L -v- Hampshire County Council (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Claim number: AC-2023-LON-003556

In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
Administrative Court

6 December 2023


David Lock KC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court


The King on the application of
L (Acting by his mother and Litigation Friend, LC)


Hampshire County Council


On an application by the Claimant for directions.
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant.

ORDER by David Lock KC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court:

  1. Pursuant to CPR r.39.2, the identity of the Claimant or his Litigation Friend shall not be directly or indirectly disclosed and these proceedings shall be known as R (L) (A child, by his mother and litigation friend LC) v Hampshire County Council.
  2. The Defendant shall file and serve an Acknowledgement of Service and, if so advised, Summary Grounds of Resistance by Monday 18 December 2023, together with any evidence relied upon by the Defendant to seek to justify or explain any failure by the Defendant to comply with its statutory obligations.
  3. The papers shall be placed before a judge as soon as possible after the Defendant has filed its Acknowledgement of Service and, if so advised, Summary Grounds of Resistance and evidence for a decision on permission and directions.
  4. The parties shall have permission to apply on 2 clear days notice to set aside or vary these directions.
  5. Costs reserved.


  1. The Claimant is a 10 year old boy with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and an immune mediated component to a neurobehavioral disorder known as Paediatric Acuteonset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. He is the subject of an Education, Health and Care Plan (“EHCP”) as set by the First Tier Tribunal which describes the education services that should be provided to the Claimant. The Claimant submits that the Defendant Local Authority are under an unqualified duty to provide the services set out in the EHCP.
  2. The Claimant’s Litigation Friend has complied with CPR 21.5(3) and thus no order is needed to appoint her in this case.
  3. There may well not be any substantial dispute about the legal framework applying to this case and thus the Claimant may well be entitled to a Declaration that the Defendant is acting in breach of its legal obligations. However, that does not necessarily mean that the Claimant will obtain a mandatory order to require the Defendant to provide all of the services that are specified in the EHCP because the Defendant may be able to advance a case that, despite its best endeavours, it is unable to commission the full range of services ordered by the tribunal, and the High Court may not order the Defendant to deliver services that it is wholly unable to commission. If however, the blockage in providing services is proved to be internal decision making with the Defendant authority, budgetary constraints or a reluctance to commission services until an Educational Psychologist has been appointed to oversee the delivery of the services, the court may well be prepared to make mandatory orders since none of those factors could justify the failure to comply with statutory obligations.
  4. I recognise that the Claimant’s mother and legal team have sought to negotiate a way forward rather than rushing to issue proceedings and that securing provision remains urgent. I am therefore prepared to order a measure of expedition but am not prepared to order a rolled-up hearing as the extent of any legal dispute will only become clear once the Defendant has filed its Acknowledgement of Service, Summary Grounds of Resistance and evidence.