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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

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Civil liberties and human rights
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Bhatt Murphy is noted for its niche practice in immigration, actions against the police and state accountability. 'Leaders in this field without question', the team also acts in high-profile public inquiries and inquests, solely representing claimants. Raju Bhatt is singled out for his 'marvellous work’ on death in custody matters, as is Tony Murphy, who represents the families of those who have been abused by the police. Among the other core members of the team are Shamik Dutta, Mark Scott and Miri Weingarten, who are acting for families in the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire; Carolynn Gallwey, who has particular expertise in inquests into restraint-related deaths; and newly promoted partners Jane Ryan and Janet Farrell.

Practice head(s):Tony Murphy, Raju Bhatt, Shamik Dutta; Hamish Arnott; Simon Creighton; Jed Pennington

Other key lawyers:Miri Weingarten; Chanel Dolcy; Janet Farrell; Jane Ryan; Carolynn Gallwey

Testimonials

'Bhatt Murphy have a strategic brilliance; commitment to clients; and knowledge and experience in the relevant legal areas.'

'Bhatt Murphy is an excellent firm with straight A lawyers.'

Work highlights

  • Represented a vulnerable 17-year-old child migrant in a successful application for him to be reunited with an aunt in the UK.
  • Acting for Friends of the Earth and Joe Corré in challenges to injunctions sought to prevent protests against fracking.
  • Acted for civil rights campaigner Stafford Scott in his claim against the Metropolitan Police for damages for assault and battery, false imprisonment, and breaches of the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • Acted for 94-year-old peaceful protestor John Catt in his European Court challenge to the police “domestic extremism” database.
  • Represented Humanists UK in a Supreme Court intervention concerning the prohibition of abortion in Northern Ireland.

Bindmans LLP is renowned for its human rights work, both internationally and in the domestic setting. The team is overseen by heavyweights Jules Carey, John Halford and Saimo Chahal QC (Hon), and is involved in the most high-profile and complex civil liberties matters pertaining to extradition and torture, inquests, anti-terror legislation and prisoner rights. Jamie Potter is skilled in judicial reviews and 'excellent' associate Salima Budhani has expertise in discrimination cases and healthcare law. Anna Thwaites  was promoted to partner in April 2019.

Practice head(s):Jules Carey; John Halford; Saimo Chahal (Hon) QC

Other key lawyers:Jamie Potter; Charlotte Haworth Hird; Anna Thwaites; Christian Hansen; Paul Ridge; Salima Budhani

Testimonials

'Bindmans is one of the leading firms in terms of civil liberties and human rights claimant work. Pre-eminent lawyers there are John Halford, Tamsin Allen, and Jules Carey. Between them, they have taken some of the most important cases in this field.'

'Salima Budhani is an extremely committed solicitor and produces top quality work. She has amazing support for client and barristers.'

'John Halford is without a doubt the best public law solicitor in the United Kingdom.'

Key Clients

Families of victims of the Batang Kali massacre

Vida Poshteh

Unlock

Just Fair

Dr. Salman Butt

Catherine Harvey

Guildford bombing inquests (to be resumed)

Julian Cole

Sophie Bennett

Terri Robinson

Rachel Elgy

Work highlights

  • Acting in a number of active public inquiries, including the Grenfell Tower Inquiry; the Undercover Policing Inquiry; the Infected Blood Inquiry; and the QC-led Carl Sargeant inquiry.
  • Acting for the families of 24 unarmed civilians massacred at Batang Kali in 1948 in an application to the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Acting for Dr Salman Butt in judicial review proceedings against the Secretary of State at the time (Theresa May).
  • Acting for Catherine Harvey in a judicial review challenge to the decision of the London Borough of Haringey not to pay her a “survivor’s pension” following the death of her partner.
  • Acting for Terri Robinson, the daughter of Terry Robinson, one of the Hatton Garden jewellery robbers, who died in February 2018 whilst serving a prison sentence at HMP Belmarsh.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

GT Stewart Solicitors & Advocates

GT Stewart is able to take on both private and publicly funded cases. Its solicitors and advocates can provide advice in the following areas of law.

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Deighton Pierce Glynn has 'in-depth knowledge of civil liberties and human rights law' and handles a wide range of matters related to actions against the police, immigration and high-profile inquiries. Practice head Sue Willman focuses on international human rights matters, particularly those involving migrant rights, and acts for an array of clients, including NGOs such as Amnesty International UK. Polly Glynn has extensive public law expertise and is involved in Brexit-related litigation. Zubier Yazdani has expertise in migrant rights and trafficking cases. Consultant Jane Deighton is also noted.

