Christopher Parkin

Professional Summary

Called 2017 UK
Called 2011 Australia

Contact Details

E T +44 (0)20 7632 8500 Clerk Michael Smith Clerk Hannah Rayner E

Christopher joined chambers from Australia in October 2018. He was a lawyer in Australia in 2011 and commenced practising as a self-employed barrister in January 2015.

He accepts instructions across most of Chambers’ core areas of practice.

Prior to commencing practice at the bar, he was a clerk to a number of judges including the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia. He also worked as a graduate lawyer for a leading Australian claimant firm and as a political advisor to parliamentary candidates, senators and parliamentary office-holders.

Christopher has lectured at the University of Sydney and the University of Technology, Sydney in evidence, civil and criminal procedure and torts. He has contributed to a number of Australian legal texts including the Australian Privacy Reporter (providing substantial updates following a major overhaul of Australian data protection law) and the Australian Torts Reporter (authoring chapters on economic torts and defamation).

Specialisms

Media and Privacy

Christopher has a keen interest in media, privacy, data protection and information law.

He graduated first in his cohort in the Master of Laws (Intellectual Property and Information Law) at King’s College London.

Previously, Christopher was also a Media and Policy Advisor to an Australian Senator and a Campaign Director for targeted seats in election campaigns. He is well placed to assist with media strategy and reputation management.

Christopher was the author of the Defamation chapter of the Australian Torts Reporter and has provided substantial commentary to the Australian Privacy Reporter.

Christopher’s practice in this area has included:

  • acting for the Information Commissioner in numerous appeals against decisions on the application of the Freedom of Information Act 2000;
  • advising the Information Commissioner on the use of enforcement powers conferred by the Data Protection Act 1998, the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation;
  • advising a local authority on dealing with complaints under the DPA 2018/GDPR and responding to subject access requests;
  • advising on claims for compensation arising out of alleged breaches of the DPA 2018/GDPR;
  • acting for the Australian Shadow Attorney General in a high-profile freedom of information request for access to the Attorney General’s diary: Attorney-General v the Honourable Mark Dreyfus [2016] FCAFC 119; (2016) FCR 472;
  • acting for an Australian shadow minister seeking access to a correspondence between the Deputy Prime Minister and his department head; and
  • providing training and assistance to political staff in the freedom of information regimes of different jurisdictions.

Public Law and Human Rights

Christopher acts and advises in a range of public law and human rights matters. Since commencing practice in London, he has advised local authorities and central government on issues including land ownership and Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. He is a member of the Government Legal Department’s Junior Barrister Scheme. He has also assisted at pre-action stages with proposed judicial reviews.

Christopher’s public law and human rights practice in Australia has included a range of judicial reviews (as sole counsel), criminal cases and tribunal matters.

Significant cases include:

Procurement

Christopher is building a practice in procurement law.

He was instructed to act for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (led by James Goudie QC and instructed by Sharpe Pritchard LLP) to resist an application for permission to appeal and was also instructed to draft submissions on the appeal (judgment reserved).

He has also been instructed by Ashurst LLP to provide assistance in relation to an ongoing procurement claim.

Employment

Since joining Chambers, Christopher has developed a trial practice in Employment Tribunal matters – acting regularly for both Claimants and Respondents in multi-day hearings. Recent cases include:

  • Moorman v FIS Systems Ltd; sole counsel for the Respondent defending a constructive dismissal claim. (3 day trial)
  • Acted as sole counsel for the Claimant against her former employer – a finance company. Claims included unlawful deduction from wages, unfair dismissal, breach of contract and an employer’s counterclaim. (5 day trial)
  • Acted as sole counsel for a Respondent rail company defending claims including unfair dismissal and discrimination on the ground of something arising from disability. (3 day trial)
  • Acted as sole counsel (through the Free Representation Unit) for the claimant against her employer (a trade union) in Employment Tribunal proceedings alleging unfair dismissal, race discrimination and victimisation (settled before hearing).

