Vince Blake-Barnard has an extensive regulatory and coroner’s practice. He specialises in the licensing of the sale of alcohol and of taxis; planning, housing & construction; sports and swimming clubs; and coroners’ inquests.
“Vincent is one of the hardest-working, most innovative and determined lawyers I’ve encountered in 30 years in local government.” — Paul Abbot, East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Vincent regularly attends before the traffic commissioner representing licence-holders.
Vince has an extensive practice representing taxi drivers in West Yorkshire against decisions to refuse, suspend or revoke their taxi licenses. Besides representing at appeal, Vince undertakes the initial hearing before the licensing committee – an area in which he excels, having advised such committees for over 10 years in his role as a local-government solicitor. The majority of his clients instruct Vince through Public Access, making representation more affordable.
In East Riding of Yorkshire Council v Dearlove  EWHC 278 (Admin), Vince acted in a successful case stated against Beverley Magistrates with regards to test-purchase operations by the licensing authority against unlicensed taxi drivers.
Vince advised several licensing authorities for over 10 years. This experience is invaluable when appearing before licensing committees and the magistrates’ court on appeal.
Planning, housing & construction
Vince brings his vast experience of local authorities to bear in matters relating to planning enforcement, building regulations and housing enforcement.
“Vincent has a deep knowledge of local-authority regulation. His understanding of Trading Standards and environmental health legislation is very impressive.” — Paul Abbot, East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Vince has been heavily involved with a number of amateur sporting clubs in relation to their investigations and policies. He regularly represents swimming clubs before the Amateur Swimming Association.
Vince excels in this area, principally representing families (where his sensitivity is noted), managing to balance their expectations with the needs of the coroner.
Vince is regularly instructed to represent police and families in both Article 2 Middleton or narrower Jamieson inquests. Following Mr Barnard experience within Local Authorities, he has an all round insight in the workings or both Local Authority and Police structures.
Notable inquests include:
- JG (Sheffield Coroners Court) – Represented South Yorkshire Police. JG was the victim of a murder, the defendant had released from custody following a lengthy custodial sentence on licence. The probation service assessed the defendant as a medium risk only. The issue was the level of risk associated and if and when opportunities had been missed to reassess that risk level. The findings of fact and conclusions were not critical of the actions of the police.
- CC (Hull Coroners Court) – Represented South Yorkshire Police. Police were investigation sexual allegations involving JE. On the day the interview was due to take place, JE committed suicide. The findings of fact and conclusions were not critical of the actions of the police.
- Re GB (deceased) – Represented the family at a 6-week Article-2 inquest. A patient at HMP Doncaster died and it was found that the doctor’s (and other health workers’) actions had contributed to the death.
- Re NS (deceased) – Represented the family at a 2-day inquest. It was found that the actions of doctors in charge of the medical care at Dewsbury Hospital had contributed to the patient’s death; death by misadventure with a narrative verdict.
Vince has experience of dealing with fire arm / sexual harm prevention orders appeals for the police and taxi licencing appeals for both private individuals and Local Authorities.
Legal Professional Privilege
Vince is largely instruct by the Police and other Public Bodies such as HMRC, he also undertakes independent Counsel advisory work, in the capacity of “special counsel” in matters relating to Public Internets Immunity and Legal Professional Privilege.
Often involving large scale operations which spans months rather weeks which include VAT and other frauds.
Dealing with both high profile and sensitive cases involving the above as well as special procedure search warrants and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
Vince may accept Public Access work, where he can be instructed directly by a member of the public rather than a solicitor.