Zoe’s practice spans public law and human rights, media and information, immigration, asylum and trafficking and commercial and competition law.
Zoe acts in defamation, privacy, harassment and information law actions. She draws upon her experience prior to joining the Bar, where she worked in a cross-party political office and was involved in the reform of defamation law, the politics of press regulation post-Leveson, the passage of the Investigatory Powers Act and protection of the BBC’s independence in charter renegotiations. Her recent (unled) cases in the High Court include successfully acting for a vulnerable Defendant in a harassment and defamation action arising from her #metoo post about a musician; and obtaining injunctive relief on behalf of two journalists at a national newspaper in a case against a former source. Alongside litigation, Zoe regularly provides pre-publication advice to national print and broadcast news.
Zoe has a particularly interest in representing vulnerable clients, including human trafficking and torture survivors and unaccompanied minors. She is regularly instructed on behalf of victims of modern slavery in judicial reviews challenging detention, deportation, certification, and aspects of NRM Policy. Zoe also accepts instructions in asylum, Article 8, deportation and family reunion appeals before the IAT and in out of hours applications for injunctive relief. She has also provided advice in a strategic challenge to a far-right group accused of disrupting rescue operations in the Mediterranean. She regularly takes on BID hearings and is strongly committed to pro bono work in this area of law.
Zoe is a member of the EHRC’s preferred panel of counsel. As well as immigration and trafficking-related judicial reviews, Zoe’s public law practice includes public inquiries, counter-terrorism and prisoners’ rights. Zoe was instructed in multiple hearings within the Public Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, including into the exploitation of children in youth custodial institutions. Zoe also acts for prisoners in Parole Board hearings. She is currently instructed in Strasbourg proceedings challenging the compatibility of section 9 HRA with Article 13 ECHR.
Zoe has exposure to a range of commercial, state aid and competition litigation. With a degree partially in economics, she has a keen grasp of the concepts underlying this specialist area. She has been instructed on behalf of a hedge fund in its state aid challenge to the sale of Coventry Football Club to Wasps Rugby Club; by Ofgem in a cartel investigation; in the Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry in Northern Ireland; and has advised the ORR on EU law issues.
Zoe worked in politics and law reform for five years before coming to the Bar. From 2013-2016, she was involved in issues including the application of the Human Rights Act to residential care arranged by local authorities, policy change relating to the funding of safe abortions for rape victims in armed conflict and reform of investigatory powers and defamation law. In 2012, Zoe worked for an independent commission established by the Coalition Government to investigate the case for a UK Bill of Rights. From 2010-2011, she worked in New Delhi alongside grassroots disability rights activists, towards a federal bill implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
She drafted op-eds for the national press (The Times, Guardian, Telegraph), speeches for politicians and written evidence submitted to parliamentary committees, including the Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill.
With Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC, Zoe also wrote Five Ideas To Fight For: How Our Freedom is Under Threat and Why it Matters (Oneworld, 2016). The book charts the evolution of the legal protections given to the rule of law, human rights, equality, free speech and privacy in the UK; and describes ways in which those protections are under threat. It was endorsed by Mary Robinson (former UN Commissioner for Human Rights and President of Ireland), Harold Koh (former legal advisor to President Obama), Sir Sydney Kentridge QC, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC; and positively reviewed, including by Lord Pannick QC in The Times. It was cited by the UK Supreme Court in the majority ruling in PJS v NGN  UKSC 26.
Zoe has a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and an MPhil degree in International Relations, both from the University of Oxford, which awarded her a full departmental scholarship for the duration of graduate study. Her MPhil thesis (for which she was awarded a distinction) concerned the politics of international law on torture and specialist counter-terrorism prisons. Zoe gained a distinction in the Graduate Diploma in Law and was graded ‘Outstanding’ in the Bar Professional Training Course. Lincolns Inn awarded her Hardwicke and Lord Denning scholarships and the Buchanan Prize for exam performance.
Zoe loves to dance. Away from the Bar, she hikes and wild swims and has a long-standing connection to two Pacific islands in Vanuatu. She set up a charity program there in 2005, which for four years sent teachers to under-resourced schools and supported ni-Vanuatu students. In life before the Bar, Zoe worked and lived for periods in Russia, France, India and the South Pacific. She speaks fluent Bislama, rusty French and some Hindi.
Zoe is a member of the Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC), the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA), the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and JUSTICE.
Zoe is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to her clients, including advice and representation services, Zoe needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes her client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matter upon which she is instructed. To read Zoe’s privacy notice in full, please see here.
Zoe is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms. To find out more information on this and the way we work at Matrix, including our fee transparency statement, please see our see our service standards.