Practice head(s):Sue Willman

Other key lawyers:Polly Glynn; Jane Deighton; Adam Hundt; Zubier Yazdani; Louise Whitfield; Jo Eggleton; Will Russell

Testimonials

'The team at DPG are well equipped to represent individuals who have experienced human rights abuses and are able to identify issues affecting a wider group and take on strategic litigation to challenge those issues.'

'They go above and beyond the call of duty in representing and supporting clients through every step of the way of a judicial review challenge.'

'Will Russell has an extremely good grasp on the law. He is a creative thinker and is able to develop new legal arguments to work out a legal solution to his client's problems.'

Key Clients

Amnesty International

Rights Watch UK

Human Rights Watch

Gulf Center for Human Rights

AIRE Centre

ECPAT

Medical Justice

Humanists UK

Arab Organisation for Human Rights

SUDEP Action

Family of Matthew Seddon

Family of Meirion James

Work highlights

  • Acting for Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Rights Watch UK in an intervention in the Court of Appeal challenging the UK Trade and Industry Minister's decision to allow arms exports to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen.
  • Acting for two parents (supported by Humanists UK) in a judicial review of non-faith schools' refusal to make assemblies more inclusive or to provide alternative educational activities.
  • Representing Rape Crisis UK and other women’s organisations as intervenors in a ground-breaking case regarding police liability under the Human Rights Act for failure to adequately investigate rape allegations.
  • Representing a client in a challenge to the Secretary of State for the Home Department's failure to hold an inquiry compliant with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into the mistreatment of detainees at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre.
  • Representing Big Brother Watch, Open Rights Group, English PEN and Constanze Kurz in European Court of Human Rights challenges to the UK government's mass surveillance regime.

A 'standout firm' for civil liberties and human rights, Leigh Day handles an arsenal of big-ticket international human rights matters, which include illegal rendition and torture and actions against the state, as well as domestic claims involving prison reform and immigration. Sapna Malik is undertaking an array of high-profile cross-border matters, including a case against the UK government, and practice head Sean Humber is working on a privacy law matter. Core members of the team include Richard Meeran, who heads the international team; Daniel Leader, who has a focus on environmental litigation; Jamie Beagent; and Rosa Curling.

Practice head(s):Richard Meeran; Sean Humber

Other key lawyers:Sapna Malik; Jamie Beagent; Tesa Gregory; Emma Jones; Alison Millar; Rosa Curling; Martyn Day; Daniel Leader

Testimonials

'Rosa Curling is a great solicitor, easy to work with and very able.'

'The team is full of great lawyers who are able and passionate about the work that they do. Sapna Malik is obviously very good, and Rosa Curling is a creative lawyer who is also strategic.'

'Daniel Leader combines a remarkable work ethic with a highly tuned legal brain.  He sees the "big picture" and has first-rate legal analysis. At the same time, his attention to detail is second to none. '

'Martyn Day masterminds cases - he has been at the forefront of cutting-edge cases for decades.'

Key Clients

Mr Abdul Hakim Belhaj

Kamil Najim

Abdullah Alseran. Abd Ali

Hameed Ali. Al- Waleed

Work highlights

  • Acting for Abdul Hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar in claims relating to alleged UK complicity in illegal rendition and torture.
  • Representing numerous claimants in claims against the Ministry of Defence relating to unlawful mistreatment, detention and abuse committed by UK forces in Iraq.
  • Acting for villagers and miners in claims against Gemfields Ltd arising from allegations of severe abuse, mistreatment and unlawful killings by the mine’s security forces in Mozambique.
  • Acting for farmers and traders in claims against iron ore producer Tonkolili Iron Ore Ltd (formerly a subsidiary of African Minerals Ltd) relating to the mine's alleged complicity in severe abuse, mistreatment and unlawful killings carried out by state security forces in Sierra Leone.
  • Acting for a number of claimants who were trafficked to the UK from Lithuania in claims against a British company relating to forced labour (modern slavery).

Birnberg Peirce & Partners handles a wide range of human rights matters, relating to rendition, terror offenses, immigration and actions against the police. Gareth Peirce is the 'leading name to note in the field', with more than three decades of experience in representing clients in the most high-profile cases in the country. Historical highlights include representing the Birmingham Six and the family of Jean Charles de Menezes. She is currently acting for the family of Shamima Begum and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Harriet Wistrich is recommended for her vast expertise in women's rights and holding states to account for violence against women and girls. Also among the core members of the team are Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hon), Kate Thomas and Sonia Routledge.

