Anna Dews is a solicitor in the public law team, who completed her training contract at Leigh Day in September 2016.
Anna works with Rowan Smith in a team which specialises in judicial review claims. Anna’s work focuses on human rights issues and environmental protection. Specifically, she has experience of advising clients in relation to freedom of information, privacy, climate change and discrimination. Anna is regularly instructed by local and national campaign groups as well as more established NGOs.
She has worked on a number of cases challenging cuts to public services as a result of austerity, including to the NHS and to the provision of social housing. She has successfully challenged CCG policies preventing access for same-sex couples to IVF treatment and policies denying young transgender peoples’ access to fertility preservation. She is also instructed by a number of different groups challenging licences granted to companies allowing them to frack as well challenges to injunction which impact on civil society’s right to protest.
Before joining Leigh Day in 2014, Anna studied Law with Spanish at the University of Sheffield.
Cases on which Anna has worked include:
- Intervention on behalf of Friends of the Earth in the appeal of three anti-fracking protestors who were given custodial sentences after an environmental protest in 2017. Friends of the Earth argued that the sentences (were reduced to conditional discharges on appeal) were unlawful.
- Judicial review challenging new restrictions under the London Borough of Hackney’s revised statement of licensing policy which limits operating hours for new licensed premises and is likely to disproportionately impact young people and the LGBTQ+ community in the borough.
- 999 Call for NHS v NHS Commissioning Board and others: an ongoing appeal against the Government’s attempt to introduce price competition into the NHS via accountable care organisations.
- Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants v Secretary of State for the Home Department: strategic human rights challenge to the Home Office’s right to rent scheme, claiming that a central plank of the Government’s hostile environment is incompatible with the right to a home, given its discriminatory impact on grounds of nationality and ethnicity.
- Buckley v Bath and North East Somerset Council: a successful test case, which established that a local council is under a duty to carry out an equality impact assessment when granting outline planning permission to demolish a social housing estate.
- Preston New Road Action Group v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government: a statutory review of the Government’s overturning of planning refusal for fracking operations based on arguments to do with harm to valued landscape.
- Miah v Governors of Avenue Primary School: an urgent judicial review of school’s decision to convert into an academy owing to errors of law and an unfair process, leading to a grant of interim relief stopping the conversion.
- Big Brother Watch v SSHD and Ors: An ongoing challenge to the Home Secretary’s and Metropolitan Police’s use of facial recognition cameras.
- Same Sex Couple win fight for equality over IVF treatment: Successful settlement in relation to challenge to CCG policy which discriminated against same sex couple seeking IVF as a result of unexplained infertility.
- Les Barlow v SSCLG: Judicial Review by Les Barlow (on behalf of Harthill Against Fracking) against the decision of the Planning Inspectorate to grant permission for exploratory drilling in Harthill, Yorkshire.
- Joe Boyd v. INEOS Upstream and Others: Appeal by an environmental campaigner against a pre-emptive interim injunction granted to INEOS against “persons unknown” in July 2017, preventing campaigners from engaging in a number of activities which had never previously been ruled unlawful.
Pregnant then Screwed granted permission for judicial review of SEISS impact on women on maternity leave
Campaign group Pregnant then Screwed has been granted permission for judicial review of the way women on maternity leave have been treated under the government's self employed income support scheme (SEISS).
MPs challenge abolition of online Parliament as unlawful
MPs have called for the restoration of democratic rights of 250 MPs who are shielding from the COVID-19 pandemic and claim they have been unlawfully blocked from Parliamentary debate.
Union takes legal action on behalf of Uber drivers impacted by coronavirus
Law Firm Leigh Day has filed a legal challenge against the UK government, on behalf of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) and two Uber drivers, over its failure to extend income and sickness protection to large sections of workers during coronavirus.