Law Pod UK Ep. 149: Closed Material Procedures with Angus McCullough QC - Sep 2021
Described as “a brilliant and balanced advocate” and being “exceptionally bright, able, independent-minded and thorough“, Angus is recognised as one of the leading QCs 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 QC 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.Public Law
An esteemed public law silk, he is renowned for his adept handling of SIAC work, which often centres on national security matters. He routinely acts for both claimants and the government in complex, high-profile cases.
- Shamima Begum: SIAC appeal against deprivation of British citizenship, as widely reported having left UK as a 15 year old to join ISIS.
- A & ors v Home Secretary (2020): Challenge to the refusal to deproscribe the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) them as a terrorist organisation.
- Campaign Against the Arms Trade v Secretary of State for International Development  EWCA Civ 1020: Challenge to the Government's licensing of arms sales to Saudi Arabia; Supreme Court Appeal pending.
- Saifullah v. Home Secretary (2020): Challenge to the adequacy of investigation into deaths of Afghans in the course of a raid by a UK Army unit in Afghanistan.
- Reprieve v Prime Minister (2020): Challenge to the decision not to hold a public inquiry into the UK’s alleged involvement in unlawful rendition and torture post 9/11.
- Privacy International v. Security Service (2020): Challenge to the policy for authorisation by MI5 for agents to participate in criminal activity.
- Re: Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson)  EWCA Crim 1856: acted as advocate to the court in the remitted contempt of court proceedings involving Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who is known for political purposes as Tommy Robinson.
- Rahmatullah v MoD and others  EWHC 547: Civil claim alleging mistreatment and unlawful transfer to US custody by UK state; acting as special advocate.
- R (MR) v SSHD  EWHC 469 (Admin): Challenge to cancellation of British passport.
- McGartland v SSHD  EWCA Civ 686: Consideration by CA of principles to be applied in permitting closed material procedure under s.6 of the Justice and Security Act 2013.
- Secretary of State for the Home Department v AF, AN and AE ("AF No.3")  UKHL 28.
- R (Baiai & Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  1 AC 287, House of Lords.
- Savage v South Essex Partnership NHS Trust  2 WLR 115, House of Lords.
- OO (Jordan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  2 WLR 512, House of Lords.
- R (Quila) v SSHD  1 AC 621, Supreme Court.
- Dallas v UK, ECtHR: Application to Strasbourg Court by juror imprisoned for contempt of court in researching case on the internet.
He has extensive experience in conducting claims of the highest value and complexity, including obstetrics and fetal medicine, neonatal management, neurosurgery, management of spinal injuries, infectious diseases (including TB and meningitis), and anaesthetics.
Angus recently secured a settlement of nearly £5m plus annual sums for brain injury at birth, as reported here.
- H v. A and others (2020): Represented NHS England in a test case concerning a primary trust's non-delegable duty of care providing treatment in an out of hours centre.
- ICX v. NHS Trust (2020): Acted for Trust in claim brought by second twin for brain injury sustained at birth.
- SWM v. NHS Trust (2020): Complex wrongful birth claim arising from failure of antenatal diagnosis.
- BBB v. King’s Lynn (2020): Acted for Claimant in high value claim concerning brain injury which led to challenging behaviour.
- Bolitho v City & Hackney Health Authority (CA).
- Savage v South Essex Partnership NHS Trust  2 WLR 115, House of Lords.
- Plampin v Havering NHS PCT  EWHC 39, Forbes J.
- Holt v Edge  EWCA Civ 602, CA.
- EW v Johnson  EWHC 276 (QB): Claim against GP alleging fail-ure to refer child with pneumococcal meningitis.
- EXP v Barker  EWHC 1289: Alleged failure to identify vascular abnormality in MRI brain scan.
- McGuinn v Lewisham & Greenwich NHST  EWHC 88 (QB): 'Wrongful birth’ claim; failure to refer for further investigation and advice in relation to antenatal abnormalities.
- Winspear v City Hospitals Sunderland NHSFT  EWHC 3250 (QB): Human rights claim arising out of ‘do not attempt cardio-pulmonary resuscitation order.'
Angus is experienced at handling high profile inquests and public inquiries, often involving sensitive or confidential information.
Angus has long experience of acting before regulatory panels, and on appeal, in particular on behalf of doctors and dentists. He also frequently advises representative bodies on regulatory and policy issues (recent examples being tooth whitening, fluoride varnish, eye laser surgery, and entry onto specialist lists).
- R (Shiekh) v General Dental Council  EWHC 2972 (Admin): Termination of a suspension order.
- Dad v General Dental Council  1 WLR 1538, Privy Council: Successful appeal against sanction to the Privy Council on behalf of dentist.
- Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee: 5 cases - 2009/10: Appeared in the UN in Geneva on behalf of the UK Government.
- United Utilities Water Plc v Environment Agency  1 WLR 2707, House of Lords.
