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‘One of the super-sets’, Brick Court Chambers is ‘an all-round strong’ set with ‘a large selection of high-quality competition law specialists’, ‘top commercial counsel’, ‘an excellent chambers for banking litigation’, and a ‘go-to’ set for public administrative law.
The Legal 500 2020
The clerks’ room ‘sets the benchmark’ for other sets with its ‘friendly, knowledgeable, and hardworking’ clerks.
The Legal 500 2020
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Chambers & Partners 2018
"A set that is singled out for its "first-rate" clerking and "client service-oriented, commercial approach."

MI5’s policy on agents participating in crimes is lawful


The Investigatory Powers Tribunal has dismissed a challenge to MI5’s “Guidelines on the use of agents who participate in criminality”.  The claim  – commonly referred to as “the Third Direction” – was brought by four NGOs (Privacy International, Reprieve, the Committee on the Administration of Justice and the Pat Finucane Centre). It was alleged that the policy was ultra vires, conferred de facto immunity and breached the ECHR.  

The Tribunal dismissed all grounds of challenge. In particular, it held that the Security Service Act 1989 contained implied vires for the policy. This is because it is essential, in order for MI5 to perform its core functions, for it to be able to run agents who are embedded in illegal or criminal organisations, and therefore necessary for such agents to be able to participate in criminal activity. This is not to be equated with the conferral of an immunity, which (it was common ground) MI5 has no power to confer.

The judgment is here.

Victoria Wakefield QC, instructed by the Government Legal Department, appeared for MI5.