DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Blackstone Chambers

Administrative & Public Law

27 ranked barristersBand 1London (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers
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Ranked Barristers

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The set's pre-eminence here is amply demonstrated by its involvement in the most significant constitutional cases. Nine members of Blackstone Chambers appeared before the Supreme Court in the Miller and Cherry judicial review on the prorogation of parliament, and counsel from the set appeared for the majority of central participants in that case. However, the set continues to demonstrate a firm commitment to public law at all levels, and can boast an outstanding count of appearances in the Administrative Court. The barristers' expertise covers all relevant areas, but they exhibit a particular flair for commercial and regulatory judicial review, such as a recent challenge to new public sector pensions rules adversely affecting BT's pension liabilities. Members are routinely instructed by claimants and defendants in human rights-related matters, including R (TT) v Secretary of State and R (Elan-Cane) v Secretary of State, two notable cases on transgender or non-binary rights.

Client service:

"The clerks are really good about telling you what you need to get filed and when and where, and helping you with the procedural things that might trip you up. They're our go-to set for public law work." "Gary Oliver is always professional and helpful."

Strengths:

Alan Maclean QC
Notable emphasis on judicial reviews that arise in the context of professional discipline. He regularly represents claimants and defendants in administrative and public law proceedings. His recent mandates include cases concerning the regulation of transportation, energy and charities.
"Committed, determined, clever and a very strong advocate."

Strengths:

Ben Jaffey QC
A leading authority in a broad array of public law matters including human rights, data protection, national security and financial services regulation. He is particularly highly regarded for his command of issues relating to state surveillance. He is routinely instructed by individual, NGO and corporate claimants, and government defendants, in novel judicial reviews.
"He pushes the boundaries of the law, and the breadth of his knowledge is phenomenal. He produces such great analysis of the politics in relation to the legal argument - he just 'gets' it in a way that other barristers don't." "A wonderful, wonderful silk. He's eloquent, to the point, and calm and controlled in court."
Recent work: Acted for the government in R (TT) v Registrar General, a case which decided the issue of whether a transgender man should be listed as father or mother on his child's birth certificate.

Strengths:

Brian Kennelly QC
Acclaimed advocate who focuses on administrative and public law cases arising in the context of telecommunications, competition and other spheres of EU regulation. He is also experienced in litigation involving sanctions imposed by the EU. He represents both claimants and defendants in public law challenges before domestic and international courts.
"Brian is an extremely bright and strong advocate. Combined with superb client skills and strong judgement, this marks him out as a future star." "I always think very highly of him, as everything he says seems very sensible and well thought out."

Strengths:

Catherine Callaghan QC
Defends central government departments and regulators in a wide range of judicial reviews. She receives particular praise for her strategic approach to litigation. She is especially experienced in public law challenges involving healthcare regulation.
"Has great expertise in the field and is an excellent advocate." "Good at seeing the wood for the trees. Clients find her impressive."
Recent work: Successfully defended the Advertising Standards Authority in a judicial review of its decision that an advertisement for a CE-marked medical device was misleading and that its claims for efficacy were unsupported by adequate evidence.

Strengths:

Charlotte Kilroy QC
Frequently handles judicial reviews challenging decisions and policies of the Home Secretary as part of her immigration and asylum practice. She receives instructions from individual claimants as well as campaign groups seeking to challenge government policy. She is particularly renowned for her handling of public law litigation on behalf of unaccompanied child migrants.
"A fantastic advocate in public law, particularly in immigration and asylum claims." "Extremely clever and extremely committed."

Strengths:

David Pannick QC
Outstanding public law silk routinely sought out for the most complex judicial reviews. His broad experience includes constitutional, human rights, EU and commercial law. 
"He is the most brilliant advocate at the Bar. Superb judgement, very clear presentation, no grandstanding." "Mesmerising to listen to in court, and fantastic at the big-picture stuff. If you've got a hugely important issue that requires a court to really listen, then there is nobody more powerful as an advocate."
Recent work: Acted as lead counsel to Gina Miller in her successful judicial review of the prorogation of parliament in the lead-up to the UK's exit from the EU.

