Clare Wade, Sonali Naik, Amanda Weston and Brenda Campbell to be appointed Queen's Counsel

Thursday 21 December 2017

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to announce that Clare Wade, Sonali Naik, Amanda Weston and Brenda Campbell will be appointed Queen's Counsel in February 2018.

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This outstanding achievement for these tenants reflects the multi-disciplinary expertise of Garden Court Chambers encompassing criminal defence, public law, immigration, civil liberties, community care, Court of Protection and inquests.

Clare Wade (1990)

Clare is experienced in all areas of criminal law and has represented clients in all areas of crime from offences such as armed robbery, kidnap and murder to trident missile protesters and children on trial in the Crown Court. She has a particular interest in abused women who have killed their violent partners and she regularly advises on appeals against conviction.

She was at the Law Commission between 2003 and 2010, where she worked on proposals for reform of the law on murder, statutory conspiracy and unfitness to plead. Since returning full-time to private practice in 2010, she has focused on cases involving vulnerable defendants and witnesses (including those who are profoundly deaf), at both trial and appellate level. She has written and lectured on special measures for deaf witnesses and fitness to plead, and is a contributor to Blackstone’s Criminal Practice 2016.

Sonali Naik (1991)

Sonali has worked for over 25 years as a barrister and is a true leader in her fields of specialism of public law, immigration and asylum. Within these areas she has built a diverse practice covering human rights, lawfulness of detention, national security, naturalisation and the operation of policy. A large amount of Sonali’s work concerns strategic litigation, requiring considerable skill in evidential analysis, creative and innovative thinking and written and oral persuasion. Many of Sonali’s cases concern very vulnerable clients and involve highly complex, sensitive and difficult issues, often requiring urgent action due to the circumstances of the case.

Sonali’s work has helped to shape and develop the law and includes work for asylum-seeking children, victims of rape and torture and refugees from the former “Calais Jungle”. Recent test cases have included HN(Afghanistan) concerning the approach to safety of returns and proper implementation of the memorandum of understanding between the UK and Afghan governments; and R(Kiarie; Byndloss) v SSHD concerning the proper limits of the “deport first, appeal later” certification regime intervening for Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) and the Supreme Court judgment in Hysaj concerning the unlawful application of the nullity doctrine in British nationality cases.

Sonali formerly worked in the NGO sector, is a Board  member of Liberty, Freedom from Torture and sits on the Advisory Council of  JUSTICE.

Amanda Weston (1995)

Amanda is a leading Public Law barrister with an outstanding track record in complex, sensitive and contentious judicial review in a broad range of fields including minority and disability discrimination and civil liberties, community care and Court of Protection, prisoners’ rights, national security and unlawful detention, citizenship and statelessness, and immigration and asylum. She also takes on Inquiry work and advises on international and European public law matters.

Amanda has been at the forefront of developing legal strategies in uncharted areas of law. Ground breaking cases include L1, deprivation of British citizenship and abuse of power; Neary, unlawful deprivation of liberty of a young autistic man; Whiston, release of prisoners on home detention curfew, and Taylor, an Article 3 challenge to G4S’ policy of using handcuffs on prisoners undergoing cancer treatment.

Amanda is ranked in four categories in Chambers and Partners as an expert in her field.  Commentators describe her as “brilliant” legally and tactically, and she is renowned for being extremely bright, tenacious and determined to win the fight.

She is co-author of the accessible practitioner text 'Judicial Review: A Practical Guide', the current edition of which has recently been published by Lexis Nexis.

Brenda Campbell (2002)

Brenda Campbell has a very busy and varied practice in all areas of criminal law and inquests.

Brenda is regularly instructed to defend in the most serious of allegations. She is regularly instructed in high profile and complex criminal cases or to act on behalf of vulnerable defendants. In 2016, she represented Seamus Daly, who was accused of 29 murders and associated offences relating to the Omagh Bomb in 1998. Following her cross-examination of a key witness in the Magistrates’ Court, the prosecution sought an adjournment to review, and ultimately withdrew, all charges.

She is also regularly instructed to represent families in Article 2 inquests. She has particular expertise representing families in complex, historic inquests in England and Wales and legacy inquests in Northern Ireland. Between 2013 and 2016, Brenda was part of a team of counsel who represented the families of 77 of those who died in the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster. Brenda directly represented the families of 14 of those who were unlawfully killed and reports of her cross examination were covered by the BBC.

These new Queen's Counsel appointments will bring the total number of Garden Court silks to 24. They will formally become silks when they make their declaration before the Lord Chancellor at the ceremony on 26th February 2018.

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