People

Martin Chamberlain QC

Year of Call: 1997 Silk: 2013

Clerk: Deborah Anderson deborah.anderson@brickcourt.co.uk

Martin Chamberlain QC

Year of Call: 1997 Silk: 2013

Clerk: Deborah Anderson   deborah.anderson@brickcourt.co.uk

‘He is a superb barrister: extremely balanced and incredibly bright.’ ‘He will be a superstar in silk. He is extremely calm, and a lucid and dignified advocate who commands the respect of the court.’
- Chambers & Partners 2014

“Martin Chamberlain is ‘a defendant superstar’ who wins the universal regard of the market. ‘He is calm, knows all of the law and gets to the real practical points of a case.’”
- Chambers & Partners 2013

overview

Martin Chamberlain was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2013 after 14 years in practice. As a junior, he was recognised as a "star individual" for both Admin & Public Law and Human Rights. He was named Human Rights and Public Law Junior of the Year in 2011.

Martin acts and advises in judicial review and human rights claims for both claimants and defendants. For claimants, his work ranges from human rights claims on behalf of individuals and NGOs, to commercial and regulatory judicial review claims and appeals in financial services, environmental law, aviation, healthcare, pensions, pharmaceuticals, tax, telecoms & transport. For defendants he appears for governmental and other public bodies in public law cases of all kinds including in the fields of education, local government, equality & discrimination and professional regulation.

Martin is currently instructed in a number of matters before the European Court of Human Rights (both for claimants and for state respondents) and the EU courts. He also undertakes commercial and employment work.

Before becoming a QC, Martin served for 12 years as a member of the Attorney General's Panels of Junior Counsel to the Crown (including 5 years on the A Panel) and has been instructed in some of the most high profile Government public law and human rights litigation. He is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Preferred Counsel Panel and has acted both as open counsel and as a Special Advocate in terrorism and other national security cases.

practice areas

Martin practises predominantly in public law and human rights, and in EU law. He also has experience of competition law and of general commercial and employment work.

Public Law

Martin is as happy acting for commercial clients in complex regulatory challenges as he is acting for individuals and NGOs in human rights and constitutional claims in the UK or in Strasbourg. For defendants he has acted for almost every Government department, for a variety of regulators and for local authorities in cases covering every aspect of public law and human rights.

Commercial and regulatory judicial review and appeals

  • Bank Mellat v HM Treasury. Instructed as Special Advocate for an Iranian bank in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, successfully challenging financial restrictions imposed to prevent nuclear proliferation (2010-2013).
  • Virgin Atlantic v Delta. Instructed by the Comptroller General of Patents in a major intellectual property case before the Court of Appeal concerning the impact of Article 6 ECHR on the effect in English law of decisions of the European Patent Office.
  • Eventech v Transport for London. Instructed by Transport for London successfully defending an EU free movement challenge by minicab firm Addison Lee to the rule preventing minicabs from using London bus lanes. Case currently before the Court of Appeal (2012-date).
  • Northern Rock Applicants v Caldwell. Instructed by Mayer Brown for the Independent Valuer of Northern Rock defending the nil valuation of the shares in Northern Rock from a challenge on public law and human rights grounds worth (according to the appellants) more than £1bn. Case currently before the Supreme Court (2011-date).
  • Air Transport Association of America v Environment Secretary. Instructed by Freshfields for the ATA challenging the extension of the EU carbon trading scheme to aviation before the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the EU in Luxembourg (2010-2012).
  • BAA v Competition Commission. Instructed by Herbert Smith challenging the divestment order in respect of Stansted Airport (2011-2012).
  • Instructed for a major airport defending a pricing complaint before the Civil Aviation Authority (2012).
  • Instructed by the Mayor of London defending public law, EU and state aid challenges by Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient to the decision to select West Ham as preferred bidder for the lease of the Olympic Stadium (2011).
  • JBOL Ltd v Health Protection Agency. Instructed by the HPA successfully defending a challenge to its guidance on the microbiological analysis of urine (2011).
  • Tate & Lyle v Energy & Climate Change Secretary. Defended challenge to decision on renewable energy subsidies in the Admin Court and Court of Appeal (2010-2011).
  • Global Knafaim Leasing v CAA et al. Instructed for the Transport Secretary successfully resisting a claim for declarations of incompatibility in relation to legislation relating to the detention of aircraft (2010).
  • Servier Laboratories Ltd v NICE. Instructed by Bristows for a pharmaceutical company challenging NICE's decision in relation to the efficacy of its osteoporosis drug and in relation to the disclosure of information regarding its economic model in the Admin Court and Court of Appeal (2009-2010).
  • Instructed by Freshfields for Lufthansa in relation to regulatory issues arising in its dispute (ultimately settled) with Sir Michael Bishop over the ownership BMI (2009).
  • Norris v Government of the United States of America and others. Instructed by White & Case for Ian Norris, the appellant, in the Divisional Court, House of Lords and Supreme Court challenging his extradition to the USA on charges of running a price-fixing cartel and of obstructing justice (2006-2010).
  • National Grid Gas plc v Environment Agency. Instructed by Pinsent Masons in the House of Lords for gas supplier National Grid in its challenge to the Environment Agency's decision on liability to remediate contaminated land (2006).
  • Yukos v FSA, London Stock Exchange & Rosneft. Instructed by Cleary Gottlieb for Russian oil company Rosneft resisting Yukos' judicial review application to prevent the admission of Rosneft's securities to listing and trading on the London Stock Exchange (2006).

