Julian Blake

Professional Summary

Called 2006

Contact Details

T +44 (0)20 7632 8500 Clerk Lee Cutler Clerk Michael Smith Clerk Jaden Maloney E

Julian is a highly experienced junior, practicing in the fields of public law, media and information law and matters concerning commercial crime and the criminal justice system. He is recommended by the legal directories as a leading junior and is a member of the Attorney General’s Civil Panel of Counsel.

Specialisms

Public

Julian has a broad public law practice spanning the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. In the past year he has appeared in cases before the Supreme Court on five occasions. He has been involved in some of the most significant cases involving national security, international relations, and the armed forces.

Examples of his work in this field include:

  • Bank Mellat v Treasury – challenging financial restrictions against an Iranian Bank.
  • Serdar Mohammed v Ministry of Defence – detention of suspected Taliban commander in Afghanistan.
  • Rahmatullah v Ministry of Defence – transfer of a Pakistani national captured by British forces in Iraq.
  • Bancoult v Foreign and Commonwealth Office – resettlement of the Chagos Islanders.
  • AHK & Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department – closed material procedures before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.
  • Belhaj v Straw & Others – allegations of rendition and mistreatment by Libyan nationals.

Media & Privacy

Julian has substantial experience in matters relating to the media, including contempt of court, privacy and information law. He regularly advises and appears on behalf of individuals, the government and corporations before the High Court, County Court and Tribunals.

Examples of his work in this field include:

  • David Miranda v Home Secretary – judicial review of the use of terrorism powers to seize journalistic material.
  • Operations Weeting, Elveden and Tuleta – acting for a defendant media company in matters concerning the criminal investigation into phone hacking, corruption and misuse of private information.
  • Attorney General v Associated Newspapers – contempt proceedings concerning the publication of material relating to the Levi Bellfield trial.

Information

Julian is an experienced practitioner in proceedings under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). He has appeared in several of the leading FOIA appeals before the Upper Tribunal and advises individuals, corporations and governments on information rights issues and disputes.

Examples of his work in this field include:

  • All Party Parliamentary Group of Extraordinary Rendition v FCO – FOIA appeal about rendition and detention in Guantanamo Bay.
  • Savic v Attorney General and Cabinet Office – FOIA appeal about the Attorney General’s advice on military action in Kosovo.
  • Rights Watch UK v Attorney General and Cabinet Office – FOIA appeal about the deaths of two British nationals in a Syria drone strike.
  • Re: A FTSE 100 Executive – Advising a prominent executive in relation to a claim under the DPA and the right to be forgotten in relation to Google search results.

Commercial

Julian’s commercial practice principally focuses on sanctions, advising companies, individuals and governments on potential liabilities as well as challenges to listings and financial restrictions measures. He has been instructed for several years in the long running Bank Mellat litigation, including the $4bn damages claim in the Commercial Court.

Julian also regularly advises on matters concerning disclosure of commercially or legally sensitive material and has managed large disclosure exercises on behalf of corporate and government clients.

Julian is also experienced in sensitive corporate investigations. This includes being instructed for over 12 months by a multinational media company in relation to an internal investigation into allegations of interception of communications, corruption and misuse of private information. Julian’s criminal practice makes him well placed to advise on issues where both commercial and potential criminal liabilities overlap.

Corporate Crime & Criminal Justice

For the first few years of Julian’s career, he appeared regularly in the Crown Court, both prosecuting and defending. He has subsequently developed a niche criminal practice, concentrating on public law challenges to corporate criminal investigations, data protection offences and other complex matters relating to the criminal justice system.

Examples of his work in this field include:

  • R v Bright & Others – collapse of Independent Insurance PLC.
  • R v Timothy Power – insider trading by an executive of Belgo Restaurants.
  • Revell Read v SFO – Britain’s biggest boiler room fraud.
  • Roberts v United Kingdom – ECHR challenge to jury impartiality.

Julian also acts in other matters relating to criminal justice more broadly, including inquests into the death of prisoners, challenges to prison categorisations and complex criminal appeals. He is an author of EU Law in Criminal Practice (Oxford University Press) and is retained as a practitioner editor of Blackstone’s Criminal Practice.

