News

News

Details of the latest Matrix news.
18/12/14 Inquest into death of 15 year old boy criticises local authority and prison

A jury has criticised both Tower Hamlets and Cockham Wood Young Offenders Institution in the inquest into the death of a vulnerable 15 year old in their care. Alex Wood was found hanging in his cell in January 2012, one of three children to die in Young Offenders Institutions from apparently self-inflicted deaths within a ten month period. The inquest found serious failings on behalf of the local authority, including failing to allocate a named social worker to Alex. Danny Friedman QC and Mark Scott of Bhatt Murphy represented Alex's family on behalf of INQUEST. For more information please see the below press release from INQUEST.

INQUEST Press Release
17/12/14 Compulsory retirement age of 70 for Employment Tribunal Lay Members is not age discrimination

The compulsory retirement of Employment Tribunal Lay Members aged 70 does not contravene the Equality Act 2010. Claire Darwin appeared for the Ministry of Justice. She was led by Charles Bourne QC of 11KBW, and instructed by the Treasury Solicitor. For the Employment Tribunal judgment, please see below. 

Judgment
16/12/14 Court rules that guidance on granting legal aid for exceptional cases is unlawful Three Court of Appeal judges have ruled that the Lord Chancellor’s guidance on granting exceptional funding for cases that are out of scope for normal legal aid was unlawful because it wrongly implied that the European Convention on Human Rights only demanded funding in rare and extreme cases. 

Find out more.
15/12/14 Court of Appeal rules that a council must support a child with Downs Syndrome even if the family travels out of the area

The Court of Appeal has held that local authorities have the power to provide Children Act services outside their area, in a ruling that is particularly important for Romany Gypsies and other itinerant families. Worcestershire Country Council has been ordered to provide support to a four year old with Down’s Syndrome whose family travel outside of the County for ten months of the year. The family, who work on fairgrounds, had originally been told to claim from the local authority where they were living. For the judgment please click here. For coverage from the BBC please click here. Chris Buttler was involved in this case.

10/12/14 Supreme Court awards damages to prisoners not provided with reasonable opportunities to progress their rehabilitation

The Supreme Court has considered if it should depart from the previous House of Lords judgment in R (James & Ors) v Secretary of State for justice  following the ECtHR ruling in  James v UK.  The court was considering the joined appeals relating to prisoners sentenced to imprisonment for public protection or life imprisonment. The four appellants argued that they had not been provided with the reasonable opportunity to progress their rehabilitation and release, breaching their rights under the ECHR, arts 5 and 14. The court unanimously allowed the appeals of two of the prisoners awarding them damages. Hugh Southey QC has been involved in this case. For the judgment please click here. For the press summary please click here.

09/12/14 Samantha Knights appointed as co-reviewer of police use of section 60 stop and search powers

The Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has launched a new partnership between the MPS and the Middlesex School of Law. Professor Joshua Castellino, Dean of the School of law, has been appointed by the Commissioner to conduct an independent review of the MPS’s use of section 60 stop and search powers. Matrix member, Samantha Knights, will work with Professor Castellino, Dr Robin Fletcher (also at Middlesex University) and Joseph Middleton (Doughty Street Chambers) to produce a set of recommendations for the MPS based on their findings that will then be made publically available. For further information please click here

08/12/14 Matrix celebrates Human Rights Week 2014

Matrix is delighted to be putting on two events during Human Rights Week to celebrate Human Rights Day, held annually by the UN on the 10th December 2014.Find out more.

08/12/14 Murder case against Shrien Dewani dismissed by South African judge

A judge in South Africa has dismissed the case against British businessman Shrien Dewani who was accused of arranging the murder of his wife Anni in South Africa in 2010. The judge stated that the evidence presented by the prosecution fell “far below the threshold” of what a reasonable court could convict on. Dewani has always denied plotting with others to murder his wife. Clare Montgomery QC, Julian Knowles QC and Mark Summers QC were involved in the extradition case. For coverage from the BBC please click here.

03/12/14 Gavin Millar QC joins Matrix from Doughty Street Chambers

Matrix is pleased to announce that Gavin Millar QC has joined Matrix from Doughty Street Chambers. Gavin has a wide ranging practice covering media, public and employment law. He undertakes defamation, privacy, contempt and reporting restriction cases and acts for most of the UK major media organisations. Gavin has been described as “amongst the most influential people in the media.” Gavin has recently been acting for The Sun in the defamation case between The Sun and Andrew Mitchell, the former Tory chief whip.  


Find out more.
26/11/14 Compulsory retirement age of 70 for Judges is not age discrimination

The compulsory retirement of Judges aged 70 does not amount to age discrimination contrary to the Equal Treatment Framework Directive. Claire Darwin appeared for the Ministry of Justice. She was led by Charles Bourne QC of 11KBW, and instructed by the Treasury Solicitor. For the Employment Tribunal judgment, please see below.

