Martin Westgate QC > Doughty Street Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Doughty Street Chambers
Doughty Street Chambers

Work Department


Martin Westgate has a consistent track record of advice and representation in a wide range of subject areas although he concentrates on public and administrative law, housing and social care. Much of his work is in, and on appeal from, the Administrative Court and he is experienced in professional negligence and costs litigation, particularly in cases related to his main practice areas. His broad based practice makes him an ideal choice for cases that have a multidisciplinary aspect or that are difficult to categorise.

Martin is ranked in the 2015 edition of Chambers in the fields of Administrative and Public Law, Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Local Government and Social Housing and in the Legal 500 for Administrative and Public Law Civil Liberties and Social Housing. Commentators note that he “has taken well to silk” and is “a clever man who translates his thoughtfulness into creative and effective legal arguments”. He is described as a “very skilful and formidable advocate” whose wider experience of public law issues enables him to “think out of the box on more challenging cases”.

He is leader of the public law and housing and social welfare teams within chambers and vice chair of the Administrative Law Bar Association.

His record since taking silk in 2010 continues to demonstrate his range and versatility. He has appeared in a number of leading cases (see below) at all levels up to and including the Supreme Court.

Martin is qualified to undertake direct access work. He has been trained as a mediator with CEDR and undertakes and represents in mediations.


Called 1985; Middle Temple; QC 2010.


Administrative Law Bar Association

Housing Law Practitioners Association


Oxford (1984 BA Jurisprudence).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Administrative and public law (including elections)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3

Martin Westgate QCDoughty Street Chambers He is excellent on this feet and judges really respect him.

‘In terms of admin and public lawDoughty Street Chambers ‘has a wealth of talent‘. ‘The set is very strong, especially at junior level‘, with members primarily focusing on work representing individuals. Edward Fitzgerald QC  represented a number of Chagossians, the community displaced in the 1960s and ’70s by the construction of the military base on Diego Garcia, in prolonged litigation concerning their potential return; Martin Westgate QC represented the defendant in RB Kingston v Moss, a High Court case concerning the local authority’s selling on of watering and sewerage service at a profit. Unled, Jude Bunting represented the British Pregnancy Advisory Service in a Court of Appeal case concerning the meaning of the “exceeded” in the Abortion Act 1967. In the political space, Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC  advised Stella Creasy MP on clearing with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority the appointment of a “locum” to cover constituency casework during her maternity leave from the house.

London Bar > Court of Protection and community care

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 2

Martin Westgate QCDoughty Street ChambersA hugely experienced silk.

Doughty Street Chambers is an ‘excellent set that is always motivated to help. Its barristers are the cream of the crop.’ Also, various clients have praised  its webinars during the Covid-19 and have said’ Chambers is well ahead of other Chambers in keeping others updated with the knowledge it has collated and that has been so useful.’ The ‘brilliant’ set is able to handle the full range of community care and Court of Protection matters. One highlight to note is the promoted Martin Westgate QC acting for Liberty R (JCWI) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 452 (Admin), EHRC, Residential Landlords Association and Liberty intervening. He also acted for the claimant in MK v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 3573 (Admin), a judicial review challenge to the delays in the process for deciding asylum claims by unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC joins this year’s silk rankings, and Ulele Burnham‘s practice continues to go from strength to strength, while in rising stars Antonia Benfield and Daniel Clarke, the future of the team looks bright.

London Bar > Social housing

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Martin Westgate QCDoughty Street ChambersMartin is flawless on his feet and fights tooth and nail to win cases. It is no surprise when a judge accepts his compelling submissions.

Doughty Street Chambers has a first-rate reputation acting for individuals (including tenants and homelessness applicants) in many of the leading cases seen in the social housing arena. It has a strong presence in housing cases that interface with issues such as mental health, physical disability, immigration, community care and public law, among others. In 2019, Martin Westgate QC represented Shelter an intervening party at the Supreme Court in R (DA & others) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and DS v SSWP, which involved linked challenges to the revised, lower benefit cap. In another matter, Westgate QC acted for Shelter and Child Poverty Action Group in Samuels v Birmingham City Council, which was a homelessness appeal regarding whether a person can be intentionally homeless if they lose their home through non-payment of rent when they cannot pay their rent without using subsistence benefits. Ben Chataway successfully represented the defendant in Waltham Forest LBC v Saleh, which concerned a local authority’s obligations where it sought to house a homelessness applicant outside of its own district.

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

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3

Martin Westgate QCDoughty Street ChambersVery clever and insightful lawyer. He has an impressive ability to analyse cases and give a concise analysis of the pertinent issues.