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Jamie Burton is both a public lawyer and an experienced civil litigator, with particular expertise in human rights, discrimination and social welfare.

Head of Chamber’s Community Care and Health Team, Jamie is a leading authority on health and social care, homelessness, social security and the rights of disabled people, children and migrants. He is an expert in judicial review and regularly appears in the higher courts, including the Supreme Court.

Jamie’s civil practice encompasses high value claims in tort and contract, including group claims/class actions. He acts for public authorities and private parties. He is particularly well known for bringing civil claims against the police on behalf of victims of crime.

Jamie is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s A Panel of counsel and is regularly instructed by charities and NGOs. He also advises public authorities at the level of policy in relation to their statutory and human rights obligations. He is instructed by companies in commercial judicial review and public procurement claims.

Jamie acts for families in inquests and represented residents affected by the fire at the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry.

Internationally, Jamie has undertaken work in Europe, India, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Jamie is an accomplished public speaker. He has given lectures on human rights law, judicial review and social justice.  Recently he has been invited to address conferences organised by Reb Law, Legal Action Group, Lawyers Without Borders, The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, the Public Law Project, Housing Rights Watch, FEANSTA, SOAS and the International Commission of Jurists.

He has written on human rights, public law and equality law. He co-authored "Children in Need", published by LAG (see here) and Butterworths’ PI Litigation Service, Division XXIV ‘Liability of Public Authorities’ (see here).

Jamie is also Chair and co-founder of ‘Just Fair’, a registered charity that works exclusively on human rights issues, particularly economic, social and cultural rights. Just Fair has had a significant impact on the public debate on human rights in the UK. It has produced several landmark reports on the housing crisis, food poverty and disability rights. Jamie represents Just Fair at the UN and in 2016 he made submissions to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights about the UK’s compliance with its human rights obligations. 

Jamie is recognised by both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 as a leader in Public/Administrative law, Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Community Care, Police Law and Social Housing:

"He is a legal superstar in the making and incredible at his job."

"He is brilliant – he represents the high-water mark of what a client can expect from their advocate."

“He's gone really above and beyond what he would have been required to do. His advocacy was fantastic - even the other side said they thought he was absolutely wonderful." 

"Very knowledgeable and a good communicator. He is able to make very astute tactical decisions, and his advocacy skills are really impressive."

“Has a very good legal brain. He always makes time to talk things through and you always know exactly what you're getting. Exceptional every time."

 “He is razor-sharp and incredible with clients - honest and realistic but incredibly sympathetic."

"Particularly skilled in public law and policy challenges." 

"He has encyclopaedic knowledge of social care law and he's in all the big cases." 

"An absolute authority on failure to investigate claims.”

Administrative and Public Law

The breadth of Jamie's public law work is considerable. He has acted in many cases concerning the provision of support and/or accommodation to vulnerable groups in society and has a thorough understanding of central and local government's responsibilities in all areas of the welfare state. He regularly advises on NHS continuing care, clinical provision, community care (including charging), clinical provision, children services, welfare benefits, homelessness, housing allocations and asylum support. He has been acted in numerous commercial JRs and advices public and private parties about public law disputes including around public procurement and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

R (T & Wayland) v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2021] ongoing

Jamie leads Desmond Rutledge in this claim for judicial review against the Government’s decision not to uplift legacy benefits (Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support) in line with Universal Credit as part of the response to the pandemic.

R (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] 1 W.L.R 1151

The Government’s scheme banning landlords from renting to undocumented migrants was declared to be incompatible with Article 14 in the High Court but the Secretary of State’s appeal was allowed by the Court of Appeal. The Claimant as sought permission to appeal from the Supreme Court. Jamie acts for the Claimant charity and is led by Phillippa Kaufmann QC.

R (Sustain and Good Law Project) v. Secretary of State for Education [2020]

The Defendant had refused to extend Free School Meals to school children during the 2020 summer vacation despite the adverse circumstances caused by the pandemic. Jamie, leading Daniel Clarke and Sam Jacobs, advised the Claimants.

R. (on the application of JD) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2020] EWHC 1976 (Admin)

Jamie, leading Daniel Clarke, acted for the Claimant is this disability discrimination claim by which it is alleged features of the Secretary of State’s mortgage interest loan scheme disadvantage disabled claimants. The case is due to be heard by the Court of Appeal in June 2021.

R (DA/DS) v. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & Equalities Human Rights Commission & Shelter & Just Fair [2019] 1 WLR 3289 Supreme Court

These appeals challenged the Government’s flagship reform to social security, the “benefit cap”, which placed a single cap on all benefits a recipient can receive irrespective of their level of need.Jamie acted as lead counsel for the Second Intervenor, Just Fair. Dan Clarke was junior counsel.

