Julian Milford

Julian Milford

Professional Summary

Called 2000

Contact Details

E T +44 (0)20 7632 8500 Clerk Christopher Smith Clerk Tom Street E

Julian Milford was called to the bar in 2000. His main areas of practice are public law, freedom of information/data protection, 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 appears regularly in the employment tribunal and civil courts in employment cases, where he has experience across the Tribunal’s statutory jurisdiction, including extensive experience of acting in large-scale discrimination and equal pay claims. He also frequently advises on and acts in data protection and freedom of information cases. He is a member of the A Panel of Treasury Counsel.



Julian regularly acts for both claimants and respondents in a wide range of employment tribunal 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 and business protection cases. His recent and current experience includes:

  • Current Employment Tribunal cases include acting for ex-directors of Swansea Football Club in their claims for constructive dismissal and age discrimination against the Club and its Chairman, and acting for an AIM-listed company in proceedings brought by its chief executive.
  • Strike injunctions in the High Court on behalf of Govia Thameslink Railway (the franchise holder for the Southern Rail network): see e.g. Govia Thameslink Railway Ltd v ASLEF [2016] IRLR 686, [2016] EWHC 1320 and Govia Thameslink Railway Ltd v ASLEF [2016] EWHC 985.
  • Strike injunction in the High Court on behalf of Thomas Cook Airlines Ltd: see Thomas Cook Airlines Ltd v BALPA [2017] EWHC 2253
  • Complex employment tribunal discrimination/whistleblowing claims (recent examples include EF v AB UKEAT/0525/13 [2015] IRLR 619, concerning alleged sexual harassment of a senior executive).
  • Test cases concerning the National Minimum Wage, including Governing Body of Binfield Church of England Primary School v Roll [2016] IRLR 670 Nambalat v Taher/Udin v Chamsi-Pasha [2012] IRLR 180, and current proceedings involving multiple claimants in the care sector.
  • A number of large-scale equal pay employment tribunal claims. Julian has extensive experience in equal pay claims, and has been instructed both by individuals and on behalf of local authorities, unions, NHS Trusts, non-departmental public bodies, and large outsourcing companies.
  • A claim in which he obtained the then highest ever employment tribunal award on behalf of a client under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
  • Litigation about the compatibility of a major airline’s PHI schemes with age discrimination legislation.

Public Law & Human Rights

Julian undertakes advisory and High Court public and constitutional law work for local authorities, central government, NHS authorities, individuals, public interest groups and others. That work includes judicial review claims connected with information rights, judicial review claims in the education field, and high-value commercial judicial review cases. He also acts in regulatory cases (for example, concerning the health professions and the care of vulnerable adults). He has appeared before the European Court of Human Rights. His recent and current work includes:

  • Acting for the Government in current judicial review proceedings challenging the compatibility of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 and the legal framework for governmental surveillance powers generally with human rights.
  • Acting for the Government in current judicial review proceedings challenging the lawfulness of advice about boycotts, divestments and sanctions concerning the Local Government Pension Scheme: R(Palestine Solidarity Campaign) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017] EWHC 1502
  • Acting for the Labour Party in internal disciplinary proceedings concerning Ken Livingstone and issues of anti-Semitism.
  • Acting for HMG in current proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights and in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal concerning alleged breaches of the ECHR and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, arising from disclosures made by Edward Snowden (Liberty, Privacy International, Amnesty International and ors v GCHQ and ors [2015] HRLR 2, Big Brother Watch and ors v United Kingdom, 10 Human Rights Organisations v UK, Bureau of Investigative Journalism v UK).
  • Acting for the Government in current judicial review proceedings alleging discrimination within the Local Government Pension Scheme concerning the provision of survivor’s benefits to cohabitees.
  • Acting for the Metropolitan Police in current judicial review proceedings challenging their power to question foreign nationals on their immigration status: R(Centre for Individual Rights in Europe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and anr [2017] EWHC 1878
  • Acting for the Labour Party in proceedings challenging the Labour Party’s right to determine the eligibility of members to vote in the 2016 leadership election: Evangelou v McNicol [2016] EWCA Civ 817.
  • Acting on behalf of the London Oratory School in a successful challenge to the Schools Adjudicator’s finding that the school’s admission arrangements were unlawful: R(Governors of London Oratory School) v Schools Adjudicator [2015] ELR 335.
  • Acting on behalf of the Attorney General in a judicial review of the Attorney General’s decision to veto the release of letters between The Prince of Wales and Government Ministers (R(Evans) v Attorney General [2014] 2 WLR 1334).
  • Acting on behalf of a local authority in judicial review challenges to decisions to cease funding full-time nursery education (R(Morris and Thomas) v Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC [2015] ELR 559, (2015) 18 CCLR 50; R(West) v Rhondda Cynon Taf Council [2014] ELR 396.
  • Representing the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in judicial review claims concerning the compatibility of the Government’s welfare to work programmes with human rights (e.g. R(Smith) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] EWCA Civ 229).
  • Acting on behalf of HMG in proceedings concerning the application of doctrines of Act of State/sovereign immunity/applicable law to claims brought by a Libyan politician and his wife: Belhaj and Bouchar v the Rt Hon Jack Straw and ors [2013] EWHC 4111.
  • Representing the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority in High Court proceedings concerning issues of the compatibility of domestic legislation on the regulation of wholesale dealers in medicines with EC law, and concerning the lawfulness of suspensions of wholesale dealing licenses.
  • Judicial review claims about the compatibility of the Armed Forces’ redress scheme with Article 6 ECHR (e.g. R(Clayton) v Army Board [2014] EWHC 651).
  • Cases in the European Court of Human Rights about subject-matter including the compatibility with the ECHR of the stop and search powers in the Terrorism Act 2000 sexual orientation discrimination in the armed forces, and the compatibility with the European Convention of changes to the state pension age.

