Helen Mountfield QC > Matrix Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Matrix Chambers
Matrix Chambers


Helen is a versatile silk with a strong leading practice in public law, human rights and equality, information, EU and employment law. Recent/notable public law cases include: R(Susan Smith) v Ministry of Defence (Supreme Court; article 1 ECHR jurisdiction); R(London Borough of Lewisham & Ors) v Ofqual & Ors (Div Court; successful rebuttal of challenge to GCSE English results); CN v United Kingdom (ECtHR; first finding of breach of Article 4 ECHR against UK); Czop & Punakova v SSWP (CJEU: rights under Citizens’ Directive; distinction between self-employed persons and workers); R(G) v Governing Body of X School (Supreme Court; article 6 ECHR, education); Burnip v Department for Work & Pensions (Court of Appeal; relevance of UN Conventions in national law); Watkins v Woolas (the Oldham East and Saddleworth election petition); and R (Woolas) v Parliamentary Election Court (Div Court; reviewability of decision of Parliamentary Election Court); R(Hurley & Moore) v SSBERR (Div Court; partly successful challenge to introduction of university tuition fees); R(E) v Governing Body of JFS (Supreme Court; race discrimination and schools); R(Green) v Gloucestershire & Somerset CC (successful library closure challenges); R (Harris) v LB Haringey; R(Hajrula) v London Councils, Secretary of State v Elias, R(Cordant Group plc) v BERR; Brown v DWP & BERR; R(Kaur & Shah) v LB Ealing (all major cases on public sector equality duties); RB & OO (Jordan) v SSHD and AH v SSHD (CA and House of Lords terrorism, Article 6); YL v Birmingham CC (House of Lords, public authorities and HRA); Re B (House of Lords – burden of proof and human rights); Ladele v London Borough of Islington (CA); Catholic Care v Charity Commission; R(Watkins-Singh) v Aberdare Girls’ High School; Ghai v Newcastle CC (human rights & religion); Pedro v DWP (CA; EU Citizens’ Directive); Stec v UK (Grand Chamber ECtHR). Other notable cases on www.matrixlaw.co.uk


Called 1991 Gray’s Inn; recorder 2009; silk 2010; Deputy High Court Judge (Administrative Court) 2013. Treasury A Panel (until 2010); special advocate; member of Equality and Human Rights Commission panel. Publications include ‘Blackstone Guide to the Human Rights Act 1998’ (6th ed 2011), and edits ‘White Book’ on human rights. Lectures widely in UK and abroad, including at Harvard, NYU, Cambridge and for the Judicial Studies Board.


Administrative Law Bar Association; Employment Law Bar Association; Employment Law Association; Bar European Group; Human Rights Lawyers’ Association; Bar Pro Bono Unit Panel.


Magdalen College Oxford (BA Hons History 1st class); City University (Diploma in Law); King’s College London (Postgraduate Diploma in EU Law); Holker Scholar and Reid Scholar of Gray’s Inn.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Administrative and public law (including elections)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3

Helen Mountfield QCMatrix ChambersShe is extremely bright and very able, and can construct extremely effective and persuasive argument. She is much liked by clients for her keen, unstinting approach, and her empathy, and her willingness always to go the extra mile.

London Bar > Education

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Helen Mountfield QCMatrix ChambersAn incisive legal mind who is very experienced in equality law and human rights.

Matrix Chambers has a ‘stellar range of exceptional and experienced juniors and top-level silks‘ acting for a range of clients, particularly further education and higher education institutions. Helen Mountfield QC is the key member of the education practice and is representing claimant Ebenezer Azamati against the Oxford Union Society in a highly publicized matter pertaining to racial and disability discrimination as well as assault. Sarah Hannett was instructed by Ofsted in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, while David Wolfe QC represents the Independent Schools Inspectorate in the same inquiry.

London Bar > Court of Protection and community care

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3

Helen Mountfield QCMatrix ChambersImmensely experienced.

London Bar > Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3

Helen Mountfield QCMatrix ChambersShe has a brain the size of a planet and is a fabulous advocate. Simply superb to work with.

London Bar > European Union law

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3

Helen Mountfield QCMatrix ChambersShe is firm, highly skilled in the law, and capable of bringing together a range of opinions from practitioners who themselves have had years of experience.