Harry Gillow

Call: 2017

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    BA (Oxford), GDL (City University), BPTC (BPP)

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    Harry has a busy and diverse practice spanning all areas of Chambers’ work, with a particular focus on commercial and public law. His commercial practice often involves elements of civil fraud and insolvency disputes, and he is often instructed in data protection and freedom of information proceedings and discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010. Harry is regularly instructed both as junior and sole counsel, with recent highlights including:

    • Quilter v Leonteq, a complex £20m+ multiparty Commercial Court fraud dispute concerning the sale of structured note investment products.
    • Mid Ulster District Council (formerly Magherafelt District Council) v HMRC, TC/2011/687 & TC/2012/9253; [2022] UKUT 00197 (TCC): acting for Mid Ulster District council against HMRC (led my Melanie Hall KC) in the FTT and UT proceedings, and in the ongoing appeal to the Court of Appeal.
    • Chelluri v Air India [2021] EWCA Civ 1953, as sole counsel for the Claimant in the appeal to the Court of Appeal on the interpretation of EU Regulation 261/04 concerning compensation for delayed flights, and Varano v Air Canada [2021] EWHC 1336 (QB), acting as sole counsel for the Claimant in a test case in the High Court on the jurisdictional scope of same regulation.
    • Greenwood v Information Commissioner and Department of Health and Social Care EA/2022/0030, where he successfully defended the Commissioner’s decision that DHSC was not required to disclose details of businesses and individuals admitted to the Government’s high priority lane for PPE procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    He has extensive advocacy experience, and has appeared in a range of courts and tribunals, including as sole counsel in the Court of Appeal, High Court, County Court and Information Tribunal.

    • News
    • Commercial

      Harry is regularly instructed both as sole counsel on commercial disputes and as part of a team. He is instructed as junior counsel, led by William Buck, in Quilter v Leonteq, a complex £20m+ multiparty Commercial Court (originally offshore in the Isle of Man) dispute concerning allegedly fraudulent sales of structured note investment products to a major insurance institution.

      Harry has been instructed by the Serious Fraud Office in a criminal prosecution of two former directors of Serco for procurement fraud. Led by Philip Moser KC, he formed part of a counsel team brought in to deal with preliminary matters relating to points of contractual interpretation ahead of trial.

      Harry has is also regularly instructed as sole counsel in commercial matters in the High Court and county courts. His commercial work often involves civil fraud and insolvency elements. He is also experienced in commercial cases with a public law connection, including regulatory, procurement and data protection angles.

      He has extensive advocacy experience at High Court and county court level in a range of contractual, tortious and regulatory disputes. He has considerable experience of conducting strike out applications and other preliminary hearings, including CMCs, on behalf of clients.

    • Competition

      Harry has experience in a range of competition matters, both acting along and assisting more senior members of chambers, including instructions as a junior barrister in a response to a CMA cartel investigation led by Ben Rayment and advising a local authority on the competition implications of suspected employee fraud.

      Harry has been instructed on behalf of Vodafone in relation to the ongoing “Phones4U” litigation, regarding alleged anti-competitive conduct by P4U’s major suppliers, and also acted for a part 20 Defendant with regards to the Power Cables cartel litigation.

      In 2019, Harry completed a secondment at the Payment Systems Regulator assisting with the card-acquiring services market review.

      Harry also worked on a wide range of competition law matters during pupillage, including Emerald Supplies and others v British Airways plc (assisting Philip Moser KC and Ben Rayment) and Ping Europe Limited v Competition and Markets Authority (assisting Ben Lask). Harry 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.

    • Public, EU and human rights

      Harry accepts instructions in relation to all aspects of EU law, and regularly advises private clients, NGOs and regulatory bodies on the interpretation of EU legislation. Instructions include advising on the possibility of an EU regulation for tackling human rights abuses in business supply chains and advising DEFRA on farming appeals. He was seconded to the FCO within a team dealing with consular aid to British nationals abroad and issues around diplomatic immunity and international organisations in the UK. Harry is regularly instructed in cases concerned with discrimination in the provision of services under the Equality Act 2010.

      Harry was instructed as sole counsel for the Claimant in two important test cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal on whether the jurisdictional scope of EU Regulation No 261/2004 (providing for compensation in case of delayed flights) conflicts with principles of customary international law and exceeds the EU’s legislative competence (Varano v Air Canada [2021] EWHC 1336 (QB)) and whether the same regulation should apply to connecting flights passing through the United Kingdom (Chelluri v Air India [2021] EWCA Civ 1953). These cases also raised importance points of principle and practice concerning the application of retained EU law following Brexit.

      He has also been instructed on behalf of the government in a number of benefits and immigration related cases, including Secretary of State for the Home Department v Denis Viscu [2019] EWCA Civ 1052, led by Ben Lask, where the Court of Appeal decided that that the term “imprisonment” in the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016 includes custodial sentences passed on minors and young offenders.

