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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Public sector > Civil liberties and human rights > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Civil liberties and human rights
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Bhatt Murphy is ‘at the top of the tree for civil liberties and human rights matters’. Carolynn Gallwey acted for an individual in proceedings against the IPCC for failure to conduct a prompt and proper investigation into the assault of a heavily pregnant lady in a police cell. She has also successfully represented a Juan Gilly and secured damages from Staffordshire police in settlement of a civil claim for misfeasance in a public office, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Raju Bhatt is ‘a brilliant lawyer and a pleasure to work with’. Tony Murphy is ‘extremely conscientious, hardworking and a master strategist’. Other names to note include Jane Ryan, who secured substantial damages for her client from Avon and Somerset constabulary for discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment; and Janet Farrell, who acted for Humanists UK in the Supreme Court in a challenge to the policy refusing to provide abortion services on the NHS to Northern Irish women forced to travel to England. Megan Phillips is now a partner. Mark Scott has an extensive track record handling private and public law claims against the police, Home Office, Ministry of Justice and Security Services.

Bindmans LLP  is well-known for its involvement in human rights cases both in the UK and internationally. The practice's diverse caseload covers immigration, actions against the police, and housing among other matters. ‘Adept negotiator’ Jules Carey is acting for over 180 participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry alongside  Anna Thwaites , who joined Bindmans in 2015, with the firm representing bereaved survivors . John Halford  and Liz Barratt  are advising NGO Here For Good on EU and discrimination law issues as they affect European nationals planning to live in the UK post-Brexit. The ‘highly intelligent and extremely efficient’ Charlotte Haworth Hird focuses on death in custody cases and has acted in a number of high-profile inquests including the deaths of Jereon Ensink, Janet Muller and Melissa Mathieson. Salima Budhani  is ‘an incisive claimant lawyer who is utterly committed to her clients’ and is ‘skilled at highlighting illegality in public body decision-making’.


GT Stewart Solicitors & Advocates

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The ‘superb’ Deighton Pierce Glynn has an extensive track record in civil liberties and human rights work. In an illustration of its high-profile workload, the practice is acting in the Supreme Court case concerning the prohibition of abortion in Northern Ireland. Adam Hundt   is an ‘enterprising, engaging and excellent partner’ who ‘does amazing work’; he was involved in the legal campaign demanding that the NHS fund the HIV prevention drug PreP.  Other names to note include the ‘hardworking and inventive’ Daniel Carey  and the ‘tough and highly experienced’ Sue Willman .

Leigh Day 's areas of expertise include matters involving immigration, international human rights, prison law, welfare reform, actions against the police, and data protection law. The 15-lawyer team is ‘knowledgeable on the law and closely engaged in the issues’. 'Determined' partner Sean Humber successfully acted for over 30 patients of an HIV clinic whose names were mistakenly disclosed to 780 other patients, and is acting for three Muslim prisoners in religious discrimination claims.  Yvonne Kestler ‘fights exceptionally hard’ for her clients. The 'outstanding' Rosa Curling  has led many groundbreaking human rights cases before the UK’s High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court as well as the European Court of Human Rights and the African Regional Courts of Human Rights. Other names to note include Jamie Beagent  and Benjamin Burrows

The lawyers at Hickman & Rose are hardworking, reliable and committed to their clients’. The ‘experienced, imaginative and tireless’ Daniel Machover  and ‘knowledgeable’ Eva Whittall are representing eight survivors or bereaved of the Grenfell Tower fire. Eva Whittall has been involved in several high-profile cases including the death in custody cases of Robert Richards at HMP Wandsworth and Kirsty Walker at HMP Bronzefield. Kate Maynard  and Stefano Ruis  are praised for their ‘phenomenal judgement’.

Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors has a reputation for handling challenges involving the police force, the Prison Service, the Ministry of Defence, coroners, immigration detention centres and the Crown Prosecution Service. The ‘pragmatic’ Susie Labinjoh  ‘truly cares about achieving the best for her clients’ and ‘intelligent’ Alice Hardy  ‘brings cool and calm professionalism to claims that might leave other practitioners agitated’. The practice is acting for 40 former residents of the Grenfell Tower. Other names to note include Nancy Collins , Cormac McDonough , Jocelyn Cockburn  and Sasha Barton.

