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Firms To Watch: Civil liberties and human rights

Led by the experienced Ravi Naik , AWO is one of only a few practices dedicated to data rights and problems arising from technology.
The Manchester-based team of Farleys Solicitors LLP combines strengths in advising victims of abuse, human rights act claims, fatal accidents, inquests and claims against local authorities.
Spearheaded by renowned civil liberties and human rights expert Nicola Mackintosh QC, the growing Mackintosh Law law practice also fields COP work specialist Zena Soormally Bolwig.

Civil liberties and human rights in London

Bhatt Murphy

Bhatt Murphy handles a range of police law, prison law, immigration detention and security services matters, frequently acting in high-profile civil liberties cases. The firm's police action team is known for representing claimants in public and private law claims against chief officers nationwide, and the immigration detention, migrant rights and prison law practices are equally well regarded; in the latter, the group has notable experience bringing challenges to the courts, including the European Court of Human Rights. The deep bench of expertise includes founding partner Raju Bhatt; police law expert Carolynn Gallwey; Tony Murphy, who specialises in securing accountability against state agents; Mark Scott, who focuses on private and public law matters; Jane Ryan, whose particular focus is on the civil liberties of prisoners and those detained under immigration powers; and Janet Farrell, whose forte lies in the rights of vulnerable groups including children, pregnant women and victims of torture.

Other key lawyers:

Raju Bhatt; Carolynn Gallwey; Tony Murphy; Mark Scott; Jane Ryan; Janet Farrell

Work highlights

  • Repesented individuals and families granted Core Participant status in the Public Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.
  • Representing the family of a victim in their quest for justice in relation to allegations of collusion by Met Police in this murder in 1987.

Bindmans LLP

Acting on a range of cases across all levels, Bindmans LLP is known for the 'strength and depth of the team's experience across, for example, public inquiries, judicial reviews, inquests and civil actions against the police and other state bodies’. Known as the ‘go-to experts for public law challenges to the police', the firm is at the forefront of right to protest and free speech matters. The practice is also well regarded for its expertise in inquests and immigration work, as well as its recent activity in issues related to Covid-19. International work is another strength, and the group is particularly experienced in the extradition arena, as well as handling applications to the European Court in relation to human rights breaches in Europe and elsewhere. Jules Carey is known for advising on policing abuses, police surveillance and actions in private and public law against the state. He co-leads the team with John Halford, Jamie Potter, Paul Ridge, Kate Goold and Tayab Ali. Other key names from the deep bench of experts include Anna Thwaites, who specialises in actions against the state involving complex compensation claims and investigations; Charlotte Haworth Hird, who focuses on acting for vulnerable individuals in actions against the state; and associate Salima Budhani, who has a particular interest in representing vulnerable or marginalised individuals.

Practice head(s):

Jules Carey; Kate Goold; Tayab Ali; John Halford; Jamie Potter; Paul Ridge

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Haworth Hird; Salima Budhani; Anna Thwaites; Ashley Fleming; Alison Stanley; Theodora Middleton

Testimonials

‘The go-to experts in public law challenges to the police’.

‘Bindmans are a really outstanding team, strong in depth. The more I have been exposed to them the more impressed I have been. They are extremely astute tactically but also commercially’.

‘Salima Budhani is properly outstanding in my view. Her written work is excellent and she is very shrewd. John Halford is very sharp and extremely experienced. Ashley Fleming is a really good and reliable lawyer, very tactically astute’.

‘Exceptional experience. Knowing which cases to fight (and win) against public authorities, rather than a scattergun approach. Enormously respected, with excellent reason’.

‘Alison Stanley is an outstanding practitioner. Straightforward practical and not afraid to give hard advice. An exceptional team leader who inspires immediate confidence in clients and rightly so. A leader both in her degree of expertise but also in her tactical acumen and straightforwardness’.

‘Strength and depth of the team’s experience across, for example, public inquiries, judicial reviews, inquests and civil actions against the police and other state bodies. The team has a wealth of talent and experience which really stands out’.

‘Within the practice, individuals work effectively and cohesively together in respect of large-scale complex matters’.

‘Jules Carey stands out as a senior partner and Head of the Actions against the Police and State Team. His team is currently involved in some of the most high profile matters’.

‘Theodora Middleton is a superb up and coming practitioner. Very smart and dedicated, gets results’.

Key clients

Reclaim These Streets

Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Napier Barracks

Immigration Detention

Extinction Rebellion

Maguire

TOEIC English Language testing scandal

The TGTE

CARE

Work highlights

  • Acting at the forefront of legal challenges following the introduction of emergency legislation during the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes acting for #reclaimthestreets after the death of Sarah Everard, acting for asylum seekers detained in unacceptable living conditions at Napier Barracks and securing the release of those in immigration detention.
  • Acting in an important Supreme Court challenge regarding the engagement of the procedural obligations under Article 2 ECHR (right to life) following the death of an individual who was subject to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and living in a residential care home.
  • Acting in a high-profile group action for compensation for those falsely accused of cheating on TOEIC English language tests by the Home Office.

