Minton Morrill, including its forerunner merged firms Lester Morrill and Davies Gore Lomax, has a long history and national reputation for pursuing the rights of vulnerable people with specialist provision in a range of departments including social welfare law, public law, civil rights, inquests, and a particular niche expertise in Gypsy & Traveller Law.
Based in Leeds the firm provides services to people in the North but acts for clients across the country.
Having provided specialist housing law advice and representation in Leeds and the surrounding areas for more than 20 years on behalf of tenants, the housing department continues to provide an invaluable service to the local community. We have a proven track record of success in housing matters at all levels, including the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
As a firm, we were instrumental in setting up the Housing Possession Duty Scheme in Leeds County Court to provide urgent legal representation for individuals in court defending claims for possession and making urgent applications to stop evictions. We provide emergency representation to clients facing injunction and committal applications.
Our trainees are actively engaged in working on cases with opportunities to benefit from a range of individuals with long standing expertise, and are involved in court work from an early stage in the duty scheme representing tenants facing possession and eviction.
We assist clients who are homeless or are about to become so in challenging and appealing local authority decisions, including decisions to refuse to provide temporary accommodation. We assist clients who have specific housing needs due to disability whose homes are not suitable, in order to have their home adapted or help them move into more suitable accommodation.
We also have experience of representing clients in injunction proceedings and successfully represented clients in applying to set aside a city wide injunction brought against persons unknown under s222 Local Government Act. We also successfully defended clients in injunctions proceedings brought by the Local Authority under s1 Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
We have acted in numerous leading cases in the higher courts and the European Court of Human Rights that have had significant impact on the domestic and international law, such as the landmark case of Connors v UK and more recently JL v Secretary of State for Defence. The recent Court of Appeal judgment in R (‘W’) v Secretary of State for Justice with combined appeals (R (o.t.a P & others) v. Secretary of State for Home Department & others  EWCA Civ 321, Court of Appeal, 3 May 2017) successfully challenged the lawfulness of the national scheme for DBS disclosure. We achieved the first successful Judicial Review against the Independent Monitor regarding police information in DBS disclosure.
A prison death case pursued to the ECtHR resulted in government implementation of a programme to improve prison health policy for drug addicts, a transfer of health services for prisoners to be maintained within the NHS, and measures including £40 million more for prison health services, £28 million for clinical drug services in prisons in 2006 with £60 million in 2007 and continuing, and drug rehabilitation programmes in 103 prisons.
We have defended the eviction of hundreds of Travellers, including over 6 years of Dale Farm litigation. We have challenged the failure of councils to properly take into account significant psychological harm from unsuitable accommodation and argued that councils should not be allowed to rely on their own failure to provide sites for Gypsies & Travellers.
This client base is nationwide and demands a highly specialised service, acting for very vulnerable clients. Minton Morrill are one of very few firms in the country who can offer public funding to act for these clients. We have some noted cases regarding the best interest of children, particularly Stevens v SSCLG and Guildford BC  EWHC 792.
We are currently representing the Claimants in the recent challenges concerning unlawful prior determinations by public bodies; R (Mulvenna and Smith) – v – Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Equality and Human Rights Commission  EWHC 3494 (Admin) – the appeal is due to be heard in the Court of Appeal in May 2017.
We have developed the law on hearsay evidence in High Court statutory appeals in regulatory law matters for professionals and challenged in the Court of Appeal the compatibility of ‘strict’ time limits.
We conduct asylum removal and immigration cases by judicial review in the Administrative Court and Upper Tribunal (IAC). These have included judicial reviews on behalf of victims of torture refusals of asylum fresh claims, fee waiver decisions, and visa refusals.
Concerned to maintain access to justice through legal aid we have taken judicial review proceedings against the Legal Aid Agency over its interpretation of LASPO concerning abuse of power. Recently we challenged the Legal Aid Agency over its decision to stop funding advice and assistance to people in applications to the ECtHR.
We also undertake community care work including welfare work in the Court of Protection. The welfare works covers disputes over capacity, residence, deprivation of liberty, care and support, and contact arrangements. We are often instructed by the Official Solicitor in both Housing and Court of Protection cases.
The Department also works closely with the firm’s Civil Liberties Department who represent families in Inquests. The Social Welfare Department undertake Judicial Review challenges against decision of Coroners. Including challenges to rulings that Article 2 ECHR is not engaged for the purposes of determining the scope and nature of the forthcoming inquest into the death of the deceased.
Our reputation for excellence has been recognised Chambers and Legal 500 independent directories and by achieving a current finalist position in the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2017 and finalist positions in 2016, a highly-commended in the Law Society Excellence Award, and short-listed for the Liberty Human Rights Awards 2011.
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