Strengths:

David Pievsky QC
Recommended by market sources for his expertise at the intersection of public law and areas including criminal justice, social welfare, freedom of information and commercial matters. He regularly acts for government defendants, professional bodies, public interest groups and individuals.
"He has a quiet authority which causes everyone in the room to calm down and listen to him." "Very user-friendly."
Recent work: Acted for the Home Secretary in a challenge to the Home Office's Right to Rent scheme.

Strengths:

Dinah Rose QC
Champions difficult public law arguments on behalf of individual and commercial claimants. She is regularly instructed in significant challenges to legislation and government policy on the grounds of human rights and EU law. She is well versed in judicial reviews challenging regulatory decisions.
"Just the best of the best. She just knows how to present in the most attractive way to a client and to a court. Her oral presentation is exceptional: when she walks in and does her thing, the court eats out of her hands and it makes you realise why oral advocacy is still so important." "Tenacious, forceful and formidably able. She is a swift decision maker and delivers tough messages uncompromisingly. Her ability to provide a reality check to lay clients is very valuable."

Strengths:

Fraser Campbell
Regularly instructed by claimant companies in judicial reviews against pharmaceutical and healthcare regulators. He is lauded for his work at the intersection of commercial litigation and public law, and has noted expertise in diverse sectors including pensions and energy.
"Super bright, very client-friendly and very clear in his advice. He's also extremely responsive and turns things around really quickly." "He used to be a solicitor, so he understands the dynamics really well and is a real team player."
Recent work: Acted as sole counsel for the Secretary of State for Justice in a case challenging the recall of a violent offender to prison.

Strengths:

Hanif Mussa
A superb public lawyer who represents private corporations and public bodies, including government departments, in novel administrative law challenges. He has particular experience in challenging competition and regulatory decisions.
"Actually phenomenal - a really sensational brain." "Believe the hype. He's an incredibly smart lawyer and a really great team player. He marshalled the judge's concerns really well, was clearly on top of his brief and was sensitive of the areas where he had to watch his words."
Recent work: Acted in relation to a challenge to the Ivory Act 2018, which sought to impose an effective ban on commercial trade in items containing ivory, subject to very limited exceptions. The claim was brought by the Friends of Antique Cultural Treasures.

Strengths:

Iain Steele
His wide-ranging practice encompasses claims pursued under EU, human rights and constitutional law. He represents claimants and defendants, including regulators, in a wide variety of industries.
"His written work is very good - really clear, persuasive, and doesn't waste any words. He puts things across in a really accessible way for clients and the court." "Always perseveres in finding the right answer."
Recent work: Represented the trustee of the BT Pension Scheme in BT's challenge to the Treasury’s decision to implement an extension of the indexation of benefits in public sector pension schemes, in a way alleged to have greatly increased BT's pension scheme liabilities.

Strengths:

James Eadie QC
The UK government's top choice to defend controversial legislation and policy. His expertise extends across all aspects of administrative and public law, including national security, human rights and immigration. He is instructed in the most complex constitutional law challenges.
"Genuinely the real deal. A brilliant advocate who assimilates things quickly and is so effective in the big appeals. Succinct and to the point." "By far the best public law silk at the Bar."

Strengths:

Jane Collier
Involved in significant administrative and public law cases on behalf of clients in the public sector, including regulators and local authorities. She earns particular praise for her attention to detail and her understanding of complex regulatory systems. She defends challenges to procurement, competition, freedom of information and environmental decisions. 
"She gets so close to the detail of the case - there really is no stone left unturned." "Fantastic on environmental stuff; she's spot on in her advice and it's appreciated that she is very honest about her capacity and manages expectations well."

