Brick Court Chambers

Joshua Pemberton

Joshua Pemberton

YEAR OF CALL: England and Wales: 2021; New Zealand: 2015

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Josh practices in public, commercial and competition/EU law. He joined chambers in July 2022 following the successful completion of pupillage under the supervision of Sarah Abram KC, Edward Harrison and Malcolm Birdling.

Josh qualified as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand in 2015. Before coming to the English bar, he worked as a judge’s clerk (judicial assistant) to Justice William Young at the Supreme Court of New Zealand. He then worked at the Open Society Foundations, the world’s largest human rights philanthropy, where he was a Presidential Fellow before working in organisational strategy and human rights litigation.

Josh graduated with an LLB (First Class Honours) and BA (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) from the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2014. He completed an LLM at Harvard Law School in 2017. Josh placed top of his year in law at Otago and was awarded multiple scholarships and top-of-class prizes at both Otago and Harvard.

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  • Commercial M

    Josh accepts instructions across all areas of commercial law. His recent experience includes:

    • Design Consultancy Building Services Ltd v Honeywell: acted (unled, in a three-day trial) for the defendant to a breach of contract claim arising from the construction of AstraZeneca’s new headquarters in Cambridge. 
    • Instructed in Barnes v Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a breach of contract claim arising from a sanctions decision taken by RICS (with Malcolm Birdling).
    • Instructed in RAKIA v Azima, a claim alleging State-sponsored hacking and which seeks to set aside judgments of the High Court and Court of Appeal as having been procured by fraud.
    • The Executive Counsel to the Financial Reporting Council v KPMG: proceedings brought by the Executive Counsel to the Financial Reporting Council relating to KPMG’s audit of Carillion plc (as a pupil, assisting Fionn Pilbrow KC and Edward Harrison).
    • IBM United Kingdom Ltd v LzLabs GmbH: claim for breach of contract relating to the alleged reverse engineering of IBM’s Mainframe Software (as a pupil, assisting Nicholas Saunders KC).
    • Bonnier Books UK et al v Haysmacintyre LLP:  Commercial Court proceedings including a claim for £65 million of net sums lost in connection with the Claimants’ publishing business  (as a pupil, assisting Edward Harrison).  
    • Confidential advisory matter: advising a company and corporate shareholder on possible causes of action in tort and contract law against a former director (as a pupil, assisting Edward Harrison).
    • Confidential advisory matter: advice regarding the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment in the English courts (as a pupil, assisting Fionn Pilbrow KC).
    • Confidential advisory matter: advice to a commercial party regarding the possibility of recovering from another party administrative penalties incurred by the former as a result of the latter’s breach of contract and/or negligence (as a pupil, assisting Edward Harrison).

    Josh has also appeared (unled) in a range of trials and applications arising in the County Court. He worked on a range of appellate commercial cases while a judge’s clerk (judicial assistant) at the Supreme Court of New Zealand, and taught contract law at the London School of Economics before coming to the bar.

  • Competition M

    Josh accepts instructions across all areas of competition law. His recent experience includes:

    • Road Haulage Association v MAN SE & Ors: acting for the RHA following its successful application for the first ever opt-in collective proceedings order relating to the trucks cartel (with James Flynn QC, David Went, Emma Mockford and others), including in the challenge to certification in the Court of Appeal.
    • Euro Garages Ltd v Visa and Euro Garages Ltd v Mastercard: acting for a group of retailers in the merchant interchange fee umbrella proceedings against Visa and Mastercard (with Jemima Stratford KC).
    • Elizabeth Helen Coll v Alphabet Inc: acting for the proposed class representative in collective proceeding against Google arising out of alleged abuse of dominance in connection with the Google Play store (with Mark Hoskins QC, Jennifer MacLeod and Matthew Kennedy).
    • OT Computers v Micron: acting for the defendant in damages claim arising from the DRAM cartel (with Daniel Jowell KC).
    • Instructed by the PGA European Tour in Poulter v PGA European Tour, an appeal to a Sports Resolutions Appeal Panel against sanctions decisions taken by the PGAET (with Marie Demetriou KC, Daniel Piccinin KC and others).
    • Advising a manufacturer of building and homeware products on the competition law aspects of its proposed acquisition of a competitor’s assets (unled).
    • Phones4U v Telefonica: ongoing litigation brought by the administrators of Phones4U regarding an alleged collective withdrawal from Phones4U by mobile network operators (as a pupil, assisting Sarah Abram KC, Mark Hoskins KC and others).
    • Allianz Global Investors GmbH v Barclays Bank plc: damages claim brought by ~175 claimants concerning alleged collusion between banks engaging in foreign exchange trading (as a pupil, assisting Sarah Abram KC).
    • Nokia v Oppo: FRAND aspects of global litigation regarding patent portfolio licensing (as a pupil, assisting Sarah Abram KC).
    • Confidential advisory matter: advice relating to a potential collective proceedings claim (as a pupil, assisting Sarah Abram KC).
  • Public Law M

