Public & administrative
“Rhys is a very diligent barrister who is always willing to go the extra mile.”
Chambers and Partners 2019
Rhys is on the Attorney General’s Regional B Panel and the Welsh Government’s Junior Counsel A Panel.
Experience & Expertise
Rhys has appeared as sole counsel before the First Tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeal and Immigration and Asylum Chambers), County Court, Crown Court, Court of Protection, High Court (QBD, Administrative Court and Family Division) and Court of Appeal (Civil Division).
Rhys is regularly instructed to advise and represent either individuals or public bodies in relation to a wide range of health care, social care and housing issues including:
- Duties and powers under the Care Act 2014 or Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
- Support for adults and children who have no recourse to public funds
- Allocation schemes under Part VI of the Housing Act 1996
- After-care services under s.117 MHA 1983
- Age assessments of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young persons
- Duties of a local authority to children in need, looked after children and care leavers
- Charging for care fees, including in the context of personal injury claims, and the recovery of care fees in the High Court
- Ordinary residence disputes between local authorities, including cross-border issues between England and Wales, and applications for determinations and reviews by the Secretary of State
- Challenges to health care eligibility and commissioning decisions
Rhys also advises and represents patients and public bodies in relation to issues under the Mental Health Act 1983 at the tribunals, writs of habeas corpus, claims for damages and applications to displace a nearest relative under s.29 of the MHA 1983.
Rhys has advised public authorities on data protection issues and provided training to schools in relation to their obligations under the GDPR.
Outside of advocacy and court-related work, Rhys provides policy advice to organisations, frequently involving sensitive strategic and ethical issues. Examples of this kind of work include:
- Advising the Welsh Government the scope of its duty to consult care providers and relevant stake holders in relation to the way residential care homes are regulated;
- Instructed by a local authority to draft its departmental policy setting out the extent and application of its duties and powers under the Children Act 1989 in relation to the provision of accommodation of children who are 14-17 years old
- Instructed by a large care provider to help draft a national safeguarding policy for use in its residential care homes for vulnerable adults, young persons and children
Cases & work of note
- CH v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (JSA) (No.2)  UKUT 320 (AAC)
Appeal before Upper Tribunal (AAC) in relation to whether the contents of a revised jobseeker’s agreement were reasonable for the purposes of a claim for jobseeker’s allowance. Reasonable adjustments by Tribunal at oral hearing to disabled party, including permission to use personal recording device. Relevance of “Freeman on the Land” tropes also considered. Instructed by the Secretary of State.
- R (SB) v LB Camden  EWHC 2275 (Admin)
Judicial review claim concerning whether a local authority was entitled to withdraw accommodation and assistance from an individual living in the UK in breach of immigration laws where that assistance was not necessary in order to avoid a breach of Art.3 ECHR. Instructed by defendant local authority.
- R (Mehmood) v North Bristol NHS Trust (CO/668/2018)
Judicial review claim concerning a challenge to the decision of an NHS Trust to charge an individual for medical treatment received while he lacked lawful status in the UK as an “overseas visitor” pursuant to the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015. Acted as sole counsel for the defendant Trust.
- R (VI) v London Borough of Lewisham  EWHC 2180 (Admin)
Judicial review claim concerning the lawfulness of a needs assessment and decision to significantly reduce the claimant’s care package under the Care Act 2014, associated regulations and statutory guidance. Instructed by defendant local authority.
- R (MS) v Kent County Council (CO/5928/2017)
This claim was for a judicial review of: (i) the alleged failure to provide education to an asylum-seeking child; and (ii) whether any duty was owed by the defendant local authority to the child under s.20 of the Children Act 1989 or whether he was placed in a private foster placement. Claim settled just before the substantive hearing. Acted as sole counsel for the defendant.
- R (ID) v Cornwall Council (CO/849/2017)
“Hybrid” case before the Court of Protection and Administrative Court. The claim considered whether the local authority had taken a lawful decision to withdraw a care package at home for an incapacitated adult on the basis that her needs under the Care Act 2014 could now be met in a more cost-effective way in a care home. Instructed as counsel for the claimant by her litigation friend, the Official Solicitor.
- R (Tinsley) v Manchester City Council & South Manchester CCG  EWHC 2855 (Admin)
Claim for judicial review in relation to the provision of after-care services under s.117 of the Mental Health Act 1983. This case considered whether a local authority could have regard to a claimant’s ability to fund after-care services under s.117 MHA 1983 from personal injury damages awarded to him when determining whether to provide or arrange for the provision of such services. Acted as junior counsel to the defendant.
- R (E) v LB Croydon  EWHC 2016 (Admin)
Claim for judicial review in relation to a local authority’s obligations under Part III of the Children Act 1989. Instructed on behalf of the defendant local authority.
- R (AM) v LB Havering & LB Tower Hamlets  EWHC 1004 (Admin)
Claim for judicial review. This case considered which children’s services authority should be responsible for assessing and meeting the needs of dependent children under s.17 of the Children Act 1989 where the duties of a local housing authority towards the same household under the homelessness provisions of Part VII of Housing Act 1996 are coming to an end and that family has been placed in another authority’s area. Instructed as sole counsel for second defendant.
- R (W) v LB Croydon  EWHC 1130 (Admin)
Claim for judicial review in relation to an age assessment. Special measures adopted in relation to the cross-examination of a vulnerable party. On the basis of adverse credibility findings, the court made a declaration in rem that a putative minor from Afghanistan had in fact been over the age of 18 when he entered the United Kingdom.
- R (FZ) v LB Croydon  EWCA Civ 59
Court of Appeal decision concerning the correct legal test to be applied when considering whether permission in an age assessment judicial review should be granted. Relevance of “appropriate adult” and “minded-to procedure” as matter of procedural fairness. Instructed as sole counsel on behalf of defendant local authority.