Julian Milford KC

Julian Milford

Professional Summary

Called 2000 Appointed KC 2020

Contact Details

E T +44 (0)20 7632 8500 Clerk Michael Smith Clerk Thomas Belcher Clerk Jake Foote E

Julian Milford was called to the bar in 2000. His main areas of practice are public law, information law, and employment law. Julian undertakes advisory and judicial review work in the field of public and constitutional law for central and local government, other public authorities, and individuals, and has been instructed for and against government on issues of major public importance. He advises on and acts in cases concerning information rights in the civil courts and statutory tribunals, and has been instructed in significant data protection and freedom of information cases, having a particular specialism in national security cases and proceedings in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. He acts in employment cases in the civil courts and Employment Tribunal, and has experience across the Tribunal’s statutory jurisdiction, including extensive experience of acting in large-scale discrimination/equal pay claims and industrial action cases. His experience in discrimination law and the breadth of his expertise makes him well placed to undertake investigations and inquiries in the employment or regulatory context. He also practices in the field of education law, particularly in cases involving higher education institutions.


Public Law & Human Rights

Julian undertakes public and constitutional law work for local authorities, central government, NHS authorities, individuals, public interest groups and others. That work includes general public law judicial review claims at all levels of Court up to the Supreme Court, including high- value commercial judicial review claims, and claims connected in particular with discrimination issues of all kinds; information rights; surveillance; and education. He has appeared on a number of occasions before the European Court of Human Rights. He has extensive experience in cases with a national security element, including cases in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. He also undertakes investigations and inquiries (for example, acting as an independent investigator or legal adviser in recent cases concerning pensions and allegations of bullying and harassment). He is recommended in the directories for Administrative and Public Law, Chambers and Partners stating: “he is excellent on his feet” and “he is a formidable and dogged opponent”; and Legal 500 stating: “Julian is an excellent barrister, with extensive experience and is excellent to work with, he is an excellent all rounder”. His recent and current work includes:

  • Acting for HMG in current major judicial review proceedings challenging the compatibility of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 and the legal framework for governmental surveillance powers generally with human rights and EU law (R(Liberty) v (1) SSHD (2) SSFCO [2023] EMLR 22, [2022] 1 WLR 4929, [2020] 1 WLR 243, and [2019] QB 481).
  • Acting in Higher Court proceedings involving pension rights, including Robins v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2023] EWCA Civ 890 (rights of guaranteed minimum pension recipients); R(Delve) v SSWP [2021] ICR 236 (challenge by the campaign group BackTo60 to changes in the state pension age for women); R(Harvey) v Haringey LBC [2019] ICR 1059 (challenge to the rules in the Local Government Pension Scheme for cohabitees).
  • Acting in proceedings concerning human rights/discrimination challenges to welfare provision: see for example R(Motherhood Plan) v HMT [2022] 3 All ER 727 (Covid support payments); R(TP) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2022] PTSR 1092 (Universal Credit challenge); Millette v SSWP (current Court of Appeal proceedings concerning bereavement benefits); R(Adiatu) v SSWP [2021] 2 All ER 484 (Covid support); R(Jackson) v SSWP [2020] 1 WLR 1441 (bereavement benefit and cohabitees).
  • Acting in a challenge to a major school reorganization, which was the first case in which the CoA considered the proper interpretation of bilingual Welsh/English legislation: R(Driver) v Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC [2021] ELR
  • Acting before the European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber concerning alleged breaches of the ECHR and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, arising from disclosures made by Edward Snowden (Big Brother Watch and ors v United Kingdom, 10 Human Rights Organisations v UK, Bureau of Investigative Journalism v UK (2022) 74 EHRR 17. Julian has acted in a number of other recent ECtHR cases concerning alleged state surveillance, including Lucas and Jones v United Kingdom (a claim that the UK’s legal regime concerning state surveillance of parliamentarians breaches the ECHR) and Wieder and Guarnieri v United Kingdom (a claim that the UK has breached human rights by surveillance of persons overseas).

