James Cornwell

James Cornwell

Professional Summary

Called 2002

Contact Details

E T +44 (0)20 7632 8500 Clerk Lucy Barbet Clerk John Davitt Clerk Christopher Smith E

James practises mainly in public law (including local government), education law, media and data privacy law, and information law. His work often involves overlap between these areas. James has acted for a wide range of clients, including government departments, local authorities, regulators, universities, major companies and third-sector organisations. He is a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel and before that he was on the Attorney General’s B and C Panels for eight years. James is recommended in the main legal directories as a leading junior for, variously, administrative and public law (including local government), data protection law and education law, with recent comments including: “Imaginative, industrious and full of sound judgement; he will go far” and “He has a fantastic legal mind. He gets his head around really technical arguments, and is easy to work with”.

Specialisms

Public

James has a wide public law practice and regularly appears in the Administrative Court and Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) in judicial reviews and statutory appeals, as well as in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. This work has included judicial review in the areas of EU structural funds (including ERDF funds), immigration, asylum support, age assessment, local government funding, human rights, government grants and subsidies, social security, the public sector equality duty, consultation, ombudsman schemes, mental health, prisons and parole. He has assisted in the drafting of observations for the European Court of Human Rights.

His local government experience includes advisory and litigation work for a number of local authorities and central government on a wide range of issues including vires, delegation, the well-being power/general power of competence, local government finance, governance, Members’ conduct, service cuts and community care.

Examples of his work in this field include:

R (JK) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
[2017] EWCA Civ 433
R (SG, JK & YT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
[2016] EWHC 2639 (Admin), [2016] ACD 133
Immigration – asylum support – Directive 2003/9/EC – ECHR, Articles 8, 14 – whether Secretary of State had discriminated, acted irrationally or failed to have regard to the best interests of children in setting the rate of asylum support payments.

R (Essex County Council) v Secretary of State for Education
[2016] EWHC 1724 (Admin)
Education – government grants – whether the Secretary of State had taken an irrational or unfair approach to criteria for allowing carry forward of a grant to a local authority for Early Years childcare – whether the Secretary of State had failed to comply with the public sector equality duty.

R (Tawinder Singh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
[2015] EWHC 3633 (Admin)
Immigration – validity of application – whether Secretary of State entitled to treat application for further leave to remain as invalid – whether invalidity decision open to administrative review.

Breyer Group plc v Department of Energy and Climate Change [2015] EWCA Civ 408, [2015] 1 WLR 4559, [2016] 2 All ER 220 [2014] EWHC 2257 (QB), [2015] 2 All ER 44, [2014] JPL 1346 ECHR, Article 1 of First Protocol – whether goodwill and legitimate expectations not referable to concluded contracts were possessions – whether unimplemented proposal capable of interfering with right to property – whether interference capable of being justified where proposal quashed by Court of Appeal.

R (Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council & others) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills  [2015] UKSC 6, [2015] PTSR 322, [2015] 3 All ER 1, [2015] BLGR 323, [2015] 3 CMLR 20 [2014] EWCA Civ 1080, [2014] PTSR 1387, [2015] 1 All ER 242, [2014] BLGR 589, [2014] 3 CMLR 51 [2014] EWHC 232 (Admin), [2014] BLGR 389, [2014] ACD 75 EU Structural Funds – whether Defendant’s allocation of Structural Funds to regions rational – whether allocation consistent with EU law principles of proportionality and equality.

R (Vowles) v Secretary of State for Justice & Parole Board [2015] EWCA Civ 56, [2015] 1 WLR 5131, [2015] 2 Cr App R(S) 6, [2015] Crim LR 542, [2016] MHLR 66 [2014] EWHC 1495 (Admin), [2015] MHLR 29 ECHR, Articles 5(4), 14 – mental health – prisoner subject to transfer direction to hospital – whether failure to hold speedy review of detention by Parole Board following recommendation for conditional discharge by First-tier Tribunal.

R (Kerman & Co LLP) v Legal Ombudsman [2014] EWHC 3729 (Admin), [2015] 1 WLR 2081 Legal Services Act 2007, s.132 – Legal Ombudsman – whether claimant solicitors firm was successor to sole practitioner as respondent to complaint.

