David Barr KC

Year of Call: 1993 / Year of Silk: 2014


Practice Areas

David Barr KC


David Barr QC has a wide experience of civil litigation both at first instance and appellate level.  Administrative and public law work includes public inquiries, inquests, human rights and other cases.  His employment practice focuses on demanding cases, particularly at appellate level. Personal injury work has encompassed a wide range of cases and typically involves high value claims or difficult issues.

He has a keen interest in the application of European Union law to those areas of domestic law in which he practises.  He served on the Attorney General’s panels of civil counsel from 1999 until he took silk in 2014.


Ranked in Chambers UK Bar 2019 for inquests and public inquiries.


St. John’s College, Cambridge

Professional Memberships



Appeal to the Supreme Court against the dismissal of judicial review proceedings which had challenged the lawfulness of the fees regime introduced in the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal by the Lord Chancellor.  The appeal was heard by 7 Justices of the Supreme Court who allowed the appeal.  David Barr QC appeared for the Lord Chancellor.

R(UNISON) v Lord Chancellor, Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening [2015] EWCA Civ 935; [2015] ICLR 911

Appeals to the Court of Appeal against the dismissal of judicial review proceedings which had challenged the lawfulness of the fees regime introduced in the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal by the Lord Chancellor. The appeals were dismissed.  David Barr QC appeared for the Lord Chancellor.

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.

Major X -v- MOD

The Claimant, a former high-flying Major in the Army developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) following experiences in the First Gulf War and subsequently in Kosovo.  The claim was based on a failure by Army psychiatrists to diagnose and treat the PTSD.  The claim settled at a Joint Settlement Meeting for £1.5 million which was the MOD’s highest individual payout for 2013/2014. David Barr acted for the Ministry of Defence.

In Amenas Inquest

Inquest into the killing of six British nationals and one British resident during the terrorist attack and mass hostage taking at the In Amenas gas facility, Algeria. David Barr QC acted for Her Majesty’s Government.

Thorne and Others v House of Commons Commission [2014] EWHC 93

Collective bargaining of the pay of House of Commons Commission staff: the sample claimants’ collectively negotiated pay and conditions conferred no contractual right to annual pay increases. David Barr QC acted for the House of Commons Commission.

The Leveson Inquiry

This was a major statutory public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. David Barr served throughout as first junior counsel to the Inquiry. Cathryn McGahey appeared as junior counsel for the Chairman of the Inquiry during related judicial review proceedings. Louise Jones acted for the core participant victims in the judicial review proceedings. William Irwin acted throughout providing legal assistance to Counsel to the Inquiry. Emily Wilsdon assisted in the preparation of the report.

C-127/05 Commission v United Kingdom [2007] ECR I-04619; [2007] ICR 1393

Test of reasonable practicability in s.2 Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 properly implements Art.5 of Council Directive 89/391/EEC.  David Barr appeared as junior counsel for the United Kingdom.

Thames Trains v Railtrack (1) HSE (2)

Instructed on behalf of the HSE in litigation arising out of the Ladbroke Grove train crash.  The claim by Thames Trains for a contribution from the HSE was ultimately discontinued.

Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiry

Statutory public inquiry into rail disaster at Ladbroke Grove.  Hugh Carlisle QC acted for the Health and Safety Executive leading David Barr and Emma-Jane Hobbs

Age Discrimination

18th February 2006

A guide to the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006

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 might also need to collect and hold the personal information of third parties.

I will take all reasonable 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 I collect about you (or third parties), 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 address is Temple Garden Chambers, 2 Harcourt Buildings, London, EC4Y 9DA and my registration number is Z4640979

Data Collection

All the information that I hold about you is provided to or gathered by me 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.

Our Lawful Basis for processing your information

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires all organisations that process personal data to have a Lawful Basis for doing so. The Lawful Bases identified in the GDPR are:

  • Consent of the data subject
  • Performance of a contract with the data subject or to take steps to enter into a contract
  • Compliance with a legal obligation
  • To protect the vital interests of a data subject or another person
  • Performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.
  • The legitimate interests of ourselves, or a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests, rights or freedoms of the data subject.

