People

Paul Bowen QC

Year of Call: 1993 Silk: 2012

Email: paul.bowen@brickcourt.co.uk Direct phone: 0207 520 9984

Clerk: Ian Moyler ian.moyler@brickcourt.co.uk

Paul Bowen QC

Year of Call: 1993 Silk: 2012

Email: paul.bowen@brickcourt.co.uk Direct phone: 0207 520 9984

Clerk: Ian Moyler   ian.moyler@brickcourt.co.uk

“A fearless advocate, who is always prepared to make difficult points”, “Extremely thorough and tenacious.”
- Legal 500, 2016

"A phenomenal grasp of his area of law." "A really creative lawyer and a great advocate. He is dynamic and pioneering."
- Chambers & Partners 2017

Overview

 

Paul Bowen QC practises across the spectrum of public and administrative law, often with significant human rights, EU or other international law elements.  He has particular expertise in crime and regulatory cases with a public law flavour.  His recent experience includes cases involving the legality of the death penalty, the government’s counter-extremism policy, cross-border taxation, data protection and the regulation of the renewable energy sector, among others. 

Paul is recommended in both Legal 500 2016 and Chambers & Partners 2017 as a leading silk in Public and Administrative Law and Civil Liberties and Human Rights, among others.  While Paul maintains his long-standing public law and human rights practice acting for vulnerable and marginalised individuals, he “increasingly handles public law claims in the commercial and financial services spheres” (Chambers & Partners 2017).  He acts for claimants, defendants and interveners whether individuals, private companies, governments, public authorities, regulators, charities and other NGOs in a wide variety of Courts and Tribunals in the UK, Europe and abroad including the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Cyprus, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.   Paul has been instructed in many of the most significant public law and human rights challenges in the higher courts, appearing on over twenty occasions in the Supreme Court, House of Lords, Privy Council and European Court of Human Rights and with more than a hundred and thirty reported cases to his name.  Paul also appears in the lower courts and before specialist tribunals, inquiries and inquests (usually before a jury) in cases where much is at stake and which are often document-heavy and require skills of cross-examination of witnesses, including of experts, as well as team-working, delegation and client care.  In 2015 he was appointed to the ‘A’ Panel of Counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and in 2017 became an Honorary Professor at the University of Sussex School of Law and Politics.

Paul has mastered the art of paperless practice and is particularly interested in opportunities for electronic working in his areas of practice, both in the UK and across the globe. 

Current and recent cases include:

R (Butt) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department (Administrative Court), judicial review of government’s counter-extremism ‘Prevent’ strategy as it applies to Universities

P v. Metropolitan Police (EHRC intervening) (Supreme Court), acting for EHRC as intervener on appeal concerning disability equality claims following dismissal of a disabled police officer

BDO, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PWC v. Governor of the Cayman Islands (Grand Court, Cayman Islands) acting for Governor in judicial review claims by accountancy firms concerning the legality of CI$5 million of trading fees

Thompson v Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (Grand Court, Cayman Islands) human rights implications of a statutory exclusion from claims in clinical negligence brought against a national health service

Berge Larsen (1) Volaw Trust (2) v. Office of the Comptroller of Taxes (Privy Council, Jersey) legality of Disclosure Notices in foreign tax proceedings and application of the privilege against self-incrimination under Article 6

Lovelace v. R (Privy Council), death penalty appeal

Pitman and Hernandez v State of Trinidad, (Privy Council) constitutionality of mandatory death penalty in Trinidad

Robinson v State of Trinidad, (Privy Council) death penalty appeal

R (PLP) v Secretary of State for Justice, (Supreme Court) ‘residence test’ for legal aid

R (Collins) v Ministry of Justice (Court of Appeal) compatibility with Article 2 of ‘gross disproportionality’ test for defence of self-defence in ‘householder’ cases

R (Catt) v ACPO; R (T) v Met Police, (Supreme Court) retention of sensitive data by police and Art 8

R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice, (Supreme Court) human rights challenges to assisted suicide legislation and Art 8

Cheshire West v P, (Supreme Court) “deprivations of liberty” and Art 5,

Rabone v Pennine Care NHS Trust (Supreme Court) Article 2 and death in psychiatric hospital 

R (Public Law Project) v Secretary of State for Justice, (Court of Appeal) ‘residence test’ for legal aid

R (Gudanaviciene) v Director Legal Aid Casework (Court of Appeal) legal aid in immigration cases 

practice areas

Public Law

Administrative, Public and Human Rights law.

