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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
Europe

With our foundations in the UK, we have an established presence across Europe, including an office in Geneva. We have particular experience before the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Courts of Human Rights.

ZZ v Secretary of State (CJEU)

Hugh Southey QC represented “ZZ” in this high profile case in the Grand Chamber of the CJEU. It concerned whether the UK Special Immigration Appeals Commission was consistent with the fundamental principles of the EU. Appeal to SIAC is available for cases where entry into the UK is refused on grounds of national security. Respondents before the tribunal are not given access to the information the refusal is based upon and cannot be present during the hearing, represented only by a “special advocate”. The court concluded that the respondent must have the right to examine the information, apart from in exceptional circumstances in which national authorities provide precise and full reasons for their refusal, which are available to be examined by the court. It concluded that, in any event, a respondent must be provided with the essence of the grounds relied on by the state.

Lawyer(s): Hugh Southey QC

Sweden v Assange (UK Supreme Court)

Several Matrix lawyers have acted on both sides of this case. In the High Court, Ben Emmerson QC and Mark Summers QC acted for the appellant, Julian Assange, and Clare Montgomery QC and Aaron Watkins acted for the respondent, the Swedish Prosecution Authority. The issue at this stage considered the decision to extradite the appellant to Sweden to face charges for sexual molestation and rape. In the Supreme Court, Mark Summers QC and Helen Law represented Assange and Clare Montgomery QC and Aaron Watkins again represented the Swedish Prosecution Authority.

Cases concerning the Cypriot financial crisis

Jessica Simor QC, Rhodri Thompson QC and Professor Takis Tridimas have each advised various clients as to their position in relation to their lost deposits in Cypriot bank accounts resulting from measures adopted by the EU institutions and the Cypriot government in 2013 in response to the Cypriot banking crisis.

Professor Tridimas is also advising clients in proceedings before the High Court and in Cyprus courts regarding the purchase of Cyprus properties. He has been involved in investment arbitration proceedings as expert witness and is currently involved in a number of cases regarding the free movement of persons and EU citizenship pending in English courts and the CJEU.

MasterCard v European Commission (CJEU)

Rhodri Thompson QC has been advising HSBC as an intervening party in the long running MasterCard litigation.  The case concerns the multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) applied under the MasterCard card payment system. The Commission held them to be contrary to EU competition law. The decision was appealed to the General Court who confirmed the Commission’s decision. They rejected the argument that the MIF was necessary to the MasterCard payment system. They concluded that the MIF inflated the cost of card acceptance by retailers without leading to proven efficiencies, and breached EU competition law. The General Court’s judgment was recently upheld by the Court of Justice  of the EU. In addition, Christopher Brown is acting for a number of retailers who are suing MasterCard and Visa for losses that they claim to have suffered as a result of being charged the MIF.

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