‘A brilliant advocate who is really highly skilled and experienced in very challenging cases, and whose work is simply masterful.’
Chambers and Partners 2020
Rory is recommended by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners in six practice areas: administrative and public law, professional discipline and regulatory law, data protection, immigration and education.
Before taking silk, Rory spent 12 years on the Attorney General’s panels, including 4 years on the A panel. Rory has acted in over thirty cases in the Court of Appeal, five in the Supreme Court and more than a hundred in the High Court. He is the co-author of the Oxford University Press textbook, Detention Under the Immigration Acts: Law and Practice and he wrote the chapter on appeals and judicial review in the 8th and 9th editions of the LexisNexis textbook, Disciplinary and Regulatory Proceedings.
‘An extremely generous and courteous opponent and a committed and hard-fighting litigant.’ (Chambers and Partners 2020)
‘His practice is mostly on the government side but he’s equally good at acting for claimants. He’s thorough, reliable, easy to work with and extremely proficient.’ (Chambers and Partners 2020)
‘He is responsive, practical, and sees the big picture’ (Legal 500)
‘He is extremely well prepared and is a fair and honourable counsel.’ (Legal 500)
‘He knows the law backwards and forwards and can be trusted to present it entirely straight’ (Legal 500)
‘A charming and persuasive advocate’ (Legal 500)
‘An extremely effective and tenacious claimant lawyer whose government experience really gives him an edge.’ (Legal 500)
Rory is recommended for administrative and public law by Legal 500. He has a wide range of experience in administrative & public law generally across several fields, not just immigration and regulatory law but also prison law, healthcare, mental health and community care. He acts for individuals, Government departments and other public authorities, including local authorities and Primary Care Trusts.
‘Particularly useful in anything with an angle on immigration.’ (Chambers and Partners 2020)
‘Responsive, practical and sees the big picture.’ (Chambers and Partners 2020)
‘He is well versed on the case law and the aspects of the GMC appeal process. His advocacy is excellent, logical and easy to follow.’ (Chambers and Partners 2020)
‘A formidable class act’ (Legal 500 2020)
‘Responsive, practical and sees the bigger picture.’ (Legal 500)
‘He appears in regulatory judicial tribunals covering health and education’ (Legal 500)
Rory is recommended for professional discipline and regulatory law by Legal 500. He is on the GMC’s panel and has frequently represented and advised both regulators and registrants in High Court appeals and judicial reviews. He has acted for and against the Solicitors Regulation Authority in the High Court and SDT in numerous high profile cases, including the prosecution of Kamran Akram, the CEO of Asons. He has appeared for the Secretary of State for Education (and, before it was abolished, the General Teaching Council for England) in more than ten High Court appeals against decisions to prohibit teachers. He has also represented the National Health Services Litigation Authority, the Commission for Social Care Inspection (as it then was), the Care Quality Commission, the Pensions Regulator, Primary Care Trusts, dentists, pharmacists, psychotherapists, teachers, biomedical scientists and nurses in judicial reviews, High Court appeals and professional conduct proceedings. He wrote the chapter on appeals and judicial review in the 8th and 9th editions of the LexisNexis textbook, Disciplinary and Regulatory Proceedings. Recently Rory appeared for the GMC in GMC v Hayat, the leading Court of Appeal authority on whether evidence of ill-health requires professional disciplinary tribunals to adjourn a hearing.
‘Advances his client’s case with flare and charisma’ (Legal 500)
‘Always ready to help, has extensive knowledge of the Home Office practice and gives very practical advice.’ (Chambers & Partners)
‘He is a fair and honourable counsel in an area that can often be tense and confrontational.’ (Legal 500)
‘He is very good and his advocacy is very clear’ (Chambers & Partners)
‘He is well organised and a pleasure to work with, as well as a fair and straightforward opponent.’ (Legal 500)
‘He is extremely reliable, conscientious and easy to work with.’ (Chambers & Partners)
‘He brings an exceptionally keen intellect to his work.’ (Chambers & Partners)
‘He has an exceptional grasp of unlawful detention issues.’ (Legal 500)
‘Very knowledgeable’ (Legal 500)
Rory has been recommended, since 2011, by Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as an expert in the field of immigration. He has appeared in over 30 immigration appeals in the Court of Appeal. He has advised and represented the government in many of the key cases concerning immigration detention and Article 8 and deportation.