Strengths:

Jason Pobjoy
Quickly rising to prominence within the public law sphere. He is frequently involved in complex judicial reviews and has a strong emphasis on cases involving a crossover with regulatory and EU law. He also routinely acts for both claimants and state entities in human rights-related challenges.
"Extremely responsive and very personable. His advice and drafting are clear, well reasoned and tailored to the client's commercial objectives." "His writing is among the best I've seen at the Bar. Very clear and very lucid - he makes his points and doesn't overwrite."
Recent work: Represented Fair Vote Project in a claim challenging the Prime Minister's refusal to set up an inquiry to investigate irregular and unlawful conduct that sought to influence the outcome of the EU referendum.

Strengths:

Javan Herberg QC
Particularly well placed to handle administrative and public law cases that involve financial services regulation. Recently, he has also been active advising on public law issues arising in the media and broadcasting and energy sectors, as well as those relating to the provision of healthcare. He represents commercial clients, regulators and other public bodies in complex judicial reviews. 
"Incredibly user-friendly and gives very intellectual advice in a very friendly way." "His input was all very astute and valuable - he definitely drove the analysis to the next level. He can draw on a lot of experience, and can give a lot of practical and commercial analysis."

Strengths:

Jessica Boyd
Advocates on behalf of clients in the private, public and charities sectors. She has particular expertise in commercial and regulatory judicial review, including claims involving EU and competition law. She is also adept in public law disputes involving human rights and privacy. 
"Fantastically bright and produces excellent drafting. She knows how to run a judicial review inside out."

Strengths:

John Howell QC
Highly regarded for his depth of knowledge and wealth of experience. His enviable practice involves a notable focus on claims involving local government, procurement and environmental law. His capabilities include advising claimants, respondents and other interested parties involved in public law proceedings. 
"Absolutely outstanding on judicial review."

Strengths:

Kate Gallafent QC
Represents government departments, regulators and other public bodies in judicial review proceedings. She is a strong choice to defend disputed regulatory reforms. Her notably broad expertise includes a particular emphasis on the right to privacy under Article 8 of the ECHR.
"She strikes the right balance every time. She's technically brilliant, but can also just consolidate huge amounts of information and present a really clear pathway and solution. She'll just come up with an answer that makes total sense." "A big favourite of mine. A superb advocate with really exceptional judgement and really amazing client-handling skills."
Recent work: Acted for Christie Elan-Cane in a claim challenging the legality of the UK government’s policy refusing to issue non-gender-specific 'X' passports to UK nationals.

Strengths:

Monica Carss-Frisk QC
Typically advocates on behalf of commercial clients seeking to challenge regulatory decisions including those relating to competition and financial services law. Her expertise in immigration and human rights law complements her robust public law practice. 
"A very calm and authoritative presence in the courtroom and excellent with clients. She has a great skill for presenting technical matters clearly along robust public law principles." "A key strength is her contextual knowledge of regulators and how they operate. Also her handling of executives: she can deliver really hard messages to the board. Her delivery of legal advice and advocacy is exceptional - almost hypnotic. She casts a spell on the court."

Strengths:

Naina Patel
Maintains a varied administrative and public law practice which involves significant challenges to government policy, as well as regulatory appeals. She has vast experience of representing applicants, defendants and interveners in judicial reviews. Her broad practice includes bringing challenges to cuts in welfare as well as regulatory decisions.
"An excellent advocate – her advocacy is both commanding and appealing." "Can turn her hand to a range of public law and civil liberties work. Probing in her approach and an articulate advocate."
Recent work: Acting for a consortium of underwriters, including Lloyd's of London, in a judicial review of the Treasury’s refusal to release information about frozen Syrian assets within the UK, to satisfy a Commercial Court judgment against Syria relating to its involvement in a historic aircraft hijacking.