Judgment
25/11/14 Hegglin v Google Inc settles

The case of Hegglin v Google Inc has been settled on a confidential basis out of court. The trial was due to start on the morning of 24 November, but instead a statement was read out in court. Hugh Tomlinson QC and Ian Helme (1 Brick Court) were instructed for the Claimant by Olswang LLP and Antony White QC, Guy Vassall-Adams and Jonathan Scherbel-Ball (1 Brick Court) were instructed by Pinsent Masons LLP for the Defendant. The statement can be found below.

Statement
25/11/14 Womens rights campaigners welcome withdrawal of the Law Societys sharia wills practice note

The move by the Law Society to withdraw their sharia wills practice note has been welcomed by One Law for All, Southall Black Sisters, the Centre for Secular Space, Nari Diganta and the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation. The practice note advised solicitors on how to draw up ‘Sharia-compliant’ wills. Karon Monaghan QC provided legal advice that stated that the practice note was unlawful as it provided guidance to solicitors that promotes an interpretation of Sharia that is discriminatory on the grounds of gender, religion and ethnicity and thus gave rise to the possibility of direct discrimination by solicitors. For the full press release please click here.

21/11/14 Nicholas Gibson featured in 'Stars at the Bar 2014'

Matrix are delighted that Nicholas Gibson has been featured in this Legal Week's Stars at the Bar 2014. The article, which profiles 10 up-and-coming commercial and Chancery barristers recognised for their exceptional abilities, describes Nicholas as "phenomenally hardworking and conscientious, with great attention to detail; very bright and friendly". For the full article, please click here. (Please note that this link requires subscription to Legal Week, free access is available.)

20/11/14 High Court allows claims against the MOD and FCO in torture and rendition claims

The High Court has handed down a judgment in claims brought against the Ministry of Defence and  Foreign and Commonwealth Office concerning alleged unlawful detention, torture and rendition in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr Justice Leggatt rejected the Government's arguments that the rules of state immunity and foreign act of state precluded the English court from hearing the claims, holding that it would be "failing in its duty" if it did not determine the claims. Phillippa Kaufmann QC and Edward Craven represented the Claimant.

19/11/14 Matrix wins Chambers of the Year and the Retention "Talent Management" award at the BSN UK Diversity Legal Awards

Matrix was delighted to win two awards at the Black Solicitors Network 5th UK Diversity Legal Awards last night. The judges acknowledged our approach, which goes across a number of diversity categories, and also its impact. Overall staff and member retention improved measurably and we also reported a very significant percentage of members self-declaring as LGBT. As ‘Chambers of the Year’ Matrix ranked number one within the 2014 Diversity League Table publication. For more information about the BSN please click here. For more information about the UK Diversity Legal Awards please click here.

19/11/14 Matthew Ryder QC listed in the top 10 Power List: Britains most Influential Black People

Matthew Ryder QC has been named again for the fifth year in a row in the “Powerlist” of the UK’s most influential black figures. The list celebrates the most influential people of African and African-Caribbean heritage in Britain today. Matthew was mentioned alongside Karen Blackett (CEO of MediaCom UK), Steve McQueen (Artist/Director) and Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1 Driver).  Please click here for coverage from The Telegraph.

12/11/14 Supreme Court hearing challenge to the lawfulness of suspicion-less powers to stop, detain and question travellers

The Supreme Court is today hearing a significant challenge to the lawfulness of the suspicion-less powers to stop, detain and question travellers passing through UK ports and airports under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000. The Appellant claims that the powers are incompatible with her fundamental rights of liberty, respect for private life and freedom from compulsory self-incrimination. This is the first time the Supreme Court has considered these powers, which have been used on over 300,000 occasions during the last five years. Matthew Ryder QC and Edward Craven are representing the Appellant, Sylvie Beghal. Alex Bailin QC is representing the intervener Liberty. Dan Squires is representing the intervener the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

10/11/14 Landmark judgment provides stronger protection against Hong Kong money laundering law

Ken Macdonald QC has successfully acted for the appellant, Pang Hung Fai, who had been convicted of dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence contrary to the Organised and Serious Crime Ordinance (OSCO).

Find out more.
07/11/14 Hearing in landmark challenge to legality of government intelligence gathering taking place today

A further hearing in a landmark challenge to the legality of government intelligence-gathering is taking place today before the usually secret Investigatory Powers Tribunal.  The tribunal is hearing the claims brought by Liberty, Privacy International and a large number of civil liberties organisations. They argue that mass surveillance of UK residents is taking place without proper safeguards and in breach of people’s rights to privacy. Matthew Ryder QC, Dan Squires and Edward Craven are involved in this case.