Paul is a judicial review expert, particularly in cases with a human rights dimension, and is recommended as a leading silk in Chambers & Partners 2016 in both Public and Administrative law and Human Rights and Civil Liberties.  He practises across a range of subject areas notably criminal justice, regulatory, data protection, discrimination, EU law, freedom of information, healthcare, community care and education, immigration, inquests, legal aid, mental health, prisons, police law, public procurement and social security.

Recent cases include:

  • R (Collins) v Ministry of Justice (Divisional Court) compatibility with Article 2 of ‘gross disproportionality’ test for defence of self-defence in ‘householder’ cases
  • Berge Larsen (1) Volaw Trust (2) v. Office of the Comptroller of Taxes (Royal Court, Jersey) judicial review of legality of Disclosure Notices in foreign tax proceedings and application of the privilege against self-incrimination
  • R (Catt) v ACPO; R (T) v Met Police, (Supreme Court) retention of sensitive data by police
  • R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice (Supreme Court), assisted dying and human rights
  • R (Purdy) v. Director of Public Prosecutions (House of Lords), assisted dying, human rights and DPP’s discretion to prosecute. 
  • R (Public Law Project) v Secretary of State for Justice (Court of Appeal) ‘residence test’ for legal aid
  • R (Gudanaviciene) v Director Legal Aid Casework (Court of Appeal) ‘exceptional case funding’ legal aid in immigration cases
  • R (MD (Angola)) v SSHD (Court of Appeal) detention of HIV+ immigration detainees.
  • R (D) v Department for Work and Pensions (Court of Appeal), social security and discrimination  
  • R (Lewis) v HM Coroner (Court of Appeal) Art 2 and inquests
  • R (G) v. Notts. Mental Health NHS Trust (Court of Appeal) human rights and smoking ban
  • R (M) v Director Legal Aid Casework (Administrative Court), first challenge to legal aid regime under LASPO
  • R (Antoniou) v CNWL (Divisional Court) art 2 and investigative duties from death in psychiatric hospital
  • R (Diedrick) v SSHD & Chief Constable of Hertfordshire (Divisional Court), stop and search powers
  • R (Public Interest Lawyers) v Legal Services Commission (Administrative Court), public procurement and legal aid
  • R (LSS) v. Youth Justice Board (Administrative Court) public procurement of secure children’s homes, human rights and discrimination
  • R (Harrison & Garnham) v Health Secretary (Administrative Court) human rights, direct payments for healthcare services
  • R (B) v. Director of Public Prosecutions (Divisional Court), DPP’s discretion to discontinue prosecution and human rights.

Criminal Justice/ Regulatory 

Paul has a specialist interest in public law, civil actions and HRA challenges involving criminal justice agencies and other investigating authorities (arrests, questioning, the taking and retention of intimate samples, the execution of search warrants), prosecuting authorities (decisions to prosecute and not to prosecute), inferior courts and tribunals (issue of search warrants, orders for third party disclosure and the like) and detaining institutions (prisons, immigration detention, psychiatric hospitals).   He appears in criminal appeals raising fundamental constitutional issues, in particular Privy Council appeals in death row cases.  He also appears in other civil actions arising out of the actions of criminal justice, investigatory and detaining authorities.  He is recommended as a leading silk in Police Law: Mainly Claimant in Chambers & Partners. 