Practice head(s):Gareth Peirce; Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hon)

Other key lawyers:Nigel Barry Leskin; Harriet Wistrich; Sonia Routledge; Kate Thomas

Testimonials

'A team of very good lawyers who are also decent human beings.'

'Harriet Wistrich is just utterly brilliant.'

'Gareth Peirce is a legend whose reputation precedes her.'

Key Clients

Shamima Begum

Julian Assange

The team at Hickman & Rose is led by 'outstanding partner' Daniel Machover and handles the full scope of civil liberties matters, with an emphasis on actions against the police and authorities, as well as public inquiries related to death in custody. Kate Maynard acts for clients who have been failed by the criminal justice system and also handles judicial review claims. Stefano Ruis is noted for his expertise in police law.

Practice head(s):Daniel Machover

Other key lawyers:Kate Maynard; Stefano Ruis

Testimonials

'The team is absolutely dedicated to its client base, going above and beyond the work that most firms would do. They give superb advice, make excellent tactical decisions and are a pleasure to work with.'

'Daniel Machover is an outstanding individual with a mind for the complex but the compassion and skill to relay information in layman's terms. He is dignified and straight talking.'

'Stefano Ruis is one of the best solicitors I have worked with. Calm, efficient, highly intelligent, tactical, reasonable and a pleasure to work with.'

'Kate Maynard is incredibly bright and industrious: a real fighter who is able to deal sensitively with clients.'

Key Clients

Sean Rigg

Thomas Orchard

Dalian Atkinson

Sean Fitzgerald

Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry

The 'strong team' at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors is renowned for its work regarding the accountability of public authorities, including the prison service and the police. Co-led by Susie Labinjoh and Jocelyn Cockburn, the team specialises in high-profile and often high-value actions against the state and represents an array of clients, including victims of rape and sexual assault (particularly in relation to failure of the police to investigate their claims), victims of miscarriages of justice, and family members in inquests (especially relating to deaths in state detention). Nancy Collins is leading the firm's work on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Practice head(s):Susie Labinjoh; Jocelyn Cockburn

Other key lawyers:Nancy Collins; Alice Hardy; Sasha Borton; Guy Mitchell; Cormac McDonough; Claire Brigham

Testimonials

'They have expertise across a range of legal areas, including actions against the police, inquests, public inquiries, claims involving military personnel and miscarriage of justice compensation. They have a true depth of expertise and work collaboratively and effectively together.'

'Susie Labinjoh is hugely experienced and brings a wealth of common sense to her work.'

'Alice Hardy, Nancy Collins and Sasha Barton all are superb on the law and have an excellent eye for detail. Cormac McDonough is a definite rising star.'

'Jocelyn Cockburn, Guy Mitchell, Susie Labinjoh, Sasha Barton and Alice Hardy are all excellent lawyers working in the field. Jocelyn has taken, and won, many high-profile human rights cases.'

'The team have a longstanding commitment to their clients. They are thorough and have the ability to give holistic and sensitive advice to some of society's most vulnerable individuals.'

Key Clients

Kissi Debrah family (air pollution inquest)

Core participants to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Numerous protestors bringing claims against the police

Neville Lawrence

LXB and others (Hillsborough-related litigation)

Skelton

Da Costa

Humanists UK

Dunn, Higgins & Jones

Motasim

Work highlights

  • Representing the family of Ella Kissi-Debrah, who died aged six following an asthma attack, in seeking a new inquest to investigate if air pollution was a contributory factor in her death.
  • Representing over 40 core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Representing over 60 anti-English Defence League protestors in claims against the Metropolitan Police arising from their mass arrest in 2013, after participating in a demonstration against the EDL.
  • Representing Dr Neville Lawrence OBE, the father of Stephen Lawrence, in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.
  • Acting for families of victims and survivors of the Hillsborough disaster in claims for misfeasance in public office against the Chief Constable for South Yorkshire Police and the Chief Constable for West Midlands Police and claims for negligence against Chief Constable for South Yorkshire Police.

Howard Kennedy LLP undertakes a wide scope of precedent-setting international human rights work, concentrating on large and often high-profile matters pertaining to women's rights and sexual misconduct, and freedom of expression and privacy, and on representing victims of torture. Mark Stephens CBE specialises in complex litigation and has experience in media law. Elizabeth Morley is recommended for her blend of expertise in media and human rights matters.