07/11/14 Professor Conor Gearty condemns Conservative pledge to scrap Human Rights Act

Professor Conor Gearty a leading LSE Law professor and barrister at Matrix has condemned the Conservative pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act. Professor Gearty accused the Conservatives of “inventing a problem” in order to be seen by the electorate to be taking a stand against Europe. At the speech on Thursday night at LSE Professor Gearty explained that the Act enshrined Parliamentary sovereignty which means that decisions under the Act cannot force Britain to change its laws. Nor can the European Court of Human Rights. Prisoners still do not vote in the UK despite a Strasbourg ruling in 2005 to the effect that some should be allowed to.

07/11/14 Professor James Crawford AC SC appointed to the International Court of Justice
Matrix congratulates Professor James Crawford AC SC on his election as a Judge to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. He will begin his nine-year term in 2015 as one of 15 judges to the Court. A founder member of Matrix, Professor Crawford is Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge. He has an extensive practice in international law and international arbitration, appearing before the ICJ and ITLOS, as well as investor-state arbitral tribunals composed under the ICSID Convention or ad hoc under the UNCITRAL rules.
07/11/14 UK intelligence agencies routinely intercepting legally privileged communications

It has been revealed that UK intelligence services have been routinely intercepting legally privileged communications between lawyers and their clients in sensitive security cases. Official documents show that British intelligence agencies have policies  which permit staff to access privileged communications between lawyers and their clients.

Find out more.
06/11/14 Report recommends urgent measures to address low proportion of women and ethnic minority judges

A report published today and authored by Karon Monaghan QC and Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC has recommended that quotas should be introduced to ensure that at least a third of all senior judges are women.  The report calls for a shake-up in the composition of those that sit on the bench to create a more diverse judiciary that commands broader public support. Those from minority ethnic backgrounds should also benefit from the new measures. For coverage from The Guardian please click here. Please see below for a copy of the report.

Report
04/11/14 Warning that court case could lead to the criminalisation of pregnancy drinking

Two leading women’s charities, The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) and Birthrights, are intervening in a case on criminal injuries compensation for a child whose mother drank during pregnancy. The charities believe that the case could seriously undermine women’s autonomy while pregnant and their freedom to make decisions for themselves. The case is being heard in the Court of Appeal tomorrow. For more information about bpas please click here and for more information about Birthrights please click here. Helen Mountfield QC and Elizabeth Prochaska are involved in this case.

03/11/14 Nicholas Randall QC joins Matrix Chambers

Matrix is pleased to announce that Nicholas Randall QC has joined us from Devereux Chambers. Nicholas has a strong reputation and practice in employment law, sports and pensions law and the aim is to build on the links between his and our practices in these areas of specialism. This caps a very successful year for the Matrix employment team in particular. In recognition of the quality of the cases we have been involved in over the last year or so (more than 20 reported cases among them) we were named “Employment Team of the Year” for 2014 by Chambers & Partners.

31/10/14 Matrix Chambers ranked in 14 practice areas by Chamber & Partners 2015

Matrix is delighted to have been ranked in 14 different areas by Chambers & Partners with 150 individual rankings. Matrix is now ranked fourth out of all the sets in the UK in terms of number of individual rankings. Matrix has also been ranked as a set in Data Protection and Inquests & Public Inquiries for the first time. This follows Matrix winning Set of the Year, Employment Set of the Year and Defamation/Privacy Set of the year at the Chambers & Partners Bar awards 2014.  For the full rankings please click here.

30/10/14 Libyan exile wins right to bring claim against the government to court

The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of Abdul Hakim Balhaj and his wife Fatima Bouchar in the latest stage of their attempt to win damages over their rendition to Tripoli. The couple claim they were secretly flown to Tripoli in 2004 where he was imprisoned and tortured by Muammar Gaddafi’s security forces for six years. The court heard claims that the British Government was complicit in the arrest of him and his wife and ruled that the case can go ahead despite the government’s attempts to prevent it. Richard Hermer QC was involved in this case. For coverage from The Guardian please click here.

30/10/14 Matrix holds top spot in the Diversity League Table 2014 for second year running

Matrix is delighted to have been listed as the top chambers in the Black Solicitors Network overall Diversity League Table 2014. The table brings together the rankings of chambers from both the demographic and policy and practice tables. Matrix achieved a score greater than 800, higher than any of the firms included in the analysis. The Diversity League Table is the UK legal professions leading equality and diversity report from the Black Solicitors Network.

27/10/14 Matrix shortlisted for the UK Diversity Legal Awards 2014

Matrix is delighted to have been shortlisted for the ‘Talent/Retention Management’ award at the UK Diversity Legal Awards 2014.  The UK Diversity Legal Awards are the only legal industry awards which focus solely on recognising and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. For further information about the awards and the full shortlist please click here.

