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David Manknell

Call:  2001


David Manknell practises principally in medical law and administrative and human rights law.  He has been described by Chambers & Partners as “exceptionally bright and hard-working” and “thorough, approachable and very sensible”.  He was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown in September 2015, having previously been a member of the B and C Panels since 2006.

Administrative and Human Rights Law

David has acted in hundreds of claims for judicial review across a broad range of areas including healthcare, prison law, regulatory proceedings, education, licensing, asylum, immigration and national security matters, and often on further appeal to the Court of Appeal.  He has particular expertise in cases involving direct challenges to policy changes, including issues about consultation.  Many of his cases concern issues of equality and discrimination law.

Examples of recent cases include Osborn on the requirements for Parole Board hearings, Sturnham in the Court of Appeal on damages for Article 5 breaches, the series of joined cases concerning reception conditions in Cyprus for asylum seekers, challenges to local authority taxi licensing policy, and challenges to the prison “book ban”.  He has both challenged and defended NHS healthcare decisions in respect of hospital closures,  refusal to provide treatment, and health authority reorganisations.  In 2015 he was junior counsel to the IPT in the claims about GCHQ surveillance arising from the Edward Snowden leaks.

He has a thorough knowledge of all aspects of procedure for judicial review, including where urgent and immediate relief is needed from the Court.

Clinical Negligence

David acts for both Claimants and Defendants and has appeared in some of the leading cases in this area, including Gregg v Scott in the House of Lords (loss of a chance) and Thompstone in the Court of Appeal (indexation of periodical payments).  He regularly acts in cases where injuries are of the utmost severity.  He has particular expertise in cases with an international element, including where the injury was occurred overseas or where the Claimant now resides abroad and requires care of treatment abroad.

According to Chambers & Partners (2014): “He’s thorough, he understands the medicine as well as the law and he speaks to clients, as opposed to over them or at them.  He’s easy to work with and he’s efficient – if he says he’ll return something, he does, and the work is always worthwhile.”


David represents both institutions and private clients at inquests.  This is often in inquests either involving deaths in custody or where there are perceived failings by hospitals or healthcare practitioners.  He regularly represents families of the deceased, the Prison Service, hospitals or healthcare practitioners.  He has also represented drivers and their insurance companies and the Ministry of Defence at inquests relating to the deaths of soldiers on active service.  He is the author of two chapters in “The Inquest Book” (2016, Hart Publishing, ed. Garnham and Cross).

Professional Discipline

David represents registrants in disciplinary proceedings against them, with particular experience with the GMC, GDC and NMC.  He acts on occasion as the legal advisor to the Panel in disciplinary proceedings for the Ministry of Defence Police.


MA(Oxon) in Law with European Law, First Class Hons, 1999
BCL European and Comparative Law 2000


Junior Counsel to the Crown (A Panel) 2015 -
Junior Counsel to the Crown (B Panel) 2010 - 2015
Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel) 2006 - 2010

Significant cases include the following

Supreme Court:

R(Osborn) & R(Booth) v The Parole Board [2013] UKSC 61 (Prison law: Right to an oral hearing under Article 5(4) EHCR)

Gregg v Scott [2005] 2 A.C. 176 (HL) (Damages for lost chances of survival following negligent treatment)

Court of Appeal (selected):

R(B) v SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 854 (Removal of burka-wearing Muslim to France in light of French law banning the wearing of such garments).

L1 v SSHD [2013] EWCA 906  (National security appeal from SIAC: issues regarding use of closed material at the strike out stage, and whether an abuse of process to serve a deprivation decision when Appellant out of the country)

R (Sturnham) v Parole Board and SSJ [2012] EWCA Civ 452 (Prison law: Right to damages for breach of Article 5(4) for a delayed hearing)

NP(Sri Lanka) v SSHD [2012] EWCA Civ 906 (Immigration: Whether Secretary of State can rely on internal relocation in an appeal to the UT, when it did not form part of their case in the original refusal or the FTT)

RS (Pakistan) v SSHD [2011] EWCA Civ 434 (Immigration/ education: Students who fail their examinations cannot remain in the United Kingdom as students whilst waiting to re-sit the examinations, unless they are in the meantime attending a full-time course of study).

R(SS Afghanistan) v SSHD [2011] EWCA Civ 205 (Admissibility of new evidence on appeal in judicial review proceedings)

Tameside & Glossop Acute Services NHS Trust v Thompstone & Ors [2008] EWCA Civ 5 (17 January 2008) (Indexation of periodical payments)

Other selected cases:

CB v S Trust (Ryder J) (2011) (Best interests. Declaration obtained that would be in a four year old child’s best interests to receive alternative treatment for neuroblastoma in contested case. Funded by the Neuroblastoma Alliance)  

R(Chen) v SSHD [2012[ EWHC 2531 (Admin) (Alleged discrimination in system of accommodation support for asylum seekers)

Beaumont v Ministry of Defence [2009] EWHC 1258 (QB) (Clinical negligence: High Court appeal concerning right to instruct second expert in same discipline)

SS and Others (Sovereign immunity claim – Certificate conclusive) Malaysia [2009] UKAIT 00007 (International law: refusal to extend sovereign or diplomatic immunity to the Sultan of Pahang, Malaysia under the State Immunity Act 1978 and the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964)

Other information

VAT Registration No:  809 9601 05


Phone Clerk
020 7797 7500

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David Manknell and Amelia Walker successful in their defence of the Dubs child refugee scheme
1COR's David Manknell appears in High Court ruling on the scope of judicial review
Life, Liberty and Security - 1COR Public Law Seminar - Sept 11th 2017 5pm - 8pm
The Times reports on Chambers extremism cases