Jeremy McBride appointed to advisory group on human rights violations in Ukraine

The Council of Europe’s Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law has set up an expert advisory group to support the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine. This initiative is part of its immediate assistance to Ukraine following Russia’s aggression.

The advisory group has started providing strategic-level expert advice to the Prosecutor General and her Office as part of the process of investigating gross human rights violations in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine relating to European human rights standards and international humanitarian law.

The Lawyer Hot 100 follow-up. William Hooper quizzed on his career

The Lawyer has today published an interview with Will Hooper, who along with Monckton’s Ronit Kreisberger QC, was recognised as a 2022 Lawyer Hot 100. See website news 17 Jan 2022.

In this career quiz Will highlighted how he has as a treasured memento, his late pupil supervisor’s old desk and one piece of wisdom he likes to recall is that it is important not to forget that “judges are, ultimately, just people.” His parting advice to those who would like to do what he now does – “Think about whether you really want to do it. I have always found working at the Commercial Bar to be incredibly stimulating and intellectually rewarding, but it is not for everyone.”

You can access the full interview here.

Philip Moser QC on Advisory Committee as ELI adopts Model Rules for AI decision-making

The European Law Institute (ELI) has adopted “Model Rules on Impact Assessment of Algorithmic Decision-Making Systems Used by Public Administration.”

Philip Moser QC acted on the Advisory Committee to the Project.

The advance of automation and of artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly affects public law decision making in different legal systems. Thus, the operative decision may have been made by an algorithm, or some other form of automated decision-making, rather than a human being. Some systems also make provision for the algorithm to learn and develop. The existence of such automated systems poses novel problems for both public and private law. The ELI’s Model Rules are a suggestion for the regulation and management of AI decision-making in the legal sphere.

The Model Rules are available for free download here.

A webinar on the outcomes of the ELI project will be held on 13 April 2022 from 12:00–13:30 CET. The webinar will be open to the public and is free of charge. The weblink is available here.

Chambers Global 2022 – Set recognition in Competition Law (UK) and 38 individuals ranked across three practice areas: Competition Law (UK), Public International Law: The English Bar and Dispute Resolution: Commercial (UK)

Chambers Global 2022 has just been published, ranking the top lawyers and law firms in over 200 jurisdictions across the world.

Monckton Chambers is once again one of five sets to be recognised for Competition Law in UK. In addition, individual barristers, 38 in all, are ranked across three practice areas: Competition Law (UK), Public International Law: The English Bar and Dispute Resolution: Commercial (UK).

Competition Law in UK
Individual Monckton members ranked for this category are:
SILKS: Tim Ward QC, Philip Moser QC, Mark Brealey QC, Jon Turner QC, Paul Harris QC, Daniel Beard QC, Kassie Smith QC, George Peretz QC, Meredith Pickford QC, Josh Holmes QC, Ronit Kreisberger QC, Rob Williams QC and Anneli Howard QC.

JUNIORS: Alistair Lindsay, Ben Rayment, Julian Gregory, Alan Bates, Ben Lask, Philip Woolfe, Fiona Banks, Anneliese Blackwood, Laura Elizabeth John, Ligia Osepciu, Julianne Kerr Morrison, Alison Berridge, Michael Armitage, Thomas Sebastian and James Bourke.

Nikolaus Grubeck, Daisy Mackersie, David Gregory, Jack Williams and Alexandra LIttlewood are ranked in the Global Guide for the first time this year.

Public International Law in UK
Thomas Sebastian also appears in the Global Guide under Public International Law: The English Bar. Client comments include: “He is user-friendly and approachable. He combines his substantive Indian law experience with his general expertise in international law and arbitration.”

Dispute Resolution: Commercial (UK)
Steven Gee QC is also ranked, for the first time, alongside Gregory Pipe, William Buck, Drew Holiner and William Hooper, for the category of Dispute Resolution: Commercial (UK) in the Global Guide.

Competition Collective Actions: Leveraging Canadian Legal Principles in the UK’s New Regime – Paul Harris QC to moderate

Date: Monday, March 7, 2022 | 3:30 – 8:00 p.m. GTM
Location: One Moorgate Place, Chartered Accountants’ Hall, EC2R 6EA, London

In light of the influence that Canadian jurisprudence and practice has already had on the development of collective action jurisprudence in the UK, including in the recent decision in Merricks v. Mastercard, Paul Harris QC of Monckton Chambers and the Canadian law firm McCarthy Tétrault, have assembled a panel of Canadian leaders in class actions, including competition class actions, who will engage in a lively discussion centred on the UK’s new collective action regime. Paul will co-moderate the event with Mark Sansom of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Thomas N.T. Sutton of McCarthy Tétrault, Toronto will act as host.

The event will be an in-person presentation and fireside chat followed by a reception with light food & beverages. For further details see flyer here.

