Aaron Rathmell

Call 2011

Aaron Rathmell | Call 2011

Back to Our People


Aaron Rathmell is a highly sought-after junior barrister in public law, human rights, inquiries, civil claims and discrimination law, with particular experience in the law enforcement and medical sectors. He gives advice which is clear, principled and practical. His drafting is precise. He has extensive courtroom experience, on his feet and led by King’s Counsel.

Aaron is clerked primarily by Lee Johnson, Clare Sabido, Jennifer Pooler and  Emma Bell.

“Has attracted acclaim for his skilful handling of some of the most difficult briefs in recent times …”

 Chambers & Partners

Aaron was junior counsel for the Defendant in Rathband v Chief Constable of Northumbria [2016] EWHC 181 (QB), an important judgment concerning torts and emergency operations

Experience & expertise

Aaron has a growing expertise in information law, acting for public and private organisations. He has a broad practice in investigations, inquests, judicial reviews, human rights, discrimination law, disciplinary proceedings, and civil claims including negligence, defamation, malicious prosecution and misfeasance.

Aaron has been ranked in leading directories since 2015, most recently for police law, inquests and inquiries:

  • “Aaron’s written advice is phenomenal. He gets to the heart of any issue and provides clear, practical advice”, Chambers & Partners
  • “He is an excellent advocate who is very skilled at analysing the most difficult briefs” , Chambers & Partners
  • “Hugely capable. Can extract key information from massive amounts of documents. Superb with clients. A great tactician and has handled the most complex cases with ease. Courtroom skills are second to none. A supreme knowledge of the law”, The Legal 500
  • Tactically very astute, and has a great manner with clients”, The Legal 500 2021
  • His attention to detail is extremely impressive. He has encyclopaedic knowledge of case law and he anticipates potential issues really quickly”, Chambers & Partners 2021
  • He has the most incredible level of intelligence and technical brilliance”, Chambers & Partners
  • He is extremely knowledgeable, very hardworking and a pleasure to work with”, The Legal 500 2017
  • Supremely bright, very industrious and patient. Clients like him a great deal”, Chambers & Partners
  • A very bright junior who is able to pull apart complex issues to get to the crux of the matter. He offers clear and helpful advice swiftly”, Chambers & Partners
  • “… thorough, quick and astute. He’ll be a high flier”, Chambers & Partners
  • Aaron’s advocacy is compelling, persuasive and unflashy, and he gives a very good and professional account for the respondent in the relevant issues. On top of that, he is a pleasure to work with …”, Chambers & Partners
  • He stands his ground and doesn’t allow himself to be pushed around in the courtroom. He’s very careful and considered”, Chambers & Partners
  • He has the people skills to assess the situation and respond accordingly”, Chambers & Partners

Cases & Work of Note

Aaron is frequently instructed in high stakes cases and has acted for individuals, charities, major corporations and public authorities.

He has appeared in a variety of complex cases, especially in the law enforcement sector, including:

  • Barnes v Chief Constable of Thames Valley [2023] EWHC 2737 (Admin) for the successful chief constable, in relation to discharge of a police officer during his probationary period, notwithstanding he had not been dismissed in disciplinary proceedings
  • R. (Victor) v Chief Constable of West Mercia [2023] EWHC 2119 (Admin) for the successful chief constable, a key case on the interaction between statutory procedures for professional discipline, probation and vetting
  • Connor v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire [2023] EAT 42; [2023] I.C.R. 1256 calculation of payments in respect of annual leave upon termination pursuant to the Working Time Regulations 1998
  • Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner v Crown Court [2023] EWHC 960 (Admin); [2023] A.C.D. 107 for the interested party, in relation to permanent forfeiture of pension rights due to serious crime, a key case on the information which may be relied upon by applicant commissioners
  • Pal v United Kingdom, European Court of Human Rights (44261/19) 28 February 2022 for the applicant, article 10 freedom of expression, arrest of journalist, balancing rights, violation found
  • Goodenough & Anor v Chief Constable of Thames Valley [2021] EWCA Civ 1422 torts, use of force, self-defence, arrest, right to life, appeals against factual findings
  • R. (M) v Chief Constable of Sussex [2021] EWCA Civ 42 data protection, information sharing agreements, crime reduction partnerships, sensitive processing, meaning of sex life, reporting restrictions, meaning of “public” or “section of the public”
  • R. (Goodland) v Chief Constable of Staffordshire [2020] EWHC 2477 (Admin); [2020] A.C.D. 129 legitimate expectation, human rights, injury pensions and medical examinations
  • R. (Jones) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 2957 (Admin); [2020] 1 W.L.R. 519 human rights, major public protest and standing in judicial review claims
  • Corsham v Police and Crime Commissioners for Essex, and Avon and Somerset [2019] EWHC 1776 (Ch); [2020] I.C.R. 268 duty of care, negligent misstatement and occupational pensions
  • Chief Constable of Northern Ireland v Agnew [2019] NICA 32; [2019] I.R.L.R. 782 holiday pay, time limits and the EU principle of equivalence
  • R. (Boskovic) v Chief Constable of Staffordshire [2019] EWCA Civ 676; [2019] I.C.R. 1315 reconsideration of injury pensions
  • R. (Gilmore) v Police and Crime Commissioner of West Yorkshire [2018] P.T.S.R. 1108; [2018] A.C.D. 8 chief constables, disciplinary procedures and retirement
  • Dias and others v Cleveland Police, Investigatory Powers Tribunal 2016-2017 for the first claimant (covert surveillance, privacy and free speech)
  • Davis v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2016] EWHC 38 (QB) battery, duty of care, right to life and self-defence
  • R. (Duggan) v Association of Chief Police Officers (UKSC 2015/0185) for ACPO (right to life and procedures following police shooting incidents, opposing permission to appeal)

Other cases and work of note includes:

  • Inquest into the death of Christopher Kapessa, a tragic case the subject of national media coverage
  • Inquest into the Keyham Shootings deaths, acting for the National Police Chiefs’ Council
  • Acting for the respondent in a 10-day Employment Tribunal remedies hearing relating to discrimination in a large police firearms unit, high value personal injury claim
  • Acting for the successful respondent in a 10-day Employment Tribunal claim into data protection whistleblowing, involving witness evidence from four current and former chief police officers
  • Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Anglican Church investigation (junior counsel for a participant regarding historic investigation)
  • General Data Protection Regulation advice to a peak sporting body and various law enforcement authorities
  • Presenting counsel in statutory disciplinary proceedings arising from the “Plebgate” affair
  • Counsel for the family in a sensitive withdrawal of treatment case, concerning a baby with a rare genetic disorder, expert evidence from three jurisdictions
  • Junior counsel for three retired police superintendents in the Hillsborough inquests
  • Junior counsel to Chris Johnston KC and Heidi Knight in a series of medical product liability claims
  • Advised the College of Policing on certain policies and Authorised Professional Practice
  • Advised the Competition and Markets Authority on certain investigatory powers
  • Junior counsel to Greater Manchester Police in a test case regarding false imprisonment and Article 5, ECHR


Aaron contributes to the Medical Law Reports and the UK Police Law Blog. He has published reviews and articles in the Law Quarterly Review, Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal, the Journal of Industrial Relations, and book chapters ranging from corporate law to limitation.


Aaron has given seminars on issues arising from the Human Rights Act 1998, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, Investigatory Powers Act 2016 and the Equality Act 2010.


Called to the Bar of England & Wales in 2011
Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2017
Bar Professional Training Course, outstanding (City)
Hardwicke, Denning and Buchanan awards (Lincoln’s Inn)
BCL (Oxford)
LLB first class (Sydney)
Econ Soc Sci first class, medal (Sydney)


Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association
Employment Law Bar Association
Discrimination Law Association
Industrial Law Society
London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association

other Areas of practice

Aaron is a reviewer for the Bar Pro Bono Unit. He has acted pro bono for individuals, families and charities, in cases ranging from the Employment Tribunal to the European Court of Human Rights.


Aaron adopts and adheres to the provisions of the privacy notice which can be accessed here.

further information

For further details of Aaron’s practice please click on the links to the left or contact a member of the clerking or client service team.

Bar Council Membership No: 09898
Registered Name: Aaron Roy Rathmell
VAT Registration No: 138 6651 88