Jason Coppel QC
Jason Coppel’s practice focuses on public law, procurement law and information law, with particular emphasis on EU law and human rights issues. He has appeared regularly in the Supreme Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union, and in many of the leading cases of recent years, including the Article 50 TEU litigation, Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. He is ranked by the directories as a leading barrister in administrative law, civil liberties, EU law and procurement law.
Jason a wide-ranging judicial review practice, representing claimants, NGOs and central and local government. His significant recent cases include:
Gina Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
 2 WLR 583
Litigation to establish whether the Government was entitled to notify the European Council under Article 50 TEU of the UK’s intention to leave the EU without the prior authority of Parliament
R (Justice for Health) v Secretary of State for Health
 EWHC 2338 (Admin)
Challenge by junior doctors to the implementation by employers of a new contract of employment.
R (Moore) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
 EWHC 2736 (Admin)
Further challenge by allotment holders at Farm Terrace, Watford to consent to sale of their allotments.
R (Keep Wythenshawe Special Ltd) v NHS Central Manchester CCG
 EWHC 17 (Admin)
Legality of designation of Stockport NHS Trust, as a specialist hospital in Greater Manchester.
R (MK Law) v Lord Chancellor
 EWHC 1194 (Admin)
Successful challenge to allocation of duty rota slots by the Legal Aid Agency.
R (Gulf Centre for Human Rights) v Prime Minister
 EWHC 1323 (Admin)
Represents the claimant challenging recent amendments to the Ministerial Code which remove the obligation upon ministers to comply with international law.
R (A and B) v Secretary of State for Health
 1 WLR 331
Whether there is a duty on the NHS to fund abortions for women travelling to England from Northern Ireland. Judgment of the Supreme Court is pending.
R (Rotherham MBC and others) v Secretary of State for Business
 PTSR 322
Public and EU law litigation challenging the Government’s allocation of EU regional aid for 2014-20.
Jason is widely recognised as one of the leading silks practising in procurement law. He has conducted procurement litigation since 1998 and has been instructed in many of the landmark domestic cases. He also has an extensive advisory practice, specialising in issues such as the application of procurement law to development agreements and other property deals, the permissible grounds for variation of existing public contracts and the contracting authority status of quasi-public bodies such as universities.
His notable recent cases in this field include:
R (Wylde) v Waverley BC
 EWHC 466 (Admin)
Leading case on whether objectors to development can have standing to rely upon the Public Contracts Regulations.
Bombardier Transport Ltd v Merseytravel
 EWHC 575 (TCC)
Challenge to procurement of trains for Liverpool light rail system. TCC determined issues relating to breadth of confidentiality rings and handling of confidential information by the Court.
GEM Environmental Services v Tower Hamlets LBC
169 Con LR 100
Early disclosure in a procurement claim where the decision under challenge had been revoked.
R (Fair Crime Contract Alliance) v Lord Chancellor; Kaim Todner and ors v Ministry of Justice
Procurement and JR challenges by criminal law solicitors to the tender process for duty provider contracts, the largest and most complex procurement to be conducted by a Government Department. Resulted in the abandonment of the tender process.
Edenred (UK Group) Limited v HM Treasury and others
 PTSR 1088
Challenge to Government decision to use National Savings & Investments to deliver “childcare accounts” for Tax Free Childcare, a new childcare subsidy policy. Supreme Court decided issues relating to intra-government arrangements and variation of existing public contracts.
Heron Bros v Central Bedfordshire Council
 BLR 514
Represented the defendant Council in case determining important procedural issues regarding service of procurement law claims.
Bristol Missing Link v Bristol City Council
 PTSR 1470
Not-for-profit organisation successfully resisted application to lift an automatic suspension which prevented conclusion of a contract for support services to victims of domestic violence.
Prime plc v NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG
Represented defendants to claim for wasted bid costs arising out of abandoned tender procedure for primary care medical centres.
NP Aerospace v Ministry of Defence
 EWHC 2741 (TCC)
“Abnormally low” tender challenge to the award of a contract for conversion of military vehicles.
JBW Ltd v Ministry of Justice
 2 CMLR 10
Tender procedure for the procurement of bailiff services – Court of Appeal ruled on the definition of services concession contracts and on the scope for implied contract challenges to tender procedures.
Greenwich Community Law Centre v Greenwich LBC
 EWCA Civ 496
Public sector equality duty challenge to outcome of tender process for funding for community legal advice.
Jason has developed an extensive practice in data protection and freedom of information cases, and prior to taking silk he was a member of the Attorney General’s Freedom of Information Panel and of the panel of counsel instructed by the Information Commissioner. His notable cases include:
Magyar Helsinki Bizottság v Hungary
 ECHR 975
Represented the UK Government intervening before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights on the issue of whether Article 10 ECHR confers a right to freedom of information.
R (Catt) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis
 2 WLR 664 (SC)
Represented Home Secretary intervening in Supreme Court challenge to police policies on recording and retention of information.
