Jennifer MacLeod is a leading junior barrister who is particularly sought after for her experience in complex, challenging and high-profile litigation. She has a wide ranging practice, with particularly notable expertise in human rights, public, and competition law.
She has recently been described in the legal directories as
Jennifer frequently appears in the High Court, Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), and other international tribunals.
She is particularly experienced in acting unled, as her practice entails a mixture of led work and work as sole advocate, both domestically and internationally.
She acts for a range of clients, from multinational corporations to government and public bodies, NGOs and private individuals. She has been appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel, as well as the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s B Panel.
She was a founding board member of Lawyers against Abuse and is a current board member of JUSTICE.
Jennifer is described in the directories as a “star of her generation” and a “leading light” in civil liberties and human rights (see Legal 500, 2021), building on her experience in a range of human rights and development organisations prior to joining the Bar. She is particularly adept at handling “complex human rights-related judicial review” (C&P 2020, 2021) and is regularly involved in both domestic and international challenges (including in the Supreme Court, the ECtHR, and UN Treaty Bodies).
She has been involved in litigation covering an array of human rights violations; from systemic discrimination and violence against women, to the limits of the right to privacy; from the use of indiscriminate weaponry to commercial property rights claims.
Jennifer also acts for a wide range of clients. She undertakes extensive pro bono work, (including for NGOs and campaigning organisations as well as individuals), for which she has been nominated for numerous prizes, winning the Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year award in 2019 and again (jointly) in 2020. She has been appointed to the Equality and Human Rights’ Commission’s B Panel and the Attorney General’s B Panel and is noted in the directories as being “sought after by both government bodies and private companies” (C&P, 2019, 2020).
Her notable instructions include:
Jennifer accepts instructions in all areas of chambers’ commercial practice, and across a range of industry sectors. She maintains a flexible practice, and is equally at home cross-examining in the County Court, advising on multi-billion dollar claims in the Commercial Court, or making submissions in the higher courts.
Her current and recent work includes:
Jennifer is consistently ranked as a leading junior in competition law: she is described as “an outstanding junior, one of the future stars of the competition bar. She is razor-sharp, has a phenomenal work ethic and is 100% committed to each and every case” (Legal 500, 2021). She acts both led and unled in the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the High Court, and has appeared as junior counsel in many of the leading cases in competition law in recent years, including the first pure excessive pricing case in the UK (Pfizer v CMA) as well as the first cartel damages trial and appeal (BritNed v ABB).
She works on both standalone and follow-on claims, and has extensive experience of both individual and class actions. While she is particularly “noted for her work on a range of high value cartel actions” (C&P, 2018, 2019), including on power cables, trucks, foam, air cargo, CRTs and envelopes, she has attracted praise for her work on “varied matters” in this area and her practice encompasses a wide range of competition law issues and claims. She has notable experience of abuse of dominance claims for defendants, authorities and claimants.
She also regularly advises, typically on an unled basis, economic undertakings as to the lawfulness of their arrangements as a matter of competition law, in which she has acted in a range of spheres.
Notable instructions include:
Jennifer has significant experience of a wide range of EU law disputes, and is noted as having “particular experience dealing with regulatory and EU-related issues” (C&P, 2020). As well as advising clients from an array of different industries, she regularly litigates issues entailing points of EU law in both the domestic and EU courts. She is comfortable dealing with intricate regulatory structures and has particular experience in pharmaceutical, intellectual property and free movement disputes.
Notable instructions include:
In Jennifer’s public law and competition practice she regularly deals with issues arising in the pharmaceutical sector.
She recently acted as junior counsel for the CMA in Flynn and Pfizer v CMA (CAT, Court of Appeal), an appeal by pharmaceutical companies against a fine imposed for excessive pricing on anti-epileptic drugs (in a team led by Mark Hoskins QC), and continues to act as junior counsel for the CMA in a number of appeals relating to the price of pharmaceutical products, including in respect of thyroid drugs in Cinven and others v CMA (CAT).
She has also advised a range of generic and originator companies in disputes arising out of issues to do with licensing/marketing authorisations, and in respect of competition issues.
Jennifer has an extensive public law practice, and is frequently instructed in high-profile, complex and creative challenges. She is recommended in the directories as an “excellent strategic public lawyer” who is “frequently instructed in all types of judicial review” (C&P, 2020, 2021). Her led and unled work encompasses the full ambit of public law: from judicial reviews entailing multifaceted elements of EU or pharmaceutical law; to human rights claims in the international courts; as well as acting in a wide range of tribunals, inquests, and claims against public bodies.
Jennifer has been appointed to the Equality and Human Rights’ B Panel and the Attorney General’s B Panel of counsel and is noted in the directories as being “sought after by both government bodies and private companies” (C&P, 2020, 2021). She has acted for a range of commercial bodies, particularly in multifaceted regulatory matters involving elements of international and EU law. Many of these claims require a consideration of the rights of such bodies and entail A1P1, intellectual property, licensing and free movement issues.
As set out above, Jennifer also has particular expertise in human rights and civil liberties, building on her experience prior to coming to the Bar. She undertakes extensive pro bono work, including for NGOs and campaigning organisations as well as individuals, for which she has been nominated for numerous prizes, and for which she received the Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year award in 2019 and again (jointly) in 2020.