      He is instructed on an ongoing appeal to the UNHRC on the question of the compatibility of whole-life sentences with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, led by Piers Gardner.

      In his first year of practice, Harry completed a secondment in the Bank of England’s EU Withdrawal Unit, where he gained extensive experience advising on Brexit-related issues in the financial sector.


    • Tax and duties

      Harry accepts instructions in VAT and customs matters, and has appeared for and against HMRC in the VAT Tribunal and county court. Most notably, he appears in Mid Ulster District Council (formerly Magherafelt District Council) v HMRC (TC/2011/687 & TC/2012/9253), led by Melanie Hall KC, in both the FTT and UT proceedings and the ongoing appeal to the Court of Appeal. This is a test case for Northern Ireland in which the District Council claimed that its supplies of sports, leisure and recreational services fell outside the scope of VAT on the basis that the making of those supplies does not comprise an economic activity.

      Other instructions include:

      • Acting for an industry body in a case relating to whether services provided should be classified as insurance intermediary services, led by Valentina Sloane KC.
      • Assisting with advice on the signs and implications of missing trader fraud in a supply chain.
      • Advising a sporting body on the VAT implications of a scheme to construct sporting facilities.
      • Advising an educational body on whether it should be considered a college of a university for VAT purposes following the Supreme Court’s judgment in SAE Education Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKSC 14.


    • Public procurement

      Harry has gained extensive procurement litigation experience on both the claimant and defendant sides, and has acted in an advisory capacity to a number of government clients. His recent instructions include:

      • Acting for the Ministry of Justice in Mitie v Ministry of Justice, a challenge to a procurement for HMCTS’ facilities maintenance contract, including in respect of a successful application to lift the automatic suspension (led by Sarah Hannaford KC and Ewan West).
      • Advising a central government department on whether a multi-million pound procurement exercise had been properly carried out.
      • Acting as sole counsel in a challenge to a procurement for window-cleaning services.
      • Acting for the Ministry of Defence in Marine Specialised Technology Ltd v Secretary of State for Defence, a claim for substantial loss alleging breach of the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011.
      • Advising a government department on the territorial scope and application of the procurement regulations.
    • Insolvency

      Harry has advocacy and advisory experience in insolvency matters. He has been instructed on a number of matters relating to winding up petitions, including applications to restrain, dismiss or rescind winding up petitions. His instructions includes successfully representing a company in an application to restrain and dismiss a winding up petition on the basis of a disputed debt, advising a company on potential liability to the directors under insolvency and tax legislation in the case of insolvency, and drafting submissions to establish a company as a creditor in an insolvency, led by William Buck. Harry has considerable experience of the winding up courts, and regularly assists in the London winding up courts as part of the Company Insolvency Pro Bono Scheme administered by City University.

    • Data protection & information

      Harry is regularly instructed by the Information Commissioner to draft responses in appeals under FOIA and EIR and represent the Commissioner in the Information Tribunal and by private clients, both claimant and defendant, in data protections claims. His instructions include:

      • Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust v Information Commissioner EA/2019/0200, where he successfully defended the Commissioner’s decision that the Trust should be required to disclose an external review into a contract for the provision of orthopaedic surgery.
      • Gerhold v Information Commissioner and Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government EA/2020/0202 EA/2020/0300, where he successfully defended the Commissioner’s decision that MHCLG was not required to disclose minutes and other documents relating to the siting of the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.
      • Greenwood v Information Commissioner and Department of Health and Social Care EA/2022/0030, where he successfully defended the Commissioner’s decision that DHSC was not required to disclose details of businesses and individuals admitted to the Government’s high priority lane for PPE procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic.


    • Additional information


      • BPTC, BPP London
      • GDL, City University, London
      • BA Literae Humaniores, Magdalen College, Oxford (Double First)

      Scholarship and prizes

      • BPP Excellence Award
      • Inner Temple Exhibition
      • Magdalen College Demyship (Academic Scholarship)
      • Goddard Classics Scholarship

      Prior to coming to the Bar, Harry graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford, with a double first in Classics. He was a choral scholar at Oxford and still enjoys singing with choirs and operatic groups in London. Harry was also a finalist on University Challenge in 2015. After graduating, he worked as a researcher in Parliament with a particular focus on EU issues. He serves as an Army Reservist with the Honourable Artillery Company, and was previously chair of Human Rights Watch’s Young Professionals Network.

    • What the directories say

      Up and Coming in Commercial Dispute Resolution: “Harry has a strong understanding of the commercial aspects and his overall case management is very strong.” “Harry Gillow provides sound, practical advice.” – Chambers UK, 2024

      Rising Star in Fraud: Civil: “Harry is a very bright and able barrister who provides consistently first-rate support. His written work is of a very high standard, and he is an effective advocate.” – Legal 500, 2024

    • Publications