22/10/14 Inquest into death of prisoner at HMP Lincoln criticises the prison service

The inquest into the death of John Stabler at HMP Lincoln has criticised the prison service and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust for a number of missed opportunities that contributed towards John’s death. John died on 6 March 2013 after having been found hanging in his cell in the segregation unit at HMP Lincoln. John had a history of depression and anxiety for which he was receiving medication and therapy. The failures by staff not to assess John correctly upon his transfer to closed conditions and again prior to his move to segregation contributed to his death. John’s sister and niece were represented by Jo Eggleton at Deighton Pierce Glynn and Kirsten Sjovoll. For more information please click here. John’s case is also discussed in The Guardian here.

16/10/14 Four Matrix members speaking at the JUSTICE Annual Human Rights Law Conference 2014

Helen Mountfield QC, Aidan O’Neill QC, Matthew Ryder QC and Professor Conor Gearty are speaking at the Justice Annual Human Rights Law Conference on Monday 20 October. This year the programme includes keynote speeches from leaders in the field and breakout session updates on disability, surveillance and privacy, criminal law, judicial review and immigration. For further details please see the programme below.

Programme
16/10/14 Helen Mountfield QC appointed to the JUSTICE Council

JUSTICE has appointed Helen Mountfield QC to its Council. JUSTICE is an all-party law reform and human rights organisation working to strengthen the justice system in the United Kingdom. JUSTICE works to promote access to justice, human rights and the rule of law through research, education and interventions in the court. For more information about JUSTICE please click here.

16/10/14 Matrix wins 'hat-trick' of 'Chambers of the Year' Awards

Matrix completed a ‘hat-trick’ of awards last night by winning ‘Chambers of the Year’ at the Modern Law Awards 2014. This follows wins at the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Awards 2014 for ‘Chambers of the Year’ and the Halsbury Legal Awards 2014 for ‘Chambers of the Year’. Matrix is delighted to have been recognised for its achievements during another exciting and successful year.  Chambers & Partners said that ‘Commentators view Matrix as one of the most progressive sets at the Bar, and one that is set fair to enjoy continued success in the future.

15/10/14 Julian Knowles QC and Jessica Simor QC to speak at the Sweet & Maxwell Human Rights Law Conference

Julian Knowles QC will deliver the lecture on crime and human rights at the Sweet & Maxwell Human Rights Law Conference on 22nd October 2014. Julian’s paper will examine the leading crime/human rights cases of the legal year 2013/2014.  Julian is one of the country's leading practitioners working at the crime/human rights interface. Details of his practice can be found here.  
 
Jessica Simor QC will deliver the lecture on ‘Privacy in a networked age: rights, responsibilities and remedies.’  Jessica’s will look at the practical implications of the headline privacy/human rights cases. Jessica is recognised as one of the country’s leading specialists in human rights and public law. Details of her practice can be found here

Full details for the conference can be found here.

14/10/14 High Court gives permission for judicial review on legal aid funding for inquests

The High Court has given permission for a judicial review of the Lord Chancellor’s guidance on legal aid funding for inquests.  Joanna Letts, whose brother Christopher died after being hit by a train in 2013 claims that the guidance is flawed and unlawful. Letts was originally denied legal aid to be represented at a four-day inquest into her brother’s death. The judge found that, although legal aid had now been granted, the challenge to the guidance raised issues of wider public importance and allowed the case to proceed. Chris Buttler represented Joanna Letts, instructed by Saimo Chahal QC at Bindmans.

10/10/14 Matrix attending Hong Kong Arbitration Week

Our Chief Executive, Lindsay Scott, is visiting Hong Kong next week for the HK Arbitration Week, including the Arbitration Charity Ball on Wednesday 15 and the ADR in Asia conference on Thursday 16 October. Clare Montgomery QC and Lord Ken Macdonald QC are also attending and are currently instructed in cases in Hong Kong. You can find out more about the conference and the Arbitration Week on their website.

09/10/14 Matrix attending the Annual Conference of the International Bar Association in TokyoLindsay Scott, Chief Executive, will be attending the Annual Conference of the International Bar Association taking place from 19 October until 24 October 2014 in Tokyo, with Senior Practice Manager, Jason Housden; and Matrix barrister Andrew Bodnar. Please contact Annie Bargione (ab@matrixlaw.co.uk) at Matrix if you would like to meet up during the course of the week.
08/10/14 Thomas Linden QC wins 'Employment: Silk of the Year' at the Legal 500 UK 2014 Awards

We are delighted that Thomas Linden QC has won ‘Employment: Silk of the Year’ at the Legal 500 UK 2014 Awards. The awards are handed to elite legal practitioners based on comprehensive research into the UK Legal market. Over 50,000 interviews have been conducted to ascertain the winners who are invited to a networking dinner to celebrate. For a list of all the winners please click here.