Strengths:

Ravi Mehta
Respected for his representation of claimants and defendants in high-profile judicial reviews and regulatory matters. He is particularly noted for his expertise in EU, competition and commercial cases.
"Ravi Mehta is smart, assured and user-friendly. He is also enjoyable to spend time with. He has the confidence to lead conferences with clients in difficult circumstances and at short notice, and is sensitive to their objectives. He astutely reads the dynamics within teams and responds appropriately." "His submissions are impressive and he's all over complex issues."
Recent work: Acted for the Electoral Commission in a claim for judicial review of its power to publish a report summarising its enforcement action against Vote Leave for breaches of electoral legislation.

Strengths:

Sam Grodzinski QC
His impressively broad administrative and public law expertise includes commercial judicial reviews and human rights claims. He receives instructions in judicial reviews from claimants as well as respondents.
"He's diligent, and a details man, who's a good advocate and adaptable to the particular court or tribunal he's in."
Recent work: Acted for Gwynt Y Mor Wind Farm in a successful judicial review of Ofgem's decision allocating the cost of a failed subsea electricity transmission cable.

Strengths:

Shaheed Fatima QC
Possesses remarkable expertise in administrative and public law, including claims pursued under human rights and international law. She receives instructions from claimants, defendants and interveners in complex challenges to government policy and regulatory provisions before domestic and international courts. 
"I was bowled over by her. The quality of what she produced in a difficult and sensitive case was astonishing." "A razor-sharp and persuasive advocate."

Strengths:

Thomas de la Mare QC
Frequently involved in high-profile challenges to secondary legislation. His notably broad expertise includes public law cases which overlap with commercial, human rights and EU law. He is a strong choice for corporate clients pursuing difficult regulatory appeals.
"Quick, hard-working and a force to be reckoned with." "Very enthusiastic and entertaining, and keeps the court's interest."
Recent work: Acted in a judicial review concerning the restitution of unlawfully demanded licence fees worth approximately £400 million.

Strengths:

Tom Hickman QC
Immensely knowledgeable silk in administrative and public law. He acts in significant challenges to legislation and regulatory decisions, appearing on behalf of claimants, defendants and interveners. Recently, he has been involved in key cases concerning constitutional and international law. He also has significant experience in diplomatic immunity cases.
"Knows how to set up a case from the very beginning so you can win it without getting mired in difficulties later on." "Very professional, a very good litigator and a very good academic lawyer. Definitely a class act."

Strengths:

Tom Richards
Handles public and administrative law claims on behalf of clients in the UK and abroad. He is adept in bringing and defending all manner of judicial review challenges to the decisions and actions of public bodies, with notable experience encompassing regulatory, immigration and welfare challenges.
"Hugely helpful, and he got a very successful result. He was massively engaged with the client." "His delivery as an advocate is a masterclass in calm, modest persuasion. He always pitches as the voice of reason and is very persuasive. His written work is first class."
Recent work: Acted for the appellant in a Privy Council appeal concerning appointments within the police service of Trinidad & Tobago.

Strengths:

Tristan Jones
Increasingly sought out as junior counsel in difficult administrative and public law disputes. He represents claimants and respondents in judicial review proceedings, and is adept in claims challenging decisions of regulators and other public bodies. He has recently been instructed on significant challenges in the telecommunications sector.
"A great advocate - clear, knowledgeable and persuasive. He is easily able to command the respect of senior officials in organisations with his authoritative but personable manner." "Really practical and an excellent advocate; he turns his hand to new things very easily."
Recent work: Acted in relation to an application by Tempus for judicial review of the implementation by the UK of the capacity market mechanism in the electricity market, following the annulment of a Commission decision not to investigate the mechanism under the EU state aid rules.

Administrative & Public Law Department

Blackstone Chambers

firm
Department location

Blackstone House

Temple

London

Greater London

UK

EC4Y 9BJ

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

London (Bar)

Administrative & Public Law


Alan Maclean QC
Band 4
Ben Jaffey QC
Band 1
Brian Kennelly QC
Band 4
Catherine Callaghan QC
Band 4
Charlotte Kilroy QC
Band 4
David Pannick QC
Star Individuals