Relevant cases include:

Judicial review actions against the police and other investigating authorities

  • Berge Larsen (1) Volaw Trust (2) v. Office of the Comptroller of Taxes (Royal Court, Jersey) judicial review of legality of Disclosure Notices in foreign tax proceedings and application of the privilege against self-incrimination
  • R (Catt) v ACPO; R (T) v Met Police, (Supreme Court) retention of sensitive data by police
  • R (Diedrick) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Chief Constable of Hertfordshire (Divisional Court). Challenge to PACE amendments stopping the requirement for ethnic monitoring of all police stops. 
  • R v Hertfordshire County Council ex p. Green Environmental Industries (Court of Appeal) s. 71 Environmental Protection Act, privilege against self-incrimination and EU law.
  • R v Customs & Excise Commissioners ex p. X Ltd & Others, (Divisional Court) HMRC search and seizure and EU law

Judicial review actions against prosecuting authorities

  • R (Collins) v Ministry of Justice (Divisional Court) compatibility with Article 2 of ‘gross disproportionality’ test for defence of self-defence in ‘householder’ cases
  • R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice (Supreme Court), assisted dying and human rights
  • R (Purdy) v. Director of Public Prosecutions (House of Lords), assisted dying, human rights and DPP’s discretion to prosecute. 
  • R (B) v. Director of Public Prosecutions (Divisional Court), DPP’s discretion to discontinue prosecution and human rights.

Judicial review actions against Courts and Magistrates’ Courts

  • R (Kenneally) v Snaresbrook Crown Court, (Divisional Court), jurisdiction of Crown Court in relation to mentally disordered offenders
  • R v Uxbridge Youth Court ex p H (Divisional Court) jurisdiction of Youth Court
  • R v Hereford Magistrates' Court ex p. Rowlands (Divisional Court), natural justice in Magistrates’ Court.
  • R v Southwark Crown Court ex p. K, (Divisional Court) joined habeas corpus/ judicial review claim, jurisdiction of Crown Court.
  • R v Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court ex p. K (Divisional Court) jurisdiction of Magistrates’ Court.

Judicial review involving prisoners

  • R (LSS) v. Youth Justice Board (Administrative Court) public procurement and human rights challenges re closure of secure children’s homes
  • R (Nejad) v Home Secretary (Court of Appeal) discretionary life sentences
  • R (Morley) v Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (Court of Appeal) remittal of transferred lifer from psychiatric hospital to prison
  • R (Craven) v Home Secretary [2001] EWHC Admin 813, Administrative Court (Stanley Burnton J.), lawfulness of exclusion zone condition on a mandatory lifer’s release on licence from prison under Art.8(1)

Civil actions arising out of deaths in custody & other deaths at hands of State agents

  • Rabone v Pennine Care NHS Trust (Supreme Court) Article 2 and death in psychiatric hospital 
  • Daniel v HMRC (Court of Appeal) death in HMRC custody, ex turpi causa and Human Rights Act. 
  • Morgan v Ministry of Justice (High Court) non-delegable duties of care
  • Van Colle (2008), Smith (2008) and Savage (2008) (House of Lords) tortious and Article 2 duties owed by the police and by psychiatric hospitals, respectively, to those at risk of death.

Criminal Appeals

  • Robinson v State (forthcoming) constitutionality of mandatory death penalty in Trinidad.
  • R v Shorn Samuel, Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) successful appeal against murder conviction and death sentence
  • R v Coonan (Court of Appeal) (Yorkshire Ripper) appeal against whole life tariff
  • R v Kim John (Privy Council) successful appeal against conviction on behalf of two defendants on death row
  • Benedetto v R (No.1) (Privy Council) successful appeal against murder conviction in BVI
  • Pringle v R (Privy Council) successful appeal against conviction on behalf of prisoner on death row

Corporate Governance & Policy

Paul advises individuals and local authorities and other public bodies (including the Parole Board) and NGOs in relation to issues concerning corporate governance and the development of policy.  For three years he was a member of the Advisory Board of the Children’s Commissioner and regularly advises and appears on behalf of local authorities and other public bodies, including the Parole Board, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Care Quality Commission and Official Solicitor.  He has particular expertise in the application of the public sector equality duties, now under s 149 Equality Act 2010.  He has also has experience in the law of public procurement, having successfully challenged the Legal Services Commission’s tendering exercise in relation to its failure to comply with public procurement law in R (Public Interest Lawyers) v Legal Services Commission [2010].  He is regularly asked to advise in relation to the development of policy, notably in relation to the protection of vulnerable adults and children.

National Security. 

