The Legal 500

Doughty Street Chambers

Work 020 7404 1313
Fax 020 7404 2283
Manchester, London, Bristol

London Bar

Within Administrative and public law (including local government), Doughty Street Chambers is a third tier set,

Doughty Street Chambers impresses with its ‘breadth of knowledge', and for its barristers’ ‘fresh and bold approach to litigation'. The set has a strong reputation for human rights and civil liberties related matters.

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Within Civil liberties and human rights (including public inquiry law and actions against the police), Doughty Street Chambers is a first tier set,

Doughty Street Chambers is praised for its ‘depth and range of expertise', and fields ‘intelligent barristers who are committed to representing claimants and vulnerable individuals, with an eye on the wider public interest'. Adam Straw and Jude Bunting joined from the recently dissolved Tooks Chambers, and Kate Markus QC was appointed as a Judge of the Upper Tribunal in May 2014.

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Within Clinical negligence, tier 4

Doughty Street Chambers houses ‘approachable' barristers, who are ‘prepared to push boundaries to achieve the best results for their clients'.

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Within Crime, Doughty Street Chambers is a second tier set,

Doughty Street Chambers is an ‘extremely strong set with experienced and able advocates at all levels'. Recent cases include numerous high-profile murders, and major terrorist trials.

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Within Defamation and privacy, Doughty Street Chambers is a third tier set,

Doughty Street Chambers has appeared in a number of well-publicised cases such as Cruddas v Calvert, Blake and Times Newspapers, and Hunt v Times Newspapers. Three practitioners recently left for Matrix Chambers.

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Within Education, Doughty Street Chambers is a third tier set,

Doughty Street Chambers has ‘developed a real team of specialists' in education and community care matters. Nicholas Bowen QC successfully acted for a professor being sued by a mature law student whom he had a relationship with.

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Within Employment Employment - Leading silks

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Within Fraud: crime (including money laundering and asset forfeiture) Fraud: crime (including money laundering and asset forfeiture) - Leading silks

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Within Immigration (including business immigration), Doughty Street Chambers is a second tier set,

The individuals at Doughty Street Chambers are ‘extremely professional and will always go the extra mile to ensure instructing solicitors are happy'. ‘It is a set where people come first.' Chambers handles all aspects of asylum, human rights, EU, family, student and nationality applications, as well as unlawful detention. Practitioners are also experienced in business, commercial and employment migration.

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Within Media and entertainment Media and entertainment - Leading silks

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Within Personal injury Personal injury - Leading juniors

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Within Product liability, Doughty Street Chambers is a third tier set,

Doughty Street Chambers is ‘a go-to set for claimant product liability work', and is ‘particularly expert in metal-on-metal hip litigation'. Numerous members are also acting in the PIP breast implants litigation.

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Within Professional discipline and regulatory law (including police law) Professional discipline and regulatory law (including police law) - Leading juniors

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Within Property litigation Property litigation - Leading juniors

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Within Set overviews: England and Wales,

Doughty Street Chambers is best known for public and criminal law. For some, it is ‘the best set for social welfare disputes', and others say ‘it has emerged as one of the largest and most talent-heavy criminal law sets with barristers who can cover the entire range of criminal cases'. Members are ‘dedicated, highly intelligent, and show a good understanding of their clients ’ businesses', and are also rated for their expertise in other practice areas such as clinical negligence, product liability, defamation and privacy. The ‘helpful, personable and well-organised' clerks are ‘a joy to liaise with'; ‘they always ensure that counsel can assist at short notice'. In particular, civil clerks Paul Friend and Richard Bayliss are both ‘very approachable and always willing to assist', and senior criminal clerk Graham Briggs is ‘an excellent communicator'. Robin Jackson is the chief executive. Offices in: London, Manchester, Bristol

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Within Social housing, Doughty Street Chambers is a second tier set,

Housing and public law set Doughty Street Chambers‘strong advocates' predominantly represent tenants, in cases that ‘push boundaries'. Martin Westgate QC appeared in R (MA and others) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, challenging the ‘bedroom tax’ on disability discrimination grounds. Westgate is leading Jim Shepherd in Peel Investments v Persons Unknown - the first application of article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1988 to private landlords. Lindsay Johnson represented the persons unknown. David Carter is acting in Supreme Court case Samin v Westminster CC, challenging the ‘right to reside’ test in homelessness cases. Tracey Bloom joined the judiciary.

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Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

  • Behind the corporate veil: is that all there is?

    That companies have an existence entirely separate to that of their shareholders and directors is a foundational principle of English law and commerce.

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?

  • New Immigration Bill, October 2013: cause for concern or appeasing public sentiment?

    The year 2013 has seen a string of reforms to the immigration system by the current coalition government. On 10 October, the government published a Bill aimed at continuing its drive to reduce net migration figures. 

  • New Schengen EU Regulations: impact on short-stay visa visitors

    The publication on 26 June 2013 of the European Union Regulation EU 610/2013 modified the incumbent Regulation EU 562/2006 in relation to third country nationals (ie non-EU citizens) and those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. Exceptions include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area together with foreign nationals holding either long-stay or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces
  • Silence is not always golden

    In PGF II SA v OMFS Company 1 Ltd [2013], the Court of Appeal considered, for the first time, whether a failure by a party to respond to an invitation to mediate should be treated as an unreasonable refusal to mediate - previous cases having focused on situations where there had been an express refusal to do so. 

  • Continued uncertainty for international manufacturers in the US

    For manufacturers that export, a key strategic issue for in-house counsel is assessing the risk of being sued in another jurisdiction - particularly the US. 

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.