Andrew O'Connor QC

Year of Call: 1996 / Year of Silk: 2015

aoconnor@tgchambers.com


Practice Areas


Andrew O'Connor QC

Experience

Andrew O’Connor has extensive experience of public law and general common law litigation. In recent years, he has also appeared in a series of high profile inquests and inquiries, including the 7/7 inquests, the Hillsborough inquests and the Litvinenko Inquiry. He is currently instructed as one of the Counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.  He is also acting for the National Crime Agency in the Undercover Policing Inquiry and for the Manchester Arena at the inquests into the deaths of those killed in the May 2017 terrorist attack.

Prior to taking silk in 2015, he was a member of the Attorney General’s civil litigation panels for 14 years, latterly the A Panel from 2011. He is developed vetted and much of his work for government clients has been in the field of national security. He is listed as a Band 1 Silk for Inquests and Public Inquiries in the 2019 edition of Chambers UK.  He is also listed as a Band 4 Silk for Administrative & Public Law.

Directories

“A very calm, authoritative figure who has the respect of everyone in the field. He’s a very strategic thinker who provides excellent advice and is a natural leader.”
Chambers UK 2019 Inquests & Public Inquiries

“Incredibly clever, he’s an advocate who is good at cutting through the dross and getting the stuff done.” “Extremely talented.”
Chambers UK 2019 Administrative & Public Law

Professional Memberships

Administrative Law Bar Association

Tunisia Inquests

Andrew O’Connor QC is instructed to act for HMG in the inquests into the deaths of the 30 British nationals who died in the terrorist attack at Sousse, Tunisia in June 2015.


The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Andrew O’Connor QC is instructed by the Inquiry to act in the investigation into child sex abuse in Westminster.
Cathryn McGahey QC is Leading Counsel for The Department for Education


Bredenkamp v Foreign Secretary

Andrew O’Connor QC was instructed to act for the Foreign Secretary in judicial review proceedings arising from EU sanctions regime relating to Zimbabwe.


The Litvinenko Inquiry

Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, who died from Polonium poisoning in 2006.


Undercover Policing Inquiry

Major statutory public inquiry into undercover policing chaired by Sir John Mitting, retired High Court Judge.  David Barr QC has been appointed Counsel to the Inquiry. Andrew O’Connor QC is instructed to act for National Crime Agency.


Mohamed & another v SSHD [2014] 1 WLR 4240

Control order / TPIM matter, where the CA decided that the reasons for rejecting the abuse of process case of suspected terrorists in control order / TPIM proceedings could not be confined to a closed judgment


The Gareth Williams Inquest

Instructed to act for MI6 and GCHQ in the inquest into the death of Gareth Williams, whose body was found inside a locked bag in the bath of his flat.


The Tomlinson Inquest

Instructed to act for the IPCC in the inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson, who died at the G7 protests in London.


The 7/7 inquests

Instructed as Junior Counsel to the Inquests into the deaths of the 52 victims of the 7/7 bombings.


HM Treasury v Ahmed & others [2010] UKSC 2; [2010] 2 WLR 378

Instructed to act for HM Treasury in judicial review proceedings heard by the Supreme Court concerning the legality of domestic secondary legislation implementing UN terrorist sanctions regimes.


Manchester Bombing Inquests

18th October 2018

Today Sir John Saunders, who has been appointed to conduct the inquests into the deaths of those killed in the bombing at the Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017, is holding his first preliminary hearing at the Manchester Town Hall.

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Andrew O’Connor QC appeared at the first preliminary hearing of the IICSA Westminster investigation

31st January 2018

Andrew O’Connor QC appeared at the first preliminary hearing of the IICSA Westminster investigation today. He is instructed as the Inquiry’s lead counsel on the Westminster investigation. Substantive hearings for the Westminster Investigation are due to take place in March 2019.


Andrew O’Connor QC acts for intelligence agencies in challenge to bulk data policies

19th October 2017

Andrew O’Connor QC is acting for MI5, MI6 and GCHQ in proceedings before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.  The case concerns the legality of the agencies’ policies for acquiring and holding bulk datasets.


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Andrew O’Connor QC represented HMG at the Inquests into the deaths of 30 British nationals killed at Sousse, Tunisia in 2015

2nd March 2017

On 28 February 2017 verdicts were returned of unlawful killing and the Coroner stated that he will be receiving further submissions on the content of any report on future deaths in the coming weeks.