Paul acts in proceedings in which national security issues arise.  He was formerly a Special Advocate (from 2007 to 2012), acting in the interests of terrorism suspects and other individuals in proceedings where national security is used to justify restrictions on disclosure and the use of Closed material.  He also accepts instructions on behalf of such individuals as Open advocate.  He has appeared in Control Order proceedings under the PTA 2005 (now TPIMs under the TPIMA 2011), Special Immigration Appeal Commission (SIAC) proceedings, cases before Employment Tribunals and judicial review proceedings in the Administrative Court and has relevant experience in Criminal Courts.  Concluded cases include:

  • SSHD v AF & Others (No 3) (House of Lords) appeal on the Article 6 implications of closed material in Control Order proceedings
  • SSHD v AN (Administrative Court), Control Order proceedings
  • SSHD v BM (Administrative Court), TPIM proceedings
  • Al Jedda v SSHD (SIAC) deprivation of citizenship proceedings
  • Chahal v UK, (ECtHR) PII in national security cases and Article 5(4)

Equality and Discrimination. 

Discrimination issues arise in many of Paul’s cases, in particular disability discrimination, whether as free-standing discrimination claims or in conjunction with claims for judicial review invoking the public sector equality duties under (now) s 149 Equality Act 2010.  Chambers & Partners 2014: "On discrimination work he is the person to go to at a senior level"; Legal 500 2013 noted Paul’s ‘unparalleled expertise in the representation of people with disabilities’.

Freedom of Information and Data Protection.

Paul advises and represents individuals and public bodies in relation to all aspects of freedom of information and data protection law.  He also has experience in relation the restraining of disclosure and press reporting of confidential and private information, in particular cases raising issues of confidential medical information.  Relevant cases include:

  • R (Catt) v ACPO; R (T) v Met Police, (Supreme Court) retention of sensitive data by police
  • Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust v. MH (2009), DPA and Article 8

Paul also has considerable experience as a Special Advocate in disputes concerning the disclosure of sensitive and secret material, in particular in the context of Closed Material procedures in a range of different courts and tribunals including Control Order (now TPIMs) proceedings in the High Court, SIAC, judicial review and employment and discrimination proceedings. 

Public Inquiries & Inquests.

Paul is instructed in inquests arising out of deaths in custody and other deaths engaging State responsibility under Article 2 including police shootings, self-inflicted deaths in prison and other detaining institutions.  He has a particular expertise in the rights of the deceased and their families arising under Article 2 and has spoken regularly on this subject at high profile conferences.

Immigration law

Paul has acted for persons detained under immigration detention powers in judicial reviews and civil actions relating to the lawfulness of their detention and conditions of detention.  He also has experience of SIAC proceedings having acted as a Special Advocate in such cases until his resignation in 2012.  Relevant cases include:

  • R (Gudanaviciene) v Director Legal Aid Casework (Court of Appeal) ‘exceptional case funding’ legal aid in immigration cases
  • R (MD (Angola)) v SSHD (Court of Appeal) detention of HIV+ immigration detainees.
  • Al Jedda v. Home Secretary (2009) (SIAC), appeal against deprivation of citizenship
  • Chahal v UK, (ECtHR) PII in national security cases and Article 5(4)

Mental Capacity/ Court of Protection Law. 

Paul is recommended as a leading silk (Band 1) in Court of Protection work in Chambers & Partners 2016, which notes that “he is highly regarded for his knowledge of human rights issues and their impact on the Court of Protection” and "He acts in some of the most important mental capacity cases and he is a true star."    Paul appears mainly in health and welfare cases invoking the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection and the High Court involving disputed issues of care and residence, the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment and deprivations of liberty, representing vulnerable adults and children (usually through the Official Solicitor), local authorities, health authorities and other interested parties.  He is the author of 'Blackstone’s Guide to the Mental Health Act 2007’ (OUP, 2008), which considers in detail the health and welfare jurisdiction of the Court of Protection under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the amendments of the 2007 Act which introduced the ‘deprivation of liberty safeguards’.  He was involved in key cases in the development of this area of law including R v Bournewood Community Mental Health NHS Trust ex p L, (House of Lords) and HL v United Kingdom (ECtHR) and has been in a number of more recent important cases, including:

  • Cheshire West v P, (Supreme Court ) “deprivations of liberty” and Art 5,
  • MH v United Kingdom (ECtHR), Article 5(4) and incapacitated individuals
  • TA v AA (Court of Appeal), detention under MCA 2005
  • CYC v PC (Court of Appeal), capacity to consent to marriage
  • A Local Authority v DL (Court of Appeal) jurisdiction of Court to make orders where individual lacks capacity due to coercion or undue influence
  • A Local Authority v E (Peter Jackson J); Life-sustaining medical treatment: anorexia

Mental Health law

Paul represents detained patients in the Administrative Court and Upper Tribunal in mental health related judicial reviews concerning detention, release and treatment, along with related appeals.  He has been described in Chambers & Partners as "a master of his field when it comes to mental health matters that raise human rights issues".  He is the author of the Blackstone’s Guide to the Mental Health Act 2007, published in January 2008 (OUP).  

Paul has been in many of the leading cases concerning the rights of psychiatric patients in the last 20 years.  The following is a selection of the more important cases:

European Court of Human Rights

  • MH v United Kingdom (ECtHR), Article 5(4) and incapacitated individuals
  • Munjaz v United Kingdom (ECtHR), seclusion and Arts 3/5/ 8.
  • Wilkinson v United Kingdom, (ECtHR).  compulsory treatment and Arts 3/ 8
  • HL v United Kingdom (ECtHR), Art 5 and ‘de facto’ detention of learning disabled adult

Domestic cases: Supreme Court or House of Lords

  • Cheshire West v P (Supreme Court) Article 5 and deprivation of liberty of incapacitated adults
  • Rabone v Pennine Care NHS Trust (Supreme Court) Article 2 and death in psychiatric hospital 
  • Savage v S Essex NHS Partnership Trust (Supreme Court), Article 2 duties owed by psychiatric hospital
  • R (MH) v Secretary of State for Health (House of Lords), HRA compatibility of Mental Health Act
  • R (Munjaz) v Mersey Care NHS  Trust (House of Lords) seclusion of mental patients under Articles 3 and 8
  • R v Tower Hamlets Mental Health NHS Trust, ex p. Count Von Brandenburg, (House of Lords), detention of mental patients and Art 5
  • R v Bournewood Community Mental Health NHS Trust ex p L, (House of Lords), ‘de facto’ detention of learning disabled adult

Court of Appeal

  • R (G) v. Notts. Mental Health NHS Trust (Court of Appeal) human rights and smoking ban in high secure psychiatric hospital
  • R (AN) v Mental Health Review Tribunal (Court of Appeal) standard of proof in Tribunal
  • R (Wilkinson) v Broadmoor RMO (1) MHAC (2) (Court of Appeal) human rights and compulsory treatment of detained patient
  • R (H) v Mental Health Review Tribunal, (Court of Appeal), human rights incompatibility of ‘reverse burden of proof’ requirement in Tribunals

Healthcare, Community Care and Education 

Paul represents individuals and public authorities in advice work and judicial review claims concerning the provision of health, community care and education services including decisions relating to the assessment and provision of services; direct payments; the development and application of eligibility criteria; charging; and the closure of care homes, among others.  Paul is listed as a leading silk in Community Care in Chambers & Partners 2013, 2014 and 2015 with a “highly regarded practice, most notably in relation to cases concerning disabled adults and children” (Chambers & Partners 2014).  “He’s very bright, very energetic and committed to dealing with disability and community care cases on a personal level. He genuinely cares about clients and empathises with their predicament, rather than seeing cases as an intellectual or legal problem to be solved” (Chambers & Partners 2014).   

EU/Competition

European Union Law

EU Law plays a significant part in many of Paul’s public law cases, for example:

  • R (Gudanaviciene & Others) v Director Legal Aid Casework), (Administrative Court) EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, Trafficking Directive and Qualification Directive.
  • R (Public Interest Lawyers) v Legal Services Commission (Administrative Court), EU public procurement challenge.
  • R (LSS) v. Youth Justice Board (Administrative Court) public procurement of secure children’s homes
  • R v Hertfordshire County Council ex p. Green Environmental Industries (Court of Appeal) s. 71 Environmental Protection Act, privilege against self-incrimination and EU law.
  • R v Customs & Excise Commissioners ex p. X Ltd & Others, (Divisional Court) HMRC search and seizure and EU law

Publications

'Blackstone’s Guide to the Mental Health Act 2007’ (OUP, 2008).  In his foreword Lord Justice Munby writes “Those who use the book ... will benefit enormously from [Paul Bowen’s] detailed knowledge and illuminating analysis of an area of law which is as technically complex as it is socially important”.