Human Rights, Civil Liberties & Constitutional Law

  • Noor Khan v Foreign Secretary. Instructed by Leigh Day in a challenge to the legality of intelligence sharing for drone attacks in Pakistan. Case currently before Court of Appeal (2012-date).
  • Al-Nashiri v Poland. Instructed by the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights, intervening in a challenge before the European Court of Human Rights to the CIA rendition programme (2012-date).
  • Sandiford v Foreign Secretary. Instructed for the Foreign Secretary defending a challenge under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to the refusal to fund a lawyer for a woman sentenced to death in Bali. Case currently before the Court of Appeal (2013).
  • Othman v Home Secretary. Instructed as Special Advocate for Abu Qatada challenging his deportation to Jordan on human rights grounds. Case currently before the Court of Appeal (2012-date).
  • SM v Defence Secretary. Instructed as Special Advocate for an Afghan detainee challenging on human rights grounds the Defence Secretary's policy of transferring detainees to the custody of the Afghan Government (2012).
  • R (Evans) v Defence Secretary. Instructed as Special Advocate in an application by the Daily Mail to open parts of the court’s closed judgment in this historic case about the MoD’s detention policy in Afghanistan.
  • Georgia v Russia. Instructed by the Russian Government defending a major inter-state human rights claim by the Government of Georgia. Case currently before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (2011-date).
  • Animal Defenders International v UK. Instructed by the UK Government successfully defending a freedom of expression challenge to the prohibition on political advertising before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (2010-2013).
  • R (G) v Governors of X School. Instructed for the Home Office in the Supreme Court in this landmark case about the procedural rights under article 6 ECHR of teachers accused of sexual misconduct with children (2011).
  • Stewart v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Instructed for the Government in this leading case on the application of Article 14 ECHR to welfare benefits (2011).
  • Zagorski v Business Secretary. Instructed for the Government resisting a human rights claim brought under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights by US death row prisoners seeking to establish a duty to impose export controls on sodium thiopental (a drug used in executions in the US) (2010).
  • Abu Hamza v Home Secretary. Appeared as Special Advocate for Abu Hamza in his appeal to SIAC, challenging the decision to strip him of his UK Citizenship (2010).
  • AW v Home Secretary. Instructed as lead Special Advocate for terrorist suspect AW, whose control order was quashed because the material before the Home Secretary was materially misleading (2009).
  • RB & U v Home Secretary. Instructed in the House of Lords as Special Advocate for two terrorist suspects challenging their deportation to Algeria (2009).
  • Home Secretary v Lord Alton of Liverpool. Instructed as Special Advocate for a group of Parliamentarians successfully challenging the proscription under the Terrorism Act 2000 of the Iranian opposition group the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (2007-2008).
  • OGC v Information Commissioner. Instructed for the Speaker of the House of Commons in this leading case on the Freedom of Information Act and Parliamentary privilege (2008).
  • R (Dimmock) v Education Secretary. Instructed for the Education Secretary defending a challenge to the decision to send copies of Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth to schools in England and Wales (2008).
  • Jackson v HM Attorney General. Acted for 3 members of the Countryside Alliance in the divisional Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords, challenging the validity of the Parliament Act 1949 and the Hunting Act 2005 (2005).
  • R (Prolife Alliance) v BBC. Appeared for a small political party asserting its right to an uncensored party political broadcast. This is now a leading case on the scope of the right to freedom of expression (Article 10 ECHR) in the broadcasting arena (2004).

