News

News

Details of the latest Matrix news.
16/04/14 Nick Armstrong nominated for Legal Aid Champion at this years LALY AwardsMatrix is delighted to announce that Nick Armstrong has been nominated in the inaugural Legal Aid Champion category at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards 2014 for his work campaigning against the legal aid cuts. The Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards are now into their 12th year. They are run on a not-for-profit basis by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group to recognise excellence among access to justice lawyers. The other nominees for Legal Aid Champion include Bill Waddington and Robin Murray from the Criminal Law Solicitors Association and Matt Foot from Birnberg Pierce. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in central London on 5 June 2014.
11/04/14 Permission to appeal refused by Supreme Court in 999 response case

On Wednesday three Supreme Court Judges, Lady Hale, Lord Wilson and Lord Reed refused Humberside Police permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s judgment of October 2013. The claimants had claimed that the police’s failure to respond promptly to a 999 call for assistance amounted a breach of Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This was prompted by the concerns about the response time of police officers to 999 calls made when a gang of youths rampaged through the claimant’s estate in Grimsby. The Court of Appeal unequivocally rejected the police’s arguments and stated that it was not an unreasonable or disproportionate burden to expect the police to respond in accordance with their 15 minute target. The Supreme Court confirmed the views of the Court of Appeal by refusing the appeal. The claimants were represented by Hugh Southey QC instructed by Deighton Pierce Glynn.

11/04/14 War Horse Musicians seek court order to keep on playing

James Laddie QC and Claire Darwin are representing the five musicians in the West End production of War Horse, who are seeking a court order preventing the National Theatre  from terminating their contracts. The judgment is due next Tuesday 15 April. For coverage from The Telegraph please click here. For coverage from the BBC please click here.

09/04/14 The High Court orders the Secretary of State to reconsider support paid to asylum seekers

The High Court has concluded that the Secretary of State has acted unlawfully in setting the rates of support for all asylum-seekers whose asylum claims have not been finally determined. Mr Justice Popplewell held that the Secretary of State had failed to take into account several categories of essential living needs which needed to be considered in setting the level of cash support paid to asylum seekers under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.  She had also relied on irrelevant and erroneous factors and had failed to take account of material considerations in calculating the cost of meeting these essential living needs. The decision to freeze rates which had been applied in 2011 was irrational and the Secretary of State was ordered to reconsider the rates at which cash support was paid to all asylum-seekers whose asylum claims were yet to be finally determined. Ben Silverstone was junior counsel for the Claimant, Refugee Action. For the judgment please see below.

Judgment
08/04/14 Massimo Cellino can complete takeover of Leeds United after winning appeal Massimo Cellino was denied the opportunity last week to purchase Leeds football club after being found guilty in March of not paying import duty on a yacht in Italy. This decision has now been overturned after independent arbitrator, Tim Kerr QC, handed down Judgment on 5th April and held that it was wrong for the League to decide the Italian had acted dishonestly before it had seen the reasoned judgment of the Cagliari court. Mr Kerr went on to explain that while Cellino had indeed been found guilty by the first instance court (albeit that he remained in Italian law merely an accused person) it could not yet be clear that the court found that Cellino had acted dishonestly. 
 
Tim Owen QC and Aaron Watkins were instructed by Adam Morallee of Mishcon de Reya on behalf of Mr Cellino.
04/04/14 Government mass surveillance to go on trial

The case of Big Brother Watch v. United Kingdom has been brought by a coalition of UK advocacy groups and activists to challenge the UK’s surveillance programme claiming that they violate the European Convention on Human Rights. The Centre for Democracy & Technology (CDT) with PEN American Centre (PEN) have today signalled their intention to intervene in a case that could have a profound impact on the surveillance practices of governments around the world.  Hugh Southey QC is acting for CDT and PEN. For further information please click here.