Deighton Pierce Glynn

Deighton Pierce Glynn fields a ‘brilliant team of talented lawyers who have a broad and deep understanding of civil liberties and human rights claims, including administrative and civil law'. The firm specialises in acting for detainees who have a mental or physical illness or disability, children, victims of trafficking or torture and those who have been detained for very long periods or are from a European Union state or a country where removal is difficult. Other strengths include representing families at inquests whose relatives have died in prison and police custody, securing release from detention in immigration removal centres and prisons under immigration powers, and helping victims of modern slavery. Sarah Ricca is known for challenging police failings in relation to domestic violence, as well as issues related to police shootings. She co-leads the team with Jo Eggleton, who is also active in challenging police abuses, especially race discrimination claims. Other key names in the area are senior consultant Jane Deighton, who advises on race discrimination claims against the police; managing partner Polly Glynn, whose forte is challenging failures of public bodies; senior consultant Sue Willman, who focuses on strategic public and international human rights challenges; and Sasha Rozansky, whose expertise covers community care, asylum support, healthcare, housing, discrimination, equality law and human rights matters.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Ricca; Jo Eggleton

Other key lawyers:

Polly Glynn; Sue Willman; Sasha Rozansky; Sarah Ricca; Clare Hayes; Emily Soothill; Jane Deighton

Testimonials

‘Deighton Pierce Glynn is staffed by professionals who truly care to support those whose rights are not respected and have been treated unfairly by statutory services. They are respectful, knowledgeable and thorough’.

‘I truly cannot comment enough on the support my team has received from Polly Glynn and Sasha Rozansky. Polly and Sasha are responsive to each and every enquiry for support we make. They always take the time out to talk to us and explain the legal framework of each and every case we enquire about and provide us with the knowledge and tools to support our beneficiaries. They always take into consideration the vulnerabilities of our beneficiaries and they support us to achieve the best outcome for them. They are knowledgeable and through’.

‘They are all professional, knowledgeable, thorough and responsive. When they are working with any of our beneficiaries they take the time to keep us updated on the case and explain each step’.

‘Sarah Ricca and Clare Hayes are exceptional lawyers, strategic and empathetic with clients’.

‘DPG have a brilliant team of talented lawyers who have a broad and deep understanding of civil liberties and human rights claims, including administrative and civil law’.

‘Emily Soothill is extremely intelligent, superlatively hard-working, committed and easy to work with’.

‘Driven by the fact that they believe in what they do, they put the clients at the centre of everything. They were an integral source of support to my team, and the individuals we referred to them’.

‘They went above and beyond to ensure that each individual had the legal advice they needed, but also wraparound support’.

Work highlights

  • Acting for core participants in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.
  • Instructed in a challenge of the defendant’s decision to accommodate vulnerable asylum seekers at Napier Barracks in Kent where there has been a widespread outbreak of Covid-19.
  • Represented the family of an individual at the inquest into his death and the failings of the police to carry out a welfare check.

Leigh Day

Known for the breadth of its practice, Leigh Day has expertise across the field of civil liberties and human rights including acting on health and social care issues, inquests, abuse and exploitation work, children and vulnerable adult mandates, and privacy, discrimination, immigration and prison matters. The firm is ‘involved in a number of significant cases and has people at all levels who are real experts in the field'. Another key distinguishing factor is its international experience, particularly in Africa, and the practice also has a reputation for bringing complex group actions against the British Government and multinational corporations. Jamie Beagent focuses on issues relating to the detention and welfare of immigrants and asylum seekers. He co-leads the team with Richard Meeran, who specialises in international matters. Also active in the space are Sean Humber, who covers privacy and data breach claims, prisoner rights issues, and environmental, discrimination and information law matters; Sapna Malik, who acts in international personal injury and human rights claims; associate Andrew Lord, who represents survivors of childhood abuse; and associate Waleed Sheikh, who handles immigration detention, deportation and nationality issues.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Beagent; Richard Meeran

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Lord; Sean Humber; Alison Millar; Sapna Malik; Tessa Gregory; Rosa Curling; Waleed Sheikh; Stephanie Hill

Testimonials

‘This is a very high quality team with an enormous hinterland of knowledge and experience’.

‘Stephanie Hill is really very good indeed – we worked on a messy detention claim and having her there was absolutely invaluable’.

‘The strength of the team lies in its knowledge and experience in this field which I think is quite unrivalled. They have been involved in a number of significant cases and boast people at all levels who are real experts in the field, which means that they bring to their cases a confidence and conviction that is not always seen at other firms’.

‘The stand out individuals I would name are Alison Millar, partner, and Andrew Lord, Associate. They are both very hard working and show great commitment to the client’s case, willing to fight difficult points. They both show great practical judgment on cases and are able to think outside of the box in order to break through and overcome difficult hurdles’.

‘They work with some extremely vulnerable clients and are always able to build very trusting relationships with the clients and ensure that the litigation process is made as manageable and intelligible as possible for those clients’.

‘Tessa Gregory is a standout partner – thorough, creative, a real delight to work with. Clients absolutely love working with her. Could not recommend her more highly’.

‘Leigh Day is hands down the best firm I have worked with in my 30 years in this area. There is nothing I can say about this firm of a critical nature. Their partners, associates and support staff are truly exceptional’.

‘They provide a truly first class service ensuring that teams are properly resourced, organised and efficient. Their preparation is meticulous. It is a joy to work with them’.

Work highlights

  • Acting for over 300 core participants in the Infected Blood Inquiry.
  • Negotiated settlements on behalf of 127 claimants against Camellia PLC in Malawi and Kenya.
  • Representing several thousand Malawian tenant tobacco farmers and their family members against British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands.

