Back to United Kingdom - The Bar

Leading Silks

James Goudie QC - 11KBWThe go-to specialist on local government law.
Helen Mountfield QC - Matrix ChambersAn incisive legal mind who is very experienced in equality law and human rights.
Peter Oldham QC - 11KBWPeter's experience and knowledge allow him to get to grips with matters very quickly and to provide pinpointed strategic advice.
Clive Sheldon QC - 11KBWRecommended for education-related matters
David Wolfe QC - Matrix ChambersHe has encyclopaedic knowledge and is a go-to person for academisation.
Nicholas Bowen QC - Doughty Street Chambers 'Good knowledge of law; thinks outside of the box; takes on difficult cases'
Catherine Callaghan QC - Blackstone Chambers BarristersCatherine is incredibly diligent, always ensuring that she knows in detail all aspects of the papers. She is exceedingly intelligent, being able to formulate a strategy for a case and to see it through.
Nigel Giffin QC - 11KBWA leading public law silk.
Jonathan Moffett QC - 11KBWExcellent silk, very client friendly.
Fenella Morris QC - 39 Essex ChambersA ferocious advocate who is hugely experienced in the education field, as well as being very experienced in public law and human rights. Has an incisive legal mind. Very easy to work with and approachable.
Fiona Scolding QC - Landmark ChambersShe is unmatched in her understanding of and ability to argue about any matter relating to children and education. Her advice is always clear, well supported and provides the client with a practical way forward.
Andrew Sharland QC - 11KBWAn education law guru. He is an exceptional advocate, a brilliant tactician, and gives pragmatic advice.
Daniel Squires QC - Matrix ChambersVery bright, adds a lot of value to a case, and has super calm manner with clients.
Ian Wise QC - Monckton ChambersHe can immediately identify the issues and is always one step ahead of his opposition.

2019 Silks

Rory Dunlop QC - 39 Essex ChambersHe is responsive, practical, and sees the big picture.

2020 Silks

Aileen McColgan QC - 11KBWA highly accomplished barrister with an impressive performance in both written advice and advocacy skills.

2021 Silks

Jonathan Auburn QC - 11KBWIncredible attention to detail and can pick up on key nuances in the law and explain in a straightforward and simplistic manner.
Sarah Hannett QC - Matrix ChambersA real heavyweight lawyer in the field of education law. Great to work with and she adds a lot of value to court and tribunal preparation.
Mathew Purchase QC - Matrix ChambersVery intelligent, sympathetic and approachable.

