DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Brick Court Chambers

Administrative & Public Law

13 ranked barristersBand 3London (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers
chambers review
Ranked Barristers

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Notable for its prominence at the leading edge of multiple facets of public law. Many of the set's practitioners in this area benefit from market-leading expertise in commercial or competition law, which informs their handling of judicial reviews challenging decisions on business regulation. It also houses barristers experienced in major human rights-related cases, including those involving elements of EU law. Among other high-profile cases, the set has recently been involved in Liberty's 'Snooper's Charter' judicial review and a challenge to the Prevent duty guidance for universities. Members act for both claimants and defendants in public law litigation.

Client service:

Paul Dennison and Tony Burgess lead a "strong clerking team which is very friendly." "Jo Francis is a brilliant clerk."

Strengths:

David Anderson QC
Continues to excel in full-time private practice following his tenure as Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation for the government. His public law expertise is focused predominantly on EU, commercial and regulatory challenges.
"He's more than just a very good lawyer - he's a mover in this world. He has a great practice and a good standing in terrorism law."

Strengths:

David Heaton
Routinely instructed by NGO claimants as well as public bodies in high-profile public law cases relating to privacy, data protection and human rights. Other recent mandates include commercial, regulatory and licensing challenges.
"He's extremely conscientious and his level of knowledge in this area is second to none - he knows everything in incredible detail and can answer any question immediately. He's also very responsive on email and willing to help with anything you ask." "Everything he does is prepared to an impeccable standard - from pro bono work to the highest-value commercial litigation."
Recent work: Acted for Liberty in a challenge to the lawfulness of parts of the Investigatory Powers Act, on EU law and human rights grounds.

Strengths:

Emily MacKenzie
Instructed in high-profile public law challenges on behalf of government departments, local authorities and other public bodies. In addition, she increasingly represents claimants in novel challenges. In recent times her practice has taken in significant cases regarding the marketing of pharmaceuticals by the NHS.
"Very practical, knowledgeable and highly commercial in her advice."
Recent work: Represented Bayer in an appeal regarding the policy of 12 CCGs to prefer Avastin over Bayer's more expensive product for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration.

Strengths:

James McClelland QC
Focuses his considerable public law prowess on commercial and regulatory cases, particularly in the financial services sector. He is capable of counselling claimants and defendants in judicial review and regulatory proceedings.
"Really good on regulatory matters and totally gets under the bonnet of a case. Incredibly charming with clients and often the barrister I choose to instruct in my most sensitive cases." "He is going places - he always delivers and impresses his solicitors."
Recent work: Acted for Uber in its appeal against Transport for London's decision to deny it a licence to operate its business.

Strengths:

Jemima Stratford QC
Counsels clients in public and administrative law challenges pursued under EU law, concerning policy affecting individuals as well as businesses. She is especially well versed in challenges involving pharmaceutical regulation, including the authorisation of new drugs. Other recent public law mandates include cases concerning transportation and international sanctions.
"An amazing lawyer: she has a really good understanding of the law, and thinks through the principles to get to the practical answer. She has good judgement and is able to put her arguments forward in a persuasive and logical way." "Very good on the overlap of EU competition law and public law."
Recent work: Acted for the Lambeth Law Centre in a successful challenge to a government policy to deport EEA national rough sleepers.

Strengths:

Jennifer MacLeod
Frequently instructed in all types of judicial review. She has particular experience dealing with regulatory and EU-related issues, and is sought after by both government bodies and private companies. She also handles complex human rights-related judicial review, including challenges relating to the investigation and prosecution of crime.
"Super smart, takes no nonsense and very ready to roll up her sleeves." "Very impressive with clients, who really rate her very highly."
Recent work: Acted for End Violence against Women in challenging the DPP's change in policy for prosecuting rape, which led to a drop in the numbers and rates of cases being charged by the CPS.