Ward v. Borough of Poole [2019] successfully compromised before trial

Jamie acted pro-bono for Ms Ward (instructed by Liberty) in her challenge to local bylaws that outlaw rough sleeping and begging. In response to the case the Council withdrew the bylaws.

R(AA) v. Rotherham BC (2020) 23 C.C.L. Rep. 41

This challenge was to the closure of a day care centre in Rotherham that had previously been used by many disabled people. The case concerned the common law on consultation. 

R (Liberty) v. Director of Legal Aid Casework [2019] 1 WLR 5185

Jamie acted for Liberty in this challenge about access to legal aid for homeless persons criminalized by Public Spaces Protection Order. The case raises serious issues about access to justice, civil liberties and human rights. Angela Patrick was junior counsel.

Seepersad (A Child) v Ayers-Caesar [2019] UKPC 7

The Privy Council dismissed an appeal against the decision of the Caribbean Court of Appeal which maintained the detention of a minor in an adult’s prison did not violate the Constitution. Jamie was junior counsel to Richard Clayton QC and Anand Ramlogan SC.

R (Gullu) v. London Borough of Hillingdon & Equality and Human Rights Commission [2019] PTSR 1738 Court of Appeal

This case concerned discrimination against refugees in the provision of public housing. It raised important issues about the extent to which residency requirements can be applied to refugees who by definition cannot choose which country they live in. The Claimant successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal.

R. (on the application of Underwritten Warranty Co Ltd (t/a Insurance Backed Guarantee Co)) v FENSA Ltd [2017] EWHC 2308

Jamie acted for the successful Defendant in a commercial judicial review arising out the Defendant’s status as a Competent Persons Scheme. The Claimant maintained that the Defendant’s decision making was unlawful and motived by the commercial interests of its parent company. The Defendant argued that its decisions had been legitimately and lawfully made, and, in any event, it was not exercising public functions when it made them. The Defendant was successful on all grounds.

LL v Lord Chancellor [2017] EWCA Civ 237 | [2017] 4 W.L.R. 162 

This is the only successful case for damages pursuant to s.9 HRA and Article 5(5) in relation to a judicial act. A High Court judge sentenced the claimant to a lengthy period of imprisonment for contempt of court but, in the course of doing so, made such egregious errors that the Claimant was exceptionally entitled to damages for unlawful detention. 

Housing and Social Welfare

Jamie is a housing specialist and is recognised as a ‘star individual’ in Chambers and Partners.

In Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry Jamie acted for various bereaved, survivors and residents affected by the fire.

R (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] 1 W.L.R 1151

The Government’s scheme banning landlords from renting to undocumented migrants was declared to be incompatible with Article 14 in the High Court but the Secretary of State’s appeal was allowed by the Court of Appeal. The Claimant as sought permission to appeal from the Supreme Court. Jamie acts for the Claimant charity and is led by Phillippa Kaufmann QC.

LB v Tower Hamlets LBC Court of Appeal (Civil Division) [2021] 1 All E.R. 654

This statutory appeal concerned the proper meaning of intentional homelessness under the Housing Act 1996 in the context of woman experiencing domestic violence. 

R (Gullu) v. London Borough of Hillingdon & Equality and Human Rights Commission [2019] PTSR 1738 Court of Appeal

This case concerned discrimination against refugees in the provision of public housing. It raised important issues about the extent to which residency requirements can be applied to refugees who by definition cannot choose which country they live in. The Claimant successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Ward v. Borough of Poole [2019] successfully compromised before trial

Jamie acted pro-bono for Ms Ward (instructed by Liberty) in her challenge to local bylaws that outlaw rough sleeping and begging. In response to the case the Council withdrew the bylaws.

John Romans Park Homes Ltd v Hancock Upper Tribunal [2018] UKUT 249 (LC)

The appeal raised an important issue regarding the meaning of ‘protected site’ in the Mobile Homes Act 1983 and the Caravan Sites Act 1968. The UT decided a ‘mixed use’ site could be a protected site and therefore all eligible agreements were protected under the 1983 Act.

Poshteh v Kensington and Chelsea RLBC [2017] A.C. 624

The Supreme Court dismissed the Appellant’s appeal and found that decisions about homelessness assistance under Part VII Housing Act 1996 do not engage Article 6 ECHR

Community Care and Health

Jamie regularly undertakes judicial reviews concerning community care and health law and also acts in civil claims concerning children and health authorities in particular. Jamie advises on NHS funding and treatment decisions as well as NHS Continuing Healthcare.

