Rachel Etheridge

 

Associate Solicitor

E: rachel@goldjennings.co.uk

Rachel is a solicitor in our Public Law and Community Care department, having joined Gold Jennings in September 2017.

Rachel is an experienced public law practitioner with over 7 years’ experience in civil liberties, public law and social welfare litigation.

She specialises in representing migrants, people affected by the criminal justice system and children and young people who are experiencing unlawful state practices.

Rachel is also noted in the Legal500 2021 edition for public and administrative law and civil liberties and human rights.

Migrant rights

Rachel represents adult migrants and their children in challenges against the decisions and policies of local authorities and other state bodies including the Home Office and Department of Education.

She regularly helps challenge the accommodation and subsistence provided to children from families with no recourse to public funds under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 and the policies and procedures employed by local authorities to that end.

Rachel is also frequently instructed in challenges against the suitability of accommodation provided to asylum seekers and victims of trafficking as well as decisions to disperse them out of London.

Criminal justice system

Rachel acts for clients in challenges to prosecutions where the decisions discriminate against the accused on grounds of disability and are not in the public interest.

She represents children and young people in judicial reviews and civil claims against the police arising from treatment in police detention, prosecution decisions and in relation to their personal data being shared.

Rachel also represents victims of crime to make victims’ right to review applications.

Discrimination

Discrimination law permeates much of Rachel’s work as she often relies on the Equality Act or Article 14 of the ECHR to help individuals challenge disadvantageous practices and decisions.

An ongoing focus of Rachel and Gold Jennings’ work has been to represent disadvantaged children from NRPF backgrounds who, due to their parents’ immigration status, are able to benefit from the same educational provision as their counterparts whose families do have recourse to public funds.

Charity work

Rachel provides regular pro-bono advice to various leading charities who support and advise children and migrants. She delivers training to charities on issues experienced by children and their families when seeking support from local authorities under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

Rachel joined Gold Jennings in September 2017 from Bhatt Murphy, where she trained to be a solicitor and helped conduct civil claims and judicial reviews against the police and other state authorities, including numerous claims brought under the Human Rights Act.

Rachel helped clients challenge the lawfulness of their immigration detention through judicial reviews and civil claims and represented families of loved ones who had died in state custody. She has also helped bring successful appeals on behalf of refugees convicted of immigration document offences following their arrival to the UK.

Before joining Bhatt Murphy, she was a paralegal for a year at another leading firm where she assisted a partner’s public law and community care caseload.

Rachel graduated with a First Class BA (hons) in English and History at the University of York in 2010. She attained a Distinction on the Legal Practice Course (2014) and a Commendation on the Graduate Diploma in Law (2012) at the University of Law/ College of Law.

Before commencing her legal education and training, Rachel volunteered as a legal advisor and social policy co-ordinator at the Citizens Advice Bureau and volunteered with a programme for young refugees and asylum seekers.

Rachel is a member of Young Legal Aid Lawyers, Police Actions Lawyers Group, Inquest Lawyers Group and Housing and Immigration Lawyers Group.

Rachel has achieved notable successes in a number of judicial review and civil claims since joining Gold Jennings.

Rachel’s key cases include:

  • Covid 19 Free school meals [2020]: Challenge against exclusion of children from NRPF backgrounds from being able to access free school meal vouchers whilst schools were closed which led to the temporary extension of free school meal eligibility to children from certain NRPF groups. She has also helped clients to challenge the income threshold applied to families which led to a significant increase in the same.
  • MB & others v Secretary of State for Education [2020]: Successful test case which extended early nursery places to children whose parents have NRPF due to being undocumented migrants.
  • M v Chief Constable of Sussex Police [2019]: Test case against a police force’s practice of sharing minors’ the personal and sensitive date to a crime reduction agency. The Court ruled that parts of the minors’ sensitive data had been unlawfully disclosed. The case is currently before the Court of Appeal.
  • AA v Secretary of State for Education [2019]: Assisted Clare Jennings in a successful test case challenge to the exclusion of children whose parents have the right of residence subject to an NRPF condition.
  • X v West Sussex County Council [2019]: Challenge to the decision to prosecute mother for her child’s non-attendance at school on grounds that it was discriminatory, an abuse of process and not in the public interest. The child has educational needs and was unable to attend school due to lack of provision. The Council in question dropped the prosecution and commenced an Education and Health Care plan assessment.
  • Several challenges to suitability of asylum support accommodation which led to orders requiring Secretary of State for the Home Department to relocate them.
  • Successful victims right to review application [2018] on behalf of victim of domestic abuse which culminated in the perpetrator’s prosecution.
  • Challenge against practice of strip searching minor which resulted in significant award of damages [2018].
  • X v LB of Camden [2018]: 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.
  • LB of Lewisham vs Project 17 and Gold Jennings [2018]: Case before the Information Tribunal concerning Lewisham’s refusal to make aspects of its policy on no recourse to public funds publically available. Lewisham conceded the issue shortly before the hearing. Rachel acted for Project 17 alongside Gold Jennings’ Clare Jennings.