Key figures at Howard Kennedy LLP include the ‘highly responsive’ Mark Stephens CBE  and Elizabeth Morley . The practice has an extensive track record handling cases in the Supreme Court, the Privy Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Clients include Human Rights Watch and the Media Legal Defence Initiative, as well as corporate clients, for which the practice advises on a full range of human rights issues, including compliance and non-financial reporting. Other areas of expertise include free speech and privacy matters, where the practice is able to leverage the firm's media capability; and assisting vulnerable clients with judicial review cases.

Irwin Mitchell handles a range of human rights issues in the health and social care, education, prison and police sectors. Fiona McGhie is pursuing a civil claim against the police for a breach of its investigative duties. Gus Silverman  and Yogi Amin handle detention cases, actions against the police and right to die cases.

Simons Muirhead & Burton has an extensive track record in death penalty cases, as illustrated by its role as founder and long-term supporters of the Death Penalty Project, an international human rights organisation which provides free legal representation and advice to individuals who face the death penalty in over 30 countries around the world. The firm has successfully challenged the mandatory death penalty for anyone convicted of murder in Kenya and is actively involved in international delegations looking into death penalty reform in other countries around the globe. Co-executive directors of the team are ‘dedicated and inspiring’ Parvais Jabbar MBE  and ‘exceptionally efficient and thorough’ Saul Lehrfreund.

Tuckers Solicitors' civil liberties work encompasses prison law, inquests, data protection, freedom of assembly, anti-terrorism and actions against the police. Partner Hind Ibrahim  is a ‘tour de force who can approach any difficult case, find a solution and push it through’. She successfully represented the family of Habib Ullah who died after being detained and forcefully restrained by police officers in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Zareena Mustafa  and Elaine MacDonald have brought several successful claims against prisons for breaches of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and against the police for wrongful arrests without foundation.

Led by senior partner Martin Howe, Howe + Co Solicitors represents high-profile clients in civil liberties and human rights cases. It is acting for a group of individuals in the Grenfell Inquiry, and is advising another group in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. David Enright  is leading the team in the latter case and has been involved in numerous immigration public law challenges. The ‘fearless’ Adam Tear  handles actions against the police and regularly appears in the Court of Appeal, High Court and Upper Tribunal in respect to judicial reviews relating to immigration.

The lawyers at ITN Solicitors  ‘have a good understanding of the legal issues’ and ‘provide good tactical advice’. The ‘excellent’ Ravi Naik  has a strong track record including successfully challenging the Home Office’s systematic and routine use of curfews on immigration detainees and challenging the decision to refuse a journalist accreditation to a Labour Party conference. Lochlinn Parker is acting for a convicted terrorist seeking lifelong anonymity. Simon Natas represents a number of people who have been victims of abuse or who have acted as whistleblowers. William Kenyon joined the team.

Founded by Jason McCue , McCue & Partners LLP handles a range of international human rights cases including representing victims of terrorism, state action, negligence and corporate malfeasance. It also acts for governments and international bodies on conflict resolution, humanitarian aid and legal reform issues. The firm has represented political prisoners around the world. Matthew Jury  is ‘highly recommended’ for his ‘ability to manage complex cross-border litigation’.

Saunders Law is ‘very good at inquest and actions against the police’. The firm is acting for over 220 clients in civil proceedings for misfeasance against the South Yorkshire and West Midlands Police arising out of the Hillsborough stadium disaster. Nia Williams is a 'skilled strategist' who ‘works incredibly hard to try to get justice for all her clients’. Ceri Lloyd-Hughes  is noted for her work in public law proceedings involving the police, prisons and the Home Office. Ellie Cornish  joined from Fisher Meredith.

Simpson Millar LLP's wide-ranging workload encompasses a range of social welfare issues, from education to Court of Protection and administrative and public law matters. Dan Rosenberg  is ‘a very capable litigator’ and acts for young children and vulnerable people in issues concerning public welfare support. Angela Jackman  specialises in deprivation of liberty cases. Other names to note include the ‘knowledgeable’ Oliver Studdert  and Victoria Pogge von Strandman, who were both on the steering group of the Every Child in Need campaign challenging government proposals to change the way in which social services assess and provide support to children in need.

Slater and Gordon stands out for its expertise in handling a range of human rights cases including medical law, child abuse, inquests, public law, community care and disability discrimination. Zak Golombeck represented Jakki Smith and successfully challenged the law in relation to partners' eligibility to receive bereavement damages. Sarah Jones handles clinical negligence work including cases involving psychiatric harm and secondary victims. Kim Harrison acts for families in Article 2 inquests and ‘failure to remove’ actions against local authorities. Richard Scorer is head of abuse law at the firm and top name in the field. Liz Perry left the firm.