    Josh accepts instructions across all areas of public law. His recent experience includes:

    • R (AAA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, UNHCR intervening: representing the UNHCR intervening in the challenge to the removal of asylum seekers to Rwanda, including in the appeal against the Divisional Court’s decision in the Court of Appeal (with Angus McCullough KC, Laura Dubinsky KC, Jennifer MacLeod and others).
    • Acting for a global NGO intervening in a climate impacts-based challenge to a significant planning decision (with Maya Lester KC and Malcolm Birdling).
    • Lawstop v Legal Aid Agency: acting in a judicial review concerning the circumstances in which legal aid providers can commence separate “matter starts” (with Malcolm Birdling).
    • Rooks v Legal Aid Agency: acting in a judicial review concerning the treatment of arrears benefits payments in the legal aid regime (with Malcolm Birdling).
    • Instructed in Camelot UK Lotteries Limited v The Gambling Commission, a procurement challenge to the Gambling Commission’s decision to award the Fourth Licence for the National Lottery to Allwyn Entertainment Ltd.
    • Advised an imprisoned individual in relation to a claim against the Commissioner of Police for misfeasance in public office and malicious prosecution (unled).
    • R (British Sugar) v Secretary of State for International Trade [2022] EWHC 393 (Admin): judicial review of trade measures introduced under the post-Brexit UK General Tariff Regime on the basis of their compatibility with state aid and subsidy rules (as a pupil, assisting Marie Demetriou KC, Malcolm Birdling and others).
    • R (Detention Action) v Lord Chancellor [2022] EWHC 18 (Admin): a challenge to the lawfulness of a legal aid scheme in immigration detention (as a pupil, assisting Malcolm Birdling).
    • R (Hero Renewable Ltd) v Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd [2021] (Admin): a challenge to the lawfulness of a regulator’s decision to refuse an application to join an industry code of practice (as a pupil, assisting Malcolm Birdling).
    • Assaad v Council of the European Union: an application, in the General Court of European Union, to annul a European sanctions listing (as a pupil, assisting Malcolm Birdling).
    • R (Youssef) v Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs [2021] EWHC 3188 (Admin): a challenge to the lawfulness of the domestic regime by which the assets of persons listed by the UN Sanctions Committee are frozen (as a pupil, assisting Malcolm Birdling).
    • A judicial review of government intervention in the energy supply sector following the spike in wholesale gas prices (as a pupil, assisting Malcolm Birdling).
    • Advice to a charity regarding the Secretary of State’s refusal to grant a humanitarian licence to permit the charity to provide aid into a jurisdiction subject to UK sanctions (as a pupil, assisting Malcolm Birdling).
    • Advice to a public body regarding a false imprisonment claim arising out of the operation of the Managed Quarantine Service during the COVID-19 pandemic (as a pupil, assisting Malcolm Birdling).
    • Advice to a public body regarding whether, and in what circumstances, defendants in judicial review proceedings can apply to vary the terms of judicial review costs capping orders (as a pupil, assisting Malcolm Birdling).

    Prior to coming to the bar, Josh worked on human rights litigation in a range of domestic and regional fora at the Open Society Foundations, including cases in the European Court of Human Rights and the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice, and complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee. Josh also taught International Human Rights Law at SOAS University of London and worked for a rule of law NGO in Myanmar, where he led a project investigating and reporting on the extent to which court proceedings were conducted in public and advocating for greater transparency.

    Josh is a member of the Asylum Support Appeals Project’s Duty Scheme, and in this capacity spends two days per quarter representing asylum seekers in the First Tier Tribunal (Asylum Support) on a pro bono basis. He previously represented social security applicants in the First Tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) through the Free Representation Unit.

