Christian J Howells is a public law specialist. He is on the Attorney General’s Regional A Panel and the Counsel General for Wales’ A Panel of Counsel. For many years he has been ranked as a leading junior, described by Legal 500 as “tenacious with a very sharp intellect” and by Chambers & Partners  as “extremely bright and extremely hard-working”.

He has extensive experience in the higher courts, including the Administrative Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He is instructed on behalf of claimants, governments and local authorities.

Recent cases include:

  • R (Counsel General for Wales) v Secretary of State for Business: led by Helen Mountfield QC, he acts on behalf of the Counsel General in a judicial review of the UK Internal Market Act 2020 which seeks declarations that UKIMA cannot curtail the legislative competence of the Senedd by implication or secondary legislation. This is a most significant constitutional case affecting Wales.
  • R (HE) v Lord Chancellor [2020] EWHC 1411 (Admin) (permission): He was instructed on behalf of the claimant in a challenge to the Civil Legal Aid (Financial Resources) Regulations 2013 on the basis that although they disregarded support payments made to victims of the Grenfel Tower fire and Windrush scandal in the capital means test, they did not disregard support payments made to victims of the infected blood disaster; such treatment was discriminatory within the meaning of article 14 ECHR read with article 8 ECHR and A1P1.  Following a successful settlement, the Lord Chancellor introduced amendement regulations to create a disregard.
  • Infected Blood Inquiry: Led by Lloyd Williams QC, he is instructed on behalf of 300 Welsh and Northern Ireland victims in the inquiry into the infection of thousands of haemophiliacs and transfused patients with HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and vCJD.
  • Inquest into the death of Emiliano Sala: Led by Lloyd Williams QC, he is instructed on behalf of Cardiff City Football Club in the inquest into the death of footballer Emiliano Sala. Mr Sala died when the plane in which he was travelling crash into the English Channel. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch published its investigation report on 13 March 2020 which found, amongst other things, that the pilot was not licensed to fly the plane. It concluded that Mr Sala was unconscious through carbon monoxide poisoning by the time of the crash, but that immediately before hitting the water the pilot was conscious and using the plane’s controls.
  • R (Williams) v Caerphilly County Council [2020] EWCA Civ 296: Led by Philip Havers QC he acted on behalf of the appellant in an appeal regarding; (i) whether the local authority had to comply with the Welsh improvement duty contained in the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009; and (ii) whether the cabinet could adopt a leisure strategy which was not foreshadowed in a budget.
  • R (DJ) v Welsh Ministers [2019] EWCA Civ 1349, [2020] PTSR 466: Led by Ruth Henke QC he acted on behalf of the appellant in a challenge to the Welsh Ministers’ policy for the funding of education for young adults with learning difficulties at specialist residential colleges. It was argued that the policy amounted to an unlawful fetter on the discretion to fund such provision under s32 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000.
  • IT (Jamaica) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] UKSC 53, [2018] 1 WLR 5273: Led by Richard Drabble QC, he acted on behalf of the appellant in an appeal concerning the codification of article 8 ECHR considerations in deportation cases in s117C of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. This appeal also concerned article 3 UNCRC.
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