06/10/14 Matrix welcomes three new members

Matrix are delighted to welcome Anita Davies, Tamara Jaber and Jessica Jones as full members on completion of their traineeship. 

Find out more.
06/10/14 Opinion on Human Rights Act repeal

The Labour Party has published an opinion by Tim Owen QC and Alex Bailin QC on the Conservatives' proposals for repeal of the Human Rights Act. For more information please click here.

03/10/14 Matrix wins four awards at Chambers Bar Awards 2014Matrix is delighted to have won overall Set of the Year, Employment Set of the Year and Defamation/Privacy Set of the Year at last night's Chambers Bar Awards, and is proud to announce that Phillippa Kaufmann QC won Human Rights and Public Law Silk of the Year. For tweets and photos from the event, please see #UKBarAwards2014 on Twitter.
02/10/14 Julian Knowles QC in major Guernsey financial services victory

Julian Knowles QC successfully represented Tamara Menteshvili, the former Chief Executive of the Channel Islands Stock Exchange, during an investigation into the Exchange by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.  
 
In February 2012 the Commission commenced an investigation into the Exchange in relation to transactions in certain listed securities which had been implicated in possible market manipulation and other forms of irregular trading.
 
On 1st October 2014 the Commission announced that its investigation was complete and that it had found that Ms Menteshvili had not breached any regulatory requirement and that its investigation had revealed nothing that would justify any action in relation to her and that she was a fit and proper person in good standing.  The full Public Statement can be found here.
 
Julian Knowles QC was instructed by Advocate Karen Le Cras of Carey Olsen, Guernsey. He has a significant financial services practice in the Channel Islands.

02/10/14 Julian Knowles QC wins British Virgin Islands extradition caseJulian Knowles QC has secured a major victory in a high-profile extradition case in the British Virgin Islands.  Since 2012 Julian has been representing Earl 'Bob' Hodge, a well-known local businessman, in relation to an extradition request from the United States for the alleged importation of cocaine from the British Virgin Islands into the United States. Mr Hodge denies the allegations against him. 
 
On 29th September 2014 the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean held it had no jurisdiction to entertain an appeal by the Attorney General against the grant of habeas corpus by the High Court in September 2012.  The Court of Appeal's decision means that Mr Hodge has been discharged in relation to charges against him in North Carolina.
  
Julian is one of the UK's leading extradition lawyers and advises all over the world in relation to extradition and international criminal law issues.  He is also the co-author of the leading work in the field.
02/10/14 Prosecutors drop terror charges against former Guantanamo inmate Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, has walked free from prison after seven terrorism related charges against him were dropped. The prosecution collapsed after the police and crown prosecutors were handed secret intelligence material which undermined the terrorism case against him. The judge entered a formal verdict of not guilty and ordered the Begg be set free immediately from Belmarsh High Security prison. Tim Owen QC was involved in this case. For coverage from the BBC please click here.
26/09/14 Court of Appeal orders that parts of terrorism trial can be held in public

The media appealed against an order that a terrorism trial be held in camera, that the defendants names be anonymised and that the hearing not be reported. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, varying this order as follows – the core of the criminal trial would still be held in camera, however part of the trial would be in public and a number of ‘accredited journalists’ could attend certain parts heard in private, although they would not be able to report on those parts of the proceedings pending a review at the end of the trial. The names of the defendants were made public; the Court stressing that only in very exceptional circumstances would a trial be held in camera and the name of a defendant be anonymised. Anthony Hudson and Ben Silverstone were involved in this case. 

26/09/14 Prisoner found hanging in his cell was failed by prison Satheeskumar Mahathevan died while a remand prisoner at HMP Pentonville. The jury in the inquest into his death has concluded that his death was an accident and that failings at the prison contributed to his death. The Inquest head evidence that Satheeskumar was let down by failings in information sharing, multi-agency communication and by inadequate training of staff. Raj Desai represented the family.
25/09/14 High Court hearing for UK rendition and complicity in torture cases A three day hearing started yesterday in the High Court in the case of Yunus Rahmatullah, a Pakistani citizen who was captured by British forces in Iraq in 2004. Yunus claims that while in detention he was tortured before being handed over to US forces. He alleges that the US forces also tortured him before rendering him to Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan, where he remained for 10 years without charge, trial or access to a lawyer. In 2012 the UK Supreme Court suggested that Mr Rahmatullah’s rendition was unlawful and a breach of the Geneva Convention. The High Court will also hear a further three claims relating to cases of Iraqi citizens similarly transferred into US custody by UK forces in Iraq. Philippa Kaufmann QC and Edward Craven are involved in this case.
25/09/14 Matrix wins 'Chambers of the Year' at the Halsbury Legal Awards 2014

Matrix is delighted to have won ‘Chambers of the Year - London’ at the Halsbury Legal Awards 2014. The awards were presented yesterday at an exclusive event in central London. The winners were decided by an independent panel of judges. For a list of all the winners please click here.

