News

News

Details of the latest Matrix news.
01/08/14 Court rules on the obligation of humane treatment under international humanitarian law

R (Haidar Hussain) v SSD [2014] EWCA 1087 - The judgment recognises that (1) international humanitarian law is justiciable under domestic law by virtue of the policy of the Minister to comply with it, (2) Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions contains both a negative obligation to refrain from war crimes, but also a positive obligation to ensure humane treatment, (3)  the concept of humane treatment is to be further understood not just by reference to article 3 ECHR, but also by reference to the principle of dignity contained in Article 8 ECHR.

Find out more.Judgment
01/08/14 Historic decisions against Russia re Yukos Oil

Two landmark decisions relating to Yukos Oil Company were handed down this week. On 28 July the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague awarded US$50 billion damages for Russia's politically motivated expropriation of Yukos and its assets in contravention of the Energy Charter Treaty.


On 31 July the European Court of Human Rights awarded €1.9 billion 'just satisfaction' damages against Russia for the expropriation of Yukos in violation of the Convention. Alex Bailin QC has been advising GML Ltd - the majority shareholder in Yukos, instructed by Tim Osborne of Wiggin Osborne Fullerlove.

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.
24/07/14 Julian Knowles QC secures the release of two men from death row

In the last month Julian Knowles QC has secured the release of two men from death row in Trinidad.
 
In the first case, Marcus Daniel v. The State, the Court of Appeal quashed Mr Daniel’s conviction for murder and substituted a verdict of manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility and passed a sentence of imprisonment. Julian successfully represented Mr Daniel before the Privy Council (with Michelle Butler) and secured the remission of his case to the Court of Appeal on the basis of fresh evidence concerning his mental state at the time of his offence.
 
In the second case, Nigel Brown v. The State, the Court of Appeal quashed Mr Brown’s death sentence for murder and imposed a sentence of life imprisonment.  Julian successfully appealed the original dismissal of Mr Brown’s appeal to the Privy Council (with Mark Summers QC), who remitted the case to the Court of Appeal for its reconsideration.

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.
18/07/14 Blanket prohibition on student loan for long-term resident without settled status held unlawfulImmigrant with DLR ineligible for a loan from Student Loan Company pursuant to Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011. Regulations held to be a blanket ban and a disproportionate interference with the claimant’s right to education under ECHR, art 2, protocol 1 (A2P1) and Article 14 with A2P1. Helen Mountfield QC and Raj Desai were involved in this case. For the judgment please click here.
18/07/14 Court maintains decision to convert comprehensive school into academy

The Governing Body of the Warren Comprehensive School and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham sought judicial review of the decision of the Secretary of State for Education to convert the school into an academy. The Claimants maintained that the Secretary of State had erred in concluding that academy schools improved GCSE results at a faster rate than local authority maintained schools. In particular, the Claimants maintained that the Secretary of State had erred by having regard to non-GCSE “equivalents” when looking at rates of improvement, despite the Secretary of State stating that such qualifications were worthless. The Court dismissed the claim. Helen Mountfield QC and Sarah Hannett acted for the claimant school and local authority. For the judgment please click here.

18/07/14 Supreme Court recommends that the Foreign Secretary review death penalty funding policy

In the case of Mrs Sandiford, a British national facing the death penalty in Indonesia, the Supreme Court has unanimously decided that an urgent review is required of the policy not to provide funding for legal representation for British nationals facing capital charges abroad by the Foreign Secretary. The Foreign Secretary previously operated a policy to provide funding in exceptional cases. This policy was changed in 2007 and Mrs Sandiford challenged that change when she was refused £2,500 to cover the expenses of a pro bono lawyer. Although the original decision not to provide funding was upheld by the Supreme Court it drew attention to the information that had come to light in respect of the serious issues as to the  functioning of the local judicial system in Indonesia. Aidan O’Neill QC was involved in this case. For the judgment please click here. For the court press summary 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.

09/07/14 Case against MI5 to be heard in secret

Former IRA informant Martin McGartland is to have his case against MI5 heard in secret. McGartland claimed that her had been inadequately protected by MI5 and deprived of promised funds. The complaints will have to be heard behind closed doors in what is known as a closed material procedure according to the judgment  given by Mr Justice Mitting. For coverage from The Guardian please click here. Phillippa Kaufmann QC is involved in this case.

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.

25/06/14 Landmark judgment in right-to-die cases The Supreme Court has this morning handed down a landmark nine-judge judgment on the right-to-die, relating to cases brought by three severely disabled men, Tony Nicklinson, Paul Lamb and 'Martin' ('AM'). The judgment substantially advances the cause of those in the UK who want to be able to end their lives humanely. It is also now the leading judgment on declarations of incompatibility within the UK's margin of appreciation.
 
Guy Vassall-Adams of Matrix (instructed by Bindmans) was part of Mrs Nicklinson's and Paul Lamb's legal team; Adam Sandell (instructed by Leigh Day) was part of Martin's legal team.