Practice head(s):Mark Stephens CBE

Other key lawyers:Elizabeth Morley; Antonia Torr; John Martyn; Julia Wookey; David Hooper

Key Clients

Human Rights Watch

Global Witness

Index on Censorship

Media Legal Defence Initiative

Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation

Human Dignity Trust

The 'excellent' team at Irwin Mitchell handles a wide range of civil liberties matters, focusing on judicial review, human rights, prison law and healthcare. Senior associate Fiona McGhie, who splits her time between London and Bristol, is skilled in bringing claims under the Human Rights Acts, particularly Articles 2 and 3, and in deprivation of liberty matters. Her fellow practice head, Yogi Amin, specialises in judicial review claims and public inquiries. Public law experts Andrew Arthur and Gus Silverman are also core members of the team.

Practice head(s):Yogi Amin; Fiona McGhie

Other key lawyers:Gus Silverman; Andrew Arthur; Juliet Spender; Oliver Carter

Testimonials

'Gus Silverman is quite exceptional - calm, kind and with a thorough knowledge of his subject and the best method of obtaining our objectives. His calm expertise helped greatly to minimise the stress which we would have felt otherwise.'

'The team is helpful, courteous and professional and provides clear and concise advice.'

Key Clients

The Loney family

Artur Netyks

Douglas and Carole Shipsey

Noel Conway – Dignity in Dying

Daniel Faulkner

Brad Foster

Douglas Oak

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the daughters of Leocardo Loney, an elderly man with dementia, to represent them at the inquest into his death.
  • Acted for the family of Michal Netyks, a Polish national who was detained at HMP Altcourse and who died on 7 December 2017.
  • Acted for the parents of Bethany Shipsey in a judicial review challenge to the suicide conclusion reached by the senior coroner for Worcestershire at the inquest into Bethany's death.
  • Acted for a mother and her British baby in their claim against the Home Office for unlawful detention.
  • Acted for Daniel Faulkner in a judicial review of the Legal Aid Agency’s decision to apply the statutory charge to damages awarded following a previous test case.

ITN Solicitors' multi-disciplinary team, led by Ravi Naik, is skilled in high-profile and often precedent-setting civil liberties matters. The group is handling the full scope of matters pertaining to data protection, national security, actions against the state and terror offences. Tayab Ali has expertise in cross-border matters and has developed a niche in criminal law in the diplomatic and political spheres. Other key members of the team include Lochlinn Parker, who is noted for his work relating to the accountability of the state.

Practice head(s):Simon Natas; Tayab Ali; Lochlinn Parker; Ravi Naik

Testimonials

'Ravi Naik is a very able lawyer, who has a lot of energy, an appetite for a fight and is willing to go that extra mile.'

Key Clients

David Carroll et al

RXG

Detention Review Panel

Michael Segalov

Claimants in immigration curfew regime and detention challenges

G3

Jonathan Coulter

Migrant’s Rights Network

 

Work highlights

  • Represented David Carroll as the lead claimant in a high-profile civil claim against data-mining and profiling firm Cambridge Analytic relating to widespread data abuse.
  • Represented RXG in a High Court application seeking an order for lifetime reporting restrictions.
  • Acting for the Detention Review Panel convened to review the detention of women activist detainees in Saudi Arabia.
  • Represented Michael Segalov in a successful judicial review challenge to the hitherto secret police accreditation system for journalists.
  • Represented various claimants in challenges to the Home Office's use of "curfews" on immigration detainees.

Simons Muirhead & Burton is renowned for its substantial work on international human rights and death penalty matters, as demonstrated by the founding of the Death Penalty Project, a legal charity, by Saul Lehrfreund MBE and Parvais Jabbar MBE. The team is skilled in complex cross-border work, resulting in landmark judgments; this was illustrated by its recent successful challenge to death penalty legislation in Barbados. Amanda Clift-Matthew has a vast criminal law practice and has represented clients in Singapore and Malaysia.

Practice head(s):Saul Lehrfreund MBE; Parvais Jabbar MBE

Other key lawyers:Amanda Clift-Matthew

Key Clients

Jamaicans for Justice

Chief Justice Ivor Archie, Chief Justice of Trinidad

Gregory August

Jabari Nervais and Dwayne Severin

Jay Chandler

Joseph Ewart Layne

Stephen Stubbs

Japhet Bennett

Dexter Johnson

Yattar Bakar

Kevin Burris

Simeon Bain

Lescene Edwards

Letitia Bosma

Work highlights

  • Acted for joint appellants Jabari Nervais and Dwayne Severin in a landmark case which successfully challenged the mandatory death penalty for murder in Barbados.
  • Acted for appellant Gregory August in a case in Belize which led to the historic declaration of mandatory life sentencing for murder as unconstitutional.
  • Acting for Letitia Bosman in a challenge to the constitutionality of the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia.
  • Acting for Jay Chandler, a death row prisoner in Trinidad and Tobago, in a potentially far-reaching case with significant implications for the mandatory death sentencing of prisoners with psychiatric disorders.
  • Acting for Michael Maharaj and Daniel Ramiah, two of ten prisoners convicted of murder in Trinidad and Tobago, in an appeal against the sentence of life imprisonment in light of crucial new evidence.

