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Angus McCullough QC

Call:  1990 
QC: 2010


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 in his varied fields of practice.  In the current edition of Chambers Guide to the Bar he is recognised in silk as a leading expert in five fields. 

He was a member of the ‘A’ Panel of civil Treasury Counsel for 8 years, during which time he regularly appeared on matters of public and private law both on behalf of Government departments, other public bodies, and as amicus curiae before the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords, as well as representing the UK Government at the UN in Geneva and in ECtHR proceedings in Strasbourg.  He has appeared in 8 cases before the House of Lords / Privy Council / Supreme Court. He won the Chambers and Partners award for personal injury and clinical negligence barrister of the year 2009, and took silk in 2010. 

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.

As well as his appearances acting for the Government, 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. These include:  Abu Qatada; 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) and Pham (statelessness and deprivation of British citizenship).  

Notable cases in 2015-2016 include 

-    Appointed to act as amicus curiae (Advocate to the Court) in the phone hacking trial (R v. Rebekah Brooks and others), to advise the Court in relation to reporting restrictions before and during the trial, and after the verdicts in relation to costs.

-    Appearing for the son of the former President of the Kyrgyz Republic, at trial successfully defending a claim brought by a British businessman who alleged that the defendant had organised his shooting in Bishkek:  Daley v. Bakiyev

-    Acting for a hospital in a claim brought challenging a ‘Do Not Attempt Resuscitation’ decision imposed on a mentally incapacitated patient on human rights grounds  Winspear v. City Hospitals Sunderland NHSFT

-     Appearing as Special Advocate in the first two cases before the Court of Appeal in relation to closed material procedures under the Justice and Security Act 2013, McGartland and Sarkandi

-    Acting as Special Advocate in various claims brought by Libyans against the British state, alleging serious wrong-doing by the Government (Kamoka et al).

-    Establishing the non-delegable duty of care owed by the Home Office to an immigration detainee at a removal centre run by a private contractor:  GB v. Home Office.

-  Successfully defending a claim brought against a GP on behalf of a child who went on to develop pneumococcal meningitis shortly after the relevant consultation:  EW v. Johnson

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. 

Before turning to law, Angus read Zoology at Oxford (where he was President of the Oxford Union), and then worked as a safari guide in Zambia.  He maintains his interest in natural history, including under water, and has published several papers about hoverflies and butterflies.

Main areas of practice:

•    Public and administrative law, including human rights

•    Healthcare law, including professional negligence

•    National Security

•    Regulatory and Disciplinary law

•    Contempt of Court

•    Immigration

•    Inquests and Public Inquiries

•    Environmental law


"He is a really imaginative lawyer. He spots very difficult points others would miss and then argues them effectively." "Exceptionally bright and adept at identifying issues immediately. He has an air of authority while remaining completely down-to-earth and is a pleasure to instruct."
Chambers UK 2017: Admin and Public Law

"He is very clever, with good analytical skills and pleasant to deal with." "He has a first-rate reputation and is known as one of two special advocates that everyone goes to."
Chambers UK 2016:  Admin and Public Law

"He is fantastic - he hones his submissions, and is a powerful advocate because he really thinks through what he's going to say." "He is the premier silk for closed material procedures. He's taken a real interest in the broader development of the law, and is a genuinely well-respected voice in that area." 
Chambers UK 2015: Admin and Public Law

"He's brilliant with the clients and highly incisive and intelligent." "He is incredibly clever, very astute and a fine advocate."
Chambers UK 2017: Clinical Negligence

“An eminent silk with experience of handling claims of the utmost severity …” “He is a brilliant and balanced advocate in absolute control of his material. Clients love him and feel that he is very much on their side. His advice is always sensible and to the point.” “Angus is a delight to work with. He pins his colours to the mast effectively.”
Chambers UK 2016, Clinical Negligence

"He's one of those consummate QCs who's both authoritative but also really helpful and approachable" Chambers UK 2015, Clinical Negligence

"He has an air of authority whilst remaining completely down to earth, and is a pleasure to work with." "He's really clued up on terrorism and fair trial questions."
Chambers UK 2017: Human Rights

“A multi-talented advocate and human rights specialist who enjoys a reputation at the forefront of the industry. He has extensive experience of handling complex cases concerning national security, the treatment of prisoners and asset-freezing proceedings.” "The most modest man and brilliant advocate. First-class." "He is very effective. Having been in so many of the Special Advocate cases, he knows all of it inside-out and he is brilliant." Chambers UK 2016: Human Rights

"Very good on the planning side of environmental law."
Chambers UK 2017: Environmental Law

"A highly accomplished public lawyer," who handles environmental cases as part of his busy practice. "He is very good on the habitat conservation side and is a safe pair of hands."
Chambers UK 2016, Environmental