Examples of legitimate interests include:

  • Where the data subject is a client or in the service of the controller;
  • Transmission within a group of undertakings for internal administrative purposes;
  • Processing necessary to ensure network and information security, including preventing unauthorised access;
  • Processing for direct marketing purposes, or to prevent fraud; and
  • Reporting possible criminal acts or threats to public security.

My Lawful Basis for processing your information is that the processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you (the “data subject”) are party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract.

(The “contract” here is the contract for the provision of legal services to you, the data subject.)

Our lawful basis for processing any third party’s information is that processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which I as data controller am subject, namely the obligation to provide legal services under the contract with you.

(A “third party” is another person – whether the other party in the dispute or someone else whose information is relevant, such as a witness to the event in question).

Our lawful basis for processing any special categories of personal data (yours or a third party’s sensitive personal data, eg. medical records) is that the processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or because a court is acting in its judicial capacity.  In some cases, including inquiries, it may be for reasons of substantial public interest.

I use your information to:

  • Provide legal services, for example advice and representation;
  • Investigate and address your concerns;
  • Investigate or address legal proceedings relating to your use of my services/products, or as otherwise allowed by applicable law;

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. This may include:

Client and third party data

  • Name;
  • Email;
  • Phone number;
  • Address;
  • Payment or bank details;
  • Date of birth;
  • Location details;
  • Device IP address;
  • Financial information
  • Medical Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Employment / Occupational Health Records
  • family detail
  • 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
  • immigration proceedings or status
  • other personal data relevant to instructions to provide legal services, including data specific to the instructions in question.


  • to provide legal services to you, including the provision of legal advice and representation in courts, tribunals, inquiries, disciplinary 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 (case name and brief description where in the public domain or with your express permission)
  • 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 (case name and brief description where in the public domain or with your express permission)
  • to publish legal judgments and decisions of courts and tribunals
  • as required or permitted by law.

I may share your personal data with:

  • My Instructing solicitors
  • Pupil or mini pupil, under my training
  • Other Counsel, solicitors (including their staff) for the purposes of resolving the case or conducting the matter in question
  • The court, tribunal, inquiry, mediator, arbitrator, disciplinary panel or other forum in which the proceedings to which your instructions relate
  • My Chambers management and staff who provide administrative services
  • My regulator or legal advisors in the event of a dispute or other legal matter;
  • Law enforcement officials, government authorities, or other third parties to meet my legal obligations;
  • Any other party where I ask you and you consent to the sharing.
  • If you instruct me as one lawyer on a team of lawyers I may share data with the other lawyers who are instructed by you and insofar as may be necessary their staff.

Transfers to third countries and international organisations

In relation to my national practice, I do not transfer any personal data to third countries or international organisations.

In relation to any international work, I will transfer data where necessary and subject to appropriate safeguards to ensure the safety or your personal data and that of any third parties.


I retain your personal data while you remain my 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 not to; or
  • There are overriding legitimate business interests, including but not limited to fraud prevention and protecting customers’ safety and security.

Your Rights

The General Data Protection Regulation gives you specific rights around your personal data. For example, you have to be informed about the information I hold and what I use it for, you can ask for a copy of the personal information I hold about you, you can ask us to correct any inaccuracies with the personal data I hold, you can ask me to stop sending you direct mail, or emails, or in some circumstances ask us to stop processing your details. Finally, if I do something irregular or improper with your personal data you can seek compensation for any distress you are caused or loss you have incurred (save where I was acting as counsel to a statutory public inquiry provided that I have acted in good faith). You can find out more information from the ICO’s website http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public/personal_information and this is the organisation that you can complain to if you are unhappy with how I dealt with you.

Accessing and Correcting Your Information

You may request access to, correction of, or a copy of your information by contacting me at aellis@tgchambers.com or writing to me at Temple Garden Chambers, 2 Harcourt Buildings, London, EC4Y 9DA..

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I will occasionally update my Privacy Notice

When I make significant changes, I will do my best to notify you of these by email. I will also publish the updated Notice on my website profile.