Barrister Richard  Clayton

Richard Clayton

Year of call: 1977  Silk: 2002

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“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.”

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Overview


Richard Clayton QC 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 and international work and regulatory / disciplinary work.

Public Law Commercial Offshore & International

Public Law


A well-respected public lawyer, who is a very vigorous and forceful opponent.” (2014). Renowned human rights academic and practitioner. Of late, he has represented authorities and applicants in cuts cases, community care matters and provision of services disputes. Praised for his preparation and his ability to manage difficult situations (2013); “Brilliant on his feet,” he is a regular choice for claimants and local authorities in judicial review proceedings and before the European Court of Human Rights. Solicitors admire him as he is “hugely academic, yet charming with clients and quick to grasp the issues of a case.” (2012); “Extremely personable”, “academically very strong, focused and direct” and “has a vast knowledge of human rights law” (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


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)) 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); “Fantastically good at what he does”, he “provides robust, client-friendly advice and is a great lateral thinker” (2009) “he is always well prepared and is not fazed by difficult clients or the prospect of being the first to argue a difficult line.” (2013); “clients praise his fine preparatory work and his approachable manner” (2010);”knowledgeable and insightful public lawyer” with a “razor-sharp mind”(2011); “Technical legal knowledge that is simply superb.” (2008)

Local Government


Particularly instructed for vires and procurement law matters- a “delightful and talented advocate.” (2013) 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)

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.

His recent cases include arguing a constitutional case in an 8 day hearing before the Court of Appeal in Turks and Caicos in R v Miscik which will go to the Privy Council next year and a successful application on behalf of Brawn Swang against Burma before the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. 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). Cases before the European Court of Human Rights include: 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 has been called to the Bar in Belize, Trinidad and Turks and Caicos and has undertaken advisory work in Hong Kong.

Richard is the United Kingdom representative to Venice Commission (Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional law, the Commission of Democracy through Law) and is the Vice Chair of its Sub-Commission on Working Methods. His work for the Commission includes an amicus curia brief on war crimes for the Chilean Constitutional Court and acting 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) and appointment of constitutional judges in period of Presidential transition (Slovakia).

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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, the Commission of Democracy through Law). Appointed 2010 and recently reappointed to 2018.
  • Amicus curia brief on war crimes for the Chilean Constitutional Court.
  • Rapporteur in Opinions concerning conscription and freedom of thought (Armenia), freedom of assembly (Russia) (twice), freedom of expression and defamation (Azerbaijan) (Italy) and judicial independence and mediation (Tajikistan), appointment of constitutional judges in period of Presidential transition (Slovakia), freedom of association and NGOs ((Azerbaijan); freedom of expression (Turkey).
  • Member, Enlarged Bureau (Commission’s executive board)
  • Chairman Sub Commission on Working Methods
  • Gender Equality Rapporteur
  • Recorder
  • Bencher, Middle Temple
  • Lecturer on Human Rights Act (2011) and Four Jurisdictions Conference (2012);
  • Bench Selection Advisory Committee (2014-2018)
  • Visiting Professor, University College, London 2015-2020
  • Committee, Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers 2014
  • Chairman, Constitutional and Administrative Bar Association 2008-2010
  • Associate Fellow, Centre for Public Law, University of Cambridge since 2001
  • Supreme Court User Group since 2009
  • Justice Council 2009-2013
  • 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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