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. Amongst appearing in 100 cases in the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords (before it was replaced by the new Supreme Court), 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 has acted in a large number of the leading public law cases of the last 25 years. He is recognised by Chambers UK 2015 as one of its “stars at the bar”, and by the Legal 500 2014 as a ‘Leading Silk’ in eight areas, including EU & Competition. 

Lord Pannick QC is recommended in both of the leading independent legal directories:

Chambers UK 2018

-          Civil Liberties and Human Rights - "He really is a super-silk in the pantheon of super-silks" "Lord Pannick's reputation needs no emphasis."

-          European Law- "Fantastically clever and his advocacy is second to none." "He is absolutely outstanding."

-          Immigration - "The best public law practitioner around and staggeringly good in immigration as well."

-          Media and Entertainment - "He's a superstar,  who is very talented, very clever and very calm."

-          Telecommunications - "He can tun his hand to anything and is and excellent silk."


Legal 500 2017

-          Administrative and Public Law- "A fearsome, authoritative intellect, with a friendly approach to clients."

-          EU and Competition – “A famously tenacious advocate.” "His strategic judgement is always on-point."

-          Media and Entertainment – “A renowned silk for media law."

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”.



Public & Regulatory

Lord Pannick appeared in 100 cases in the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords (before it was replaced by the new Supreme Court), and has argued 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 has acted in a large number of the leading public law cases of the last 25 years :

  • In Spycatcher, he acted for The Sunday Times.
  • He represented Tiny Rowland and Lonrho plc in the battle with Mohammed Al-Fayed concerning the take-over of Harrods.
  • In ex parte Bentley, he persuaded the Divisional Court on behalf of Iris Bentley that the Home Secretary should give a posthumous pardon to her brother, Derek Bentley, for his execution in 1953.
  • He acted in the European Court of Human Rights for the gay servicemen who established that it was a breach of their human rights to exclude gays from the military: Lustig-Prean v United Kingdom.
  • He represented the Home Secretary in successfully establishing in the House of Lords the legality of the whole life tariff for Myra Hindley, the Moors Murderer.
  • He acted for the Home Secretary in the domestic courts and in the European Court of Human Rights in proceedings brought by Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, the boys who murdered the infant James Bulger, challenging their sentences of detention during Her Majesty's pleasure.
  • He represented the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority in the case brought by Diane Blood who wished to be impregnated with the sperm of her dead husband, and in the House of Lords case which established the right of parents to obtain fertility treatment to have a child so cells from the umbilical cord could assist their severely ill son ("the designer baby case").
  • He successfully represented the BBC in the Divisional Court in resisting the contention that the Director-General had committed the criminal offence of blasphemy by broadcasting "Jerry Springer - The Opera". (Following the judgment, Parliament decided to abolish the criminal offence of blasphemy).
  • He acted for Camelot in its successful judicial review challenge to the National Lottery Commission in 2000.

His clients have included:

  • The Queen - winning an injunction in the High Court to restrain The Daily Mirror from publishing further allegations about her home life by a reporter who had gained employment as a footman.
  • Greg Rusedski - at a tennis tribunal in Montreal, defeating allegations that he was guilty of a doping offence.
  • Ann Marie Rogers - who established in the Court of Appeal her right to be provided with the breast cancer drug, Herceptin.
  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - in establishing in the House of Lords that state immunity applies to claims alleging torture.
  • The League Against Cruel Sports - in successfully resisting the challenge to the Hunting Act 2004.
  • Sheptonhurst Ltd - who defeated the British Board of Film Classification in establishing the right to buy, in licensed sex shops, videos of "Nympho Nurse Nancy" and "Horny Catbabe", and so substantially liberalising the laws on censorship of explicit sexual material.

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.

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.

Below are a selection of public law cases in which Lord Pannick QC has appeared.


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  • Junior Counsel to the Crown (Common Law) 1988-1992
  • Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, since 1978
  • Honorary Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford since September 2004


  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Public Law
  • Member of the Constitution Committee of the House of Lords 2009-2013


VAT registration number: 245780151