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Exhibits pronounced expertise in data protection as well as cases governed by information law, encompassing FOI and EIR. The barristers are highly knowledgeable on the working of the data protection regulations in the context of public law and human rights law. Notable recent cases include Elgizouli v Home Secretary, concerning the interaction with data protection and transatlantic death penalty laws, and the challenge brought by Ed Bridges and Liberty to South Wales Police's rollout of facial recognition technology. The set also has a particularly strong track record in the representation of the Information Commissioner, including recently in its issuance of penalty notices under GDPR against Marriott and British Airways.
Client service: "I am impressed by the efficiency of the clerking staff." "The clerks are very good, practical and accommodating." David Hockney is the senior clerk.
Gerry Facenna QC
Tends to a varied client base of individuals and organisations which request and hold information, and regularly acts for public authorities, including the Information Commissioner itself, offering advice on all aspects of data protection and freedom of information. He has an extensive track record of appearing in cutting-edge cases in forums including the Supreme Court and the CJEU.
Strengths: "He is clever and thorough, and possesses very good insight into a client’s strategic objectives." "He is an excellent advocate with wonderful judgement." "He takes a robust line when he needs to, and his knowledge of the law is exceptional."
Recent work: Acted for the Information Commissioner in the first two major GDPR penalty decisions, with proposed penalties of £183 million against British Airways and around £100 million against Marriott Hotels.
Highly proficient in public law matters with an information focus, including environmental, freedom of information and data protection cases. She draws on experience at many levels of the courts, with an affinity for representing claimants, data-controlling companies and public entities including the Information Commissioner.
Strengths: "A rising star - very competent and careful in her work." "She provides good, detailed analysis." "She is an extremely bright barrister with whom it is a real pleasure to work."
Recent work: Acted for the Information Commissioner in respect of penalty notices issued to Marriott and British Airways after large-scale data breaches.
Laura Elizabeth John
Frequently selected to represent the Information Commissioner, and accustomed to appearing as sole counsel against Queen's Counsel. Security clearance allows her to tackle sensitive matters relating to national security, including cases involving the disclosure of personal information by public authorities.
Strengths: "A fair, reasonable and courteous opponent who works hard and does a very good job for her clients."
Recent work: Acted for the Information Commissioner in a case against the Department for Transport, heard before the Court of Appeal, regarding a request for information about a meeting between Prince Charles, the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Communities and Local Government.