Ciar joined Chambers as a tenant in 2018 following successful completion of pupillage. She has a busy and diverse practice spanning all areas of Chambers’ work, including competition, procurement, EU, sports, administrative and public law. Ciar is regularly instructed both as junior and sole counsel and has appeared in a range of tribunals, including the County Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Ciar sits on the executive committees of the Human Rights Lawyers Association and the Bar European Group.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Ciar worked at the Court of Appeal as Judicial Assistant to Lord Justice Briggs (as he then was). She was also a Legal Fellow at JUSTICE, an intern at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, and spent time working as a quantitative market researcher with a particular focus on the telecoms industry.
Ciar is rapidly gaining experience across the whole spectrum of competition law, and is regularly instructed as junior counsel in high-profile and complex competition litigation.
Highlights of Ciar’s current and recent instructions in this field include:
- Royal Mail plc v Ofcom: acting for Royal Mail in its appeal against Ofcom’s decision that Royal Mail’s access pricing practices had infringed Article 102 TFEU/Chapter II of the CA98 (led by Daniel Beard QC and Ligia Osepciu).
- Meigh v Prinknash Abbey Trustees: acted for the Defendant landlord in a fast-track claim brought by one of its tenants (led by Philip Wolfe). The Claimant contended that contractual provisions regulating her use of the leased land amounted to an anticompetitive restriction contrary to Chapter I of the CA98.
- Ciar is also currently instructed, on a confidential basis, in relation to the Trucks damages litigation and in relation to a hybrid collective proceedings action.
Ciar also worked on a wide range of competition law matters during pupillage, including the Air Cargo litigation (assisting Tim Ward QC and Philip Woolfe), Secretary of State for Health & Anor v Service Laboratories Ltd & Ors (assisting Jon Turner QC and Philip Woolfe), and enforcement action taken by the CMA against secondary ticket vendor Viagogo (assisting Azeem Suterwalla). Ciar also assisted with a range of confidential advisory matters, including in respect of object and effect infringements in the financial sector and the applicability of the illegality defence in competition law actions.
- Administrative & public
Ciar has extensive academic and practical experience of public and administrative law. Since becoming a tenant, she has been instructed on a number of judicial reviews both as joint and sole counsel.
Ciar’s public law cases often raise issues concerning equality and human rights.
Highlights of her current and recent public law instructions include:
- R (Drexler) v Leicestershire CC: acting for the Claimant in an Article 14 challenge to the Defendant local authority’s school transport policy for students with special educational needs (led by Jenni Richards QC). The case was heard before the Court of Appeal in February 2020, with judgment awaited.
- R (Z) v Agudas Israel Housing Association Limited & LB Hackney: junior counsel for the Claimants in a discrimination challenge to a housing association’s practice of letting properties only to members of the Orthodox Jewish community (led by Ian Wise QC and Michael Armitage). The appeal has been listed for hearing before the Supreme Court in June 2020.
- R (ZK) v London Borough of Redbridge: acting for the Claimant in an Article 14 challenge to the Defendant local authority’s model for providing special educational provision for students with visual impairments (led by Stephen Broach).
- Successfully negotiating a generous damages settlement for a disabled child who challenged a local authority’s failure to secure alternative educational provision when he became too ill to attend school.
- Ciar has also been instructed in a number of judicial reviews challenging residence requirements in local authority housing policies, on the basis that they are indirectly discriminatory against applicants from the Irish Travelling community. She has also acted for a school seeking to challenge its Ofsted rating, as well as in a claim challenging the amount of central government funding for special educational needs provision nationwide.
Ciar has been instructed in a range of procurement matters on behalf of both claimants and defendants (including both local and central government bodies).
Her current and recent instructions include:
- Arriva v Secretary of State for Transport: junior counsel for Arriva in its recent challenge to a procurement competition run by the Department for Transport in respect of the East Midlands rail franchise (led by Philip Moser QC and Joseph Barrett). The 2019 Rail Franchising Litigation was listed as one of The Lawyer’s “Top 20 cases of 2020”.
- Successfully resisting a challenge to a highways maintenance procurement conducted by a local authority (led by Michael Bowsher QC).
- Acting for a central government department in a challenge to a procurement for a facilities maintenance contract, including in respect of a successful application to lift the automatic suspension (led by Sarah Hannaford QC and Ewan West).
Ciar accepts instructions in relation to all aspects of EU law. She regularly advises private clients, NGOs and regulatory bodies on the interpretation of EU legislation.
Recent instructions include advising on the likely impact of Brexit on various regulatory regimes, the rights of data subjects under the GDPR, and the regime for the transportation and/or sale of artworks containing endangered animal products.
In her first year of practice, Ciar also completed a secondment in the Bank of England’s EU Withdrawal Unit, where she gained extensive experience advising on Brexit-related issues in the financial sector.
- Commercial litigation and arbitration
Ciar is also developing a general commercial and arbitration practice.
Most recently, she has been instructed in two arbitrations relating to contractual disputes between football clubs (led by Paul Harris QC). Other recent work includes drafting a petition of unfair prejudice on behalf of a minority shareholder (led by Gregory Pipe) and advising on the interpretation of a company’s articles of association.
Ciar also regularly appears in the County Court in a range of commercial cases, including successfully representing an expert witness in a claim for unpaid fees.
Ciar appears in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal on behalf of children and young people appealing the contents of their Education, Health and Care Plans. She also has extensive experience of judicial review claims involving discrimination in the access to education and/or special educational provision, as set out in the ‘Public and Administrative Law’ section above.
- Additional information
- BPTC, BPP Law School (VC)
- BCL, Hertford College, University of Oxford (Distinction)
- BA in Law and French Law, Hertford College, University of Oxford (First Class)
- Licence Droit, Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas
Scholarships and prizes
- BCL Prize for best performance in Comparative Public Law (University of Oxford)
- Shelford Scholarship, Lord Denning Scholarship and Hardwicke Entrance Award (Lincoln’s Inn)
- Crowther Shield for public speaking (Lincoln’s Inn)
- Phoenicia Scholar (Bar European Group)
- Bar European Group
- Commercial Bar Association
- French (advanced)
- Spanish (advanced)