Melanie Cumberland > Chambers of Simon Denison QC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Simon Denison QC
6KBW College Hill


Melanie has been appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel (Civil). Melanie acts in a variety of sensitive and complex cases, focusing on inquests, public inquiries, judicial review, extradition and immigration proceedings.

She was recently instructed as Junior Counsel for the Home Secretary in the public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko and for the Ministry of Defence in the Al-Sweady Public Inquiry which is investigating allegations of murder and torture by British forces in Iraq in 2004. She appeared for the Ministry of Defence in the inquest into the deaths of McCaughey and Grew, which concerned the shooting by British forces of two IRA terrorists in 1990.

Melanie has substantial expertise in contempt of court. Most recently, she appeared for the Attorney General in contempt proceedings brought against three individuals for breaching the injunction protecting the identity and whereabouts of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson (convicted of the murder of James Bulger).


A significant element of Melanie’s practice involves national security work. She appears in national security appeals before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission and the Court of Appeal (recently, B2 v Secretary of State for the Home Department (terrorist training with Al-Qaida in the Yemen; statelessness) and Y1 v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Islamic extremism in the FATA). Melanie’s practice has a strong human rights emphasis and she has experience in acting proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights.

Melanie has been involved in many of the most complex and high profile extradition cases of recent years. She specialises, in particular, in fraud and terrorism cases involving the United States of America, the Russian Federation and Spain.


Called 2001. Attorney General’s Panel for Civil Litigation (List A).


Bilingual Spanish; fluent French.


University of Oxford, MA (Hons) Modern Languages; College of Law, London (CPE/Postgraduate Diploma in Law); Inns of Court School of Law (BVC).