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Steven Kovats KC

“He instils clients with confidence from the outset.” Chambers & Partners

Steven Kovats KC is a public law specialist who, prior to taking silk, was on the Attorney General's A Panel for civil litigation. Steven's practice covers all aspects of public law. His clients include central and local government and other public bodies as well as private persons. He has particular expertise in immigration law, criminal justice and human rights and he has acted in high profile cases in all these areas, including 13 cases in the House of Lords or Supreme Court, over 75 cases in the Court of Appeal, as well as cases in Luxembourg and Strasbourg. He appears regularly in courts and tribunals at all levels.


House of Lords & Supreme Court Cases

  • R (Noone) v Secretary of State for Justice [2010] UKSC 30 1 WLR 1743 (prisons)
  • R (G) v Southwark LBC [2009] UKHL 26 [2009] 1 WLR 1299 (children)
  • R (James, Lee, Walker) v Ministry of Justice [2009] UKHL 22 [2010] 1 AC 553 (prisons)
  • ZT (Kosovo) v Home Secretary [2009] UKHL 6 [2009] 1 WLR 348 (immigration)
  • Chikwamba v Home Secretary [2008] UKHL 40 [2008] 1 WLR 1420 (immigration)
  • R (Clift) v Home Secretary [2006] UKHL 54 [2007] 1 AC 484 (prisons)
  • R v Longworth [2006] UKHL 1 [2006] 1 WLR 313 (sentencing)
  • R (R) v Durham Constabulary [2005] UKHL 21 [2005] 1 WLR 1184 (sentencing)
  • R (Green) v Police Complaints Authority [2004] UKHL 6 [2004] 1 WLR 725 (disclosure)
  • R (Daly) v Home Secretary [2001] UKHL 26 [2001] 2 AC 532 (prisons)
  • R v Home Secretary ex p Simms [2000] 2 AC 115 (prisons)
  • R v Home Secretary ex p Francois [1999] 1 AC 43 (sentencing)
  • R v Gloucestershire County Council ex p Barry [1997] AC 584 (community care)

European Cases

  • C-357/98 R v Home Secretary ex p Yiadom [2000] ECR I-9265 (immigration)
  • C-268/99 Jany v Staatssecretaris van Justitie [2001] ECR I-8615 (immigration)
  • C-235/99 R v Home Secretary ex p Kondova [2001] ECR I-6427 (immigration)
  • Bensaid v UK [2001] 33 EHRR 205 (immigration)
  • Szuluk v UK (2009) 50 EHRR 227 (prisons)
  • Clift v UK, application 7205/07 (2010) (prisons)
  • Nilsen v UK, application 36882/05 (2010) (prisons)

Significant Cases

  • R (Tigere) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills [2014] EWCA Civ 1216 (student loans)
  • R (Miranda) v Home Secretary [2014] 1 WLR 3140 (DC) (terrorism)
  • R (Bancoult) v Foreign Secretary (No.3) [2014] 1 WLR 2921 (CA) (marine protected area)


Steven is recommended in Chambers and Partners 2014 for Administrative and Public Law and Immigration Law.


“He has all bases covered. He is all over the detail, from the high level to the minutiae. He has great presence in court. Clients love him.” “Concise and to the point. Judges like him because he doesn’t take points without merit.” Chambers and Partners 2017

“A top performer in administrative and public law, with unrivalled experience” The Legal 500 2016

“He’s very impressive, highly intellectual but also to the point. He doesn’t waste a single word.” “His intellect and the quality of his paperwork is impressive.” Chambers and Partners 2016

“Highly experienced” Legal 500 2015 

“He is absolutely outstanding and a dream counsel. He is exceptionally bright and knowledgeable, and manages to produce beautiful written submissions in breathtakingly short amounts of time, while his advocacy is eloquent and inspires confidence.” Chambers and Partners 2015

“Steven has been very helpful and responsive in relation to our work. He does not hesitate to give very firm views in a short timeframe.” “His written work is very clear, elegant and persuasive. The judges are already half-convinced by his paperwork before you get into court.” Chambers and Partners 2015

“Always very reliable.” The Legal 500 2014

“He is very impressive. He has real authority and gravitas in court.” Chambers and Partners 2014

“A very robust advocate.” Chambers and Partners 2014

“He instils clients with confidence from the outset.” Chambers and Partners 2014