11th December 2020

Meet the Speakers

  • Sir Patrick Elias

    (Former judge of the Court of Appeal)

    Sir Patrick Elias QC was a judge of the Court of Appeal between 2009 and 2017. Prior to that he was President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal from January 2006 to December 2008; he had been a judge of the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, since 1999. He was educated at Cardiff High School, the University of Exeter and King’s College, Cambridge, where he took a PhD. Between 1973 and 1984 he was a fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and from 1975 to 1984 was a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, teaching a variety of subjects, specialising in particular in labour law.  He wrote extensively in that field, including a book on internal trade union law. He was called to the Bar, Inner Temple in 1973, took up practice in 1983 and became a QC in 1990.

  • James Maurici QC

    (Landmark Chambers)

    James Maurici QC was called to the Bar in 1996. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2013. He has appeared in a number of high profile public law cases including: R (Shoesmith) v Ofsted and Others [2011] P.T.S.R. 1459; R (Bradley) v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions [2009] Q.B. 114; Livingstone v Adjudication Panel for England [2006] H.R.L.R. 45; R v Bow Street Magistrate, ex p. Pinochet (No. 2) [2000] 1 A.C. 119 and the Alconbury litigation [2003] 2 A.C. 295. James is currently acting for the Government on six judicial reviews brought in relation to the Airports NPS which supports a third runway at Heathrow. James has particular experience in cases involving the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and other public sector ombudsmen. James was a founder of Judicial Review (Taylor & Francis) with Michael Fordham QC in 1996 and acted as assistant editor and then co-editor for over 20 years. He is now a consultant editor.

  • The Hon Sir Michael Fordham

    (High Court Judge)

    Mike Fordham is a High Court Judge. He was formerly a barrister and QC, was Human Rights Lawyer of the Year and winner of the Bar Pro Bono Award. He was also College Lecturer in Administrative Law at Hertford College Oxford and Visiting Fellow of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law. He writes the Judicial Review Handbook (7th edition 2020). He is President of St Albans Hockey Club and likes canal towpaths.

  • Professor Charlotte O’Brien

    (University of York)

    Charlotte O’Brien is a Professor of law at York Law School, in the University of York. She specialises in EU social law, UK welfare law, public law, human rights and children’s rights. She is the Principal Investigator on the EU Rights and Brexit Hub, a major ESRC-funded legal action research project, investigating and challenging the obstacles that EU nationals face when accessing public services in the UK. Having studied social and political sciences, she came to the law through Citizens Advice, and has over fourteen years’ experience of volunteering and working in CA offices, as well as having directed York Law School’s clinic. Her last project involved advising and representing EU national Citizens Advice clients, and led to the publication (with Hart) of ‘Unity in Adversity: EU citizenship, social justice and the cautionary tale of the UK’, which was shortlisted for the BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed Prize for ethnography, and won the Sociolegal Studies Association 2019 best book prize.

  • Professor Alison L Young

    (University of Cambridge)

    Alison L Young is the Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law at Cambridge and a Fellow of Robinson College. She mostly researches in public law, looking in particular at constitutional law and the constitutional impact of Brexit. She is the author of Parliamentary Sovereignty and the Human Rights Act, and Democratic Dialogue and the Constitution and recently co-edited, with Liz Fisher and Jeff King, The Foundation and Futures of Public Law, a collection of essays in honour of Paul Craig.

  • Alastair Sutton

    (Brick Court Chambers)

    Alastair Sutton was called to the Bar in 1972, whilst teaching international and EC law at University College London. He was one of the first British officials in the European Commission in 1973 and, for 12 years (including 5 in the Tokyo Delegation of the Commission) negotiated trade agreements for the EC, bilaterally and in the GATT (now the WTO), in textiles, automobiles, electronics and machinery. In the Delors Commission, Alastair was legal advisor to Commission Vice President Lord Cockfield during the launch of the EU’s Single Market project and then head of insurance under Vice President Sir Leon Brittan. In 1989, Alastair was a founding partner of the specialist EU law firm, Forrester, Norall and Sutton, which merged with the global law firm White and Case in 1989. Alastair was a partner at White and Case until his retirement in 2010, when he resumed his career at the Bar at Brick Court Chambers. He was called to the Brussels Bar in 2019 and continues to practice EU and international economic law in Brussels and London. Since 2016, the EU, UK and international legal issues in the Brexit process have been an important part of Alastair’s practice and writings.

  • Clive Sheldon QC


    Clive Sheldon QC specialises in public law and employment law, with particular expertise on the cross-over between these two areas of law. Clive appears regularly in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.  He represented the Secretary of State for Health and Social care in the recent case brought by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service to clarify the abortion time limit ([2020] 1 WLR 3240). Clive represented the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in the recent “benefit cap” case in the Supreme Court: DA [2019] UKSC 21; and represented the London Borough of Haringey in Moseley the leading case on the principles for a lawful consultation: [2014] UKSC 56. Clive is currently instructed by the Football Association to carry out a review into non-recent child sex abuse in football. Clive sits part-time in the Administrative Court as a Deputy High Court judge.

  • Aidan O’Neill QC

    (Matrix Chambers)

    Aidan O’Neill QC is a barrister and Queen’s Counsel in both England and Scotland (“double silk”).   He is a member of Matrix Chambers, London and of Ampersand, Edinburgh.  He is ranked among the top ten counsel in the UK in terms of number of appearances before the UK Supreme Court.