The 'fantastic' team at Tuckers Solicitors undertakes a broad spectrum of human rights work related to police reform, inquests, judicial review and data protection. Practice head Hind Ibrahim specialises in actions against the police and has vast experience in both criminal and civil proceedings. Zareena Mustafa, who heads the firm's public law team, is recommended for her experience in high-profile terrorism and arson cases.

Practice head(s):Hind Ibrahim; Zareena Mustafa; Keiron Walsh

Other key lawyers:Andrew Sperling; Andre Clovis; Kosar Mohammed

Testimonials

'Hind Ibrahim is a self-effacing star who does not seek the limelight but continuously delivers stellar performances which mark her out as a standout. She clearly leads by example and is never afraid to intervene with helpful advice to her colleagues.'

'Ibrahim is tenacious, obdurate but, above all, compassionate.'

'Andrew Sperling is one of the most respected prison lawyers from both sides of the table. Not only is his knowledge and advocacy first rate, but he has a sensible and realistic approach.'

Work highlights

  • Representing MH & AE, Shi’a Muslims, in both criminal and civil proceedings, raising Articles 8 and 9 of the ECHR in the defence of school absences for religious reasons.
  • Representing a youth offending team officer in data protection, breach of confidence and misfeasance claims relating to a campaign of harassment by a number of police officers.
  • Representing a client who was subject to terrorism prevention and investigation measures in a successful claim for false imprisonment against the Metropolitan Police.
  • Representing the mother of a man who died while a resident in a probation hostel in a claim over the staff's delay in providing medical treatment.
  • Representing two separate clients in claims for breaches of Articles 5 and 6 of the ECHR following disclosure failings by the CPS.

McCue & Partners LLP is a niche firm noted for its strength in international human rights matters, including public sector litigation, cross-border cases and representing victims of terrorism. Jason McCue has a wide roster of international clients, which includes numerous NGOs, and acts in high-profile and often high-value matters, recently representing clients in a class action against Facebook. Matthew Jury, who splits his time between London and Bristol, is skilled in handling multi-jurisdictional counter terrorism-related matters and cases pertaining to the death penalty.

Practice head(s):Jason McCue; Matthew Jury

Key Clients

Facebook users in a case against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

Victims of Libya-sponsored IRA terrorism

British Army veterans serving in Northern Ireland

John Murray

Families of victims of the 1998 Omagh bombing by the Real IRA

Dermot Speer

Three Scottish Soldiers Justice Campaign

Sarahjane Young

Victims of the Rohingya genocide

Work highlights

  • Representing claimants in a class action lawsuit against Facebook,  Cambridge Analytica and others filed in the US.
  • Representing UK victims of Libya-sponsored IRA terrorism in seeking compensation from the Libyan government.
  • Protecting the rights of veterans who served during the Troubles in Northern Ireland and have been called to testify in ongoing inquests into legacy incidents.
  • Representing the claimant in civil proceedings against the chief suspect in the 1984 murder of WPC Fletcher.
  • Representing the families of the victims of the 1998 bombing in Omagh, Northern Ireland, by the Real IRA in a landmark civil trial that was the first anywhere in the world to be brought against terrorists and a terrorist organisation by their victims.

Saunders Law is skilled in handling complex inquiries and actions against the police, led by practice head Nia Williams. The team is also experienced in undertaking work related to deaths in custody, where Ruth Mellor and Ceri Lloyd-Hughes are particularly active. Among other core members of the team are Jag Bahra and Ellie Cornish, who is leading the representation of the families in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Practice head(s):Nia Williams

Other key lawyers:Jag Bahra; Ceri Lloyd-Hughes; Tessa Hutchinson; Ellie Cornish; Ruth Mellor

Key Clients

Two core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry

More than 200 clients in the Hillsborough misfeasance group litigation

Family of Terry Smith

Michael Mansfield QC and Azhar Khan in the Undercover Policing Inquiry

Participants in a group claim against Sodexo (HMP Peterborough)

Jollah Ibrahima

L and others (a family affected by the Windrush scandal)

Isaac Itiary

AK

J

Family of Kyle Maher

Daniel Lewis

Family of Nuno Cardoso

Buhari Nasar

Work highlights

  • Representing core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Acting for survivors and family members in the civil proceedings for misfeasance against South Yorkshire and West Midlands Police arising out of the Hillsborough disaster and the ensuing cover-up.
  • Representing the family of Terry Smith in the inquest into his death in police custody.
  • Representing Michael Mansfield QC and solicitor Azhar Khan, who are core participants in the inquiry into undercover policing.
  • Acting for Ibrahima Jalloh in a test case on the scope of the tort of false imprisonment and Article 5(1) of the ECHR and the appropriate measure of damages for an unlawful curfew.

