Christian J Howells

Call 2007

Christian J Howells

Practice Overview

Christian Howells has a busy practice in the areas of public, civil and regulatory law. Upon completion of his studies (LL.B (Hons) Bristol) Christian joined 30 Park Place as a pupil and became a tenant in September 2008.

Christian is a member of the Civil@30 and Public@30 teams.

Notable and Reported cases

  • Torfaen County Borough Council v Maughan and persons unknown.

    Christian successfully obtained an area wide injunction to prevent gypsy encampments from being established on World Heritage land where there was an extensive history of such encampments causing public nuisance.  Application made under s222 of the Local Government Act 1972 and based on nuisance and environmental protection  rather than planning legislation, as the encampments continually relocated prior to the expiry of the relevant period for planning enforcement.

  • Inquest into the death of Derek Brundrett.

    Argument that the failure by numerous agencies, including social services, to ensure that a “looked after” child was referred for mental health treatment in light of threats to commit suicide amounted to a breach of article 2 ECHR.

  • R (Tilley) v Vale of Glamorgan Council [2015] EWHC 3194 (Admin).

    Judicial review of Council’s decision to implement community-led libraries or close them in the alternative.  Challenge to consultation on grounds of unfairness.  Decision taken without due regard to the duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service; s7 Public Museums and Libraries Act 1964 or the public sector equality duty; s149 Equality Act 2010.  Permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal granted.

  • Inquest into the death of Daniel Foss.

    Christian represented the family of the deceased. The Coroner found that the road layout of the Kingsway, Swansea, which consisted of a contra-flow metro system, was counter-intuitive and encouraged pedestrians to walk into the bus lane before checking both directions.  Further, the Coroner found that the speed of the bus, close to 30mph, the speed limit of the road, was also a contributory factor. This inquest was extensively reported in the national press; click here to view.

  • St Stephens Mansions RTM Co Ltd v Fairhold NW Ltd [2014] UKUT 541 (LC).

    Christian successfully argued on appeal that in order for part of a building to be “self contained” within the meaning of s72(4) of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 (the Right to Manage legislation),  works that altered the conduits by which services were provided were permissible, subject only to the requirement that a significant disruption was not caused to the other parts of the building.

  • R (On the application of Gurung) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 8; [2013] 1 WLR 2546.

    Court of Appeal held that the historic injustice caused to Gurkha veterans, namely that they were deprived of the opportunity to settle in the UK upon discharge from the British Army, was a strong reason for holding that it was proportionate to allow their adult dependent children to join them now under article 8 ECHR.

    Further, the Home Secretary’s written policy which dealt with settlement applications from the adult children of Gurkha veterans was not arbitrary or unclear so as to be not in accordance with the law.  The use of the term “exceptional circumstances” was not uncertain.

  • KR (Nepal) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ (Settled).

    Upper Tribunal announced oral decision at the end of the hearing only to change in later in the written determination.  Permission granted on the grounds that such action amounted to procedural impropriety. 

  • R (On the application of Gurung and Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWHC 1629 (Admin).

    Review of policy outside of Immigration Rules.  Challenge to the use of “exceptional circumstances” as too uncertain to be in accordance with the law.

  • UG (Nepal) (2012) EWCA Civ 48; The Times, March 20, 2012.

    Whether the policy for settlement of the adult of children of Gurkha veterans was sufficiently precise to permit of only one outcome on the particular facts.  Further, successfully argued that a period of separation of eight months did not split the family unit.

  • AR (Nepal) [2011] EWCA Civ 1439.

    Successfully argued that the appellant could rely upon post-decision evidence that he now satisfied the 10 year long residence rule to form an additional ground of appeal to be determined by the Tribunal.

  • Administrative & Public Law

    As can be seen from his recent cases, Christian has a diverse public law practice which encompasses some important immigration decisions, local government and education.

    His local government work includes challenges to the implementation of community-led libraries or closure as an alternative and the preceding consultation.  He was also instructed in a challenge to the Welsh Government’s decision to cease funding several not-for-profit advice centres in favour of a smaller group of larger advice providers.

    In the area of education, Christian was instructed by the Student Union of a leading University in South Wales to defend a challenge by a student to its disciplinary functions.  He also represents students in disciplinary appeals within the University’s disciplinary procedures.     

  • Immigration & Asylum

    Christian regularly appears in appeals before the Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal on important issues, such as the historical injustice caused to Gurkhas and their families;whether in entry clearance cases where an initial decision has been set aside as unlawful, the article 8 ECHR claim of an appellant should be determined at the earlier date as opposed to the later date of the second decision on grounds of fairness;  whether an appellant could rely upon ten years lawful residence, accrued after the date of the decision appealed, to form an additional ground to be determined by the Tribunal for the first time; whether the Tribunal has jurisdiction on appeal to review the way in which a policy has been applied, or whether that is the preserve of judicial review.

    Christian also regularly appears before the UT and the High Court on immigration judicial reviews.

  • Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

    Christian has a busy personal injury practice with a particular emphasis on employers’ liability and industrial disease.  He acts for claimants and defendants (in particular the NHS) in equal measure.  His practice increasingly consists of high value, multi-track work.     

  • Regulatory, Inquiries & Inquests

    Christian has significant experience representing nurses before both the Conduct and Competence and Health Committees of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and has been involved in a number of high profile cases; assaults on elderly, vulnerable patients with mental health illnesses, neglect / mistreatment prior to a patient’s death, theft of drugs and other dishonesty cases.

    As can be seen from his recent cases, he is experienced in handling complex and sensitive Coroner’s inquests.

  • Healthcare Professional Regulation

    Christian has significant experience representing nurses before both the Conduct and Competence and Health Committees of the Nursing and Midwifery Council. and has been involved in a number of high profile cases; assaults on elderly, vulnerable patients with mental health illnesses, neglect / mistreatment prior to a patient’s death, theft of drugs and other dishonesty cases.