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Philip Kolvin

Dr Sam Fowles

Called
2017
Telephone
020 7242 4986
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Daniel Gatt
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Sam has provided legal and policy advice at all levels of government, from the Council of Europe to parish councils.

He is developing a broad practice in all areas of Chambers' work, and has a particular interest in Public and Constitutional Law,  Planning and Environmental law, Data Protection and Privacy, and Freedom of Information. 

Sam has provided legal and policy advice at all levels of government, from the Council of Europe to parish councils.

He applies this experience to provide clients with highly practical advice and representation. He is developing a broad practice in all areas of Chambers' work, with a particular interest in Planning and Environmental law, Freedom of Information and Data Protection, and Public and Constitutional Law. He has experience (unled) in the High Court, Crown Court, County Court, and Magistrates Court.


Sam applies his background in public policy, social entrepreneurship, and academia to connect with clients from all backgrounds. Sam has advised on numerous pieces of legislation, including the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, Trade Bill 2017-19, and Data Protection Bill 2018. He has first-hand experience of running a range of public sector organisations; sitting on the boards of a leading university, major public-sector body, and grassroots political campaign. Sam continues to provide legal and public policy advice to a wide range of MPs and NGOs.

Applying his background in public policy, Sam is able to provide advice and representation on all aspects of Brexit. He has advised on several of the major pieces of Brexit legislation and continues to provide advice, training, and representation to local authorities, NGOs, companies, and members of parliament on the practical impacts and responses to Brexit. 

Sam has a particular interest in information law and he was appointed Standing Counsel to the Request Initiative on 3 April 2018.


Sam is a Fellow at the Foreign Policy Centre, where he specialises in information governance, data protection, environmental law and policy, trade and investment, constitutional law, and Brexit. He has taught at the University of London Institute in Paris, the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at the University of London, and the University of Birmingham. He was a formerly a Visiting Scholar at the University of Sydney.

He regularly appears in national and international media speaking and writing on information and data protection, constitutional law, international trade, and Brexit. He has appeared in or on BBC Business, BBC WorldThe Guardian, The Independent, New Statesman, Huffington Post, and Al Jazeera.

Sam holds an MA in History from the University of St Andrews (first class) and a PhD in Law from the University of London. While a PhD candidate Sam founded the Rule of Law Project, a non-profit initiative using drama and debate to engage young people with legal issues. Sam's contribution as a social entrepreneur was recognised with election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Sam enjoys rugby, squash, and musical theatre. He has acted and directed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and on London's West End.

Overview

Sam is able to provide advice and representation in all areas of public law and judicial review. He has particular expertise and experience in constitutional law at both national and local level.

As a former researcher at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, Sam has extensive experience in public and constitutional law. He was counsel to 38 Degrees throughout the House of Commons' consideration of the Trade Bill 2017-19, advising on a significant constitutional change regarding Parliament's role in international trade agreements. He regularly advises individuals, NGOs, companies, and members of parliament on constitutional and public law issues. 

Recent work includes:

    • Advising the Shadow Cabinet on the necessity for European elections when Brexit was delayed.
    • Advising 38 Degrees in it's campaign to amend the Trade Bill 2017-19 which successfully achieved unprecedented parliamentary scrutiny of certain international agreements. 
    • R(Wilson) v The Prime Minister [2019] EWCA Civ 304 - Advising a proposed intervening party (who ultimately decided not to intervene) in a judicial review seeking to determine whether revelations that the "leave" campaigns had breached electoral law required the Prime Minister to withdraw her notification under Article 50 of the TEU (which triggered Brexit). 
    • Advising a local authority on its delegation of powers scheme

Cases

Sam Fowles has been instructed to obtain the Russia Report
15.11.2019
Dr Sam Fowles will act for the Bureau of Investigative Journalists to seek to obtain disclosure of the report of the Intelligence and Security Committee into Russian interference in UK....

Supreme Court's case Cherry/Miller: What’s Next?
03.10.2019

Cherry/Miller v Prime Minister

....