R (Rosemarine) v Office for Legal Complaints [2014] EWHC 601 (Admin) Legal Ombudsman – whether Ombudsman prevented from considering complaint because lawyer had not had opportunity substantively to respond to complaint under internal complaints procedure – whether Ombudsman demonstrated actual or apparent bias – whether Ombudsman unfair/irrational to uphold complaint based on way lawyer responded to substantive complainant.

JR v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] UKUT 0154 (AAC) Social security – EU law – whether carer who was in receipt of Carer’s Allowance was thereby a worker or self-employed person such as to have a right to reside.

VP v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] UKUT 0032 (AAC), [2014] AACR 25 Social security – EU law – compatibility of the Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) Regulations 2004 with the derogation under the A8 Accession Treaty – assessment of self-sufficiency for purposes of Article 7(1)(b) of Directive 2004/38/EC – whether entitlement to NHS treatment constituted Comprehensive Sickness Insurance.

ZM & AB v HM Revenue & Customs [2013] UKUT 0547 (AAC), [2014] AACR 17 Tax credits – whether there is right of appeal in relation to reg.5(8) of the Tax Credits (Claims and Notification) Regulations 2004 – whether s.14 of the Tax Credits Act 2002 has to be ‘read down’ to be compatible with ECHR, Article 6.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change v Friends of the Earth Ltd & others [2012] EWCA Civ 28, [2012] Env LR 25, [2012] ACD 29 Feed-in Tariffs – whether proposed modification to license conditions retrospective in effect – whether proposed modification permitted by primary legislation.

 

Education

James’s education practice covers schools (maintained and independent) and further and higher education. He has appeared before a range of tribunals, including regularly the Administrative Court, FTT (SEND) (formerly SENDIST), and Upper Tribunal (AAC), and also the Court of Appeal, FTT (Care Standards), General Teaching Council, county court and IAPs. His schools work has included advice and advocacy on Academies and city technology colleges, special educational needs, age 19+ SEN education, disability discrimination, school exclusions, admissions, independent schools’ registration, Ofsted inspections, local authorities’ duty to educate otherwise than in school, school transport, residential placements, schools and Early Years childcare funding, and staffing issues.

James’s higher education work has included appearances in the county court and High Court in judicial reviews and claims for breach of contract, negligence and race, disability and sex discrimination against universities, as well as advisory work on HE and FE governance, regulation, and organisation, legislation and student funding.

Examples of his work in this field include:

R (LH) v BRIT School
(Administrative Court, Claim No.CO/1654/2017, 21 June 2017)
Education – admissions – whether City Technology College of the Arts required to comply with School Admissions Code – whether school entitled to withdraw offer of 6th Form place – whether decision irrational.

R (Essex County Council) v Secretary of State for Education
[2016] EWHC 1724 (Admin)
Education – government grants – whether the Secretary of State had taken an irrational or unfair approach to criteria for allowing carry forward of a grant to a local authority for Early Years childcare – whether the Secretary of State had failed to comply with the public sector equality duty.

R (Hassan) v Coventry University
[2016] EWHC 654 (Admin)
Higher education – whether a university had acted irrationally or unfairly in refusing to extend the deadline for a student to enrol on a course.

Mr & Mrs X v Governing Body of a School [2015] UKUT 0007 (AAC), [2015] ELR 133 Disability discrimination – exclusion from school – Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010, reg.4 – meaning of “a tendency to … physical abuse of other persons” – whether reg.4 applies to children – whether pupil’s behaviour was manifestation of tendency to physical abuse.

R (Crawford) v University of Newcastle upon Tyne [2014] EWHC 162 (Admin), [2014] ELR 110 Higher education – whether university complied with the requirements of its course handbook in marking final examination – whether university acted unfairly in application of its Academic Appeals Procedure – whether OIA was adequate alternative remedy.

Scarborough v Christ Church Canterbury University (Brighton County Court, HHJ Simpkiss, Claim No.2IR643251) Higher education – whether contract claim against university was abuse of process because it could have been brought as claim for judicial review or under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

CW & KW v Staffordshire County Council [2012] UKUT (AAC) HS/1333/2012 Special educational needs – whether material error of fact in FTT (SEND)’s decision.

GC & JC v Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council [2011] UKUT 293 (AAC), [2011] ELR 470 Special educational needs – adequacy of FTT (SEND)’s reasons – determination of contents of Parts 3 and 4 of SEN statement.