Freedom of Information/Data Protection

Julian has acted in a number of high-profile cases concerning freedom of information and data protection, including the following:

  • Ittihadieh v Cheyne Gardens RTM Co Ltd/Deer v University of Oxford
    [2017] EWCA Civ 121
    Cases concerning the meaning of “personal data” under the DPA, the ambit of the duty to comply with subject access requests under the DPA, and the scope of the court’s remedial discretion.
  • Vidal-Hall v Google Inc
    [2015] EWCA Civ 311, [2015] 3 WLR 409
    A case concerning the use of “browser generated information” held by Google to target adverts at persons using the internet. The case concerns issues regarding (i) the scope of “personal data” under the DPA; and (ii) the availability of a remedy under the DPA for breaches involving no financial loss.
  • The release of letters between The Prince of Wales and Government Ministers including the Prime Minister (Evans v Information Commissioner and Cabinet Office [2012] 2 Info LR 352, and subsequent proceedings concerning the use of the veto).
  • Issues as to whether water companies, the Sovereign or the Royal Household are public bodies for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations (Fish Legal and Shirley v Information Commissioner and ors [2015] UKUT 52Cross v Information Commissioner and ors [2016] UKUT 0153).
  • The release of records of conversations between Tony Blair and George Bush related to the Iraq War (Plowden v Information Commissioner and FCO [2013] 2 Info LR 79).
  • The release of telephone conversations between Lord Lawson and George Osborne.
  • The release of documents held by the Cabinet Office related to the Hillsborough football disaster.


“Charming, technically excellent and very supportive.”

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

“He’s an extremely nice man whose written product is well considered.”

“He’s extremely clever, very nice to deal with, extremely hard-working and conscientious.”

“Julian’s knowledge and experience is very impressive but a particular strength is how approachable he is and his ability to build a strong relationship with both instructing solicitors and the client.”

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

“His advice is thoughtful, practical, accessible and really helpful.”

 “A skilful opponent and masterful tactician”

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

“He is very knowledgeable, hardworking and dedicated to achieving the best outcome.”  

“A calm, courteous and effective barrister.”

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

“A very bright senior junior who quickly masters his brief” 

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

“He’s very good on his feet, and has an excellent grasp of detail and a sharp intellect” 

“Julian is especially good at understanding sensitivities and concerns. He’s honest and forthright with issues and problems, and will lay the legal issues out, and explain the best option to go forward” 

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

Chambers & Partners

“He is meticulous and approachable.”

“He has detailed knowledge of the DPA, is hardworking, thorough and a good team player.”

“He is very efficient, a pleasure to work with and gives solid and clear advice.”

