Chambers & Partners 2013 Recommendations
Civil Liberties and Human Rights: Northern - Band 1
"This set's civil liberties and human rights offering is founded on a strong commitment to the representation of disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals. Tenants are particularly involved in miscarriage of justice cases, prison law and inquest work."
"Pete Weatherby QC is an acknowledged leader of the Northern Bar in the field of human rights , and has a practice that focuses on public law, prison law and inquest work. He acted for the claimants in Vinter and Others v United Kingdom, a case concerning the fate of prisoners with whole life tariffs. Sources describe him as "approachable, determined and level-headed"."
"Vijay Jagadesham is gaining plaudits for conducting a prison law practice with a recognised focus on foreign national prisoners. Sources confirm that he is "very approachable and able to turn work around very quickly"."
Administrative & Public Law: The Regions
"New silk Pete Weatherby QC of Garden Court North has a broad claimant-based public law practice stemming from his leading criminal and human rights practices. One instructing solicitor remarks that "as a junior he was probably the best brain at the Bar, but the most easy to approach of any of the barristers we use."
"Stablemate Ben McCormack has a public law practice which spans the areas of social housing, welfare and mental health."
"His set is also home to James Stark, who focuses the public law element of his practice on issues stemming from housing law. Solicitors comment that he isparticularly adept at the more complicated cases, observing that "he seems to have that ability to address the court on quite complex, Article 8 human rights-related issues"."
"Also at Garden Court North is the "very capable and very able" Kate Stone, whose claimant-based public law offering covers inquests, prison law and actions against the police and other public authorities."
"Others at the set include Vijay Jagadesham, a highly rated public law practitioner, who is especially strong on immigration and prison law. He is "very bright, and good at spotting legal issues and making sure they are pursued fully."
"Matthew Stanbury, again of Garden Court North, is " a very proactive young barrister." He undertakes a number of judicial reviews, and has an impressive practice heavy on criminal and prison law."
"Garden Court North houses Mark George QC, a leading light on circuit who is also qualified at the Bar of Northern Ireland. He has a strong track record of defending cases of historic sexual abuse. A significant recent case for him was Hanif & Khan v UK, a matter in the ECHR concerning the fairness of a trial that saw a police officer serving on the jury."
"Also at this set is Pete Weatherby QC, a relatively recently appointed silk who has a thriving practice in the human rights, prison law and police law aspects of criminal litigation . He has recently appealed sentencing tariffs and prisoner categorisations."
"Also recommended, Kerry Smith of Garden Court North undertakes numerous high-profile cases, in both employment and immigration. She "has a very good manner with clients and is good at putting their minds at ease with her fine presentations to the tribunal"."
"Ian Macdonald QC is the author of key immigration practitioners' textbooks. His elevation to Senior Statesman status is in recognition of his long-standing contribution to the field of immigration law."
Immigration : Northern - Band 1
"Garden Court North is a leading regional immigration presence, and maintains a large team of practitioners with experience in the area . Instructing solicitors are confident in referring human rights claims and difficult appeals to them."
"Rory O'Ryan handles all aspects of immigration and asylum appeals, and has extensive experience as an immigration caseworker. Such is his standing, he was led by Lord Pannick QC in the Supreme Court case of Mahad & Others."
" Vijay Jagadesham is widely praised by fellow practitioners and is singled out as a particularly promising counsel. His work concerning foreign national prisoners is regarded as ground-breaking and reflects the nature of his practice which centres on the interaction between immigration and human rights law."
Social Housing: Northern
"James Stark of Garden Court North is lauded as someone who "knows everything there is to know about housing law." He is praised for his determination, and is known for being "thoroughly committed, particularly in difficult, hard to win cases"."
"His set includes Laura Cawsey, who is noted for her work representing vulnerable clients and is "always well prepared and very good on her feet"."
"Also present is Ben McCormack, who is praised by solicitors for being "great with clients" and is singled out as someone who is "really good on new developments in the law." His broad remit includes homelessness, possession proceedings and housing benefit disputes."