04/04/14 Rhodri Thompson QC and Nicholas Gibson act in first case of Competition and Markets Authority before CAT Rhodri Thompson QC and Nicholas Gibson are acting for the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) in its defence of the decision taken in the “Aggregates, cement and ready-mix concrete” market investigation.
 
On 4 April 2014, in an important judgment confirming the approach taken in BAA v Commission [2012] CAT 3 (in the first judgment involving the new CMA), the CAT refused Lord Pannick’s application on behalf of Lafarge Tarmac (“LT”) for permission to rely on fresh expert evidence.  LT’s application had been made to support its challenge to the Aggregates decision under the CAT’s specialist judicial review jurisdiction under s.179(4) of the Enterprise Act 2002. 
 
Rhodri and Nicholas are to appear at the substantive hearing of LT’s challenge in the week commencing 29 September 2014.
04/04/14 Rhodri Thompson QC, Christopher Brown and Nicholas Gibson successfully defend Coventry FC ownersRhodri Thompson QC, Christopher Brown and Nicholas Gibson are acting for SISU Group in two related actions concerning the circumstances in which Coventry City FC were driven into administration and ceased to play matches at the Ricoh Stadium. Find out more.
03/04/14 Privy Council has jurisdiction to commute the penalty of death in a sentence appeal based on delayThe defendant had been convicted of murder in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and sentenced to death. Whilst her appeal against the conviction was pending the defendant applied for permission to appeal against the sentence on the ground that her execution more than five years after conviction would constitute inhuman punishment. As the defendants case was already before the Board by way of her appeal against conviction it was not necessary for her to make a separate application to the High Court. The State had indicated that if the Board decided that it had jurisdiction to entertain her appeal and was minded to exercise it, then it would not oppose the sentence being commuted to life imprisonment. Ben Silverstone acted for the defendant. For the judgment please click here.
02/04/14 Court of Appeal judgments today on section 9 Education Act 1996

In Haining v Warrington the Court of Appeal put to rest arguments about the meaning of “unreasonable public expenditure” in section 9 Education Act 1996, holding that it means all public expenditure and not just that of the local authority, let alone only the local authority’s ‘education budget’. The Court also confirmed that section 9 remains in play even where a parent has requested a maintained school. That will all be of widespread importance, including when the Children and Families Act 2014 replaces Part 4 Education Act 1996, because the 2014 Act leaves section 9 untouched.
  
In Mulla v Hackney the Court of Appeal held that section 9 is engaged when a parent requests a change of named maintained school under paragraph 8 of Schedule 27 of the 1996 Act. Although important, that result will be of short-lived impact since the 2014 Act does not provide an equivalent to the option of a paragraph 8 request.
 
David Wolfe QC acted in both cases. For the judgments please see below. 

JudgmentJudgment
31/03/14 UN International Court of Justice rules that Japan must halt whalingThe International Court of Justice has ordered a complete reconsideration of Japan's whaling program on the ground that the current program does not comply with the International Whaling Convention and is not justified as a scientific program. Australia had sued Japan in the hope of ending whaling arguing that Japan’s whaling programme is commercial whaling in disguise. Japan has previously said that it would abide by the court’s ruling. James Crawford AC SC, Philippe Sands QC, and Kate Cook represented Australia. For a statement from the court please click here. For coverage from the BBC please click here. For coverage from The Guardian please click here.
28/03/14 Matrix chambers welcome CBA decision to ballot

The members of the criminal team at Matrix Chambers welcome today’s decision by the CBA to ballot the whole criminal Bar, in the light of yesterday’s surprise announcement that the CBA’s action on VHCC’s/returns has been suspended. We would have achieved nothing as a team without the support of our solicitor colleagues who now fight alone, following yesterday’s “deal”. Our position re : VHCC’s remains the same as it was in December last year ; no-one in the Matrix criminal team will be accepting VHCCs at the new reduced rates.

