George Peretz QC and Imogen Proud join Khatija Hafesji on the ALBA Committee

George Peretz QC and Imogen Proud have become members of the 22-strong committee of ALBA (the Administrative Law Bar Association). ALBA is the professional association for barristers in England and Wales practising in public law. Monckton’s Khatija Hafesji is an existing member of the committee.

ALBA is a specialist association of the Bar Council with which it works closely, and with the Bar’s regional Circuits, to promote access to justice and the concerns of public law practitioners.

The association is an accredited provider of Continuing Education with the BSB, offering events to meet many barristers’ and solicitors’ CPD requirements. Recent events have included a lecture from Lord Sales on the subject of proportionality and a discussion with Joshua Rosenberg of his new book ‘Enemies of the People’. As part of ALBA’s remit, it responds to consultations by the Ministry of Justice and other organisations about matters affecting public law practice and procedure. In October 2020, it responded to the Independent Review of Administrative Law.

Tarlochan Lall

It is with great sadness that the members of Monckton Chambers share the news of Tarlochan Lall’s sudden passing this weekend.

Our thoughts are with Tarl’s wife Kim and all their family.

Brendan McGurk wins the BILA 2020 Book Prize for “Data Profiling and Insurance Law”

At its Annual General Meeting on 22 October, the British Insurance Law Association announced that Brendan McGurk’s “Data Profiling and Insurance Law” has been awarded BILA’s prestigious annual book prize for the best work on the law of insurance in 2019-2020. The book, which explores the impact of big data and predictive analytics on the provision and substantive law of insurance, was published by Hart in March 2019, has received a five star review in the Insurance Law Journal and has sold extremely well in the UK and the USA. Hart are offering a discount on the book to mark the award, which is available here and here. The announcement on BILA’s website is here.


Sir Christopher Bellamy QC former chairman of Linklaters Global Competition Practice and first President of the Competition Appeal Tribunal returns to his original set, Monckton Chambers

Sir Christopher Bellamy QC has returned to his former chambers, Monckton Chambers and will be focusing on arbitration and mediation, with a particular emphasis on competition and regulatory matters.

Sir Christopher joins Monckton from leading international law firm Linklaters where he has been since 2007; from 2011 he was Chairman of the firm’s global competition practice. Before Linklaters, he was instrumental in setting up the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) and held the post of its first President from 1999 to 2007. Prior to joining the CAT, from 1992 to 1999 he was one of 15 judges of the Court of First Instance (CFI), now the General Court of the EU, and President of a five-judge chamber from 1996 to 1999.

Sir Christopher is considered to be one of the most influential competition lawyers in Europe.   He is co-author of the earlier editions of Bellamy & Child, European Union Law of Competition, now in its eighth edition.

Philip Moser QC and Tim Ward QC, joint heads of Monckton Chambers, welcome Sir Christopher back to Monckton:

“The joint Heads and all members of Monckton Chambers are delighted to welcome former CAT President and Judge Sir Christopher Bellamy QC back to Monckton Chambers.  As a doyen of the competition law field, Monckton’s clients will benefit from his years of experience at the Bar, Bench and at one of the world’s most respected law firms.

“Following the recent re-recruitment of former CJEU Judge Christopher Vajda QC and FCA Independent Reviewer John Swift QC, Monckton has added considerable weight to its arbitration offering, which we expect to go from strength to strength.”

Sir Christopher Bellamy QC recommences his practice at Monckton Chambers on the 2nd November 2020.

Attorney General Panel appointments: Thomas Sebastian appointed to Public International Law A panel

Thomas Sebastian has been promoted to the Public International Law A Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown for a period of five years, commencing 30 October 2020 and expiring on 29 October 2025.

The Attorney General (AG) appointments for the three Public International Law Panel follows the August 2020 appointments to the three London panels and one regional panel of counsel  to undertake civil and EU work for all government departments.

In total 22 members of Monckton Chambers are on the AG’s London and Public International Law panels.

Former UK CJEU Judge, Christopher Vajda QC, returns to Monckton Chambers

Christopher Vajda QC is returning to his former chambers, Monckton Chambers and will be available for instructions for advisory work, as an arbitrator, and as an expert witness.

Christopher Vajda left Monckton Chambers in 2012 to be the UK’s judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”), the highest court within the European Union and based in Luxembourg. He held this prestigious position from 2012 until the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union in January 2020. During that time he was party to judgments in a broad spectrum of fields, including aviation, banking, competition and state aid, constitutional law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, data protection and privacy, the environment, international trade and investment agreements, public international law, public procurement, sanctions, and tax.

Philip Moser QC and Tim Ward QC, joint heads of Monckton Chambers, welcome Christopher Vajda back to Monckton:

“The joint Heads and all members of Monckton Chambers are delighted to welcome former Judge Christopher Vajda QC back to Monckton Chambers. Christopher is widely respected in the UK and abroad as one of the foremost EU and competition lawyers. Having fulfilled his historic role as the UK’s last judge at the Court of Justice of the EU, his expertise will be invaluable in his new advisory and arbitration practice.”