He has good client skills and delivers meticulous advice”

“A technical expert, who is strategic and client-friendly”

“A strategic and technically expert advocate”

‘He is effective and charming’ 

‘He has an exceptional mind as well as being extraordinarily good with clients’ 

‘He is intellectually rigorous and works very well with clients, commanding their complete confidence’

“Particularly strong in the field of information law, especially in cases involving national security or international relations”

Legal 500

Recent Cases

R(Palestine Solidarity Campaign) v SSCLG
[2018] EWCA Civ 1284
The Secretary of State’s guidance to the effect that local government pension scheme administering authorities should not pursue policies that are contrary to UK foreign policy or UK defence policy was not contrary to the purpose of the enabling legislation. Julian acted for the Secretary of State.

R(Liberty) v (1) SSHD (2) SSFCO
[2018] EWHC 975, [2018] ACD 62
The Divisional Court considered questions of the compatibility of provisions for the acquisition and retention of communications data in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 with EU law. It made a declaration that in certain (conceded) respects the Act was incompatible with EU law, and required the legislation to be amended by November 2018; in other respects, the Court either (i) stayed the claim pending determination of issues in other cases by the CJEU, or (ii) found that the regime was compatible with EU law. Julian acted for the defendants.

Siddiqui v University of Oxford
[2018] 4 WLR 62
The Court considered the application of costs shifting provisions to a claim for educational negligence against the University, where part of the claim asserted that the University’s failures had caused psychiatric injury. The Court held that the qualified one-way costs shifting (“QOCS”) provisions for personal injury claims in the CPR did not prevent the claimant from being liable to pay some of the University’s costs, in circumstances where his claim was in part one for pure economic loss, and awarded the University 25% of its costs. Julian acted for the University.

Siddiqui v University of Oxford
[2018] EWHC 184, [2018] ELR 320
The claimant claimed that the University was (i) responsible for negligent teaching on the undergraduate history course; and (ii) had failed to bring his medical conditions to the attention of the proctors when he took Finals, both of which had caused him to obtain a materially lower degree than he otherwise would have done, causing psychiatric injury and financial loss. The claim failed. This is the first negligent teaching claim against a university to be considered at full trial in the domestic courts. Julian acted for the University.

Thomas Cook Airlines Ltd v BALPA
[2017] EWHC 2253, [2017] IRLR 1137
BALPA’s ballot for industrial action by airline pilots was lawful, because the voting paper did not infringe new legislative provisions about the period of industrial action contained in s.229(2D) Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Julian acted for Thomas Cook.

R(Centre for Individual Rights in Europe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and anr
[2017] EWHC 1878 (Admin), [2017] 4 WLR 129; [2017] ACD 108, QBD (Admin Ct), July 21 2017
The police were entitled under Operation Nexus to question suspects detained in police stations as to their immigration status, since they (i) had the same powers as any natural person to engage in non-coercive questioning; and (ii) in any case, assisting the Home Office on matters of immigration was within police functions. Julian acted for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

R(Palestine Solidarity Campaign) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
[2017] EWHC 1502, [2017] 1 WLR 4611, [2017] Pens LR 17
The Secretary of State’s guidance to local government pension scheme authorities, to the effect that they were not entitled to take into account non-financial factors in their investment decisions where this was contrary to UK foreign or defence policy, was unlawful. Julian acted for the SoS.

Ittihadieh v 5-11 Cheyne Gardens RTM Co Ltd/Deer v University of Oxford
[2017] EWCA Civ 121, [2017] 3 WLR 811
Cases concerning the scope of the definition of “personal data” in s.1 DPA; who is a “data controller”; what constitutes a subject access request; whether the duty to comply with a SAR is limited to a duty to carry out a reasonable and proportionate search; the extent of the exemption from data protection duties for data processed for the purposes of personal, family or household affairs; and the extent of the court’s discretion to order a data controller to comply with a SAR. Julian acted for the Information Commissioner.

Evangelou v McNicol
[2016] EWCA Civ 817, Times 7 September 2016
The decision of the Labour Party’s NEC to restrict voting rights in the Labour Leadership election to those persons who had joined the party before 12 January 2016 was not in breach of the claimants’ contracts for membership of the party.

Govia Thameslink Railway Ltd v ASLEF
[2016] EWHC 1320 QBD, 2 June 2016; [2016] IRLR 686
Interim injunction granted to prevent union from inducing train drivers employed on Southern and Gatwick Express services from taking part in industrial action, where GTR was likely to succeed at trial in showing (i) there had been a prior call by the trade union to take part in industrial action to which the ballot related; and (ii) the ballot had been extended to workplaces ta which there was no union member directly affected by the dispute.

