Keri Tayler’s Profile
The focus of my practice is the interface between individuals and the state, in the fields of community care, health care, mental health, education and general public law.
I am frequently instructed by the Official Solicitor, local authorities, family members and other interested parties in the Court of Protection including capacity disputes, challenges to DOLS authorisations and welfare matters. Cases of note include capacity to consent to marriage and sexual relations and forced marriage, hoarding, diagnostic issues involving alcohol consumption and cases with an international element where the Court had to consider repatriation.
I have appeared on behalf of and advised local authorities and individuals in the Administrative Court and in the First Tier Tribunal in matters involving children and adults.
Inquests are also an area of particular interest, especially where there is an overlap with other areas of her practice. A notable inquest involved the issue of whether the deceased had capacity to refuse treatment in circumstances where the lack of treatment of a chronic illness had hastened the death.
My background at a senior level in a local authority legal department enables me to bring to my work a substantial knowledge of local authority duties and powers, as well as a practical understanding of how they work and the pressures they face.
Court of Protection
Having joined Chambers from Local Government, I have been involved in Court of Protection work since the coming into force of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, latterly leading the Council’s team in this area. I have been involved in cases requiring the Court’s intervention in health and welfare matters, as well as complex financial abuse cases. The overlap between the family Courts and the Court of Protection for young people is a particular interest.
Having joined Chambers from Hampshire County Council, where I advised on education matters for 13 years, I am ideally placed to advise on the full range of legal issues that arise in the education sector. I have experience of advising schools, academies, Independent Appeal Panels, elected members and Chief Officers, and Local Safeguarding Children Boards.
Areas of law in which I have specific expertise include:
- Special educational needs including appeals to the First Tier and Upper Tribunals and Court of Appeal (including the first case to be heard by the UT)
- Admission to and exclusion from school
- School governance, finance and complaints procedures
- Relationship between schools and local authorities including funding issues
- Safeguarding duties of schools and other educational institutions, and its interrelationship with the Local Authority.
- Inspections regime (both Ofsted and Independent Schools Inspectorate)
- Duty to consult and adequacy thereof.
- Discrimination, human rights, and equalities claims, including the public sector equality duty
- Role of the Charity Commission
- Examination disputes
- Negligence claims
- School transport
- School attendance and home education
- School organisation including the expansion of a secondary school to become an all-through 4-16 school.
- Powers of the Secretary of State to intervene in schools and local authorities
I joined Chambers from Hampshire Council, where I was lead legal adviser to Children’s Services. That role encompassed advising the LA on all aspects of its duties and functions as a Children’s Services authority, providing advice on policy, strategic initiatives and high-profile cases in the Family and Administrative Courts. I have advised on adoption and fostering, as well as secure accommodation.
I have extensive experience of dealing with cases involving the LA’s duties to a child or family, including the transition to adulthood, and the consequent change in legislative regime.
I have provided legal advice to LSCB’s and Serious Case Review panels – both for Hampshire and other LAs on high profile reviews, including their interface with inquests.
I have advised various public bodies as to their role and function within inquests, including local authorities, Local Safeguarding Children Boards, and probation. The latter included 7 public bodies who had been involved with a prisoner released on licence who went on to commit murder. I am keen to develop my practice in this area.
In the social care (both adults and children) and education arenas, I have experience of judicial review both by way of challenges to policy proposals, consultation exercises and services to individuals, for both Claimant and Defendant including appeals to the Court of Appeal.
Other cases I have been involved in have been in relation to probation (involving the Home Office and Ministry of Justice), school admissions and exclusions and adoption.
- Inner Temple