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Nicholas Padfield QC

Nicholas Padfield QC is an international barrister and Bencher of the Inner Temple.

Nicholas Padfield QC was educated at the Dragon School, Oxford, and Charterhouse, and then at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, before being called to the Bar in 1972, taking Silk in 1991. He was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court in 1995, and a part-time High Court Judge sitting in the Administrative Court in 2008. He went up to University College, Oxford, in 1965 where he read Greats, gained a Hockey Blue and won 8 England international hockey caps. He turned down an Associate Professorship at Yale in Ancient Greek before going down to Cambridge in 1969, where he completed a 2-year postgraduate degree in Public International Law at Trinity Hall.

Having been given in 1972 a tenancy at 1 Hare Court, the Chambers of the Treasury Devil, Lord Slynn of Hadley, he spent his first five years working with him as Junior Treasury Counsel. In those early days, the appellate civil work of all the Government’s Departments was dealt with by the Treasury Devil, his Devil and two pupils, whereas today there is a plethora of Government legal advisers to share the burden. 

As a Junior, he was Standing Counsel to the University of Cambridge. As a Silk, he was frequently instructed by, and appeared for and against a number of foreign governments and international organisations, both in the UK and abroad, where complex issues had arisen in the context of an international dispute.

His clients have ranged from the star-studded to the more mundane, and include government leaders, politicians, rock stars, princesses and billionaires, famous racehorse owners, members of the Jockey Club and the Institution of Chemical Engineers. 

He is a Bencher of the Inner Temple (since 1993) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, as well as a past Chairman of the CIArb (London branch).

He was Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party’s Ethic and Integrity Committee (although not a member of the party), a past Chairman of the Commonwealth and Ethnic Barristers’ Association, a past Trustee and Member of the Advisory Council of the Lord Slynn European Law Foundation, and a Member of the Advisory Council of the International Council for Capital Formation (Brussels and Washington). He is a Trustee and Legal Adviser of the Sudan Archaeological Research Society, Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, British Museum, and a Member of the UN Working Party on endangered languages, UNGEGN.

He is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Scriveners. He is a member of the Garrick, MCC and Vincent’s Club.

Nicholas Padfield QC

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