Olivia Halse

Associate Solicitor

E: Olivia@goldjennings.co.uk

Olivia is an Associate Solicitor in our Public law and Community Care Department who has worked at the firm for over 5 years.  

She has a varied practice in both public law challenges and civil claims against public authorities and has developed a particular expertise in representing migrant families, migrant adults with care needs, vulnerable young people, asylum seekers and victims of trafficking in judicial review proceedings.

Olivia was a member of our public law team which won the Legal Aid Team of the Year Award at the 2021 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards. Her work on the successful litigation challenging the lawfulness of the accommodation of asylum seekers at the Napier Barracks directly contributed to the firm’s success at the 2021 Law Society’s Excellence Awards at which the firm was Highly Commended in the Access to Justice and Small Law Firm awards.

She has been recognised as a key lawyer in the Legal500 for public and administrative law.

Migrant rights

Olivia has a wide breadth of experience is bringing individual and policy challenges aimed at securing the rights of migrants against various government bodies including local authorities, the Home Office, NHS Trusts and the Department of Health and Social Care.

She regularly advises in cases involving failures of local authorities to provide suitable support and accommodation to migrant families with children under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 or to migrant adults with care needs (including pregnant women) under the Care Act 2014.

She also often represents asylum seekers and victims of trafficking and/or torture in challenging the adequacy of the accommodation and support provided by the Home Office.

Olivia has a specialist knowledge in the legislative framework governing NHS charging decisions of  overseas visitors. She has previously acted in challenges to charging decisions and to wider policies of NHS Trusts in relation to the application of charging exemptions toward asylum seekers, migrant women and victims of torture, trafficking, and domestic and sexual violence. These cases have resulted in various reviews and changes to Trusts’ policies.

Assisting vulnerable young people

Olivia also has a broad experience in representing vulnerable young people in other judicial review challenges involving support to care leavers, access to schemes run by the Department for Education and the rectification and deletion of police records under the Data Protection Act 2018/ GDPR 2018.

Human rights challenges

Olivia’s cases often involve arguments centered around discrimination and breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010. She works closely with her colleagues in the public law team to advance cases aimed at eliminating discrimination in government policies toward migrant families and children with no recourse to public funds.

Charity work

Olivia often provides pro-bono advice to charities and NGOs supporting migrant families, children and adults with care needs. She delivers training to organisations in relation support under the Children Act 1989 and the Care Act 2014. Olivia also represents victims of the Windrush scandal on a pro-bono basis and advises in relation to  in accessing the Windrush Compensation scheme.

Olivia joined Gold Jennings as a paralegal in 2016 following the completion of her Graduate Diploma in Law for which she received a Distinction.

She started her training contract with the firm in January 2017 working across both departments assisting fee earners in conducting civil claims, inquests and judicial reviews against public authorities.

During her training contract she completed her Legal Practice Course/LLM in Legal Practice part time for which she received a distinction.

She qualified as a solicitor in 2018 joining the public law and community care team and was appointed to Associate Solicitor in 2020.

Prior to working at Gold Jennings Olivia volunteered at Southwark Law Centre and gained experience working in a criminal law firm. She assisted in establishing the London Appeals Clinic at the University of Law which aided clients in preparing applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. She has also previously been a member of the Amicus ALJ charity which provides support and representation for those facing the death penalty in the United States.

Before beginning her legal career, Olivia worked in mental healthcare, community preventative healthcare and community outreach. She has a BA (Hons) in English Literature and History from Cardiff University.

Olivia has achieved a number of successful outcomes for her clients through judicial review challenges and civil claims.

Her key cases include:

  • Currently she has joint conduct with Clare Jennings of the ongoing case of R(HM) v Secretary of State for the Home Department which challenges the Home Office’s policies of the seizing  and extracting data from mobile phones of migrants entering the UK by small boat;
  • Jointly representing two of the lead Claimants, with Clare Jennings, in the recent high profile case of R(NB and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1489 (Admin) which challenged the use of Napier Barracks as asylum support accommodation;
  • The successful challenge to the Healthy Start Scheme’s eligibility criteria which excluded families with no recourse to public funds (“NRPF”) on the basis that they are not eligible for mainstream benefits. As a result of the challenge the scheme was extended to NRPF families with British children who meet the financial criteria.
  • The case of R(OA & others) v London Borough of Bexley [2020] EWHC 1107 (Admin) which sought clarification as to whether local authorities are able to use their section17 powers to provide support to non-parent adult family members of children in need.
  • A challenge to the use of the “fraud approach” by local authorities in the context of section17 assessments and the scope of local authorities’ powers to investigate fraud under the Local Government Act.
  • Various challenges to the suitability of asylum support accommodation provided by the Home Office to victims of trafficking or asylum seekers with special needs, resulting in relocations to more suitable accommodation for the clients;
  • Various challenges to NHS charging decisions of victims of trafficking resulting in charges being cancelled.
  • A challenge to Greenwich Council’s policy relating to the provision of subsistence to families with no recourse to public funds which resulted in an increase of financial support to the client family and changes to the policy which will benefit other families supported by the Council.
  • A challenge to the decision of an NHS Trust to charge a victim of domestic and sexual violence for maternity treatment. This case resulted in all charges being cancelled and a review of the Trust’s policies.
  • A challenge to the refusal of an NHS Trust to provide mental health care to an asylum seeker and victim of torture on the basis that he was chargeable for treatment. This case resulted in a change in the Trust’s policy and provision of care and support to the client.
  • X v Camden [2018]- as a trainee, Olivia assisted Clare Jennings and Rachel Etheridge in a Judicial review against a local authority’s policy on the way it determines what subsistence is paid to families which resulted in the increase of financial support to a family and changes to the policy which will benefit other families as well.
  • R(OK & Others) v London Borough of Barking and Dagenham [2017]- as a trainee, Olivia assisted Clare Jennings in a challenge to the refusal of a local authority to provide support and accommodation to a destitute migrant family of 5. This case was successful resulting to the provision of support to the family and a finding that the local authority had acted irrationally by refusing to assist.

Olivia Halse

Associate Solicitor

E: Olivia@goldjennings.co.uk

Olivia is an Associate Solicitor in our Public law and Community Care Department who has worked at the firm for over 5 years.

She has a varied practice in both public law challenges and civil claims against public authorities and has developed a particular expertise in representing migrant families, migrant adults with care needs, vulnerable young people, asylum seekers and victims of trafficking in judicial review proceedings.

She has been recognised as a key lawyer in the Legal500 for public and administrative law.

Olivia has a particular expertise and interest in acting for migrant children, victims of trafficking and vulnerable young people in both public law challenges and civil claims.

Olivia is a member of Police Action Lawyers Group, Inquest Lawyers Group and Young Legal Aid Lawyers.

Migrant rights

Olivia has a wide breadth of experience is bringing individual and policy challenges aimed at securing the rights of migrants against various government bodies including local authorities, the Home Office, NHS Trusts and the Department of Health and Social Care.

She regularly advises in cases involving failures of local authorities to provide suitable support and accommodation to migrant families with children under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 or to migrant adult with care needs (including pregnant women) under the Care Act 2014.

She also often represents asylum seekers and victims of trafficking and/or torture in challenging the adequacy of the accommodation and support provided by the Home Office.

Olivia has a specialist knowledge in the legislative framework governing NHS charging decisions of   overseas visitors. She has previously acted in challenges to charging decisions and to wider policies of NHS Trusts in relation to the application of charging exemptions toward asylum seekers, migrant women and victims of torture, trafficking, and domestic and sexual violence. These cases have resulted in various reviews and changes to Trusts’ policies.

Assisting vulnerable young people

Olivia also has a broad experience in representing vulnerable young people in other judicial review challenges involving support to care leavers, access to schemes run by the Department for Education and the rectification and deletion of police records under the Data Protection Act 2018/ GDPR 2018.

Human rights challenges

Olivia’s cases often involve arguments centered around discrimination and breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010. She works closely with her colleagues in the public law team to advance cases aimed at eliminating discrimination in government policies toward migrant families and children with no recourse to public funds.

Charity work

Olivia provides pro-bono advice to charities and NGOs supporting migrant families, children and adults with care needs. She delivers training to organisations in relation support under the Children Act 1989 and the Care Act 2014. Olivia also represents clients on a pro-bono basis to victims of the Windrush scandal in accessing the Windrush Compensation scheme.

Olivia joined Gold Jennings as a paralegal in 2016 following the completion of her Graduate Diploma in Law for which she received a Distinction. She started her training contract with the firm in January 2017 working across both departments assisting fee earners in conducting civil claims, inquests and judicial reviews against public authorities.

During her training contract she completed her Legal Practice Course/LLM in Legal Practice part time for which she received a distinction.

She qualified as a solicitor in 2018 joining the public law and community care team and was appointed to Associate Solicitor in 2020.

Prior to working at Gold Jennings Olivia volunteered at Southwark Law Centre and gained experience working in a criminal law firm. She assisted in establishing the London Appeals Clinic at the University of Law which aided clients in preparing applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. She has also previously been a member of the Amicus ALJ charity which provides support and representation for those facing the death penalty in the United States.

Before beginning her legal career, Olivia worked in mental healthcare, community preventative healthcare and community outreach. She has a BA (Hons) in English Literature and History from Cardiff University.

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