Brick Court Chambers

Civil Liberties & Human Rights Department

London (Bar)
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Brick Court Chambers is lauded for its bench of high quality stand-out individuals, who are regularly instructed in leading human rights and civil liberties cases in the UK and further afield, particularly in Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. Its members offer adroit representation across a wide variety of matters including national security, asylum, discrimination and sanctions cases. Brick Court Barristers have recently appeared in Sophocelous & Others v FCO and MOD, a test case concerning the Government's liability for acts of torture allegedly committed by the British Army during the 1950s Cyprus Emergency.

Client service: Tony Burgess and Paul Dennison are the senior clerks.

Jemima Stratford QC
She has cultivated a highly respected practice in the field of civil liberties and human rights. She regularly handles an array of high-profile, significant cases, covering areas such as the rights of pregnant workers, state immunity rules and torture allegations. She appears before Employment Tribunals, the High Court and Supreme Court as well as the ECtHR.
Strengths: "She shows great strategic leadership." "Incredibly hard-working and focused."
Recent work: Led a team for three NGOs intervening in judicial review proceedings to challenge legality of UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

Malcolm Birdling
A respected junior who is regularly called upon to appear before all levels of court in complex human rights cases. He is recognised for his in-depth knowledge of EU law and takes on work concerning false imprisonment, terrorism and complicated claims of torture and ill-treatment dating back to the 1950s. His practice is aided by his former experience as both an English solicitor and a member of the New Zealand Bar.
Strengths: "Malcolm Birdling is a pleasure to work with and staggeringly competent." "Everyone thinks he's marvellous. He's a really clever lawyer." 
Recent work: Appeared for the Lord Chancellor before the High Court and Court of Appeal in defence of a challenge as to whether awards of Human Rights Act damages for unlawful state detention may be subject to the statutory charge applied by the legal aid regime, or whether this itself violated the European Convention on Human Rights.

Marie Demetriou QC
An esteemed silk demonstrating core strength in areas such as political protest, immigration and torture. She is typically seen assisting claimants and intervenors, regularly representing the UNHCR in important asylum rights cases.
Strengths: "A really good advocate, great on her feet and incredibly clever; her points are backed by a lot of intellectual force."
Recent work: Represented Bank Saderat Iran Ltd in its claim for damages brought against the European Council, arising from the unlawful imposition of sanctions.

Maya Lester QC
She routinely acts for both private and public respondents and applicants in human rights cases. She has vast experience of appearing before domestic and EU courts, and is particularly knowledgeable on the subject of EU sanctions. She fields further expertise in matters involving torture, religious freedom and freedom of speech.
Strengths: "Maya Lester is fantastically good." "She's first class on sanctions and her drafting is amazing."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Rahmatullah v Ministry of Defence & FCO, a case raising complex legal issues pertaining to the the extra-territoriality of the ECHR, and the interaction between the HRA and Iraqi and Afghan law.

Paul Bowen QC
A distinguished practitioner who regularly handles both domestic and international human rights and public law claims. His broad-based expertise covers areas such as data protection, mental health and disability rights. He acts for claimants and defendants, including regulators, NGOs, private individuals and governments. He is a familiar face at the Supreme Court and the Privy Council.
Strengths: "He puts in a phenomenal amount of work and does an absolutely brilliant job. He's also a great team leader." "A go-to QC for cases involving difficult or challenging applications of human rights principles."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of a Muslim academic in R (Salman Butt) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a judicial review of the Prevent Counter-Extremism strategy.

Richard Gordon QC
He offers vast experience across the field of civil liberties and human rights. He is well known for his contribution to leading literature in the sphere. His client list includes companies, individuals and public bodies. His recent work evaluates the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection to entertain fundamental rights challenges.
Strengths: "A creative thinker, he finds points which are not always obvious." "Richard is encyclopedic in his knowledge and has a very good manner with the bench."
Recent work: Acted in An NHS Trust v Y, a case in which the Supreme Court decided that a court order is not automatically required before clinically assisted nutrition and hydration may be withdrawn from a patient suffering from a prolonged disorder of consciousness.