EU Law in London Bar
Blackstone Chambers' members are often instructed by the UK government, as well as by private claimants, in EU law-related disputes. In one European Commission enforcement case, Kieron Beal QC and Paul Luckhurst represent the UK (the latter doing the advocacy before the Court of Justice of the European Union) concerning the transshipment of aluminium through Anguilla, which the Commission argues is a violation of the "sincere cooperation" principle in Article 4(3) TEU. Thomas de la Mare QC and Jason Pobjoy represented National Iranian Tanker Company before the CJEU in its appeal concerning its subjection to sanctions by the European Union. De la Mare and Lord Keen of Elie QC – a door tenant of the set and the Advocate General for Scotland, represented the British government in the Wightman reference, in which the Luxembourg courts determined that it is permissible for the United Kingdom government withdraw its notice under Article 50 of the TEU, to halt Brexit. Lord David Pannick QC represented the claimant in MB v Secretary of State for the Home Department, which concerned the state pension entitlement of a male-to-female transsexual, who the CJEU found was entitled to retire at the lower age despite the absence of a gender recognition certificate; the claimant, who was married to a woman, under the law at the time would have required a divorce. Pushpinder Saini QC has been appointed a High Court judge.
Brick Court Chambers 'has a wide array of excellent silks and juniors' involved in many of the agenda-setting EU law cases before the UK and the European courts. In the High Court, Lord David Anderson of Ipswich KBE QC represented the landlords in Canary Wharf Group v European Medicines Agency; the latter institution, which was relocated to Amsterdam from London in March 2019 due to Brexit, argued that its lease was frustrated under English law as it no longer had the power under EU law to pay the rent. Marie Demetriou QC represented Ioan Micula in the Supreme Court in Micula and others v Romania: two brothers won an investment treaty award against the Romanian government, which the European Commission instructed the Romanians to refuse to honour, alleging that payment of the award would constitute state aid – Gerard Rothschild and Emily MacKenzie having represented the Romanian government at various junctures. In the European courts, Maya Lester QC represented the victorious claimants in Wightman – a case considering whether it is permissible for the UK to withdraw its Article 50 notice – while Jemima Stratford QC represented MSD Animal Health in a challenge to a decision of the European Medicines Authority to release its veterinary clinical trial data. Martin Chamberlain QC has been appointed to the Queen’s Bench Division.
Monckton Chambers, which has a strong bench across EU law matters (crossing over with its strength in competition law) acts for a number of private clients but is also notable for the work its members handle for the UK government. Ian Rogers QC successfully represented the government in Swedish Match's failed challenge before the CJEU of the UK's ban on the sale of snus, a smokeless tobacco product popular in Sweden but banned in the rest of the EU. Gerry Facenna QC and Anneli Howard represented two members of parliament in Wightman, and Ben Lask (unled) represented the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in the MB case concerning a male-to-female transsexual without a gender recognition certificate's entitlement to a state pension at the female age. In Motor Insurers' Bureau v Lewis, Philip Moser QC represented the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) concerning its role in compensating those injured by uninsured vehicles: in this Court of Appeal case, a suspected scrap metal thief was rammed by a farmer (who was acquitted of GBH with intent in a criminal case) in an uninsured Nissan Terrano; the claimant argued that the Motor Insurance Directive made the MIB liable despite the fact the incident occurred on a private farm.
Matrix Chambers handles a number of EU law matters, many of which cross over with its traditional public law strengths. Helen Mountfield QC represented a Latvian citizen in both the Court of Appeal and subsequently the Supreme Court in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Gubeladze; the court found the UK's 2009-11 extension of the Workers' Registration Scheme for citizens of the eight member states that joined the EU in 2004 was a disproportionate violation of EU free movement rights. Aidan O’Neill QC represented an Italian resident in R (Simonis) v Arts Council England, a judicial review of the Arts Council's refusal of an export licence for Giotto's "Madonna con Bambino", which raised issues of free movement of goods. More commercially, Nicholas Gibson is advising a Jersey company on a potential Francovich damages claim concerning the UK's application of VAT on products imported from Jersey after the termination of low-value consignment relief.