Job title: Silk, Doughty Street Chambers
Doughty Street Chambers is a human rights and civil liberties practice with a national and international profile in criminal, civil, administrative, public and international law.
You represented Tony Nicklinson – who suffered ‘locked-in’ syndrome - in his landmark case challenging the law on assisted dying. How did you become involved in that case?
Tony’s case is a progression of the work I have done throughout my career around autonomy and choice. I have a public law and human rights practice which emphasises, among others, the rights of persons with disabilities. Autonomy links the right to make end of life decisions with, for example, the right of disabled persons to live independently in the community, and both are features of my practice. I represented Debbie Purdy in her successful appeal to the House of Lords which resulted in the DPP issuing his guidelines on prosecution in assisted suicide cases. The solicitor in Debbie Purdy’s case, Saimo Chahal, and I have worked together for many years so it was a natural fit for us to do so again for Tony and his family, who are carrying on the case now Tony has died.