“a brilliant and balanced advocate”

“quite simply brilliant; he is incisive, erudite and immensely knowledgeable, with a practical approach to litigation”

“a phenomenal brain … incredibly effective and his capacity for work is just unstinting.  He is calm and in control, and inspires complete confidence”

Angus is recognised as one of the leading KCs at the Bar across a range of different fields, with a particular strength in written and oral advocacy. He is recognised as “undoubtedly the leading Special Advocate – the silk of choice in any national security or fair trial issue.”

Angus McCullough KC has extensive experience in matters of public and private law on behalf of individuals, private bodies, Government departments, and other public bodies. He has been appointed to act as amicus curiae (advocate to the court) on many occasions, including in the phone hacking trial of R v Rebekah Brooks et al and committal proceedings against Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson). He has appeared in the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, as well as representing the UK Government at the UN in Geneva and in European Court of Human Rights in proceedings in Strasbourg. He has acted in 10 cases before the House of Lords / Privy Council / Supreme Court.

In 2022-2023 Angus led the team of counsel acting pro bono for UN High Commissioner for Refugees, acing as intervener in the challenge to the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, leading to the Supreme Court decision in November 2023.

He conducts medical claims of the highest value and complexity for both claimants and defendants. He won the Chambers and Partners award for personal injury and clinical negligence barrister of the year 2009, took silk in 2010, and medical law remains a major specialism. Angus is available to act as a mediator or arbitrator in personal injury and clinical negligence disputes, bringing his extensive experience acting for both sides in the field to achieve resolution. He also advises and appears in regulatory and disciplinary matters.

Angus has been instructed as the special advocate in some of the most high profile cases of recent years in the field of national security, and has been active in promoting understanding and debate in relation to closed material procedures.

Notable national security cases include:

  • Shamima Begum: Appeal against deprivation of British citizenship, in SIAC, the Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court.
  • Saifullah v. Home Secretary (2020-2022): Challenge to the adequacy of investigation into deaths of Afghans in the course of a raid by a UK Army unit in Afghanistan, leading to the Haddon-Cave Inquiry.
  • LTTE (‘Tamil Tigers’): Appeal against refusal of deproscription before Prescribed Organisations Appeals Commission; appeal allowed by POAC in October 2020.
  • CAAT: Challenge to UK licensing of arms sales to Saudi Arabia; Government’s appeal to the Supreme Court withdrawn in 2020.
  • Chagos Islanders Litigation (Bancoult et al): Appointed by the Divisional Court to act as Public Interest Immunity Advocate, 2018
  • Abu Qatada: Proceedings in various courts, including the House of Lords, against high profile Islamist preacher
  • Zatuliveter: Alleged Russian spy whose appeal against deportation was allowed
  • AF (No.3): House of Lords case considering requirements of fairness in control order proceedings
  • Al Rawi: Civil claim of Guantanamo detainees against the UK Government
  • Pham: Statelessness and deprivation of British citizenship

Contempt of Court is an area of specialist expertise. He has been instructed by the Attorney General in cases of press and juror contempt, including the ‘Facebook juror’ case, and the first contempt proceedings brought against a newspaper for an online publication. He was appointed as amicus in the phone hacking criminal trial of R v Rebekah Brooks and others, to advise the court in relation to reporting restrictions and costs. Angus represented the UK Government in Dallas v UK, in Strasbourg, a case of juror contempt.  He was also appointed as amicus in the committal proceedings in the Old Bailey against Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson).

Since its launch, he has been an editor of the UK Human Rights blog, which was set up and is maintained by members of 1 Crown Office Row. He also contributes to the Quarterly Medical Law Review (QMLR).

Before turning to law, Angus read Zoology at Oxford. He then worked in Zambia as a safari guide. He maintains his interest in natural history above and below water, and has co-authored various papers on butterflies and hoverflies in the Hebrides and Madeira. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and of the Linnean Society.  He was a trustee of Buglife (the invertebrate conservation charity) for 10 years, and remains a trustee of the Barristers’ Benevolent Association.

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