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United Kingdom > London > Public sector > Civil liberties and human rights > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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  1. Civil liberties and human rights
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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β€˜A top human rights and civil liberties firm’, Bhatt Murphy is best known for pursuing actions against the police; highlights included its representation of individuals and organisations granted core participant status in an inquiry into undercover policing. Recently promoted partner Shamik Dutta, who has β€˜an extraordinary eye for detail’, is leading on that matter. Individuals singled out in the sizeable team include Raju Bhatt, who β€˜always out-thinks opponents’; the β€˜excellent’ Carolynn Gallwey; Mark Scott, who β€˜brings a formidable intellect and rigorous work ethic to the broad range of civil liberties cases that he takes on’; Jed Pennington, who is β€˜a leading light in immigration detention work’; Jane Ryan, who β€˜leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of a positive outcome for her clients’; and the β€˜phenomenally hardworking’ Tony Murphy.

Bindmans LLP has a key role in some of the highest-profile challenges in this field, and is justifiably lauded for its police actions work, in which Jules Carey leads with β€˜flair and dynamism’. Recent work includes acting for the family of an individual who suffered catastrophic injuries allegedly caused by the police in regard to an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation. Saimo Chahal QC (Hon), who is β€˜at the top of the human rights field’, and John Halford co-head the team with Carey. Salima Budhani, Charlotte Haworth Hird (who is β€˜a real expert on inquests and public law’), Anna Thwaites, Mike Schwarz and Paul Ridge are also recommended.


GT Stewart Solicitors & Advocates

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The β€˜dedicated’ team at Deighton Pierce Glynn handles a multi-jurisdictional caseload as demonstrated by Daniel Carey’s representation of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain in lodging a complaint against the Formula One Group pertaining to the clampdown on pro-democracy movements ahead of the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix. On the domestic front, the firm is highly regarded for its actions against the police and public authorities where Jo Eggleton and Sarah Ricca (who are β€˜clever, hardworking and committed to getting results for clients’) take the lead. Other key figures include Sue Willman, who is β€˜a standout civil liberties lawyer’; Polly Glynn, who is valued for her β€˜expertise’; Joanna Thomson; Louise Whitfield; and the β€˜much admired’ Zubier Yazdani.

Leigh Day has β€˜one of the strongest human rights teams’ in the market and is regularly involved in landmark domestic and international cases, such as Sean Humber’s representation of prisoners refused voting rights. Sapna Malik and Daniel Leader have active international practices, with Malik representing a Pakistani national pursuing a claim against the Ministry of Defence alleging liability for unlawful detention and mistreatment while in US custody. Also recommended are Richard Stein and Rosa Curling, who are β€˜at the top of the tree in this field’; the β€˜intelligent and authoritative’ Alison Millar; and Benjamin Burrows.

Department head Daniel Machover at Hickman and Rose has β€˜an encyclopaedic knowledge of human rights law’. Machover and the β€˜brave and clear-thinking’ Helen Stone settled a civil claim against the Metropolitan Police for Article 2 breaches on behalf of the mother of a man fatally shot by a police marksman in 2015. Kate Maynard – who is β€˜an incredibly impressive, intelligent and dedicated lawyer’ – is representing a prisoner attacked in prison, who is now pursuing a judicial review claim pertaining to the failure to review his prison categorisation following injuries sustained in the attack.

Hodge Jones & Allen LLP’s practice is headed by Jocelyn Cockburn, who is β€˜energetic and passionate about representing her clients’ interests’, and has a strong track record advising on deaths in custody. Recent work in this area includes representing the mother of a man who died in police custody after being restrained. The firm is also acting for longstanding client Neville Lawrence in two separate matters, including advising him on his position as a core participant in a public inquiry into undercover policing. Sasha Barton is β€˜exceptionally bright and perceptive’ and Susie Labinjoh β€˜fights to the end for her clients and gets great results’.

Birnberg Peirce & Partners’ Marcia Willis Stewart has a notable inquest practice, with an extensive track record work in this area including representing the family of Mark Duggan and the families of the Hillsborough victims.