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Andrew O’Connor QC appears before the IPT in the ‘Bulk Data Judgment’

1st November 2016

Andrew O’Connor QC, as part of a team composed of James Eadie QC, Andrew O’Connor QC and Richard O’Brien, appeared for the Foreign Secretary, the Home Secretary, GCHQ, the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), the Respondents in a claim made by Privacy International in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.

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Privacy International

27th July 2016

Andrew O’Connor QC is representing MI5, MI6 and GCHQ in a challenge brought by the campaign group Privacy International relating to the agencies’ practices in acquiring and making use of bulk personal datasets and bulk communications data.  The proceedings are taking place before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.


PRIVACY NOTICE

Thank you for choosing to instruct me in your case. I will need to collect and hold your personal information in order to represent you. I will take all possible steps to protect your personal information. I am determined to do nothing that would infringe your rights or undermine your trust. This Privacy Notice describes the information that I collect about you, how it is used and shared, and your rights regarding it.

Data Controller

I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a Data Controller for the personal data that I hold and process as a barrister. My registered address is Temple Garden Chambers, 1 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London and my registration number is Z1919121.

Data Collection

All of the information that I hold about you is provided to or gathered by us in the course of your case and/or proceedings. Your solicitor and/or I will tell you why we need the information and how we will use it.

What do I do with your information?

Information collected
When carrying out the provision of legal services or providing a reference I collect some or all of the following personal information that you provide:

  • personal details
  • family details
  •  lifestyle and social circumstances
  • goods and services
  • financial details
  • education, training and employment details
  •  physical or mental health details
  • racial or ethnic origin
  • political opinions
  • religious, philosophical or other beliefs
  • trade union membership
  • sex life or sexual orientation
  • genetic data
  • biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person
  • criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences, and related security measures
  • other personal data relevant to instructions to provide legal services, including data specific to the instructions in question.

Information collected from other sources

The same categories of information may also be obtained from third parties, such as other legal professionals or experts, members of the public, your family and friends, witnesses, courts and other tribunals, investigators, government departments, regulators, public records and registers.

How I use your personal information: purposes

I do not use automated decision-making in the processing of your personal data. I collect and process both personal data and special categories of personal data as defined in the GDPR. I may use your personal information for the following purposes:

  • to provide legal services to my clients, including the provision of legal advice and representation in courts, tribunals, arbitrations, and mediations
  •  to keep accounting records and carry out office administration
  •  to take or defend legal or regulatory proceedings or to exercise a lien
  • to respond to potential complaints or make complaints
  • to check for potential conflicts of interest in relation to future potential cases
  • to promote and market my services
  • to carry out anti-money laundering and terrorist financing checks
  • to train other barristers and when providing work-shadowing opportunities
  • to respond to requests for references
  • when procuring goods and services
  • to publish legal judgments and decisions of courts and tribunals
  • as required or permitted by law.

Whether information has to be provided by you, and why

If I have been instructed by you or on your behalf on a case or if you have asked for a reference, your personal information has to be provided, to enable me to provide you with advice or representation or the reference, and to enable me to comply with my professional obligations, and to keep accounting records.

The legal basis for processing your personal information
I rely on the following as the lawful bases on which I collect and use your personal information:

  • If you have consented to the processing of your personal information, then I may process your information for the Purposes set out above to the extent to which you have consented to me doing so.
  • If you are a client, processing is necessary for the performance of a contract for legal services or in order to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract.
  • In relation to information which is in categories (g) to (o) above (these being categories which are considered to include particularly sensitive information and which include information about criminal convictions or proceedings) I rely on your consent for any processing for the purposes set out in purposes (ii), (iv), (vi), (viii) and (ix) above. I need your consent to carry out processing of this data for these purposes. However, if you do not consent to processing for purposes (iv) and (ix) (responding to potential complaints and providing a reference) I will be unable to take your case or to provide a reference. This is because I need to be able to retain all the material about your case until there is no prospect of a complaint and to provide an informed and complete reference.
  • In relation to information in categories (g) to (o) above (these being categories which are considered to be particularly sensitive information and include information about criminal convictions or proceedings), I am entitled by law to process the information where the processing is necessary for legal proceedings, legal advice, or otherwise for establishing, exercising or defending legal rights.
  • In relation to information which is not in categories (g) to (o) above, I rely on my legitimate interest and/or the legitimate interests of a third party in carrying out the processing for the Purposes set out above.
  • In certain circumstances processing may be necessary in order that I can comply with a legal obligation to which I am subject (including carrying out anti-money laundering or terrorist financing checks).
  • The processing is necessary to publish judgments or other decisions of courts or tribunals.

