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Cloisters Chambers

Living Wage
Work 020 7827 4000
Fax 020 7827 4100

Robin Allen QC

Work 020 7827 4000
Cloisters (Cloisters Chambers)


Head of Cloisters; has appeared in many of the leading employment, discrimination, public and human rights cases; has a major advisory practice for public authorities of all kinds from the GLA to local government, and specialist NDPBs to central government such as the Army and Department of Health. Has a particular interest in the proper use of publicity powers and the making of politically sensitive decisions. Works frequently with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, both as advocate, and adviser on their powers and governance. ‘Lawyer Magazine’ shortlisted him for barrister of the year 2010. He was ‘Chambers & Partners’ Employment Law Barrister 2008 and 2012, chosen ‘Times’ ‘Lawyer of the Week’ 2005, and of ‘The Lawyer’ magazine’s ‘Hot 100’ Lawyers 2004. Works both internationally and nationally, including with the European Commission, and has addressed audiences including judges and politicians throughout Europe on discrimination law. Has appeared in numerous reported cases every year since 1978. For a list of notable cases see full CV at


Called 1974; QC 1994; Bencher, Middle Temple 1994; called to Northern Ireland Bar 2009; member of the Bar Council and Chair of the Equality Diversity and Social Mobility Committee; Recorder; chairman of the Bar Conference 2002; speaks at lectures and seminars regularly; chaired the Home Office Sub-Committee Publicity Committee for the launch of the Human Rights Act 1998; special adviser to Disability Rights Commission 2002-07; consultant to Age Concern and Age Europe 2004-09; Age UK 2012; trustee of the London Bombings Relief Fund 2005-08. Recent publications: edited the Bar Council and Lord Chancellor’s Department published the ‘Study Guide to the Human Rights Act’ 2004; Human Rights and European law sections of Bullen and Leake and Jacob’s ‘Precedents of Pleading’ 2007; ‘Human Rights and Employment Law’, with Rachel Crasnow and Anna Beale of Cloisters, 2007; ‘Blackstones Guide to the Equality Act’ (2012); ‘Family Rights at Work’ with Rachel Crasnow, 2012.




Founder member of the Discrimination Law Association; chairman of the Bar Pro Bono Unit and Bar in the Community 2000-02; chairman of the Employment Law Bar Association 1996-98.


Philosophy, Politics and Economics MA, Oxford.

London Bar

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

Within: Leading Silks

Robin Allen QC - Cloisters ‘ A very well-respected silk. ’

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Within: Leading Silks

Robin Allen QC - Cloisters ‘ Excellent at identifying and maintaining sight of key strategic issues even when swamped with the minutiae and other distractions. ’

Within: Employment

Cloisters' members are highly regarded for their expert knowledge in all aspects of employment law across a broad range of sectors including financial services, transport, education, government, retail, and technology. The set's members act for both employers and employees, including trade unions. Robin Allen QC and Rachel Crasnow QC acted for part-time judges in O'Brien v Ministry of Justice, a high-value claim which considered discrimination against part-time judges in the calculation of pensions; in November 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union found in their clients' favour, bringing the 13-year dispute to a close. Elsewhere, Paul Epstein QC represented Birmingham City Council and Tesco in a multimillion-pound mass equal pay disputes.

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