For questions about this event or additional information, please contact clientevents@mccarthy.ca.

Professor Panos Koutrakos mentioned in Opinion by Advocate General of European Court of Justice

Professor Panos Koutrakos has been mentioned in the Opinion by Advocate General Ćapeta of the European Court of Justice in Case C 500/20 ÖBB-Infrastruktur Aktiengesellschaft v Lokomotion Gesellschaft für Schienentraktion mbH.

This case is a reference to the Court of Justice by the Supreme Court of Austria. It is about the interpretation of the 1980 Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) and the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract of Use of Infrastructure in International Rail Traffic (CUI Uniform Rules) annexed to the Convention. The dispute is about the liability of a railway infrastructure manager and whether it covers the costs incurred by a carrier as a result of having to lease locomotives to replace their existing locomotives due to damage cause to them. The Convention is an international agreement concluded by the European Union and most of its Member States (in other words, it is a mixed agreement). A central question to this case is whether the European Court of Justice has jurisdiction to interpret the relevant provisions of the Convention.

In her Opinion, delivered on 3 February 2022, Advocate General Ćapeta referred to the book co-edited by Professor Koutrakos entitled Mixed Agreements Revisited – The EU and its Member States in the World as well as his chapter in the book, entitled ‘Interpretation of Mixed Agreements’ (pp 116-137).

Professor Koutrakos has written widely on the relationship between EU and international law and is the author, amongst others, of the authoritative EU International Relations Law 2nd edition.

The Lawyer Hot 100 2022 – Ronit Kreisberger QC and William Hooper recognised

Every year, The Lawyer Hot 100 recognises a diverse mix of legal professionals who have been the standout lawyers in the UK over the previous twelve months. This year, Monckton Chambers has two members amongst the 19 “Hot 100” barristers listed – Ronit Kreisberger QC and William Hooper.

Ronit Kreisberger QC is described as follows:

Highly in demand, with a jam-packed diary right up to the end of 2022, Ronit Kreisberger QC is spearheading heavyweight competition litigation at Monckton Chambers.

She is at the heart of the collective actions trend, acting on several high-profile cases at the CAT. Hot on the heels of Merrick v Mastercard, she acted in Justin Le Patoure v BT. The £600m claim against BT alleged excessive pricing in abuse of its dominant position in stand-alone landline telephone services. In 2021, she represented the claimants in a £1.5bn collective action case against Apple. The tech giant has allegedly been overcharging customers of its App Store.

This is Kreisberger’s second time in the Hot 100, having made the list in 2007 when she was just two years’ call. Then, she acted in the first case in which a UK court awarded damages for harm suffered because of a competition law infringement.

There is no sign of her slowing down any time soon, as she kicks off this year with a case very similar to the Apple one, this time against Google.

The Hot 100 also highlights William Hooper:

Monckton Chambers’ reputation as a world-class centre for competition knowledge is undisputed, but the set is perhaps less recognised for the quality of its commercial tenants. Changing that perception, says junior barrister Will Hooper, is exactly why he joined the set and his work is gaining Monckton the commercial recognition he thinks it deserves.

The biggest win in Hooper’s year came in a case over what was once the most expensive car ever sold. The dispute over the $44m contract was covered in the national media and catapulted Hooper’s profile to a much higher level; helpful when one of your key goals is profile-building for the set.

As 2022 starts, Hooper is already contemplating what will define his next year. It already looks like the next 12 months will include the telecoms and advertising sectors. The latter is particularly fresh ground, with a case to be heard considering the much-spoken-of-but-little-understood area of NFTs. If Hooper scores a win, he could well define the future of NFT cases and that would do his and Monckton’s reputations no harm whatsoever.

Subscribers to The Lawyer can read the full article and details of the hundred here.

Independent review, chaired by Sir Christopher Bellamy QC, calls for £135m to save criminal legal aid

Twelve months after his appointment to chair an independent review of the Criminal Legal Aid system, Sir Christopher Bellamy QC, leading the Criminal Legal Aid Review (CLAR), has published the 160 page “Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid”.

The report makes the case for funding for criminal legal aid to be increased for solicitors and barristers as soon as possible to an annual level of ‘at least 15%’ above present levels to ensure that a “level playing field” between defendants and prosecutors was maintained. “£135m is, in my view, the minimum necessary as the first step in nursing the system of criminal legal aid back to health after years of neglect,” warns Sir Christopher as the report tells ministers that funding is vital to stem the exodus of lawyers from criminal justice and the current backlog in the crown court system.

In a written ministerial statement, Lord Chancellor Dominic Raab promises a full response no later than the end of March 2022.

You can read the full report here.

Published on the 15th December, the review and its findings has received considerable media interest including The Times, the BBC and The Law Society Gazette.