At Simpson Millar LLP, the human rights department handles a blend of education, public law and Court of Protection matters. Angela Jackman specialises in deprivation of liberty cases which have a mental health element. Other core members of the team include 'standout partner' Dan Rosenberg, who is noted for children's rights matters, and Victoria Pogge von Strandman, who acts for vulnerable people such as victims of trafficking.

Practice head(s):Angela Jackman

Other key lawyers:Oliver Studdert; Dan Rosenberg; Julie Cornes; Victoria Pogge von Strandmann; Zena Soormally

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a particular focus on immigration, asylum, migrant workers and refugee rights work, handled by a team of specialists which includes the 'impressive' Toufique Hossain and Zofia Duszynska, who are based in the Harrow office. The team is also adept at judicial reviews and conducting emergency injunctions for their clients. Tamana Aziz advises on business immigration and public law expert Jamie Bell is praised for his ability to 'quickly demonstrate care, commitment, openness and warmth'.

Practice head(s):Toufique Hossain; Zofia Duszynska

Other key lawyers:Tamana Aziz; Alex Peebles; Jamie Bell; Fahad Ansari; Lewis Kett

Testimonials

'Duncan Lewis is one of the leading legal aid law firms in the country. They are involved in many of the most important cases concerning immigration and human rights.'

'Duncan Lewis' team have a wealth of experience in unlawful detention challenges. They have excellent contacts with experts and NGOs, are on top of changes in practice and policy, and bring creative and important challenges, which develop the law in this area and have a meaningful impact on an extremely vulnerable group.'

'Toufique Hossain has done a fantastic job of building his team, identifying high-profile strategic litigation and running it well. He is an excellent strategist.'

'Toufique is great, very commercially minded and a tenacious lawyer.'

'Never before have I experienced such diligence, rigour, passion and genuine care as Jamie Bell provides.'

Work highlights

  • Representing the appellant in an appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) against a decision to deprive him of his British citizenship on the grounds of national security.
  • Representing a client in a first-of-its-kind case against the Secretary of State for the Home Department challenging the use of segregation in immigration detention, known as “removal from association”.
  • Representing a client in an important and unique challenge to the use of the lock-in regime and room conditions at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre.
  • Representing a client in a test case challenging the immigration detention pay regime, which sees detainees paid £1 per hour for carrying out critical work which is essential for the running of the immigration detention centre.
  • Representing the applicants, who faced removal from the UK to Afghanistan, in a case challenging the Home Office's "removal window" policy set out in chapter 60 of the Enforcement Guidance and Instructions. This is the first legal challenge against this aspect of the policy.

Farleys Solicitors LLP has vast experience in handling abuse of power matters and inquest work. Led by the 'top-class' Kelly Darlington and Jonathan Bridge, the team undertakes a wide range of work related to Human Rights Act claims, inquests and actions against the police. Bridge is currently involved in the high-profile Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse.

Practice head(s):Kelly Darlington; Jonathan Bridge

Testimonials

'Jonathan Bridge, Kelly Darlington and Ariella Jones are all top-quality practitioners. They do all the work that the top London firms do but in my view do it more efficiently and provide better value for the clients.'

'Kelly Darlington has the patience of a saint. Her perseverance, determination and sense of justice are what make her successful.'

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented clients who spent 11 years in foster care in a £9.6m claim against Lancashire County Council for negligence, breach of duty and breach of the Human Rights Act.
  • Representing the family of Anthony Grainger in a public inquiry into his fatal shooting by Greater Manchester Police in March 2012.
  • Represented the father of Poppi Worthington in the second inquest into her death, in a high-profile case involving complex issues of law including human rights, self-incrimination and potential criminal prosecution.
  • Representing the family of Mzee Mohammed, who died after being detained by security staff and police at the Liverpool One shopping centre, in inquest proceedings.
  • Acting for the family of Daniel Sewell-French, who died as a result of a drugs overdose while placed at a children's home after significant failures in safeguarding procedures by the local authority, in a human rights and negligence claim.