- R (Greenpeace) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs  Env LR 19: Challenge to the Defra's measures to tackle the problem of dolphin bycatch in pair trawling.
- Environment Agency v Inglenorth Ltd  EWHC 670 (Admin) Divisional Court: Concerning the meaning of 'waste'.
- Redfern Inquiry: Represented one of the principal nuclear industry bodies.
Angus is a qualified Arbitrator and member of the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Arbitration Service (PIcARBS). He also has long experience of mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution, and is available for appointment as a Mediator.
Sutton Trust Pathways to Law Insight Week: Imposter Syndrome - Apr 2021
Supreme Court rules Shamima Begum will not be allowed to return to the UK - Feb 2021
Supreme Court hears Shamima Begum’s case with Angus McCullough QC acting as Special Advocate - Nov 2020
Undercover Policing Inquiry’s hearings begin today - Nov 2020
Shamima Begum allowed to return to the UK for her SIAC appeal against withdrawal of citizenship - Jul 2020
Court of Appeal hears Shamima Begum’s appeal against withdrawal of British Citizenship - Jun 2020
Challenge to PM’s decision not to hold an independent inquiry into allegations of UK involvement in rendition and torture - Jun 2020
SIAC hands down judgment in the first stage of Shamima Begum’s appeal over citizenship - Feb 2020
Angus McCullough QC represents young boy who recovered nearly £5m plus annual sums for brain injury at birth - Dec 2019
Angus McCullough QC and Shaheen Rahman QC have tackled the question: ‘Disclosure in Closed Material Proceedings: What Has to Be Revealed?’ - Nov 2019
Angus McCullough QC acts as a Special Advocate for Shamima Begum - Oct 2019
Judgment handed down in CAAT appeal over the licensing of UK-produced arms and military equipment for sale to Saudi Arabia - Jun 2019
Six members of chambers participate in Inner Temple outreach events - Apr 2019
Angus McCullough QC appears in Court of Appeal in CAAT appeal over the licensing of UK-produced arms and military equipment for sale to Saudi Arabia - Apr 2019
Angus McCullough QC appointed advocate to the court in Tommy Robinson’s remitted contempt of court proceedings - Oct 2018
Court of Appeal grants permission to appeal for a Judicial Review of licensing of UK Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia - May 2018
The Times reports on Chambers extremism cases - Jun 2017
Martin Downs in new Radicalisation Judgment about protecting older children and vulnerable adults - Apr 2017
Marina Wheeler QC in Public Interest Immunity & Radicalisation case - Apr 2017
Angus McCullough QC Acts As Special Advocate in Judicial Review of licensing of UK Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia - Feb 2017
Angus McCullough QC and Matthew Donmall appear in civil claim arising out of attempted murder in Kyrgyz Republic - Sep 2016
Angus McCullough QC qualifies as an arbitrator - Jun 2016
Control order upheld following rehearing - May 2016
Angus McCullough QC in Article 7 European Court of Human Rights case - Feb 2016
3 members listed in Who’s Who Legal 2016 - Feb 2016
Seminar – Public Law in an Age of Austerity - May 2015
Angus McCullough QC in non delegable duty of care case brought against the Home Office - Apr 2015
Human Rights Blog reaches final of the UK Blog Awards 2015 - Dec 2014
Martin Downs and Jacqueline Roach appeared in the case of “E” - Jan 2014
Angus McCullough QC is acting as Advocate to the Court (‘Amicus’) in the trial of Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson & Others - Dec 2013
Ten 1COR members and our Chambers Academic have contributed to the 3rd Edition of “Burnett-Hall on Environmental Law” - Feb 2013
Angus McCullough QC acted as Special Advocate in Abu Qatada’s deportation proceedings - Nov 2012
Angus McCullough QC appeared as special advocate in the case of Omar - Jul 2012
Angus McCullough QC is acting as Special Advocate in Abu Qatada’s deportation proceedings - May 2012
Angus McCullough QC giving evidence on the Justice and Security Green Paper to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights - Jan 2012
Angus McCullough QC is acting as special advocate for Abu Qatada in his applications for habeas corpus and bail - Jan 2012
Angus McCullough QC special advocate for Russian cleared of spying in deportation case - Nov 2011
Supreme Court finds against the Home Office on forced marriages - Oct 2011
Angus McCullough QC special advocate for MP’s Russian assistant in deportation case - Oct 2011
Angus McCullough QC appeared with the Solicitor General in the widely reported Facebook juror contempt case - Jun 2011
Angus McCullough QC and Andrea Lindsay Strugo in first live streamed human rights Supreme Court case - Jun 2011
Our Human Rights Blog shortlisted for JUSTICE Human Rights Award - Nov 2010
Angus McCullough QC appeared as Special Advocate for appellant in controversial appeal against deportation of terror suspects - May 2010
Angus McCullough gives evidence to the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights on the special advocate system - Feb 2010