Christopher Vajda is also a visiting professor at King’s College, London, a lecturer on private international law at Luxembourg University and a member of the LCIA. He has written and spoken extensively, particularly in the area of competition and state aid (he was a contributor to Bellamy & Child, European Union Law of Competition for over 20 years), and on investment protection treaties. He is fluent in French (the working language of the CJEU) and speaks German.

Christopher Vajda recommences his practice at Monckton Chambers on 2nd November 2020.

He will be delivering the keynote speech at the GCR Competition Litigation Conference on 3rd November.

Chambers Bar UK 2021 ranks 53 individual Monckton barristers across 20 practice areas

The recently launched Chambers Bar UK 2021 ranks 53 individual Monckton barristers across 20 practice areas with many appearing in multiple categories.

Monckton Chambers is one of the most highly ranked sets in the UK as it has been recommended in eleven practice areas; in five of these, Monckton is recognised as a “Band One” leading set:

  • Competition
  • European Law
  • Telecommunications
  • Public Procurement
  • Indirect Tax

The Set has also been ranked in a further six categories:

  • Administrative and Public Law
  • Civil Liberties & Human Rights
  • Data Protection
  • Sports Law
  • Environment
  • Community Care

Individual members were also recognised as “Leading Individuals” in a further nine categories:

  • Aviation
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution – London
  • Consumer Law
  • Education
  • Immigration
  • Local Government
  • Public International Law
  • Crime: International Criminal Law
  • International Human Rights Law

This is how the researchers summarised the set in the overview of leading sets:

Hailed as the “go-to set for difficult competition matters,” Monckton Chambers wins further plaudits for its strength in telecommunications law, with one commentator describing the set as “top of the pack.” It also boasts top-tier rankings in our public procurement, European law and indirect tax sections. Star individual Melanie Hall QC is lauded her for “extremely sharp and strategic insight” in relation to indirect tax, while Anneli Howard is described as a “stunningly bright barrister” on European law matters. The set is also home to top-ranked Jon Turner QC who “is an exceptional lawyer and advocate and arguably the best competition barrister in the UK,” according to one source, while another describes him as “brilliantly clever and analytical, with a calm, client-friendly approach.” The public procurement offering is bolstered by “guru” Michael Bowsher QC, “a fearless tactician” with “encyclopaedic knowledge of the area.” The “superb quality, innovative thinking and reliable service” of the set is further shown through its inclusion in the community care, administrative and public law, civil liberties and human rights, data protection, environment and sport rankings, with commentators also underlining the “genuine human warmth from the team” as a key attribute.

For further details on how Monckton Chambers performed, visit the Chambers and Partners website.

Anneli Howard – Barrister of the Year finalist in The Inspirational Women in Law Awards 2020

Anneli Howard is one of five lawyers shortlisted for the Barrister of the Year category of this year’s The Inspirational Women in Law Awards 2020.

The awards, now in their fifth year, are part of “The Next 100 Years”, the new project from the team behind the “First 100 Years”, which is dedicated to achieving equality for women in law. The aim is to accelerate the pace of change over the next decade by encouraging collaboration across the profession, improving the visibility of women in law and supporting the women lawyers of the future. Baroness Hale is the patron of “The Next 100 Years”.

The winners of the five categories will be announced at a virtual event on Thursday 5th November 2020 (6 – 8pm). You can see the full list of finalists here.

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 Pikamäe of the European Court of Justice in Joined Cases C‑225/19 and C‑226/19 R.N.N.S. and K.A. v Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken

These cases are about Article 32 of Regulation 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas and its interpretation in the light of Articles 41 (right to a fair hearing) and 47 (right to an effective remedy) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The cases arose in the context of visa applications rejected by the Netherlands authorities after other Member States had objected on grounds of public policy, internal security or public health, or their international relations. The questions referred to the European Court of Justice are about the information that may be communicated to the applicants and the remedies available to challenge the objections to the issuing of the visa. 

In his Opinion, delivered on 9 September 2020, Advocate General Pikamäe referred to the article by Professor Koutrakos on ‘Judicial Review in the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy’, (2018) 67 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 1. 

This article has also been mentioned in two other Opinions this year: by Advocate General Tanchev in Case C 730/18 P SC v EULEx Kosovo and by Advocate General Bobek in Case C 14/19 P European Union Satellite Centre (SatCen) v KF.

Ben Emmerson QC receives CBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Monckton’s Ben Emmerson QC has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to international human rights and humanitarian law.

Ben Emmerson is an international lawyer who has acted in a long list of international human rights cases, including representing the widow of Alexander Litvinenko; representing Ukraine in a series of cases against Russia arising out of the invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH17a, and representing Georgia following the Russian invasion of South Ossetia in 2008.

He previously served as UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, and a Judge on the UN international criminal tribunals, in the equivalent UN rank of the Assistant Secretary-General.
We congratulate Ben on this great recognition.

Responding to the announcement, Ben Emmerson QC said:

“I was both chuffed and at the same time humbled when I heard the news. I am sensitive to the debate surrounding the continued use of the word “empire” in the name of the award, but from a purely personal point of view, it’s a great way to mark the end of what has been an amazing and rewarding 35 year career at the Bar, and a great way to start the next chapter of my life. I am leaving the Bar at the end of this month to move on to a new challenge, and this is a high note for me to go out on.”

A link to the full press release is here.