Defending local authorities across the UK
Blake Morgan has expert defendant litigation lawyers with a key specialism in defending civil litigation claims against local authorities.
At Blake Morgan we pride ourselves on offering a bespoke client focused service for the specific needs of local authorities in responding to all types of civil litigation, pre- and post-issue.
Headed by Jennifer Sore, a Recommended Lawyer in the Legal 500, Blake Morgan’s Defendant Litigation team delivers a package working closely with clients on all aspects of defended civil litigation.
Main Areas Of Practice
Defendant Litigation for Local Authorities: Highways Claims
Claims against local authorities are increasing. Our Defendant Litigation team has an established history of working with local authorities, providing expert guidance in all aspects of highways law, including rights of way, and handling claims within the legal minefield of the commonly perceived "pothole" claims, slips and trips.
Defendant Litigation: Personal Injury
Our expert litigators have decades of experience in defending personal injury claims of all value and complexity, from highways slips and trips to fatal accident claims, public liability and employers' liability claims, including industrial disease. We offer a commercial focus to clients in an era of change in the way that personal injury claims are handled.
Defendant Litigation: Property Damage, Subsidence and Tree Root damage
Our expert team offers a service in a niche market, providing advice and legal services in all aspects of civil litigation: Road Traffic Accident (RTA) claims. We act on behalf of clients defending RTA claims, be they accident damage only or injury claims caused in road traffic accidents.
Special Educational / Additional Learning Needs
Our Education team can provide advice in relation to appeals brought by children, young people, their parents or case friends relating to Special Educational Needs and/or Additional Learning Needs (from 1 Sep 2021 onwards in Wales). From negotiations relating to EHCs, Statements or IDPs in an attempt to avoid an appeal to the Tribunal, to representation at and the administration of Tribunal proceedings (through to appeals to the Upper Tribunal), we have the expertise to assist Local Authorities, CCGs, Health Boards and educational institutions in relation to their roles and responsibilities throughout the process.
Our Defendant Litigation team has an established ethos of client focus and attention to detail, which makes us stand out from the crowd. Our expert lawyers work closely with local authorities offering sound legal and commercial advice. We offer a complete package, from pre-litigation advice to handling the litigation and Court hearings and dealing with costs.
"Blake Morgan show an ability to handle complex matters in an efficient and professional manner."
- Chambers and Partners, 2023
"Jennifer Sore has an excellent knowledge of the public sector, and is skilled at dealing with highway claims in particular. Would highly recommend her."
- The Legal 500, 2019
"Jennifer Sore is the 'go to' Senior Associate for highway cases across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and West Berkshire. She collates evidence thoroughly and her cases are meticulously prepared as a result. Time and again I have seen claims fail against local authorities squarely as a result of Jennifer's hardwork and handling of their defences."
- Farrar's Building Barrister, Dec 2019
"Jennifer has provided invaluable help, she has been a joy to work with and is always willing to offer guidance and share her experience. I have been working with Jennifer for over 10 years and have always found her very approachable and friendly, willing to provide help and advice on cases. We look forward to continuing to work closely with her in the future."
- Stephen Foster at Oxfordshire County Council
"Jennifer Sore provides excellent service and is very knowledgeable in all areas of local government work."
- The Legal 500, 2019
Our expert team represented the Defendant Council in a claim that had exited the MOJ Portal, securing a commercial settlement of damages at £40,000 and successfully arguing the legal issues of costs under CPR45 and unreasonable conduct and securing an Order limiting the Claimant to MOJ Portal costs, with client costs recovered on account of an early made CPR36 offer on costs.
We acted for the Defendant Council in defending a highways tripping claim leading to serious injury litigation at limitation with no prior notice. We applied to the court to strike the case out as no reasonable prospects. The Claimant then discontinued her claim. We applied to have that Discontinuance set aside as an abuse of process, then secured strike out and an enforceable costs order for the client.
Our expert lawyers acted for the Defendant Council as employer in a claim made by the Claimant, a trainee firefighter, who sustained injury over the activities on two days whilst undertaking basic training using real firefighting equipment, hoses and 13m ladders. Successfully defending the case to a two-day trial in which the case was dismissed.
Awards and Accolades
We look at a recent case that has implications for local authorities when it comes to highways planning and defending claims.Read More