Information Law

Julian has acted in a number of high-profile cases concerning freedom of information, data protection, and data/privacy rights more generally. That includes data breach cases (where he has acted for data controllers and the Information Commissioner); cases raising significant questions about the interpretation of the GDPR, Data Protection Act 2018 and Data Protection Act 1998, Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004; and challenges to information gathering or sharing on human rights or EU law grounds. He has appeared in many significant cases in the area, including Vidal-Hall v Google LLC [2016] QB 1003 (recoverability of damages for distress), Ittihadieh v Cheyne Gardens RTM Co Ltd [2018] QB 256 (meaning of personal data), and FOIA proceedings involving Prince Charles (the “spider letters” case). He frequently advises clients on issues connected with state surveillance, including issues arising under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, and the Computer Misuse Act 1990. He is recommended as a Band 1 Silk for data protection in the Legal 500, which states that he is “outstanding” and a “very good, clear, clever advocate who knows his stuff”. Chambers and Partners states: “he is calm, insightful, intelligent and approachable”. Recent and current work includes the following:

  • Acting for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in Webster v HMRC, a major current High Court claim in which the claimant challenges the system for the automatic transfer of tax data between the UK and the USA as being contrary to the GDPR and Data Protection Act 1998.
  • Cases for HMG in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal concerning the activities of the Intelligence Agencies in connection with large-scale collection of data under warrants or authorisations, and data sharing with foreign intelligence See e.g. recent proceedings against MI5 (Liberty and Privacy International v (1) Security Service (2) SSHD [2023] HRLR 5). Julian has also acted in a number of cases both domestically and in the ECtHR concerning the Intelligence Agencies, arising out of allegations made by Edward Snowden. Those include current proceedings against HMG in the Divisional Court challenging the compatibility of all the ‘bulk’ powers in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 with human rights and EU law: R(Liberty) v (1) SSHD (2) SSFCO [2023] EMLR 22, [2022] 1 WLR 4929, [2020] 1 WLR 243, and [2019] QB 481; and in the ECtHR, Big Brother Watch v United Kingdom (2022) 74 EHRR 17.
  • Acting as Counsel to the Tribunal in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in cases concerning vetting by the Security and Intelligence Agencies, and proceedings concerning the acquisition of communication data.
  • Acting for the Information Commissioner in proceedings concerning the Information Commissioner’s investigation into AdTech and targeted advertising on the internet (Veale and Killock v Information Commissioner [2022] 1 WLR 2241).
  • Acting for a major international technology company in connection with law enforcement access to data.
  • Advising a major international bank on cross-border transfer of data under the UK GDPR.


Julian regularly acts for both claimants and respondents in a wide range of employment disputes, where his clients include major national and international companies, banks, local authorities, police forces, unions, and healthcare providers. He has appeared before the High Court, the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal on behalf of clients in employment cases. He has wide experience across the employment tribunal’s statutory jurisdiction and in High Court employment issues, including industrial action cases. He is recommended in the directories for his employment practice, Chambers and Partners most recently stating: “He is exceptionally bright; he is articulate and he strikes the perfect balance of being technically on top of every detail while being a pleasure to work with” and “he is a go-to person and a formidable barrister; he is not somebody you would want to be against” , while the Legal 500 states: “ Julian is exceptional – supportive, approachable, able to keep a clear head, and calm and eloquent in even the most testing of situations”. His recent and current experience includes:

