Monckton Chambers supports the sixth annual Sir Jeremy Lever Lecture

The sixth annual Sir Jeremy Lever lecture was held on Friday 24th February, to celebrate the career of Sir Jeremy Lever KCMG, QC, a pioneer of both the practice and academic study of competition law in Europe.

The lecture titled “Dispute Resolution In International Economic Agreements: The EU And Beyond” was given by Judge Christopher Vajda and chaired by The Right Honourable Lord Dyson.

The event was followed by a celebratory dinner at All Souls College.

Monckton barristers speaking about ‘Brexit: The Future of International Trade’

Monckton barristers Thomas Sebastian and Professor Panos Koutrakos spoke at an event organised by UKLegalFuture at the House of Commons on 8 February 2017.

The topic of the event was ‘Brexit: The Future of International Trade’. It was chaired by Tim Ward QC and introduced by the Chairman of UKLegalFuture, John Davies (Freshfields). The audience consisted mainly of Members of both Houses, including the President of UKLegalFuture, Dominic Grieve QC MP.

Jonathan Faull (until recently Director General, European Commission, the most senior British EU civil servant and Head of the Task Force for negotiations with the UK) gave a keynote speech on ‘Leaving the EU but remaining part of Europe?’. He highlighted the legal and practical challenges of the negotiations between the UK and the EU and discussed the different stages that are prescribed in Article 50 TEU.

Professor Panos Koutrakos discussed the post-Brexit status of international trade agreements that currently apply to the UK. He outlined the legal and practical issues that arise from negotiating new trade agreements and examined the UK’s position in multilateral agreements (including the Unified Patent Court Agreement). His handout is available here.

Thomas Sebastian dealt with the so-called “WTO Option”. He addressed two questions of process: (1) Whether the UK will be able to rely on WTO rules post-Brexit even if other WTO Members object to its proposals for revised “schedules”? (2) Whether any post-Brexit UK-EU transitional arrangements will have to be approved by the WTO? His presentation is available here.

Lourdes Catrain (Hogan Lovells International) focused on the negotiation of the UK-EU agreement. She referred to the White Paper (The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union) and explored the different options for the UK’s future relationship with the EU, with emphasis on customs and regulatory standards.


Josh Holmes – new Queen’s Counsel for Monckton

Monckton Chambers is very pleased to announce the appointment of Josh Holmes to Queen’s Counsel.

The official swearing-in ceremony will take place on 13 February 2017.

The members and staff of Chambers warmly congratulate Josh on his new appointment.

The full list of QC appointments, announced on the 12 January,  can be viewed on the QCA website.

Michael Bowsher QC to speak at inaugural Singapore Academy of Law and Middle Temple conference

In September 2016, Michael Bowsher QC will be taking part in a conference, the first collaboration between the Singapore Academy of Law and the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple:

Recent Developments in Law and Practice in the UK and Singapore

Venue: Supreme Court Auditorium, Basement 2, 1 Supreme Court Lane, Singapore 178879

Event Date: 22 – 23 September 2016

The Honourable Judge of Appeal Justice Chao Hick Tin will provide the welcome to the joint conference entitled “Recent Developments in Law and Practice in the UK and Singapore”; the Right Honourable Lord Justice Christopher Clarke, Court of Appeal of England and Wales will introduce the event and the Honourable Attorney-General of Singapore and Honorary Master of the Bench, Middle Temple, Mr V K Rajah SC, will deliver the keynote address.

The programme presents an impressive list of speakers, comprising judges, experienced practitioners and academics from the legal community in Singapore and Middle Temple. The focus of this Conference will be on recent developments in contract law and trends in dispute resolution, with discussions on the latest trends in criminal law and family law as well.

Michael Bowsher will be speaking on day 1 of the event, part of a panel chaired by The Honourable Sir Vivian Ramsey on the topic of: Recent Developments in Vitiating Factors and Remedies

 For further details of the conference and to register click here.

Kassie Smith QC and George Peretz QC speak at GCR Live 8th Annual Brussels Conference: The Bigger Picture

George Peretz QC and Kassie Smith QC are amongst the speakers at GCR’s flagship annual conference in Brussels on 11 and 12 July 2016, which will start to untangle what Brexit means for competition law and policy. George will be speaking on “State Aid and selective tax rulings: competitive advantage or tax evasion?”, and Kassie will be speaking on “Navigating Follow-on Damages: what every defendant (and plaintiff) should know”

Click here for full programme.

Philip Moser QC delivers Keynote Brexit Speech at Competition law event

Philip Moser QC delivered the keynote speech at a conference co-organised by Oxera, Hausfeld and Monckton Chambers entitled “Brexit: Keep Calm and Follow-on or Stand Alone?”, assessing the impact of Brexit on competition litigation.

It was followed by a panel discussion with speakers including Laura Elizabeth John of Monckton Chambers.

Follow this link for the full text of Philip Moser QC’s speech.

The Lawyer General Counsel Strategy Summit 2016 – Gerry Facenna QC to chair round table on the new European Data Protection Regulation

This year’s, The Lawyer General Counsel Strategy Summit, which is being held 11-13 May 2016, is all about “The role of the General Counsel as an ethical business leader.”

Monckton Chambers continues with its support of this prestigious annual event, which is organised by The Lawyer and positioned as a visionary forum for business leaders. Across the 2 days, the summit will feature over 30 speakers, an unrivalled line-up of senior legal practitioners from some of today’s leading organizations, coming together to share the strategies behind their success.

Gerry Facenna QC is one of the 30 leading practitioners selected to shape this “must-attend event” for GCs.  He will be chairing a round table session on “How will the new European Data Protection Regulation affect you?”

