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Nick has a mixed public law and civil actions practice. He acts for individuals, businesses, charities, interest groups, unions and educational institutions.

Career

Nick began his legal career as an academic, and then became a solicitor. He graduated in 1991, obtained a PhD in civil justice reform in 1995 (as Lord Woolf’s reforms, which became the Civil Procedure Rules, were being formulated), and then qualified as a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell in 1998 where he began to focus on public law. In 2001 he transferred to the Bar, joining Matrix in 2007.

Areas of Practice

Immigration

Nick is a very experienced immigration lawyer, representing individuals and businesses at all levels. He carries out a lot of work around Tier 2 sponsorship requirements and illegal working. He acted for the successful applicant in the key English language testing case of Mohibullah [2016] UKUT 561 (establishing a rare finding of abuse of power by the Home Office after officers bullied a college into withdrawing students). Nick has done significant recent work on behalf of carers. He has advised haulage companies on their carrier obligations. Nick recently appeared in Vomero [2017] 1 All ER 999, an EU deportation case, in both the Supreme Court and the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice. He carries out a lot of immigration detention work. Nick is advising a number of organisations and businesses on the likely immigration impacts of Brexit.

Discrimination

Nick is an experienced discrimination lawyer, with particular expertise in relation to disability discrimination. He represented the claimants in many of the key cases concerning equality obligations in immigration detention (starting with the early case of Gichura v Home Office [2008] ICR 1287). He is panel counsel for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and represented them in the case that went on to become Coll v Secretary of State for Justice [2017] 1 WLR 2093.

Education

Nick is an experienced education lawyer, representing children, parents, schools, local authorities and universities before the tribunals and in civil proceedings.

Inquests

Nick is a very experienced inquest lawyer. He currently represents the family of Ann Maguire, the teacher who was stabbed by a pupil in a school in Leeds in 2014, and who has been challenging the coroner’s decisions in that case in the Court of Appeal. Other recent cases include representing the family of Paul McGuigan, a security operative murdered by another operative in Iraq in 2009; the family of Brian Dalrymple, an American citizen who died in immigration detention in 2011; and a number of the families of prisoners who died in HMP Woodhill between 2013 and 2016.

National security

Nick has significant experience of national security work, including closed material procedures. He regularly appears in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, where recent cases include ZZ (France) [2014] QB 820 (establishing heightened disclosure obligations in the EU context). He represented Amnesty International in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in Liberty and others v GCHQ (concerned with safeguards against surveillance in the light of the Edward Snowden revelations) and continues to do so in the Strasbourg proceedings arising out of that case.

Prison

Nick is an experienced prison lawyer. He represented two of the applicants in what went on to become James and others v UK [2012] ECHR 57877/09. He represents the claimant in Youngsam [2017] 1 WLR 2848, which is an important case concerned with whether determinate sentence prisoners enjoy the protection of Article 5(4) of the ECHR, and the doctrine of binding precedent.

Privacy

Nick has significant experience of privacy and data protection across a number of his areas of practice. He appeared for the claimant in the key Supreme Court case concerned with criminal records checks, T v Chief Constable of Manchester [2015] AC 49, and is now in the follow up to that case, P and others v Secretaries of State [2017] EWCA Civ 321, which will be back before the Supreme Court in June 2018. Nick also acted for the claimants in WXYZ v Secretary of State for Health [2016] 1 WLR 698, which was concerned with health authorities sharing migrant data with the Home Office (and is an important case on medical confidentiality). Nick’s work in the national security context also often contains a privacy element.

Social welfare

Nick regularly appears in community care judicial reviews, and in cases before the Court of Protection. A recent example is Mazhar v Lord Chancellor [2017] EWHC 2536 (Fam), an important case arising out of the forced detention of a physically disabled but mentally capacitous man. The case is brought against the judge who authorised the detention, and raises important issues of judicial immunity.

Professional regulatory

In part because he is a former solicitor, Nick is instructed in a range of professional regulatory matters on behalf of solicitors. He carries out a lot of work around legal aid contracting. He appears regularly before the Contract Review Body of the Legal Aid Agency and other legal aid contractual bodies. He has acted in a number of judicial reviews, including of legal aid tendering decisions. Nick has also appeared before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and before the Disciplinary Committee of the Law Society of Jersey.

Nick accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here. Nick is qualified to carry out direct access work and will do so in an appropriate case.

Articles and Downloads

Privacy Notice

Nick is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to his clients, including advice and representation services, Nick needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes his client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matter upon which he is instructed. To read Nick’s privacy notice in full, please see here.

DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS
WHAT THEY SAY:

Nick is recommended in a number of areas by both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500. Current comments and rankings include:

“Incredibly committed to the clients and nice to work with, he will always put loads of effort in.” “He’s absolutely passionate about his cases, something which comes through in his advocacy.” (Chambers and Partners 2019, Administrative and Public Law, Band 1)

“He is exceptionally bright and very user-friendly.” “He is a highly committed and creative barrister.” (Chambers and Partners 2019, Civil Liberties & Human Rights, Band 2)

“Very tenacious and understands the interactions between education and social care very well.” (Chambers and Partners 2019, Community Care, Band 1)

“Nicholas is shrewd and canny.” “He’s very good and clients really like him.” (Chambers and Partners 2019, Education, Band 1)

“He’s very bright, very dedicated, and he’s prepared to have a good argument.” “He’s creative with cases and a polymath as he works in other disciplines, so he brings that to bear in a case. He’s fantastic.” (Chambers and Partners, Immigration, Band 2)