Zoe Gannon specialises in all areas of public, local government, community care, education, mental capacity, procurement, data protection and information law. She is described in Chambers and Partners as “pragmatic and fiercely intelligent”. Zoe is on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Counsel and the Attorney General’s “C” Panel of Counsel.
Public & Procurement
Zoe has acted for Claimants (both individuals and companies), as well as public authorities, and central government in a number of judicial reviews including high profile and expedited claims. Her recent cases include the following:
- Acted as sole Counsel in R (D) v Hampshire County Council  ELR 78,  EWHC 2916 (Admin) on the legality of a Local Authority’s decision making concerning a child with learning disabilities and his right to education.
- Zoe was recently led in the Court of Appeal by Peter Oldham QC in R. (on the application of Drexler) v Leicestershire CC  EWCA Civ 502. The Claimant challenged on human rights and discrimination grounds the Local Authority’s home/school transport policy.
- She was also led by Jonathan Auburn QC in R (D) v Hampshire County Council  ELR 78,  EWHC 2916 (Admin) and in R (Haq) v Walsall MBC  EWHC 70 (Admin),  ACD 45, QBD (Admin Ct), January 22 2019 which concerned Article 9 religious rights and discrimination in the context of burial in a local authority cemetery.
- Zoe Gannon appeared for the Claimant, the London School of Science and Technology, in the successful first judicial review challenge to a malpractice decision made by Pearson Education Limited in The Queen (oao London School of Science and Technology) v Pearson Education Limited  EWHC 3129 (Admin).
- Zoe, with Jason Coppel QC and Amy Rogers, represented claimant criminal law solicitors in the judicial review challenge to the procurement tender process for duty provider contracts. The Lord Chancellor eventually abandoned the “two tier” policy and so the tender procedure to which it had given rise (R (Fair Crime Contract Alliance) v Lord Chancellor; Kaim Todner and ors v Ministry of Justice).
- Led by Jason Coppel QC in MK Law Solicitors Ltd v Lord Chancellor  All ER (D) 161 (May). This case concerned a decision made by the Legal Aid Agency in the fall out from its abandonment of the “two tier” policy. Zoe was also led by Peter Oldham QC in a similar commercial judicial review challenge.
- Led by Clive Sheldon QC in R (Logan) v Havering LBC  EWHC 3193 (Admin) which concerned the council tax support scheme and whether it was discriminatory on grounds of age or disability.
- During pupillage Zoe also assisted Joseph Barrett in Woods Building Services Limited v Milton Keynes  EWHC 2011 (TCC) for the successful claimant, Woods, in which the High Court set aside a public contract award decision under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006.
Professional Discipline & Regulatory
Zoe has been instructed by and acted for and against a number of regulatory bodies, including the Bar Standards Board, the Care Quality Commission, the Local Government Ombudsman, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Information Commissioner.
Zoe appeared for the Bar Standards Board in the High Court in an appeal against the Tribunal decision to suspend Mr Hendron in Henry Hendron v the Bar Standards Board  EWHC 1255 (Admin). Zoe has also been instructed to challenge decisions of regulatory bodies through Judicial Review seeking injunctive relief.
During 2016 Zoe was also sole counsel to the review conducted by Sir Joseph Pilling into the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) the print industry regulator.
Health & Community Care
Zoe has particular expertise in community care and healthcare. Zoe regularly acts for and advises local authorities, and clinical commissioning groups in community care and Court of Protection cases.
Zoe was led by Jonathan Auburn QC in R (SH) v Norfolk County Council  EWHC 3436 (Admin);  PTSR 969 on whether a local authority’s decision to change the basis on which it calculated the charges made to disabled people in respect of their care needs discriminated against severely disabled people.
Zoe has experience in defending challenges to the alleged failure to properly assess care needs, and the amount of funds provided to meet needs (Zoe was led by Jonathan Auburn QC for Oxfordshire in R. (on the application of Davey) v Oxfordshire CC  P.T.S.R. 281: leading case on decision making under the Care Act 2014 and Davey, R (On the Application Of) v Oxfordshire County Council  EWHC 354 (Admin), (2017) 20 CCLR 303).
Zoe has an extensive practice in the related fields of mental capacity and healthcare law. She regularly acts for local authorities, health authorities and individuals in the Court of Protection, and High Court.
Zoe appeared as sole Counsel for the Local Authority in Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust v MB  EWCOP 30,  7 WLUK 320 and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust v MB  EWCOP 29,  5 WLUK 673 cases involving best interests end of life decision making and medical treatment for a severely disabled young man.
Zoe was a member of the Counsel Team, led by Clive Sheldon QC, who conducted a four year investigation into historic allegations of sexual abuse for the Football Associations. The investigation concluded and was published in 2021.
Zoe is frequently instructed to represent academies, schools, local authorities and individuals in SEN cases before the First Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal. She also has experience of judicial review challenges to school decisions. Zoe has particular experience in discrimination cases and regularly appears in the FTT and the County Court on behalf of Schools and Universities.
Zoe recently appeared as sole Counsel on behalf of the appellant school in the Upper Tribunal in The Proprietor of Ashdown House School v JKL  HS/1322/2019 (20 August 2019) which is the leading case on the FTT’s power to order independent schools to reinstate pupils.
Zoe was led by Peter Oldham QC for the successful local authority in R. (on the application of Drexler) v Leicestershire CC  EWHC 1934 (Admin). The Claimant challenged on human rights grounds and discrimination grounds the Local Authority’s home/school transport policy.