Hickman & Rose

Praised for its ‘exceptional knowledge and dedication to representing families in particular in difficult inquest cases’, Hickman & Rose specialises in representing victims of serious abuses of power by police and other detaining authorities. The firm has a reputation ‘earned over decades of dedicated work in this field’ and provides clients with a ‘very talented team, from top to bottom, of clever, assiduous lawyers who are utterly dedicated’. A particular strength for the group is in inquests and public inquiries into state-related deaths and wrong-doing. Daniel Machover leads the team and handles a range of human rights cases, including claims for failure to protect inmates and deaths at the hands of the police. Another key name in the practice is Kate Maynard, who deals with complex police, prison and immigration cases involving death, serious injury and miscarriage of justice.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Machover

Other key lawyers:

Stefano Ruis; Kate Maynard

Testimonials

‘Hickman & Rose are well known for their exceptional knowledge and dedication to representing families in particular in difficult inquest cases, which often relate to deaths in custody or other cases where human rights or other challenging issues arise’. 

‘Their reputation has been earned over decades of dedicated work in this field and is well-deserved. They have a very talented team, from top to bottom, of clever, assiduous lawyers who are utterly dedicated to their clients and ensuring that they get the best possible results and leave no stone unturned.  They are also an absolute pleasure to work with: lovely people, who are highly professional’.

‘Daniel Machover has contributed to textbooks and has a wealth of experience before coroners in complex high-profile cases. He was superb in liaising with the clients, the media and the witnesses’. 

‘They take difficult cases and work out how to win them’.

‘Stefano Ruis is superb. Calm, intelligent, personable, thoughtful about his cases, an excellent tactician and lawyer. An all round pleasure to work with’.

‘I think their expertise regarding inquests has been invaluable to us as a family. We received expert and caring guidance regarding our legal aid applications, which we had to complete at a very difficult time for us’.

‘I have total confidence in our solicitor Kate Maynard. She works incredibly hard on our behalf, so if she does do other work for other clients, it has never been apparent to us. I feel that she is at the end of the phone, email and always available to discuss/explain any of the information she has sent or her recommendations on a course of action. All deadlines are met for over one year, and we have total confidence that all commitments will be met’.

‘Kate Maynard and Stef Ruis are excellent – right at the top of their profession, quietly showing real care and judgment in very difficult areas’.

Work highlights

  • Act for the mother of an Argentine professional footballer who died in a light aircraft crash while travelling between France and the UK in January 2019.
  • Acted for INQUEST, a charity, in its intervention before the Supreme Court in a judicial review case.
  • Represented the family in the investigations into an ex-professional footballer’s death in 2016 following the discharge of tasers by officers of West Mercia Police, and the application of other force on him, and also the investigation conducted by the IOPC, and the criminal prosecution of two police officers.

Hodge Jones & Allen

Hodge Jones & Allen is experienced in acting against police forces, the Independent Office of Police Complaints, the Prison Service, coroners, the Ministry of Defence, the Crown Prosecution Service and immigration detention centres. The firm handles a range of matters, notably challenges to state authorities through judicial reviews, complaint procedures and civil courts, as well as having a particular specialism in representing clients wrongly arrested and mistreated by the police whilst exercising their right to protest. Susie Labinjoh leads the practice and is known for her expertise in claims against the police, handling civil actions against the police and prison service, and political protest cases. Her team includes Jocelyn Cockburn, who also focuses on actions against the police, as well as representing bereaved families at inquests and pursuing military claims.

Practice head(s):

Susie Labinjoh

Other key lawyers:

Jocelyn Cockburn; Alice Hardy; Nancy Collins

Testimonials

‘The strength of support and understanding you need when asking for help in dealing with stressful issues is paramount’.

‘Alice Hardy represented myself and my family through the most stressful period to try to understand and improve issues that had happened to us. She completely understood the anguish and disappointment, in fact many misunderstood feelings caused throughout this period. Alice was on the end of the phone with help and advice at all stages’.

‘The team has some very impressive individuals who work to a very high standard, in terms of legal understanding and experience, dedication, efficiency, client care and case strategy’.

‘I would particularly highlight Nancy Collins, Alice Hardy and Susie Labinjoh’.

‘Nancy Collins has worked to an exceptionally high standard. The quality of her output is strikingly good and despite already having a heavy workload, she is always first to volunteer to take the lead on a particular task/project. Her client care in relation to clients who have suffered considerable trauma is also extremely good’.

‘Alice Hardy always has the details of her cases at her fingertips and is a great case strategist, planning the next moves in advance and staying several steps ahead of the opposition’.

‘Jocelyn Cockburn is a fearless advocate on behalf of her clients’.

‘Susie Labinjoh is an outstanding civil liberties lawyer, one of the best in the field’.

Key clients

Core Participants to the Grenfell Tower inquiry

Undercover Policing Inquiry

Extinction Rebellion (XR)

Kings College Students

Work highlights

  • Acted in a ground-breaking case using the European Convention on Human Rights to shine a light on the impact of UK Government failures to protect life in relation to air pollution.
  • Representing over 40 core participants at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.
  • Representing over 100 core participants at the Undercover Policing Inquiry and in associated criminal and civil cases.

