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Lord Pannick KC is one of the UK’s most highly regarded advocates, practicing in a broad range of areas with a particular emphasis on Public law, Human Rights and Constitutional Law and specialising in appellate advocacy in most areas of law, from commercial disputes to trusts law. He has acted in a large number of the leading public law cases of the last 30 years, appearing in 100 cases in the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords (before it was replaced by the Supreme Court), more than 25 cases in the Supreme Court since its creation in 2009, more than 25 cases in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and over 30 cases in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He appears both for Claimants and for Respondents –whether government departments or other public bodies. He acted for Gina Miller in the Supreme Court in September 2019 when the Court held, by 11-0, that the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had unlawfully prorogued Parliament and so Parliament was recalled the next day. More recently he has advised Mr Johnson in relation to the inquiry by the House of Commons Committee of Privileges into whether the then Prime Minister misled Parliament about parties at No. 10 Downing Street in breach of Covid regulations. His recent cases in the Supreme Court include litigation in the fields of employment law, trusts law, patent law and commercial law, as well as public law. He regularly appears in the courts of Hong Kong both for and against the government.
Lord Pannick KC is recommended in both of the leading independent legal directories:
Chambers and Partners
Lord Pannick KC was included in the Chambers and Partners 2019 and 2020 list of 'Stars at the Bar' - "Lord Pannick QC is an accomplished public law practitioner who tackles a multitude of matters, from civil liberties and human rights cases to telecommunications disputes. He has an intimate understanding of European and international law, and recently successfully represented a Qatari diplomat in the case Attiya v Al Thani, establishing that he could not be sued owing to diplomatic and state immunity. Instructing solicitors admire his courtroom composure; one calls him 'a truly brilliant advocate,' whilst another describes him as 'very measured and calm.' 'He is as good as it gets,' explains one solicitor, adding that 'he has a well-deserved reputation and is a clear thinker. He is authoritative and can express very complex concepts clearly in court.' Sources also profess admiration for his intellectual acumen. 'It's awe-inspiring, the speed at which his brain works,' remarks a barrister at another set. Solicitors who instruct Lord Pannick KC also note his user-friendly manner. One says: 'He is easy to work with,' while another affirms that he is 'very approachable and makes the whole team feel valued.'"
Chambers UK Top Silk Bar 100
In December 2013, Lord Pannick KC was ranked as one of Chambers UK’s Top Silk Bar 100, in their inaugural listing of the top barristers practising at the Bar of England & Wales. “A brilliant and incisive lawyer.” “He has an unbelievable knack for digesting and analysing voluminous amounts of complex information in a very short space of time,” …. “the resulting advice is clear, concise, and often innovative.”
The Times Law 100 2012, listing the most influential lawyers in Britain, ranked Lord Pannick KC in 10th place. “Described by one judge as ‘leader of the crossbenchers’ and as having ‘incredible influence’ in Parliament, it could almost be overlooked that Lord Pannick is one of the country’s most powerful advocates”.
He has acted in a large number of the leading public law cases of the last 25 years :
His clients have included:
He has also appeared in court for a wide range of other clients, from the Revd Moon to the Chief Rabbi, from Red Hot Television to the Lord Chancellor, from Diana Princess of Wales to Lord Rees-Mogg.
In Strasbourg, he has appeared in cases (for and against the United Kingdom Government) raising issues on the rights of transsexuals, sadomasochists, gypsies and many others. He acted for Greece in resisting the claim brought by former King Constantine for the return of property, and he represented Cyprus in relation to human rights abuses by Turkey in Northern Cyprus.
He has appeared in a large number of cases in the courts of Hong Kong, and in the courts of Brunei, the Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and Gibraltar. In Hong Kong, he has appeared in about 30 cases in the Court of Final Appeal (as well as frequent appearances in the lower courts), many of them on major constitutional and public law issues, both for the Government and for Claimants.
In November 2008, he became a Life Peer, sitting on the crossbenches, while continuing in full-time practice at the Bar.
