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Election Law

Election Law

Matrix has the leading election law team. More members of Matrix are featured in the election law section of Chambers & Partners Bar Guide than from any other set.  We are involved in all the leading cases, ranging from local government and mayoral elections to Parliamentary and European Parliament elections. We are able to advise on all types of election issues, utilising specialist knowledge and our expertise in this area’s intersection with human rights, public, media and information, and criminal law.

Our members in this team have all been involved in election petitions at every level, from initial scrutiny to Divisional Court hearings. We have acted in the groundbreaking Oldham East and Saddleworth general election petition (a successful challenge to the election of Phil Woolas MP), the Winchester general election petition, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets case, Knight v Nicholls [2003] EWHC 3177 (QB), Belle Vale and the Bordesley Green and Waltham Forest petitions.

We:

  • Regularly advise political parties, returning officers and the Electoral Commission on a number of topics, including equality issues (such as all-women shortlists), the consequences of spending during election periods by non-aligned campaigning organisations, and libel allegations against returning officers.
  • Are regularly instructed by political parties for his advice on a wide-range of issues and act in the high-profile case Simmons v Khan [2008] EWHC B4 (QB), concerning corruption and the falsification of names on the electoral register.
  • Acted in the case of Erlam & Ors v Rahman & Anor [2014] EWHC 2766 (QB) the petition challenging the mayoral election in the Borough of Tower Hamlets in 2014.

All of the counsel in the leading election law case of the last decade, Watkins v Woolas [2010] EWHC 3169 (Admin), are at Matrix.

Our expertise in election law extends beyond governmental elections and into elections in different contexts, e.g. trade unions, political parties, private members’ clubs, and sporting and trade associations.

Election Law in Scotland

We have expertise in this field in Scotland. We have represented the Appellants in Smith v Scott  [2007] CSIH 9 and XU v Scottish Ministers & Ors [2007] CSIH 45 on the non-implementation of Hirst v United Kingdom (No.2) App No.74025/01 in Scotland and appeared in McGeoch v Lord President of the Council in the Supreme Court [2013] UKSC 63 in the Supreme Court.

Human rights proceedings

Matrix has also been involved in leading election cases in the European Court of Human Rights. We were involved in Greens & Anor v UK App Nos. 60041/08 & 60054/08, which concerned the consequences of the non-implementation of the Hirst (No. 2) judgment in respect of voting rights for prisoners.

Other Political Work

Matrix’s familiarity with political work extends beyond electoral process. Members of the crime team represented parties in the so-called ‘cash for peerages’ investigation and the MPs’ expenses enquiry.  Members of the employment team have represented politicians facing allegations of breaches of the Equality Act 2010.

Article series

In the run up to the 2015 General Election the election law team posted a number of briefings on election law. They are still available to download on our articles and downloads page.

MEET OUR MEMBERS:

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Edward Craven
Edward Craven
Called: 2007
Ben Emmerson QC
Ben Emmerson QC
Called: 1986 Silk: 2000
Sarah Hannett
Sarah Hannett
Called: 2003
Anthony Hudson QC
Anthony Hudson QC
Call: 1996 Silk: 2015
Janet Kentridge
Janet Kentridge
Called: 1999
Julian B. Knowles QC
Julian B. Knowles QC
Called: 1994 Silk: 2011
James Laddie QC
James Laddie QC
Called: 1995 Silk: 2012
Sara Mansoori
Sara Mansoori
Called: 1997
Aileen McColgan
Aileen McColgan
Called: 2001
Gavin Millar QC
Gavin Millar QC
Called: 1981 Silk: 2000
Helen Mountfield QC
Helen Mountfield QC
Called: 1991 Silk: 2010
Aidan O’Neill QC (Scot)
Aidan O’Neill QC (Scot)
Called: 1996 Silk: 1999
Elizabeth Prochaska
Elizabeth Prochaska
Called: 2007
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Mathew Purchase
Called: 2002
Matthew Ryder QC
Matthew Ryder QC
Called: 1992 Silk: 2010
Associate
Ben Silverstone
Ben Silverstone
Called: 2009
Kirsten Sjøvoll
Kirsten Sjøvoll
Called: 2012
Lorna Skinner
Lorna Skinner
Called: 1997
Guy Vassall-Adams QC
Guy Vassall-Adams QC
Called: 2000 Silk: 2016