Leading Juniors

Tom Cross - 11KBWAn extremely good barrister, his knowledge of education law is encyclopaedic. Tom’s manner and approach is always clear, commanding and convincing; he has a very calming manner.
Paul Greatorex - 11KBWA clever advocate; he leaves no stone unturned in his cross-examination of witnesses.
David Lawson - Serjeants' Inn ChambersA powerhouse in the area of education law.
Nick Armstrong - Matrix ChambersExcellent, responsive and creative with the law; communicate well with clients and outcome focused.
Joanne Clement - 11KBWShe is excellent for education work.
Claire Darwin - Matrix ChambersGreat to work with: she's very thorough, pro-active, approachable and clear. She understands the education sector and the differing approaches and objectives of clients. Insightful, sharp and responsive.
Shazia Akhtar - HardwickeAn extremely good advocate – she throws everything at a case.
Jack Anderson - 39 Essex ChambersGood on technical detail and has lots of experience in the education arena. Advocacy is good and copes well under pressure from judges.
John Friel - 3PBHe is an expert in SEN and has deep knowledge of procedure.
Charlotte Hadfield - 3PBHer vast knowledge of education law is invaluable. She is excellent in tribunal appeals, thinking quickly on her feet and her advices are really detailed.
Jane Oldham - 11KBWJane has a particular focus on education clients which was one of the reasons for instructing her. We were impressed with attention to detail and quick grasp of facts. Very user friendly.
Louise Price - Doughty Street Chambers 'Her attention to detail is second to none. Louise is articulate, fair, and will really fight for her client.'
Galina Ward - Landmark ChambersGives very practical advice and has a quick turnaround.
Jennifer Agyekum - 3PBConscientious and excellent at managing difficult clients. Jennifer prepares well and understands the sensitivities of the case. She engages well with the clients and is confident when dealing with her opponent in a constructive way.
Thomas Amraoui - 39 Essex ChambersHe is able to put clients at ease and explain in clear terms what to expect in a tribunal setting. His analytical skills and his drafting skills are very strong.
Katherine Anderson - 3PBHighly intelligent, thorough in her work and is a tenacious barrister.
Katherine Apps - 39 Essex ChambersKatherine is very intelligent and extremely committed to the interests of her lay and professional clients. She has a first-rate grasp of EU law especially in employment but also a wider ambit.
Talia Barsam - DevereuxAn excellent advocate: professional and direct while also being supportive
Stephen Broach - 39 Essex ChambersInnovative, imaginative and bold. Incredibly committed and knowledgeable when it comes to disabled children’s rights.
Raj Desai - Matrix ChambersAn impressive lawyer who has excellent attention to detail and knowledge, superb written work.
Laith Dilaimi - Old Square ChambersLaith is a fountain of knowledge on education law and in particular on matters related to discrimination in that sector. A great advocate and certainly a barrister you want for you, not against.
Katherine Eddy - 11KBWA real joy to instruct and is extremely knowledgeable in the areas and crossover between employment and education law. A real barrister to watch.
Aimee Fox - 3PBEfficient, thorough, analytical and persuasive. Absorbs information quickly and clearly sets out the options and risks. Very good advocate in court and tribunals. Well-prepared and presents very well both in terms of oral advocacy and documents drafted. Able to deal with complex issues including judicial reviews.
Leon Glenister - Landmark ChambersThinks dynamically and practically about cases, and is very much a safe pair of hands.
Harini Iyengar - 11KBWHarini is very calm under pressure and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Very quick to grasp both the legal issues and commercial realities.
Alexander Line - Outer Temple ChambersVery clever with a first-class grasp of the law relating to SEN.
Shu Shin Luh - Doughty Street Chambers ‘Hard-working, motivated, and her drafting and advocacy is very good.
Gráinne Mellon - Garden Court ChambersClever, practical and determined. Has a gentle manner which puts parents at ease but there is no doubt that she is a steely opponent.
Emma Sutton - Serjeants' Inn ChambersA go-to lawyer for thorny issues.
Jennifer Thelen - 39 Essex ChambersShe raises the important issues and is not deterred by persistent and aggressive opposition. She will fight her corner to the end and deliberates matters effectively in front of the judiciary.
Emma Waldron - 3PBEmma is an excellent advocate, very tenacious and has a high level of mental fortitude. She is passionate about the work she does and instils confidence in clients, even those who are anxious and vulnerable.

Rising Stars

Katherine Barnes - 39 Essex ChambersKatherine is an excellent barrister and a pleasure to work with. She is dedicated and works hard. She is responsive, insightful, and you can trust her to get the best possible results.
Alice de Coverley - 3PBVery knowledgeable in her field, has excellent communication skills and is an all round great advocate.

Education in London Bar


11KBW retains its position as the 'leading set in education law and provides the best service' with members described as 'simply exceptional.' Recent instructions for the set include Peter Oldham QC acting in R (D) v Leicestershire County Council for the defendant on a discrimination claim regarding the council's transport policy on grounds of disability and age, as well as acting for a further education college challenging an Ofsted report. Tom Cross is acting for the claimant (as instructed by the Safe School Alliance) in a judicial review in R (Edwards) v Oxfordshire County Council and others challenging the council's response surrounding the balance between trans rights in schools and female-only safe spaces.

Matrix Chambers

Matrix Chambers has a 'stellar range of exceptional and experienced juniors and top-level silks' acting for a range of clients, particularly further education and higher education institutions. Helen Mountfield QC is the key member of the education practice and is representing claimant Ebenezer Azamati against the Oxford Union Society in a highly publicized matter pertaining to racial and disability discrimination as well as assault. Sarah Hannett was instructed by Ofsted in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, while David Wolfe QC represents the Independent Schools Inspectorate in the same inquiry.

39 Essex Chambers

At 39 Essex Chambers, the set has 'strength in depth from junior to QC level' and 'boasts a number of genuine education specialists'  who have expertise handling discrimination claims, judicial reviews, and human rights-related matters. Head of the education group, Fenella Morris QC is acting for the claimants in R (AA) v LB Tower Hamlets challenging the council's decision to close Raine's School. Jennifer Thelen is acting for the defendant in Rabia Girls School v Secretary of State for Education around the de-registering of the school against independent school standards as well as issues around gender segregation in faith schools.


3PB is an 'excellent set with strength-in-depth' in the education field with members described as 'approachable and committed'. Recent instructions include Aimee Fox successfully defending Wolverhampton City Council in a judicial review matter against allegations that it failed in its duty under section 19(1) of the Education Act 1996, to provide education services to the claimant. Other highlights include Emma Waldron successfully acting for Queen Mary, University of London in a discrimination claim.