Brexit is reversible and potentially unlawful - the European Court and the High Court rule on Article 50 and rule breaking in elections
11.12.2018
Dr Sam Fowles comments on two major constitutional cases on the BBC and in The Independent. In Wightman and Others v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU the Court of....

News

Supreme Court judicial review challenge to the prorogation of Parliament
17.09.2019
Dr Sam Fowles will be in the Supreme Court this week (17-19 September) as part of the legal team who is representing Joanna Cherry MP and other MPs in Cherry/Miller v Prime....

Dr Sam Fowles' BBC interview about the Northern Ireland Bill and its implications for no-deal Brexit
22.07.2019
Sam Fowles was on BBC News on 18 July to discuss the amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill and its implications for a potential parliament's prorogation to stop a no-deal....

The Three Minute Brief - When is someone 'intentionally homeless'?
04.07.2019

Samuels v Birmingham City Council [2019] UKSC 28

....

The Three Minute Brief - Can the Prime Minister prorogue Parliament to deliver a No Deal Brexit?
12.06.2019
In this week's video, Sam Fowles explores the Prime Minister's power to prorogue Parliament to deliver a No Deal Brexit and how such a constitutional crisis could be worked out....

The Three Minute Brief - school protests in Birmingham and anti-social behaviour
06.06.2019
In this week's video, Sam Fowles is joined by anti-social behaviour law expert and Cornerstone Barristers member Kuljit Bhogal to discuss Birmingham City Council's injunction preventing protests outside schools teaching....

The Three Minute Brief - domestic violence and local authority powers
30.05.2019
In this week's Three Minute Brief, Sam Fowles focuses on the powers that local authorities and housing providers have to protect women and men from domestic violence. In particular, he....

The Three Minute Brief - Caster Semenya: Human Rights And Proportionality
13.05.2019
When can public bodies discriminate against individuals? The Caster Semenya decision raises important human rights issues for both international and domestic lawyers. Sam breaks down the Court of Arbitration for....

Dr Sam Fowles' Recommendations Adopted by Lords Constitution Committee
01.05.2019
The House of Lords Constitution Committee published its report into parliamentary scrutiny of international treaties, recommending substantial reform amounting to constitutional change. International treaties, such as trade agreements, can have....

The Three Minute Brief: Privacy and the Police
30.04.2019
Privacy and the Police: Met mistaken to rely on consent says Dr Sam Fowles In the first post of a new video blog on the legal issues on cutting edge legal....

Joint Committee on Human Rights adopts Dr Sam Fowles’ recommendations on human rights in international treaties
13.03.2019
The Joint Committee on Human Rights yesterday published its report into human rights in international agreements. Dr Sam Fowles appeared as an expert witness before the Committee during its inquiry. The....

Sam Fowles gave evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights
23.01.2019
Sam gave evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday 23 January as part of the Committee's inquiry into Human Rights Protections in International Agreements.  The session focused on human rights protections in....

Events

Housing Day 2019
02.10.2019

1
The Cornerstone Housing Team is delighted to inform you that we are now taking bookings for this year's Housing Day.  Housing Day 2019 will provide you with a thorough analysis of....

Overview

Sam has broad experience in data protection and privacy, freedom of information, and defamation matters. He is particularly experienced providing advice and representation for organisations at high risk of public scrutiny or with complex corporate structures. He is experienced at representing a range of appellants, including journalists and NGo, in the information tribunal. 

Recent work includes:

    • Rai v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Chief Constable of Kent Police - Represented the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in defending a claim for an injunction requiring the disclosure of data related to police investigations. 
    • Advised Greenpeace in a dispute with the ICO and on the development of new intra-organisational data transfer agreements.
    • Advised Momentum on the development of a new privacy policy to comply with the GDPR, accommodate a complex corporate structutre, and facilitate the international transfer of data to non-EU states. 
    • Christopher Chandler v Another Europe is Possible  - Advised on a negotiated settlement in a defamation claim based on YouTube videos released as part of a political campaign and appeared for the defendant in the High Court. 

Cases

Defamation, privacy, and public statements: a warning for the Brexit debate
07.06.2018
The High Court on Thursday 17 May accepted a statement in open court from Another Europe is Possible, an NGO campaigning against Brexit, in settlement of a defamation suit brought....

