Chambers & Partners 2020
COURT OF PROTECTION
What the team is known for Respected team frequently instructed by the Official Solicitor to act in high-profile and complex health and welfare cases. Particularly experienced in cases involving mental health and childcare law issues. Regularly called upon by advocacy centres and the Official Solicitor as well as being directly instructed by the families of vulnerable individuals. Handles cases involving significant administrative and public law issues.
Janice Kaufman offers considerable expertise in Mental Health and Mental Capacity Act matters, as well as childcare law, and often acts on behalf of children and their parents in court proceedings over allegations of sexual abuse and deliberate injury. She is skilled in advising on deprivation of liberty safeguards. One source says that:
“she is fantastic – she is one of my favourites to work with,” and also notes that “she is extremely good at spotting tricky aspects of the case and coming up with creative solutions.”
What the team is known for Respected criminal practice with a strong reputation for handling legal aid work along with private cases. Noted for its handling of historical and recent serious sexual offence charges, including those that concern alleged abuse of responsibility by figures such as teachers or employers. Draws upon the firm’s mental health and capacity resources to act for vulnerable individuals, such as those with mental illness, before the criminal courts. Regularly advises on serious criminal matters concerning networks of individuals, including drugs supply and terrorism cases, as well as cases with sensitive political aspects.
New developments In June 2019, Steel & Shamash merged with Edwards Duthie to form Edwards Duthie Shamash Solicitors.
Strengths A source praises the team, saying:
“There is an ethos within the firm of a quiet professionalism from the partners downwards which engenders both trust and approachability in the lay client and an excellent working relationship with instructed counsel.”
Sources consider Rakesh Bhasin to be:
“a very canny lawyer with very good judgement” who “works hard to get results and never takes a bad decision.”
Joint head of the criminal law department, he is a solicitor advocate who has significant experience representing clients in serious crime and terrorism cases.
Robert Dynowski is a:
“hugely experienced and very capable solicitor”
who frequently handles the defence of sexual offence charges brought against teachers and other professional clients. He also has expertise in a range of other serious criminal matters including robbery, violent offences and drugs supply.
What the team is known for Experienced practice known for representing tenants in a broad range of social housing issues, including homelessness, disrepair and possession and eviction. Further strengths include unlawful eviction cases and judicial reviews.
Strengths According to a source,
“they are knowledgeable and conscientious and never drop the ball,” adding: “They are passionate about helping disadvantaged and vulnerable clients.”
One client describes this a:
“friendly and welcoming firm,” adding: “We are happy with the service they provided.”
Work highlights Represented an elderly local authority housing tenant in connection with her claim against the local authority for damages for disrepair and carbon monoxide poisoning.
James Harrison regularly acts in housing litigation, with an emphasis on homelessness claims and appeals. He also has expertise in mental health law, frequently utilising this knowledge to assist vulnerable social housing clients. Sources note that he is
“very well respected” for his “long commitment to housing law.”
PARLIAMENTARY & ELECTORAL LAW
What the team is known for Continues to be much sought after for its expertise in election matters and public affairs. Acts for a range of clients and is well known for its historic relationship with the Labour Party, which continues on a number of parliamentary matters. Deeply involved in some of the most prominent electoral law cases of recent years, and continues to be involved in a series of ongoing expenses cases arising from the 2015 and 2017 general elections. Provides a broad range of additional expertise including local government matters, reputation management and criminal law.
Strengths Sources describe the team as:
“a long-established practice punching above its weight and competing in quality on equal terms with much larger outfits.”
Gerald Shamash is recognised for his long-standing representation of the Labour Party in a variety of electoral law matters. He enjoys a market-leading reputation, with clients hailing him as:
“a highly experienced lawyer able to handle a wide range of advisory and dispute work,” and praising his “encyclopaedic understanding of technical areas of law.”