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Zoe McCallum
MEET:

Zoe McCallum

Called: 2016

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. Her recent (unled) cases include successfully acting for a vulnerable Defendant in a harassment and defamation action arising from her #metoo post about a musician; obtaining injunctive relief on behalf of two journalists in a case against a former source; and acting for two national newspapers overturning reporting restrictions in ET and EAT proceedings.

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, the passage of the Investigatory Powers Act and protection of the BBC’s independence in charter renegotiations.

Alongside litigation, Zoe regularly provides pre-publication advice to national print and broadcast news.

Zoe frequently represents modern slavery and trafficking survivors in judicial reviews challenging detention, deportation, recovery needs assessments and aspects of the NRM process. 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 is strongly committed to strategic litigation in this area of law and has acted in key cases challenging government policy, including NN and LP (bringing an end to 45-day support rule for confirmed victims of slavery), DA & Os (bringing an end to a secret Covid asylum screening interview policy which failed trafficking victims). During the Covid-19 pandemic, Zoe has been instructed in multiple cases exploring the human rights ramifications of immigration limbo for modern slavery victims frozen in the NRM and immigration decision-making processes.

As well as immigration and trafficking judicial reviews, Zoe’s public law practice includes inquests and public inquiries. Zoe was instructed in multiple hearings within the Public Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, including into the exploitation of children in youth custodial institutions. She and represents bereaved families at inquests and prisoners at Parole Board hearings. Zoe was junior counsel in a successful Strasbourg case challenging the compatibility of section 9 of the Human Rights Act with Article 13 ECHR (SW v United Kingdom 87/18, 22 June 2021). She is a member of the EHRC’s panel of counsel.

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.

Zoe loves to dance. Away from the Bar, she hikes and swims outdoors and has a long-standing connection to two Pacific islands in Vanuatu. In life before the Bar, Zoe worked, travelled and lived for periods in Russia, France, India and the South Pacific. She speaks fluent Bislama, rusty French and some Hindi.

Zoe has drafted op-eds for the national press (The Times, Guardian, Telegraph), speeches for politicians and written evidence submitted to parliamentary committees.

With Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC, Zoe 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 [2016] UKSC 26.

Zoe has a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and an MPhil degree in International Relations and was awarded 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 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

Matrix Chambers
24 HOUR ASSISTANCE
+44 (0)20 7404 3447
Zoe McCallum
Called: 2016

MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • Commercial Law
  • Competition
  • Discrimination and Equality
  • Employment Law
  • EU Law
  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights
  • Immigration, Asylum and Free Movement
  • Injunctions
  • Inquests and Inquiries
  • Media and Information Law
  • Court Orders affecting the Media
  • Data Protection
  • Defamation and Privacy
  • Harassment 
  • Public International Law
  • Public Law
  • Public Law: Information, Data and Privacy
  • Police, Inquests and Prison
  • Health and Social Care (including welfare benefits)
  • Commercial Public Law

Zoe McCallum

Contact Zoe: zoemccallum@matrixlaw.co.uk | +44 (0)20 7404 3447

Contact Zoe's Practice Team (Team X): TeamX@matrixlaw.co.uk


Zoe’s practice spans public law and human rights, media and information, immigration, asylum and trafficking and commercial and competition law.

Media and information law

Zoe acts in defamation, privacy, harassment and information law actions. Her recent (unled) cases include successfully acting for a vulnerable Defendant in a harassment and defamation action arising from her #metoo post about a musician; obtaining injunctive relief on behalf of two journalists in a case against a former source; and acting for two national newspapers overturning reporting restrictions in ET and EAT proceedings. 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, the passage of the Investigatory Powers Act and protection of the BBC’s independence in charter renegotiations. Alongside litigation, Zoe regularly provides pre-publication advice to national print and broadcast news.

Immigration, Asylum and Trafficking

Zoe frequently represents modern slavery and trafficking survivors in judicial reviews challenging detention, deportation, recovery needs assessments and aspects of the NRM process. 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 is strongly committed to strategic litigation in this area of law and has acted in key cases challenging government policy, including NN and LP (bringing an end to 45-day support rule for confirmed victims of slavery), DA & Os (bringing an end to a secret Covid asylum screening interview policy which failed trafficking victims). During the Covid-19 pandemic, Zoe has been instructed in multiple cases exploring the human rights ramifications of immigration limbo for modern slavery victims frozen in the NRM and immigration decision-making processes.

Public Law, Inquests and Public Inquiries

As well as immigration and trafficking judicial reviews, Zoe’s public law practice includes inquests and public inquiries. Zoe was instructed in multiple hearings within the Public Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, including into the exploitation of children in youth custodial institutions. She and represents bereaved families at inquests and prisoners at Parole Board hearings. Zoe was junior counsel in a successful Strasbourg case challenging the compatibility of section 9 of the Human Rights Act with Article 13 ECHR (SW v United Kingdom 87/18, 22 June 2021). She is a member of the EHRC’s panel of counsel.

Commercial and Competition law

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.

Life Before the Bar

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.

Life away from the Bar

Zoe loves to dance. Away from the Bar, she hikes and swims outdoors and has a long-standing connection to two Pacific islands in Vanuatu. In life before the Bar, Zoe worked, travelled and lived for periods in Russia, France, India and the South Pacific. She speaks fluent Bislama, rusty French and some Hindi.

Publications

Zoe has drafted op-eds for the national press (The Times, Guardian, Telegraph), speeches for politicians and written evidence submitted to parliamentary committees. With Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC, Zoe 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 [2016] UKSC 26.

Education

Zoe has a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and an MPhil degree in International Relations and was awarded 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.

Memberships

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's Privacy Notice

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.