19/03/14 ECHR requires inquiry into Batang Kali massacre but UK law does not

The Court has today given judgment as to whether there should be a public inquiry into the shooting of 24 civilians at the Batang Kali rubber plantation in the former Federation of Malaya by a patrol of Scots Guards in 1948. It was alleged that 24 civilians were executed without any justification and that the authorities thereafter had either covered up what had occurred or had been reluctant to take the necessary steps to enable the truth. The Secretary of State had decided not to establish a public inquiry.

Find out more.Judgment
12/03/14 Matrix joins Stonewall programme promoting gay equality for members and staff

Matrix has become the first chambers to join Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme. The programme, run by the gay equality charity, helps employers to develop inclusive workplace cultures for their lesbian, gay and bisexual members and staff in order to ensure that everyone can perform to their full potential.Find out more.

11/03/14 12-month non-competition clause held to be enforceable

The court has found that an injunction restraining the defendant, Mr Huggett, from commencing his new employment for 12 months was appropriate. The court found that the 12-month non-competition covenant in Mr Huggett’s contract was no wider than was reasonably necessary to protect the Claimant’s legitimate business interests. Although there was not more than a modest risk of abuse of confidential information to the detriment of the claimant, Prophet Plc, weighing the risk with other considerations, including Mr. Huggett’s deliberate removal of confidential information, the appropriate order was to enforce the restriction by the grant of an injunction. James Laddie QC acted for Prophet Plc. For the judgment please click here.

04/03/14 Six Matrix members in ICJ Croatia v Serbia caseThe genocide case of Croatia v Serbia starts this week at the International Court of Justice. The case concerns the application of the Genocide Convention in respect of events in Croatia between 1991 and 1995. The Republic of Croatia is represented at the hearing by the following Matrix members: James Crawford AC SC, Philippe Sands QC, Kate Cook, Helen Law, Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh and Edward Craven.
27/02/14 Four Matrix members appointed to TSol Panels of Counsel

Matrix is pleased to announce that four members have been appointed to Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel.  The Treasury Solicitor’s Department (TSol) administer the Attorney General’s Panels of Counsel. Laura Prince has been appointed to the B Panel and Laura McNair Wilson has been appointed to the C Panel.  Kate Cook has been appointed to the new Public International Law B Panel, Michelle Butler has been appointed to the Public International Law C Panel.  Their appointments commence on 1st March 2014.

20/02/14 Decision from the High Court on David MirandaThe High Court has dismissed the claim that the nine-hour detention of the partner of former Guardian journalist Glen Greenwald was unlawful.
Find out more.
19/02/14 Mark Summers appointed Queen's Counsel

Congratulations to Mark Summers who has been appointed QC today in the 2014 competition. Mark is a specialist in all areas of extradition and mutual assistance, international law and EU law. Mark is also ranked among the top 15 crime juniors in London by both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners who describe Mark as a “an encyclopaedia on extradition law…”  and “…one of the most highly recommended juniors at the Criminal Bar…”. The QC ceremony will take place on 14 April 2014.

19/02/14 Matrix first set to be recognised for Investors in People GoldWe are delighted to announce that Matrix is the first barristers’ chambers (correct as of 14/02/14) to be presented with the prestigious Investors in People Gold award, which is awarded to just 3.2% of all organisations in the UK. This award recognises Matrix’s commitment and ability to push the boundaries in the way we develop, support and motivate our staff and barristers.Find out more.
17/02/14 Claire Darwin wins landmark transport disability discriminationClaire Darwin wins landmark transport disability discrimination claim on behalf of Chiltern Railways. HHJ Harris QC held that the train company's Assisted Passenger Reservation System, which had been approved by the DfT, is in itself a reasonable adjustment and is fully compliant with the Equality Act 2010. For the judgment please see below. Judgment
13/02/14 Ben Emmerson QC appointed as Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford, Faculty of Law

Ben Emmerson QC has been appointed as a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford, Faculty of Law, for three years, where he will provide specialist teaching in European Human Rights law, Public International Law and International Criminal Law. Ben will continue with his practice as a barrister with Matrix.  He will also continue in his roles as UN Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights, and as a judge in the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia.