  • EDUCATION & QUALIFICATIONS M

    Professional qualifications

    • Called to the bar (England and Wales), 2021
    • Qualified as a solicitor (England and Wales), 2019
    • Admitted as a barrister and solicitor (New Zealand), 2015

    Education

    • Master of Laws (LLM), Harvard Law School, 2017
    • Bachelor of Laws (LLB) with First Class Honours, University of Otago, New Zealand, 2014
    • Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Politics, Philosophy and Economics), University of Otago, New Zealand, 2014

    Prizes and Scholarships

    Josh initially enrolled to study physics and maths at the University of Otago and won the Gordan Jupp Memorial Prize as the university’s top first-year physics student, before switching to study law and PPE.

    Josh won top-of-class prizes in the following subjects at Otago and Harvard:

    • Advanced Public Law (Otago)
    • Competition Law (Otago)
    • European Union Law (Otago)
    • Property Law (Otago)
    • Law and Society (Otago)
    • Environmental Economics (Otago)
    • Behavioural Economics (Otago)
    • International Human Rights Law (Harvard)
    • Law and Economic Development (Harvard)

    Josh also won the Otago District Law Society Prize as the top graduating student in his year in law at Otago.

    Josh was awarded the following scholarships:

    • New Zealand Qualifications Authority Top Scholar University Scholarship
    • University of Otago Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship
    • Russell McVeagh School Leavers Law Scholarship
    • University of Otago Prestige Scholarship in Law
    • University of Otago Scholarship in Arts
    • Freemasons Undergraduate University Scholarship
    • New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Undergraduate Award
    • New Zealand Law Foundation Cleary Memorial Prize.
    • (As a pupil) the Bar European Group’s John and Sophie Laws Scholarship

    Law competitions

    • First place, University of Otago junior mooting competition
    • First place, New Zealand junior mooting competition
    • First place, University of Otago legal negotiation competition
    • First place, New Zealand legal negotiation competition
    • Represented New Zealand at the International Negotiation Competition
    • First place, Wellington Young Lawyers Moot

    Josh also coached mooting and legal negotiation teams at the University of Otago.

  • EXPERIENCE M

    Professional experience:

    • 2017-2021: Presidential Fellow in Law (2017-2018) and Senior Strategy Analyst (2018-2021), Open Society Foundations (New York/London)
    • 2015-2016: Judge’s clerk (judicial assistant) to Justice William Young at the New Zealand Supreme Court.
    • 2011-2012: Summer associate, litigation and public law teams. Russell McVeagh, Wellington, New Zealand.

    Teaching and academic experience:

    • Guest Teacher, London School of Economics and Political Science (Contract law), 2020
    • Teaching Fellow, SOAS University of London (International Human Rights Law), 2019-2020
    • Research affiliate, University of Otago Faculty of Law (with research project funding from the New Zealand Law Society), 2016
    • Tutor, University of Otago Faculty of Law, 2011-2013 (including as the Faculty’s Head Tutor in 2013)
    • Tutor, courses in first-year law, physics and economics, Selwyn College, University of Otago, 2010-2012.

    Select pro bono and civil society experience

    • Duty Scheme representative, Asylum Support Appeals Project (2021-present)
    • Free Representation Unit, voluntary representative (2019)
    • Student Clinician, Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic (project on refugees’ rights to documents proving identity and status) (2017)
    • Project Officer, Justice Base, Yangon, Myanmar (led project to investigate and report on public access to Yangon’s courts) (2016)
  • PUBLICATIONS M

    Socio-Economic Rights in Constitution Aotearoa New Zealand, New Zealand Universities Law Review, 2017

    Recognising Nairobi's Refugees: The Challenges and Significance of Documentation Proving Identity and Status, (contributing author), Harvard International Human Rights Clinic, 2017

    Myanmar’s courts must be open to the public, Frontier Myanmar, 2017

    Behind Closed Doors: Obstacles and Opportunities for Public Access to Myanmar’s Courts, Justice Base, 2017

    Cross-Border Climate Change Related Displacement: Mexico and Central America (co-author), paper presented at the Harvard Law School Climate Change Displacement conference, 2016

    Informational problems in the market for graduate legal jobs, New Zealand Law Journal, 2016

    First Steps: The Experiences and Retention of New Zealand’s Junior Lawyers, New Zealand Law Foundation, 2016

    The Judicial Approach to Privative Provisions in New Zealand, New Zealand Law Review, 2015

    Value and Natural Capital: Examining the Economist's Perspective, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, 2013