Civil Liberties & Human Rights - London (Bar)
Doughty Street Chambers is held in the highest regard due to the quality of representation it offers to claimants in the most challenging and politically sensitive human rights matters. Its accomplished members are equipped to handle, with an unusual level of distinction, cases in the fields of healthcare, crime, extradition, prisoners' rights, immigration, social welfare, discrimination, employment and police misconduct. They also demonstrate considerable expertise in cases concerning financial crime.
Client service: "The clerking there is great. The team will always find the right person for the job."
Edward Fitzgerald QC
Enjoys a phenomenal reputation due to the expertise, experience and acuity he brings to a variety of human rights matters. He is a recognised authority on cases concerning immigration, extradition and international law.
Expertise: "One of those rare people who can make an argument sound like the only reasonable position, and one of the best advocates I have ever come across." "Fantastic in so many ways. He is always outstanding."
Recent work: Successfully represented Abu Qatada in a challenge to the Home Secretary's decision to order his deportation to Jordan.
Heather Williams QC
Commands considerable admiration for her handling of human rights matters concerning discrimination and the powers of the police. She is also proficient in cases involving prison law and employment.
Expertise: "She is excellent with clients and great on her feet." "She has so much expertise and adds massive amounts of value. She is incredibly impressive."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in a case concerning undercover police officers. The claims were brought on the grounds that the officers had posed as fellow activists in order to form close and sexual relationships with the claimants, thereby breaching several articles of the ECHR.
Paul Bowen QC
Specialises in human rights matters involving deaths in custody, mental health, disability and community care. He is a recognised authority on the Mental Heath Act 2007.
Expertise: "He is not afraid to address issues that may look unpromising. He really has a very good feel for his areas of law."
Recent work: Acted for several NGOs in a case addressing whether psychiatric hospitals have a duty to take steps to protect patients from risk of self-inflicted death.
Judith Farbey QC
Focuses on human rights matters relating to nationality, immigration and asylum. She also handles cases involving prisoners who have been sentenced to death.
Expertise: "She is extremely thorough and exceptionally clever."
Recent work: Acted for the National Union of Students in a case concerning the interests of students subsequent to London Metropolitan University's loss of its Tier 4 sponsor licence.
Martin Westgate QC
Handles a wide range of human rights matters, including those concerning the right to life, free speech, freedom from arbitrary detention, and rights to property. He is experienced in cases involving international law.
Expertise: "He has great attention to detail and is a very solid advocate."
Geoffrey Robertson QC
Handles a diverse range of human rights matters. His areas of expertise include torture, freedom of information and immigration.
Expertise: "A phenomenal man. He is prepared to stick his neck out." "A luminary of the Bar."
Recent work: Acted for the Equality & Human Rights Commission in a test case to determine the meaning of the right to dignity under the Lisbon Treaty.
Stephen Cragg QC
Handles human rights matters arising in the areas of public law and criminal justice. He is renowned for his expertise in prison law and actions against the police.
Expertise: "He is very good with clients, great with detail, and great on the law." "He is very authoritative and just has a wealth of experience. You can have real confidence in him."
Recent work: Acted successfully against the Metropolitan Police in a case challenging the legality of its policy of retaining suspects' DNA samples and fingerprints.
Kate Markus QC
Instructed in civil liberties matters arising in the field of public law. She demonstrates particular expertise in cases concerning control orders, national security, mental health, terrorism and deportation.
Expertise: "She is intimidatingly bright and provides the most comprehensive advice." "She is extremely talented, very dedicated, and always very clever and forward thinking with the advice she gives."
Recent work: Acted in a judicial review concerning the state's policy of imposing a levy on the earnings of prisoners.
Frequently handles human rights-related judicial reviews. Her areas of expertise include national security, prison law and trafficking.
Expertise: "Exceptionally thorough and very committed. Her work is extraordinarily good." "She is really committed to clients and very approachable."