12/02/14 Ben Emmerson QC in court victory for Alexander Litvinenko's widow

A unanimous judgment by three senior judges has decided that the home secretary, Theresa May, must reconsider her decision not to hold a public inquiry into the murder of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko. The judges stopped short of calling for an inquiry but said that May would have to produce better reasons if the government was to maintain its refusal. Ben Emmerson QC is acting for Marina Litvinenko, Alexander Litvinenko’s widow instructed by Elena Tsirlina of Blokh Solicitors.

05/02/14 R (Roberts) v Commissioner of Metropolitan Police: Is section 60 Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994 compatible with ECHR?The appellant had been stopped pursuant to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, s.60 and had been handcuffed and searched. A s.60 authorisation had been granted for stop and search without reasonable suspicion as there had been an escalation of gang violence in the area. The issue was whether s.60 was compatible with ECHR, articles 5, 8 & 14. The facts of the case demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Court that the appellant was not subject to s 60 because of her ethnicity. Criticisms of s.60 did not have the potential to render justiciable a specific allegation of discrimination in this case and so there was no breach of ECHR, art 14. The appeal was dismissed. Hugh Southey QC, Alex Bailin QC, Alison MacDonald and Aileen McColgan were involved in this case. For the judgment please see click here.
31/01/14 Matrix reaches 5000 followers on Twitter

Matrix has reached 5000 followers on Twitter. The @matrixchambers account was set up just over three years ago and has gone from strength to strength recently being used to live tweet events.  The Twitter feed also contains links to Matrix news stories, event details and links to blogs that Matrix members contribute to. To follow Matrix on Twitter please click here.

31/01/14 The 8th Junior Competition Conference takes place today

The 8th Junior Competition Conference takes place at the Competition Appeal Tribunal this afternoon (Friday 31 January). Organised by Christopher Brown and his fellow editors of the Competition Law Journal, there will be two sessions – one dedicated to the Competition and Markets Authority and the other to developments in private enforcement of competition law in the UK.  Papers based on the presentations will be published in the Journal later this year.

29/01/14 Julian Knowles QC appears successfully for Appellants in UKSC case R v. Mackle and others

Julian Knowles QC appeared for two of the successful Appellants in the UK Supreme Court case of R v. Mackle and others, judgment in which was delivered on 29th January 2013.  In four conjoined appeals from the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland the Supreme Court held that confiscation orders which had been made with the consent of the Appellants could not be upheld because of the erroneous legal advice which they had received.  The Supreme Court also reaffirmed that those involved in a conspiracy to import cigarettes do not necessarily benefit for the purposes of confiscation merely by virtue of having been part of the conspiracy.” For the judgment please click here.

28/01/14 Decision in on ex-gay bus advert ban

The Court of Appeal rules on a decision to ban an advertisement from the side of London buses.  The advertisements read “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post Gay and proud. Get over it!” which the Christian Legal Centre and The Core Issues Trust wanted to run in response to a campaign run by Stonewall, the gay rights group, that ran a campaign with posters that read “Some people are gay. Get over it”. Dan Squires is involved in this case. For coverage from the BBC please click here.

27/01/14 Matrix member Clare Montgomery QC listed in The Sunday Times Britain's 500 Most Influential List

The Sunday Times has published a list of Britain's 500 Most Influential people. Debrett’s in association with The Sunday Times, has carried out exhaustive research among the most significant  individuals in the country to compile a list of the 500 most influential people. Matrix member Clare Montgomery QC is listed in the Law category alongside Lord Pannick QC, Lady Justice Black and Dominic Grieve QC, MP. For the full article and list please click here (please note the full article is behind a pay wall).  

