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‘An innovative and progressive set that continues to be instructed in high-profile and often law-defining cases.’Chambers and Partners 2014
Paul Skinner

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Paul is an English barrister with a busy international practice covering international human rights law, international refugee law, UN, US and EU sanctions regimes, EU anti-trust and trade law, international environmental law and the negotiation of UN Treaties. Paul is also deeply involved in the legal aspects of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. He acts for corporations, NGOs, states and individuals.

After a successful first career as a musician, Paul was accepted on to the University of Cambridge’s accelerated 2-year law course on which he came third in his year. After finishing his studies, Paul clerked at both the UK Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. He undertook part of his training as a barrister at McDermott, Will & Emery LLP’s Brussels office.


Human Rights

  • Bytyqi v Republic of Serbia – European Court of Human Rights – Currently represents the family of three American-Kosovan Albanians killed by Serbian police in proposed claim to the European Court of Human Rights for breach of the investigative duty under Article 2 ECHR (right to life)
  • PS v Secretary of State for the Home Department – Court of Appeal – Appeal relating to the scope of the protection of the Refugee Convention for persons who could change their behaviour on return to avoid persecution
  • The Queen on the application of MA and others v Upper Tribunal [2016] EWCA Civ 705 (on appeal to Supreme Court) – Acted for the lead Appellants in test case on when a parent without immigration status can rely on their non-British child’s long residence in the UK to resist removal under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Da Silva v United Kingdom – European Court of Human Rights (as stagiaire) – Application to the ECHR into the UK’s failure to protect the life of Jean-Charles de Menezes, wrongly shot dead by the police on the London Underground, shortly after the London 7/7 bombings
  • MGN v United Kingdom – European Court of Human Rights (as stagiaire) – Application to the ECHR into the effect of legal costs on the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 ECHR


  • Nuclear Test Veterans Litigation – Assisted in relation to this group claim brought against the UK Ministry of Defence in relation to soldiers’ alleged exposure to ionising radiation during nuclear tests in the Pacific in the 1950s
  • Bomu-Bonny Pipeline Litigation – Claims on behalf of approximately 15,000 individuals concerning extensive oil pollution to a fishing community in Nigeria. In 2015 the claims were settled for £55m, the largest compensation payment ever awarded to an African community for environmental damage

Trade and Anti-trust

  • Investigation into the dumping of Vinyl Acetate: Successfully represented a manufacturer of vinyl acetate in the USA in European Commission investigation into its alleged dumping of the plastic on to the EU market
  • The PIP Breast Implant Litigation – English High Court – Instructed to defend claims in respect of sub-standard imported breast implants
  • Advice as to the suspension of pharmaceutical manufacture and distribution licenses under EU Regulations and Directives on the supply onto the market of counterfeit medicines
  • Advice whether a joint venture shareholder agreement preventing one of the parties to it entering into a joint venture with any other party breached EU anti-trust law
  • Advice to a higher education consortium on whether funding for enterprise scheme constituted unlawful state aid
  • Advice to an internationally renowned arts organisation as to whether local authority grant constituted unlawful state aid
  • Advice on the interplay between EU public procurement regime, the customs union created by the EU-Turkish Association Agreement and Regulation 1/95 and the free movement of goods

Conflict of laws / private international law

  • Hills-Smith v Steiner – English High Court – Claim for breach of contract and torts occurring in international waters, involving a variety of jurisdiction and applicable law issues
  • Shaw v Stryker Corp – Jurisdiction dispute in relation to contract for supply of hip replacements
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