Peter Oldham QC

Peter Oldham

Professional Summary

Called 1990 Appointed QC 2010

Contact Details

E T +44 (0)20 7632 8500 Clerk Mark Dann Clerk Darren Bacon Clerk Martin Pownall E

Peter is a well-known practitioner with over 25 years’ experience of advising and litigating in  public, local government, education, employment, procurement and state aid law, and has always appeared as a leading silk in the directories. He regularly appears in the cutting edge cases in his fields, most recently R ota Hussain v Sandwell MBC (bias and standards, May 2017), R ota Passmore v Bristol CC  (budgets and consultation, May 2017), Mann v Swansea CC (entitlement to SEN allowances, May 2017) and R ota X School v OFSTED (school inspections and sex discrimination, Court of Appeal July 2017).

Specialisms

Public

Peter advises and litigates across the range of public law, with a vast amount of work in local government and regulation fields.  Forthcoming and recent hearings include:

  • R ota Hussain v Sandwell MBC (HC) – conduct allegations against members
  • R ota X School v OFSTED (CA) – injunction to prevent publication of OFSTED inspection report; lawfulness of OFSTED’s approach to separation of boys and girls at school
  • R ota National Association of Fostering Providers v Bristol CC – challenge by independent foster providers to the method by which authorities determine foster provision under section 22C of the Children Act 1989
  • R ota Tirkey v Legal Aid Agency – trafficked worker challenging lawfulness of legal aid charge on ET compensation
  • R ota A and C v Oxfordshire County Council (CA) – lawful budget setting
  • R ota Robson v Salford CC (CA) – first CA decision on consultation in the light of Moseley
  • R ota a District Council v Secretary of State for Transport 2016 – DVLA’s failure to provide registered keeper information for purposes of parking enforcement
  • R ota Mid Ulster DC v Dept of Environment (HC) – challenge to calculation of rate support grant
  • Evangelou v Labour Party (HC) – voting rights in Labour Party leadership election

Peter has recently advised on the following amongst other issues:

  • Numerous challenges to cuts in libraries and other services
  • Powers, including the general power of competence
  • Council tax and budgets
  • Prudential borrowing, accounts and the CIPFA code
  • Community right to challenge
  • Social services and community care
  • Health powers
  • Highways
  • Waste collection, disposal and recycling
  • Assets of community value
  • Elections
  • Trading and commercial initiatives
  • Inter-authority care/health disputes and ordinary residence
  • LGPS issues (admission bodies, complaints, shortfalls)
  • Bus services and transport
  • Regeneration projects, including state aid and procurement
  • Challenges to Local Government Ombudsman decisions
  • Section 123 of the LGA 1972 and sales at an undervalue
  • Assets of community value
  • Members’ standards and the Localism Act 2011
  • Indemnities for officers and members
  • Political balance
  • Termination of employment of chief officers
  • Parking regulation
  • Operation of joint authorities
  • Barring members of the public from local authority meetings

Education

Peter has a particular specialism in education law and has for a long time been in the very highest rank in the education directories. Forthcoming and recent litigation includes:

  • R ota X School v OFSTED (CA) – interim injunction to restrain publication of OFSTED report; validity of OFSTED’s approach to sex discrimination
  • Special Needs Teachers v A Local Authority – entitlement to special needs allowance under the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document
  • X v Leeds University – appeal to Court of Appeal involving first full scale challenge to the bar on academic judgment claims
  • IEB of Al-Hijrah School v WY (HC) – injunctions and other relief sought against former governor on grounds of interference in the school’s affairs
  • R ota Delair v Manor Park Primary School (HC) – whether a primary school has a duty to provide prayer facilities– ECHR Art 9 and religious discrimination under the Equality Act 2010

Peter has recently advised on the following amongst other issues:-

  • Numerous academy issues, including land, passing of liabilities, conversion process, settling of accounts with local authority upon conversion, DfE sanctions on academy trust for underperformance, contractual disputes
  • Various school closure and amalgamation issues
  • Special educational needs
  • School photocopier lease disputes
  • Staffing disputes
  • Religious and sex discrimination in schools
  • Age discrimination in university employment practices
  • Consumer Rights Act 2015, universities and independent schools
  • Numerous OFSTED challenges in different educational settings
  • The operation of statutory and private law trusts for voluntary schools
  • Independent schools, discipline and contracts of employment
  • School transport
  • University governance and statutes
  • Judicial review and private law claims by university students
  • Foundation trustees’ powers and duties
  • Education claims and Charity Commission issues
  • BIS and withdrawal of funding
  • Regulation of examination and awarding bodies
  • Recovery of money from defrauded FE college
  • Admissions
  • Boarding and fee charging
  • Private schools and discipline
  • Various cases on the role of the interim executive board
  • Dispute between school’s foundation body and church bodies over rights of appointment of governors
  • Admissions
  • Special educational needs, including issues of costs
  • Local authority’s powers to set up sixth form centre

Procurement & State Aid

Peter regularly advises and litigates in this area. Recent cases include:

  • Hine Solicitors v Legal Aid Agency – part of the Criminal Duty Solicitor legal aid contract procurement litigation
  • R ota Hine Solicitors v Legal Aid Agency – further challenge to LAA’s award of duty rota places
  • Flogas v Department for Personnel – challenge to award of fuel supply contract
  • Newcastle FT Hospital v North East CCGs – challenge to award of diabetic retinopathy services contract
  • SSAFA v MOD – challenge to award of social service contract
  • Darlington College v MOD – challenge to award of education contract

Recent advisory work includes:

  • Various cases involving automatic stay/lifting of the stay
  • Procurement of IT management contract for very large public organisation
  • Various framework contract issues
  • Local authority guarantees for innovative renewables project
  • Numerous regeneration projects, involving procurement and state aid issues
  • Sale of fire station sites by a fire authority
  • Disposal of land at an undervalue for recreational and cultural purposes
  • Reorganisation of waste disposal contracts in a county council
  • Setting up a university research project
  • Procurement of a telephony services by a police force
  • Development of a large site for solar energy supply
  • Procurement of services for national sporting event
  • Procurement of a sports centre

Employment

Peter advises and litigates across the employment field.  Current and recent litigation includes:

  • Special Needs Teachers v A Local Authority – correct limitation period for contract claims in the Employment Tribunal; entitlement to special needs allowance under the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document
  • R ota Tirkey v Legal Aid Agency (HC) – trafficked worker challenging statutory legal aid charge on ET compensation
  • A Headteacher v A Local authority (HC) – injunctions to prevent disciplinary process in breach of contract
  • Zarqasi v Claimant’s employers (EAT) – acting for victim of alleged trafficking employed by UK residents to work in domestic servitude.  Claim in ET and under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  • Stenball Ltd v Wright and others – employees’ duties, alleged business opportunities, security for costs etc
  • Migliaccio v Sam Smith Southern EAT – waiters’ rights to tips
  • Davies v Haringey LBC– local authority’s powers of discipline over staff at maintained school
  • Bugden v Bromley LBC – mass claim under the rarely litigated section 145B of TULRCA 1992 (inducement to leave collective bargaining)

Peter advises on all employment issues, including:

  • Restrictive covenants
  • Other contract claims
  • Unfair dismissal  including mass dismissals
  • Redundancy and protective awards
  • Industrial action and injunctions
  • Trafficked workers’ rights
  • Discrimination
  • Minimum wage
  • Working time rights
  • Whistleblowing
  • TUPE
  • Pension rights
  • Crown employment
  • Employees’ data protection

Local Authority

Peter has a vast amount of experience advising and litigating in the field of local authority law. Recent cases include:

  • R ota Hussain v Sandwell MBC (HC) – conduct allegations against members
  • R ota A and C v Oxfordshire County Council (CA) – lawful budget setting
  • R ota Passmore v Bristol CC (HC) – lawful budget setting
  • R ota National Association of Fostering Providers v Bristol CC – challenge by independent foster providers to the method by which authorities determine foster provision under section 22C of the Children Act 1989
  • R ota Robson v Salford CC (CA) – consultation in the light of Moseley
  • R ota a District Council v Secretary of State for Transport– DVLA’s failure to provide registered keeper information for purposes of parking enforcement
  • R ota Mid Ulster DC v Dept of Environment (HC, appeal pending) – challenge to calculation of rate support grant

Peter has recently advised on the following amongst other issues:

  • Numerous challenges to cuts in libraries and other services
  • Powers, including the general power of competence
  • Council tax and budgets
  • Prudential borrowing, accounts and the CIPFA code
  • Constitutional issues, delegation and standing orders
  • Community right to challenge
  • Social services and community care
  • Health powers
  • Highways
  • Waste collection, disposal and recycling
  • Assets of community value
  • Elections
  • Trading and commercial initiatives
  • Procurement
  • Inter-authority care/health disputes and ordinary residence
  • LGPS issues (admission bodies, complaints, shortfalls)
  • Bus services and transport
  • Regeneration projects, including state aid and procurement
  • Challenges to Local Government Ombudsman decisions
  • Section 123 of the LGA 1972, sales at an undervalue and state aid
  • Assets of community value
  • Members’ standards and the Localism Act 2011
  • Indemnities for officers and members
  • Political balance
  • Termination of employment of chief officers
  • Parking regulation
  • Operation of joint authorities

 

Recommendations

“A super advocate and tactician, who presents winning arguments and quickly turns advice around” Legal 500 

“Couples a preternatural understanding of the law with an extremely affable demeanour” Legal 500 

“Down to earth and willing to put himself in his client’s shoes” Legal 500 

“A fantastic advocate” Chambers and Partners

“Head and shoulders above the rest” Legal 500 

“He provides practical and pragmatic advice and real world solutions.” Chambers and Partners

“A superb tactician, who cuts through complex problems and identifies winning solutions.” Legal 500 

“He exudes confidence with sound and pragmatic advice” Legal 500

“He handles things very well, is very responsive, has a fine academic brain, and is always willing to listen to clients and meet their needs.” Chambers and Partners

“He’s extremely easy to deal with and very pragmatic” Chambers and Partners

Education

MA History, first class, University of Cambridge

Diploma in Law, distinction, first in year

Other

Peter worked in banking for a number of years before studying law and becoming a barrister.

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Regulatory Information

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Professional title: Barrister

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

VAT Number: GB 524395050

Legal Status: Sole Practitioner

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