24/09/14 Abu Qatada acquitted of charges faced in Jordan

Abu Qatada has today been acquitted of the second of two charges that he faced in Jordan. He was acquitted of the first charge in July. He was represented in his protracted deportation proceedings in the UK and before the ECtHR by Danny Friedman QC who also consulted on his defence before the Jordanian State Security Court. The issue in the UK case concerned the demand for mechanisms that could ensure that Abu Qatada would obtain a fair trial in Jordan. For coverage from the BBC please click here.

18/09/14 Three Afghan spies suing British military for abandoning them without protection

Three Afghan men who spied for on the Taliban for the British military are suing the government in the High Court for abandoning them after pulling out of Afghanistan. During the course of the conflict, the men provided the British military with intelligence including the location of Taliban targets; however they claim that when British forces left the country last year, they were left without any security or protection and have genuine concerns for their own and their families' safety. The men are seeking urgent relief to provide them with secure accommodation in Afghanistan pending their claims for compensation. Samantha Knights and Laura Prince are instructed for the claimants by Deighton Pierce Glynn.

16/09/14 UKSC Blog interviews Lord Neuberger

This summer, some of the editors of the UKSC Blog, including Anthony Fairclough from the Legal Information Team at Matrix, were invited to the UK Supreme Court to interview Lord Neuberger, the president of the Supreme Court. Highlights of the discussion with Lord Neuberger can be found on the UKSC blog by clicking here. The UKSC blog is run by Matrix Chambers and Olswang and provides commentary on the UK Supreme Court and its judgments.

10/09/14 Permission to Appeal granted to The Badger Trust

The Badger Trust has been granted permission to appeal against the fact that that an Independent Expert Panel is not overseeing the second year of the pilot badger culls. The second year of culls commenced on Monday in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset in a bid to tackle bovine TB. David Wolfe QC has been involved in this case.

08/09/14 Former Matrix Member, Mr Justice David Bean, appointed as Lord Justice of Appeal

Former Matrix member, Mr Justice David Bean has been appointed as Lord Justice of Appeal. His appointment will fill one of the forthcoming vacancies in the Court of Appeal arising in autumn 2014. Mr Justice Bean was called to the Bar in 1976 and became Queen’s Counsel in 1997. He was a founding member of Matrix in 2000 and was a member of the employment team at Matrix until was appointed as High Court Judge, Queens Bench Division in 2004.  For further information please click here.

08/09/14 Matrix International website launches today

The website for our new sister brand, Matrix International, has launched today. You can view the website at matrixlawinternational.com. You can also follow Matrix International on Twitter @matrixlawint. Matrix International will help up promote our members outside the UK and build upon our already well-established reputation in several regions and the opening of a Matrix office in Geneva. We have already worked in over 111 countries, providing advice, advocacy, investigations and training.

05/09/14 Ben Emmerson QC to serve as counsel to the Fiona Woolf inquiry into historical child abuse The Home Office announced today the appointment of Fiona Woolf CBE to lead an independent inquiry into historical child abuse. The inquiry will consider the extent to which public bodies and other important institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse. Ben Emmerson QC will serve as counsel to the inquiry. Fiona Woolf will also be assisted by Graham Wilmer MBE, a child sexual abuse victim and founder of the Lantern Project and Barbara Hearn OBE, the former Deputy CEO of the National Children’s Bureau. Their first tasks will be to finalise the membership of the panel and agree terms of reference for the inquiry. For further information please click here
04/09/14 Matrix nominated for 'Chambers of the Year' at the Modern Law Awards 2014

The Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Awards celebrate best practice in the modern legal services arena. Matrix is delighted to have been nominated for 'Chambers of the Year'. The winners are chosen by a cross-industry panel and will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Hilton on Park Lane on 15 October 2014. For the full shortlist please click here.