  • Current or recent Employment Tribunal cases include acting for Sainsburys in ongoing mass equal pay claims by retail staff; acting for the BBC in equal pay cases brought by claimants including the presenter Samira Ahmed; and acting for London Heathrow Airport in large-scale holiday pay litigation addressing issues of holiday pay calculation in light of Bear Scotland, British Gas v Lock and Dudley MBC v Willetts.
  • Acting as independent investigator in complaints by partners in major law firms alleging harassment and bullying.
  • Strike injunctions in the High Court on behalf of British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airlines,
  • Thomas Cook Airlines, and Govia Thameslink Railway (the franchise holder for the Southern Rail network). Julian acts regularly in cases involving industrial action/union recognition issues.
  • Acting for the Royal Parks in current discrimination proceedings in the Court of Appeal concerning the comparability of terms and conditions for employees and contract workers
  • Complex employment tribunal discrimination/whistleblowing claims including a claim in which he obtained for a client what was at that time the highest employment tribunal award for disability discrimination.
  • Test cases concerning the National Minimum Wage, including the largest mass NMW employment tribunal claim yet brought, concerning around 50 claimants in the care sector


Julian’s education law practice continues to grow, with a particular focus upon the higher education sector. He acted successfully for Oxford University in the first full trial in the Courts of England and Wales of negligent teaching allegations at a higher education institution: Siddiqui v University of Oxford [2018] ELR 320. In addition:

  • Julian acted for Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC in proceedings in the Court of Appeal concerning the proper interpretation of the School Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 in the context of a major school reorganization (R(Driver) v Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC [2021] ELR 193).
  • Julian acted for a Welsh local authority in several recent judicial review claims involving the interpretation of the Welsh School Organisation Code in the context of rural school closures.
  • Julian is acting for Anglia Ruskin University in current High Court proceedings challenging its termination of franchise arrangements with an education partner in Malaysia.
  • Julian recently acted for an Oxford College in breach of contract and disability discrimination proceedings.
  • Julian has recently acted for Essex University in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in a claim raising questions about the interpretation of the university’s ordinances (Korthals-Altes v University of Essex).
  • Julian acts on behalf of a higher education institution in current proceedings challenging alleged race discrimination in seminars and tuition, raising issues of free speech within the curriculum.
  • Julian has advised education institutions on policy issues of current importance, including free speech and transgender rights.


Julian has been recommended for a number of years in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500. Comments include for example the following:

Chambers and Partners

 “Julian is immensely hard-working and responsive. He produces advice that is an impressive blend of technical expertise and commercial pragmatism.”

 “He is very smooth and reassuring in his advocacy style.”

 “Julian is very much on top of the detail on a case and is very good with clients.”

 “He has excellent commercial judgement and is able to put across complicated situations in a way that is clear and reassuring.”

 “A great combination of intellectual and sharp but in a client friendly and team player oriented package. Overall a superb operator!”

 “Julian is an intellectual titan. He couples intellectual prowess with approachability, commerciality, and bags of practicality and common sense. His advocacy is calm, persuasive, and with a mastery of the factual and legal detail – a joy to work with”

 “Julian is exceptional – supportive, approachable, able to keep a clear head, and calm and eloquent in even the most testing of situations. Julian thinks creatively about solutions to problems and is a pleasure to work alongside. He is also incredibly responsive. One of his particular strengths is his ability to combine incredible intellect with abundant commerciality and practicality”

 “He’s exceptionally bright; he is articulate and he strikes the perfect balance of being technically on top of every detail while being a pleasure to work with”

 “He is a go-to person and a formidable barrister; he is not somebody that you would want to be against” “He is a formidable and dogged opponent”

“He is extremely bright, has empathy for his clients and is willing to take on any challenge”

“Extremely clever and thorough, and very impressive in writing.” “Charming, technically excellent and very supportive.”

 “He combines razor-sharp intellect with an ability to think practically and creatively.”

 “Extremely knowledgeable and a good communicator who cuts to the chase and puts people at ease.”

 “Very meticulous in his approach and on a personal level he’s always approachable and never too busy for a quick word of advice.”

 “An all-round employment specialist, with particular expertise in complex discrimination cases.”

 “Utterly charming and clients love him. If you give him a seemingly impossible deadline, he comes up with the goods.”

 “His manner in conference is beautiful. He’s approachable, articulate and very good at dealing with clients and understanding their perspectives.”

 The Legal 500

 “An exceptional barrister, who is very bright and has excellent technical knowledge. He has a razor- sharp mind, and is able to unravel the most complex of factual and legal cases into concise and convincing submissions.”