Zoe was also recently instructed with Jonathan Auburn QC to represent the parents of Seva School in a challenge to the Regional Schools Commissioner’s decision to force a rebrokerage of the Sikh School. The case concerned the parents’ and pupils’ Art. 9 and A2P1 rights.
She is also co-author of the chapter on 16-19 further education with Jonathan Auburn in the forthcoming update to Education Law and Practice (Jordan Publishing).
Information & Data Protection
The Information Commissioner, public authorities, companies and individuals regularly instruct Zoe to appear in the First and Upper Tier Tribunal in challenges to the Information Commissioner’s decisions.
Zoe recently appeared for the Commissioner in the Upper Tribunal in Department of Health and Social Care v Information Commissioner  UKUT 299 (AAC) on section 35(1(a) FOIA exemption ‘chilling effect’ and ‘safe space’. Zoe also acted for the Commissioner in O’Hanlon v Information Commission Office  UKUT 34 (AAC). Upper Tribunal case on the application of the legal professional privilege exemption in the context of an allegation of bad faith.
Zoe is also experienced in representing companies in the County Court in claims for damages under the Data Protection Act, General Data Protection Regulations and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.
She also has experience of breach of copyright claims in the Chancery Division and appeared on behalf of the successful University in Al-Hasani v Nettler, The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford  EWHC 640 (Ch) where a former student alleged breach of copyright by his supervisor.
Employment & Commercial
In commercial and employment law, Zoe’s recent experience includes multi-week whistleblowing and discrimination claims as well as claims for constructive dismissal. Zoe regularly appears in the Employment Tribunal for both claimants and respondents. She is experienced in judicial mediation and has previously appeared as sole counsel in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Recently Zoe was instructed to seek injunctive relief in the High Court in a contractual dispute. She also has a broad range of experience in representing companies and public authorities in the County Court, which includes making strike out and costs applications.
“A very creative barrister who thinks outside the box” Chambers & Partners 2022
“She is pragmatic and fiercely intelligent” Chambers & Partners 2022
“Her written work is very good” Chambers & Partners 2022
“She is pragmatic and fiercely intelligent” Chambers & Partners 2021
“She always gets back to you quickly and keeps her promises” Chambers & Partners 2021
R (Motherhood Plan) v HM Treasury
 EWHC 309 (Admin), QBD (Admin Ct), February 17 2021,  ACD 47
Scheme to provide for payments for the self-employed who had lost income because of the coronavirus pandemic did not indirectly discriminate against self-employed women who had taken maternity or pregnancy leave.
R (D) v Hampshire County Council
 ELR 78,  EWHC 2916 (Admin), QBD (Admin Ct), October 30 2020
Local authority deciding that eight-year-old’s needs could be met in mainstream school – Whether authority’s decision was Wednesbury unreasonable.
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust v MB
 EWCOP 30,  7 WLUK 320 and  EWCOP 29,  5 WLUK 673
Cases involving best interests end of life decision making and medical treatment for a severely disabled young man.
R. (on the application of Drexler) v Leicestershire CC
 EWHC 1934 (Admin)
Challenge to the Local Authority’s home/school SEN transport policy
R (Haq) v Walsall MBC
 EWHC 70 (Admin),  ACD 45, QBD (Admin Ct), January 22 2019
Case concerning Art 9 religious rights and discrimination in the context of burial in a local authority cemetery.
Al-Hasani v Nettler, The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford
 EWHC 640 (Ch)  3 WLUK 445
Copyright infringement claim concerning concealment and the application of the Limitation Act 1980 s.32.
O’Hanlon v Information Commission Office
 UKUT 34 (AAC)
Upper Tribunal case on the application of legal professional privilege in the context of an allegation of bad faith.
R. (on the application of Davey) v Oxfordshire CC
 P.T.S.R. 281
Leading case on decision making under the Care Act 2014.
Davey, R (On the Application Of) v Oxfordshire County Council
 EWHC 354 (Admin), (2017) 20 CCLR 303
Concerning decision making under the Care Act 2014
MK Law Solicitors Ltd v Lord Chancellor
 All ER (D) 161 (May)
This case concerned a decision made by the Legal Aid Agency following its abandonment of the criminal contracts procurement process.
R (HA) v Governing Body of Hampstead School
 EWHC 278 (Admin),  ELR 125
Concerning the procedure followed when the School decided to educate one of its pupils off- site.
R (Logan) v Havering LBC
 EWHC 3193 (Admin)
Concerned the council tax support scheme and whether it was discriminatory on grounds of age or disability.
Zoe was awarded a First Class Honours Degree from Warwick University in 2007 and was later graded Outstanding in the Bar Professional Training Course (“BPTC”). She achieved the highest grade in her year in opinion writing.
Zoe has won a number of awards and prizes including:
- Phoenica Scholar (Bar European Group)
- The Holt Scholarship for the BPTC from Gray’s Inn (Major Scholarship) Norman Tapp Memorial Prize for Mooting from Gray’s Inn
- Finalist Gray’s Inn Moot Competition 2013
- Finalist Times/Herbert Smith Advocacy Competition 2009
Prior to commencing pupillage Zoe worked for a range of NGOs. Her experience gives her a valuable insight into the political process and the demands that unions, public and third sector organisations face.