Barrister Richard Clayton

Richard Clayton

Year of call: 1977  Silk: 2002

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“Mr Clayton QC with the charm and skill which is characteristic of him” Lord Wilson Mohammed v Public Service Commission of Trinidad  19 October 2017

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Overview


Richard Clayton undertakes a wide range of advisory and litigation work (both for and against public bodies) covering community care, data protection/Freedom of Information, discrimination and public sector equality duties, education, environmental, healthcare, human rights, licensing, local government (e.g. vires and powers, constitutional issues and governance, elections, finance), public procurement, Privy Council, international work (particularly constitutional work), police actions and regulatory/disciplinary work.

What the Directories say:

“He is very academic but also very sharp when it comes to tactics. He is very good at guiding you on what the judge is likely to be thinking.”

“His command of the subject is almost second to none. He’s thoughtful, approachable, and very client-focused.”

Chambers & Partners (2016)

“He is extremely knowledgeable and a leading light in the field.” 

 

“He is affable and has a mature approach.” “Calm, reliable and consistent.” “He has a very wide knowledge of the law.” (2015)

Bar Associations:

Member of Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association, Planning and Environmental Bar Association, Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers Association.

Publications:

  • Joint author with Hugh Tomlinson QC:
  • The Law of Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 3rd edn, forthcoming)- the standard practitioner textbook cited in House of Lords, Privy Council and Supreme Court over 40 times
  • Civil Actions against the Police (4th edn, Sweet & Maxwell forthcoming)
  • The Law of the European Convention on Human Rights: A Practitioner Text (with Sir Nicholas Brazta, former President of the European Court of Human Rights (OUP, forthcoming)
  • Judicial Review Procedure (2nd edn, Hart Publishing 1997)
  • Police Actions (2nd edn, Hart Publishing 1997)
  • Author ‘Practice and Procedure at Industrial Tribunals (Legal Action, 1988)

Public Law Commercial Offshore & International

Public Law


What the Directories say:

“He is affable and has a mature approach.” “Calm, reliable and consistent.” “He has a very wide knowledge of the law.” (2015) Chambers’ Directory

A well-respected public lawyer, who is a very vigorous and forceful opponent.” (2014) Chambers Directory. Praised for his preparation and his ability to manage difficult situations (2013); “Brilliant on his feet (2012); “Extremely personable”, “academically very strong, focused and direct (2007), “Very likeable and imaginative” He is particularly recommended for thinking laterally on cases: “He’s the sort of guy you’d ring up to find a new point in a case” (2008);

 

Human Rights & Civil Liberties Local Government

Human Rights & Civil Liberties


“He is extremely knowledgeable and a leading light in the field.”

Chambers & Partners

His work on human rights is always outstanding. He’s very proactive. He’ll think around his cases and come up with creative ideas” (2014) Chambers’ Directory incredibly bright” and has “fantastic academic ability.” Clients highlight the confidence they have when instructing him. He undertakes a balance of work for both claimants and defendants, and has appeared in the Caribbean, Hong Kong and the Privy Council, as well as in numerous matters in the domestic court (2012); ”knowledgeable and insightful public lawyer” with a “razor-sharp mind”(2011);

Local Government


Particularly instructed for vires and procurement law matters- a “delightful and talented advocate.” (2013) Chambers’ Directory. He has a huge fan base of local authorities happy to sing his praises. “He is extremely bright and very creative in finding workable solutions to tricky problems” (2008) and “a thriving local government practise” (2010); “razor-sharp mind” and an “extremely accessible manner, he is never short of work.” (2011)

Public Law Cases


  • Mohammed v Public Service Commission of Trinidad (2017) Privy Council (separation of powers)
  • Tayo v Charity Commission (2017) (discrimination)
  • R(Watch Tower) v Charity Commission (2016) Court of Appeal (judicial review and alternative remedy)
  • Magyar Helsinki v Hungary (2016) (Art 10 and right of access to official information before Grand Chamber of European Court of Human Rights)
  • R(English Bridge Union) v Sports England (2015) (whether Sports England acted unlawfully in refusing to recognise bridge as a sport)
  • R(Hall) v Leicestershire County Council (2015) (museum closure concerning consultation and alleged breach of Localism Act)
  • Minshall v HMRC (2015) (CA) (human rights)
  • Kennedy v Charity Commissioners (2014) (Supreme Ct- Freedom of Information, Art 10 and common law rights)
    R (T) v Trafford MBC (2015) (consultation challenge to local authority cuts)
  • R(Watch Tower) v Charity Commission (2014) (whether statutory appeal alternative to judicial review- CA pending)
  • R(Hardy) v Sandwell MBC (2015) (whether policy discretionary housing allowance breaches Art 14)