Career & Qualifications

Former solicitor, Clifford Chance, 1991-1993

Previous Chambers: Doughty Street Chambers, 2000-2014; Cloisters (Chambers of Laura Cox QC (now J), 1999-2000

University: Exeter, 1986-'89 (LLB 2.1; EU law, 1st)

Appointments: Queen’s Counsel (2012); Equality and Human Rights Commission ’A’ Panel (2015); Called to the Bar of St. Vincent & the Grenadines (2012); London Boroughs Legal Alliance specialist panel (2011); Legal Services Commission Special Controls Review Panel (2011-2013); Advisory Panel to the Children’s Commissioner (2011-2013); former Special Advocate (2007-2012).

Membership of associations: ALBA; HRLA; Liberty

Awards:

2009 - Winner ‘Advocate of the Year’ at the Law Society Excellence Awards. 

2007 - Short-listed as ‘Barrister of the Year’ at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards, held by the Legal Aid Practitioners’ Group.

Directory Quotes

Since 2005 Paul has been consistently recommended in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading barrister in Administrative and Public law and Human Rights and Civil Liberties.  In Chambers & Partners 2016 he is named as a leading silk in these two areas and two more: Court of Protection and Community Care. 

Chambers and Partners 2017

 

Chambers and Partners 2017

  • Administrative & Public Law (Leading Silk, Band 4) Handles judicial reviews that involve the application of human rights law to the criminal justice system. He increasingly handles public law claims in the commercial and financial services spheres. Strengths: "A phenomenal grasp of his area of law. In court, his submissions are carefully organised and intelligently presented with an eye to the tribunal and the difficult subject matter he is often dealing with." "A really creative lawyer and a great advocate. He is dynamic and pioneering." Recent work: Acted for the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority in considering the constitutionality of a statutory defence against clinical negligence proceedings following the coming into force of the new Cayman Islands Constitution.
  • Civil Liberties & Human Rights (Leading Silk, Band 2) Distinguished practitioner who regularly handles both domestic and international human rights and public law claims. His broad-based expertise covers areas such as data protection, mental health and disability rights, and his highly active practice sees him making regular appearances before the Supreme Court and the Privy Council. Strengths: "A creative lawyer and a great advocate, he is dynamic and pioneering." "His ability to retain information really stands out; he is effective, informative, personable and good fun to work with." Recent work: Represented a victim of a serious householder assault in R (Denby Collins) v Ministry of Justice. This case considered the compatibility of Article 2 with UK householder defence laws.
  • Community Care (Leading Silk, Band 2) Acts for a broad range of clients including claimants and public authorities. He is particularly well known for his work in cases concerning persons with mental disabilities, and is also an expert in cases concerning the closure of care homes and the assessment of services. Strengths: "He is really impressive, and both intelligent and creative in his approach."
  • Court of Protection: Health & Welfare (Leading Silk, Band 2) Vastly experienced silk who is accomplished in both the High Court and the Court of Protection. He is an expert in capacity and mental health law, and is particularly active in cases that concern disputes around life-sustaining treatment and deprivations of liberty. Strengths: "Paul is a good operator, campaigner and lawyer, and he's fearless in the points he takes." Recent work: Instructed in the Cheshire West case. The Supreme Court accepted arguments he put forward, on behalf of the Equality and Human Rights Committee, that there had been a deprivation of liberty.