Information

James regularly represents and advises the Information Commissioner, applicants and a range of public authorities, including government departments and agencies, in relation to freedom of information appeals before the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) under FOIA 2000 and the EIR 2004. He has also acted in a number of appeals to the Upper Tribunal (AAC).

James has appeared in the county court in proceedings under the DPA 1998 for public and private sector data controllers in cases concerning subject access requests and rectification of personal data. He has represented the Information Commissioner in enforcement notice and monetary penalty notice appeals under the DPA 1998 (including the first three appeals against MPNs concerning direct marketing communications under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003). He regularly advises data controllers (including government departments, local authorities and major companies) and others on issues such as data sharing, handling subject access requests and the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

Examples of his work in this field include:

Dransfield v Information Commissioner & Devon County Council; Craven v Information Commissioner & Department of Energy and Climate Change
[2015] EWCA Civ 454, [2015] 1 WLR 5316, [2016] 3 All ER 221, [2016] Env LR 9
Craven v Information Commissioner & Department of Energy and Climate Change
[2012] UKUT 442 (AAC), [2013] 1 Info LR 335
FOIA, s.14(1) – EIR, reg.12(4)(b) – whether information request vexatious or manifestly unreasonable.

Amber UPVC Fabrications Ltd v Information Commissioner First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights), EA/2014/0112 DPA, s.55A – PECR, reg.21 – live direct marketing calls – whether Commissioner entitled to serve monetary penalty notice.

Information Commissioner v Niebel [2014] UKUT 255 (AAC), [2014] 2 Info LR 162 First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) – [2013] 2 Info LR 329 DPA, s.55A – whether Commissioner entitled to serve monetary penalty notice – whether contravention of PECR was of a kind likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress.

Cabinet Office v Information Commissioner & Aitchison [2013] UKUT 0526 (AAC), [2013] 2 Info LR 336 First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) – [2012] 2 Info LR 293 Freedom of information – whether public interest favoured maintenance of FOIA, s.35(1)(a), (b) exemptions for information about Rowntree takeover – Cabinet collective responsibility – relevance of changes to ‘the 30 year rule’.

UK Coal Mining Ltd v Information Commissioner [2012] UKUT 212 (AAC), [2012] 2 Info LR 491 EIR, reg.12(5)(e) – FOIA, s.43 – whether FTT erred in assessment of public interest balance in respect of disclosure of certain provisions of a lease and underlease.

 

Human Rights

James’s work often concerns issues under the European Convention on Human Rights. He has argued Convention points before the Upper Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal. He has represented a Government department defending a major damages claim under Article 1 of the First Protocol (right to property). He regularly addresses Article 5 (right to liberty) in prisons and parole cases, has also appeared in a case on whether provisions limiting statutory appeal rights had to be read down in the light of Article 6 (right to fair trial) and has advised on Article 4 (prohibition on forced labour) in relation to community sentences. James’s work on data protection (see also under Information Law and Media Law & Data Privacy) frequently raises issues in relation to Article 8 (right to private and family life). He has assisted in the drafting of observations for the European Court of Human Rights.

Examples of his work in this field include:

R (JK) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
[2017] EWCA Civ 433
R (SG, JK & YT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
[2016] EWHC 2639 (Admin), [2016] ACD 133
Immigration – asylum support – Directive 2003/9/EC – ECHR, Articles 8, 14 – whether Secretary of State had discriminated, acted irrationally or failed to have regard to the best interests of children in setting the rate of asylum support payments.

Breyer Group plc v Department of Energy and Climate Change [2015] EWCA Civ 408, [2015] 1 WLR 4559, [2016] 2 All ER 220 [2014] EWHC 2257 (QB), [2015] 2 All ER 44, [2014] JPL 1346 ECHR, Article 1 of First Protocol – whether goodwill and legitimate expectations not referable to concluded contracts were possessions – whether unimplemented proposal capable of interfering with right to property – whether interference capable of being justified where proposal quashed by Court of Appeal.

R (Vowles) v Secretary of State for Justice & Parole Board [2015] EWCA Civ 56, [2015] 1 WLR 5131, [2015] 2 Cr App R(S) 6, [2015] Crim LR 542, [2016] MHLR 66 [2014] EWHC 1495 (Admin), [2015] MHLR 29 ECHR, Articles 5(4), 14 – mental health – prisoner subject to transfer direction to hospital – whether failure to hold speedy review of detention by Parole Board following recommendation for conditional discharge by First-tier Tribunal.