"He is a clever, approachable and accessible barrister."
Chambers UK 2015: Environmental

“A Special Advocate of the highest standing, winning widespread acclaim for his SIAC appearances. He appears both for claimants and the government.” "He is an all-round excellent advocate and a lovely man." "He is really exceptional and is recognised as the leading Special Advocate. He clearly has the ear of the court."  
Chambers UK 2016: Immigration



MA, Pembroke College, Oxford (BA (Hons) 1987)

Diploma in Law, Polytechnic of Central London, 1989


Contributor, Burnett-Hall on Environmental Law, Second and Third Editions, 2008 and 2013 (chapter on Nature Conservation)

The Thundering Tide: Contempt in the age of the Internet - Lecture to the Government Legal Department, 2012



Member of Treasury “B” Panel 1997-2002

Member of Treasury “A” Panel 2002-2010

Trustee, Barristers' Benevolent Association 2000

Special Advocate (England & Wales) 2002

Queen’s Counsel 2010

Arbitrator, PICARBS (Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Arbitration Service) 2016

Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland 2016

Special Advocate (Northern Ireland) 2016

Elected Bencher, Middle Temple 2016 (to be called November 2016)


Trustee, International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature 2003–2014

Fellow, Royal Geographical Society

Trustee, Kasanka Trust 1999

Trustee, Buglife, 2010

Fellow, Linnean Society 2011

Significant cases include the following


Secretary of State for the Home Department v AF, AN and AE  (“AF No.3”) [2009] UKHL 28

R (Baiai and others) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] 1 AC 287, House of Lords     

Savage v. South Essex Partnership NHS Trust  [2009] 2 WLR 115, House of Lords

OO (Jordan) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] 2 WLR 512, House of Lords

R (Quila) v. SSHD [2012] 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


Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee: 5 cases - 2009/10, appearing in the UN in Geneva on behalf of the UK Government

United Utilities Water plc v. Environment Agency [2007] 1 WLR 2707, House of Lords

R (Greenpeace) v. Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [2006] Env LR 19  - challenge to the Defra’s measures to tackle the problem of dolphin bycatch in pair trawling.

Environment Agency v. Inglenorth Ltd [2009] EWHC 670 (Admin), Divisional Court – case on the meaning of ‘waste’

Redfern Inquiry into human tissue analysis in UK nuclear facilities:  With David Hart QC, represented one of the principal nuclear industry bodies.


R (Shiekh) v General Dental Council  [2007] EWHC 2972 (Admin)

Dad v General Dental Council [2000] 1 WLR 1538, Privy Council


R (K) v. West London Mental Health NHS Trust [2006] 1 WLR 1865, CA

R (N) v. Mental Health Review Tribunal (Northern Region) [2006] QB 468, CA


Bolitho v. City and Hackney Health Authority (CA)

Savage, House of Lords – see above.

Plampin v. Havering NHS PCT [2006] EWHC 39, Forbes J

Holt v. Edge [2007] EWCA Civ 602, CA

EW v. Johnson [2015] EWHC 276 (QB) – claim against GP alleging failure to refer child with pneumococcal meningitis

EXP v. Barker [2015] EWHC 1289 – alleged failure to identify vascular abnormality in MRI brain scan


Abu Qatada (see OO (Jordan) above)

Various appeals under ATCSA 2001, Control Orders under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, TPIM Act, and other national security cases before SIAC, e.g:

Secretary of State for the Home Department v E [2007] 3 WLR 1, CA

Secretary of State for the Home Department v NN and GG [2009] EWHC 142 (Admin)

Secretary of State for the Home Department v M [2004] 2 All ER 863 (the only Belmarsh detainee under the Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 to have his appeal allowed)

SSHD v. Pham


Dallas v. UK, ECtHR – application to Strasbourg Court by juror imprisoned for contempt of court in researching case on the internet

AG v. Associated Newspapers & News Group Newspapers Ltd [2011] EWHC 418 (Admin)
(Contempt of The Sun and Mail Online for online publication).

AG v. Seckerson & Times Newspapers Ltd [2009] EWHC 1023 (Admin)
(Contempt of a juror and the Times for publication of details of jury's deliberations).

AG v. Express Newspapers [2004] EWHC 2859 (Admin)
(Contempt of the Daily Star in identifying footballers in connection with gang rape allegations).

AG v. Fraill & Sewart (‘The Facebook juror' case).


Recent high profile inquests:

Bournemouth helicopter crash

Private plane crash at RAF St Mawgan

Death of overseas visitor requiring heart transplant


Other information

VAT Registration No:  524 4080 72


Phone Clerk
020 7797 7500

Email Clerk


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