Matrix Chambers

Administrative & Public Law Department

London (Bar)
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Matrix Chambers has exceptional pedigree in public and human rights law. The set is strongly committed to representing individual claimants and NGOs in judicial review, but members are also regularly instructed by government departments. The barristers are extremely well versed in a broad array of issues including welfare provision, immigration, civil liberties and policing, criminal law and many others. A number of barristers from the set contributed to the success of the Supreme Court appeal on death penalty assurance in the case of the suspected members of the IS cell dubbed 'The Beatles'. Other important work has included cases on the recognition of trans rights and on the roll-out of Universal Credit. Chambers can also offer strong capability for business claimants in regulatory judicial review.

Client service: "I love their approach, which is really receptive and collaborative, and the fact that they're willing to work within our budget framework." "They've maintained a very good service and a very good relationship with us over many years. There's an excellent culture embedded at the chambers which is not dependent on individual personalities - it's very , accessible, reliable and collaborative." availableElizabeth Bousher leads Practice Team X.

Alex Bailin QC

Adept at the application of public and administrative law in the criminal justice and commercial spheres. He routinely appears in domestic and international public law and human rights proceedings. He has also been involved in judicial reviews arising out of public inquiries. 
Strengths: "We tend to go to Alex for judicial review work because he is so good and so experienced." "Energetic and bright, and a creative thinker with good ideas."
Recent work: Acted in a challenge to a new requirement for all criminal defendants to state their nationality at the first appearance.

Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh

Notable claimant-side barrister who is experienced in public law claims against central government, the police and other organisations. She has a strong command of human rights law and is a superb resource for any case involving protest rights and restrictions.
Strengths: "My counsel of choice. Her intelligence is on a different level - she often needs to give the judge time to catch up because she is streets ahead."
Recent work: Acted for the 'Hooded Men' in successfully resisting an appeal challenging the High Court ruling that the failure to investigate allegations of historic torture, following the discovery of new material, was unlawful.

Chris Buttler

Renowned junior counsel with a strong track record of appearing in high-profile judicial reviews. He has considerable experience challenging government departments' and other public bodies' decisions. He is particularly proficient at claims that rely on equality and human rights law. 
Strengths: "He's head and shoulders above everyone else. I like everything about him - his drafting is impeccable, he's ferocious in court, and he turns cases around with his advocacy." "An extremely good lawyer with superb mastery of judicial review. He is extremely responsive and adaptable and able to work within a team."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in a judicial review of the arrangements for a national referendum on whether to build a cruise ship port in the Cayman Islands.

Clare Montgomery QC

Renowned advocate whose public law work spans a number of areas, including challenges to the scope and legality of criminal and regulatory law. She has a particular emphasis on administrative and public law claims which rely on human rights grounds. Recent mandates include cases concerning inquests, rendition and criminal prosecution. 
Strengths: "She is an absolute go-to barrister for so many cases. She is very collaborative with others and gives speedy and efficient advice. She tells it like it is and I love that - a real sage voice."
Recent work: Represented Maha Elgizouli in a challenge to the DPP's decision not to recall her son Shafee El Sheikh for prosecution in the UK.

Daniel Squires QC

Acts in domestic and international public law proceedings, often where there is a significant human rights overlap. He is particularly strong in cases arising in the context of national security and criminal justice. He is typically instructed by claimants and NGOs bringing challenges to legislation and public policy. 
Strengths: "He has a gentle, academic manner but is very confident, and when he's got a good point he knows it and really drives it forward."
Recent work: Acted as lead counsel for Edward Bridges in a challenge to the use of automated facial recognition technology by South Wales Police.

Danny Friedman QC

Frequently appears in domestic and international public law proceedings, especially where there is an overlap with human rights and criminal law. Of particular note is his expertise in cases that consider the UK government's duties in the context of international conflict. Other recent matters include cases concerning SIAC appeals and proceedings involving the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act.
Strengths: "His client care is absolutely phenomenal, and he is exceptionally good at working as a team and a great team leader. He'll listen and engage on points and take the time to discuss it with you." "Extremely impressive in a national security context. Highly respected for his work."
Recent work: Acted in a successful judicial review of the Criminal Cases Review Commission, concerning the convictions of the Shrewsbury 24 pickets.

