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Doughty Street Chambers

Civil Liberties & Human Rights

25 ranked barristersBand 1London (Bar)UK Bar 2022 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers
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Ranked Barristers

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Doughty Street Chambers is a highly respected set which sits "at the cutting edge of human rights" both in a domestic and international context. Tenants are "very client-focused and helpful" and typically represent claimants or NGO interveners in a wide variety of areas including protest law, police law, immigration, housing and welfare benefits. Among other highlights, Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC appeared for the applicant in R (Just for Kids Law) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a test case concerning the use of children as 'covert human intelligence sources’, i.e. child spies. A number of barristers from the set have in recent years advised or acted in prominent international law matters, such as Tatyana Eatwell, who was instrumental in securing the granting of diplomatic protection to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Amal Clooney has appeared in The Gambia v Myanmar, an ICJ case concerning the persecution of the Rohingyas.

Client service:

"The clerking team are thorough and never drop the ball." Sian Wilkins is the senior practice manager for the civil team.

Strengths:

Adam Straw QC
Adam Straw QC is an experienced barrister offering broad expertise across the fields of public law and human rights. He routinely appears before all levels of the court system 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'.
"He has an outstanding intellect and work ethic." "He has a fantastic manner about him as a courtroom advocate and he never gets flustered under pressure."
Recent work: Acted in R (Delve) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a judicial review challenging the delay of women’s state pension age from 60 to 66, brought on behalf of women born in the 1950s.

Strengths:

Adam Wagner
Adam Wagner is a versatile barrister 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 EachOther, formerly known as RightsInfo.
"Adam Wagner is unparalleled in terms of his understanding and knowledge of COVID regulations." "He is an innovative and thoughtful lawyer who is incredibly hard-working and well prepared."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of the Equality and Human Rights Commission as intervener in the Supreme Court appeal of AB v Secretary of State for Justice. The case concerned the solitary confinement a child in detention.

Strengths:

Alex Gask
Alex Gask 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.
"He is a highly knowledgeable barrister."
Recent work: Acted for QT in an appeal against the imposition of a TPIM related to YouTube videos in which he espoused a radical form of Islam but did not directly advocate violence. The appeal focused on human rights arguments and permissible free speech.

Strengths:

Alison Gerry
Alison Gerry is a respected human rights barrister 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.
"She is forensically detailed and incredibly bright." "Alison is exceptionally bright and has a fantastic ability to grasp and develop complex cases."
Recent work: Appeared in FBST v British Transport Police, a case concerning the failure of the police to effectively investigate a report of sexual assault committed against the claimant.

Strengths:

Amal Clooney
Amal Clooney is 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.
"Amal is really the most thoughtful, generous and highly knowledgeable expert in her area." "She has the full package. She is fully committed to each case, which is fantastic for clients and solicitors."
Recent work: Acted for the Government of Maldives to intervene in The Gambia v Myanmar before the International Court of Justice, addressingMyanmar’s alleged responsibility for genocide against the Rohingya and seeking remedies for the victims.

Strengths:

Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC
Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC commands deep 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.
"Caoilfhionn is one of the sharpest legal minds I have ever worked with. She is fiercely intelligent, with a razor-sharp eye for detail." "She is incredibly persuasive as a court advocate; she really blows me away." "She is extremely committed, energetic and creative in her approach to complex legal issues. She is very good with vulnerable clients."
Recent work: Acted in R (Just for Kids Law) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a test case concerning the use of children as child spies.

Strengths:

Edward Fitzgerald QC
Edward Fitzgerald QC is a highly acclaimed silk who offers vast experience across the fields 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.
"Ed is one of the original godfathers of human rights." "He is an extraordinarily impressive advocate; he immediately grasps the key issues and cuts through all the nonsense to get there."
Recent work: Successfully represented the claimants in D&F v Persons Unknown, obtaining lifelong anonymity orders for the two claimants, who had been convicted of murder as juveniles.

