Jamie Burton > Doughty Street Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Doughty Street Chambers
Doughty Street Chambers

Work Department


Jamie’s main areas of practise are human rights, community and health care, housing, social security, landlord and tenant and actions against the police.  He is head of the Doughty Street Community Care and Health Team and is a leading authority on the Care Act 2014 and children’s and migrant’s rights. Jamie regularly appears in the higher courts, including the Supreme Court, and has acted in many leading cases.

In Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Jamie acted for various bereaved, survivors and residents affected by the fire.

As a civil practitioner Jamie acts in human rights claims and other claims against public bodies in addition to contract, tort and landlord & tenant disputes.

Jamie acts for Claimants and Defendants and regularly advises public authorities on their policies and procedures in relation to their statutory and human rights obligations.

Jamie is also Chair and co-founder of ‘Just Fair’, a registered charity that works exclusively on human rights issues, particularly economic, social and cultural rights. Just Fair has had a significant impact on the public debate on human rights in the UK. It has produced several landmark reports on the housing crisis, food poverty and disability rights. Jamie represents Just Fair at the UN and in 2016 he will make submissions to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights about the UK’s compliance with its human rights obligations. 

Jamie sat on the Expert Panel of ‘Housing Rights Watch’ – a pan-European think-tank that works on housing and homelessness rights across Europe and UNICEF’s Expert Group on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and assisted in the drafting of its landmark 2012 report on domestic incorporation of the Convention. He regularly advises charities and other NGOs about international human rights law.

In 2014 Jamie was invited to advice Oxfam on strategic litigation in Bangladesh and in 2009 Jamie spent six months working on welfare and environmental issues in India.  He was involved in a group action concerning the largest anti-poverty scheme in the world (“the Right to Food campaign”) and assisted in various claims relating to environmental damage caused by mining in south India.  

For many years Jamie has presented seminars and given lectures on human rights law and judicial review and is an experienced public speaker.  Recently he has been invited to speak at conferences organised by Reb Law, Legal Action Group, Lawyers Without Borders, The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Public Law Project, Housing Rights Watch, FEANSTA, SOAS and the International Commission of Jurists.

He has written on human rights, public and housing law. Most recently he co-authored “Children in Need”, published by LAG (see here) and Butterworths’ PI Litigation Service, Division XXIV ‘Liability of Public Authorities’ (see here).


Called 1999; Inner Temple. Current directorships: Just Fair. Publications of note: Buterworths Human Rights Bulletin (regular contributions); ‘Humanity 1 Policy 0’ – NLJ 2010 160 1000; ‘A new gateway?’ – NLJ 2010 160 964; ‘An impartial review?’ – NLJ 2009 159 1933.


Housing Law Practitioners Association; the Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association.


Hynland Secondary Scool, Glasgow (1992, Scottish Highers); Bristol University (1998, LLB, 2:1); Inns of Court School of Law (1999, BVC, very competent); London School of Economic Science (2002, introductory economics); Institute for Human Rights, Abo Akademie University, Turku, Finland (2006, economic and social rights).


Football, tennis, theatre.

Lawyer Rankings

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

(2021 Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Jamie Burton QCDoughty Street ChambersJamie is a strong all-rounder. His advocacy is excellent , he is hard- working and he is very bright. He is extremely committed, energetic and creative in his approach to complex legal issues and very good with vulnerable clients.

Doughty Street Chambers is the ‘foremost set for civil liberties, public and international law‘ and ‘boasts astonishing strength in depth‘. The set has a growing claimant side police law practice, which has been bolstered by the arrival of Maya Sikand QC and the appointment of new silks, Adam Straw QC and Jamie Burton QC. Nicholas Bowen QC is ‘highly capable and not afraid to challenge the status quo‘, and regularly acts in appellate cases in actions against the police and public authorities. In Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police v. Dyer, Straw represented the family of Andrew Hall, a man who died after being restrained by police in custody, in a successful High Court judicial review challenge to the Coroner’s decision that all police officers giving evidence in the case would be hidden from the public by screens. Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC is representing the Equality and Human Rights Commission in R (AB) v Secretary of State for Justice and the Youth Justice Board, a case concerning the compliance of solitary confinement of children in Young Offender Institutions with Article 3 ECHR’s ban on inhuman and degrading treatment. Elsewhere, Edward Fitzgerald QC is representing the claimants in Day v The Government of the Cayman Islands, a challenge to the unavailability of same-sex marriage in the British Overseas Territory under its constitution. In March 2021 Graham Denholm joined from Landmark Chambers.

London Bar > Administrative and public law (including elections)

Among the ‘very top sets for administrative and public law‘, Doughty Street Chambers is ‘often involved in leading cases and has great knowledge across the entire set‘, which specialises in representing individuals and companies in public law proceedings against the State. Martin Westgate QC represented a claimant in R (Ncube) v Brighton and Hove City Council, a judicial review challenge concerning the issue of local authorities’ powers to provide shelter for those without recourse to public funds during the Covid-19 pandemic. Westgate QC is also acting alongside Daniel Clarke and Jamie Burton QC for Liberty, in R (JCWI) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, in a challenge to the “right to rent” scheme, under which landlords must check the immigration status of prospective tenants, with Liberty’s submissions focused on the scope of Article 8 and when the state can be liable for a human rights violation by a third party who is not an agent of the state.

London Bar > Social housing

(2021 Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Jamie Burton QCDoughty Street Chambers

Doughty Street Chambers offers a ‘fantastic range of barristers‘ that represent predominantly individual applicants, such as tenants and individuals facing homelessness. Due to the teams overlap of work with community care, administrative law and Court of Protection, the set has a noted specialism in regard to cases involving vulnerable clients with physical or mental health issues as well as acting for asylum seekers. Martin Westgate QC , ‘one of the foremost leading figures in social welfare and public law‘, lead Sarah Steinhardt on R (Imam) v LB Croydon, a mandatory relief claim now pending before the Court of Appeal regarding the homeless status of a disabled person in an allegedly inappropriate property. Zia Nabi appeared before the Court of Appeal in 2020 in Trecarrell House Ltd v Rouncefield, which clarified that the failure to provide a gas safety certificate prior to a tenants occupation does not prevent a landlord serving a s.21 notice. Jamie Burton QC took silk in 2021.

London Bar > Court of Protection and community care

Doughty Street Chambers is ‘a power set‘ with ‘a plethora of excellent barristers in this area‘. The team of ‘strong COP practitioners‘ is well versed in advising on deprivation of liberty matters, contentious property and affairs cases, and issues surrounding capacity, to name a few areas of expertise. Aswini Weereratne QC is ‘a strong advocate who is able to untangle complicated and knotty issues‘; she ‘is one of my first choices for complex Court of Protection cases with a mental health aspect, given her excellent knowledge of both areas and her ability to approach such cases with great care and skill‘, said one client. This year sees Jamie Burton QC elevated to silk, while Tom Stoate, Zia Nabi, Antonia Benfield, Daniel Clarke and rising star Mary-Rachel McCabe are new entrants at the junior end.