Described as “a brilliant and balanced advocate” and being “exceptionally bright, able, independent-minded and thorough“, Angus is recognised as one of the leading KCs at the Bar across a range of different legal fields, with a particular strength in written and oral advocacy. In the Legal 500 2021 guide, clients described Angus 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 9 cases before the House of Lords / Privy Council / Supreme Court.

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 in personal injury and clinical negligence disputes, bringing his extensive experience acting for both sides in the field to facilitate 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.
  • ‘Third Direction’: Challenge brought by Privacy International and others to the regime for authorising participation in crime by MI5 agents; appeal to the Court of Appeal due in 2021.
  • ‘Bulk Data’: Judicial review brought by Privacy International of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal decision in relation to arrangements for sharing by GCHQ of bulk datasets with foreign agencies; hearing due in 2021
  • 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; appeal to the Supreme Court withdrawn in 2020, with challenge to re-taken licensing decision pending.
  • 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
  • Sarkandi and McGartland: First two appeals against closed procedures ordered under s.6 of the Justice and Security Act 2013

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 where he was President of the Oxford Union. 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.

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