ZM & AB v HM Revenue & Customs [2013] UKUT 0547 (AAC), [2014] AACR 17 Tax credits – whether there is right of appeal in relation to reg.5(8) of the Tax Credits (Claims and Notification) Regulations 2004 – whether s.14 of the Tax Credits Act 2002 had to be ‘read down’ to be compatible with ECHR, Article 6.

 

European Union

James regularly addresses issues of EU law across a number of areas of his work. He has argued points of EU law before the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, High Court and the Court of Appeal and has also appeared in a recent leading case on the EU law principles of equality and proportionality before a seven-justice constitution of the Supreme Court. His work on EU law has included social security, data protection and electronic privacy, asylum support, discrimination, alternative dispute resolution and legal services, access to environmental information and allocation of EU Structural Funds (including ERDF funds) within the UK.

Examples of his work in this field include:

R (JK) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
[2017] EWCA Civ 433
R (SG, JK & YT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
[2016] EWHC 2639 (Admin), [2016] ACD 133
Immigration – asylum support – Directive 2003/9/EC – ECHR, Articles 8, 14 – whether Secretary of State had discriminated, acted irrationally or failed to have regard to the best interests of children in setting the rate of asylum support payments.

Dransfield v Information Commissioner & Devon County Council; Craven v Information Commissioner & Department of Energy and Climate Change
[2015] EWCA Civ 454, [2015] 1 WLR 5316, [2016] 3 All ER 221, [2016] Env LR 9
Craven v Information Commissioner & Department of Energy and Climate Change
[2012] UKUT 442 (AAC), [2013] 1 Info LR 335
FOIA, s.14(1) – EIR, reg.12(4)(b) – whether information request vexatious or manifestly unreasonable.

R (Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council & others) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
[2015] UKSC 6, [2015] PTSR 322, [2015] 3 All ER 1, [2015] BLGR 323, [2015] 3 CMLR 20
[2014] EWCA Civ 1080, [2014] PTSR 1387, [2015] 1 All ER 242, [2014] BLGR 589, [2014] 3 CMLR 51
[2014] EWHC 232 (Admin), [2014] BLGR 389, [2014] ACD 75
EU Structural Funds – whether Defendant’s allocation of Structural Funds to regions rational – whether allocation consistent with EU law principles of proportionality and equality.

Information Commissioner v Niebel [2014] UKUT 255 (AAC), [2015] AACR 1, [2014] 2 Info LR 162 First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) – [2013] 2 Info LR 329 DPA, s.55A – Directives 2002/58/EC and 2009/136/EC – direct marketing text messages – whether Commissioner entitled to serve monetary penalty notice – whether contravention of PECR was of a kind likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress.

JR v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] UKUT 0154 (AAC) Social security – EU law – whether carer who was in receipt of Carer’s Allowance was thereby a worker or self-employed person such as to have a right to reside.

VP v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] UKUT 0032 (AAC), [2014] AACR 25 Social security – EU law – compatibility of the Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) Regulations 2004 with the derogation under the A8 Accession Treaty – assessment of self-sufficiency for purposes of Article 7(1)(b) of Directive 2004/38/EC – whether entitlement to NHS treatment constituted Comprehensive Sickness Insurance.

Miskovic & Blazej v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2011] EWCA Civ 16, [2011] 2 CMLR 20, [2012] AACR 11 Social security – EU law – proportionality of Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) Regulations 2004 – meaning of “legally working” – Directive 2004/38, article 23.

 

Media & Data Privacy

James has extensive experience of advising on and litigating cases concerning information requests (often originating from media organisations) under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2000 and data privacy under the Data Protection Act 1998.

He regularly represents and advises the Information Commissioner, applicants and a range of public authorities, including government departments and agencies, in relation to freedom of information appeals before the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) under FOIA 2000 and the EIR 2004. He has also acted in a number of appeals to the Upper Tribunal (AAC).

James has appeared in the county court in proceedings under the DPA 1998 for public and private sector data controllers in cases concerning subject access requests and rectification of personal data. He has represented the Information Commissioner in enforcement notice and monetary penalty notice appeals under the DPA 1998 (including the first three appeals against MPNs concerning direct marketing communications under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003). He regularly advises on data privacy issues, such as data sharing and the rights of data subjects.