Govia Thameslink Railway Ltd v ASLEF
[2016] EWHC 985, QBD 22 April 2016
Interim injunction granted to prevent union from inducing train drivers employed on Gatwick Express from breaking their contracts by taking part in industrial action for which no ballot had been held.

Governing Body of Binfield Church of England Primary School v Roll
EAT, January 18 2016; [2016] IRLR 670
School security guard not entitled to be paid National Minimum wage for time when he was on call to deal with emergencies, as he was sometimes away.

(Morris and Thomas) v. Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC
[2015] EWHC 1403 (Admin),[2015] ELR 559; (2015) 18 CCLR 550, Admin Ct, May 18 2015
There was no inviolable rule that alternatives had to be consulted upon in every consultation exercise

[2015] IRLR 619, EAT, March 25 2015
Restricted reporting orders in the employment tribunal

Liberty v GCHQ and others
[2015] 3 All ER 142 , [2014] UKIPTrib 13_77-H, Investigatory Powers Tribunal, December 5 2014
Statutory procedures and codes of practice used by the respondents to collect and manage private data obtained via interception were not contrary to the ECHR.

Liberty v GCHQ and others (No. 2)
[2015] 3 All ER 212 , [2014] UKIPTrib 13_77-H, Investigatory Powers Tribunal, February 6 2015
Regime for collecting and managing private data obtained via interception prior to disclosures during earlier hearing was contrary to the ECHR

R(London Oratory School) v The Schools Adjudicator
[2015] EWHC 1012 (Admin), [2015] ELR 335
Faith School  Admission Criteria

Vidal-Hall v Google Inc
[2016] QB 1003, [2016] 2 All ER 337, [2015] 3 WLR 409, [2015] 3 CMLR 2, [2015] EWCA Civ 311
Data protection; information technology; the availability of damages for breach of Data Protection Act 1998, and the definition of “personal data”

R(Smith) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
[2015] EWCA Civ 229
Employment Schemes; compatibility of regulations with enabling Act.

Invideous v Thorogood
[2014] EWCA Civ 1511
Contempt of court; procedure

Clayton v Army Board of the Defence Council
[2014] EWHC 1651 (Admin), [2014] ACD 322, QBD (Admin Ct), May 22 2014
Service complaint brought by Army linguist relating to career management – Resolution of the complaint did not turn on disputed issues of fact where an oral hearing might assist.

R (West) v Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council
[2014] EWHC 2134 (Admin);[2014] ELR 396; QBD (Admin), May 23 2014
A local authority’s decision to withdraw funding for full-time nursery education of three-year-olds was quashed as it had failed to comply with its statutory duties.

R (Evans) v Attorney General
[2014] EWCA Civ 254, [2014] 2 WLR 1334, CA, March 12 2014; [2014] QB 855
Court of Appeal’s decision on judicial review challenge to exercise of veto over correspondence between The Prince of Wales and Government Ministers.

AB v CD and EF
[2014] Eq LR 93 (summary)
Senior executive not sexually harassed because any activity he had taken part in had been consensual. Julian acted for the second respondent.

Belhaj and Boudchar v Rt Hon Jack Straw MP and ors
[2013] EWHC 4111 (QB)
Trial of preliminary issue as to whether claims against HMG and individual claimants (including former Foreign Secretary) in relation to alleged rendition to Libya were barred by principles of sovereign immunity or foreign act of state. Julian acted for the Defendants.

R (Evans) v Attorney General
[2013] EWHC 1960 (Admin), [2013] 3 WLR 1631; [2014] 1 CMLR 8
Judicial review of Attorney General’s decision to exercise veto over release of correspondence between The Prince of Wales and Government departments. Julian acted for the Attorney General.

Plowden v FCO and Information Commissioner
[2013] UKUT 275 (AAC), [2013] 2 Info LR 79
Upper Tribunal case concerning release of a record of a conversation between Tony Blair and George Bush prior to military action in Iraq. Julian acted for the FCO.


Julian is a member of the Treasury Counsel A Panel

News, Articles and Publications

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


Julian obtained one of his year’s highest Firsts in English Literature at St. John’s College, Oxford. He subsequently spent a number of years as a professional pianist, becoming one of Britain’s leading young chamber musicians.


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Professional title: Barrister

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

VAT Number: GB 782456110

Legal Status: Sole Practitioner

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