Strengths:

Graham Denholm
Graham Denholm is particularly well known for his sterling work in the field of immigration. He routinely undertakes complex deportation and asylum cases, and has specialist expertise in immigration detention. He frequently brings civil actions and judicial reviews against the Home Office, often involving complex false imprisonment claims.
"Graham is the go-to on immigration detention, no doubt about it. He is very considered, methodical and careful in his advice." "He is a real expert in false imprisonment and his knowledge of procedure is encyclopedic."
Recent work: Appeared in Ali v Home Office, a false imprisonment claim on behalf of a former asylum seeker detained in the so-called Detained Fast Track in 2014 and 2015.

Strengths:

Henrietta Hill QC
Henrietta Hill QC is well regarded for her admirable work in the field of civil liberties and human rights. She regularly 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.
"Henrietta is the inquests and inquiry queen. She has a great manner with clients and she is fearless on her feet." "Her advocacy is so engaging; she is articulate and bright." "Henrietta is exceptionally bright, always three steps ahead, empathetic with clients and a dream to work with."
Recent work: Represented the family of Dawn Sturgess, who died as a result of the Salisbury Novichok poisoning, in successfully setting aside the Coroner’s decision to conduct an inquest with a very narrow scope, which would not fully examine the alleged role of the Russian state in the poisonings.

Strengths:

Jamie Burton QC
Jamie Burton QC is a well-regarded silk who is adept at handling discrimination and social welfare claims. He is singled out for his knowledge of the Care Act 2014.
"His strategic ability and his knowledge really stand out." "Jamie is really smart, creative and compassionate." "He is so straightforward and personable."
Recent work: Appeared in R (JCWI) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a judicial review challenging the ‘right to rent’ scheme.

Strengths:

Jennifer Robinson
Jennifer Robinson is a highly respected barrister with an international profile. She has experience in cross-jurisdictional human rights challenges and is particularly noted for her work on free speech and the protection of journalists as well as for her UN advocacy.
"She is superb, completely knowledgeable and able to put difficult ideas into a clear, coherent and persuasive argument." "Jennifer Robinson continually impresses me not only with the breadth and depth of her knowledge and skill, but her ability to see past where the law is today and predict its future trajectory. She is also diligent and organised, producing high-quality work product in a timely manner."
Recent work: Acted for the family of David Dungay, an indigenous Australian man who died in police custody after being restrained by five prison officers. The complaint brought before the UN by David's mother, Leetona Dungay, sought justice and accountability from the Australian government for failing to protect David’s right to life.

Strengths:

Jude Bunting
Jude Bunting is a highly rated barrister with an impressive 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 is highly sought after for his expertise in areas including police, prison and surveillance law, as well as discrimination, and in open justice challenges.
"He is clever, passionate and puts in 100% effort to get the job done, even at short notice." "Jude is thoughtful, fearless and creative; he is a great advocate." "Anything he turns his hand to he is amazing at."
Recent work: Appeared in R (Huxtable) v Secretary of State for Justice, a case considering the legality of the 'reconsideration' regime introduced to stop the release of long-term prisoners.

Strengths:

Katherine O'Byrne
Katherine O'Byrne is particularly noted for her human rights work on behalf of children and vulnerable adults. O'Byrne is regularly instructed in complex claims before UK courts, the ECtHR and UN bodies.
"She is clever, hard-working and enthusiastic." "She is the most hard-working junior barrister and is wise beyond her years."
Recent work: Acted in a civil claim on behalf of 33 Greek Cypriot former freedom fighters who claimed damages for unlawful detention and personal injuries by British armed forces during the Cyprus Emergency.

Strengths:

Kirsty Brimelow QC
Kirsty Brimelow QC 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 combines passion and dedication with an expert knowledge of the law." "She is a passionate, brilliant advocate with an enormous wealth of experience."
Recent work: Acted for the Al-Ameri and Al-Taisy families in challenging the legality of US targeted killing operations in Yemen before a regional human rights treaty monitoring body.

