Our Expertise

Public Law & Human Rights

4 New Square enjoy a leading reputation at the public law and human rights bar, with members regularly involved in some of the most significant cases being heard by the Administrative Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

Our members include members of the Treasury Panels and of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel. In addition to government departments, clients regularly include local authorities and other public bodies, as well as individuals, NGOs and companies challenging executive action.

Examples of recent public law and human rights work include:

  • A member of chambers acting as Counsel to the Inquest in the Fishmongers’ Hall and Westminster Bridge Inquests
  • Members of chambers acting for insurers in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
  • Members of chambers acting in an application before the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) challenging the scope of GCHQ interception and use of communications under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
  • Members of chambers acting for interveners in an ECtHR challenge to the adequacy of an investigation into the use of lethal force by German armed forces in Afghanistan
  • A member of chambers acting for the UK Government defending a challenge before the ECtHR to GCHQ’s use of computer hacking
  • Members of chambers acting in a challenge in the ECtHR to the Turkish Government’s ban of Wikipedia
  • A member of chambers acting for the National Crime Agency in the Undercover Policing Inquiry
  • A member of chambers acting for the UK Government in a challenge in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal to intelligence agencies’ use of bulk personal data and bulk communications data

Other leading public law and human rights work includes:

  • Members of chambers acting as lead and junior counsel to the inquiry in the Inquests into the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster.
  • Members of chambers acting in the Court of Appeal in proceedings challenging the decision to detain and to seize journalistic material from David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000.
  • Members of chambers acting for a major European bank in a $74 million A1P1 claim before the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Members of chambers representing a number of UK Government departments against allegations of complicity in unlawful rendition and detention in Libya and Saudi Arabia.
  • Members of chambers acting in proceedings before the Court of Appeal in a £200 million damages claim against a UK government department brought under the Human Rights Act.
  • A landmark decision from the Court of Appeal in relation to the first ever successful judicial review of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Members of chambers have appeared in a number of high-profile inquiries and inquests, acting as counsel to the inquiry and as counsel for interested parties. In addition to those mentioned above, these have included: the Bloody Sunday Inquiry; the Billy Wright Murder Inquiry; the de Menezes Inquest; the Potters Bar Inquest; the Porton Down (nerve agent experiments) Inquest; and the Neale Inquiry.

A number of members of chambers are recognised as leaders in their field in both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Contact our Clerks’ Room

Contact clerks

Public Law & Human Rights Barristers

Jonathan Hough KC

Call: 1997 Silk: 2014

Justin Fenwick KC

Call: 1980 Silk: 1993

Patrick Lawrence KC

Call: 1985 Silk: 2002

David Turner KC

Call: 1992 Silk: 2009

Paul Nicholls KC

Call: 1992 Silk: 2012

Alison Padfield KC

Call: 1992 Silk: 2018

Daniel Saoul KC

Call: 2008 Silk: 2019

Richard O’Brien

Call: 2005

Lucy Colter

Call: 2008

Lionel Nichols

Lionel Nichols, FCIArb

Call: 2008 (Australia); 2013 (England & Wales)

Jonathan Worboys

Call: 2010

Anthony Jones

Call: 2011

Paul Fisher

Call: 2012

Mark Cullen

Call: 2013

Diarmuid Laffan

Call: 2014

Seohyung Kim

Call: 2016

Dr Benjamin Archer

Call: 2017

Hannah Daly

Call: 2017

Ian McDonald

Call: 2017

John Williams

Call: 2017

If you would like to know more or have a question please talk to our clerks

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