Gherson has experience undertaking human rights, immigration and asylum matters with a domestic and international focus. Roger Gherson has expertise in complex human rights and extradition cases. Other team members include Charles Burnett, who is recommended for his strength in public and private actions against the state.

Practice head(s):Roger Gherson

Other key lawyers:Charles Burnett

Howe + Co Solicitors has experience in representing clients in actions against the state and inquiries, and in acting for victims of torture. Led by Martin Howe and David Enright, the team has been involved in the inquiries into child sexual abuse and the Grenfell Tower fire. Adam Tear left the firm to join the partnership at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors.

Practice head(s):Martin Howe; David Enright; Kieran O'Rouke

Other key lawyers:Albert Harwood; David Howe

Howells is experienced in handling civil liberties matters, including actions against the police, immigration cases, judicial reviews and inquests. Kulvinder  Gill's expertise lies in bringing actions against the police and public authorities. The wider team includes Clare Fowler, who acts on discrimination cases; Rashdah Kauser and Sarah Smith, who deal with complex immigration and asylum matters; and paralegal Iftikhar Manzoor, who has two decades of experience in undertaking civil claims against the police.

Practice head(s):Peter Mahy

Other key lawyers:Kulvinder Gill; Clare Fowler; Rashdah Kauser; Sarah Smith; Iftikhar Manzoor

Matthew Gold & Company Limited, solicitors is a 'fantastic boutique firm' which has broad expertise in judicial review claims, inquests and inquiries. The public law team led by Clare Jennings is acting in cases concerning migrant workers' rights and actions against the police. Specialist claimant lawyer Matthew Gold represents the families of victims of domestic violence in claims for damages against public authorities, and is also skilled in civil actions against the police.

Practice head(s):Matthew Gold; Clare Jennings

Other key lawyers:Rachel Etheridge

Testimonials

'The team is very dedicated and has an in-depth knowledge of the areas which it deals with. They are meticulous and although they can work at speed, everything is done properly and to a very high standard.'

'The team is relatively small, but very well run and they punch above their weight in terms of the cases that they take on and litigate successfully.'

'The team has a combination of professional excellence practised with humanity and an indisputably caring manner.'

Key Clients

Masood

Family of Parker

Family of Bibi

Family of Augustine

Work highlights

  • Advising on the lawfulness of the Student Loans Company’s policy of running fraud checks on students estranged from their families.
  • Acting for an individual in a claim for breach of Article 8 of the ECHR following the unlawful removal of a child from their parent, without consent or a court order.
  • Acting for the family of a deceased prisoner in a landmark test case to determine the standard of proof for the conclusions of suicide and unlawful killing in the Coroners Court and clarify the remit of a narrative conclusion.
  • Representing a family who were arrested by police officers following a raid on their home in a claim for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
  • Acting for the family of Sohbia Khan in an inquest and civil claim for breach of Article 2 of the Human Rights Act, arising from her murder by her partner, a prisoner on licence who was not being properly monitored.

Minton Morrill is experienced in undertaking a high volume of inquests work, which the 'excellent' Gemma Vine has particular expertise in, as well as being skilled in handling actions against the police. The team also represents families at inquests involving deaths in custody and acts in judicial review claims.

Practice head(s):Gemma Vine

Other key lawyers:Anya Campbell; Julia Morrill

Testimonials

'The team is the leading firm in the area of civil liberties and human rights across Yorkshire and the region. Their reputation means that they are involved in the leading cases in this area of law. Their team is approachable and professional and they are passionate advocates for their clients.'

'Gemma Vine is an excellent civil liberties and human rights lawyer. Her depth of knowledge in civil liberties is very impressive; she is a true specialist. Her client care skills are also second to none.'

'Gemma is attentive, thorough, understanding and honest. She is unfailingly organised, practical and forthright.'

Sinclairslaw, which was formed by the merger of Sinclairslaw, Match Solicitors and John Ford Solicitors in May 2018, has vast experience concentrated on inquests and judicial review claims. Led by Helen Gill, the team also has experience bringing actions against public authorities and the state for abuse of power. Other core members of the team include director John Ford and Marian Shaughnessy. Karen May, who led the education team, has departed the firm to join Bindmans LLP.

Practice head(s):Helen Gill; John Ford

Other key lawyers:Marian Shaughnessy

Testimonials

'There are no words to describe Helen Gill's outstanding integrity and stoic but compelling and forthright manner in approaching the difficult legal hurdles that have to be overcome in achieving a successful and dignified resolution.'