The new EU General Data Protection Regulation is the biggest shake-up of EU privacy and data protection laws in 20 years. It will become the basis for all EU data protection laws and creates a number of new rights for data subjects and new regulatory risks and challenges for businesses around how they store, use, access and return personal data.

Gerry Facenna’s round table session will cover:

  • Implications for business – new regulatory approaches to data protection and compliance challenges
  • Risks of increased, turnover-based financial penalties, new reporting obligations
  • Consumer rights to transfer data and switch providers
  • Update on rules on data transfers, EU-US ‘Privacy Shield’, safe harbour arrangements
  • Latest EU and domestic case law on data retention and processing

Gerry Facenna QC is well-positioned to chair this topic as he has appeared in more than forty cases before the EU Courts, and in a number of the landmark cases that have shaped UK data protection and information rights laws including, in 2016, Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing LLP in the Court of Appeal and Google v Vidal-Hall in the Supreme Court.

Monckton Chambers supports the fifth annual Sir Jeremy Lever Lecture at Oxford University

The fifth annual Sir Jeremy Lever lecture was held on Friday 5th February by the Oxford University Law Faculty in combination with All Souls College. The lecture series celebrates the career of Sir Jeremy Lever KCMG, QC, a pioneer of both the practice and academic study of competition law in Europe.

The lecture titled “Personal Data Protection: The Contribution of the European Court of Human Rights” was given by Dean Spielmann, Former President of the European Court of Human Rights and chaired by The Rt Hon Sir Stephen Richards.

The event was followed by a celebratory dinner at All Souls College.

Symposium on the Legal implications of the referendum on EU membership

The outcome of the promised in/out referendum on UK membership of the EU will be a landmark in the history of the United Kingdom.

Monckton Chambers and City University, London, have an established reputation as pivotal players in leading thinking on the legal implications of possible UK exit from the EU. At a symposium held on 2 December (the full agenda is available here), they built strongly on that reputation. Speakers covered in depth a range of highly topical questions, policy and legal.

Keynote policy speakers.

The two headline speakers were:
•Jonathan Faull, who heads the EU task force which has strategic oversight of the negotiations with the UK on its aim of reforming its relationship with the EU; and
•Lord Hannay, an independent peer, formerly the UK’s permanent representative to the European Community and to the United Nations.

Lord Hannay set the scene for the run up to an EU referendum, reminding attendees that “[the] legal consequences [of the referendum] do matter enormously; they need to be explained in language comprehensible to the non-practitioner; and they do need to be understood by the electorate before they vote, because our prosperity and our security depend on the rule of law”.

Mr Faull covered the state of the negotiations, basing his comments on David Cameron’s letter to Donald Tusk. The probability is that the UK renegotiation will reach the Council in early 2016.

Legal contributors

In response to Lord Hannay’s invitation, an array of leading lawyers spoke, namely:

  • Sir Alan Dashwood of City University, London, Law School;
  • Three Queen’s Counsel from Monckton Chambers (Paul Lasok, Philip Moser and Ian Rogers );
  • Professors Paul Craig, Catherine Barnard and Kenneth Armstrong from Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

Points, legal and policy, arising in the debate included:

  • A series of confessional meetings have been held with the other 27 Member States and the European Parliament. Different states have different views and different constitutional constraints and processes. It is doubtful whether there is any appetite for treaty change at this stage of the political cycle in a number of Member States. The UK’s wish list in the Cameron letter is silent as to whether treaty change is a necessary pre-requisite.
  • The probability is that an agreement can be reached on how to handle the totemic issue of “ever closer union” although an opt out would require treaty change. Short of that, there could be a declaration as to its meaning, possibly binding in International Law. Meantime, it seems unlikely that the phrase provides a legal basis for legislative action.
  • An enhanced role for national parliaments is possible. There are fault lines in the current rules, such as the short deadline for submission of reasoned opinions by parliaments which preclude substantive discussion among EU legislatures. Is there a place for a stronger deregulatory approach in the EU, such as a commitment to repealing or withdrawing legislation, or codifying it?
  • The question of workers’ benefits is very complex and difficult. Measures which undermine the free movement of workers will be an uphill struggle to negotiate. Direct discrimination cannot be justified. But the scale of movement of migrant workers was not adequately predicted. So could there be negotiable measures that, while they might amount to indirect discrimination, might nonetheless be justifiable and proportionate?
  • The substitutes under consideration for a future relationship between the UK and the EU include the EEA, a Swiss-style agreement or a free trade agreement. But an EEA model, favoured by some senior UK politicians , would result in serious disadvantage to the UK , namely that it would be excluded from the negotiating table;
  • Even if “full” Brexit were to happen, many regulations and directives are likely to be retained. Indeed they will have to be retained if UK entities wish to continue to trade with Single Market states. Thus even if the UK were to leave, the key tenets of Procurement Law and Competition Law are likely to remain, not least because, as a trading nation, the UK is bound by its international legal obligations in those fields .
  • The repeal of the Human Rights Act raises a variety of legal issues. An enduring question will be the extent to which EU citizens will enjoy acquired rights in the UK; indeed there is a further question how UK citizens, resident in other Member States, will be treated.

In his closing remarks, Jonathan Faull outlined the likely developments between now and the Council meeting at which a full substantive discussion will take place, possibly February 2016. Any future agreement might be reflected in a range of instruments, such as declarations, agreements binding in International Law and (as necessary) EU legislation.

The symposium on 2 December follows the seminar that Monckton held on 24 June (read here)  and other relevant presentations made by members of chambers, including in other EU Member States (read here).

The symposium was convened by Christopher Muttukumaru CB of Monckton Chambers and by Professor Panos Koutrakos, Jean Monnet Professor of European Law, City University, London.