Examples of his work in this field include:

Dransfield v Information Commissioner & Devon County Council; Craven v Information Commissioner & Department of Energy and Climate Change [2015] EWCA Civ 454, [2015] 1 WLR 5316, [2016] 3 All ER 221, [2016] Env LR 9
Craven v Information Commissioner & Department of Energy and Climate Change [2012] UKUT 442 (AAC), [2013] 1 Info LR 335 FOIA, s.14(1) – EIR, reg.12(4)(b) – whether information request vexatious or manifestly unreasonable.

Amber UPVC Fabrications Ltd v Information Commissioner
First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights), EA/2014/0112
DPA, s.55A – PECR, reg.21 – live direct marketing calls – whether Commissioner entitled to serve monetary penalty notice.

Information Commissioner v Niebel
[2014] UKUT 255 (AAC), [2014] 2 Info LR 162 First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) – [2013] 2 Info LR 329
DPA, s.55A – whether Commissioner entitled to serve monetary penalty notice – whether contravention of PECR was of a kind likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress.

Cabinet Office v Information Commissioner & Aitchison
[2013] UKUT 0526 (AAC), [2013] 2 Info LR 336
First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) – [2012] 2 Info LR 293 Freedom of information – whether public interest favoured maintenance of FOIA, s.35(1)(a), (b) exemptions for information about Rowntree takeover – Cabinet collective responsibility – relevance of changes to ‘the 30 year rule’.

UK Coal Mining Ltd v Information Commissioner
[2012] UKUT 212 (AAC), [2012] 2 Info LR 491
EIR, reg.12(5)(e) – FOIA, s.43 – whether FTT erred in assessment of public interest balance in respect of disclosure of certain provisions of a lease and underlease.

Professional Discipline & Regulatory

James’s regulatory and professional disciplinary work has covered legal services, data protection and direct marketing, independent schools’ regulation, Ofsted inspections, social workers, doctors and teachers. He regularly advises the Legal Ombudsman and has represented it in a number of judicial review challenges to its determinations. He has represented the Information Commissioner in a number of appeals against enforcement notices and monetary penalty notices issued under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. He has also appeared before the former General Teaching Council defending a head teacher in a 15-day hearing concerning alleged financial misconduct and for an NHS Trust in HC (90) 9 proceedings against a consultant. James regularly acted as a legal advisor to the former General Social Care Council’s Preliminary Proceedings Committee.

Examples of his work in this field include:

R (Kerman & Co LLP) v Legal Ombudsman
[2014] EWHC 3729 (Admin), [2015] 1 WLR 2081
Legal Services Act 2007, s.132 – Legal Ombudsman – whether claimant solicitors firm was successor to sole practitioner as respondent to complaint.

Amber UPVC Fabrications Ltd v Information Commissioner
First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights), EA/2014/0112
DPA, s.55A – PECR, reg.21 – live direct marketing calls – whether Commissioner entitled to serve monetary penalty notice.

Information Commissioner v Niebel
[2014] UKUT 255 (AAC), [2015] AACR 1, [2014] 2 Info LR 162
First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) – [2013] 2 Info LR 329
DPA, s.55A – Directives 2002/58/EC and 2009/136/EC – direct marketing text messages – whether Commissioner entitled to serve monetary penalty notice – whether contravention of PECR was of a kind likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress.

R (Rosemarine) v Office for Legal Complaints
[2014] EWHC 601 (Admin)
Legal Ombudsman – whether Ombudsman prevented from considering complaint because lawyer had not had opportunity substantively to respond to complaint under internal complaints procedure – whether Ombudsman demonstrated actual or apparent bias – whether Ombudsman unfair/irrational to uphold complaint based on way lawyer responded to substantive complainant.

Employment

James’s employment practice has involved advisory work and advocacy, primarily in employment tribunals and the EAT, but also in the county court, High Court and Court of Appeal (appearing both as sole and junior counsel), covering a range of issues including TUPE, equal pay, employment contracts, school staffing and staff disqualification, unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, trade unions, employment status, whistle-blowing, and discrimination. He has acted for the local authority respondents in two large, long-running multi-claimant equal pay claims.

James’s employment work often overlaps with his other areas of expertise and is currently focussed primarily on TUPE, equal pay and issues concerning staffing at maintained schools and Academies.