Howard Kennedy LLP

The core areas of practice for Howard Kennedy LLP are freedom of expression claims, appellate litigation and human rights issues related to privacy, the media and business. The firm also advises global bodies including the UN, the US State Department and the FCO, as well as international charities and NGOs, on a range of issues. Practice head Mark Stephens CBE focuses on defending freedom of expression and human rights cases. Another key name in his team is Elizabeth Morley, who has particular expertise in mandates at the intersection between the right to privacy provided by Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights and the right to freedom of expression provided by Article 10.

Practice head(s):

Mark Stephens CBE

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Morley; Hugo Mason

Testimonials

‘Howard Kennedy’s lawyers have an excellent grasp of freedom of speech and family and private life issues, and particularly in cases involving the overlap (and tension) between those two rights. They combine a traditional background in media law with more vibrant areas, including in the field of data privacy, to bring genuine expertise to cases raising those sorts of human rights issues.’

‘Mark Stephens- stand out partner who combines a deep knowledge of the law with expert tactical judgment and an authority borne of years of experience at the sharp end of litigation.’

‘Elizabeth Morley – excellent, industrious and unflappable. She is a pleasure to work with, and adds real value to any team.’

‘Hugo Mason- a rock solid and reliable associate: has the stomach for a fight!’

Key clients

Media Legal Defence Initiative

Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation

Human Dignity Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing the parents of the late Harry Dunn in bringing an application for judicial review against the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police.
  • Acting on a pro bono basis for a freelance investigative journalist in her application to seek access to documents on the court file, in a case in the Family Division relating to an adoption case.
  • Advising and representing the family of a journalist killed whilst reporting from South Sudan in 2017 whose death has never been officially investigated.

Irwin Mitchell

With in-depth knowledge of human rights and administrative law, Irwin Mitchell works at the intersection between police forces, mental health services and social services. A particular specialism is acting for disability charities in claims under the Equality Act and Human Rights Act. The practice is also active in matters against the police, prison and immigration authorities, as well as bringing convention rights cases against providers of healthcare, social services and education. As a national firm, it can leverage its regional presence in the South West and Yorkshire to advise on issues across the country. Yogi Amin leads the team and focuses on public law and civil liberties work, including Court of Protection matters. He can call on the expertise of associate Gus Silverman, who has ‘extensive knowledge and experience in human rights litigation of all types’; and senior associate Fiona McGhie, who handles claims under the Human Rights Act against police forces and local authorities.

Practice head(s):

Yogi Amin

Other key lawyers:

Fiona McGhie; Gus Silverman; Juliet Spender

Testimonials

‘A willingness to take on difficult cases, push new points and get exceptional results for their clients’.

‘Gus Silverman – intelligent, excellent knowledge of the law, superb client skills, willing to seek and listen to advice when needed, determined, personable’.

‘Gus Silverman is a fantastic lawyer. Very knowledgeable on the law and dedicated to his clients’.

‘I am always extremely impressed by the quality of their work, which shows a striking level of dedication, expertise and attention to detail’.

‘Gus Silverman knows his cases inside out and back to front. The level of his attention to detail is extraordinary. He is also very knowledgeable about the relevant legal areas and extremely dedicated to his clients, to whom he provides an exemplary service. Has extensive knowledge and experience in human rights litigation of all types’.

‘Irwin Mitchell has a long history of delivering high quality Legal Aid work’.

Simons Muirhead Burton

Simons Muirhead Burton is well regarded in the human rights space for its expertise in prisoner rights issues, as well as its strength in cross-border litigation. The firm is particularly well known for its work in relation to the death penalty, namely the Death Penalty Project. Parvais Jabbar MBE and Saul Lehrfreund MBE are go-to names in the area and are the 'pre-eminent players in not just death penalty but civil liberties cases that end up at the Privy Council'.

Other key lawyers:

Parvais Jabbar MBE; Saul Lehrfreund MBE; Abdul Varachhia

Testimonials

‘The Death Penalty Project is unparalleled in its commitment to fighting the death penalty across the globe, as well as to improving sentencing regimes and the justice system. Saul Lehfreund and Parvais Jabbar are together responsible for the continued momentum and trend towards the abolition of the death penalty across the globe but most especially in former colonial countries in the Caribbean and Africa. They have contributed more to the protection and progression of human rights and civil liberties than almost any other practising lawyers. They are the pre-eminent players in not just death penalty but civil liberties cases that end up at the Privy Council’.

‘The knowledge of the team is unmatched and they have well developed connections from path breaking work over many years of death penalty litigation, especially those arising from the Caribbean’.  

‘Saul Lehrfreund is one half of the iconic duo in death-penalty abolition litigation (Parvais Jabbar being the other half). Saul knows the Caribbean public law space and translates this knowledge well in running appeals at the Privy Council on behalf of individual litigants’.

‘The Death Penalty Project at Simons Muirhead and Burton LLP is a leading force in the abolition of the death penalty world wide’.

‘Abdul Varachhia is a technically gifted and experienced professional with a proven ability to provide honest and pragmatic legal advice and guidance in complex areas of law’. 

‘Working with them is a collaborative, respectful and enjoyable process. They go the extra mile for their clients, who are some of the most vulnerable in society. They are extremely knowledgeable, dedicated individuals with huge integrity and class. They also run very effective teams, including by bringing together members of their own firm, counsel, local lawyers and experts together’.

