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  • James Goudie QC
    Areas of Practice

  • Commercial
  • Commercial - Business Protection
  • Commercial - Civil Fraud
  • Commercial - Commercial Contract
  • Commercial Judicial Review
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Health & Community Care
  • Human Rights
  • Information
  • Media Law
  • Pensions
  • Procurement and State Aid
  • Professional Discipline and Regulatory Law
  • Public
  • Sport
  • Activity from
    James Goudie

  • Recent cases

    11KBW Barristers in “Top 20 Cases”

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    James Goudie QC and Edward Capewell successful in land disposal challenge

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  • Article

    Welsh Local Authority Conference - Local Government Update

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    Welsh Local Authority Conference - Procurement and State Aid

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  • News

    Nine 11KBW barristers feature in The Lawyer’s “Top 20 Cases” for 2017

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    11KBW listed in Labour & Employment and Public Procurement in this year’s Who’s Who Legal

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  • Podcast

    TUPE Update (11KBW Employment Law Conference 2016)

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James Goudie QC

James Goudie

James Goudie QC

Practice Overview

James Goudie is "the font of all local government knowledge"; "his insight into local government regulation is invaluable"; "extensive experience in the field"; simply top drawer; he is charming, easy-going, hugely intelligent and massively capable". He is "one of the big hitters in The Temple in terms of experience and gravitas” and "is very impressive. He puts the client at ease. He delivers tough messages with clarity and reasoned thought. It makes our clients' job much easier". James “is a well-known authority who delivers on his reputation. He has real gravitas and a direct and punchy advocacy style.” James is “the weapon of choice for us on high-profile civil matters, he is immensely approachable” and is “very bright but doesn't engage in 'barrister-speak.' Instead, he is very clear, forthright and succinct." He is an "excellent local government counsel, who is thorough and forensic." James is also described as a “national treasure with incisive legal analysis”. “He stands out due to his technical knowledge and years of experience of handling highly sensitive issues of public interest” and his “analysis is always brilliant, and the way he communicates is great, because any non-lawyer who picks up his opinion clearly understands what the key issues are ”. His “knowledge of the public sector is superb” and he also has “outstanding knowledge of local government law”. James is also “very authoritative, makes it look simple and is a very good lawyer. He presents cases in a way that courts find helpful”. “He doesn’t sit on the fence, but gives his opinion, is very easy to deal with and is down to earth”. James is a "hard hitter, who always make eminently sensible contributions to a case” and is a man with "great intellect who has a real gift for providing straightforward, user-friendly advice on complicated problems”. “A very shrewd advocate” and “heavyweight public procurement barrister”.

James Goudie is an erudite silk with a broad practice, he handles all manner of administrative and public law cases and is a noted expert in employment law. His significant contributions in the field have earned him the nickname of 'Godfather of local government'. "A very distinguished leader in the field." "He knows everything and he will articulate it in a way that is always helpful. Very responsive, and the advice he provides is extremely practical." A hugely respected veteran of the Bar who is regularly instructed by local authorities to provide advice on complex procurement issues. His writings on public law have been published widely. "He is formidable."

He regularly represents local authorities in judicial review proceedings involving housing, social welfare and state aid. He is also adept at public law claims pursued under human rights law. "He is very brief, concise, very authoritative and very clear. When you deal with him, you listen more than you talk because he knows his stuff so well. If you want clarity and authority, he is the man to go to." "Courts love him. He has everything at his fingertips." He is also an accomplished education practitioner with experience in a variety of other areas including administrative law, environmental law and employment law. He regularly advises local government and universities in challenges against admissions procedures and construction projects. "A very knowledgeable and eloquent advocate who is well respected by the judges."  "Technically excellent, well respected and someone who makes himself available at short notice."

These are just some of the accolades for James by Chambers & Partners.

James Goudie was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Chambers & Partners Bar Awards, in recognition of his outstanding practice over the past few decades.

The Legal 500 is like to effect. James "provides pragmatic advice" and he is a "real heavyweight in Education". James is "highly organised and approachable" and "he bring gravitas and strategic insight borne out of years of experience".

James is also ranked in Who's who Legal UK Bar 2015 directory. James is "one of the most highly respected senior silks at the bar" and "it is hard to find a more knowledgeable counsel in [procurement}".

James is listed as a Leading Silk in-

  • Administrative and Public Law

  • Education

  • Employment

  • Local Government ("a true guru")

  • Media, Entertainment and Sport

  • Public Procurement

James read law at the LSE, of which he is now a Governor. He qualified as a Solicitor before transferring to the Bar. He was Leader of a London Borough.

He has been a QC at 11KBW since 1984 and has sat as a Deputy High Court Judge since 1994. He has been President of the Information Rights Tribunal National Security Appeals Panel. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Member of the Football League Panel of Arbitrators. He is a Member of the Bars of Antigua and the British Virgin Islands and of the Oxford University Appeal Court.

James is a Past Chair of the Administrative Law Bar Association, the Bar European Group and the Law Reform Committee of the Bar Council, and is a Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple. He has served on Working Parties of the Procurement Lawyers Association.

His expertise in the public, commercial, human rights, environmental and employment law fields is reflected in his writings, which include Supperstone, Goudie and Walker on Judicial Review, 5th Edition, 2014, and books on local government law and finance.


