Aileen McColgan QC > Chambers of James Goudie QC and Daniel Stilitz QC > London, England > Lawyer Profile
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Aileen McColgan QC
Specialist in administrative and public, employment, education, election and information law. Aileen has a particular interest in discrimination/ equality as well as in human rights law, higher education-related work and investigations.
Called 2001, practised part-time until 2011 (while Professor of Human Rights Law at King’s College London) and maintained a chair at KCL, then at the University of Leeds, on becoming full-time. Aileen took silk in 2020. She is a long-standing member of the EHRC Panel of Counsel and recently acted as junior counsel to the EHRC in its formal investigation into the BBC’s pay practices. She was junior counsel to the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse between 2015 and 2016 and has been legal adviser to the Northern Ireland Forum on a Bill of Rights and, until 2016, UK legal expert on the European Commission’s networks of legal experts on gender equality and non-discrimination. She currently chairs the Human Rights Lawyers Association.
ALBA, ELBA, HRLA, ILS
Educated Thornhill College Derry; Cambridge (Trinity College), and Edinburgh University
Publications include “Discrimination, Equality and the Law” (Hart 2014) and (with S Hannett and E Prochaska) LAG’s 2017 “Special Educational Needs and Disability Discrimination in Schools: a legal handbook”. Aileen has contributed chapters to many other works including G Millar and A Scott’s, “Newsgathering: Law, Regulation and the Public Interest” (OUP, 2016), “Livingstone, Owen and MacDonald on Prison Law” (OUP, 2015) and Clayton and Tomlinson “The Law of Human Rights’ (2009). She is the author of a wide range of other academic and practitioner-orientated books and articles on areas from criminal and criminal evidence law to individual and collective employment law via human rights law, data protection law and the law relating to civil procedure. The third edition of her Discrimination: Text, Cases and Materials is forthcoming in 2021, with Eddie Bruce Jones as co-author.
Lawyer Rankings(2020 Silks) Ranked: Tier 1
Aileen McColgan QC –11KBW ‘Aileen is an absolute star. She is quick to understand issues and to provide advice in a succinct and clear manner. She has a ability to break down legal language and to address matters in a manner that is easily understandable.’
A set with ‘real strength and depth across the board, whose members appear in most of the major cases‘, 11KBW is active across the public law space, with many members of chambers active for defendants represented by the Government Legal Department, as well as other government bodies, quangos, and some claimant work. Members were on both sides of Lincolnshire Police’s ultimately unsuccessful challenge to the College of Policing’s plan to effectively transform policing into a graduate profession – Jonathan Moffett QC and Christopher Knight for the College of Policing and Charles Bourne QC (elevated to the High Court as of 1 October 2020) and Aileen McColgan QC (a 2020 silk appointment) for the force. The set is ‘one of the leading chambers for dealing with public law issues affecting the health sector‘: Andrew Sharland QC defeated a challenge to the Royal College of Physicians’ neutral stance on assisted dying brought by some of the organisation’s members opposed to it. Clive Sheldon QC successfully represented the government in the Court of Appeal in R (BPAS) v Department of Health concerning the meaning of “the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week” in the Abortion Act 1967. Unled, Jonathan Auburn represented the defendant in R (Leighton) v Lord Chancellor, in which disability activists challenged the lack of qualified one-way costs shifting in discrimination claims. Elizabeth Prochaska, formerly of Matrix Chambers, joined chambers from the role of legal director of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
11KBW is an ‘excellent set with very proactive and high-powered silks’ who are frequently engaged in civil liberties matters pertaining to immigration, social care, and detention. Leading silk Jason Coppel QC represented the Equality and Human Rights Commission in a Supreme Court appeal concerning the immigration rights of human trafficking victims, as well as acting for NGO Maternity Action in a judicial review challenging the NHS charging regime for disproportionately impacting migrant women. Tom Cross is engaged in a judicial review for the parents of Charlie Hughes who are challenging the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Guidelines over the prescription of cannabis-based medicine to children. ‘King of data rights‘ Christopher Knight is also of note and has expertise across media and privacy law-related human rights claims. Aileen McColgan QC has strengthened the set with her elevation to silk in early 2020.
11KBW is ‘an excellent set of chambers with incredible strength in depth. The clerking is also very good, and I always feel confident that the team understands the needs of my clients‘. The ‘constructive and commercial‘ Daniel Stilitz QC successfully acted for Protect, the whistleblowers’ charity, in a Supreme Court appeal which involved the question of whether judges can whistleblow. Meanwhile, Clive Sheldon QC acted for Cambridge University in a judicial review challenge to its decision not to re-engage a lecturer, which followed an employment tribunal’s decision that she was unfairly dismissed. Strengthening chambers at the senior end, Marcus Pilgerstorfer QC, Julian Milford QC and Aileen McColgan QC all took silk in 2020. Peter Lockley and Daniel Isenberg are highlighted as rising stars of the employment Bar.
11KBW has strengthened its stable of leading advocates since launch of the 2020 guide. Elizabeth Prochaska, a public lawyer, specialising in education, equality and human rights, has joined the set from Matrix Chambers; public law specialist Cecilia Ivimy has returned to full-time practice; and licensing expert Philip Kolvin QC has joined from Cornerstone Barristers. Strengthening chambers at the senior end, Julian Milford , Aileen McColgan and Marcus Pilgerstorfer were all appointed silk in March 2020. Elsewhere, Charles Bourne QC has been appointed a High Court judge, assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division from 1 October 2020. In other new, the set has been appointed the sole chambers on the Bar Standards Board new Tribunal Representation Panel which replaces the regulator’s pro bono prosecution panel.