 “Julian is a very considered advocate. He strongly advocates for his client but he is not unnecessarily aggressive or combative, which is a real strength in my view in a public law barrister.”

 “He has an exceptional mind as well as being extraordinarily good with all kinds of different clients.” “He is effective and charming.”

“He is intellectually rigorous and works very well with clients, commanding their complete confidence.”

 “He’s highly responsive and a pleasure to deal with; he has an exceptional ability to distil highly complex issues and is extremely practical”

Recent Reported Cases

The Royal Parks v Boohene
[2024] IRLR 18
Error in defining “provision, criterion or practice” in an indirect discrimination claim brought by multiple contract workers had led to an indefensible pool for comparison, such that the claim could not succeed. Julian acted for the respondent Royal Parks.

Various Claimants v Security Service and others
[2023] 2 All ER 949 (Investigatory Powers Tribunal).
The Tribunal set out the scope of its jurisdiction to deal with complaints about vetting of employees/contractors by the security and intelligence agencies, and the principles that it should apply to the determination of those complaints both under the ECHR and as a matter of common law fairness. Julian acted as Counsel to the Tribunal.

Liberty v (1) Security Service (2) SSHD
[2023] HRLR 5
Liberty challenged the actions of the Security Service in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in connection with large scale data holdings as being contrary to the ECHR and EU law.

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd v Clark
[2023] EWCA Civ 386, [2023] ICR 1169
Court of Appeal proceedings concerning the interpretation of early conciliation rules, and when the employment tribunal should reject claims for non-compliance with the rules.

R(Liberty) v (1) SSHD (2) SSFCO
[2023] EMLR 22, [2022] 1 WLR 4929, [2020] 1 WLR 243, [2019] QB 481
Liberty challenges a range of surveillance powers in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 on the basis that they are inconsistent with EU law and Articles 8 and 10 ECHR. The ongoing challenge was listed by “The Lawyer” as one of the 20 most important cases of 2018.

R(AB) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
[2022] PTSR 1092
Transitional provisions for claimants entitled to severe disability premium within legacy benefits, who had transitioned to Universal Credit, discriminated against them in breach of Article 14 ECHR.

Killock v Information Commissioner
[2022] 1 WLR 2241
An application by a data subject for a remedy under the Data Protection Act 2018 s.166 was limited to procedural failings by the Information Commissioner.

R (Motherhood Plan) v HM Treasury
[2022] 3 All ER 727
Scheme to provide for payments for the self-employed who had lost income because of the coronavirus pandemic did not indirectly discriminate against self-employed women who had taken maternity or pregnancy leave.

Big Brother Watch v United Kingdom
(2022) 74 EHRR 17
State powers to intercept communications and share information with foreign intelligence agencies – Articles 6, 8 and 10 ECHR

R (Driver) v Rhondda Cynon Taf
[2021] ELR 193
Schools reorganisation – Sixth form education – Interpretation of bilingual legislation

R (Delve) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
[2021] ICR 236
Legislation which raised the state pension age for women born on or after 6 April 1950, with the aim of equalizing the state pension age between men and women, did not discriminate directly or indirectly against women or breach any requirements of notice.

R(Adiatu) v (1) Her Majesty’s Treasury (2) SSWP
[2021] 2 All ER 484
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was not discriminatory contrary to the ECHR or EU law. The lower earnings limit within, and rate of, statutory sick pay were not discriminatory contrary to EU law against BAME workers in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government had not failed to comply with the public sector equality duty.

Publications and appointments

Contributor to Tolley’s Employment Handbook and Butterworth’s Employment Service.

Julian sits as a Recorder (Crime) on the Western Circuit.


Julian read English at St. John’s College, Oxford, and studied piano and piano accompaniment at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and the Guildhall School of Music. He spent a number of years as a full-time professional pianist and chamber musician.


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Professional title: Barrister

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

VAT Number: GB 782456110

Legal Status: Sole Practitioner

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