 2018
A respite care service for children with complex medical needs was a ‘health service’ and the local authority should have been consulted before funding was withdrawn from it.

DSD & NBV v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis
[2018] UKSC 11
Intervened on behalf of Liberty in this Supreme Court appeal, arising from the case of the Black Cab Rapist. The case redefined the scope of an Article 3 obligation on the police when investigating crimes involving torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.

R (Gulf Centre for Human Rights) v Prime Minister
[2016] EWHC 1323 (Admin)
Represents the claimant challenging recent amendments to the Ministerial Code, which remove the obligation upon ministers to comply with international law and uphold the administration of justice. Led by Jason Coppel QC.

Jones v LB Southwark
[2016] EWHC 457 (Ch), [2016] HLR 14, Ch Div, March 4 2016
Acted for LB Southwark in an important dispute concerning how local authorities may collect water rates on behalf of water suppliers, led by Charles Bourne QC.

R (Hawke) v Secretary of State for Justice
[2016] ACD 56, [2015] EWHC 4093 (Admin), [2015] EWHC 3599 (Admin).
Acting as sole counsel, successfully represented the Ministry of Justice in a case about whether a prisoner should be relocated due to his wife’s disability. This has become a leading decision on the application of the Government’s reforms to remedy in judicial review under s.31 Senior Courts Act.

R (Moore) v Secretary of State for Local Government
[2015] ACD 44
Successfully represented the Save Farm Terrace Association in a judicial review challenging the Secretary of State’s grant of permission for the sale of allotments, instructed by Deighton Pierce Glynn.  Led by Jason Coppel QC.

Buyinza v Secretary of State for the Home Department
Acted as sole counsel on behalf of the claimant in an unlawful detention damages claim, instructed by Duncan Lewis.

R (Mohammadi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
Successfully represented an unlawfully detained Iranian prisoner, instructed by Leigh Day.

R (Islington LBC) v Mayor of London
[2013] EWHC 4142 (Admin)
Acted for a group of London Boroughs in a complex judicial review challenging a decision to close 10 Inner London fire stations, led by Dan Stilitz QC.

Health & Community Care

In community care, Hannah acts both for and against local authorities, and advises both sides. She acted for the claimants in the high profile challenge to Central Government’s funding of the deprivation of liberty regime. She has appeared in important litigation about the duties owed to families with no recourse to public funds. She has acted in major challenges to the closure and privatisation of services. She also regularly acts as sole counsel in claims concerning the duties owed to children and vulnerable adults.

Hannah has wide-ranging experience in claims concerning healthcare provision. This year, she will appear for the claimant in the Court of Appeal hearing on the reconfiguration of emergency healthcare services in Dorset.  She is currently instructed for the Government, defending a judicial review challenge to the establishment of a state indemnity scheme for GPs.  She acted in the complex judicial review concerning the reconfiguration of Manchester’s general surgical services. She was instructed in the challenge to the compensation scheme for those who contracted Hepatitis C from contaminated blood products in the 1980s. She has extensive experience appearing before Continuing Healthcare review panels on behalf of families.  She also appears in commercial disputes arising in a health context, including in arbitration.

Examples of her work include:

R (Medical Defence Union) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Defending the Government in this high level challenge to the creation of a State Indemnity scheme for the liabilities of GPs. Led by Clive Sheldon QC.

R (Hinsull) v Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group
Currently acting for the Claimant before the Court of Appeal in this challenge to the reconfiguration of emergency healthcare in Dorset. Led by Jason Coppel QC.

R (Juttla) v Hertfordshire Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group   
[2018] EWHC 267, (2018) 21 CCL Rep 325, QBD (Admin Ct), February 21 2018
Appeared for local authority. A respite care service for children with complex medical needs was a ‘health service’ and the local authority should have been consulted before funding was withdrawn from it. Led by Clive Sheldon QC.

R (Smith) v SS for Health
[2016] CO/5208/2016
Defended the Secretary of State for Health in response to this public law discrimination claim. The claimants challenge the compensation scheme for those who contracted Hepatitis C from contaminated blood products in the 1980s. Led by Charles Bourne QC.

R (Liverpool and others) v SS for Health
[2017] EWHC 986 (Admin), (2017) 20 CCL Rep 391; [2017] COPLR 295; [2017] ACD 80, [2016] CO/2780/2017,
Acted for a group of local authorities challenging the Government’s failure to fund adequately the implementation of the deprivation of liberty regime, led by James Goudie QC.

R (Keep Wythenshawe Special) v NHS Central Manchester CCG
[2016] EWHC 17 (Admin), (2016) 19 CCL Rep 19
Represented Stockport NHS Foundation Trust in complex judicial review proceedings challenging the reconfiguration of general surgical services across Manchester, led by Jason Coppel QC, instructed by Bevan Brittan.

