Professional life

Following spells with Covington & Burling in Washington DC and the European Commission in Brussels I have practised as a barrister from Brick Court Chambers in London since 1988, taking silk (QC, now KC) in 1999.  After a largely commercial pupillage, the chief areas of my practice have been EU law, public law and human rights.  More about my professional life, including cases in which I have been involved and the comments of legal directories, can be found at Brick Court Chambers.

Other expertise and interests

Outside the law, my principal areas of expertise include European affairs (building on 30 years’ experience in EU law) and security (after serving as the UK’s Independent Reviewer of  Terrorism Legislation from 2011-2017).

I have served as trustee or on the advisory board of a number of organisations including the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, the British Association for Central and Eastern Europe, the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, the Centre of European Law at King’s College London and the European Human Rights Law Review.  I was for several years General Editor of the Oxford EU Law Series. I currently chair UCL’s European Institute and the peacebuilding charity Inter Mediate, whose CEO is Jonathan Powell.

Other interests include history, science, politics, theatre, travel and sea kayaking.


For well over 10 years now I have been listed by Chambers Directory as one of the top (star-rated) barristers for EU law in London and am recommended also in the first tier for Administrative and Public Law.  I feature in Chambers’ “Top 100 UK Bar” and was named by The Times in 2012 as one of the UK’s 100 most influential lawyers.  In 2015 I was shortlisted for “Internet Hero of the Year” by the Internet Service Providers Association, and chosen as “Legal Personality of the Year” by the judges of the Halsbury Legal Awards.

In 2010 I was appointed by the Home Secretary to be the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, a security-cleared part-time role which came to an end in 2017.  My work informed the parliamentary and legal debate, generally from the standpoint of civil liberties.  It was referred to by several parliamentary committees, by the Supreme Court in

R v Gul (2013) 
Beghal v DPP (2015),

and was credited with influence on a number of statutes including the Justice and Security Act 2013 and the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.  My reports A Question of Trust (2015) and Report of the Bulk Powers Review (2016) were major influences on the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. Subsequent reports on intelligence handling prior to the London and Manchester terrorist atrocities of 2017, which I monitored and quality-assessed, contributed to major reform of the processes of MI5 and Counter-Terrorism Policing.

As a cross-bench peer since July 2018, I have contributed to the work of the House of Lords – in particular, the scrutiny and amendment of legislation – in a wide range of fields. My parliamentary speeches are collected here:  Lord Anderson of Ipswich – TheyWorkForYou.