The ‘excellent’ practice at Birnberg Peirce & Partners represents individuals who have been victims of a range of human rights abuses. Cases include actions against the police and other state bodies such as Social Services and the Crown Prosecution Service. The practice also handles criminal defence, inquests and immigration cases.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors is ‘one of the leading firms in the field of immigration’ and has achieved success in several Supreme Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Upper Tribunal cases. Naim Hasani no longer with Duncan Lewis Solicitors) was successful in preventing the deportation of two Albanian nationals who had claimed asylum under false pretences.‘Exceptional’ partner Toufique Hossain and Lewis Kett acted in a successful challenge involving discriminatory practices in immigration detention centres. Other names to note include Zofia Duszynska, who is commended for her ‘wealth of experience in test case litigation’, and Jamie Bell, who acts for unaccompanied refugee children in their applications to come to the United Kingdom.

Farleys Solicitors LLP ‘has an excellent reputation nationally’. It is heavily involved in the public inquiry into the police shooting of Anthony Grainger, amongst other high-profile cases. Jonathan Bridge  is ‘highly experienced in inquests’ and ‘uses his vast knowledge to the advantage of his clients’. Kelly Darlington  represents the father of Poppi Worthington in the second inquest into her death. Kelly is commended for her ‘excellent client-care skills’, ‘her sharp eye for detail’ and ‘her strategic approach to cases’.

Gherson handles complex human rights, immigration and asylum cases both in the UK and internationally. Roger Gherson has successfully acted for several clients in respect to immigration appeals. Charles Burnett  is another name to note.

GT Stewart Limited has a legal aid practice that handles criminal defence work and is praised for being ‘very hands-on in protecting its clients’ interests’. Andrew Frederick  represents clients in civil claims against the police. Lisa Verro left the firm.

Howells undertakes a broad range of civil liberties cases including actions against the police, judicial reviews, prisoner’s rights, immigration, inquests and deaths in custody. The team successfully pursued a challenge in the Supreme Court to the system of disclosure of all cautions and convictions, leading to a change in the law. Nadeem Ahmed  heads the immigration law team and has acted in a number of cases preventing the deportation of several clients. Head of Department Peter Mahy acted in a landmark case before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights which found the UK’s policy of retaining the DNA of suspects of the unconvicted population was a breach of Article 8. Catrionna Kennaway left the firm.

Matthew Gold & Company Limited, solicitors acts for claimants in judicial law reviews against state bodies and handles civil claims for damages against police forces. Matthew Gold  is commended for being a ‘hardworking, composed and dedicated advocate’ and was the lead partner handling the judicial review challenging the refusal of the Home Office to hold a public inquiry into the collapse of a case where eight police offices had been charged with perverting the course of justice. He also has experience in inquests, abuse claims and data protection cases. Other names to note include ‘terrific solicitor’ Maria O’Connell  and ‘deeply knowledgeable’ Clare Jennings  who was promoted to Director. Harpreet Aujla was promoted to associate solicitor. Rachel Etheridge  and Maya Lal  joined the team.

Minton Morrill is a ‘well-regarded firm’ that regularly handles inquests and actions against the police and other public authorities. Gemma Vine heads the team and is ‘particularly strong in inquests involving the state’, is ‘committed to her clients’ and is ‘willing to go the extra mile to obtain justice for those she represents’. She has acted for several families in death in custody cases and represented the family of Pippa McManus who died after stepping in front of a train whilst on leave from the Priory Hospital Altrincham.

Swain & Co Solicitors specialize in prison law. ‘Personable’ Dean Kingham  ‘possesses a clear grasp of the issues’. The team takes on cases ranging from securing parole for prisoners to appealing convictions and acts for Mr Warboys defending the decision of the parole board to release him. The firm also assisted in re-establishing a law centre where weekly drop-in advice sessions on human rights and prison law are offered to individuals. Others to note include Simon Green , Sarah Blake  and Jemma Atkinson .

Wilson Solicitors LLP represents individuals who have been adversely affected by the decisions of public bodies. James Elliott  specialises in obtaining judicial reviews and injunctions for people facing removal or are in immigration detention. Other names to note are Nina Rathbone-Pullen  who is noted for her ‘real technical expertise’; Katy Robinson, who is a ‘thorough and excellent tactician’ and Jennine Walker who is ‘extremely thorough and determined’.

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