Leading Human Rights specialist Ben Emmerson QC joins Monckton Chambers

We welcome Ben Emmerson QC, who joins Monckton Chambers from Matrix Chambers.

Specialising in European human rights law, public international law and international criminal law, Ben Emmerson QC was the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights from 2011 to 2017. He has 25 years of experience litigating before international courts and tribunals including the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. He is also a deputy High Court Judge, a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple and an Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford.

Philip Moser QC, joint Head of Monckton Chambers, spoke for all the members in saying: “This is an exciting development for Monckton Chambers and members are pleased that Ben Emmerson QC, who has pioneered human rights law in the UK, has chosen to join Monckton’s human rights team. Ben’s arrival will further strengthen our set’s reputation for human rights law and provide an additional dimension to the wider Monckton practice, where we look forward to developing work at the intersection of commercial and public law.”

The Legal 500 UK 2019 awards – Monckton in the shortlist for seven awards







The Legal 500 Series, now in its 31st year, recognises the very best law firms, chambers, silks, in-house lawyers, business leaders and general counsel operating within the UK market through its annual awards. Based on months of research, which includes 70,000 interviews with in-house counsel, law firms and sets, has just been announced.

Monckton Chambers and its members have been nominated for awards in two of the practice areas: EU & Competition and Tax. The Set is nominated for both practice areas and five members are shortlisted for individual awards:

EU and Competition


The results will be announced on the Legal 500 website on 3rd January 2019.

The shortlists for the Bar awards are available to view here.

Chambers Bar UK 2019 – Monckton Chambers is top tier for Competition, EU Law, Telecoms, Procurement and Indirect Tax

The recently launched Chambers Bar UK 2019 ranks 50 individual Monckton barristers across 18 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 six categories:

  • Aviation
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Immigration
  • Local Government
  • Public International Law

For further details visit the Chambers website.

Legal 500 UK Bar 2018-9: Monckton recognised as top tier for Competition, Telecoms, Procurement and VAT

In the recently launched The Legal 500 UK Bar 2018, 44 individual barristers from Monckton Chambers are listed across18 practice areas with many recommended in multiple categories.

Monckton Chambers has been recommended, once again, as a TOP-TIER set in the following practice areas:

  • Competition
  • Telecoms (regulatory)
  • Public procurement
  • Tax – VAT

The Set has also been ranked in a further five areas:

  • Administrative and public law (including local government)
  • Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)
  • European Law
  • Data protection
  • Sport

Individual members were also recognised as “Leading Individuals” in:

  • Aviation
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Immigration (including business immigration)
  • International arbitration: counsel
  • Professional negligence
  • Public international law
  • Social housing

The annual legal directory further described the Set as follows:

“The reputation of Monckton Chambers’ barristers, ‘all of whom are of high quality and good to work with’, ‘makes it hard to look elsewhere’ when it comes EU law and competition law instructions. It is also ‘undoubtedly one of the strongest chambers for procurement and public law’. Members have ‘in-depth knowledge of human rights law as well as proceedings before European courts’. Solicitors ‘value the fact that juniors roll up their sleeves and get stuck in’, and that senior members are ‘not stuffy and able to work collaboratively and flexibly’. Under the guidance of senior clerk David Hockney, the ‘exceptional’ clerking team is ‘always on top of its brief’. Deputy senior clerk John Keegan is ‘a pleasure to deal with’. First junior Steven Duffett is ‘a real problem-solver when it comes to getting time with counsel’. Gemma Rawlinson is ‘fantastic’. And finally, more than one solicitor commented on how the set’s receptionist, Linda Antonioni, is ‘a joy’ to speak with.”

See full Monckton Chambers’ rankings here.

Chambers Bar Awards 2018 – Monckton success with Competition: Set and Silk, Meredith Pickford QC and Tax: Junior, Valentina Sloane

At last night’s awards ceremony at The London Hilton on Park Lane, Monckton Chambers and its members won three awards – Competition: Set and Silk; Tax: Junior.

Meredith Pickford QC won Silk of the Year for Competition and Valentina Sloane picked up the award for Junior of the Year in the Tax category. Monckton Chambers was also awarded Competition Set of the Year.

We were nominated for five awards in total with Anneli Howard in the shortlist for Competition Junior of the Year and Monckton Chambers named as one of six for Client Service Set of the Year.

The awards are based on research for the 2019 edition of Chambers UK Bar, to be published next week. These awards reflect a set’s pre-eminence in key practice areas. They also reflect notable achievements over the past 12 months including outstanding work, impressive strategic growth and excellence in client service.

Steve Broach nominated for two Bar Pro Bono Awards 2018

Steve Broach has been nominated for Junior Pro Bono Barrister of the Year in the Bar Pro Bono Awards 2018. He has also been nominated as part of the group working on the Mencap Learning Disability Legal Network for the category of Pro Bono Innovation of the Year. The purpose of the Bar Pro Bono Awards, which is organised by the Bar Pro Bono Unit, is to thank and recognise outstanding contributions to pro bono work from across the profession. All nominees have dedicated a huge amount of time assisting others, have provided innovation and inspiration to others through their work, and have shown a commitment to the pro bono ethic.