27/01/14 ZZ explained procedural protections

ZZ v SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 7, which was handed down on Friday 24 January 2014, establishes a further bulwark on behalf of procedural protection and, in particular, the right of a person always to see at least enough of the case against him to be able to mount an effective challenge.


Find out more.
22/01/14 Ben Emmerson QC - Theresa May's decision to not allow a public inquiry into Litvinenko "obviously against the public interest"

Yesterday the High Court heard that the Government is holding classified material offering evidence that Russia was responsible for the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian Spy. Ben Emmerson QC is representing Mrs Litvinenko whose husband died after being poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006. Ben said that Theresa May’s decision not to allow a public inquiry into the death of Mr Litvinenko  was “obviously against the public interest.” There was “a strong and overwhelming” need for such an inquiry, he said, to establish whether Mr Litvinenko was the victim of  a crime “committed for private criminal purposes” or whether it was a “state-sponsored assassination carried out on the territory of the UK on the orders for the Russian Government.” The hearing continues. For coverage from the Times please click here (please note the full article is behind a pay wall).

22/01/14 Protestors Convictions Quashed

Twenty nine people have had their convictions for obstructing the railway during a protest quashed. The convictions were overturned by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, Mr Justice Simon and Mr Justice Irwin. The case against them involved undisclosed information gathered by an undercover officer Mark Kennedy. The Court of Appeal judges quashed the convictions over a failure to disclose that Mark Kennedy had been working undercover. Matthew Ryder QC was involved. For coverage from the BBC please click here. 

16/01/14 Injunction obtained to prevent implementation of academy orderOn 15 January 2014 Collins J granted the Governing Body of the Warren Comprehensive School and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham an interim order preventing the Secretary of State for Education from implementing an Academy Order and an order to replace the existing governing body with an interim executive board. Sarah Hannett appeared for the Claimants. For press coverage from the London Evening Standard please click here. For press coverage from the BBC please click here.
13/01/14 Thomas Linden QC, Jessica Simor QC and Lindsay Scott CEO recognised in The Lawyer Hot 100 2014

The Lawyer has today published a list of lawyers from across the legal spectrum who have been recognised for their innovative and inspirational work.

Find out more.
08/01/14 Matrix Members acting in The Top 20 Cases of 2014

The Lawyer has named the top 20 cases of 2014. The list includes some of the largest value trials to date to hit the High Court. Alex Bailin QC and Alison Macdonald are acting in the Tchenguiz brothers case listed in October in the Commercial Court and Christopher Brown is acting in the MasterCard case listed in November also in the Commercial Court. For the full article please click here.

24/12/13 Alan Turing granted posthumous pardonThe brilliant mathematician and wartime code-breaker Alan Turing has been granted a posthumous pardon for his conviction under anti-homosexuality laws. Alex Bailin QC and John Halford (Bindmans LLP) helped draw attention to this injustice which has finally been remedied. Alex's family are all mathematicians and his grandfather worked at Bletchley Park during WWII. For coverage from The Guardian please click here.
23/12/13 LSE apologise over T-shirt banLSE have apologised to two students who had been forced to cover t-shirts depicting Jesus and the Prophet Muhammad to promote the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society at the LSE fresher's fair in October. The students launched a formal complaint, saying that although the university asked them to cover the t-shirts on the grounds of possible offence to religious groups, they had not received any complaints. In their apology, LSE acknowledged that the t-shirts did not contravene the law or LSE policies. David Wolfe QC was involved in this case. For further information please see the BBC website.
12/12/13 Chambers 100 UK Bar - 7 for Matrix

The Chambers Bar 100 ranks the top barristers practising at the Bar of England and Wales. Matrix is delighted that James Crawford SC, Ben Emmerson QC, Raza Husain QC, Thomas Linden QC, Clare Montgomery QC and Hugh Tomlinson QC have been included on the top 100 silks list and Zachary Douglas has been included on the top 100 juniors list.  For more information and for the list in full please click here.