Tuckers Solicitors

The broad practice of Tuckers Solicitors covers Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority matters, inquests, false imprisonment issues, negligence cases, malicious prosecution/misfeasance work and a range of Human Rights Act claims. The firm is also experienced in issues related to breach of right to respect for private life, breach of confidence, breach of data protection act and covert intelligence mandates. Frances Frost co-leads the team with Andre Clovis, who specialises in free speech cases, and judicial review expert Andrew Sperling. Hind Ibrahim is now a consultant with the firm.

Practice head(s):

Frances Frost; Andre Clovis; Andrew Sperling

Other key lawyers:

Emily Jade-Girvan; Farva Butt; Hind Ibrahim

Testimonials

‘There was an enthusiastic willingness to work with external organisations to ensure a good result for us as clients’.

‘Andre Clovis was incredibly insightful and thorough in his work, particularly as our case was novel.  I was also very impressed with Emily Jade-Girvan and Farva Butt’.

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Nation of Islam in claims against Lambeth Council and the MPS for breach of the Human Rights Act Article 9, 10, 11 and 14 rights and for misfeasance.
  • Acting for an individual who was assaulted and detained by officers of the Metropolitan Police.
  • Acting for an individual, who is bringing a leading public law challenge to the Secretary of State for Justice’s flagship policy of 2019, the ‘reconsideration procedure’ as introduced by the Parole Board Rules 2019.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Immigration specialist Duncan Lewis Solicitors has expertise in inquires and large judicial reviews and represents vulnerable people in human rights, crime, prison law, court of protection, mental capacity and social welfare matters. Issues related to Windrush are another forte for the firm, which also has an increasing international public law presence, developing litigation challenges to UK government practices in Libya and Eritrea. The team is co-led by Alex Peebles, Ayan Yalchin, Bernadette Adusei, Gabor Nagy, James Packer, Jenna McKinney, Rohena Wallace, Tamana Aziz, Toufique Hossain, Vicash Ramkissoon and Zofia Duszynska.

Practice head(s):

Alex Peebles; Ayan Yalchin; Bernadette Adusei; Gabor Nagy; James Packer; Jenna McKinney; Rohena Wallace; Tamana Aziz; Toufique Hossain; Vicash Ramkissoon; Zofia Duszynska

Testimonials

‘The team has tremendous reach and cover in this area, attracting ambitious and able people’. 

‘James Packer is very smart and engaged with his cases, has an ability to gauge the advocacy needs of a case well’.

‘The team are diligent and work so incredibly hard in a hostile environment and ever changing landscape’.

‘It is no small feat that they are able to deliver very high quality work and yet are able to do so on the basis of largely publicly funded models, forming teams of fee earners and supervisors at different levels of experience’.

‘Toufique Hossain has led them into being a complete powerhouse. Boundary pushing, taking risks, and advancing the interests of their clients and the sector’.

‘They have been involved in some of the most important cases in this area in the last 10 years. Their public law team is extremely active in both judicial review claims for unlawful detention and civil claims for false imprisonment. They are also heavily involved in the trafficking arena, both in claims for judicial review and civil/human rights claims’.

‘Duncan Lewis are probably the biggest legal aid Claimant immigration firm in the country. They have managed something that almost no other firm has – to have a broad coverage with a lot of fee earners and yet maintain a high quality of work’.

‘Duncan Lewis have a number of young, talented lawyers who are willing to challenge the orthodoxy. They demonstrate how innovative law is possible on Legal Aid’.

Work highlights

  • Acting in an appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) against a decision to deprive the Appellant, an aid worker in Syria, of his British Citizenship on grounds of national security.
  • Acted in an appeal to the Upper Tribunal, which handed down a reported determination in August 2020 that recognised for the first time in UK asylum law that a “person living with disability or mental ill-health” may qualify as a member of a particular social group (PSG).
  • Handled Eritrea Focus’ legal challenge against the UK government’s funding and support to the EU Trust Fund for Africa’s ‘Reconnecting Eritrea and Ethiopia through rehabilitation of the main arterial roads in Eritrea’ development project in Eritrea.

Hausfeld & Co LLP

Hausfeld & Co LLP has an ‘international reputation for representing claimants in civil liberties and human rights claims across the globe - and in particular in cases which relate to the environment'. The firm is known for bringing competition damages actions, as well as its flexible approach to engagement structures and litigation funding possibilities. Counsel Ingrid Gubbay and Wessen Jazrawi combine strength in competition, human rights and environmental law with broad litigation experience. They co-lead the team with Sarah Moore, who joined from Leigh Day in 2020 and brings expertise in bringing litigation against UK registered corporate defendants and the UK Government on behalf of groups of claimants in the UK and overseas.

Practice head(s):

Ingrid Gubbay; Wessen Jazrawi; Sarah Moore

Other key lawyers:

David Lawne; Luke Grimes; Lianne Craig

Testimonials

‘Hausfeld has an international reputation for representing claimants in civil liberties and human rights claims across the globe – and in particular in cases which relate to the environment’.

‘Hausfeld has a large team of litigators with a tremendous depth of experience and expertise in this field. They are committed to claimant civil liberties and human rights work. They are proactive, flexible and use technology to ensure that they are well connected to their clients and Counsel. They are also flexible in terms of fees which is important for claimants in such claims’.