Inquests & Inquiries

Julian regularly acts in inquests and has a broad range of experience. He has acted as sole counsel for the Ministry of Justice in an inquest before a jury concerning the death of a high profile prisoner and for a Borough Council in an inquest into to the death of a child at school. He has also provided advice in connection with the well known inquests into the deaths of Jean Charles De Menezes and Mark Duggan.

Julian also has experience of public inquiries, having acted for a range of Government departments in The Detainee Inquiry, Chaired by Sir Peter Gibson, which looked into detainee issues post-9/11.

Recommendations

“Really personable, really intelligent. Clear, user-friendly advice. He makes himself part of the team.” Chambers and Partners

“Clients just love him. He works hard for them and understands their concerns and business. Lay clients also appreciate him because he is able to explain complex areas of law in an accessible manner.” Chambers and Partners

“He is a very good lawyer, very quick, writes well and is good under pressure but has a joke when you need it.” Chambers and Partners

“He has excellent people skills, is very good with clients and always one step ahead of everyone else.” Chambers and Partners

Recent Cases

R (on the application of AZ) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
[2017] EWCA Civ 35
Instructed in a challenge to the refusal of a refugee travel document following an assessment that the claimant would travel to Syria. The Court of Appeal recently handed down judgment supporting the Secretary of State’s decision not to disclose further information for reasons of national security.

Rahmatullah (No 2) v Ministry of Defence, Mohamed v Ministry of Defence
[2017] UKSC 1, [2017] 2 WLR 287
Instructed in the Supreme Court challenge concerned the nature and content of the doctrine of Crown act of state in the context of claims relating to detention in Iraq and Afghanistan. The appeal successfully upheld this defence, which had last been applied in the 19th Century.

Al Waheed v Ministry of Defence, Mohammed v Ministry of Defence
[2017] UKSC 2, [2017] 2 WLR 327
Instructed in the Supreme Court challenge concerning allegations that persons in Iraq and Afghanistan were unlawfully detained in breach of article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights by HM armed forces acting under mandates from the United Nations Security Council.

R (on the application of Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 4)
[2016] UKSC 35, SC, June 29 2016, [2016] 3 WLR 157
Instructed in the Supreme Court challenge. This case considered whether, and in what circumstances, the Supreme Court may set aside a previous decision of the House of Lords. The application concerned alleged material non-disclosure concerning the resettlement of the Chagossians.

R (on the application of Miranda) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis
[2016] EWCA Civ 6, CA, January 19 2016, Times, February 19 2016
Instructed in this well known challenge to the use of Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000. The case concerns David Miranda, partner of Glen Greenwald who was detained in connection with the material taken by Edward Snowden.

Bank Mellat v HM Treasury
[2015] EWHC 1258 (Comm), [2015] EWCA Civ 1052, [2016] EWCA Civ 452
Instructed in both the application to set aside financial restriction decisions and the $4bn civil damages claim resulting from the earlier proceedings. 

Roberts v United Kingdom
Application no. 59703/13, January 2016
Instructed as sole counsel in this challenge before the European Court of Human Rights concerning the farness of the domestic jury trial / selection system and compatibility with Article 6 ECHR.

News, Articles & Publications

Author, EU Law in Criminal Practice, OUP (2013)

Practitioner Editor, Blackstone’s Criminal Practice, OUP (2015)

Contributor, Miller on Contempt, OUP (2017)

Education

University of Cambridge, MA (Cantab)

Yale University, Fox International Fellowship

Other

Astbury Scholarship, Middle Temple

Lloyd Jacob Memorial Prize, Middle Temple

Prior to joining the Bar, Julian worked for the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative in Uganda, assisting offenders facing capital punishment.

X

Regulatory Information

All members of Chambers are registered with the Bar Stardards Board of England and Wales. For general terms and conditions on which services are provided - click here

Professional title: Barrister

Full name (as registered with Bar Standards Board of England and Wales): Julian Blake

VAT Number:

Legal Status: Sole Practitioner

Professional Insurance: All members of Chambers have professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Ltd - click here for more details

Territorial coverage is world-wide, subject to the terms of the Bar Mutual, which may be found here

Should you wish to make a complaint - click here