10/12/13 Another year of Lawyers in Schools completed

Today saw the end of yet another brilliant Lawyers in Schools programme with Parliament Hill School. This morning, Matrix barristers and staff enjoyed working with Year 10 students about the law in relation to Social Media. The session also involved discussions around Freedom of Expression, an apt topic considering today is Human Rights Day. Today's session was the last of six modules designed to educate the students on law topics relevant to them, and their rights in these areas. We look forward to working with the school next year as part of our on-going commitment to the Matrix Access Programme.

10/12/13 Supreme Court hearing government appeal on criminal record disclosure

‘T’ who is the subject of an anonymity order is seeking to avoid the disclosure of a caution he received whilst aged just 11 years old concerning the theft of two bicycles. He has no other criminal record of any kind but until changes brought about as a result of these proceedings, and because he wants to be a teacher, he would have had disclosed, and would have been required to talk about, the caution for the rest of his career. The Court of Appeal agreed that this was disproportionate, which is why the law changed, but the Secretary of State appealed and the Supreme Court is now hearing that appeal over two days. The Prudential Regulation Authority, Financial Conduct Authority, Liberty and the Equality and Human Rights Commission are intervening. Hugh Southey QC and Nick Armstrong are instructed by Mike Pemberton of Stephensons. For more information please click here.

05/12/13 VHCC Advocate ListDue to the recent circulation of a list of advocates believed to be willing to undertake VHCC work at the new reduced rates, Matrix would like to clarify that no member of these Chambers is in fact willing to undertake such work.  Any assertion to the contrary is wrong and should be disregarded.
18/11/13 Lord Ken Macdonald QC to deliver the 37th F.A. Mann Lecture Matrix Member Lord Ken Macdonald QC is to deliver the 37th F.A. Mann Lecture, chaired by the Lord Chief Justice, at Lincoln’s Inn on Wednesday 27 November.  Lord Macdonald’s topic will be ‘Secrecy in Justice - and its impact on the oversight of the security agencies.’ The highly prestigious F.A. Mann lecture, which is attended by senior members of the judiciary, is organised by City law firm Herbert Smith and is sponsored by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. Previous speakers have included Lord Steyn, Baroness Hale and Lord Hoffman. 
14/11/13 Verdict of neglect following inquest into the death of Murad Hussain at HMP Hewell

Murad Hussain was found hanged in his cell at HMP Hewell on 13 November 2012.

Find out more.
12/11/13 Matrix wins two awards at UK Diversity League Awards

Matrix are delighted to have been awarded 'Chambers of the Year' at the UK Diversity League Awards for coming 1st in the 2013 Black Solicitors Network Overall Diversity League Table. Matrix also won the 'Retention: Talent Management' award for our continued support and effective management of talented women with children, ethnic minorities and those with disabilities.
 
These national industry awards recognise the work of organisations who are making significant contributions in the area of promoting diversity within, and equality of access into, the legal profession.
 
Lindsay Scott, CEO of Matrix said “The promotion of equal opportunity has been a Core Value of Matrix since its inception in 2000. Since then we have worked hard to build a workforce comprised of approximately equal proportions of women and men, and one where minorities are proportionately represented. We are delighted that our achievements as an equal opportunities organisation have been recognised in this year’s Diversity League Table. Thank you.” For further information on the Diversity League Table please see the Black Solicitors Network website.