David Wolfe QC

Represents individual claimants and NGOs seeking to challenge decisions of local authorities, government departments and other public bodies. He is well known for his work challenging cuts to public services, including community care and policing.
Strengths: "Phenomenally bright - he gets to the answer before we've even asked the question. He's also really inclusive and loves working as part of the team. He's always willing to draw in junior team members, and is very tactical and realistic." "He has an encyclopedic knowledge of education and equality law."
Recent work: Acted for the Sikh Federation in a judicial review challenging the decision not to allow respondents to state their ethnicity as 'Sikh' in the 2021 census.

Edward Craven

Sought after to represent claimants in complex judicial reviews relating to human rights. His recent cases involve high-profile challenges involving issues of immigration, refugees' rights, extradition and professional privilege.
Strengths: "Really fantastic in any case." "A delightful opponent who is really clever and super cooperative."
Recent work: Represented Maha Elgizouli in her successful challenge to the Home Office's decision to provide the USA with mutual legal assistance regarding her son Shafee El Sheikh, without obtaining death penalty assurance.

Nicholas Armstrong

Routinely handles significant challenges involving data protection and the right to privacy. His broad administrative and public law practice also includes a notable emphasis on immigration and social welfare. He has experience representing claimants and interveners before the appellate and European courts.
Strengths: "He's good on his feet in court - very direct, works very fast and keeps me involved." "At the forefront of work on immigration detention, which can be very emotionally draining work, and he is legally intense, but he does it so well."
Recent work: Acted in the successful challenge to the Home Secretary's refusal to hold a full public inquiry into the abuse at Brook House immigration detention centre, following revelations broadcast on BBC's 'Panorama'.

Helen Mountfield QC

Brings her considerable expertise in equality law to public and administrative law cases before domestic and European courts. She predominantly represents claimants in judicial reviews where public policy is under scrutiny for being discriminatory. Her recent mandates include constitutional law, healthcare provision, public pensions and education.
Strengths: "She did an absolutely first-class job, and was excellent at deciding which points to respond to in order to argue the case in its strongest form."
Recent work: Successfully persuaded the Supreme Court, in the case of Gubeladze, that the extension of a Workers’ Registration Scheme for EU workers from former accession states constituted a disproportionate infringement of free movement rights.

Hugh Southey QC

Leads significant challenges to government policy, particularly in the areas of crime, extradition and immigration. He is especially proficient at challenging police conduct through judicial reviews. He also frequently handles public law claims concerning national security, immigration and asylum.
Strengths: "There is no lawyer in the UK who works harder. He is a top-quality barrister and extremely down to earth and direct, which makes clients and solicitors love him." "He is such a specialist in what he does - he picks up on nuances that others miss. He's logical in court, and it helps that he's from a solutions background and is not pretentious."
Recent work: Acted for Jamal Abdulkadir in a Supreme Court appeal arising from a challenge to the detention of asylum seekers facing removal based on EU rules governing asylum claims.

Jessica Jones

Lauded in the market as a junior to watch for handling high-profile judicial review challenges on behalf of claimants. She is known for applying her criminal law background to highly contentious public law cases in the contexts of equality and discrimination, social security, national security and criminal justice.
Strengths: "Very succinct, and her submissions are really strong. She's always really accommodating, and gave really clear and useful advice which helped us greatly."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in an appeal following a judicial review on transitional arrangements for severely disabled people moving from legacy benefits to Universal Credit.

Jessica Simor QC

Enjoys a busy administrative and public law practice which includes experience in commercial judicial reviews and human rights claims. Her experience in challenges to the scope and application of taxation laws is of particular note.
Strengths: "An excellent lawyer who is very passionate about her work."
Recent work: Acted in a judicial review challenging the Prime Minister's refusal to have any regard to the offences found by the Electoral Commission in respect of Vote Leave and Leave.EU.

Karon Monaghan QC

Noted for her expertise in public and administrative law cases pursued on the grounds of equality and human rights law. She has considerable experience of challenging welfare reform on behalf of marginalised claimants. Other recent cases have concerned immigration, legal aid availability and Article 8 rights.
Strengths: "She's phenomenal - really impressive on her feet. I love the way she fights fearlessly for her clients and doesn't take no for an answer - clients really value that." "A really excellent speaker in court."

