Junior barrister Amal Clooney more influential in law than Supreme Court justices

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By Katie King on

Posh bible Debrett’s reveals its top 20 lawyers


Debrett’s has named 20 lawyers in its annual list of the most influential people in the country, and it’s pretty eclectic.

Big names on the etiquette bible’s lineup include human rights barrister Amal Clooney.

A tenant at top London set Doughty Street Chambers, Clooney acted as an adviser on the Syrian conflict, represented the ousted president of the Maldives pro bono and famously defended WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

At just 38-years-old and with a relative lack of experience — she was called to the bar in 2010 — some spectators will question whether her spot on the list is justified. That said, Clooney is not the youngest person to be showered with Debrett’s glory.

That gong goes to 34-year-old Julia Salasky. Having only qualified in 2012, the former Linklaters associate packed in the magic circle to launch crowdfunding website CrowdJustice in 2015. The website has spearheaded a number of important cases such as the Brexit legal challenge and the junior doctors vs Jeremy Hunt judicial review. You can listen to Legal Cheek’s interview with Salasky here.

Other lawyers to make the list — whose non-lawyer offerings included Louis Tomlinson (singer), Tom Hiddleston (actor) and Little Mix (girl band) — include one quarter of the country’s beloved Supreme Court judges. The lucky three were Lady Hale, Lord Neuberger and Lord Sumption, who notably were named the ‘most celebrity’ judges on the bench in a university study.

The (slightly) lower ranks of the judiciary are also well represented: Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton, Court of Appeal judge Lady Justice Hallett and President of the Queen’s Bench Division Sir Brian Leveson are just some of the ten judges named in the top 20 lawyers list.

Both sides of the Brexit judicial review case — judgment in which will be handed down in T-minus 22 hours — have also been given the nod. Jeremy Wright QC, the attorney general, has been mentioned, as too has human rights bigwig Lord Pannick QC. He has been named alongside fellow House of Lords buddy Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, a chambers colleague of Clooney and head of the EU Lords Committee.

The full lawyer list:


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