From 1992-2019, he wrote a fortnightly column on the law for The Times.
His recent cases include the following:
Below are a selection of less recent public law cases in which Lord Pannick KC has appeared.
“He is a star of public law. He is very good at taking on high-profile public law cases and is very focused on winning points.”Chambers and Partners, 2023
“He makes advocacy an art; presenting in a simple way but delivering with such gravitas.”Chambers and Partners, 2023
“It’s been a real privilege to work with a legal mind like his. He doesn’t just have one of the best legal minds in the industry, but he's also got superb client skills.”Chambers and Partners, 2023
“He is completely on top of everything, his knowledge is second to none and his client skills are brilliant.”Chambers and Partners, 2022
“There has been no greater advocate in public law over the last 40 years.”Chambers and Partners, 2022
“One of the very best advocates in the country. Clarifies and makes accessible the most complex matters and holds the court's attention like no other.”Legal 500, 2022
“He is the most brilliant advocate at the Bar.”Chambers and Partners, 2021
“If you've got a hugely important issue that requires a court to really listen, then there is nobody more powerful as an advocate”Chambers and Partners, 2021
“Mesmerising to listen to in court.”Chambers and Partners, 2021
“The way he deals with people and issues is really excellent and he is incredibly approachable.”Chambers and Partners, 2020
“Exceptionally gifted.”Legal 500, 2019
“Incredibly hard-working and a joy to behold. He has a 'dangerous' sense of humour which is fun to watch.”Chambers and Partners, 2019
“Probably the best advocate at the public Bar - he makes complicated things sound simple and always seems like he is obviously correct.”Chambers and Partners, 2019
“Absolutely outstanding: the ease with which he cuts through the complex issues is phenomenal.”Chambers and Partners, 2019
“He is a joy – a standout individual for obvious reasons.”Chambers and Partners, 2019
“He is an indisputable star.”Chambers and Partners, 2019
“He has an impressively broad practice and is an extremely good advocate.”Chambers and Partners, 2019
“A genuine star at the Bar”Chambers and Partners, 2019
“He is an extraordinary and impressive advocate.”Chambers and Partners, 2018
“An undisputed leader at the Bar.”Chambers and Partners, 2018
“He really is a super-silk in the pantheon of super-silks.”Chambers and Partners, 2018
“Lord Pannick's reputation needs no emphasis.”Chambers and Partners, 2018
“It's a joy if you are on the same side or a concern if you are on the other.”Chambers and Partners, 2018
“He is the best – top notch.”Legal 500, 2018
“Has great strategic judgement.”Legal 500, 2018
“He can turn his hand to anything and is an excellent silk.”Chambers and Partners, 2018
“Superb advocate with fantastic judgement.”Legal 500, 2018
“He is just the most impressive advocate. He has an ability to distil cases down to their core elements and present them in a way that almost writes the judge's judgment for them”Chambers and Partners, 2017
“A fearsome, authoritative intellect.”Legal 500, 2017
“A famously tenacious advocate.”Legal 500, 2017
“Brilliant at clearly presenting complex legal arguments and highly respected by all the courts”Legal 500, 2016
The Court of Appeal held that the claim by the Danish Tax Authority, Skatteforvaltningen, seeking to recover $1.5 billion as the result of an alleged fraud is not a Revenue claim and can therefore be pursued in the courts of this jurisdiction.
Judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU on the legality of pension provisions in the light of employment equality requirements for men and women. Acted for Safeway.
Successfully represented the Claimant Bank in the Court of Appeal in overturning the High Court decision that there was no jurisdiction under the Brussels Convention and the Lugano Convention to hear claims of fraud.
Represented MIF in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on whether the Corporation of Hamilton had power to give a guarantee. David appeared in the Bermudan courts in this case. Judicial Committee of the Privy Council held that the Corporation acted outside the scope of its powers in giving a guarantee to a company.