Supreme Court Cases

  • Kennedy v Charity Commissioners (2014) (Freedom of Information, Art 10 and common law rights)
  • Surratt v A-G of Trinidad (No 2) (2009) (damages for breaching constitutional right to protection of the law)
  • Panday v Virgil (2008) (representing former Prime Minister of Trinidad in abuse of process complaint following successful bias appeal before Trinidad Court of Appeal)
  • Suratt v A-G of Trinidad (2008) (anti-discrimination legislation constitutional, reversing Trinidad CA)
  • R(Huang) v SSHD (2007) (important case on proportionality principles)
  • Toussaint v A-G of St Vincent (2007) (right of access to the court and parliamentary privilege)
  • R (Greenfield) v SSHD (2005) (Human Rights Act damages)
  • R (Smith) v Parole Board (2005) (common law fairness- but not Articles 5 and 6 ECHR- requires oral hearing)
  • BACONGO v Department of Environment No 2 (2004) (adequacy of environmental impact assessment)
  • BACONGO v Department of Environment (2003) (jurisdiction of PC to grant interim injunction in pending appeal)
  • A-G v Blake (2001) (confiscation of advance of royalties on autobiography breaches common law human rights, not recoverable as restitutionary damages in contract, but liable for account)
  • R v Chief Constable West Midlands ex p Wiley (1994) (nature and scope of public interest immunity)

 

Commercial


Richard Clayton QC is experienced at all types of complex commercial cases.  He has a particular focus on contractual issues which arise in the public sector eg high profile employment disputes and public procurement work.  He undertakes emergency injunction work eg freezing and seizure orders and represents commercial clients in disputes concerning contractual construction, public international law, restitution, shareholders’ rights and statutory construction.

Richard sits as an arbitrator and is a Deputy High Court judge.

Offshore & International


Richard undertakes public and constitutional law, both in the Privy Council and internationally and sits as a Deputy High Court judge and as an international arbitrator. He has undertaken work in the Caribbean (Belize, Cayman, St Vincent, Trinidad, Turks & Caicos), Canada, US, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong and Isle of Man,

His recent cases include a number of Privy Council cases from Trinidad in 2017-2018 eg Mohammed v Public Service Commission of Trinidad (separation of powers), R v Misick (2014 (8 day hearing before the Court of Appeal in Turks and Caicos). Richard’s Privy Council cases include Surratt v A-G of Trinidad (No 2) (2009) (damages for breaching constitutional right to protection of the law) Panday v Virgil (2008) (representing former Prime Minister of Trinidad in abuse of process complaint following successful bias appeal before Trinidad Court of Appeal); Suratt v A-G of Trinidad (2008) (anti-discrimination legislation constitutional, reversing Trinidad CA); Toussaint v A-G of St Vincent (2007) (right of access to the court and parliamentary privilege); BACONGO v Department of Environment No 2 (2004) (adequacy of environmental impact assessment); BACONGO v Department of Environment (2003) (jurisdiction of PC to grant interim injunction in pending appeal).

 

European Court of Human Rights- Richard’s cases include: Kennedy v United Kingdom (2017) (freedom of expression and freedom of information); Magyar Helsinki Bizottság v. Hungary (2017) (Grand Chamber- freedom of expression and freedom of information); S v United Kingdom ([2009)(Grand Chamber- retention of DNA for individuals arrested but not charged breached Article 8, reversing House of Lords decision in Marper, 2004) and Liberty v United Kingdom (2009) (statutory scheme authorising telephone interception to and from UK breached Article 8)

Richard is the United Kingdom representative to Venice Commission (Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional law) is a member of its Executive and and  Chair of its Sub-Commission on Working Methods. He has worked as a Rapporteur in Opinions concerning conscription and freedom of thought (Armenia), freedom of assembly (Russia), freedom of expression and defamation (Azerbaijan) (Italy) and judicial independence and mediation (Tajikistan), freedom of association and NGOs (Azerbaijan), (Hungary) and appointment of constitutional judges in period of Presidential transition (Slovakia).

Offshore & International Cases


European Court of Human Rights

  • S v United Kingdom([2009)(Grand Chamber- retention of DNA for individuals arrested but not charged breached Article 8, reversing House of Lords decision in Marper, 2004);
  • Liberty v United Kingdom (2009) (statutory scheme authorising telephone interception to and from UK breached Article 8)

Recent cases of note:

  • Mohammed v Public Service Commission of Trinidad (2017) Privy Council (separation of powers)
  • Kennedy v United Kingdom (2017) ECtHR  (freedom of expression and freedom of information);
  • Magyar Helsinki Bizottság v  Hungary (2016) Grand Chamber (freedom of expression and freedom of information);
  • Kennedy v Charity Commissioners (2014) Supreme Court (Freedom of Information, Article 10 of the ECHR and common law rights)
  • R v Misick (2014) Turks & Caicos Court of Appeal (8 day constitutional case and criminal appeal)

How to get in touch


For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0) 20 7242 3555 or email: civilclerks@7br.co.uk

Judicial Appointments


  • Deputy High Court Judge
    United Kingdom’s representative to Venice Commission (Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional law). Appointed 2010 and recently reappointed to 2018. Member of Executive and Chairman of Working Methods Sub-Commission
    Recorder
  • Visiting Professor, University College, London 2015-2020
  • Former Chairman, Constitutional and Administrative Bar Association Associate Fellow, Centre for Public Law, University of Cambridge since 2001
  • Supreme Court User Group since 2009
  • Chairman, Bar Council Committee on Civil Legal Aid 2005-2012
  • Vice Chairman Bar Council Remuneration Committee 2006-2008
  • Bar Council Remuneration Committee 2005 to 2010
  • Bar Council Public Affairs Committee 2006-2007
  • Bar Council International Affairs Committee 2008-2010
  • Bar Council 2004-2007
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