04/09/14 Prior fundamental breach of contract by an employee does not bar later constructive dismissal claim The claimant alleged that he was the victim of constructive dismissal and had brought proceedings against the respondent at the Employment Tribunal. The claimant also alleged that he suffered a detriment as a result of a Public Interest Disclosure. The Employment Tribunal struck out the claimant’s case. They concluded that because the claimant has been guilty of conduct which amounted to a repudiatory breach of his contract the constructive dismissal claim was bound to fail. This case affirmed the principle that a prior fundamental breach of contract by an employee did not bar a later constructive dismissal claim. Laura Prince was involved in this case.
04/09/14 Voice of Freedom exhibition on display at MatrixToday we welcomed PhotoVoice in to the Matrix office to set up their Voice of Freedom photography exhibition, previously on show at Amnesty International UK, which will be displayed in our Seminar Room till the end of the year. Since inception, Matrix’s Core Values have included a commitment to raising awareness and tackling the challenges facing our wider community. By displaying this exhibition, Matrix seeks to support the project’s aim of highlighting the broad issue of modern-day slavery.Find out more.
13/08/14 An analysis of the seminal judgment on serious harm

Judgment was handed down today in the libel case of Cooke and Anor v MGN [2014] EWHC 2831 (QB).

Find out more.
07/08/14 James Laddie QC and Sarah Hannett acted for the Mayor of Tower Hamlets in strike out applicationThe petitioners sought to challenge the Mayoral Election in the Borough of Tower Hamlets and pursuant to their challenge they sought a Protective Costs Order. The successful candidate in the election applied to dismiss the petition. The Election Petition Rules 1960, r 4(d) require the petitioner to set out with sufficient particularity the facts that they wish to rely on. The Court accepted that the petition, at the time of the hearing, failed to do this but gave the petitioners until the 18 August to remedy the deficiency. James Laddie QC and Sarah Hannett were involved in this case. For the judgment please click here.
25/07/14 UK Supreme Court decision on referendum vote for prisoners The UK Supreme Court unusually gave a judgment in court yesterday (with reasons to follow) on this case of major constitutional importance in advance of the Scottish Referendum vote due to take place on 18 September. The court dismissed the case that sought to overturn the ban on convicted prisoners being able to vote. The UK Supreme Court called the case in to be heard on less than 4 weeks’ notice which is the quickest in their five year history. Aidan O’Neill QC was involved in this case.
23/07/14 Public inquiry to be held into death of Alexander LitvinenkoUK Home Secretary, Theresa May, has announced that there will be a public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB officer who died in 2006 after being poisoned with radioactive polonium. The inquiry will look at whether the Russian state was behind the death. This follows a successful judicial review claim brought by Mrs Litvinenko. Ben Emmerson QC acts for Mrs Litvinenko instructed by Elena Tsirlina of Blokh Solicitors. Alex Bailin QC and Lorna Skinner act for a large number of media organisations. For the judgment please click here.
22/07/14 Richard Hermer QC warns judges in torture case that government wants impunity from UK courtsThree senior judges were warned on Monday that the government has said that it is determined to prevent ministers and officials from being accountable to the courts for any colluding or wrongdoing abroad even if it involves torture. Abdel Hakin Belhaj and his wife Fatima Bouchar were abducted in 2004 in a joint MI6/CIA operation and secretly flown to Tripoli where they were tortured by Muammar Gaddafi’s security forces. Richard Hermer QC is acting for Belhaj who wants to sue MI6 and other British agencies, and then the Labour foreign secretary, accusing them of involvement in the rendition operation and arguing that they should share responsibility. For coverage from The Guardian please click here.
14/07/14 School Exclusions Project nominated for the Community Organisation award at the National Diversity Awards

Sarah Hannett and the City-Matrix School Exclusions Project have been nominated for the ‘Community Organisation Award’ at the National Diversity Awards. The School Exclusions Project provides free advocacy to help parents appeal against their child’s permanent exclusion. The National Diversity Awards celebrates the excellent achievements of grass-root communities that tackle issues in today’s society, given them recognition for their dedication and hard work. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 26 September 2014.  For further information about the awards and the School Exclusions Project please click here.

08/07/14 Matrix members act for Bangladesh in Bay of Bengal maritime boundary arbitration The Arbitral Tribunal unanimously decided that it had jurisdiction to identify the land boundary terminus and to delimit the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf between Bangladesh and India within and beyond 200 nautical miles in the areas where the claims of the parties overlap. James Crawford AC SC and Philippe Sands QC acted for Bangladesh. For the full press release please see document below.
Press Release
04/07/14 Julian Knowles QC appointed a director of the Death Penalty ProjectJulian Knowles QC has been appointed to the Board of the Death Penalty Project and will become a trustee of the Death Penalty Project Charitable Trust. These organisations provide free and effective legal representation and assistance to those individuals who are facing the death penalty and work to promote restrictions on the use of the death penalty.

Julian is one of the UK’s foremost lawyers specialising in death penalty issues and has appeared in many of the major constitutional challenges to its use over the last 20 years in the Privy Council and other courts.
02/07/14 Matrix shortlisted for two awards at the Halsbury Legal Awards 2014

Matrix has been shortlisted for ‘Chambers of the Year’ and the ‘Award for Diversity and Inclusion’ at the Halsbury Legal Awards 2014. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 24 September. The awards are chaired by independent judges and celebrate the values the legal community embodies and which are prized by the profession and wider community. For a full list of those shortlisted please click here.