R (T) v Greater Manchester Police  AC 49 (SC)
Represented the Secretaries of State in a landmark challenge to disclosure of conviction and caution information on criminal records checks.
Edem v Information Commissioner and Financial Services Authority  EWCA Civ 92
Represented FSA in appeal regarding the definition of “personal data” in the Data Protection Act 1998 and the impact of the Durant case.
API v Commission  2 AC 359
Represented the UK Government in leading case on access to information held by the EU institutions.
Jason has appeared acted extensively in EU law litigation both in the domestic courts and in the CJEU. He has been heavily involved in issues raised by the EU referendum and the Brexit process.
R (Shindler) v Lord President of the Council
 HRLR 14
Represented the defendant in proceedings to challenge the franchise for the EU Referendum by long-term expatriates living in other EU Member States.
Commission v UK
 1 WLR 5049
Represented the UK Government in high profile Commission infraction complaining of UK rules on migrants’ entitlement to welfare benefits.
Mirga v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
 1 WLR 481
Represented Secretaries of State in Supreme Court claims for welfare benefits by migrants on EU and human rights grounds.
Newby v Food Standards Agency
 3 CMLR 6
Represent FSA in challenge to implementation of EU rules on meat production.
Chester and McGeoch v Lord President of the Council
 AC 271
Represented the Government defending EU law claims by convicted prisoners claiming the right to vote in European Parliament and local elections.
R (Sanneh) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
 3 WLR 1867
Represents defendants to multiple challenges to regulations which remove benefits entitlement from claimants with a right of residence under the CJEU ruling in Zambrano. Now pending in the Supreme Court.
Jason has acted in several cases concerning the fall-out from Cheshire West and the Re X litigation, including Re NRA  EWCOP 59 and Re JM  4 WLR 64 in which the Court of Protection has dealt with issues of representation of incapacitated persons. He also acted for the Government in a recent challenge brought by local authorities to the funding made available for the deprivation of liberty safeguards: R (Liverpool City Council) v Secretary of State for Health  EWHC 986 (Admin). He has acted as legal advisor to Essex University’s Autonomy Project, in particular on its study of compliance of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Jason’s extensive experience of pensions law has included long-running discrimination litigation regarding access to pension rights, age discrimination issues, the Local Government Pension Scheme and advising and representing the Department for Work and Pensions on the British Steel Pension Scheme, Guaranteed Minimum Pensions and state pension rights for transsexuals. Most recently, he has advised the PPF on levy and other issues.
Significant recent cases include:
Hampshire v Board of the Pension Protection Fund
 Pens LR 281
Compatibility with EU law of the statutory cap on PPF compensation referred to the CJEU.
MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
 1 All ER 338
Supreme Court referred questions to CJEU concerning compatibility with EU law of refusal of state pension on grounds that a transsexual person had not obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate on account of being married.
Parris v Trinity College Dublin
 ICR 313
CJEU decision on sexual orientation and age discrimination in payment of survivors’ pensions.
Walker v Innospec
 ICR 182
Whether the Framework Directive requites equal payment of survivors’ pensions accrued before it came into force. Pending before the Supreme Court.
Legal 500 2017 has said that Jason is “a real star”, who is “intelligent and vastly experienced”, “immensely hardworking; he has a good nose for arguments that will work with a judge”, “displays brilliant breadth of knowledge and a prodigious work rate” and is “a formidable opponent, who always has the ear of the court”.
Chambers and Partners said about him in 2017 that he has “laser-like precision and clear, commercial legal advice. Inspires real confidence … He is wonderfully clear and persuasive in court … a top-drawer silk for frontline cases”.
Chambers and Partners has also said about Jason: “he is very, very sound, and very well-liked by clients”, “is extremely able, and a very impressive opponent”, “provides astoundingly clear and thoughtful written advice, and is very sensible”, “extremely good technically and very knowledgeable in public procurement”, “extremely good, feared as an opponent and a very welcome member of the team when an ally”, “he is crisp, to the point and doesn’t go on. He’s sophisticated on information systems, and delivers a seamless service” and he “has a detailed understanding of information law, as well as an ability to provide clear strategic advice. You can have confidence in his judgment”.
Jason has been described in Legal 500 as a “a creative thinker and a determined fighter in court”, “he is popular with clients and very easy to work with”, “he has outstanding knowledge and experience of human rights law”, “he always brings a fresh perspective to a case”, “he knows which points to emphasise for maximum effect”, “a very measured advocate who is taken seriously by the judges” and as having a “rare ability to make difficult concepts sound straightforward”, “a market leader in the making”.
Jason was nominated for the award of Human Rights and Public Law Silk of the Year in the Chambers Bar Awards 2015 and 2017 and for the award of Barrister of the Year in The Lawyer Awards 2016
He was The Times Lawyer of the Week on 18 February 2016: see article here.
Brasenose College, Oxford University, B.A. (Law), First Class Honours (1990)
European University Institute, Florence, LLM in European, Comparative and International Law (1992)
French and Italian