Examples of his work in this field include: 

Cavanagh & others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
[2016] EWHC 1136 (QB), [2016] IRLR 591, [2016] ICR 826
Contracts of employment – trade unions – whether Defendant’s decision to end ‘check-off’ facilities for payment of trade union subscriptions breached employment contract – whether trade union entitled to enforce provisions in relation to ‘check-off’ under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.

Johnson v Dixons Stores Group Retail Ltd
UKEAT/507/11/RN & UKEAT/508/11/RN (9 February 2012), EAT
Issue estoppel – extension of time – application for review

Walsh v Tewkesbury Borough Council
[2011] EqLR 1107, ET
Age discrimination – justification – early release of pension – redundancy.

Kirklees Metropolitan Council v Radecki
[2009] EWCA Civ 298, [2009] ICR 1244, [2009] IRLR 555
Effective date of termination – whether summary dismissal – EAT interfering in ET’s findings of fact.

Cheltenham Borough Council v Laird
[2009] EWHC 1253 (QB), [2009] IRLR 621
Local authority – alleged misrepresentations in pre-employment medical questionnaire – formation of contract.

Recommendations

“Very experienced, reliable and calm under pressure” Legal 500

“Combines meticulous preparation with excellent clarity of understanding of the law” Legal 500

“Able to master a huge amount of detailed material in a short timeframe.” Legal 500

“Clever and very experienced” Chambers & Partners

“He is intellectual, hard-working and thorough, and reads every last page of the case” Legal 500

“Imaginative, industrious and full of sound judgement; he will go far” Legal 500

“He has a fantastic legal mind. He gets his head around really technical arguments, and is easy to work with” Chambers & Partners

“He got to grips with a very difficult project and he was very impressive… It was his great grasp of the complex issues in the case that was really impressive. He had obviously prepared diligently for the hearing and fully understood the arguments and the background” Chambers & Partners

“He has a first-class intellect” Legal 500

“Precise and to the point, he focuses on the key facts and issues” Chambers & Partners

“He’s calm, measured and reasonable in everything he does, and clear and precise in his language” Chambers & Partners

“Great attention to detail” Legal 500

“Very thorough” Chambers & Partners

“He has a wide understanding of his subject” Chambers & Partners

Recent Cases

R (JK) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
[2017] EWCA Civ 433
R (SG, JK & YT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
[2016] EWHC 2639 (Admin), [2016] ACD 133
Immigration – asylum support – Directive 2003/9/EC – ECHR, Articles 8, 14 – whether Secretary of State had discriminated, acted irrationally or failed to have regard to the best interests of children in setting the rate of asylum support payments (currently on appeal to the Court of Appeal – judgment awaited).

 R (LH) v BRIT School
(Administrative Court, Claim No.CO/1654/2017, 21 June 2017)
Education – admissions – whether City Technology College of the Arts required to comply with School Admissions Code – whether school entitled to withdraw offer of 6th Form place – whether decision irrational.

R (Essex County Council) v Secretary of State for Education
[2016] EWHC 1724 (Admin)
Education – government grants – whether the Secretary of State had taken an irrational or unfair approach to criteria for allowing carry forward of a grant to a local authority for Early Years childcare – whether the Secretary of State had failed to comply with the public sector equality duty.

Cavanagh & others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
[2016] EWHC 1136 (QB), [2016] IRLR 591, [2016] ICR 826
Contracts of employment – trade unions – whether Defendant’s decision to end ‘check-off’ facilities for payment of trade union subscriptions breached employment contract – whether trade union entitled to enforce provisions in relation to ‘check-off’ under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.

R (Hassan) v Coventry University
[2016] EWHC 654 (Admin)
Higher education – whether a university had acted irrationally or unfairly in refusing to extend the deadline for a student to enrol on a course.

R (Tawinder Singh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
[2015] EWHC 3633 (Admin)
Immigration – validity of application – whether Secretary of State entitled to treat application for further leave to remain as invalid – whether invalidity decision open to administrative review.

Dransfield v Information Commissioner & Devon County Council; Craven v Information Commissioner & Department of Energy and Climate Change
[2015] EWCA Civ 454, [2015] 1 WLR 5316, [2016] 3 All ER 221, [2016] Env LR 9
FOIA, s.14(1) – EIR, reg.12(4)(b) – whether information request vexatious or manifestly unreasonable.

