IMG_7975Public Interest Law Unit.

The Public Interest Law Unit  was founded in 2016 to provide a specialist legal service in the fields of public law and human rights. We are a project of Lambeth Law Centre. We specialise in claimant judicial review and public inquiries.

We are flexible in the way in which our service is provided and always strive to meet the needs of our clients. It is not necessary to attend our offices, we can either come to you and/or conduct our work by e-mail and ‘phone.

Lambeth Law Centre  has a contract with the Legal Aid Agency to provide publicly funded advice and representation in public law. Through the new unit we hope to deliver specialised public law litigation.

Whilst PILU is not a campaign group, it is a ‘not for profit’ unit that conducts legal aid judicial review work in the High Court. However our solicitors meet with campaign groups when requested to discuss the possibilities of legal action being part of their campaigning strategy. We are particularly interested in using law as part of the process to effect social change through the use of test cases.

Our People:

Paul Heron is a founding member of the Public Interest Law Unit after many years of working in the law centres movement.


Paul specialised in domestic public law work whilst working at Public Interest Lawyers. He has a real demonstrable passion for delivering critical frontline legal services in cutting edge cases. He is a committed socialist and an executive committee member of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers as well as being a fanatical supporter of Everton FC.

Notable cases include:

R (on the application of (1) Yonas Admasu Kebede (2) Abiy Admasu Kebede) v Newcastle City Council [2013] EWHC 355 (Admin)* – represented the claimants arguing that s23C (4) (b) and the related provision s24B (2) does in fact cover tuition fees and the local authority had to reconsider its decision and fund them through higher education.

Hounga v Allen (Anti Slavery International intervening) [2014] UKSC 47*– represented the interveners in this case. Whilst the case hung narrow points regarding illegality and discrimination on the grounds of nationality, the interveners brought in wider issues on a number of points concerning immigration, contract, employment law and that a defence of illegality does not necessarily defeat a claim for discrimination.

R (on the application of Tigere) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills [2014] EWCA Civ 1216* – client had discretionary leave to remain in the United Kingdom, but was ineligible for a student loan as a result of her immigration status. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the appeal and found that the defendant Secretary of State had adopted a lawful bright line rule in formulating the ‘basic category’ of eligible students. This is currently being appealed to the Supreme Court.

Draper v Lincolnshire County Council [2014] EWHC 2388*

Court agreed that the County Council had conducted a flawed consultation exercise and had failed to consider alternative proposals when cutting the library service.


Executive Committee – Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

He writes regularly for The Socialist newspaper and Socialist Lawyer.

(*whilst at Public Interest Lawyers)