Unusually, Rory acts both for and against the Home Office. He has represented Claimants and Appellants in numerous judicial reviews and appeals to the Court of Appeal concerning the refusal of fresh claims, immigration detention, refugee family reunion and various other areas. He is an expert in sponsor licensing and the Points Based System, having appeared in several of the leading cases concerning the revocation and suspension of sponsor licences. He regularly advises licensed sponsors on their obligations under Home Office guidance. He is also the co-author of Detention under the Immigration Acts: Law and Practice (OUP), the leading text book on immigration detention, which Lord Dyson described as ‘an essential addition to the library of anyone who practises in the field of the law of immigration.’
‘A brilliant advocate who is really highly skilled and experienced in very challenging cases, and whose work is simply masterful.’ (Chambers & Partners 2020)
‘He’s very smooth and unruffled, and he knows exactly how to put a difficult case forward.’ (Chambers & Partners 2020)
‘His elevation to silk is unsurprising as he is very strong intellectually, has a great eye for detail and is an outstanding advocate.’ (Legal 500 2020)
‘Very able and knowledgeable about information rights, he is tenacious and great at arguing difficult points.’ (Chambers & Partners)
‘He produces fantastic advocacy, and is very clever and forensic in his approach.’ (Chambers & Partners )
‘He is very competent in this area, with considerable experience.’ (Legal 500)
‘He’s a pleasure to work with: both clever and persuasive.’ (Chambers & Partners)
‘He’s a lovely chap who is very civilised and sensible, and very pragmatic.’ (Chambers & Partners)
‘An excellent advocate, who is highly intelligent and persuasive’ (Legal 500)
‘Highly respected junior with a broad-ranging practice in data protection and information law.’ (Chambers & Partners)
‘Calm under pressure, client-friendly and clever.’ (Chambers & Partners)
‘His written advocacy is excellent and his oral advocacy in the face of some hostile judges was very calm, cool and collected.’ (Chambers & Partners)
‘He is very experienced, measured and persuasive. A pleasure to work with and to be against.’ (Chambers and Partners)
‘A good advocate and a sensible opponent.’ (Chambers & Partners)
‘A confident and fluent advocate with an honest, straightforward style.’ (Legal 500)
‘Gets the right results’ (Legal 500)
Rory is recommended as an expert in Information Rights and Data Protection in both The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners (where he was ranked in Band 1 for juniors before taking silk). He frequently advises and represents public authorities and data controllers in relation to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Environmental Information Regulations 2011 and the GDPR. He often appears in appeals to the First-tier and Upper Tribunal against decisions of the Information Commissioner. Recently Rory appeared in the Court of Appeal in DFT v ICO & Henney, the leading case on how to answer requests for ‘mixed information’ that falls under both the EIR and FOIA.
‘A very good advocate’ (Chambers and Partners 2020)
‘His advocacy is always well prepared and reasonable.’ (Chambers and Partners)
Rory is recommended in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for Education. He has appeared for the Secretary of State for Education (and, before it was abolished, the General Teaching Council for England) in more than ten High Court appeals against decisions to prohibit teachers. He has also appeared on behalf of teachers in professional conduct proceedings.
He has also acted in judicial reviews and appeals against decisions concerning children with Special Educational Needs and school closures. He was lead counsel for the Department for Education in a recent judicial review of the Government’s policy of providing free full-time childcare for the children of working parents.
Rory has a particular expertise in human rights law – he worked for nine months at the European Court of Human Rights, drafting judgments and decisions in numerous British and Irish cases, and lectured on behalf of the Council of Europe and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Strasbourg, Armenia and Azerbaijan. He has also advised in relation to constitutional claims in jurisdictions with constitutions similar to the European Convention on Human Rights, for example the Turks and Caicos Islands. He represented the government in many of the leading Court of Appeal cases concerning Article 8. He has also appeared in numerous inquests where he has advised and made representations on the effect of Article 2. He is currently second counsel for the Secretary of State in AM (Zimbabwe) v SSHD, a Supreme Court case which will decide whether to follow, and how to interpret Paposhvili v Belgium – i.e. when it breaches Article 3 to return a seriously ill person to a country where they will not receive the same medical treatment.
Rory has represented clients in the health sector across a range of disciplines: in relation to FOIA requests, the GDPR; in bringing and defending judicial reviews; in regulatory proceedings etc. For example, he has represented the Secretary of State for Health and Clinical Commissioning Groups in judicial reviews concerning hospital reconfigurations. He also acted for the NHS Commissioning Board and the GMC in FOIA appeals. He also regularly advises GPs and other health care professionals on their obligations under the GDPR.
House of Lords/Supreme Court
Court of Appeal