'This is a firm which brings much-needed intellectual and professional expertise to cases deeply immersed in matters of public and international law, by offering very highly qualified services of comprehensive legal analysis and solutions that are broadly executed and communicated through a spectrum of dedicated and passionate in-house practitioners.'

'This is a small but dedicated team, with a commitment to this area of law. They provide a very personal service to the client.'

Slater and Gordon handles mostly personal injury matters and also has experience in child abuse cases, inquests and medical law. Manchester-based Kim Harrison and Richard Scorer co-lead the abuse team, which is representing clients in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The team is also particularly experienced in actions against public authorities.

Practice head(s):Kim Harrison; Richard Scorer

Other key lawyers:Zak Golombeck; Sarah Jones; Victoria Beel

Testimonials

Kim Harrison is a gritty and determined fighter for human rights and civil liberties. She is passionate about her clients and about social justice.'

'Kim and her team are highly organised, practical and a dream to work with. Nothing is too much for them.'

Swain & Co Solicitors has an 'excellent reputation' as a specialist firm for prison law, representing prisoners in sentencing appeals, judicial review proceedings, and other matters. Described by one client as having 'unparalleled experience in this area', the core team includes associates Dean Kingham, who is noted for acting for transgender prisoners; Jemma Atkinson, who specialises in parole hearings and advocacy; and Sarah Blake.

Practice head(s):Dean Kingham

Other key lawyers:Jemma Atkinson; Sarah Blake

Testimonials

'The team at Swain and Co are excellent on criminal appeals and representation of prisoners, including on human rights issues that arise in criminal and prison law.'

'Swain and Co have an exceptional reputation for providing high-quality services to prisoners. They are prepared to give the due time and consideration needed to provide a legal challenge in complex prison law issues, and will draw upon every resource to ensure they complete the task at hand to the best of their ability. Most importantly, they are held in high regard by those prisoners who use their services.'

'Swain & Co's ethos, consistency, and persistence makes them a firm to trust. They also provide timely responses at all times of the day and evening to ensure all problems are resolved swiftly. They are a firm who truly care about the rights of prisoners.'

Key Clients

John Worboys

Paul Wakenshaw

Charles Bronson

Alex Henry

Jordan Cunliffe

Russell Causley

Work highlights

  • Acted for John Worboys in judicial review proceedings, arguing that the Parole Board's decision to release him was not irrational and should not be quashed.
  • Acted for prisoner Paul Wakenshaw in seeking a judicial review relating to the independence of the Parole Board.
  • Represented Alex Henry, who is serving a life sentence for joint enterprise murder, in an application to the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Representing a client in a test case challenging the current policy on category A oral hearings.
  • Representing an Irish prisoner in an appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the rejection of his application for early removal to return to Ireland.

The 'incredibly well prepared and dedicated team' at Wilson Solicitors LLP has a history of representing clients in actions against the police and public authorities. The team also handles judicial review claims, and complex asylum, immigration, detention and trafficking cases. 'Fantastic' public law solicitor Katy Robinson has vast expertise in handling medium to high-value immigration and migrant workers' rights cases. Newly promoted partner Nina Rathbone Pullen is recommended for her expertise in human trafficking cases.

Practice head(s):James Elliott

Other key lawyers:Katy Robinson; Nina Rathbone Pullen; Jennine Walker; Nusrat Uddin; Helen MacIntyre

Testimonials

'Wilsons has a visceral understanding of the importance of fighting for the civil liberties of the weakest and most vulnerable, which is evidenced in all they do.'

'James Elliot, Anita Vasisht and Muhunthan Paramesvaran are all very strong technically and show huge commitment to their clients.'

'Nina Rathbone Pullen is particularly impressive for her persistence for and belief in her clients and her balanced approach to finding legal solutions with rigour and compassion.'

Key Clients

PK

FT

Balvin Marshall

AYZ

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MXY

Neal Gray

XX

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Work highlights

  • Represented a client in a landmark judgment on the leave to remain which should be granted to victims of trafficking to ensure they are protected and assisted in line with the UK’s obligations.
  • Represented a victim of human trafficking detained under immigration powers for almost four years, securing a six-figure sum in damages.
  • Representing a ‘Windrush’ client in a potential claim for compensation arising out of the Secretary of State’s failure to confirm his settled status.
  • Represented a client held under immigration powers for over two years in a complex claim for damages, which, while ultimately unsuccessful, raised several novel legal issues.
  • Successfully challenged the Home Office’s decision to cut the financial support given to asylum-seeking victims of trafficking, resulting in reinstatement and back payments to all those affected.

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