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Colin Thomann KC

“This Colin is phenomenally hard working, has a colossal intellect, good judgment and is a true team player” -The Legal 500, 2024

Colin’s practice spans public law, environmental, personal injury and employment law matters. He has a particular interest in cross-border issues arising in these fields. 

He has been appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of counsel and has extensive experience of acting for claimants and defendants in the higher courts in civil and public law matters. 

Colin has interest in information law as well as acting in appeals concerning decision of the Information Commissioner. He has provided expert evidence on UK data information law in the context of foreign proceedings and has had conduct of a series of matters in the International Labour Organization Tribunal, Geneva.

More recently, Colin acted in a series of Country Guidance determinations in the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) concerning Sudan, Iran, Albania and Iraq, and an inquest concerning the impact of air pollution, and a lead appeal concerning the deployment of fraud in the context of secure English language tests. 

Colin is a co-author of Doherty’s Accidents Abroad: International Personal Injury Claims and completed a Pegasus Scholarship at the European Court of Human Rights.

Areas of expertise

Public Law

The emphasis of Colin’s public law practice is upon the areas of regulatory, prisons and immigration matters, and public law actions concerning the environment. 

Cases of note

  • Arogundade v Secretary of State for Business, Environment and Skills [2013] EWCA Civ 823] - Judicial review action concerning the construction of the qualification criteria for assistance under the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2009.
  • R (ST & anr) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [[2021] EWHC 1085 (Admin)] - Judicial review action challenging the operation of the ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy on discrimination and other grounds.
  • R (Dixon) v Secretary of State for Justice [[2017] EWCA Civ 961] - Application for judicial review concerning the timing of reviews of the parole. Whether a finding of culpable delay mandated a damages award under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Lewis, R (on the application of) v HM Coroner for the Mid and North Division of the County of Shropshire & Anor [2009] EWCA Civ 1403 - This appeal concerned the scope for the coroner to leave to the jury non-causative matters.

Environmental Law

Colin acted in a series of actions concerning the Habitats Regulations, and has a particular interest in regulatory and civil actions concerning pollution.

Cases of note

  • Inquest Touching the Death of Ella Roberta Adoo Kissi Debrah - Colin acted as junior counsel for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Department for Transport (DfT) and Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
  • R (RSPB) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [2015] EWCA Civ 227- Judicial review of the decision of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to direct Natural England to give BAE Systems consent for the culling of lesser black-backed gulls and further measures.
  • Edwards v Environment Agency and ors [2008] UKHL 22 - The House of Lords considered a challenge to the issue of a permit for the operations in conjunction with the Rugby cement works.
  • Akester & anr v Defra & Wightlink [2010] EWHC 232 (Admin), [2010] Env LR 33 - Challenge to permits granted by Wightlink concerning the operation of ferries on routes between the mainland and the Isle of Wight. 

Personal Injury

The emphasis of Colin’s personal injury practice is upon claims concerning cross-border and environmental matters. He is currently instructed in a number of personal injury claims arising from a fire at HMP Isle of Wight.

Cases of note

  • Owusu v Jackson [ECLI:EU:C:2005:120] - Grand Chamber, European Court of Justice. Preliminary reference concerning the scope of the jurisdiction with respect to forum non conveniens where a defendant is domiciled in a Brussels Regulation state


“A conscientious barrister who is understated but produces the highest-quality work.” Chambers and Partners 2022

“His knowledge of German and of European civil law generally is particularly helpful.” The Legal 500 2022

“He is an excellent advocate; always good in court and in conference.” The Legal 500, 2021

“An exceptionally bright and thoughtful specialist.” The Legal 500, 2021

“Hardworking and reliable, a clear thinker with extremely good legal knowledge.” The Legal 500, 2020

“An extremely reliable and hardworking senior junior, who provides sound tactical sense and great client skills.” The Legal 500 2018