John Halford > Bindmans LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Bindmans LLP

Living Wage

Work Department

Public Law and Human Rights.


Partner and Head of Public Law and Human Rights department.

John Halford is a public law specialist. As a litigator, he has focused on judicial review work since 1993, challenging the unfair exercise and abuse of power by public authorities, human rights breaches and discrimination.

John represents individuals, campaign and action groups, unions, charities, schools, professional associations and regulators, arts organisations and commercial companies – not only as judicial review claimants but also as interested parties and interveners in cases brought by others that affect their interests, or those of people they represent.

He has had a number of notable successes in high profile test cases in the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords and the UK Supreme Court, most recently in the Article 50 litigation, where he represented a group of interested parties. He has European Court of Human Rights experience at Grand Chamber level.

John is also a source of decisive and trusted advice on a wide range of complex public law issues. His advisory caseload spans Brexit and other EU law issues, regulatory and licensing, professional disciplinary, procurement, planning, pensions and human rights law matters.


John began work as a lawyer in the voluntary sector, ultimately as a solicitor at the Public Law Project. He joined Bindmans LLP in 2003.


Legal Aid Agency’s cost controls review panel; Administrative Law Bar Association; Human Rights Lawyers’ Association.


John studied the LLB at Essex University and has an MA in Law from Southampton University.

Lawyer Rankings

London > Public sector > Civil liberties and human rights

(Hall of Fame)

John HalfordBindmans 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.

London > Public sector > Healthcare

Bindmans LLP is widely-regarded for its public interest litigation on behalf of individuals, charities, and NGOs across the full scope of contentious healthcare matters. Work in 2020 included advising on matters involving PPE equipment for NHS staff and Covid-19 vaccine prioritisation. Practice leader Charlotte Haworth Hird acts for vulnerable individuals regarding mental health custody and breaches of the ECHR, while Jamie Potter  is an expert on healthcare law relating to the rights of children, as well as also advising on PPE procurement matters. Joint head of the human rights team Saimo Chahal (Hon) KC is a key contact. Counsel Anna Thwaites ‘s practice includes contentious inquests involving individuals that died in state custody. Public law specialist John Halford is also recommended for healthcare litigation.

London > Public sector > Administrative and public law

(Hall of Fame)

John HalfordBindmans LLP

Bindmans LLP was recently involved in numerous major cases, touching on issues concerning immigration, the rights of EU nationals and the pandemic, among others. In a standout matter, the team represented five clients, including the Good Law Project, in proceedings against the government challenging its approval and financing of a mass national testing programme expected to cost over £100bn, against the advice of its own body on national screening programmes. John Halford specialises in litigation involving human rights abuses and discrimination issues, representing individuals, campaign groups and a wide range of other public sector clients. The ‘utterly brilliant’ Jamie Potter is an expert in all areas of public law and has particular expertise in judicial reviews. Associate Salima Budhani is singled out for her work on behalf of vulnerable people, including migrants and victims of human trafficking, bringing claims against the government. Fellow associate Karen May stands out for her expertise in judicial reviews focusing on education law and community care issues.

London > Dispute resolution > Professional discipline

Bindmans LLP‘s practice leverages the firm’s public law, employment and crime expertise. Katie Wheatley is crime, fraud and regulatory head; John Halford has a broad professional disciplinary and regulatory practice; and Kate Goold defends doctors, nurses, teachers and solicitors. Former department head Elizabeth McGlone recently left to join Harrison Clark Rickerbys .