Doughty Street Chambers

Civil Liberties & Human Rights Department

London (Bar)
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The renowned Doughty Street Chambers is home to a number of highly skilled barristers who act at the cutting edge of international human rights law. Regularly instructed for high-profile claimants, members excel in actions against the Government, the police and other authorities. Doughty Street barristers appear at all levels of the UK court system and in a number of international jurisdictions in leading civil actions and judicial reviews.

Client service: "The clerks aren't pushy and get back to us almost immediately." Sian Wilkins is the civil team leader.

Adam Straw
An experienced junior offering broad expertise across the fields of public law and human rights, he routinely appears before all levels of court in the UK and is regularly seen at the ECtHR. He is frequently involved with prisoners' rights claims and police actions, as well as employment matters with human rights implications. He publishes regularly on a range of issues relating to human rights and is a contributing editor to 'Human Rights Practice'.
Strengths: "He's an outstanding advocate; highly intelligent, authoritative and decisive." "Adam is an excellent junior at the top of his game. He's good with clients, he has great analytical skills and a restrained but lethal advocacy."

Adam Wagner
A versatile junior who regularly appears in high-profile human rights cases, both for and against public authorities. He is well regarded for his aptitude in the fields of immigration and prison law, and is also known for his work in public inquiries. He founded the acclaimed UK Human Rights Blog and human rights public education charity RightsInfo.
Strengths: "He's a bright lawyer and takes a lot of really interesting cases."

Alex Gask
He handles challenges brought against public authorities, and is an expert in police law, prison law and children's rights. His practice benefits from his prior experience as an in-house solicitor at Liberty, the human rights NGO. He routinely takes on judicial review challenges and inquests.
Strengths: "His written work is excellent."

Alison Gerry
A respected human rights junior who routinely provides expert advice on complex mental health-related matters. She is also recognised for her aptitude in the areas of police and prison law, particularly in judicial reviews and inquests.
Strengths: "She does fantastic work in human rights. Alison's a really good lawyer."

Amal Clooney
A key operator in the field of international human rights, she acts before the ECtHR and UN human rights bodies, as well as the UK courts. She has specialist expertise in matters related to the use of drones, and advises governments on human rights and constitutional reform. She has a successful track record of representing political prisoners.
Strengths: "She's very high-profile and she speaks well on cases." "She handles cases of real international importance."

Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC
She commands great respect in the field of human rights and civil liberties. Her broad areas of expertise include media law, children's rights, community care and national security, and she is particularly noted for her adroit handling of matters concerning the failure of state bodies. She has a strong judicial review practice and has recently been involved with important cases surrounding abortion and women's rights.
Strengths: "She's an incredible lawyer with the most incredible energy. She's one of those people who has an ability to get on top of things extremely quickly."

Edward Fitzgerald QC
Highly acclaimed, he offers vast experience across the field of public, criminal and international human rights law. He is regularly called upon to handle the most significant, highly publicised cases, routinely appearing before the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the ECtHR. He is highly regarded for his work on behalf of vulnerable individuals.
Strengths: "He's got enormous charm and he knows everything about civil liberties. When he speaks, judges listen." "Ed has an excellent brain and a manner which the courts love."

Heather Williams QC
An esteemed civil liberties and human rights barrister who displays key strengths in discrimination and cases concerning abuse of power by the police or other detaining authorities. She offers broader expertise in employment matters and is an experienced advocate in major, high-profile inquests and cases before the Court of Appeal. Her recent experience spans environmental and healthcare matters, as they intersect with the ECHR.
Strengths: "Heather Williams is absolutely brilliant. Her human rights work is very much focused on the field of police law, she's particularly good at private claims against the police."

Henrietta Hill QC
Known for her admirable work ethic and extensive knowledge in the field of civil liberties, she often advocates for the rights of bereaved families and the victims of state abuse, misconduct and discrimination. She also has experience dealing with the complex issues surrounding human trafficking.
Strengths: "Dynamic, intelligent and knowledgable."

Jesse Nicholls
Comes highly recommended in the civil liberties and human rights sphere, given his deft handling of complex inquests and deep knowledge of police law. Further aspects of his practice include expertise in immigration detention matters, claims against the CPS and his work representing prisoners.
Strengths: "He's extremely impressive; very bright, incredibly hard-working and reliable." "Jesse is really great at making sure every argument is backed up, factual and defensible. He can take legal arguments and set them out in detailed writing but also cut to the relevant points off-the-cuff on the phone."

Jude Bunting
He enjoys a strong track record of appearing in major human rights cases on behalf of a range of clients, including NGOs, the media and vulnerable individuals. He is frequently instructed before the Supreme Court and ECtHR. He has expertise in areas including police, prison and surveillance law, as well as discrimination, and in open justice challenges.
Strengths: "He sparks with ideas and possibilities and has a sense of humour matched with a keen analytical brain." "Jude is hugely knowledgable of the law, very good tactically and great on his feet." "Charismatic and engaging."

Kirsty Brimelow QC
She is an experienced silk with an extensive international human rights practice, appearing or advising at the ICC, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, courts martial and Courts of Appeal in the Caribbean and the ECOWAS court. She takes on complex civil liberties cases, such as those involving physical integrity, the dignity of individuals and their right to effective legal remedy. She also acts as chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales.
Strengths: "She's intelligent and easy to work with."

Laura Dubinsky
She regularly handles false imprisonment claims and prison law challenges, typically on behalf of claimants and intervening parties. She is a very highly regarded immigration expert who routinely appears before the Supreme Court. She has recently been involved in cases concerning the compatibility of administrative detention and bail powers with Article 5 of the ECHR.
Strengths: "An extremely persuasive advocate." "She's very bright, creative and hard-working."

Martin Westgate QC
A distinguished human rights practitioner with a broad practice, who is also head of the chambers' public law team. His complementary expertise in the areas of social housing and welfare only serve to strengthen his work in the field of civil liberties and human rights. He has undertaken cases concerning the right to life, freedom from detention and the right to protest.
Strengths: "Martin is a tremendous lawyer who comes up with brilliant arguments drawing on his encyclopedic knowledge."

Ruth Brander
A highly respected junior known for her excellent advocacy and impressive work ethic. She demonstrates great skill in an array of matters, including police actions, prisoners' rights claims and criminal appeals. She is recognised for her specialist knowledge of international sodomy laws and regularly takes on cases concerning the use of stop-and-search measures in the UK. She is also adept at handling human rights cases on behalf of protestors and vulnerable detainees.
Strengths: "Ruth Brander is completely brilliant. She is phenomenally bright and carefully detailed as well as wonderful to work with and totally reliable. She also writes stunningly beautifully." "Ruth Brander at Doughty Street is just fantastic."

Stephen Cragg QC
A renowned human rights silk with a keen focus on community care cases. He habitually represents claimants at inquests and in police law matters. Additionally, he serves on the Executive of the Bar Human Rights Committee. He also practises as a Special Advocate, handling passport refusal, naturalisation and other sensitive cases.
Strengths: "He's practical, pragmatic, good on his feet and engaging with the jury." "He's a really good advocate with great knowledge of the law."