“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  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:
- “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 High Court cases, especially in the law enforcement sector, including:
- R. (M) v Chief Constable of Sussex  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  EWHC 2477 (Admin);  A.C.D. 129 legitimate expectation, human rights, injury pensions and medical examinations
- Goodenough v Chief Constable of Thames Valley  EWHC 695 (QB) and  EWHC 1428 (QB) torts, arrest and right to life
- R. (Jones) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  EWHC 2957 (Admin);  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  EWHC 1776 (Ch);  I.C.R. 268 duty of care, negligent misstatement and occupational pensions
- Chief Constable of Northern Ireland v Agnew  NICA 32;  I.R.L.R. 782 holiday pay, time limits and the EU principle of equivalence
- R. (Boskovic) v Chief Constable of Staffordshire  EWCA Civ 676;  I.C.R. 1315 reconsideration of injury pensions
- R. (Gilmore) v Police and Crime Commissioner of West Yorkshire  P.T.S.R. 1108;  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  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:
- 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 for a participant in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Anglican Church investigation
- Junior counsel to Chris Johnston QC 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 recently reported on the following cases for the Medical Law Reports:
- Jesudason v Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust,  EWCA Civ 73  Med LR 105 Protected disclosures – Whistle-blowing – NHS Trusts – Disclosures to other persons, media – Post-employment disclosures – detriment – reason for treatment – direct race discrimination – rule in Browne v Dunn
- University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust v Reuser,  Med LR 370 Health – Employment – NHS Trusts – Investigation – Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS policy – Unfair dismissal – Wrongful dismissal – Automatically unfair dismissal – Polkey reductions – Contributory conduct – Protected disclosures – Whistleblowing.
- Basma v Manchester Uni Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,  EWCA Civ 278  Med LR 259 Judicial Review – Medical treatment – Eligibility assessments – Standard of Review – Failure to take into account relevant evidence – Irrationality.
Aaron has also reported the following for Advocate.
- CASE OF PAL v. THE UNITED KINGDOM,  Application no. 44261/19 – Art 10 • Freedom of expression • Journalist’s arrest and prosecution for the harassment of another journalist, arising from the publication of an article and tweets • Domestic courts’ failure to carry out balancing exercise on Art 8 and 10 rights • Absence of relevant and sufficient reasons
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 (not currently practising in NI)
Bar Professional Training Course, outstanding (City)
Hardwicke, Denning and Buchanan awards (Lincoln’s Inn)
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.
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