For the judgment please click here. For a case note prepared by Adam Sandell please see below.
Case Note
19/06/14 Minor convictions should be dropped from criminal record checks The Supreme Court has ruled that certain past minor cautions and convictions should remain part of a protected private life and should not be disclosed in criminal records checks. The two respondents appealed against the decision to disclose details of their criminal records on job applications. The respondents had been issued warnings and cautions several years ago and when one of them had been a child. The court found that the relevant provisions did violate the respondents ECHR Article 8 Rights, seriously affecting their entry into their chosen professions. Hugh Southey QC and Nick Armstrong where involved in this case. For coverage from the BBC please click here. For the judgment please click here. For a briefing note prepared by Hugh Southey QC, Nick Armstrong and Anita Davies please see below. Briefing Note
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
17/06/14 Practice Assistant, Frankie Penton, awarded Student of the Year at Institute of Barristers Clerks dinner

Frankie Penton, a Practice Assistant at Matrix, was awarded the John Carter Memorial Award/Student of the Year at the 2014 IBC Annual Dinner. The dinner took place on 12 June at the Royal College of Surgeons and The Chairman of the IBC noted that this is the third time in four years that a Matrix staff member has received the award.  For more information about the IBC please click here. For a list of those that have previously won the award please click here.

13/06/14 Inquest into death at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre begins on MondayAn inquest into the death of an American man, Brian Dalrymple, at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre, is beginning at West London Coroners Court on Monday 16 June. It is listed for two weeks. Nick Armstrong, instructed by Jocelyn Cockburn and Lucy Cadd of Hodge Jones and Allen, is representing Mr. Dalrymple’s family. For further details please see the INQUEST website.
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).

06/06/14 Justice Alliance film Are you for Justice launched

Justice Alliance UK have launched a film highlighting stories of those who have relied on Legal Aid and would have been or will be effected by the proposed Legal Aid cuts. Stephen Fry and Jo Brand feature in the film which can be viewed by clicking here. You can learn more about the Justice Alliance Campaign by clicking here. The making of the film was sponsored by Matrix.

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.
21/05/14 Supreme Court rules that LLP members are protected by whistle blowing legislation

The Supreme Court has held that a member of a LLP was a “worker” within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and as such was entitled to the protection granted to whistle-blowers under the Public Disclosure Act 1998. The case came about after former Clyde & Co partner Krista Bates van Winkelhof alleged she was ejected from the firm after blowing the whistle on alleged bribery and corruption. The case is important because, in addition to whistle blowing protection,  members of LLPs will now have a number of rights under employment protection legislation on the basis that they are workers. Thomas Linden QC was instructed by Joanna Blackburn of Mishcon de Reya. For coverage from The Lawyer please click here.

16/05/14 High Court refuses to extradite British man at risk of being sentenced to death

The High Court today refused to extradite a British man, Frank Gambrah, to Ghana where he was at risk of being sentenced to death. Julian Knowles QC acted for Mr Gambrah. In dismissing the Government’s appeal against the district judge’s decision to discharge Mr Gambrah on human rights grounds, the High Court held that extradition would violate his rights under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights because, although he might not be executed, he would in all likelihood be held on death row under sentence of death for many years.

15/05/14 Matrix shortlisted for IIP Employer of the YearMatrix has been named as a top organisation for people management practice in the UK, having been shortlisted in the Employer of the Year (2-49 employees) category, in the first Investors in People Awards.Find out more.
14/05/14 Abuse of process and open justice in Administrative court terrorism cases

On 2 May 2014 the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the case of two persons who were subjected to control orders and TPIM measures under terrorism powers. The first, Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed (CC), who absconded from his TPIM in November, and a second known only as CF.

Find out more.
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.
12/05/14 Matrix Health Week starts today

This week, Matrix is holding its annual Health Week, our week-long health observance aimed at encouraging staff to discover new ways of improving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Throughout the week, health specialists will be coming in to Matrix to provide nutrition and dental health advice, work station assessments, massages and fitness classes. This year, we are combining our Health Week with Walk to Work Week, a workplace walking challenge run by Living Streets. By getting staff to compete over who can walk the furthest during the week, we hope to encourage staff to walk more, contributing to health and wellbeing; improve productivity through physical activity; and get some healthy competition going in the workplace to promote team spirit. Such commitment to the health and wellbeing of our staff stems from the pledges we have made as a partner of the Public Health Responsibility Deal, which aims to improve the public health of the country.

09/05/14 Unlawful detention by UK armed forces in Afghanistan

A court has held that the arrest and initial detention of Serdar Mohammed by UK forces in Afghanistan was lawful however the continued detention was beyond the time permitted by the International Security Assistance Force policy was unlawful. Mohammed was held by the British for over three months during which time he was submitted to sleep deprivation and repeated interrogations. The detention solely for the purpose of interrogation was not for the purpose permitted by the Human Rights Act 1998, art 5 and was not in accordance with any written policy for detention and was therefore arbitrary. Richard Hermer QC was involved in this case. For the judgment please click here

 
08/05/14 High profile corruption trial starts in Hong Kong Two billionaire property developers, Thomas and Raymond Kwok, have gone on trial today in Hong Kong accused of paying bribes in 2005 and 2007 to former Hong Kong chief secretary Rafael Hui. The Kwok brothers head Sun Hung Kai Properties, one of Asia’s most successful property companies. Thomas Kwok faces three charges of conspiracy and is represented by Clare Montgomery QC. For coverage from the BBC please click here.
01/05/14 Matrix Chambers turns 14 today

Matrix was formed in 2000 by 23 barristers from a wide range of legal disciplines. Since it has opened for business Matrix has been joined by other established practitioners and by barristers starting in practice. It has developed its practice internationally and has associates around the world. Matrix now has now grown to 77 members and has an office in Geneva.

28/04/14 Matrix nominated for Chambers of the Year at The Lawyer Awards

The shortlist for The Lawyer Awards 2014 was announced last week and Matrix is pleased to have received a nomination for Chambers of the Year. The winner will be announced on 25 June at the awards ceremony. Please click here for the full list of nominations.

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
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.

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.
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.
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 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.


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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.

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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.

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.