Chambers and Partners 2016

  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights (Leading Silk, Band 2) “Continues to solidify his reputation in the field of civil liberties and has developed a focus on work related to policing, data protection and health. He routinely appears before the Supreme Court, Privy Council and ECHR.  Strengths: "A very inventive lawyer who thinks outside the box but at the same time masters the detail." "Very bright, committed and feisty."   Recent work: Acted in a significant case concerning the compatibility of mental capacity law in the UK with Article 5 ECHR.”
  • Administrative and Public Law (Leading Silk, Band 4) “Frequently entrusted with significant, high-profile public law and human rights cases, he appears before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal on a regular basis. His broad expertise sees him handle a variety of instructions in this area, including cases relating to disability rights, EU law and data protection. Strengths: "He is hard-working, committed to the clients and has a fast turnaround." "Paul is a pioneer, he is extremely creative with the law, committed to inventing the legal tools to address injustices and he can always be turned to for fresh ideas."  Recent work: Represented two private clients in the judicial review concerning assisted suicide and its interaction with Article 8 of the ECHR”
  • Community Care, London (Leading Silk) “Represents predominantly claimants, but also local authorities and NHS clinical commissioning groups in cases that often make it to the Court of Protection, involving as they do incapacitated adults who have been deprived of their liberty. 
    Strengths: "His knowledge is encyclopaedic, and he is very inspirational to listen to." 
    Recent work: Represented the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Cheshire West v P, a landmark deprivation of liberty case regarding the right of adults who lack capacity to be exempted from local authority oversight.”
  • Court of Protection: Health and Welfare (All Circuits) (Leading Silk, Band 1)  “A new arrival at the set having left Doughty Street Chambers. He is highly regarded for his knowledge of human rights issues and their impact on the Court of Protection.  Strengths: "He acts in some of the most important mental capacity cases and he is a true star."

·         Legal 500 2016

  • Administrative and Public Law (Leading Silk, Tier 5) “A fearless advocate, who is always prepared to make difficult points”
  • Civil liberties and human rights (Leading Silk, Tier 4) “Extremely thorough and tenacious.”

·         Previous directory comments

  • "He is very clever and effective, and a good tactician." "He's a very good advocate who's hard-working and bold. He can take cases which others would consider unarguable, and make good progress." (Chambers & Partners 2015)
  • "He is extremely good, particularly in relation to mental health cases." (Chambers & Partners 2015)
  • "He's not afraid to take challenging points and he shows real vision in the cases he takes." "He grasps the detail and the urgency of the situation clearly, and responds accordingly with great tactical awareness." (Chambers & Partners 2015)
  • "A standout choice for difficult medical treatment cases." "He has a pretty encyclopaedic knowledge of cases relating to human rights and mental capacity, and is very thorough, approachable and very detailed." (Chambers & Partners 2015)
  • “Experienced in high profile cases” (Legal 500, 2015)
  • “very bright”, “great both on his feet and on paper" (Chambers and Partners 2014)
  • "a Renaissance man of public law, human rights and civil liberties work" (Chambers & Partners 2013)
  • “excellent on his feet”, “a well-earned reputation for intellectual incisiveness”, “a very polished approach” (Chambers & Partners 2012)
  • “an excellent reputation for his work on civil liberties cases"; "a great public law mind and is excellent on his feet." (Chambers & Partners 2011)
  • “a well-earned reputation for intellectual incisiveness” (Legal 500, 2010-2011).
  • “a "skilled advocate who turns things around very quickly", "reliable and great to work with," (Chambers & Partners 2010)
  • “finds a way of pushing the boundaries of the law” and “an ideal choice in difficult disputes because of his “clinical ruthlessness and attention to detail; you know he’ll see the wood from the trees.” “A gritty advocate who vigorously fights his client’s corner,” he is “great before the Bench.”’ (Chambers & Partners 2009)
  • “excellent” (Legal 500, 2008-9)
  • “Solicitors are full of admiration for Paul Bowen’s “can-do spirit.”, “always on top of issues and looking for a new angle, trying to push the boundaries.” and ““with every year that passes, Paul Bowen gets better and better.” This “helpful and clear” junior wins plaudits for his attention to detail and hard work. “He has a real passion for protecting people's rights and takes a truly innovative approach to challenging the law.” (Chambers & Partners 2008)
  • “thoughtful and academic”, and “a lawyer who ‘pushes the boundaries’” (Legal 500 2007-8)

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