Four Matrix members to be appointed to King’s Counsel


Congratulations to Nick Armstrong, Claire Darwin, Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh and Laura Prince who have been successful in their application to be appointed King’s Counsel.

Nick Armstrong

Nick has a mixed public law and civil actions practice, acting for individuals, businesses, charities, interest groups, unions and educational institutions. He has notable experience in administrative and public law, civil liberties and human right, immigration and education. He is praised by clients for doing “amazing work”, “an excellent job with complex cases” and being “at the top of his game.” He is an Equality and Human Rights Commission A panellist and in 2019 he was human rights and public law junior of the year in the Chambers UK Bar Awards. Nick began his legal career as an academic, and then became a solicitor before he transferred to the Bar in 2001, joining Matrix in 2007.

Claire Darwin

Claire’s work focuses on employment and equality rights and she has related expertise in the fields of education, human rights, commercial, public and EU law. With her extensive advocacy experience, she is recognised for being “absolutely exceptional on her feet” and “regularly wins difficult cases”. “A go-to choice”, clients praise Claire for being “formidable and supremely intelligent…who will always fight the client’s case hard”. In 2017, Claire was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown and reappointed to the A Panel in 2021. She has also been appointed to the Attorney General’s Panel of Special Advocates and the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Preferred Counsel.

Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh

Described in the legal directories as a “fiercely intelligent barrister” who is “tactically brilliant”, and “utterly committed” to her clients, Blinne has an extensive practice across human rights, public international law, criminal law and public law. She advises and acts for individuals, States, NGOs and other national and international bodies, appearing in domestic courts at all levels, and before international courts and tribunals. She is called to the Bars of Ireland, North and South, in addition to the Bar of England and Wales.

Laura Prince

Laura is an employment and discrimination law specialist, acting for both applicants and respondents. She has particular expertise in complex claims including equal pay, transfers of undertakings, whistleblowing and all forms of discrimination. Using her expertise in complex employment law litigation and related wage and financial issues, Laura also has a developing practice in tax law work, with additional expertise in its intersection with public law. In 2019, Laura was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel and as a Deputy Chair of the Central Arbitration Committee. “Fabulous”, Laura is recognised as a “very commercially minded barrister; she is pragmatic and knows what the client is looking for.”

Rachel Holmes, Chief Executive, commented: “We are delighted for Nick, Blinne, Claire and Laura – these appointments are so well deserved in recognition of all their hard work, commitment to their clients and contribution to their diverse areas of law. This is also wonderful news for Matrix in enabling us to further build on our strengths in depth and breadth and multidisciplinary offering for all our clients.”