This is the first year, since its inception in 1997, that the Bar Pro Bono Award has been expanded from just one award to nine separate categories. The judging panel, this year, includes the Lord Chief Justice, Chair of the Bar and the elusive Secret Barrister. The winners will be announced at the Awards evening on Wednesday 24th October. Read more about the awards here.

We welcome two new tenants – Ciar McAndrew and Harry Gillow

Monckton Chambers is delighted to announce that Ciar McAndrew and Harry Gillow, have accepted invitations to join Chambers following successful completion of pupillage.

Ciar is a graduate of Hertford College, Oxford and the Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas. She has worked at the Court of Appeal as Judicial Assistant to Lord Justice Briggs and as a Legal Fellow at JUSTICE.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Harry graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford, with a First Class degree in Classics and worked as a researcher in Parliament.

Ciar and Harry became tenants on 1st October 2018 having experienced a broad range of practice areas as part of pupillage.

Jeremy McBride appointed President of the Expert Council on NGO Law of the Council of Europe’s Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations

The Expert Council carries out thematic and country studies on specific aspects of NGO legislation and its implementation that seem to pose problems of conformity with international standards, notably the European Convention on Human Rights and the Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation (2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe. Its work covers the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe and Belarus. The Expert Council was created in January 2008 with the aim of creating an enabling environment for NGOs through examining national NGO legislation and its implementation and providing advice on how to bring national law and practice into line with Council of Europe standards and European good practice.

The Expert Council provides follow-up to a Recommendation adopted in 2007 by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers which sets a framework for the legal status of NGOs in Europe (CM/Rec(2007)14) and to the Council of Europe’s commitment to the role of civil society in the promotion of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It co-operates closely with other Council of Europe bodies, in particular the Venice Commission and the Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Government’s ‘no deal’ Brexit paper on mergers and antitrust

The Government has today published 28 new planning documents explaining what will happen in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, including this one covering the merger and antitrust regimes.

Some of the key points are as follows:

  • The Government says that the only changes to the competition regime will be those necessary to manage Brexit, and they will be made through SIs under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018.
  • The CMA and UK courts will no longer be bound to follow future CJEU case law. The Government is here presumably contemplating amendments to s.60 CA98.
  • EU block exemptions will be maintained as parallel exemptions (with any necessary modifications, e.g. converting figures in euros to sterling).
  • Businesses will need to seek their own legal advice as to the implications of Brexit for current EU merger and antitrust cases covering UK activities.
  • Commission decisions that pre-date Brexit will continue to be binding as to liability in follow-on actions.
  • Commission decisions that post-date Brexit will not bind UK courts as to liability. As stated, it appears that this will be the case even insofar as post-Brexit Commission decisions cover pre-Brexit conduct and agreements.
  • If a claimant wishes to bring an action for an alleged breach of EU competition law that took place after Brexit, they will need to bring a standalone claim for breach of a foreign tort.
  • UK companies may find themselves being investigated by both the UK and EU competition authorities (both for mergers and antitrust violations).

The proposed change to s.60 CA98 arguably goes beyond what is strictly needed to cope with Brexit. One could have taken the view that domestic competition law should continue to develop in parallel with EU competition law in order to minimise the additional compliance costs that will result from the two regimes substantively diverging.  But this was presumably considered politically unpalatable.

Overall, though, the Government’s approach is to minimize the number of changes, consistent with its general approach under the Withdrawal Act, disappointing those who had advocated for more fundamental reform.  The reality is there is no legislative time for this at the moment; any wider reforms will need to wait until things have settled down after Brexit.

These ‘no deal’ proposals assume there will be no Withdrawal Agreement. If there is a deal (as hoped), there will be a transition period until 31 December 2020 during which everything will (more or less) remain as it is now.

If the Government and EU also manage to reach agreement over the terms of their future relationship, some of the proposals for a ‘no deal’ scenario will never be implemented.  Any longer-term deal will almost certainly put in place co-operation arrangements, for example in respect of mergers.

Further, a response paper published by the Government in March stated that “the Government may choose to commit some areas of our regulations, including competition and State aid, to remain in step with the EU’s”.   This raises the possibility that the UK might ultimately decide not to make any significant amendments to s.60 CA98 and the current regime governing follow-on damages claims.

Julian Gregory is a competition practitioner who assisted the Brexit Competition Law Working Group (including Jon Turner QC) with its report on the implications of Brexit for competition law.

Chambers UK Bar Awards 2018 – Monckton Chambers and its members in the shortlists for Competition, Tax and Client Service

The shortlist for Chambers UK Bar Awards 2018 has been announced and Monckton Chambers and its members are up for five awards.

Monckton is nominated for the Set award for Competition with Meredith Pickford QC in the final three for Silk of the Year and Anneli Howard for Junior of the Year for the same category. Valentina Sloane has been shortlisted for Junior of the Year in the Tax category. Monckton is also nominated, one of only six shortlisted, for Client Service Set of the Year.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday, 25th October at The London Hilton on Park Lane.

The awards are based on research for the 2019 edition of Chambers UK Bar. These awards reflect a set’s pre-eminence in key practice areas. They also reflect notable achievements over the past 12 months including outstanding work, impressive strategic growth and excellence in client service.