Robert Jay QC named 'Barrister of the Year' 2012

27 Jun, 2012

Robert Jay QC of Thirty Nine Essex Street Chambers was named ‘Barrister of the Year’ at The Lawyer Awards 2012 which took place last night in London.


At what is undoubtedly one of the biggest nights of the legal calendar, Robert beat off stiff competition to claim the title from a notable shortlist which included fellow Thirty Nine Essex Street member, Stuart Catchpole QC.


Last night’s win is the culmination of what has been an outstanding year of work for Robert. His instruction as lead counsel to The Leveson Inquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press, undeniably the most closely followed public inquiry of recent times, led to his being described earlier in the year as “perhaps the most watched barrister around at the moment.”


Robert was handpicked by Lord Justice Leveson to lead the counsel team, providing legal advice to the Inquiry panel and questioning witnesses at oral hearings. This was a hugely prestigious appointment and Robert’s role is absolutely pivotal to an inquiry which is scrutinising the British media as never before and will, ultimately, shape its future.


2011 also saw Robert involved in one of the other most high profile cases of the year, the Mau Mau litigation. He was instructed by the Treasury Solicitor to act for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in an attempt to block a compensation bid launched by Kenyans over allegations that they were victims of British atrocities committed during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s. This was a landmark hearing which was once again widely reported in the media due to the nature of the claims and involved complex questions of, amongst other things, constitutional law.


In addition to his extensive caseload, last year Robert was also elected as Joint Head of Chambers at Thirty Nine Essex Street, a leading multi-discipline set which is known to be at the forefront of the modern Bar. His appointment is further acknowledgement of his career standing and popularity amongst peers and clients alike.


The Lawyer Awards is an annual event which celebrates excellence in the legal profession across private practice, the public sector, commerce and industry, and the Bar.


Robert said of his win, “It was hugely flattering even to be in the shortlist alongside such fantastic company but to win is another matter altogether – I’m absolutely delighted.”


For more information about Robert Jay QC and Thirty Nine Essex Street Chambers visit


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