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Administrative and Public Law

Helping clients navigate the rising tide of public law


Commercial and regulated industries are faced with an increasingly complex landscape of public sector law and governance, resulting in more contentious and non-contentious issues arising which require specialist advice.

We have an unrivalled track record helping claimants, defendants, interested parties or intervening third parties in administrative and public law issues across a variety of proceedings, including judicial review, tribunal proceedings, governmental and other inquiries, disciplinary proceedings involving public bodies, statutory appeal work and procurement disputes.

We use our breadth of experience in domestic law and European Convention on Human Rights matters, environmental regulation, freedom of information legislation across multiple jurisdictions to assure the best results for our clients.

When acting in litigation for the private sector, we deal with the substantive legal issues involved in government regulation and decision making within a legal and strategic framework. This preserves ongoing relationships with government and other public bodies important to our clients’ businesses.


Our market-leading team sits within Herbert Smith Freehills' Band 1 disputes division. The public law team is ranked in Band 1 of both Chambers and the Legal 500 legal directories in the UK. We are unrivalled for our experience and expertise across all contentious and non-contentious aspects of administrative and public law over an extremely wide variety of sectors. We were the only commercial firm in The Times Top 3 Public Law solicitors' firms in the UK.

"The HSF team stands out for its exceptional experience and knowledge of public law litigation, particularly with a commercial aspect. The team have a real, practical, understanding of their client’s businesses and commercial needs, and how to use public law litigation to serve those needs."
The Legal 500 UK, 2022

"Leading experts in administrative and public law litigation. Adept at representing both applicants and defendants in complex judicial reviews and regulatory challenges. Counsels major clients in the financial services, energy and transportation sectors. Increasingly instructed on behalf of core participants in sensitive public inquiries. Continued involvement advising on a wide range of public law issues arising from Brexit."
Chambers and Partners UK, 2020

Andrew Lidbetter was the winner of the Law Works award in December 2019 for best contribution by an individual for his public law pro bono work.

HSF Madrid’s public law team is ranked in Best Lawyers, Chambers Europe and Legal 500. ““We get responses that are really focused and directed to resolving the specific problem at hand," say clients. In addition, the department is often praised by clients for its "strong technical knowledge and orientation to the client's needs." Clients value Iria Calviño’s "personal involvement in the matters”.”

Iria Calviño enters the rankings "after impressing clients with her handling of public law mandates and her knowledge of the energy, mining and environment sectors". In addition, Iria is included in the Iberian Lawyer’s  "Inspira Law Top 50 Women List", which recognises the most talented women lawyers in the Spanish and Portuguese legal sector.

PUBLIC LAW NOTES - Find the latest developments on our blog.


Recent Experience

Liberty, Child Poverty Action Group, Public Law Project

Acting for three charities who jointly intervened before the Supreme Court in RR v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] UKSC 52 on the constitutional status of the Human Rights Act

Australian Securities Exchange

Defending various proceedings brought by companies suspended from the Exchange

Wisley Property Investments Limited

in its successful participation as an interested party opposing three statutory challenges to the adoption of the Guildford Borough Local Plan


In Australian judicial review proceedings against the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission


Insights and updates

12th July 2022
Amid political uncertainty, the Government last week published its long-awaited Energy Security Bill. Despite the...
18th October 2021
We are delighted to be supporting the Public Law Project again in running its annual...
4th February 2021
In November 2020, the government announced an ambitious ten-point plan to boost green jobs and...
20th July 2020
Following demands from the opposition and various campaigning groups, the Prime Minister has now committed...

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