R. (Plant) v London Lambeth Borough Council
[2016] EWHC 3324 (Admin) QBD (Admin Ct), December 21 2017;[2017] HLR 12
Secure tenants on a housing estte failed in their challenge against a local authority’s resolution to demolish and rebuild the properties on the estate instead of refurbishing existing homes.

R. (Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers) v Bristol City Council
[2015] EWHC 3615 (Admin); Admin Ct, December 15 2015; [2016] PTSR 932
Local authorities which only considered a placement with an independent foster care provider if no placement could be found with their in-house foster care providers were not in breach of their duty

 R (Plant) v Lambeth LBC
(2016) 3324 (Admin)
Funding of housing scheme

Staffordshire County Council v JM & SM
(2016) UKUT 0246 (AAC); [2016] ELR 307
Whether home to college transportation a special educational need or special educational provision

R ( Sky Blue Sports & Leisure Ltd ) v Coventry City Council
(2016) EWCA Civ 453
State Aid and the Market Economy Investor Principle

R ota National Association of Foster Providers v Bristol CC, Suffolk CC and Leeds CC
(2015) EWHC 3615 (Admin)
Local authority provision, whether in-house or independent provider.

Fazia Ali v UK
European Court of Human Rights, Judgment 20 October 2015
Entitlement to accommodation under homelessness legislation a “civil right” for Art 6 purposes.

Misick v The Queen
[2015] UKPC 31, [2015] 1 WLR 3215, PC, June 25 2015
Whether constitutional guarantee of independent and impartial court satisfied.

R(Morris) v Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC
[2015] EWHC 1403 (Admin), [2015] ELR 559, (2015) 18 CCLR 550
Funding cuts, nursery education, childcare and consultation

R(London Oratory School) v The Schools Adjudicator
[2015] EWHC 1012 (Admin), [2015] ELR 335, QBD (Admin Ct)
Faith School  Admission Criteria

R (L&P) v Warwickshire County Council
[2015] EWHC 203 (Admin); (2015) LGR 81
Scope of common-law consultation obligations and assessments under Children Act 1989

R (Sky Blue Sports & Leisure Ltd) v Coventry City Council
(2014) EWHC 2089 (Admin) (2014) LGR 616
Whether loan constituted State Aid

R (West) v Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC
(2014) ELR 396; (2014) EWHC 2134 (Admin)
On funding of full time nursery education.

Application by Armagh City & District Council for Judicial Review
(2014) NICA 44
Who may complain to a Local Government Ombudsman.

Axiam Ltd v Secretary of State for Defence
Specific disclosure in procurement action.

R (Sky Blue Sports & Leisure Ltd) v Coventry City Council (No 2)
(2014) EWHC 1747 (Admin)
Whether expert evidence to be admitted in relation to state aid.

R (Sky Blue Sports & Leisure Ltd) v Coventry City Council
[2014] LGR 34; [2013] EWHC 3366 (Admin)
Specific disclosure in commercial judicial review and state aid proceedings.

R. (Attfield) v. Barnet London Borough Council
[2013] EWHC 2089 (Admin), QBD (Admin Ct) July 22 2013, [2013] LGR 633
The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 was not a fiscal measure and did not authorise a local authority to use its powers to charge local residents for parking in order to raise surplus revenue for other transport purposes

R (London Jewish Girls High Ltd) v Barnet LBC
[2013] LGR 387
Power to sell land

Anderson v London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority
(2013) IRLR 459
On Interpretation of collective agreements

R (on the application of RB) v Devon County Council
[2013] EqLR 113
Disability: public sector equality duty

Charles Terence Estates Ltd v Cornwall Council
[2013] 1 WLR 466
Breach of fiduciary duty and its consequences

R. v. Ezeemo
[2012] EWCA Crim 2064; CA, October 16 2012
[2013] 4 All ER 1016; [2013] Env LR 15
The offence of transporting hazardous waste to a country that was not a member of the OECD was one of strict liability

R (Camelot) v Gambling Commission
[2012] EWHC 2391 (Admin) (2013) PTSR 729
Successful defence of a three day judicial review of the Commission having granted a series of society lottery operating licences to The Health Lottery

Pannu and others v. Geo. W. King (in liquidation) and others
[2012] IRLR 193
A service provision change had not taken place under the TUPE Regulations where the organised grouping of employees had merely assembled vehicle parts for onward sale to a particular client, who later sourced the parts from another supplier

R (Midlands Co-op) v Birmingham City Council
[2012] EWHC 620 (Admin) (2012) LGR 393 and R (Salford Estates) v Salford City Council
(2011) LGR 982, both on achieving best consideration on a sale of local authority land and its development without engaging the public procurement regime

R (JM & NT) v Isle of Wight Council
[2012] EqLR 34 and R (Green) v Gloucestershire County Council
[2012] EqLR 225, both on the public sector equality duty, the former concerned with social care and the latter with libraries

R (AC) v Berkshire West PCT
(2011) EWCA Civ 247
NHS funding priorities

Luton BC v Secretary of State for Education
(2011) LGR 553
Building Schools for the Future litigation

Halo Trust v Secretary of State for International Development
(2011) EWHC 87 (TCC)
Public procurement remedies

Devon & Norfolk County Councils v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
(2011) LGR 64
Local government reorganisation and consultation

Regulatory Information

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Professional title: Barrister

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

VAT Number: GB 243973932

Legal Status: Sole Practitioner

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