Who will I share your personal information with?

If you are a client, some of the information you provide will be protected by legal professional privilege unless and until the information becomes public in the course of any proceedings or otherwise. As a barrister I have an obligation to keep your information confidential, except where it otherwise becomes public or is disclosed as part of the case or proceedings.

It may be necessary to share your information with the following:

  • data processors, such as my Chambers’ staff, IT support staff, email providers, data storage providers
  • other legal professionals
  • experts and other witnesses
  • prosecution authorities
  • courts and tribunals
  • the staff in my chambers
  • trainee barristers
  • lay clients
  • family and associates of the person whose personal information I am processing
  • in the event of complaints, the Head of Chambers, other members of Chambers and Chambers’ staff who deal with complaints, the Bar Standards Board, and the Legal Ombudsman
  • other regulatory authorities
  • current, past or prospective employers
  • education and examining bodies
  • business associates, professional advisers and trade bodies, e.g. the Bar Council
  • the intended recipient, where you have asked me to provide a reference
  • the general public in relation to the publication of legal judgments and decisions of courts and tribunals

I may be required to provide your information to regulators, such as the Bar Standards Board, the Financial Conduct Authority or the Information Commissioner’s Office. In the case of the Information Commissioner’s Office, there is a risk that your information may lawfully be disclosed by them for the purpose of any other civil or criminal proceedings, without my consent or yours, which includes privileged information.

I may also be required to disclose your information to the police or intelligence services, where required or permitted by law.

Sources of information

The personal information I obtain may include information which has been obtained from:

  • other legal professionals
  • experts and other witnesses
  • prosecution authorities
  • courts and tribunals
  • trainee barristers
  • lay clients
  • family and associates of the person whose personal information I am processing
  • in the event of complaints, the Head of Chambers, other members of Chambers who deal with complaints, the Bar Standards Board, and the Legal Ombudsman
  • other regulatory authorities
  • current, past or prospective employers
  • education and examining bodies
  • business associates, professional advisers and trade bodies, e.g. the Bar Council
  • the intended recipient, where you have asked me to provide a reference.
  • the general public in relation to the publication of legal judgments and decisions of courts and tribunals
  • data processors, such as my Chambers staff, IT support staff, email providers, data storage providers
  • public sources, such as the press, public registers and law reports.

Transfers to third countries and international organisations

I do not transfer any personal data to third countries or international organisations.

I retain your personal data while you remain a [client] unless you ask me to delete it. My Retention and Disposal Policy (copy available on request) details how long I hold data for and how I dispose of it when it no longer needs to be held. I will delete or anonymise your information at your request unless:

  • There is an unresolved issue, such as claim or dispute;
  • I am legally required to; or
  • There are overriding legitimate business interests, including but not limited to fraud prevention and protecting customers’ safety and security.

Your Rights

Under the GDPR, you have a number of rights that you can exercise in certain circumstances. These are free of charge. In summary, you may have the right to:

  • Ask for access to your personal information and other supplementary information;
  • Ask for correction of mistakes in your data or to complete missing information I hold on you;
  • Ask for your personal information to be erased, in certain circumstances;
  • Receive a copy of the personal information you have provided to me or have this information sent to a third party. This will be provided to you or the third party in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format, e.g. a Word file;
  • Object at any time to processing of your personal information for direct marketing;
  • Object in certain other situations to the continued processing of your personal information;
  • Restrict my processing of your personal information in certain circumstances;
  • Request not to be the subject to automated decision-making which produces legal effects that concern you or affects you in a significant way.

If you want more information about your rights under the GDPR please see the Guidance from the Information Commissioners Office on Individual’s rights under the GDPR.

If you want to exercise any of these rights:

  • Please contact me at the address at the beginning of this document;
  • I may need to ask you to provide other information so that you can be identified;
  • Please provide a contact address so that you can be contacted to request further information to verify your identity;
  • Provide proof of your identity and address;
  • State the right or rights that you wish to exercise.

I will respond to you within one month from the date on which I receive your request.

Accessing and Correcting Your Information

You may request access to, correction of, or a copy of your information by contacting me at the above address.

Marketing Opt-Outs

You may opt out of receiving emails and other messages from my Chambers by following the instructions in those messages.

Changes to this privacy notice

This privacy notice was published on 24 May 2018

I continually review my privacy practices and may change this policy from time to time. When I do it will be placed on the website.