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Barrister Profile

JOSEPH AIKEN

Year of Call: 1999

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Commercial Law
Public Inquiries

Biography

Joseph was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in Sepember 1999 and specialises in High Court commercial litigation. Joseph’s main practice is before the Commercial Court of the High Court in Northern Ireland but he also undertakes a wide range of other civil litigation including Chancery, Judicial Review, Personal Injury and Professional Negligence cases. He has also acted as Junior Counsel to the Assets Recovery Agency and then the Serious Organised Crime Agency in many of the leading civil recovery cases brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This area of work will continue under the newly formed National Crime Agency. Joseph has a particular interest in public inquiries having been Junior Counsel to the Northern Ireland Office before the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry. He is presently Junior Counsel to the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse 1922 to 1995, set up by Northern Ireland’s First and deputy First Ministers to investigate the abuse of children in institutional care under the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Act (Northern Ireland) 2013. Joseph is a Special Advocate appointed by the Attorney Generals of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland to deal with closed material procedures in hearings before the Courts and other tribunals such as the Parole Commissioners Northern Ireland and the Security Vetting Appeals Panel. Joseph is also a member of the A Panel of the Government Counsel. He is a CORE accredited mediator. Joseph is also an Advocacy Trainer for the Bar’s Advocacy Training Board.

Experience

Joseph’s commercial practice has invovled him appearing in many bank guarantee related cases. One such case involved the application of the principles of contractual interpretation to a bank guarantee where, in error, the principal debtor had been misdescribed on the guarantee document. Mr. Aiken’s client succeeded in its construction argument before the High Court and the Court of Appeal and obtained judgment for a sum in excess of £800,000. See below:

Ulster Bank Limited v Acheson, Raymond [2011] NIQB 33; [2012] NIJB 28

Joseph also appeared for the Plaintiff in one of Northern Ireland’s longest running procurement trials when his client successfully challenged the procurement practices of the Department for Regional Development and secured a decision that led to much debate amongst procurement commentators in the United Kingdom. See below:

Traffic Signs and Equipment Limited v Department for Regional Development & another [2011] NIQB 25; [2011] NIJB 322

In the field of civil recovery Joseph was involved on behalf of the statutory authority in many of the leading cases when the Northern Ireland courts were at the forefront of the interpretation of the new statutory framework. See below:

Director of the Assets Recovery Agency; in re Fleming, Patrick & others [2007] NIQB 16

In the field of public inquiries Joseph was invovled in a high profile case that involved the interpretation of the enforcement mechanisms of the Inquiries Act 2005. See below:

Paisley, Ian; in re application under Section 36 of Inquiries Act 2005 [2008] NIQB 158; [2009] NIJB 317

Publications

Joseph is a contributor to Beer on Public Inquiries published by Oxford University Press.