News

The Three Minute Brief - British Airways and Marriott Hotels: GDPR fines
11.07.2019
A few days ago, the Information Commissioner has stated an intention to impose two of the largest ever data breach fines on British Airways and Marriott Hotels. In this week's video, Sam....

Use of personal data in child safeguarding: opportunities and challenges
19.09.2018
Child safeguarding is necessarily a multi-agency exercise. Increasingly local authorities are beginning to take a data-based approach, combining data from across agencies to identify which families are most in need....

Overview

Sam provides advice and representation on all aspects of planning and environmental law. He has a particular interest in matters involving renewable energy and climate change. Sam's recent work includes actin as junior to Dr Ashley Bowes, on behalf of Braintree District Council. They successfully opposed planning permission for a major sheltered housing development, inter alia, on grounds that the developers had applied the wrong test for financial viability.

Sam is currently advising a local community seeking to oppose planning permission for a major hotel chain to build in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Cases

Council justified in seeking £800k price tag for retirement scheme
24.07.2018
An Inspector has upheld Braintree District Council's decision to refuse permission for a retirement scheme, partly on the basis that the developer had failed to provide a policy driven affordable....

News

Dr Sam Fowles' Recommendations Adopted by Lords Constitution Committee
01.05.2019
The House of Lords Constitution Committee published its report into parliamentary scrutiny of international treaties, recommending substantial reform amounting to constitutional change. International treaties, such as trade agreements, can have....

Overview

Sam accepts instructions in the full range of Cornerstone's local government work. He has a particular interest in matters involving:

  • Freedom of information 
  • Data protection
  • Domestic violence
  • Councillors conduct and ethics
  • Electoral law
  • Environmental and regulatory prosecution and defence

Overview

Sam acts in the full range of Cornerstone's housing work. He has experience in possession matters, section 204 appeals, the full range of anti-social behaviour injunctions, disrepair, and homelessness matters.

Sam has a particular interest in a range of legal measures available to protect individuals from domestic violence. He is able to provide advice and representation on possession proceedings based on domestic violence, anti-social behaviour injunctions, and domestic violence protection orders.

Sam was a member of the Bar Human Rights Council working group on Violence Against Women. He co-authored the BHRC reports on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Violence Against Women. He was involved with the development of FGM Protection Orders and the new offence of failing to protect children from FGM.

Cases

Possession on the domestic violence ground (without proving domestic violence)
28.02.2019
Paragraph 14A of Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 provides that a social landlord may gain possession of a property where it is occupied by a....

News

The Three Minute Brief - When is someone 'intentionally homeless'?
04.07.2019

Samuels v Birmingham City Council [2019] UKSC 28

....

Events

Housing Day 2019
02.10.2019

1
The Cornerstone Housing Team is delighted to inform you that we are now taking bookings for this year's Housing Day.  Housing Day 2019 will provide you with a thorough analysis of....

Overview

Sam is able to provide advice and representation on a full range of commercial law matters. He is particularly interested in the commercial aspects of information law and has experience in matters concerning data protection, privacy, and freedom of information in a commercial context. 

Overview

Sam is able to provide advice and representation on a full range of property law matters.

Overview

Sam accepts instructions in the full range of Cornerstone's licensing work. 

Overview

Sam accepts instructions in the full range of Cornerstone's work on inquests and inquiries. 

The Trade Bill 2018: A Step Towards Parliamentary Control of Treaty Making?

14th September 2018

The Trade Bill 2017-19, currently undergoing its second reading in the House of Lords, marks a significant step in the evolution of the UK's constitution in that it gives Parliament a greater say in the making of international trade agreements ("ITA") than ever before.

Constitutional law and international trade are rarely spoken of in the same breath. This approach is outdated. Read the full blog here

Associate EU Citizenship: A Brief Assessment

14th September 2018

Is Brexit just a choice between the Chequers deal or a 'hard Brexit'? Supporters of 'associate citizenship' believe there is not.

The proposed associate citizenship would allow individuals to enjoy some of the benefits of EU citizenship in return for a (likely substantial) fee.

