Brian Kennelly > Chambers of Monica Carss-Frisk QC and Anthony Peto QC > London, England > Lawyer Profile
Blackstone Chambers Offices
1 Garden Court, Temple
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Barrister specialising commercial law, EU and competition, financial services, human rights and public law, media, entertainment and sport and telecommunications. Full professional career details can be found at www.blackstonechambers.com.
Qualified 1999, Middle Temple; Bar of Ireland 2008.
Lawyer Rankings(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1
In the words of one client, ‘for EU law matters, Blackstone Chambers is one of the best sets, able to offer the brightest, most highly skilled advocates‘, and the set houses specialists in jurisdiction issues, customs, sanctions, employment and immigration. Members are routinely instructed on the most innovative and significant cases in the English courts; as an example, Paul Luckhurst acted as sole counsel in Langton v DEFRA & Natural England, an important Court of Appeal case regarding the correct application of the Habitats Directive. Emily Neill had a particularly busy year which included acting in a £500m group litigation claim against Royal Mail for VAT “hidden” in the price of postal services under EU VAT rules. In Luxembourg, Brian Kennelly QC, leading Jason Pobjoy, successfully acted in Mohamed Hosni Elsayed Mubarak and others v Council of the European Union as the CJEU annulled sanctions imposed on the claimant. James Segan QC took silk in 2020.
Blackstone Chambers is a ‘great set of chambers-across the board‘, and includes a number of barristers with extensive expertise in all areas of competition law. Brian Kennelly QC enjoyed a particularly strong year, having acted for the claimant in CK Telecoms UK Investments Ltd v European Commission before the General Court, which saw the court deliver a landmark judgment overturning the Commission’s decision to block the proposed merger between UK mobile networks Three and O2. In the English courts, James Segan QC, having taken silk in 2020, acted for Huawei in Unwired Planet & Conversant v Huawei which concerned FRAND issues and standard essential patents. Emily Neill acts unled on behalf of major companies such as Ryanair in price control cases, while Paul Luckhurst is contesting two collective class action applications relating to foreign exchange manipulation.
Brian Kennelly QC – Blackstone Chambers ‘ Brian has an unparalleled knowledge of the Irish, EU and UK telecommunications sector and regulatory framework and is able to drill down into very complex issues to present clear, concise advice and plot out next steps in a commercial way. ’
The ‘go-to set for public law or IT & telecoms regulatory-related matters’, the barristers at Blackstone Chambers remain leaders in acting for major communications operators and consumers, and for against regulators such as Ofcom. Before the UK Supreme Court, in the FRAND case Unwired Planet & Conversant v Huawei & ZTE, James Segan QC acted for Huawei and successfully defended against a claim brought by Conversant, a licensing entity connected to Nokia. In Virgin Media Limited v Ofcom, Javan Herberg QC represented Ofcom in dismissing an appeal brought by Virgin Media against Ofcom’s decision to impose a £7m fine for breaching the General Conditions of Entitlement. In addition, Brian Kennelly QC acted for CK Telecoms UK Investments in CK Telecoms UK Investments Ltd v European Commission, where the court annulled the Commission’s decision to block CK Hutchison’s acquisition of O2 UK from Spain’s Telefonica.