Recent work: Represented a mother and her two disabled children in a challenge to the London Borough of Lambeth's eligibility criteria for access to children's services.
Specialises in human rights matters involving prison law, mental health and public law. She also handles actions against the police.
Expertise: "She conducts her advocacy in a skilled and thoughtful way, and it is based on a high level of preparation and a real engagement with the case and the clients."
Acts on behalf of claimants in human rights matters involving discrimination, detention and vulnerable members of society. He regularly appears for bereaved families in high-profile inquests, and is regarded as an authority on coronial law.
Expertise: "He is coveted by solicitors, and he deserves it. He will always come up with creative and brilliant solutions to whatever problems you throw at him. He is the complete package." One rival barrister commented: "I would be proud to have him at my chambers, and I would be happy to have him as a junior on any case. He is just amazing."
Recent work: Successfully represented an immigration detainee who had been handcuffed in order to transport him to hospital, and was refused the right to privacy during his visit. It was argued that the detainee's right not to be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment had been violated.
Focuses on human rights matters involving discrimination, actions against the police, and actions against the prison service. She is particularly experienced in handling cases concerning deaths in custody.
Expertise: "She has incredibly detailed legal knowledge. She is impressive in court and very impressive in writing." "She is excellent: bright, meticulous and approachable."
Recent work: Successfully represented a homosexual couple who were denied accommodation in a bed and breakfast establishment by its Christian owner.
Specialises in the human rights aspects of cases in the field of prison law. He offers additional expertise in the fields of criminal justice, terrorism and actions against police.
Expertise: "He is very conscientious and very enthusiastic. The advice he provides is brilliant." "He offers very good legal analysis and is very impressive on his feet."
Recent work: Acted in R (Richardson and others) v Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, a leading Divisional Court authority on the correct interpretation of the offence of aggravated trespass.
Handles a variety of human rights matters, including actions against the police and criminal appeals. She has particular expertise in cases involving prisoners' rights.
Expertise: "Extremely bright and innovative, and also someone with fantastic attention to detail." "Incredibly hard-working, she gets very good results, and has very good judgement."
Recent work: Acted in a judicial review of the process employed by the Metropolitan Police for retaining and issuing harassment warning notices.
Has established a human rights practice characterised by an interest in cases involving immigration and trafficking. She is also proficient in matters relating to the obligations of the state, prisoners' rights and national security.
Expertise: "She is incredibly committed and a clear thinker." "She is very able - a very bright and committed woman."
Recent work: Acted successfully for the claimant in a case concerning the mistreatment of a black prisoner while in a UK police custody suite.
Maintains a civil liberties practice that covers actions against public authorities, prison law challenges, and claims arising from false imprisonment. She is an authority on cases concerning immigration law.
Expertise: "She is one of the most intelligent and hard-working lawyers I have come across."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in a challenge to the Ministry of Justice's policy on Home Detention Curfews for prisoners.
Focuses on human rights matters arising in the fields of mental capacity and mental health. She also handles damages claims relating to the removal of children from their families by local authorities.
Recent work: Acted in a case concerning a mentally ill prisoner who had been detained without access to psychiatric care.
Specialises in the human rights aspects of cases involving immigration, unlawful detention, prison law and welfare. She is an authority on the law relating to arrest and detention.
Expertise: "She is charming to work with and has good judgement." "She is really thorough, offers very detailed written advice, and is very approachable and happy to talk through cases informally."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of a Somali national in an unlawful detention claim. The claimant had been detained for over a year while attempts were made to deport him to Somalia.
Offers advice and representation in connection with human rights challenges against a variety of public authorities. His areas of expertise include prison law, actions against the police, and children's rights.
Expertise: "Very thorough and very conscientious."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in a civil action against the British government relating to the abuse and torture that was inflicted in Kenya in the 1950s during the Mau Mau rebellion.
Since publication, Paul Bowen has joined Brick Court Chambers