While this would undoubtedly bring benefits to those able to take up associate citizenship, it would also have a transformative effect on the concept of citizenship itself, exacerbating existing trends towards transnational forms of citizenship and a reduced role for nation states. Read the full article here

Sam's publications prior to coming to the Bar include:

1st March 2018

  • "Associate EU Citizenship: A Brief Assessment", Foreign Policy Centre, (forthcoming)
  • "The Free Market Case for Renewables", Foreign Policy Centre, (2017)
  • "How to Fix the Great Repeal Bill", Another Europe is Possible, (2017)
  • "A Decimation of Rights: The Consequences of the Great Repeal Bill", Global Justice Now, (2017)
  • "The Impact of Investment Treaties on Human Rights", Foreign Policy Centre, (2017)
  • "The Great Repeal Bill: Addressing Unaccountable Power", Another Europe is Possible, (2017)
  • "Failure to evaluate introduction of Female Genital Mutilation mandatory reporting" (2016) 101 Archives of Disease In Childhood 778 (with Felicity Gerry QC and Professor Andrew Rowland)
  • "In Defence of Europe" (9 March 2016) UK Constitutional Law Blog
  • "A 'Failure to Protect' Offence for FGM: An Initial Assessment" (2015) 79 Journal of Criminal Law 344 (with Theodora Christou)
  • "The Subtle Revolution: TTIP, Sovereignty and the Rule of Law", Mishcon de Reya, (2015)
  • "Report of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales on Female Genital Mutilation", Bar Human Rights Committee, (2014), (with Kirsty Brimelow QC, Dr Theodora Christou, Dexter Dias QC, Felicity Gerry QC, Courtney Perlmutter, Charlotte Proudman and Zimran Samuel)
  • Report of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales on Violence Against Women Bar Human Rights Committee, (2014) (with Kirsty Brimelow QC, Dr Theodora Christou, Dexter Dias QC, Felicity Gerry QC, Courtney Perlmutter, Charlotte Proudman and Zimran Samuel)

Media

Blogs and Articles

Television

Case:

General Election: SNP seek judicial review of exclusion from the leaders debate

18th November 2019

Philip Coppel QC and Sam Fowles have been instructed by the Scottish National Party (SNP) to challenge ITV's decision to exclude Nicola Sturgeon from the leaders debate on Tuesday 19....

Case: Public Law and Judicial Review

Sam Fowles has been instructed to obtain the Russia Report

15th November 2019

Dr Sam Fowles will act for the Bureau of Investigative Journalists to seek to obtain disclosure of the report of the Intelligence and Security Committee into Russian interference in UK....

Case: Public Law and Judicial Review

Supreme Court's case Cherry/Miller: What’s Next?

3rd October 2019

Cherry/Miller v Prime Minister

....

News: Public Law and Judicial Review

Supreme Court judicial review challenge to the prorogation of Parliament

17th September 2019

Dr Sam Fowles will be in the Supreme Court this week (17-19 September) as part of the legal team who is representing Joanna Cherry MP and other MPs in Cherry/Miller v Prime....

News: Public Law and Judicial Review

Dr Sam Fowles' BBC interview about the Northern Ireland Bill and its implications for no-deal Brexit

22nd July 2019

Sam Fowles was on BBC News on 18 July to discuss the amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill and its implications for a potential parliament's prorogation to stop a no-deal....

News: Information Law

The Three Minute Brief - British Airways and Marriott Hotels: GDPR fines

11th July 2019

A few days ago, the Information Commissioner has stated an intention to impose two of the largest ever data breach fines on British Airways and Marriott Hotels. In this week's video, Sam....

News: Public Law and Judicial Review, Housing

The Three Minute Brief - When is someone 'intentionally homeless'?

4th July 2019

Samuels v Birmingham City Council [2019] UKSC 28

....

News: Public Law and Judicial Review

The Three Minute Brief - Can the Prime Minister prorogue Parliament to deliver a No Deal Brexit?

12th June 2019

In this week's video, Sam Fowles explores the Prime Minister's power to prorogue Parliament to deliver a No Deal Brexit and how such a constitutional crisis could be worked out....