At Howard Kennedy LLP, practice head Mark Stephens CBE is β€˜pre-eminent in the field of freedom of expression’. The group regularly acts for the Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI), including representing the MLDI at the European Court of Human Rights, as a third party intervenor, in a case that found that the conviction of four journalists in Switzerland for the use of secret filming was a breach of their Article 10 rights.

Irwin Mitchell is β€˜a solid firm for civil liberties and human rights work’ with a focus on actions against the police. The β€˜organised, thoughtful and considered’ Nancy Collins’s recent highlights include acting for an individual in a claim against the police for breach of confidence and Article 8. Yogi Amin leads the team.

Clients of McCue & Partners LLP cite its β€˜willingness to undertake difficult cases’, as illustrated by the firm’s representation of the families of the victims of the Hyde Park bombings in pursuing a private prosecution against a suspected IRA bomber. Jason McCue is valued for his β€˜tenacity’ and β€˜courage’, and Matthew Jury is valued for his β€˜energy and attention to detail’. Courtenay Barklem is also recommended.

Under the leadership of β€˜outstanding’ practice heads Saul Lehrfreund MBE and Parvais Jabbar MBE, Simons Muirhead & Burton has established itself as β€˜pre-eminent in death penalty litigation’. Jabbar and Lehrfreund are founders of the Death Penalty Project.

Simpson Millar LLP’s human rights workload, which focuses on community care and education issues, forms a key part of the firm’s wider public law practice. Angela Jackman leads the team, which includes Dan Rosenberg and Oliver Studdert. Studdert acted in judicial review proceedings challenging the refusal of a place in a mother and baby unit.

Slater and Gordon’s team is acting for bereaved families following the failure to return the ashes of children under the age of one, and represents families at inquests following deaths in custody. Kim Harrison’s team includes the β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ Richard Copson.

At TV Edwards LLP, Carolyn Taylor is noted for her β€˜first-class knowledge of mental health law’.

Hind Ibrahim leads Tuckers Solicitors’ team of β€˜fighters’ that β€˜consistently produces good results for clients’. Andre Clovis secured damages for two claimants who had initiated civil proceedings for assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution against the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. Karen Rogers is β€˜prepared to ask the questions that matter’ and Frances Frost is β€˜thorough and knowledgeable on injury and quantum claims’.

At Fisher Meredith LLP, β€˜very impressive’ practice head Andrew Arthur acted for the claimant in Zenati v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and Crown Prosecution Service, which concerned breaches of Article 5 and false imprisonment following an extended period on remand.

GT Stewart Solicitors & Advocates’ civil liberties and human rights practice is closely aligned to the firm’s criminal practice, and regularly handles actions against the police. Andrew Frederick is handling a potential claim for assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Duncan Burtwell is another name to note.

Gherson attracts praise for its β€˜unparalleled experience in immigration and extradition cases’. Roger Gherson and Thomas Garner were part of an international legal team handling an extradition defence for former Georgian defence minister Davit Kezerashvili.

At Imran Khan and Partners, Imran Khan is part of a team representing Baroness Doreen Lawrence, the Blacklist Support Group and the Monitoring Group in the public inquiry into undercover policing. Sarah McSherry and Kim Vernal are other names to note.

Lester Morrill Solicitors is well known for its inquests practice, which is led by the β€˜unbelievably tenacious’ Gemma Vine. Fiona Borrill left the firm in 2015 to take up a position as an area coroner.

The β€˜tenacious’ Matthew Gold at Matthew Gold & Company Limited, solicitors is experienced in handling wrongful imprisonment claims and representing the families of domestic abuse victims.

Steel & Shamash’s Anna O’Connell is experienced in advising on mental health and housing law.

Swain & Co Solicitors is best known for its prison law practice. Key work included acting for the claimant in challenging the parole board’s policy on oral hearings for category A prisoners. Dean Kingham heads the team.

Wesley Gryk Solicitors LLP focuses on immigration, particularly for political asylum seekers. Name partner Wesley Gryk is the key contact.

Wilsons has made recent inroads into the civil liberties space but has already β€˜made a significant impression on the market in the work it has done relating to immigration detention and human trafficking’. James Elliott is β€˜excellent’ and Kay Everett is β€˜extremely diligent in her pursuit of her clients’ cases’.

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