We use the law to support the vulnerable, increase access to justice and hold governments and businesses to account for human rights abuses.
Our human rights practice is focused on promoting access to justice. We act for individuals and groups affected by human rights violations. Many of our cases are international, involving claims against UK-based multinationals that have caused harm in other countries. We have also acted for claimants in several notable judicial review proceedings.
Our practice is highly diverse, ranging from personal injury cases to discrimination and environmental claims. We are committed to finding ways to bring claims for those unable to pay litigation costs and regularly use flexible fee structures and litigation funding. In some cases we act on a pro bono basis.
We work closely with several NGOs and are involved in many areas of strategic litigation, with the objective of achieving systemic change, often through judicial review challenges. In addition to our casework, we provide advisory support to clients including research reports. Our team is published regularly in legal journals and textbooks and speaks at many high-profile events.
Public law and judicial review
Our team has acted for claimants in several notable judicial review proceedings. Our recent experience includes:
- Acting in proceedings challenging the lawfulness of the government’s decision to award a $83m public supply contract for personal protective equipment (PPE) to Saiger LLC.
- Acting in a challenge to the government’s decision to remove EU state aid rules from retained EU law following Brexit.
- Challenging the government’s failure to review the Airports National Policy Statement in light of the impact of COVID-19 and its new net-zero emissions target.
- Acting for Mums for Lungs, Students for Global Health, The Good Law Project and UK Youth Climate Coalition challenging the UK government to review its Clean Air Strategy in light of emerging links between air quality and the incidence and severity of COVID-19.
- Acting for Tempus Energy in proceedings against the Secretary of State for Business, Environment and Industrial Strategy relating to the UK’s energy capacity market regime.
- Acting for Avaaz in two high profile challenges relating to the Murdoch family’s bid for BSKYB news (one of the drivers leading to the Leveson Inquiry) and the question of whether Sky would remain ‘fit and proper’ to hold a broadcasting licence if 100% owned by 21st Century Fox.
- Acting for the British Disabled Flying Association (BDFA) in a tax dispute with HMRC regarding BDFA’s VAT exemption for the purposes of purchasing and maintaining their aircraft.
For our additional Human Rights expertise in:
Legal 500, 2023
'My experience of working with the civil liberties and human rights team members is that they are all highly proficient lawyers with a strong commitment to their clients and the preservation of their rights.' and 'attention to detail and collaborative working to ensure best outcomes is an absolute hallmark of their operation... and it works!'
Legal 500 UK, 2022
They are committed to claimant civil liberties and human rights work. They are proactive, flexible and use technology to ensure that they are well connected to their clients and Counsel. They are also flexible in terms of fees which is important for claimants in such claims.
Legal 500 UK, 2022
Hausfeld has an international reputation for representing claimants in civil liberties and human rights claims across the globe.
Legal 500 UK, 2021
The niche practice at Hausfeld handles claimant civil liberties matters that exist at the intersection with human rights and environmental litigation... The group also has a thriving pro-bono practice.
The Law Society's Legal Excellence Awards 2019
The ‘Hausfeld, Free Periods and Red Box Project’ was shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Access to Justice’ category. Lawyers of the three organisations teamed up behind campaigner Amika George to eliminate Period Poverty.