News: Public Law and Judicial Review

The Three Minute Brief - school protests in Birmingham and anti-social behaviour

6th June 2019

In this week's video, Sam Fowles is joined by anti-social behaviour law expert and Cornerstone Barristers member Kuljit Bhogal to discuss Birmingham City Council's injunction preventing protests outside schools teaching....

News: Public Law and Judicial Review

The Three Minute Brief - domestic violence and local authority powers

30th May 2019

In this week's Three Minute Brief, Sam Fowles focuses on the powers that local authorities and housing providers have to protect women and men from domestic violence. In particular, he....

News: Public Law and Judicial Review

The Three Minute Brief - Caster Semenya: Human Rights And Proportionality

13th May 2019

When can public bodies discriminate against individuals? The Caster Semenya decision raises important human rights issues for both international and domestic lawyers. Sam breaks down the Court of Arbitration for....

News: Public Law and Judicial Review, Planning and Environment

Dr Sam Fowles' Recommendations Adopted by Lords Constitution Committee

1st May 2019

The House of Lords Constitution Committee published its report into parliamentary scrutiny of international treaties, recommending substantial reform amounting to constitutional change. International treaties, such as trade agreements, can have....

News: Public Law and Judicial Review

The Three Minute Brief: Privacy and the Police

30th April 2019

Privacy and the Police: Met mistaken to rely on consent says Dr Sam Fowles In the first post of a new video blog on the legal issues on cutting edge legal....

News: Public Law and Judicial Review

Joint Committee on Human Rights adopts Dr Sam Fowles’ recommendations on human rights in international treaties

13th March 2019

The Joint Committee on Human Rights yesterday published its report into human rights in international agreements. Dr Sam Fowles appeared as an expert witness before the Committee during its inquiry. The....

Case: Housing

Possession on the domestic violence ground (without proving domestic violence)

28th February 2019

Paragraph 14A of Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 provides that a social landlord may gain possession of a property where it is occupied by a....

News: Public Law and Judicial Review

Sam Fowles gave evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights

23rd January 2019

Sam gave evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday 23 January as part of the Committee's inquiry into Human Rights Protections in International Agreements.  The session focused on human rights protections in....

Case: Public Law and Judicial Review

Brexit is reversible and potentially unlawful - the European Court and the High Court rule on Article 50 and rule breaking in elections

11th December 2018

Dr Sam Fowles comments on two major constitutional cases on the BBC and in The Independent. In Wightman and Others v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU the Court of....

News: Information Law

Use of personal data in child safeguarding: opportunities and challenges

19th September 2018

Child safeguarding is necessarily a multi-agency exercise. Increasingly local authorities are beginning to take a data-based approach, combining data from across agencies to identify which families are most in need....

Case: Planning and Environment

Council justified in seeking £800k price tag for retirement scheme

24th July 2018

An Inspector has upheld Braintree District Council's decision to refuse permission for a retirement scheme, partly on the basis that the developer had failed to provide a policy driven affordable....

Case: Information Law

Defamation, privacy, and public statements: a warning for the Brexit debate

7th June 2018

The High Court on Thursday 17 May accepted a statement in open court from Another Europe is Possible, an NGO campaigning against Brexit, in settlement of a defamation suit brought....

News:

Sam Fowles gave lecture series at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies

12th March 2018

Cornerstone pupil Sam Fowles gave a lecture series entitled Environmental Law in a Global Context: Brexit, Trade, and Human Rights at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, University of London. The....

News:

Sam Fowles spoke at the Union Debating Society, University of St Andrews

15th February 2018

Cornerstone pupil, Sam Fowles, spoke at the Union Debating Society in Lower Parliament Hall, University of St Andrews, Scotland's version of the Oxford Union. Sam spoke alongside Robert MacGillivray, Regional....

News:

Sam Fowles spoke at Global Justice Now Trade Day

5th February 2018

Cornerstone pupil Sam Fowles gave the first speech at the Global Justice Now Trade Day, focusing on the issues for public and constitutional lawyers raided by post-Brexit trade agreements. Other....