R (Project Seventeen) v Lewisham LBC
[2015] CO/3536/201
Acted for LB Lewisham in a landmark case concerning how local authorities assess families’ eligibility for support when they have no recourse to public funds, led by Clive Sheldon QC.

R (D) v Brent LBC
[2015] EWHC 3224 (Admin).
Successfully defended a local authority as sole counsel in a judicial review concerning delays during the transition of a vulnerable adult between young person’s and adult’s services.  

R (Taylor and Wilson) v Sutton LBC
Acted as sole counsel for a local authority defending a challenge to a change of the opening hours of respite services.

R (Jackson) v Devon
CC CO/4296/2014.
Successfully defended a local authority in a judicial review challenging a decision to close all the Council-run care homes for older people, led by Karen Steyn QC.


Hannah has a strong specialism in education law.  She appears in the High Court and County Court on disputes between students and Universities.  She regularly acts in the High Court and First Tier Tribunals on matters arising from EHC plans. She works on exclusions and admissions appeals.  She has conducted independent investigations concerning complaints made by parents and by teachers.  Hannah recently acted for the Department of Education in the Care Standards Tribunal, when an independent faith school had refused to educate its pupils on LGBTQ issues.

Court of Protection

Hannah regularly acts in Court of Protection proceedings concerning deprivation of liberty and the best interests of vulnerable adults. In particular, Hannah appeared for the Ministry of Defence in a complex case concerning whether it was in the best interests of an injured ex-serviceman to return to Fiji with his family or receive superior medical care in the UK.


Hannah has acted in Inquests, representing both public authorities and families of the bereaved. She has also appeared in judicial reviews relating to Inquests. She appeared in the challenge concerning the decision to withdraw public funding for the representation of the senior police officers in the Hillsborough inquests. Before coming to the Bar, she worked with the charity INQUEST.


Hannah is an employment law specialist. She practices across the breadth of statutory employment law, with a particular experience of multi-party discrimination claims and complex whistleblowing matters.  She is also instructed in high court matters, including misuse of confidential information, breaches of contract and bonus disputes. Her clients range from investment banks, tech firms and elite private schools to individuals and charities.

Examples of her appellate employment work include:

Drake International Systems Ltd v Blue Arrow Ltd
UKEAT/282/15, [2016] ICR 445, EAT, January 27 2016.
Acted sole counsel for the appellant in the EAT in the leading case on the interaction between early conciliation obligations and applications to add new respondents to a claim, instructed by Charles Russell Speechlys.


Hannah has acted in a landmark multi-billion pound tax case, and litigation concerning commercial agency. She has also acted as a conciliator in shareholders’ disputes.

She also has considerable experience of commercial disputes with public bodies.  She has acted in arbitration proceedings concerning NHS contracts, and High Court litigation arising from contractual disputes with local authorities.


Attorney General’s C panel

News, Articles & Publications

The Claimant’s Pre-permission Checklist, co-authored with Clive Sheldon QC (Judicial Review, Vol. 21, 2016 – issue 2).

Tolley’s Employment Handbook (2013-16 editions, Tolley).

Public Law and Judicial Review and Representing yourself in court: on the day in A guide to representing yourself in Court, co-authored (2013, guidance published by the Bar Council).

Positive obligations to provide access to information under the European Convention on Human Rights, co-authored with Karen Steyn (2012, journal article published in Judicial Review).

The Forum for Preventing Deaths in Custody: UK experiences with cross-sector cooperation in Police involved deaths – the Need for Reform (MacAlister Ed.) (2011, book published by the British Canadian Civil Liberties Association).

Service User Experience of the First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) (2011, report published jointly by the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council and the Care Quality Commission).

Where Human Rights and Development Meet (or fail to do so): The Constitutional Right to Housing in South Africa (2010, journal article published in the UCL Human Rights Review).

Analytical Overview of the 4th Session the Human Rights Council (2007, report published in the Council Monitor by the International Service for Human Rights).

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – India 70th Session (2007, report published in the Treaty Body Monitor, by the International Service for Human Rights).


Hannah has two Double First Class degrees. She was rated ‘outstanding’ on the Bar Professional Training Course.


Fluent French.

While studying, Hannah won a number of high profile advocacy competitions, including the National Debating Championships and the Times Advocacy Competition.
Lord Megarry Scholarship – Lincolns Inn 2011

Lord Mansfield Scholarship – Lincolns Inn 2010

Advocacy Scholarship – Kaplan Law School 2010

Burnett Award – Hughes Hall, Cambridge 2009 and 2010

Lord Bowen Scholarship – Lincolns Inn 2008

Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship – Lincolns Inn 2008

Mary Morrison Prize – Bristol University French Department 2008

Convocation Award – Bristol University 2007


Regulatory Information

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Professional title: Barrister

Full name (as registered with Bar Standards Board of England and Wales): Hannah Slarks

VAT Number: GB 165696562

Legal Status: Sole Practitioner

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