Barrister Profile



Year of Call: 1985

KC: 2008

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Commercial Law
Human Rights


Hugh Mercer QC is a very experienced advocate whose caseload is focused on public law/judicial review, private and public international law, EU law and human rights applied in particular on the transport, telecoms, food, environmental and agricultural fields. He has extensive experience at appellate level (UK Supreme Court and Court of Appeal), in the CJEU as well as in the appellate courts of other countries(e.g. Supreme Courts of Switzerland and Cyprus) working alongside local counsel.

He is described by clients as “excellent and approachable” and “a super lawyer” and his reputation is as a “fine litigation strategist”. He chairs the International Committee of the Bar of England & Wales and the UK Delegation to the CCBE.

He has excellent French, good German, Spanish and Italian. He is also an Avocat and member of the Belgian Bar with right to practise before the CJEU.

He also sits as an arbitrator and mediator.


Deputy High Court Judge, England and Wales (Queen’s Bench and Administrative Courts)

Master of the Bench of the Hon Soc of Middle Temple


Eleanor Sharpston v la Cour de Justice de l’Union Européenne C-684-5/20P (termination of Advocate General’s term of office; whether reviewable act in EU law)

Re Northern Irish Protocol (advice on interpretation and application of the Protocol to the food sector)

Re NI Troubles amnesty proposal (advice on legality of the proposed amnesty under ECHR)

Unwired Planet v Huawei [2020] UKSC 37 (representing Apple Inc in a challenge on grounds of breach of international law to English court fixing royalty rate for US consumers on US patents in USA)

Barnwell Farms Ltd, Re Judicial Review [2020] NIQB 28 (active farmer test applied to farmer using extensive farming technique; failure to give adequate reasons for decision as not apparent that core issues have been adequately addressed by decision maker)

Re sale of shipping company, LMAA Arbitration (Greek debt crisis prevented payment of balance; whether seller’s action breached good faith under the applicable Greek/Italian law)

Bayer v European Commission, CJEU, Case C-499/18P (whether European Commission prohibition of authorised pesticide infringed procedural protection under the terms of the authorisation)

R (Newby Foods) v Food Standards Agency [2019] UKSC 18 (interpretation of the EU law definition of meat in relation to innovative process to recover meat not removed from bone by initial butchery process)

Marshall, Re Judicial Review [2017] NIQB 17 (errors by DARD in relation to burden of proof and standard required to prove intentional breach of cross-compliance)

AMT Futures Limited v. Marzillier [2017] UKSC 13 (challenge to English jurisdiction; derivatives trader sued German law firm in London for allegedly inducing German consumer investors to sue trader in German courts in breach of English jurisdiction clause; damage occurred on commencement of proceedings by consumers in Germany)

Moreno v Motor Insurers Bureau [2016] UKSC 52 (law applicable to tort claims for accidents abroad involving uninsured drivers; claim against MIB in UK but law of place of tort, not English law, applied – overturning CA case law)

Cox v. Ergo Versicherung AG [2014] UKSC 22 (whether territorial limitation on English tort statute; whether applicable law was German law as place of accident)

Re legality of worldwide specialist shipping pool, LCIA Arbitration (whether rules and structure of a specialist shipping pool were contrary to Articles 101, 102 TFEU and/or in restraint of trade)

Georgias v European Council CJEU, C-545/14P (whether EU sanctions had been lawfully applied to the claimant and whether, if not, claimant was entitled to damages for breach of his fundamental rights)

Mangouras v Spain (The Prestige) ECHR Grand Chamber, 28 September 2010 (whether imprisonment of ship’s master following loss of his vessel without taking into account his personal circumstances breached Article 5(3) ECHR)

Microsoft v European Commission EU General Court, T-167/08 (whether European Commission order to license software on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms infringed legal certainty; whether infringement of right of effective remedy when no mechanism for determining whether relevant rate was FRAND)

R (Intertanko) v Secretary of State for Transport, CJEU, C-308/06 (whether the EU Ship Source Pollution Directive breached the public international law obligations of the EU under the MARPOL Treaty)

R v Ministry of Agriculture ex p Fisher, CJEU, C-369/98 (rights of defence; whether, where claimant for benefit did not have access to relevant information in hands of public body, public body entitled to penalise claimant for error in relation to that information)


1991; Commercial Debt in Europe, Guy & Mercer

2004; European Civil Practice, Layton & Mercer

2010 – date; EU law in Judicial Review, Supperstone, Goudie & Walker