08/11/13 Court finds that detainee under the Terrorism Act 2000, Sch 7 had a right to consult a solicitorThe court has found that a person detained for examination under the Terrorism Act 2000, Sch 7 is entitled to have a solicitor present to advise them during interview. The claimant had the right to have a solicitor present and therefore the questioning of him once he had asked for a solicitor and before his solicitor arrived was unlawful. Dan Squires represented the Claimant and Danny Friedman QC represented the Law Society in this case. For the judgment please see below.Judgment
07/11/13 Matrix Media and Information recruits three new membersMatrix is delighted to announce that Anthony Hudson, Guy Vassall-Adams and Ben Silverstone have been recruited to its successful and highly regarded Media and Information Group. All three are highly regarded media and information law juniors. They are joining from Doughty Street Chambers, and will commence practice at Matrix on Monday 11 November.Find out more.
06/11/13 Legal challenge to the governments decision to abolish the Independent Living Fund successful

Five disabled people have succeeded in a legal challenge to the government’s decision to abolish the Independent Living Fund. The Court of Appeal allowed the challenge to the High Court’s earlier ruling quashing the original decision in favour of the government. The court found there was not enough evidence to demonstrate that a focused regard was had by the Minister to the potentially grave impact upon the individuals within the context of a consideration of the statutory requirements for disabled people as a whole. There was also not enough focus by her on the impact the proposal would have on independent living for the 19,000 affected people. Therefore the appeal was allowed and the decision quashed. David Wolfe QC and Helen Mountfield QC acted for the appellants. For the judgment please see below.

Judgment
04/11/13 Sarah Hannett wins Bar Pro Bono Award 2013

Matrix member Sarah Hannett has won the Bar Pro Bono Award 2013 for her work with the ‘Schools Exclusions Project’ run with The City Law School and Matrix Chambers. The ‘Schools Exclusion Project’ provides free advocacy to help parents appeal against their child’s permanent exclusion. The Bar Pro Bono Award is given to an individual barrister or set of chambers in recognition of outstanding commitment to pro bono work. The award was announced at the Annual Bar Conference 2013 on Saturday 2 November. For more information please click here.

29/10/13 Julian Knowles QC to deliver the annual Lord Atkin lecture at Christ College, Brecon.

Matrix member Julian Knowles QC will deliver the eleventh Lord Atkin Lecture on Thursday 7 November. The title of Julian's lecture is "The Abolition of the Death Penalty in the United Kingdom: How it Happened and Why it Still Matters". The Lecture celebrates one of Christ College's most distinguished former pupils, Lord Atkin, who was a Law Lord from 1928 until his death in 1944, and who is widely regarded as one of the greatest judges of the twentieth century. Previous lecturers have included the late Lord Bingham of Cornhill, former Foreign Secretary Lord Owen, former Chief Inspector of Prisons Lord Ramsbotham, Justice of the Supreme Court Lord Mance, and the new Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd. For more information please click here.

24/10/13 Matthew Ryder QC of Matrix listed as one of the UKs most influential black figures

Matrix barrister Matthew Ryder QC has been named again for a fourth year in the "Powerlist" of the UK’s most influential black figures. The list was put together by a five-person panel headed by management consultant Vivian Hunt and included Thomson Reuters executive Olakunle Babarinde. The list acknowledges expertise in a particular area alongside involvement in projects and activity within UK's African and Caribbean community. Matthew was mentioned alongside others such as Malorie Blackman, Ken Olisa, Mo Farah and Karen Blackett. For coverage from the BBC please click here.

23/10/13 Postcards for Justice Campaign

The Save Justice campaign, that campaigns against the Government’s proposals to change legal aid, has launched a  ‘Postcards for Justice’ campaign. Following on from a design4justice competition they have printed 10,000 copies of the winning postcard and are encouraging as many people as possible to sign the postcards and send them back to Save Justice by 15 November. The postcards will then be delivered to Nick Clegg. Save Justice hopes that through this campaign they will make Nick Clegg aware that it is not only lawyers that are very concerned about the proposed cuts to legal aid but also students, nurses and teachers from across the country.  For more information about the ‘Postcards for Justice’ campaign please click here.