Strengths:

Malcolm Birdling
Sought out to act in novel public law cases concerning contentious legislation and policy decisions. He advocates for claimants and defendants in judicial reviews, and his broad expertise encompasses commercial and human rights claims.
"Responsive and able to crunch difficult points." "An extraordinarily brilliant young barrister."
Recent work: Acted for Manchester Airport in judicial review proceedings which asked whether the Civil Aviation Authority had acted unlawfully by failing immediately to remove the operating licence from Thomas Cook upon its liquidation.

Strengths:

Marie Demetriou QC
Commands great respect for her expertise in public law cases involving provisions of EU law. She also handles cases concerning human rights, data protection, immigration and asylum, and PIL. She receives instructions from claimants, regulators, government departments and other interested parties. 
"The most concise lawyer I've come across - every word counts. She wins so often." "A pre-eminent EU lawyer and a very convincing public law advocate."
Recent work: Defended the Treasury in a judicial review brought by BT against changes to the indexing of public service pensions. The changes affected BT as it was required to mirror civil service pension schemes, unlike its competitors, which it alleged would lead to unfair extra liabilities of around £120 million.

Strengths:

Maya Lester QC
Brings deep expertise in EU, human rights and sanctions law to domestic and international public law proceedings. Recently she has been involved in high-profile national security disputes. She receives instructions from individuals, NGOs and public bodies. 
"Very clever and a good strategist, also very client-friendly." "Exceptionally responsive in difficult times for the client."
Recent work: Acted for Omega Flex in challenging a decision of the British Standards Institute to withdraw a British Standard for the manufacture and installation of steel tubing, on the grounds that it was unsafe to do so while no European standard existed.

Strengths:

Paul Bowen QC
Handles judicial reviews that involve the application of human rights law to the criminal justice system. He also handles public law claims in the commercial and financial services spheres, receiving instructions from claimants, respondents and interveners. 
"He's got great attention to detail and is able to get information across extremely quickly. He is very robust in the way that he advises and supports us." "Adored by lots of different groups in the legal community, which says a lot about the breadth of his expertise and commitment. Courageous and committed, and willing to press points and think about progressing human rights law in a way that many others won't."
Recent work: Appeared for Salman Butt in the Court of Appeal, in his challenge to the revised Prevent guidance for universities, and the collection of data on those suspected of holding extremist views.

Strengths:

Richard Gordon QC
Continues to be sought out by claimants and respondents in high-profile judicial reviews. He is particularly proficient at public law claims that overlap with EU law. Additional areas of expertise include election and constitutional law.
"He's fabulous - one of the pre-eminent constitutional lawyers."

Strengths:

Tim Johnston
Sought-after junior who has broad expertise across areas including human rights, pensions, licensing and electoral law. He attracts instruction from a number of central government entities.
"Extremely bright, and also really good at saying exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. Has excellent judgement and is very likeable and easy to get along with."
Recent work: Defended the Treasury in a judicial review brought by BT against changes to the indexing of public service pensions. The changes affected BT as it was required to mirror civil service pension schemes, unlike its competitors, which it alleged would lead to unfair extra liabilities of around £120 million.

Strengths:

Victoria Wakefield QC
Represents corporations, NGOs and individuals challenging secondary legislation and regulatory decisions. She is especially adept in judicial reviews overlapping with human rights law.
"She just has a magnetism which makes her a joy to listen to, no matter how dull the case." "Razor sharp, extremely industrious and much sought after. Among the best of all recent silks."
Recent work: Acted for the Home Secretary in Maha Elgizouli's challenge to the decision to provide the USA with mutual legal assistance regarding her son Shafee El Sheikh, without obtaining death penalty assurance.

Administrative & Public Law Department

Brick Court Chambers

firm
Department location

7-8 Essex Street

London

Greater London

UK

WC2R 3LD

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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


David Anderson QC
Band 1
James McClelland QC
New Silks
Jemima Stratford QC
Band 3
Marie Demetriou QC
Band 3
Maya Lester QC
Band 4
Paul Bowen QC
Band 3