Helen Mountfield QC > Matrix Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile
Matrix Chambers Offices
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Helen Mountfield QC
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(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3 (Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3
Helen Mountfield QC – Matrix Chambers ‘ Helen is very bright, hard working, possesses good judgement and is very easy to get on with. She is a delight to work with and produces a first class work product. ’
Matrix Chambers is ‘extremely well-placed in the area of administrative and public law with great strength, especially at QC level‘, with distinguished silks such as Phillippa Kaufmann QC being sought after on human rights cases; Karon Monaghan QC, who continues to advise on the UK Infected Blood Inquiry; and Tim Owen QC, who represented three claimants in a judicial review of the Foreign Secretary’s decision to refuse to extend protection and assistance to Afghan nationals, who asserted they had worked as undercover agents for the UK for many years in the Helmand province. Helen Mountfield QC often represents claimants in judicial reviews where public policy is under scrutiny for being discriminatory, such as representing the Equality and Human Rights Commission in a Supreme Court appeal, SC, CB and 8 Children v Secretary of State for Work of Pensions, a challenge to the availability of the individual element of child tax credit for the first two children only. Leading junior Zoë Leventhal represented claimants in the first case to reach the Court of Appeal about Universal Credit, R (TP, AR & SXC) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a case centered on whether the phasing of Universal Credit and the absence of transitional protection is discriminatory against severely disabled people. In other news, the set also expanded its bench strength at the senior end with the appointment of Mathew Purchase QC, Sarah Hannett QC and Christopher Buttler QC to silk in 2021.