17/10/13 Matrix members Sarah Hannett and Claire Darwin nominated for Bar Pro Bono Award 2013

Matrix are delighted to announce that Sarah Hannett and Claire Darwin have been nominated for Bar Pro Bono Award 2013. Sarah and Claire are among 33 nominees for this year’s award which will be presented at the Bar Council Conference, Saturday 2 November 2013. For more information about The Bar Pro Bono Unit please click here.

16/10/13 Matrix members act in prisoner voting appeals

Aidan O’Neill QC, Hugh Southey QC and Christopher Brown acted in the prisoner voting appeals - R (Chester) v Secretary of State for Justice; McGeoch v The Lord President of the Council & Anor [2013] UKSC 63. Although the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, it confirmed that there was no basis for departing from the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights holding that the United Kingdom’s ban on prisoners voting violates the European Convention on Human Rights. For the judgment please click here.

15/10/13 Application to strike out libel action by Russian policeman an abuse of the court

An application to strike out a libel action brought by a Russian policeman, arising out of serious allegations of police misconduct in Russia, as an abuse of the process of the court. The judge ruled that the UK was not the right jurisdiction for the ex-policeman Pavel Karpov to pursue the claim. Mr Karpov could not demonstrate a reputation within the UK sufficient to establish a real and substantial tort. The judgment redefined what constitutes “a real and substantial tort” in libel claims in the UK and will act as a disincentive to libel tourists using London to launder their reputations. Antony White QC acted for the defendants instructed by HowardKennedyFsi. For the judgment please click here. For more information please click here.

15/10/13 Best interests of a child primary consideration when considering deportation

The Secretary of State’s decision against the Upper Tribunal that the deportation of the respondent as a foreign criminal under the Immigration Act 1971 s3(5) would be against the best interests of his de facto daughter was dismissed.  The respondent is a Nigerian national who is also a foreign criminal with a partner and child in the UK. The Upper Tribunal had correctly determined that the new Immigration Rules did not replace existing binding law, and that a two stage test taking into account ECHR, art 8 was appropriate. Under the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 s 55 the best interest of a child were primary consideration. Raza Husain QC acted for the respondent. For the case note please see below.

Case Note
11/10/13 The International Criminal Court rules that Abdullah al-Senussi can be tried in Libya

The International Criminal Court ("ICC") today ruled that the Libyan Government has won its challenge to the jurisdiction of The Hague based Court in relation to the case of Abdullah Al-Senussi, the former intelligence chief to Muammar Gaddafi.  This is a historic decision in international criminal law.

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24/09/13 Barrister wins final appeal in interference case

Barrister Philip Wong was accused of trying to dissuade a fellow lawyer from giving evidence in a criminal trial. The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal found Philip Wong might not have been trying to interfere with the trial when he contacted solicitor Fanny Mak Sui-fan. His conviction and six-month sentence was quashed.  Clare Montgomery QC acted for Philip Wong. For more information please click here.

02/09/13 Matrix shortlisted in the forthcoming Chambers Bar Awards with four nominationsMatrix is delighted to have been shortlisted with four nominations, including Defamation & Privacy Set of the Year; Karon Monaghan QC Employment Silk of the Year; Phillippa Kaufmann QC Human Rights & Public Law Silk of the Year and Daniel Squires Human Rights & Public Law Junior of the Year. Congratulations to everyone shortlisted.
20/06/13 Containing Contempt Securing Fair Trials and Freedom of Speech in the Internet Age On Tuesday night Matrix hosted the event ‘Containing Contempt: Securing Fair Trials and Freedom of Speech in the Internet Age’ at the Barbican Centre. The event was chaired by Alex Bailin QC and speakers included Professor David Ormerod QC - Law Commissioner, Dominic Grieve QC – The Attorney General and Lorna Skinner. To see the tweets from the event use #contemptinfo. The recordings of all the speeches given on the night are available to listen now, please see below. Containing Contempt: David Ormerod QCContaining Contempt: Dominic Grieve QC MPContaining Contempt: Lorna Skinner