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Hugh Southey has led at all levels up to and including the Supreme Court as well as in the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. In particular in the last three years he has led in 10 hearings before the Supreme Court. These hearings have covered topics as diverse and important as European Union citizenship, the system of disclosure of criminal convictions and the extent of the common law right to a fair hearing.

Hugh specialises in public law in a wide range of fields including human rights, prison law, inquests, crime, extradition, mental health, terrorism (including TPIMs and the Special Immigration Appeals Commission), immigration, discrimination and elections. Hugh litigates public law and human rights arguments both in judicial review proceedings and civil claims. Hugh also appears in criminal appeals and Court of Protection matters. Hugh’s human rights practice has expanded so that it includes a number of cases regarding privacy.

Hugh advises a range of clients including national institutions, corporate clients, trades unions and individuals.

Hugh has litigated in a number of jurisdictions outside England and Wales including Northern Ireland, the United States of America and the Turks and Caicos.

Hugh is an A-Panel member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Preferred Counsel.

Hugh is a Recorder who sits in the Crown Court.

Hugh is called in Northern Ireland.

Hugh is an author of Judicial Review: A Practical Guide (Jordans) as well as founding editor of the United Kingdom Human Rights Reports.

Hugh is Joint Chair of the Management Committee alongside Helen Mountfield QC.

Hugh accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.


Hugh is listed as a leading practitioner in both Chambers and Partners (in which he is listed in 4 areas) and Legal 500 (in which he is also listed in 4 areas).

Legal 500 states that Hugh is “At the top of the game as far as analytical skills and the ability to project powerful legal argument is concerned”.

Chambers and Partners Directory states that Hugh is “Phenomenally clever, he is able to distil really complex public law points down into something simple and user-friendly”. It also states Hugh “is really outstanding. He is dedicated, works like a machine and is totally on top of everything”.