He also provides commercial advice on the management of delicate employment situations.

Prior to joining Chambers, Christopher’s employment practice included acting for terminated football coaches, subsidiaries of international mining companies and one of the largest labour hire firms in Australia. He is experienced in employment cases conducted in courts and tribunals as sole counsel and with a leader. In 2017, Chris was identified as an ‘Emerging Junior’ in the area of employment and work health and safety law in Australia.

His significant Australian cases have included:

  • Rose Guerin and Partners Pty Ltd v Fraser and ors (ongoing), acting for the Defendants in proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales. Claims include breaches of contract, fiduciary duty and duties imposed by the Corporation Act.
  • Workpac Pty Ltd v Rossato (Full Federal Court of Australia, judgment reserved), (instructed by Ashurst Australia), instructed for the Applicant in a test case on distinguishing permanent employees from casual employees.
  • Anglo Coal (Drayton Management) Pty Ltd v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union [2016] HCATrans 308, acted for Anglo Coal (Drayton Management) Pty (instructed by Ashurst Australia) in an application for permission to appeal to the High Court of Australia concerning the proper construction of the Australian equivalent of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
  • Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union v Anglo Coal (Capcoal Management) Pty Ltd [2017] FWCFB 317 and related matters, acted for Anglo American (Capcoal Management) Pty (instructed by Ashurst Australia) to advise and resist various applications relating to a large redundancy program at a coal mine.
  • McGlin v Bluescope Steel (AIS) Pty Ltd [2016] FWC 1550, acted as sole counsel for an employee (instructed by Slater & Gordon) unfairly dismissed shortly before he was to receive a significant redundancy payment. Successfully obtained an order that the employee be reinstated so that he could obtain the redundancy payment (significantly in excess of the statutory compensation cap).
  • Moss v Central Coast Mariners Pty Ltd, acted for a terminated football coach in a claim under contract (settled).

Commercial

Christopher has acted for claimants and defendants in numerous commercial disputes as sole counsel.

Christopher has also advised on complex procedural issues arising out of potential litigation in the UK concerning defendants in foreign jurisdictions.

Significant cases include:

During pupillage, he assisted Jane McCafferty to draft High Court particulars of claim and defences in several commercial disputes including cases involving confidential information and partnership disputes.

Inquests and Inquiries

Christopher was instructed to act for Nottinghamshire County Council, led by Andrew Sharland QC, in the Nottinghamshire Councils strand of the Independent Inquiry for Child Sexual Abuse.

He brings with him to this practice area his significant experience in defending serious and complex criminal prosecutions (including sexual allegations, murder and fraud) at the bar in Australia. He also has experience of inquiries in Australia, having been instructed to act for the Australian Labor Party (Victorian Branch) in the Trade Union Royal Commission.

Education

BA (Government and International Relations), University of Sydney

LLB, University of Sydney – Hons I

Grad Dip Legal Practice, Australian National University

LLM, Australian National University

Graduate Certificate in Commercial Law, Deakin University – Dean’s Merit List

LLM (Intellectual Property and Information Law), King’s College London – Distinction, First in Course

Awards and Scholarships

University of Sydney Entry Scholarship

Justice Peter Hely Scholarship (awarded to support further postgraduate study in Commercial Law)

Dean’s Merit List, Commercial Law, Deakin University

Award for Best Student on the LLM (Intellectual Property and Information Law) at King’s College London

Honourable Mention Advocate (ranked 7th in the world) at the Foreign Direct Investment Moot

Winner, Graveson Moot Cup, King’s College London

Other

Christopher is an enthusiastic but inept student of Spanish. He enjoys dabbling in guitar, bass, screenwriting and comedy. He is believed to hold the record for least tries scored on his Tag Rugby team.

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Professional title: Barrister

Full name (as registered with Bar Standards Board of England and Wales): Christopher Parkin

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Legal Status: Sole Practitioner

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