DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Brick Court Chambers

Civil Liberties & Human Rights

8 ranked barristersBand 3London (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers
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Ranked Barristers

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Brick Court Chambers members are adept at both national and international human rights disputes, frequently appearing before the CJEU, the Privy Council and the Court of Appeal for both claimants and defendants. Matter expertise ranges across immigration and asylum cases, terrorism charges and issues around data privacy. Recent cases include challenging the UK government's refusal to bring cases involving unaccompanied or separated migrant children back into scope for legal aid in R (The Children’s Society) v Ministry of Justice.

Client service:

Tony Burgess and Paul Dennison are the senior clerks.

Strengths:

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.
"She's excellent; very smart and on the ball." "She's phenomenally clever."
Recent work: Appeared for Human Dignity Trust and Tan Seng Kee in Tan Seng Kee v Attorney General, one of three test claims brought to challenge the criminalisation of homosexuality in Singapore.

Strengths:

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.
"He makes really strong, well thought-out points." "He's very knowledgeable, very easy to work with and sensitive to client needs."
Recent work: Acted unled for the defence in Northamptonshire County Council v Lord Chancellor, concerning the procedure for seeking damages for breach of the Human Rights Act 1998 in care proceedings.

Strengths:

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.
"She's hard-working and clever, a very good advocate who can turn her hand to just about anything."
Recent work: Represented the Mayor of London in R (Independent Workers Union) v Mayor of London, a challenge to his decision to remove the exemption from London congestion charging for non-wheelchair-accessible private hire vehicles.

Strengths:

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.
"A real powerhouse, she is forever coming up with new angles and ideas."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in Kanthappu Arumugam & 15 Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a rare challenge in the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission, to the proscription of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a terrorist organisation.

Strengths:

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.
"He's willing to press points and think about progressing human rights law." "Charming and easy-going, he listens to solicitors, writes well and is an excellent advocate."
Recent work:Appeared for the claimant in R (Salman Butt) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, challenging the government's Prevent strategy on the grounds that it restricts freedom of speech, assembly and religion, as well as privacy rights.

Strengths:

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.
"Encyclopedic in his knowledge of public law."

Strengths:

Victoria Wakefield QC
A go-to QC for government departments and other public bodies. She maintains a respected practice covering complex matters at the intersection of public law and human rights.
"Very approachable and very thorough."
Recent work:Represented the Home Secretary in R (Elgizouli) v the Home Secretary, defending the decision of the government to provide evidence to the United States to aid in the prosecution of a number of individuals accused of terrorism, despite the risk the death penalty could be imposed on the defendants.

Civil Liberties & Human Rights 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)

Civil Liberties & Human Rights


Jemima Stratford QC
Band 4
Marie Demetriou QC
Band 3
Maya Lester QC
Band 3
Paul Bowen QC
Band 2
Richard Gordon QC
Band 3
Victoria Wakefield QC
Band 4