Strengths:

Laura Dubinsky
Laura Dubinsky regularly handles false imprisonment claims and prison law challenges, typically on behalf of claimants and intervening parties. She is a very highly regarded immigration and human rights 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.
"Laura is an incisive and extremely hard-working barrister and is a fighter." "She always has an answer for every question and fights relentlessly for her clients."
Recent work: Appeared for the claimants in R (Humnyntskyi and Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a successful test challenge regarding the determination of eligibility for accommodation for destitute immigrants.

Strengths:

Martin Westgate QC
Martin Westgate QC is a distinguished human rights barrister with a broad practice and he is also head of the chambers' public law team. His complementary expertise in the areas of social housing and welfare serves 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.
"Martin is always willing to find a way to push through to the client’s interests." "He is very collaborative and works as a team."
Recent work: Appeared for Liberty as intervener in R (JCWI) v Secretary of State for the Home Department regarding the 'right to rent' scheme under which landlords must check the immigration status of prospective tenants.

Strengths:

Maya Sikand QC
Maya Sikand QC is a strong civil liberties and human rights barrister with a practice covering judicial reviews, civil and statutory damages claims, inquiries and inquests. She has particular expertise in unlawful detention and trafficking issues. She routinely brings claims against public authorities and the police, regularly handling whistle-blower cases.
"Maya is great on her feet, her written submissions are strong and her knowledge of the law is superb." "She is brilliant on complex detail and she leaves no stone unturned."
Recent work: Acted in R v PBL, a case considering the UK's international treaty obligations and Article 4 ECHR duties to victims of trafficking, in the context of a Vietnamese male arrested in a cannabis factory.

Strengths:

Ruth Brander
Ruth Brander is a highly respected barrister 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.
"Ruth is extremely bright and remarkably succinct in her written submissions." "You will always get a really empathetic, careful, considered view from Ruth, underpinned by solid understanding of the law."
Recent work: Appeared for Ebenezer Azamati, a black, blind graduate student at Oxford University who was forcibly ejected from a debate at the Oxford Union by security staff, in a successful discrimination claim.

Strengths:

Shu Shin Luh
Shu Shin Luh is a highly admired barrister who has a phenomenal reputation in children’s rights and trafficking. She focuses her human rights practice on representing vulnerable persons, including the mentally ill and incapacitated. She appears in domestic and European courts for claimants and intervenors, such as NGOs and charitable organisations.
"Shu Shin is very energetic, industrious and very committed to finding creative arguments and solutions to challenge injustices." "She is fantastically hard-working and very committed."
Recent work: Acted for Liberty as intervener in VCL and AN v the United Kingdom before the European Court of Human Rights. The case concerned the scope of the prohibition against slavery, considering decisions in the UK to prosecute child victims of trafficking who are exploited for forced criminal activities.

Strengths:

Stephen Cragg QC
Stephen Cragg QC is 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 as vice-chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee. He also practises as a Special Advocate, handling passport refusal, naturalisation and other sensitive cases.
"Stephen cuts through all the noise and can easily work through things. He is very approachable, committed and really good to work with." "His written work is absolutely excellent. He is thoughtful, clear and persuasive."
Recent work: Acted in a judicial review challenging the failure of the London Borough of Bromley to provide services, including accommodation, for a very disabled man.

Strengths:

Tatyana Eatwell
Tatyana Eatwell is an accomplished barrister focusing on international human rights and public law. She represents individuals and NGOs in courtroom and other forms of advocacy, including before various UN bodies, concerning extra-judicial killings, torture or detention across numerous jurisdictions.
"Tatyana has a very strong international human rights practice. She is also incredibly approachable and accessible, and has such deep knowledge." "She is incredibly hard-working and is always willing to get stuck in - she is an excellent lawyer and has a really well-rounded skill set."
Recent work: Instructed by REDRESS in successfully persuading the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to grant diplomatic protection to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Civil Liberties & Human Rights

Doughty Street Chambers

firm
Location

54 Doughty Street

London

Greater London

UK

WC1N 2LS

View Set Profile

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


Adam Straw QC
New Silks
Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC
Band 1
Edward Fitzgerald QC
Band 1
Henrietta Hill QC
Band 2
Jamie Burton QC
New Silks
Kirsty Brimelow QC
Band 3

6 of 25 results