01/07/14 Matrix members act in football State aid caseOn Monday 30 June 2014, judgment was given on a judicial review concerning a £14.4m loan by Coventry City Council to the Ricoh Arena, in which, for the first time, an English Court has considered the application of the so-called “market economy investor principle” used in determining whether there has been a State aid requiring notification to the EU Commission. Rhodri Thompson QC , Christopher Brown and Nicholas Gibson acted for the Claimants, the owners and/or investors in Coventry City Football Club, which formerly played its home matches at the Ricoh Arena.  The judgment can be found below.Judgment
27/06/14 Inquest finds that neglect contributed to death of US citizen in immigration detention A jury has returned a neglect conclusion in an immigration detention death inquest. US citizen Brian Dalrymple was detained at the Harmondsworth Immigration Detention centre in June 2011 after being refused leave to enter the UK because his behaviour was ‘odd’. Brian suffered from schizophrenia and had severe hypertension. Despite concerns being raised about his behaviour no psychiatric assessment took place during the six weeks he was detained. Brian died on 31 July 2011 from an aortic rupture after having refused to take his antihypertensive medication. The inquest found that Brian’s death was a result of natural causes contributed by neglect. During the course of the two week inquest the jury heard extensive evidence about systems failures, failures of communication and shambolic medical record keeping and staff not being aware of basic protection systems. Nick Armstrong represented the family at the inquest with Jocelyn Cockburn and Lucy Cadd of Hodge Jones & Allen.  
26/06/14 David Wolfe QC appointed to be Chair of the Recognition Panel following the Leveson Inquiry

David Wolfe QC has been appointed to be the Chair of the Recognition Panel established by the Royal Charter in the light of the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. For full details please click here.

18/06/14 Doctors now under legal duty over resuscitation orders

The Court of Appeal has ruled that doctors are now under a legal duty to consult with and inform patients if they want to place a Do No Resuscitate (DNR) order on medical notes. Doctors already have guidelines in place recommending that patients and families are involved in decisions regarding DNR orders but the court ruling now makes it a legal requirement. This follows the case of Janet Tracey who had terminal lung cancer and died three years ago after a DNR notice was placed on her notes without consulting her family. David Wolfe QC has been involved in this case. For coverage from the BBC please click here.

18/06/14 Julian Knowles QC wins Supreme Court case

Julian Knowles QC successfully represented the Crown Prosecution Service in R (Nunn) v. Chief Constable of Suffolk, judgment in which was given today by the Supreme Court.  The case concerned the Crown’s duty of disclosure where a defendant has been convicted and appealed unsuccessfully to the Court of Appeal.  The Supreme Court held that the Crown Prosecution Service had been entitled not to disclose the material in this case. It is Julian’s third victory in the Supreme Court in the last 12 months.

18/06/14 New guidelines issued for Reporting Restrictions in the Criminal Court

A third updated set of guidelines on open justice and reporting restrictions in the criminal courts has been published by the Judicial College, Newspaper Society, Society of Editors and the Media Lawyers Association. The joint guidelines have been revised by Guy Vassall-Adams and reflect and incorporate numerous changes in both statute and case law that have taken place in the last few years and that are relevant to the reporting of the criminal courts. For the full media release please click here. For the guidelines please see below.

Reporting Restrictions Guide
10/06/14 Afghanistan interpreters to challenge government decision

Six former interpreters who worked with British troops in Afghanistan are to argue at the High Court tomorrow that Britain should give more people the right to resettle in the UK if they are threatened by the Taliban. Currently only interpreters who have been deployed to dangerous parts of Afghanistan with British troops for at least 6 months after December 2012 can apply for help. Hugh Southey QC is involved in this case. For coverage from The Times please click here (please note full content behind a pay wall).

23/05/14 Helen Mountfield QC advises on Jewish students right to politically balanced education on Middle East boundaries Leading Jewish state schools have been accused of showing political bias by using maps that do not show the boundary lines between Israel and the Palestinian territories.  A student lead campaign has contacted 16 Jewish state schools asking them to join their Sign on the Green Line campaign. The Green Line refers to the pre-1967 boundary that marks out the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The students have said that schools are promoting a false picture of the political realities of the Middle East and are failing to properly educate young people. Helen Mountfield QC has provided legal advice to the students. For more information please click here.
12/05/14 Court finds HMRC misconstrued powers and duties in refusing to disclose information to Privacy InternationalThe Administrative Court held that HMRC had acted irrationally and misconstrued the scope of its powers when it refused to disclose any information to Privacy International about a criminal investigation into the activities of Gamma International, a British manufacturer of surveillance technology and spyware.
Find out more.