Environment, transport and local authority

  • Eventech v Transport for London. Instructed by Transport for London successfully defending an EU free movement challenge by minicab firm Addison Lee to the rule preventing minicabs from using London bus lanes. Case currently before the Court of Appeal (2012-date).
  • Air Transport Association of America v Environment Secretary. Instructed by Freshfields for the ATA challenging the extension of the EU carbon trading scheme to aviation before the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the EU in Luxembourg (2010-2012).
  • Instructed by the Mayor of London defending public law, EU and state aid challenges by Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient to the decision to select West Ham as preferred bidder for the lease of the Olympic Stadium (2011).
  • Tate & Lyle v Energy & Climate Change Secretary. Defended challenge to decision on renewable energy subsidies in the Admin Court and Court of Appeal (2010-2011).
  • Hillingdon LBC v Transport Secretary. Instructed for Transport for London supporting the successful challenge to the Government's decision to support a third runway at Heathrow (2010).
  • Eco-Power UK v Transport for London. Instructed for Transport for London defending decisions in relation to emissions equipment for taxis (2008-2010).
  • Wandsworth LBC v Transport Secretary. Instructed for the Government successfully resisting a challenge to the lawfulness of the night noise regime at Heathrow (2008).
  • Heathrow Airport Ltd v Garman and others. Appeared for Transport for London successfully resisting a wide-ranging injunction to prevent threatened environmental protests at Heathrow Airport (2007).
  • National Grid Gas plc v Environment Agency. Instructed by Pinsent Masons in the House of Lords for gas supplier National Grid in its challenge to the Environment Agency's decision on liability to remediate contaminated land (2006).

Equality & discrimination

  • Stott v Thomas Cook. Instructed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the Supreme Court on behalf of a disabled claimant seeking damages for injury to feelings during the course of flight. The case, which addresses the interaction between EU discrimination law and the Montreal Convention, will be heard in November 2013 (2012-date).
  • MM v Work and Pensions Secretary. Instructed for the Government defending a disability discrimination challenge to the rule for assessing eligibility for employment support allowance. Case currently before the upper Tribunal (2012-date).
  • Zacchaeus 200 Trust v Work and Pensions Secretary. Instructed for the Government defending a challenge on vires grounds and under s. 149 of the Equality Act 2010 to housing benefit reforms (2012-date).
  • Hereward & Foster v Legal Services Commission. Instructed for the LSC resisting an EU and domestic sex discrimination challenge to scoring criteria for the award of contracts for publicly funded legal services (2010).
  • Randall & Berllaque v MOD. Appeared as lead counsel for the MOD in the Gibraltar Court of Appeal in an employment dispute involving two members of the Gibraltar Services Police (2009).
  • Elias v Defence Secretary. Instructed for the Government defending a race discrimination challenge to the ex gratia compensation scheme for Far-Eastern Prisoners of War (2006).
  • Experience of acting in race, sex, religious and disability discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal, County Court and Admin Ct.
  • Experience of employment-related confidence claims.

EU/Competition

Martin’s practice regularly involves EU law challenges in the domestic courts and before the EU courts in Luxembourg.

  • Stott v Thomas Cook. Instructed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the Supreme Court on behalf of a disabled claimant seeking damages for injury to feelings during the course of flight. The case, which addresses the interaction between EU discrimination law and the Montreal Convention, will be heard in November 2013 (2012-date).
  • Eventech v Transport for London. Instructed by Transport for London successfully defending an EU free movement challenge by minicab firm Addison Lee to the rule preventing minicabs from using London bus lanes. Case currently before the Court of Appeal (2012-date).
  • Sandiford v Foreign Secretary. Instructed for the Foreign Secretary defending a challenge under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to the refusal to fund a lawyer for a woman sentenced to death in Bali (2013).
  • Air Transport Association of America v Environment Secretary. Instructed by Freshfields for the ATA challenging the extension of the EU carbon trading scheme to aviation before the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the EU in Luxembourg (2010-2012).
  • Instructed by the Mayor of London defending public law, EU and state aid challenges by Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient to the decision to select West Ham as preferred bidder for the lease of the Olympic Stadium (2011).
  • Hereward & Foster v Legal Services Commission. Instructed for the LSC resisting an EU and domestic sex discrimination challenge to scoring criteria for the award of contracts for publicly funded legal services (2010).
  • Zagorski v Business Secretary. Instructed for the Government resisting a human rights claim brought under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights by US death row prisoners seeking to establish a duty to impose export controls on sodium thiopental (a drug used in executions in the US) (2010).
  • Acted for the GSM Association in the domestic stages of the challenge to the Roaming Regulation.
  • Spain v UK. Junior to the Attorney General resisting Spain's complaint that the UK has no right to extend the franchise in European Parliament elections to non-nationals (2006).
  • Tas-Hagen. Acted for the UK Government in a case concerning the scope of the citizenship provisions in the EC Treaty (2006).

Commercial

Martin’s practice focuses on public law, but he is often instructed for commercial clients in cases with a public law, human rights or EU aspect.

