John Friel has handled a large number of highly complex, complicated and difficult cases in the Special Education Needs Tribunal. The amount of tribunal cases has increased, and the cases have increased in complexity, and in difficulty. John has achieved a commendable degree of success in such cases.
Special Needs and Legal Entitlement: The Essential Guide to Getting out of the Maze, written by John Friel and Melinda Nettleton, is a straightforward and comprehensive guide to the legal rights of children and young people with special educational needs, and to the Children and Families Act 2014.
K v The School and the Special Needs Tribunal, Court of Appeal  ELR 234
John Friel represented the school which established the nature of the defence of justification in Disability Discrimination. It is the leading case on Justification.
L v Clarke and Somerset  ELR 128
This is the leading case on the rights of children with statements of special educational needs.
School Admission Appeals Panel for the London Borough of Hounslow v The Mayor & Burgesses of the London Borough of Hounslow (2002) ELR 602
This case establishing at long last, despite contrary dicta in the Court of Appeal, and some first instance decisions to the contrary that the Human Rights Act does have a significant effect upon school admission appeals, and education law generally. At p.602 May LJ specifically singled out Mr Friel’s submissions for favourable comment. Confirmed Gloucestershire LEA.
Gloucestershire Local Education Authority v Gloucestershire Schools Appeal Panel (2002) ELR 309
John Friel appeared for the parents successfully.
O v The London Borough of Harrow & Sherwin (2002) ELR 195
Court of Appeal allowed the parents appeal, Mr Friel representing the parents, on the issue of the structure of the appellate process under the 1996 Education Act.
B v Hammersmith and Fulham LBC  EWHC 2094 (Admin)
John presented a child who appealed against a decision that the respondent local authority had correctly decided to place her at a maintained special school for pupils with a range of special educational needs rather than an independent school for pupils with speech, language and communication difficulties.
B County Council v H  EWHC 1070 (Admin)
An appeal by a LEA against the decision of a Special Needs Education Tribunal to move a child with ADHD and Autism to another school.