R (AP) v. Oxford Health Trust [2021] ongoing

This application for judicial review concerns the transfer to another hospital of a patient sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983. The claimant is a learning disabled adult with autism and the issue is whether a transfer to another hospital would breach his ECHR rights.

National Union of Professional Foster Carers (NUPFC) v. Certification Officer [2019] I.R.L.R. 860 [2021] Court of Appeal decision awaited

Foster carers are not permitted worker status and cannot join unions. They sought to persuade the courts that this amounted to unlawful discrimination under Article 14. Jamie acted on behalf of the intervenor, the European Children Rights Unit.

R (SN) v. Nottingham CC [2020] settled before trial

This case concerned the status of EEA nationals who have applied for leave to remain under the EU settled status scheme and are deemed to be excluded from state support in the meantime. Jamie acted for the Claimant and established that the Claimant was entitled to receive support until a decision under the EUSS was made.

R. (on the application of JD) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2020] EWHC 1976 (Admin)

Jamie, leading Daniel Clarke, acted for the Claimant is this disability discrimination claim by which it is alleged features of the Secretary of State’s mortgage interest loan scheme disadvantages disabled claimants unreasonably. The case is due to be heard by the Court of Appeal in June 2021.

R(AA) v. Rotherham BC (2020) 23 C.C.L. Rep. 41

This was a challenge to the closure of a day care centre in Rotherham that had previously been used by many disabled people. The case concerned the common law duty of consultation. 

R. (on the application of Davey) v Oxfordshire CC & EHRC & Inclusion London Court of Appeal [2017] EWCA Civ 1308; [2018] P.T.S.R. 281

This case is one of the leading cases on the Care Act 2014. Jamie acted for the unsuccessful Claimant.

R. (on the application of SG) v Haringey LBC [2017] EWCA Civ 322

This case established that local authority social services departments must provide accommodation to asylum seekers who have accommodation related needs for care and support and is also a leading case on the Care Act 2014.

R (on the application of GS) v Camden LBC [2016] EWHC 1762 (Admin); [2017] P.T.S.R. 140

Jamie acted for the Claimant is this landmark case that established that local authorities may be under a duty to accommodate homeless migrants who have no right to be in the UK but cannot be removed.

Equality and Discrimination

Jamie regularly advises and acts for individuals who maintain they have been discriminated against in the field of housing, social or health care.  He also acts for NGOs and other not-for-profit organisations in respect of cuts to public services.

Jamie is on the EHRC A Panel of counsel

R (T & Wayland) v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2021]

Jamie leads Desmond Rutledge in this claim for judicial review against the Government’s decision not to uplift legacy benefits (Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support) in line with Universal Credit as part of the response to the pandemic.

National Union of Professional Foster Carers (NUPFC) v. Certification Officer [2019] I.R.L.R. 860 [2021] Court of Appeal decision awaited

Foster carers are not permitted worker status and cannot join unions. They sought to persuade the courts that this amounted to unlawful discrimination under Article 14. Jamie acted on behalf of the intervenor, the European Children Rights Unit.

R (on the application of JD) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2020] EWHC 1976 (Admin)

Jamie, leading Daniel Clarke, acted for the Claimant is this disability discrimination claim by which it is alleged features of the Secretary of State’s mortgage interest loan scheme disadvantages disabled claimants unreasonably. The case is due to be heard by the Court of Appeal in June 2021.

R (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] 1 W.L.R 1151

The Government’s scheme banning landlords from renting to undocumented migrants was declared to be incompatible with Article 14 in the High Court but the Secretary of State’s appeal was allowed by the Court of Appeal. The Claimant as sought permission to appeal from the Supreme Court. Jamie acts for the Claimant charity and is led by Phillippa Kaufmann QC.

R (DA/DS) v. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & Equalities Human Rights Commission & Shelter & Just Fair [2019] 1 WLR 3289 Supreme Court

These appeals challenged the Government’s flagship reform to social security, the “benefit cap”, which placed a single cap on all benefits a recipient can receive irrespective of their level of need.

Jamie acted as lead counsel for the Second Intervenor, Just Fair. Dan Clarke is junior counsel.

Seepersad (A Child) v Ayers-Caesar [2019] UKPC 7

The Privy Council dismissed an appeal against the decision of the Caribbean Court of Appeal which maintained the detention of a minor in an adult’s prison. Jamie was junior counsel to Richard Clayton QC and Anand Ramlogan SC. He drafted the submissions on the best interests of the child.