Phillippa Kaufmann QC

Pre-eminent at the Bar for public law challenges which arise in the context of the criminal justice system, and well versed in all manner of judicial reviews which invoke human rights law. In recent years, she has been at the forefront of challenging the government's legal aid reforms as well as its approach to immigration and asylum.
Strengths: "An extremely effective advocate on paper and in person." "Her advocacy is stunning; she's a force to be reckoned with and doesn't take any prisoners in court. She is an advocate in the true meaning of the word - she really fights the client's corner."
Recent work: Acted for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in its challenge to the Home Secretary's Right to Rent scheme, which requires landlords to check new tenants' immigration status.

Raj Desai

Highly valued by NGOs and individual claimants for his mastery of public and human rights law. He is experienced in a diverse array of related cases, including those on environmental law and welfare provision.
Strengths: "His written work is phenomenal. He is exceptionally intelligent and very easy to work with. I find I can pick up the phone to him and he always takes the time to talk something through." "He is very thorough, writes well and is incredibly knowledgeable about human rights law."
Recent work: Instructed by the World Wildlife Fund in the judicial review challenge of the national policy statement designating a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Raza Husain QC

Pre-eminent silk whose administrative and public law experience is predominantly in the area of immigration and asylum. He represents claimants seeking to challenge decisions of the Home Secretary and other public bodies. He is well versed in arguments relying on EU freedom of movement and human rights law.
Strengths: "One of the leading lights in public law, and has experience going back decades in immigration detention." "Everyone recognises him as a very experienced and very knowledgeable immigration silk. He also works at a frenetic pace."
Recent work: Represented Every Child Protected Against Human Trafficking, in R (MS (Pakistan)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a Supreme Court case clarifying the requirement for public authorities to investigate suspected cases of trafficking under the National Referral Mechanism, and the powers of the tribunals to overturn decisions made under that framework.

Richard Hermer QC

Predominantly acts for individuals and groups of claimants seeking to challenge legislation and public body decision making. He has considerable experience  of human rights claims, particularly in national security, detention and immigration cases. He is also well versed in judicial reviews arising in a commercial context.
Strengths: "A really big player in national security cases." "I love working with him - he's a very confident advocate with a lovely advocacy style and  is strategic in his thinking about how to plan and run a case. He isn't too grand or pompous but is extremely approachable, and I get the impression other barristers like working with him as well."
Recent work: Acted in Maha Elgizouli's challenge to the Home Secretary's decision to give mutual legal assistance to the USA in its prosecution of Shafee El Sheikh, without seeking death penalty assurance.

Sarah Hannett

Instructed in judicial reviews by claimants, interveners and defendants. She is particularly proficient at public law claims which involve human rights law and is an excellent choice for matters concerning gender-related issues. Recently, she has appeared in several high-profile public law disputes involving equality law, healthcare and the criminal justice system.
Strengths: "Possibly the best public law senior junior at the Bar currently. She can do government- and claimant-side work to the same very high standard and is a delight to work with - clients think that she's brilliant." "Brilliant on education, discrimination and special educational needs."
Recent work: Acted for the government in a claim brought by a trans man who wished to be listed as the father on his child's birth certificate.

Tim Owen QC

Regularly appears in domestic and international public law proceedings. His expertise encompasses judicial reviews challenging police practice and other claims in the criminal context. He also accepts instructions in commercial and regulatory judicial reviews.
Strengths: "Absolutely excellent on his feet."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in a judicial review of the Foreign Secretary's decision to refuse to extend protection and assistance to three Afghan nationals who asserted they had worked as undercover agents for the UK for many years in Helmand province.

Zoe Leventhal

Involved in substantial public law challenges in welfare reform and social justice. She is adept at representing claimants, interveners and defendants in judicial review, and is skilled across a wide range of subjects within public law. She has handled challenges involving social security, healthcare and environmental law.
Strengths: "Well on her way to silk. Really excellent and very approachable."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in a judicial review regarding the lack of protection for severely disabled people transitioning to Universal Credit.