Breyer Group plc v Department of Energy and Climate Change
[2015] EWCA Civ 408, [2015] 1 WLR 4559, [2016] 2 All ER 220
[2014] EWHC 2257 (QB), [2015] 2 All ER 44, [2014] JPL 1346
ECHR, Article 1 of First Protocol – whether goodwill and legitimate expectations not referable to concluded contracts were possessions – whether unimplemented proposal capable of interfering with right to property – whether interference capable of being justified where proposal quashed by Court of Appeal.

R (Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council & others) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
[2015] UKSC 6, [2015] PTSR 322, [2015] 3 All ER 1, [2015] BLGR 323, [2015] 3 CMLR 20
[2014] EWCA Civ 1080, [2014] PTSR 1387, [2015] 1 All ER 242, [2014] BLGR 589, [2014] 3 CMLR 51
[2014] EWHC 232 (Admin), [2014] BLGR 389, [2014] ACD 75
EU Structural Funds – whether Defendant’s allocation of Structural Funds to regions rational – whether allocation consistent with EU law principles of proportionality and equality.

R (Vowles) v Secretary of State for Justice & Parole Board
[2015] EWCA Civ 56, [2015] 1 WLR 5131, [2015] 2 Cr App R(S) 6, [2015] Crim LR 542, [2016] MHLR 66
[2014] EWHC 1495 (Admin), [2015] MHLR 29
ECHR, Articles 5(4), 14 – mental health – prisoner subject to transfer direction to hospital – whether failure to hold speedy review of detention by Parole Board following recommendation for conditional discharge by First-tier Tribunal.

Mr & Mrs X v Governing Body of a School [2015] UKUT 0007 (AAC), [2015] ELR 133 Disability discrimination – exclusion from school – Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010, reg.4 – meaning of “a tendency to … physical abuse of other persons” – whether reg.4 applies to children – whether pupil’s behaviour was manifestation of tendency to physical abuse.

R (Kerman & Co LLP) v Legal Ombudsman [2014] EWHC 3729 (Admin), [2015] 1 WLR 2081 Legal Services Act 2007, s.132 – Legal Ombudsman – whether claimant solicitors firm was successor to sole practitioner as respondent to complaint.

APPOINTMENTS

2016    Attorney General’s A Panel of Civil Counsel

2012    Attorney General’s B Panel of Civil Counsel

2008    Attorney General’s C Panel of Civil Counsel

News, Articles & Publications

Contributor, Halsbury’s Laws of England (5th Edition), Vol.61 (Judicial Review)

Contributor, Information Law Reports

Contributor, Local Government Law (Bloomsbury) (chapter on adult social services)

Contributor, Tolley’s Employment Handbook (chapter on discrimination and equal opportunities enforcement)

Author, “Local authority duties under the Children Act 1989”, PLC Public Sector

Author, “Mount Cook 1: Whatever Happened to Leach?”, [2004] Judicial Review 49

James has given talks and training (including by podcast and webinar) on various topics in public, employment, discrimination, community care, local government, data protection, freedom of information and education law to solicitors, local authority officers, civil servants, school governors, barristers, IRP panel members, data protection officers and others.

Education

2001-2002       Inns of Court School of Law – Bar Vocational Course

2000-2001       City University – Diploma in Law

1995-2000       Brasenose College, Oxford – DPhil in Philosophy

1993-1995       University College London – MPhil in Philosophy
Dawes Hicks Scholarship in Philosophy

1990-1993       University College, Oxford – BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics & Economics
College Exhibition

Other

Queen Mother Major Scholarship, Middle Temple

Sachs Prize for performance on the BVC, Middle Temple

Benefactors CPE Scholarship, Middle Temple

James is a barrister mentor for student representatives on the City University School Exclusions Project.

James is a member of:

  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Employment Lawyers Association
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Regulatory Information

All members of Chambers are registered with the Bar Stardards Board of England and Wales. For general terms and conditions on which services are provided - click here

Professional title: Barrister

Full name (as registered with Bar Standards Board of England and Wales): James Cornwell

VAT Number: GB 872480507

Legal Status: Sole Practitioner

Professional Insurance: All members of Chambers have professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Ltd - click here for more details

Territorial coverage is world-wide, subject to the terms of the Bar Mutual, which may be found here

Should you wish to make a complaint - click here