 

Projects

Rachel and Clare Jennings are, together with the children’s charity Project 17, running a SLF funded project concerning the practices employed by Local Authorities during their assessments of the needs of children with no recourse to public funds.

Rachel Etheridge

Associate Solicitor

E: rachel@goldjennings.co.uk

Rachel is a solicitor in our Public Law and Community Care department, having joined Gold Jennings in September 2017.

Rachel is an experienced public law practitioner with over 7 years’ experience in civil liberties, public law and social welfare litigation.

She specialises in representing migrants, people affected by the criminal justice system and children and young people who are experiencing unlawful state practices.

Rachel is also noted in the Legal500 2021 edition for public and administrative law and civil liberties and human rights.

Migrant rights

Rachel represents adult migrants and their children in challenges against the decisions and policies of local authorities and other state bodies including the Home Office and Department of Education.

She regularly helps challenge the accommodation and subsistence provided to children from families with no recourse to public funds under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 and the policies and procedures employed by local authorities to that end.

Rachel is also frequently instructed in challenges against the suitability of accommodation provided to asylum seekers and victims of trafficking as well as decisions to disperse them out of London.

Criminal justice system

Rachel acts for clients in challenges to prosecutions where the decisions discriminate against the accused on grounds of disability and are not in the public interest.

She represents children and young people in judicial reviews and civil claims against the police arising from treatment in police detention, prosecution decisions and in relation to their personal data being shared.

Rachel also represents victims of crime to make victims’ right to review applications.

Discrimination

Discrimination law permeates much of Rachel’s work as she often relies on the Equality Act or Article 14 of the ECHR to help individuals challenge disadvantageous practices and decisions.

An ongoing focus of Rachel and Gold Jennings’ work has been to represent disadvantaged children from NRPF backgrounds who, due to their parents’ immigration status, are able to benefit from the same educational provision as their counterparts whose families do have recourse to public funds.

Charity work

Rachel provides regular pro-bono advice to various leading charities who support and advise children and migrants. She delivers training to charities on issues experienced by children and their families when seeking support from local authorities under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

Rachel joined Gold Jennings from Bhatt Murphy, where she trained as a solicitor and helped conduct civil claims and judicial reviews against the police, including numerous claims brought under the Human Rights Act. Rachel helped clients challenge the lawfulness of their immigration detention through judicial reviews and civil claims and represented families of loved ones who had died in state custody.  Before joining Bhatt Murphy was a paralegal for a year at another leading firm where she assisted a partner’s public law and community care caseload.

Rachel received a distinction on the Legal Practice Course (2014) and a commendation on the Graduate Diploma in Law (2012) at the University of Law/ College of Law. Rachel graduated with a First Class BA (hons) in English and History at the University of York in 2010.

Before commencing her legal education and training, Rachel worked as a legal advisor and social policy co-ordinator at the Citizens Advice Bureau, and volunteered with a Children’s Society programme for young refugees and asylum seekers.

Rachel has achieved notable successes in a number of judicial review and civil claims since joining Gold Jennings.

Rachel’s key cases include:

  • Covid 19 Free school meals [2020]: Challenge against exclusion of children from NRPF backgrounds from being able to access free school meal vouchers whilst schools were closed which led to the temporary extension of free school meal eligibility to children from certain NRPF groups. She has also helped clients to challenge the income threshold applied to families which led to a significant increase in the same.
  • MB & others v Secretary of State for Education [2020]: Successful test case which extended early nursery places to children whose parents have NRPF due to being undocumented migrants.
  • M v Chief Constable of Sussex Police [2019]: Test case against a police force’s practice of sharing minors’ the personal and sensitive date to a crime reduction agency. The Court ruled that parts of the minors’ sensitive data had been unlawfully disclosed. The case is currently before the Court of Appeal.
  • AA v Secretary of State for Education [2019]: Assisted Clare Jennings in a successful test case challenge to the exclusion of children whose parents have the right of residence subject to an NRPF condition.
  • X v West Sussex County Council [2019]: Challenge to the decision to prosecute mother for her child’s non-attendance at school on grounds that it was discriminatory, an abuse of process and not in the public interest. The child has educational needs and was unable to attend school due to lack of provision. The Council in question dropped the prosecution and commenced an Education and Health Care plan assessment.
  • Several challenges to suitability of asylum support accommodation which led to orders requiring Secretary of State for the Home Department to relocate them.
  • Successful victims right to review application [2018] on behalf of victim of domestic abuse which culminated in the perpetrator’s prosecution.
  • Challenge against practice of strip searching minor which resulted in significant award of damages [2018].
  • X v LB of Camden [2018]: 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.
  • LB of Lewisham vs Project 17 and Gold Jennings [2018]: Case before the Information Tribunal concerning Lewisham’s refusal to make aspects of its policy on no recourse to public funds publically available. Lewisham conceded the issue shortly before the hearing. Rachel acted for Project 17 alongside Gold Jennings’ Clare Jennings.

 

Projects

Rachel and Clare Jennings are, together with the children’s charity Project 17, running a SLF funded project concerning the practices employed by Local Authorities during their assessments of the needs of children with no recourse to public funds.