Successfully acted for BT pension scheme in the Court of Appeal in proceedings brought by pensioners challenging the interpretation of the pension deed.
Acted for ITV in the Court of Appeal in a challenge to the legality of a decision of the Pension Regulator to require ITV to make additional provision for pension protection. We have sought permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal decision upholding, in part, the legality of the policy of preferential land allocation for indigenous inhabitants of the New Territories (his clients).
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council held that the Bar Council (his client) was obliged to give authorisation to the Appellant company to practice law in Bermuda.
Successfully represented the Hong Kong Government in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal in these judicial review proceedings concerning whether human trafficking is a breach of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights and whether the Government is obliged to enact a criminal law specifically addressing that mischief.
Judicial review proceedings brought to challenge the proposed Extradition law which would allow extradition from Hong Kong to other parts of the PRC. Acted for the Applicant. A couple of weeks before the hearing in Hong Kong, the Bill was withdrawn because of protests in Hong Kong.
Represented the Hong Kong Government in the Court of Final Appeal, Hong Kong, in judicial review proceedings in relation to the right of a civil servant to employment benefits for his same-sex partner.
Succesfully represented the Government of Hong Kong in judicial review proceedings in the Court of Final Appeal, Hong Kong in relation to whether a parent had the right to stay in Hong Kong because his or her child was born there.
Represented the lead Claimant in the Supreme Court case which established that the Secretary of State could not lawfully give notification to the European Council of the UK's intention to leave the EU using prerogative powers and without authorisation from an Act of Parliament.
Acted for the Claimant in the Supreme Court in this judicial review application complaining of unfairness by the CMA in its conduct of an investigation into anti-competitive behaviour.
Acting for the Claimant in this judicial review challenge to the decision by the Panel to recognise IMPRESS as a press regulator.
Successfully acted for the Claimant in the Court of Appeal in this judicial review challenge to the Annual Licence Fees imposed by Ofcom for the use of 1800 MHz and 900 MHz spectrum.
Successfully represented 21st Century Fox in a judicial review challenge by a public interest body to Ofcom's decision that 21st Century Fox is a fit and proper person to hold broadcasting licences.
Represented Dignity in Dying before the Supreme Court on the question of whether the law concerning assisted suicide complies with the Human Rights Act.
Represented Max Mosley in the European Court of Human Rights in a claim that the United Kingdom failed to protect his right to private life in that The News of the World had no duty to give him prior notification of an article before publication so he could seek and obtain an injunction.
Acted for Prudential in the Supreme Court in a claim that legal professional privilege extends to legal advice on tax law from accountants.
Appeared in the first hearing in the new Supreme Court in October 2009 on behalf of JFS, a school being sued by a boy seeking admission.
Acted for Debbie Purdy who established that the DPP has a duty to publish guidelines concerning his power to prosecute those who help relatives to go abroad for an assisted suicide. This was the last judgment in the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords in July 2009, before the opening of the new Supreme Court.
Represented AF, a person subject to a control order because of alleged involvement in terrorist activities. Nine Law Lords held in June 2009 that he was entitled to know the essence of the allegations against him.
Acted for Sir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay in establishing in the Court of Appeal that the Seneschal of Sark could not lawfully sit as a judge in Sark and also as the presiding office in the Sark legislature.
Represented the British Olympic Committee in resisting the lifelong ban on athletes competing at the Olympic Games by reason of an earlier doping offence.
Appeared for the pharmaceutical company, Eisai, in persuading the Court of Appeal that NICE acted in a procedurally unfair manner and so unlawfully in refusing to provide on the NHS drugs for patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
The Divisional Court (Warby LJ and Mostyn J) dismissed a claim for judicial review of a decision of the Westminster Magistrates Court to lift an order anonymising the Claimant in …17 Mar 23
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has published an Opinion concerning Karim Massimov, the former Prime Minister of Kazakhstan. Mr Massimov was arrested and detained by State forces on …7 Nov 22
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