‘Ingrid Gubbay has enormous experience as a litigator in the UK and leads a strong team which includes Wessen Jazrawi, David Lawne and Luke Grimes. Wessen, David and Luke are all very valuable members of her team and I have been impressed by their empathy with our clients, their commitment to the cases we have brought and the fact that they have not only worked hard on those cases but also helped me work through the issues and legal arguments’.

‘Ingrid Gubbay’s knowledge of public law, civil liberties, human rights and environmental law coupled with her tactical awareness makes her a formidable litigator and one who you would always want on your side!’.

‘We have valued Hausfeld’s collaboration with us on an environmental matter.  They have brought insight, enthusiasm and expertise to the role, have been a delight to work with and have really understood what is important to us and worked extremely hard to deliver results which met our drivers’.

‘Lianne Craig is exceptional – bright, insightful, hard-working and a delight to work with’.

Key clients

British Gymnasts

16 child petitioners including Greta Thunberg

A group of villagers in Zambia

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a growing group of former gymnasts, all of whom allege that coaches employed (or in relationships akin to employment) by British Gymnastics caused them to suffer physical and emotional abuse, including, in some cases sexually inappropriate behaviours and sexual abuse.
  • Acting for Greta Thunberg and other teenage activists on a legal solution of taking the fight for global climate change action to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child – the first time ever for climate change.

ITN Solicitors

ITN Solicitors’ forte is complex litigation and the group has notable experience, which covers national security work, defending the right to protest, prison related issues, inquests, data protection matters and trafficking issues. The firm advises on a range of civil actions arising from wrongful arrests and assaults, public law challenges arising from policing issues and handles advisory work for NGOs and campaigning organisations. Lochlinn Parker leads the practice and is a specialist in protest law.

Practice head(s):

Lochlinn Parker

Other key lawyers:

William Kenyon

Testimonials

‘Exceptional job on all levels’.

‘Lochlinn Parker is a real player in the area’.

Work highlights

  • Handling an Article 3 claim arising from an assault on the client in the Closed Supervision Centre at HMP Woodhill. The client was left with life changing injuries, after the assault by a prisoner who had a history of using violence against prisoners.
  • Acted for a community organiser and an adviser to the Metropolitan Police who was seeking to organise a BLM protest on the August bank holiday. The MPS threatened him with arrest.
  • Acted in two separate but linked Appeals to SIAC against deprivation of British citizenship. Successful in demonstrating that the clients, who travelled to Syria at the height of the war, cannot be stripped of their British citizenship.

McCue Jury & Partners

McCue Jury & Partners is known for its international law and human rights expertise, as well as its work in public interest litigation, transitional justice work and cross-border asset recovery issues. The firm also has a track record of representing and negotiating on behalf of UK prisoners abroad and political prisoners globally. Jason McCue is an expert in international public and civil affairs with a focus on transitional justice, human rights, peace and reconciliation, and conflict resolution mandates. He co-leads the team with Matthew Jury, who handles issues related to public international law, domestic and international human rights law, litigation and campaign management work.

Practice head(s):

Jason McCue; Matthew Jury

Testimonials

‘This practice offers extensive experience in cases involving war crimes, terrorism, and human rights. They have a track record of success and enjoy a wide network of attorneys in Europe and US’.

‘Matthew Jury is dedicated and knowledgeable. He would work with clients who may be experiencing financial difficulties and find creative ways to secure funding’.

‘The team has been enthusiastically forthcoming to support us as clients when our cases were challenging and revealed jurisdiction gaps, with very helpful and resourceful international networking to bridge gaps, also very creative and flexible regarding financial needs giving us a sense of accommodation rarely found elsewhere’. 

‘Team is very aligned revealing only more encouraging surprises, always listened to feedback including empathetically and very sensibly attending to our thoughts and feelings, making very decent efforts to accommodate our needs whenever possible. Resourceful brave individuals with specialty and expertise, complementing each other in the various jurisdictions to bring forth a persistent resolve towards our goals’.

‘McCue Jury & Partners take on cases which are very much in the eye of the public.  It is in my opinion that this legal company are at the forefront of the legal areas in which they deal’.

‘Matt Jury is not just a solicitor he is man who helps you through every part of the legal case that he has taken on. Our case was covered nationwide and a great amount of mental stress was bestowed upon us. This is where Matt came into his own offering the full support of McCue Jury & Partners and associates of the company’.

‘I do not think there would be any other legal company within the UK who would have taken this case let alone taken it on and got the result that everyone thought was impossible’.

‘The firm spent extensive time to assess the viability of our case. McCue Jury & Partners listened attentively, asked insightful questions, hired capable counsels, and accepted our case after objectively assessing the viability and the realistic potential of achieving our objectives’.

Work highlights

  • Representing a person whose father was murdered by the IRA in the 1982 bombing of Hyde Park. In December 2019, the chief suspect who had evaded criminal justice for nearly 40 years was found liable by the High Court in London for his role in the bombing.
  • Representing the partner of a policewoman murdered by a gunman from the Libyan Embassy in 1984.
  • Representing the claimants, all Syrian citizens, who have been forced permanently to flee their homes in Syria as a result of the unlawful actions of the Al-Nusra Front (ANF). The civil proceedings have been brought against the alleged funders and financiers of ANF.

