Brendan McGurk > Chambers of Tim Ward KC and Philip Moser KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Tim Ward KC and Philip Moser KC
Monckton Chambers
Brendan McGurk photo


Brendan is a leading junior with a wealth of experience in Commercial, Public law and Regulatory disputes. He offers expertise across Chambers’ core areas and he is in equal demand amongst public and private clients in Judicial Review, EU, Competition, Procurement, and Tax litigation. In addition, he regularly acts in Financial Services, Insurance, Sport and Professional Negligence disputes. His intellectual rigour, hard work and commercial common sense has resulted in a thriving advisory practice. Brendan is personable and persuasive and is regularly instructed in his own right as both a trial advocate and an appellate advocate. In addition, he has been an integral team member in several high-value commercial disputes. Brendan was appointed to the Attorney-General’s A Panel in July 2017. In March 2019 Hart published Brendan’s new book ‘Data Profiling and Insurance Law’ which considers the legal implications of Insurers’ use of personal data in underwriting and claims decisions and which won the prestigious British Insurance Law Association book prize for 2020. He is co-author of Professional Indemnity Insurance, the second edition of which was published in February 2016 by Oxford University Press and the chapter on UK Merger Control (with Ben Rayment) in Weinberg and Blank on Takeovers and Mergers. In addition, Brendan has published several articles on Insurance and Competition law. Brendan is an affiliate lecturer in Competition Law at Cambridge University and teaches Article 102 on the LLM course.


Called 2004. He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2015 and to the Bar of Ireland in 2018.

Before coming to the Bar, Brendan held a lectureship in Constitutional and Administrative Law at Wadham College in the University of Oxford. He is now an associate lecturer in Competition Law at Cambridge University.


Brendan obtained First Class Honours as an Undergraduate at Cambridge and as a Postgraduate at Oxford. His D.Phil was supervised by Professor John Gardner and is entitled ‘The Rule of Law in the Regulatory State’. He was short-listed for a Prize Fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford in 2003, won a Queen Mother’s Major Scholarship in 2004 and a Bar European Group Scholarship in 2006. Before coming to the Bar, Brendan held a lectureship in Constitutional and Administrative Law at Wadham College in the University of Oxford.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Tax: VAT and excise

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Brendan Mcgurk Monckton Chambers ‘Brendan is a fantastic advocate, his oral submissions are particularly persuasive and he is adept at pitching his submissions so that they contain the appropriate level of detail. ’

Monckton Chambers boasts ‘a number of excellent barristers at a senior and junior level’, offering an unrivalled breadth of experience in indirect tax matters; combining VAT expertise with extensive knowledge of EU, human rights and public law. Melanie Hall KC regularly utilises her wealth of knowledge across the tax realm to litigate on emerging and nuanced areas such as cryptocurrency. Valentina Sloane KC is acting for the Swedish drinks maker in Kopparberg and Cider of Sweden v HMRC, a High Court claim against the UK for an alleged breach of EU law concerning post-duty point dilution which could result in subsequent claims worth hundreds of millions. In Devon Waste Management Ltd & Others v HMRC, Hall KC and Brendan McGurk successfully represented HMRC in the significant test-case challenge brought by leading landfill operators who sought repayment of £3bn of allegedly overpaid landfill tax. Peter Mantle represented the appellant in The Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation v HMRC, seeing the Upper Tribunal declare that the sale of goods such as ice cream sold during intervals are not includable when recovering VAT input tax associated with production costs.

London Bar > Administrative law and human rights

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Brendan McGurkMonckton Chambers

London Bar > Public procurement

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Brendan McGurkMonckton Chambers ‘A well prepared advocate who is very good on his feet.

London Bar > Competition

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Brendan McGurkMonckton Chambers

London Bar > European Union law

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Brendan McGurkMonckton ChambersA smooth and articulate advocate, Brendan is highly technical and produced great written work. He has stood up to tough questions from judges on EU law authorities in the highest courts, such as the CJEU.

Monckton Chambers is widely recognised and respected for its vast expertise in all areas of EU law, regularly instructed to advise and litigate on behalf of UK government departments, private sector clients, NGOs and EU institutions, acting in the leading cases in the field. Josh Holmes KC is representing the plastic manufacturer against various EU institutions in Symphony Environmental v the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission, the case concerns a damages claim for losses caused by a ban introduced on the sale of oxo-degradable plastic products, raising important legal issues on the EU’s regulatory framework applicable to chemicals and the proportionality of product bans under EU law. Concerning the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit transition period, Tim Ward KC acted successfully for the appellant in R (Fratila) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; the first case to reach the Supreme Court on Brexit arrangements regarding the application of EU non-discrimination law to EU citizens with rights of residence. Philip Moser KC and Brendan McGurk are representing the government in Good Law Project v the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care & Abingdon, a case regarding the procurement of Covid-19 antigen testing which raises questions regarding procurement, EU and state aid law.

London Bar > Professional negligence

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 5

Brendan McGurkMonckton ChambersQuietly impressive, always available and humble.’