Hugh Southey QC > Matrix Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Matrix Chambers


Hugh Southey has led at all levels up to and including the Supreme Court as well as in the Privy Council, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. He has led in 26 hearings before the Supreme Court. Hugh has also litigated in a range of jurisdictions including Northern Ireland, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, the Turks and Caicos and the United States. Hugh specialises in public law in a wide range of fields including human rights, regulatory, prison law, inquests, crime, extradition, mental health, terrorism, immigration, discrimination and elections. Hugh litigates public law and human rights arguments both in judicial review proceedings and civil claims. Hugh also appears in criminal appeals and Court of Protection matters. Hugh’s human rights practice has expanded so that it includes a number of cases regarding privacy. Recent key cases including: R (A) v SSJ [2021] UKSC 37; R (Hemmati) v SSHD [2021] AC 143; R (P) v SSHD [2020] AC 185; R(Stott) v SSJ [2020] AC 51.


Solicitor 1991-96; called 1996; Inner Temple; QC 2010; Recorder 2010 to date. Publications of note: Wrote (with Amanda Weston, Jude Bunting and Raj Desai) ‘Judicial Review: A Practical Guide’ (3rd edition); edited (with Lord Justice Fulford) the ‘United Kingdom Human Rights Reports’; wrote (again with Lord Justice Fulford) ‘A Criminal Practitioners Guide to Judicial Review and Case Stated’; recently written a chapter in ‘Human Rights in the Investigation and Prosecution of Crime and Judicial Review: Law and Practice’.


ILPA; Association of Prison Lawyers; Administrative Law Bar Association; Prisoners Advice Service; Mental Health Lawyers Association; Human Rights Lawyers Association; Legal Action; Liberty; Justice; Amnesty International.


Harrow Weald Sixth Form College; Imperial College (1987 MEng Chemical Engineering); City of London Polytechnic (1989 CPE and Law Society Finals).


Running, skiing, cricket (watching), theatre, music, travel.

Lawyer Rankings

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

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Hugh Southey QCMatrix ChambersHugh’s breadth of experience in criminal justice issues gives him a unique perspective and very diverse knowledge base.

London Bar > Administrative and public law (including elections)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 4

Hugh Southey QCMatrix ChambersOne of the leading practitioners in prison law. Vast experience and encyclopaedic knowledge of the cases in that field. An engaging advocate to whom the court will listen.

London Bar > Immigration (including business immigration)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Hugh Southey QCMatrix ChambersAn incredibly thorough analyst of material who provides very clear and precise written work.

Described as a ‘very professional set with very good barristers‘, the offering at Matrix Chambers fields ‘superstar silkRaza Husain QC, human rights/EU expert Hugh Southey QC and trafficking specialist Samantha Knights QC. Frequently instructed in maters appearing before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, its members notably act for individuals and charities in connection with modern slavery claims and are increasingly focused on sports and business immigration. Two recent important cases are Husain’s representation of the UNHCR as intervener in G v G, a Supreme Court case on the interaction of non-refoulment and international child abduction returns, and Nick Armstrong‘s involvement in the JCWI’s challenge to the government’s “right to rent” policy. Christopher Buttler QC took silk in March 2021.

London Bar > Inquests and inquiries

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Hugh Southey QCMatrix ChambersVast experienced and with encyclopaedic knowledge.

Inquest and inquiry work are a core area for ‘extremely good and well-organised setMatrix Chambers. The crossover between inquest and inquiry work and the set’s other key areas, such as administrative, criminal, mental health, police and prison law, means the chambers consistently acts in headline cases. Acting on behalf of over 200 survivors and bereaved families, Danny Friedman QC and Raj Desai remain involved in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Phillippa Kaufmann QC represents represents a number of core participants (in the Undercover Policing Inquiry), who were subjected to secret police activity; and Hugh Southey QC represents the family of Mark Duggan, whose fatal shooting by police in 2011 (triggering the riots of that year) was ruled a lawful killing by an inquest jury in 2014, in an application to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that English law on self-defence as it stands is incompatible with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Ifeanyi Odogwu is another key name.