Saunders Law

Active in inquests, public inquiries, judicial reviews and human rights matters, Saunders Law represents a range of individuals, charities and private companies in the area. The firm is particularly well regarded for expertise in Article 2 inquests, high-profile public inquiries and challenges to police/CPS decisions not to prosecute alleged perpetrators of sexual offences. Nia Williams is the ‘talented and effective leader of the Human Rights team'.

Practice head(s):

Nia Williams

Other key lawyers:

Ceri Lloyd-Hughes

Testimonials

‘I have been very impressed with the civil liberties team. They are well-organised, persuasive and legally strong and very good to deal with. I would certainly place them at the upper end in quality of firms practising in this area’.

‘The Saunders team is smaller than some in the area, but they punch above their weight, handling a number of high profile and complex cases’.

‘Nia Williams is a talented and effective leader of the Human Rights team’.

‘The team at Saunders Law is highly experienced in a wide range of civil liberties and human rights matters, including civil claims, inquests and inquiries and civil liberties and human rights judicial reviews. They provide excellent client care’.

‘Nia Williams is a fantastic solicitor, who has been involved in a number of high-profile cases, in which she has achieved excellent results. She is well-respected by her peers and a real rock for her clients in a time of need’.

‘Ceri Lloyd-Hughes has a broad range of experience across different areas of law but where she really shines is in her expansive knowledge of prison law. She achieves excellent results in cutting-edge civil liberties and human rights public law matters, claims for damages and inquests’.

Key clients

Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Infected Blood Inquiry

200+ clients as part of the Hillsborough Victims’ Misfeasance Litigation

Work highlights

  • Acting for victims in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, Undercover Policing Inquiry, and Infected Blood Inquiry.
  • Acting for 200+ Claimants (survivors and families of the deceased) in a group misfeasance claim against two police forces arising out of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in 1989.
  • Acted for the family of a person who died after being arrested and restrained by Surrey Police in 2013.

Simpson Millar LLP

The Simpson Millar LLP practice draws from strengths in the firm in education, administrative and public law. The group has particular Court of Protection expertise in relation to disputes involving local authorities and health trusts, as well as being ‘known for challenges in the trafficking arena and also challenges by way of judicial review to refusals in respect of vulnerable asylum seeking minors or other vulnerable adults’. Public law specialist Imogen Jolley leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Imogen Jolley

Other key lawyers:

Verity Altaras; Lois Clifton; Victoria Pogge von Strandman; Chris Callender

Testimonials

‘I started working with Simpson Millar over the past few years and I have been incredibly impressed with the extremely high level of commitment they bring to every case’.

‘They are particularly known for challenges in the trafficking arena and also challenges by way of judicial review to refusals in respect of vulnerable asylum seeking minors or other vulnerable adults seeking to join their family members in the UK’. 

‘Their lawyers are also extremely well prepared and dedicated, but they never lose sight of client’s needs.’

‘Verity Altaras is a joy to work with. Is always incredibly well prepared and always goes the extra mile, especially when representing vulnerable minors’.

‘Lois Clifton is a junior associate but shows real promise for the future’.

‘Victoria Pogge von Strandman is incredibly easy to work with. Has great litigation knowledge and a very impressive lawyer.’

‘The Simpson Millar team are innovative, caring and fight hard for their clients’.

‘Chris Callender is a brilliant partner. His knowledge of all areas of public law relating to children and young people is exceptional. His client care skills with the most vulnerable clients are fantastic, and he always does the utmost to ensure their voices are heard’.

Howells

Howells’ work includes actions against the police, judicial reviews, prisoner’s rights issues, death in custody matters, mental health tribunals, inquests and criminal law challenges. The firm has also been active in Human Rights Act test cases in the House of Lords and Supreme Court. Practice head Peter Mahy covers a range of matters in the area, notably judicial reviews, inquests, police misconduct matters and injunctions in protestor cases.

Practice head(s):

Peter Mahy

Other key lawyers:

Kulvinder Gill

Testimonials

‘Very approachable team. Put clients needs first. Made a great choice of barrister for us who made a big impact on our case’.

‘Kulvinder Gill is extremely hard working, very approachable and puts you as a client at ease with her outstanding knowledge and commitment to her job and clients’.

‘Howells are committed to the individual seeking redress against large corporations or the state. They act for ordinary people who find themselves in difficult situations, and are committed to trying to remove the difficulties that ordinary people have in getting justice’.

‘Peter Mahy has a very detailed knowledge of police misconduct procedures and civil claims’.

‘Kulvinder Gill is very experienced in bringing civil claims against the police’.

Gold Jennings

The ‘very strong, dedicated public law specialists’ of Gold Jennings have expertise in acting for disadvantaged and marginalised individuals and groups in connection with wrongs committed by the state. Matthew Gold is director and head of civil actions against public authorities. He co-leads the team with Clare Jennings, who is head of the public law and community care group.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Gold; Clare Jennings

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Etheridge

Testimonials

‘The team at Gold Jennings, under Clare Jenning’s expert and driven leadership, is absolutely first-rate and a match for any of the well-known firms in this field’.

‘Clare Jennings: commitment, knowledge of this field, and general approach is second to none’.

