Richard Clayton QC

 

Call date: 1977 (QC 2002)
Email: rclayton@elyplace.com
Telephone number: 020 7400 9600

Richard Clayton QC

Call date: 1977 (QC 2002)
Email: rclayton@elyplace.com
Telephone number: 020 7400 9600

 

“He is very intellectually able.”

Chambers and Partners

“Richard is a go-to silk for human rights issues.”

Chambers and Partners

“He is a pleasure to work with and has an instinctive grasp of what the courts will think.”

Chambers and Partners

Practice areas

Business Public & regulatory

Richard is a commercial litigator / arbitrator and 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.

He has extensive experience in conducting Supreme Court and Privy Council appeals and Lord Wilson in Mohammed v Public Service Commission of Trinidad [2017] UKPC 31 said “Mr Clayton QC with the charm and skill which is characteristic of him.” Chambers Directory 2019 describes Richard as “one of the finest minds at the Bar… an intellectual giant who is an asset to the Bar” and in 2018 said he was “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-focus”,  “affable and has a mature approach” “calm, reliable and consistent” and “ has a very wide knowledge of the law.”

Business

Richard has experience of all types of complex commercial cases with significant experience of commercial contract disputes. He has particular expertise in contractual issues which arise in the public sector including high profile employment disputes and public procurement work. Richard works with Chambers’ juniors across the ambit of commercial / chancery litigation and undertakes emergency injunction work such as freezing and seizure orders. He represents commercial clients in disputes concerning contractual construction, public international law, restitution, shareholders’ rights and statutory construction.

Current cases include being instructed as an arbitrator in a commercial dispute between a local authority and a private sector care provider, advising in relation to a £7m claim against two banks alleged to be jointly liable with financial advisors for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of agency and/or on the ground that the banks had notice of the financial advisors’ wrongdoing, he has recently advised various local authorities in relation to procurement issues and is acting in an allegedly unlawful cartel arrangement concerning several construction contracts in Trinidad for former Minister.

Public & regulatory

Richard 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, international work (particularly constitutional work) and regulatory/disciplinary work.

Administrative and Public Law:

What Chambers and Partners say:
“He is very, very clever”
“He is affable and has a mature approach.” “Calm, reliable and consistent.” “He has a very wide knowledge of the law.”
“A well-respected public lawyer, who is a very vigorous and forceful opponent.”
Praised for his preparation and his ability to manage difficult situations “Brilliant on his feet” “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”

Recent judicial review cases of note include:
R (British Homeopathy Association v National Health Service England (2018) (consultation challenge);
R (Page) v Darlington Borough Council (2018) (closure of library services);
R (Watch Tower) v Charity Commission (2016) Court of Appeal (judicial review and alternative remedy);
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);
Kennedy v Charity Commission (2015) (Supreme Court- Freedom of Information, Art 10 and common law rights);
R (T) v Trafford MBC (2015) (consultation challenge to local authority cuts).

Civil Liberties:

What Chambers and Partners say:
“He’s an encyclopaedia of human rights law. His strength is his knowledge.”
“Richard is a go-to silk for human rights issues, he is a pleasure to work with and has an instinctive grasp of what the courts will think.”
“He’s very proactive. He’ll think around his cases and come up with creative ideas” “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”

Recent human rights and civil liberties cases of note include:
A-G of Trinidad v Maharaj (2018) (judicial appointments of Supreme Court judges);
Seepersad v Ayers-Ceasar (2018) (interim constitutional remedies);
Central Broadcasting Services v A-G of Trinidad (2018) (damages for breach of freedom of expression);
Mohammed v Public Service Commission of Trinidad (2017) Privy Council (separation of powers);
Tayo v Charity Commission (2017) (discrimination);
Magyar Helsinki v Hungary (2016) (Art 10 and right of access to official information before Grand Chamber of European Court of Human Rights);
Kennedy v Charity Commission (2015) (Supreme Court- Freedom of Information, Art 10 and common law rights);

Local Government:

What Chambers and Partners say:
Particularly instructed for vires and procurement law matters- a “delightful and talented advocate.”
A “razor-sharp mind” and an “extremely accessible manner, he is never short of work.”
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”

Offshore and 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.

Richard is also instructed in Trinidad in a number of high profile cases. He has been instructed to lead for the defence in defamation proceeding brought by the Prime Minister of Trinidad against a senator arising out of his corruption allegations made in the Trinidad Parliament, is representing Wayne Sturge in contempt proceedings before the Trinidad Court of Appeal in December, 2018 is representing Commissioners in Trinidad to defend judicial review proceedings brought against the inquiry into Las Alturas Towers in Trinidad in February 2018 and acting in the allegedly unlawful cartel arrangement concerning several construction contracts on behalf of the former Minister.

Richard has been the United Kingdom representative to Venice Commission (Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional law) since 2011 is a member of its Executive 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 Romania and the rule of law crisis in Poland Malta and Slovakia.

Recent cases include;
A-G of Trinidad v Maharaj (2018) (judicial appointments of Supreme Court judges);
Seepersad v Ayers-Ceasar (2018) (interim constitutional remedies);
Central Broadcasting Services v A-G of Trinidad (2018) (damages for breach of freedom of expression);
Mohammed v Public Service Commission of Trinidad (2017) (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).

Richard’s cases before the European Court of Human Rights 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);
Liberty v United Kingdom (2009) (statutory scheme authorising telephone interception to and from UK breached Article 8).

Supreme Court, House of Lords and Privy Council Appeals

Maharaj v Petroleum Company of Trinidad (2019) (PC) (freedom of information)
The Commissioner of Police for Trinidad v Singh (2019) (PC) (discrimination)
A-G of Trinidad v Maharaj (2018) (PC) (judicial appointments of Supreme Court judges);
Seepersad v Ayers-Ceasar (2018) (PC) (interim constitutional remedies);
Central Broadcasting Services v A-G of Trinidad (2018) (PC) (damages for breach of freedom of expression);
Mohammed v Public Service Commission of Trinidad (2017) (PC) (separation of powers);
Kennedy v Charity Commission (2014) (SC) (Freedom of Information, Art 10 and common law rights);
Suratt v A-G of Trinidad (No 2) (2009) PC) (damages for breaching constitutional right to protection of the law);
Panday v Virgil (2008) (PC) (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) (PC) (anti-discrimination legislation constitutional, reversing Trinidad CA);
R(Huang) v SSHD (2007) (HL) (important case on proportionality principles);
Toussaint v A-G of St Vincent (2007) (PC) (right of access to the court and parliamentary privilege);
R (Greenfield) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2005) (HL) (Human Rights Act damages);
R (Smith) v Parole Board (2005) (HL) (common law fairness- but not Articles 5 and 6 ECHR- requires oral hearing);
BACONGO v Department of Environment No 2 (2004) (PC) (adequacy of environmental impact assessment);
BACONGO v Department of Environment (2003) (PC) (jurisdiction of PC to grant interim injunction in pending appeal);
A-G v Blake (2001) (HL) (confiscation of advance of royalties on autobiography- common law human rights, restitutionary damages, account).

Memberships

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 (Crown Court);
Bencher, Middle Temple;
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.

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:
“Why Rights Matter” (Oxford University Press, forthcoming);
‘Practice and Procedure at Industrial Tribunals (Legal Action, 1988).

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