  • Bank Mellat v HM Treasury. Instructed as Special Advocate for an Iranian bank in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, successfully challenging financial restrictions imposed to prevent nuclear proliferation (2010-2013).
  • Attrill et al. v Dresdner Kleinwort Ltd. Instructed by Linklaters for a leading bank defending claims by two groups of ex-employees for payments totalling over £50m by way of discretionary bonus (2010-2013).
  • Virgin Atlantic v Delta. Instructed by the Comptroller General of Patents in a major intellectual property case before the Court of Appeal concerning the impact of Article 6 ECHR on the effect in English law of decisions of the European Patent Office.
  • Northern Rock Applicants v Caldwell. Instructed by Mayer Brown for the Independent Valuer of Northern Rock defending the nil valuation of the shares in Northern Rock from a challenge on public law and human rights grounds worth (according to the appellants) more than £1bn. Case currently before the Supreme Court (2011-date).
  • Instructed by Freshfields for Lufthansa in relation to regulatory issues arising in its dispute (ultimately settled) with Sir Michael Bishop over the ownership BMI (2009).
  • Norris v Government of the United States of America and others. Instructed by White & Case for Ian Norris, the appellant, in the Divisional Court, House of Lords and Supreme Court challenging his extradition to the USA on charges of running a price-fixing cartel and of obstructing justice (2006-2010).
  • Yukos v FSA, London Stock Exchange & Rosneft. Instructed by Cleary Gottlieb for Russian oil company Rosneft resisting Yukos' judicial review application to prevent the admission of Rosneft's securities to listing and trading on the London Stock Exchange (2006).

Publications

  • One of the Editors of the White Book.
  • The Justice and Security Bill [2012] Civil Justice Quarterly 31(4), 424-429.
  • Case Note: Al Rawi v Security Service and Home Office v Tariq [2011] Civil Justice Quarterly 30(4), 360-366.
  • Update on Fairness in Closed Proceedings, [2009] Civil Justice Quarterly 28(4), 448-453.
  • Special Advocates and Fairness in Closed Proceedings, [2009] Civil Justice Quarterly 28(3), 314-326.
  • Kehoe and the Enforcement of Child Maintenance Rights, [2006] Civil Justice Quarterly 25 (Apr), 142-145.
  • Immigration Appeals and the Rule of Law: A Very Dicey Argument, [2004] Judicial Review, 112-118.
  • Democracy and Deference in Resource Allocation Cases: A Riposte to Lord Hoffmann', [2003] Judicial Review, 12-20.

Qualifications

  • BA in Philosophy, Politics & Economics, Oxford, First Class
  • Diploma in Law, City University, Distinction
  • BCL, Oxford, First Class
  • Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law, Outstanding
  • Eldon Law Scholar (Oxford University)
  • Queen Mother's Fund Scholar (Middle Temple)

Directory Quotes

  • 'He is a superb barrister: extremely balanced and incredibly bright.' 'He will be a superstar in silk. He is extremely calm, and a lucid and dignified advocate who commands the respect of the court.' (Chambers and Partners, 2014)
  • ‘exceptionally intelligent and impressive in the clarity of his advice’. (The Legal 500, 2013)
  • The universally high quality of Brick Court's members makes it difficult to pick out individuals, but the stars here include the ‘formidable' Mark Howard QC and the ‘stunningly good' and ‘extremely gifted' Martin Chamberlain. (Chambers & Partners, 2013)
  • Martin Chamberlain is ‘a defendant superstar' who wins the universal regard of the market. ‘He is calm, knows all of the law and gets to the real practical points of a case.' (Chambers & Partners, 2013)
  • Martin Chamberlain is one of the stars of the junior Human Rights Bar. His status is reflected by his defendant work in cases of the prominence of Georgia v Russia II, concerning human rights violations allegedly committed by Russia during the Russo-Georgian war of 2008. Sources describe him as ‘a very cool character in court,' who has the power to ‘make the complex simple'. (Chambers & Partners, 2013)
  • Of the juniors, Martin Chamberlain is ‘absolutely first class' (The Legal 500, 2012)
  • 'clearly an expert on human rights law' (The Legal 500, 2012)
  • described as a ‘star in the making', and draws approbation for his capacity for explaining highly technical issues with clarity and concision (Chambers & Partners, 2012)
  • the set's ace in the pack among the juniors is Martin Chamberlain (Chambers & Partners, 2012)
  • sources admire his "first-class mind and the complete focus he brings to a case," adding that "he is consistently excellent in all he does." (Chambers & Partners, 2012)
  • ‘he is easy to work with and has thorough judgment, knowing which arguments to run and which not to.' One solicitor commented: ‘He is destined for fantastic things.' (Chambers & Partners, 2012)

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