R (Gullu) v. London Borough of Hillingdon & Equality and Human Rights Commission [2019] PTSR 1738 Court of Appeal

This case concerned discrimination against refugees in the provision of public housing. It raises important issues about the extent to which residency requirements can be applied to refugees who by definition cannot choose which country they live in. Jamie successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Corporate Governance & Policy

Jamie has advised local authorities and health authorities about the interrelationship between their social and health care responsibilities.

Jamie has thus far only been asked to advise public authorities and has not represented them in litigation.

International Law

In 2009 Jamie spent six months working on welfare and environmental issues in India. He was involved in a group action concerning the largest anti-poverty scheme in the world ("the Right to Food") and assisted in various claims relating to environmental damage caused by mining in south India.

Jamie is also a member of the following expert groups: for UNICEF on the EU Convention on the Rights of the Child and for Housing Rights Watch on issues pertaining to homelessness in the EU.

Jamie acted for the claimants in an international tort claim arising from the alleged mistreatment of local inhabitants of Madagascar by an international mining company.

Mental Health and Court of Protection

Jamie regularly appears in the court of protection on behalf of protected persons, local authorities and the Official Solicitor.

Prison Law and Criminal Justice

Jamie has been instructed on numerous judicial reviews relating to prison conditions, the release of prisoners and issues arising out of the criminal justice system.  He advises both victims and suspects in relation to decisions of the CPS.

Currently Jamie acts for a group of inmates at Wandsworth prison in relation to the provision of inadequate healthcare.

Actions Against the Police and Public Authorities

Jamie has acted for claimants in actions against the police since he commenced practise.  He has particular expertise in the field of damages claims under the Human Rights Act 1998 arising from defective investigations into serious allegations regarding Articles 2, 3, 4 and 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

SCC v. (i) Telford Borough Council (ii) West Mercia Police (iii) Royal Borough of Greenwich and (iv) Commissioner of the Police for the Metropolis [2019] – settled pre-trial

This case concerns failures by four different Police and social service departments to protect the Claimant and her siblings over many years after she had been trafficked to the UK from Haiti. She suffered years of sexual exploitation, forced pregnancy and forced labour.

Tomaszewski v. Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire police [2019] settled pre-trial

The claimant suffered a psychiatric episode when he became psychotic. Whilst in police custody he gauged out his eye and is now blind. He claimed the police were negligent in failing to recognise his risk.

Wills & Others v. Commissioner for Police of Metropolis [2018]

The police assaulted and dispersed a group of anti-fascist protestors who wished to counter-demonstrate against a British National Party march in central London.  This group claim is for damages for assault and a breach of their right to protest under the Human Rights Act.  The case is important because it considers the extent to which the counter-demonstrators had a right to demonstrate as close as possible and with maximum disruption of the BNP march.

SJ Moore (Jeweller) Ltd v Squibb Group Ltd [2018] EWHC 2731

This multi-million pound tort claim arose out of the 2011 London riots and the theft of jewellery from a shop in Tottenham.

Jamie successfully sued Staffordshire Police on behalf of a Claimant who maintained that the Police failed to investigate an allegation of rape adequately and as a consequence breached her Article 3 right to an effective investigation.  The case was the first to be determined at trial (T v Chief Constable Staffordshire Police CO/OBMO4476).

Freedom of Information and Data Protection

Jamie acts for Claimants and Defendants in cases which concern potential breaches of the right to privacy under Article 8 ECHR in the context of publications and campaigns of harassment.  He has intervened in criminal proceedings in order to protect the privacy of third parties and appeared in several judicial reviews which involved privacy and data issues.

Clinical Negligence & Personal Injury

Jamie regularly advises on NHS continuing care and clinical provision and has been instructed on numerous judicial reviews relating to prison conditions. He currently acts for a group of inmates at Wandsworth prison in relation to the provision of inadequate healthcare. 

Jamie also recently represented an individual who whilst in police custody, suffered a psychiatric episode, gauging out his own eye resulting in blindness. The claimant claimed the police were negligent in failing to recognise his risk and the claim was settled before trial.  

 

Personal Injury

 

Jamie regularly acts for claimants in personal injury claims often, but not exclusively, against public authorities.

MK v Buckinghamshire CC [2020] EWHC 2989

This claim in negligence concerns alleged failures by the Defendant social services department in relation to a care leaver.

SJ Moore (Jeweller) Ltd v Squibb Group Ltd [2018] EWHC 2731

This multi-million pound tort claim arose out of the 2011 London riots and the theft of jewellery from a shop in Tottenham.

Jamie also represented an individual who whilst in police custody, suffered a psychiatric episode, gauging out his own eye resulting in blindness. The claimant claimed the police were negligent in failing to recognise his risk and the claim was settled before trial.