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Lord Pannick QC is one of the UK’s most highly regarded advocates, practising in a broad range of areas with a particular emphasis on Public law & Human Rights and Constitutional Law. He has acted in a large number of the leading public law cases of the last 25 years, appearing in 100 cases in the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords (before it was replaced by the new Supreme Court), more than 20 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.
Lord Pannick QC is recommended in both of the leading independent legal directories:
Chambers and Partners 2019
Legal 500 2018
Chambers UK Top Silk Bar 100
In December 2013, Lord Pannick QC 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 QC 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 15 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.
He also writes 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 QC has appeared.
“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
“Outstanding public law silk.”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
“Superstar of the Bar. One of the top QCs, but also very approachable and a very nice person to deal with.”Chambers and Partners, 2016
“The pre-eminent lawyer of his generation”Legal 500, 2016
“Simply the best advocate of his generation.”Legal 500, 2015
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. The case is due to be heard by the Court of Appeal in January 2019.
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.
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