‘Rachel Etheridge: her work was outstanding across the board: her legal work, her work on the evidence, and her tactical approach. Rachel had been very proactive in analysing the Defendant’s policy position, digging out material which was very difficult to find, bringing together other organisations who were able to offer support through providing evidence of broader, systemic problems, and putting together a comprehensive picture of the policy background through detailed research and analysis’.

‘Got an excellent result for a client of mine recently – very tricky’.

‘They care, express their humanity and brilliantly help non-lawyers understand what lawyer terms mean. I have faith in them when I leave bereaved families in their care. Very strong, dedicated public law specialists’.

‘Particular strength in relation to human rights claims, including data protection, freedom of information, and actions against the police’.

Work highlights

  • Acting in a challenge to the Secretary of State for Home Department for accommodating 400 vulnerable asylum seekers in the military Napier barracks during the coronavirus pandemic, in conditions which it is alleged breaches Articles 2, 3, 5 and 8 ECHR and subjects residents to false imprisonment.
  • Handling a challenge to the Secretary of State for Home Department’s policy of seizing the mobile phones of all migrants entering the UK by small dinghy and mining of data thereafter.
  • Successfully proposed challenge to the exclusion of migrant children with No Recourse to Public Funds from the extended coronavirus free school meals voucher scheme.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s politics and law group focuses on political disputes, regulation and consultancy, bringing its broad expertise to bear on a range of human rights cases, particularly those involving corporate and ethical issues. The firm has experience in defending politically motivated persecutions, including defending extradition claims made by countries that fall under the European Arrest Warrant and Category 2 states that have extradition treaties in place with the UK; a notable strength is utilising human rights law to block attempts to extradite clients. James Libson acts for an array of clients, including high-profile individuals, corporations, families, family offices and charities. He co-leads the team with managing associate Katy Colton, who specialises in political, commercial and media litigation.

Practice head(s):

James Libson; Katy Colton

Other key lawyers:

Harry Eccles; Ben Brandon

Testimonials

‘Top quality people’.

‘Katy Colton is a rising star’.

‘The firm is a world-class firm and I have heard only wonderful things about the professionalism and the exceptional abilities the firm has demonstrated over the years, amidst a highly competitive market’.

‘James Libson, Harry Eccles, Ben Brandon and Katy Colton – are all exceptional in human rights cases which mix corporate and ethical issues’.

Work highlights

  • Filed several claims and complaints in a number of countries (UK, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg), as well as against financial institutions in connection with systems of automatic exchange of information from the EU to the US (‘FATCA’) and between non-US countries amongst themselves (‘CRS’).
  • Acted for The Jewish Labour Movement and individual whistleblowers from within the Labour Party staff, the main complainant to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (“EHRC”) in relation to antisemitism in the Party, first making the case that the EHRC should initiate a formal investigation under s.20 of the Equality Act 2006.
  • Advised a family on a pro bono basis in raising a complaint with a school’s governing body about the uniform rules and the way in which they were applied.

Sinclairslaw

Sinclairslaw is known for its work on securing rights for individuals through claims against the state, particularly in relation to education law or community care law. Helen Gill leads the public law and civil liberties teams and focuses on acting for individuals in claims against the state and public bodies.

Practice head(s):

Helen Gill

Other key lawyers:

Louise Eardley

Testimonials

‘They have been instrumental in maintaining healthy case management’.

‘Helen Gill is a solicitor who has been resolute and steadfast in all matters’.

‘Helen Gill works in a wide range of social welfare and local authority law and is a persistent campaigner and meticulous with detail.’

Wilson Solicitors LLP

Wilson Solicitors LLP is ‘really at the top of the game in the civil liberties and human rights field’ and stands out for its ‘experience in immigration matters‘. The firm is also active in judicial review claims and has strength across a range of civil litigation. Judicial review and civil liberties specialist James Elliott leads the team and is ‘outstanding on detention matters particularly’.

Practice head(s):

James Elliott

Other key lawyers:

Katy Robinson; Nkiru Okafor; Aisling Ni Chuinn; Nina Rathbone Pullen; Marcela Navarrete; Nusrat Uddin

Testimonials

‘Good human rights lawyers with experience of immigration matters’.

‘Katy Robinson and James Elliot are both stalwarts of the scene. I think they are really good – very experienced, committed and reliable. At or near the top of the area’.

‘James Elliott is outstanding on detention matters particularly, as is Nkiru Okafor’.

‘They are really at the top of the game in the civil liberties and human rights field. In the immigration cross over areas in particular, they are known as being leaders in their field’.

‘Their public law team is extremely active in both judicial review claims for unlawful detention and civil claims for false imprisonment’.

‘They are heavily involved in the trafficking arena, both in claims for judicial review and civil/human rights claims and are increasingly involved in fighting for the rights of overseas migrant children hoping to be reunited with relatives in the UK. They are incredibly well prepared, dedicated and really know their stuff, but importantly, they never forget that there is always a client at the heart of every important legal challenge’.

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in a challenge to the system and criteria for determining eligibility for accommodation under schedule 10 of the Immigration Act 2016, of wider relevance to many destitute migrants. The test case was successful with judgment handed down in July 2020.
  • Represented a client in a challenge to a police policy relating to how potential victims of trafficking should be dealt with which required the officer in the case to contact Immigration Enforcement.
  • Successfully represented a client in a claim for unlawful detention spanning almost 4.5 years.