What are public law solicitors?


Public law solicitors are experts in the complex field of public law. Public law governs the relationship between individuals and the state. It sets out the regulatory frameworks that public bodies must operate within for their actions to be lawful. Public bodies can include:

  • Regulatory bodies
  • Local authorities
  • Housing authorities
  • Government departments
  • NHS trusts

If you are in dispute with a public body, you will need expert support to take on such a large organisation. We will be able to help you.

Challenging decisions

All governmental bodies must behave within the rules set out in the laws governing them. Public law provides further legal principles which govern the exercise of power by public bodies. Decisions made by public bodies can be challenged in different ways:

  • Judicial review
  • Mediation
  • Negotiation
  • Complaints procedures
  • Ombudsman schemes

Judicial review

Public law solicitors can challenge the fairness or legality of a public body’s decision through the process of judicial review in the High Court. Judicial review is an important process as it gives individuals the opportunity to hold public authorities accountable for their decisions. It also gives public authorities an opportunity to justify their actions.

Judicial review can be brought on one of three grounds:

  • Illegality
  • Irrationality (unreasonableness)
  • Procedural impropriety

The courts can offer several remedies if they decide in favour of the claimant, including quashing the decision made by the public body. The public body must then remake their decision.

It is important to note that judicial review does not decide whether a public body’s decision is right or wrong. Instead, judicial review determines whether or not the public body reached their decision in the correct way.

In other words, did the public body follow the set procedures correctly in order to arrive at their decision? If they did not follow the procedures correctly, the court can order the decision to be made again in light of the court’s findings.


Public solicitors can also be notary public solicitors. A notary public solicitor administers oaths and certifies documents for use in legal proceedings. They are responsible for verifying identification and sealing evidence for use anywhere in the world. If you need these services, Contact Law can match you to a local notary public solicitor.

Using a solicitor

Public law solicitors must be up to date with the regular changes that occur in public law. They must be aware of public authorities’ obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998, and how the courts will interpret legislation so it is compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights.

If you believe you have been unfairly or unlawfully treated by a public body, public law solicitors can offer quick and practical advice about the best way to proceed with your claim. They can discuss your options with you and answer any questions you may have. Contact Law is able to recommend public law solicitors that are within your local area and who are experts in the area of law you need help with.

For more of your questions answered, see our FAQ page on public law.

Do you have an issue of public law that you want to bring forward for review? These claims are notoriously difficult, and expensive, so it is imperative you are using the most qualified and specialist lawyer for your case. Contact Law can recommend a specialist for the needs of your case. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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