Her notable instructions include:
Jennifer’s public law and human rights practice necessarily entails significant issues of public international law. In both her domestic and her international work, she is often asked to advise and act on issues of public international law.
Jennifer has particular expertise in international human rights, and she has been instructed both led and unled before the UN treaty bodies such as the CEDAW Committee and the CAT as well as the ECtHR. She also has experience in acting in domestic and EU challenges based on rules of international law.
Her notable instructions include:
September 2014 – present: Tenant, Brick Court Chambers
September 2013 – September 2014: Pupil, Brick Court Chambers
January 2011 – February 2016: Co-founder and board member of Lawyers against Abuse
July 2012 – June 2013: Lead Consultant on Due Diligence Project, Special Rapporteur for Violence against Women/ UN Women
January 2012 – June 2012: Visiting Lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand
January 2011 – December 2011: Harvard Law School Holmes Public Interest Fellow, Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa
August 2010 – December 2010: Senior Fellow, Institute for International Law and Human Rights
2012 – 2013: BPTC, City Law School (Outstanding)
2009 – 2010: LL.M, Harvard Law School
2006 – 2009: MA (Hons) Law, University of Cambridge (Downing College) (First Class)
Scholarships and Prizes
Jennifer has received a number of accolades since beginning her practice, including:
She also received many academic scholarships and prizes as a student, including:
ALBA, BEG, COMBAR, LCLCBA, JUSTICE, Liberty, HRLA
Board member of JUSTICE
“Jenny is a real rising star and is incredibly impressive.” “She is phenomenal – clever, sensitive and powerful as an advocate” (Chambers & Partners, Civil Liberties and Human Rights; International Human Rights Law, 2022)
"An absolutely outstanding and incredibly hard-working barrister." "She is extremely talented and doesn't shy away from analytical problems and complex matters." (Chambers & Partners, Administrative & Public Law, 2022)
"She considers every angle of the problem and makes sure that no stone is left unturned." "Easy to work with and has a great manner. She is extremely hard-working. I think you really feel in safe hands with her." (Chambers & Partners, Competition Law, 2022).
“Jennifer is razor-sharp and focussed. She is super committed to her clients and will go above and beyond to ensure that they get the best possible representation. Her submissions are always a cut above.” (Legal 500, Competition Law, 2022)
“Combining hard work, detailed knowledge of her case and the law, positivity and sheer talent, she generates respect from lay and professional clients, her colleagues and the court.” (Legal 500, Civil Liberties and Human Rights, 2022)
“Jennifer is simply brilliant. She combines hard work, detailed knowledge of her case and the law, positivity and sheer talent, she generates respect from lay and professional clients, her colleagues and the Court. She has outstanding judgement and tactical nous.” (Legal 500, Administrative and Public Law, 2022)
"She has a hugely impressive ability to be completely across the detail and also to sit back and see the bigger picture." "She's an extremely hard worker, who is very user-friendly and completely committed." (Chambers & Partners, Competition Law, 2021)
"Super smart, takes no nonsense and very ready to roll up her sleeves." "Very impressive with clients, who really rate her very highly." (Chambers & Partners, Administrative and Public Law, 2021)
“One of those rare barristers who can really change the fortunes of a case” (Legal 500, Administrative and Public Law, 2021)
“A star of her generation” “Phenomenally quick, a great team player and a fantastic strategist. She is the full package”. “Passionate, focused and fiercely determined - and won’t be steered off course no matter what the opponent tries to throw at her! A real leading light who will go far” (Legal 500, Civil Liberties and Human Rights, 2021)
“An outstanding junior, one of the future stars of the competition bar. She is razor-sharp, has a phenomenal work ethic and is 100% committed to each and every case” (Legal 500, Competition, 2021)
"She has judgement and wisdom beyond her call and is constantly striving to push litigation forward in the right way." "She is the kind of barrister that solicitors dream of working with: she is approachable, extraordinarily diligent and very willing to support solicitors with the legwork involved in preparing a case. She is also an excellent strategic public lawyer and has a very sympathetic manner with lay clients." (Chambers & Partners, Administrative & Public Law, 2020)
"Working with her is a very collaborative process; she works very hard and will answer all of your questions however small or large. You can tell that the silk she works with puts a lot of weight on her opinion." "She is on top of the case, knows the critical points and is able to educate other members of the team." (Chambers & Partners, Competition Law, 2020)
“Her expertise and ability in the area of international human rights litigation are greater, in my opinion, than anyone else I know at her level of call at the Bar” (Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year, 2019)
"Very thoughtful and measured, she produces excellent written work." "She listens carefully, helps identify the best strategic approach, and is clear in setting expectations and ensuring everyone is on the same page. She's a really excellent, straightforward communicator with a lovely friendly manner." (Chambers & Partners, Administrative & Public Law, 2019).
"An excellent prospect for the future who is really clever and really personable." (Chambers & Partners, Competition Law, 2019).
"She is a very switched-on, up-and-coming junior." (Chambers & Partners, EU Law, 2019).
"She is very helpful - she understood the matter well and provided sensible, commercial advice." "She's a very impressive junior, she has an excellent eye for detail, a very friendly manner, and she took a lot of responsibility for the work product." (Chambers & Partners, Competition Law, 2018)
"She is exceptionally clever and deeply committed to cases. She's a delight to work with." (Chambers & Partners, EU Law, 2018)