Oliver Sanders KC

Call: 1995 | Silk: 2017

"Oliver Sanders KC is a go-to for advice on really technical or difficult issues."

Chambers & Partners 2023

"His ability to cut to the chase, while listening, is his strength."

Legal 500 2024

Oliver Sanders KC has a wide experience and expertise in public law and human rights, including judicial reviews, damages claims and statutory appeals; information rights, including data protection, freedom of information, breach of confidence and misuse of private information; national security and extremism; inquests and inquiries; contempt of court; and the Equality Act 2010.

He is a member of the Bar Pro Bono Scheme and the Inner Temple Advocacy Training Programme and has given lectures to various government and non-government clients, the Justice / Sweet and Maxwell FOI Conference and the ALBA Summer Conference.

In 2023 Oliver received a Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award, the highest honour the LALYs can give, as part of the team who represented the family of Molly Russell at the inquest into her death.

Before joining chambers in 2004, Oliver spent seven years in the Government Legal Department working on the Northern Ireland peace process, prisons matters, public law litigation and the Hutton Inquiry.

Oliver Sanders KC 1COR Privacy Notice


Legal Expertise

Oliver acts for claimants and defendants in a wide variety of contexts. In addition to the contentious work referred to below, he has undertaken specialist advisory work for government on articles 2-3 and 5 of the ECHR, Crown immunity and Crown proceedings, the Equality Act 2010, new schools and academies (including free and grammar schools) and the forfeiture of pensions.

In the national security context, he has acted for the intelligence services, government, the police and oversight bodies in relation to: breach of confidence and injunction claims; closed material procedures and public interest immunity; contempt of court; extremism, including in education; investigatory powers and data protection; mediations; and reporting restrictions.

He has also acted for MOD on dozens of cases under the special forces confidentiality contracts, including 12 injunction claims and a judicial review.

Selected Cases

Acting for interested persons (including families, healthcare professionals and private and public sector bodies) and coroners in connection with inquests into healthcare and hospital deaths, deaths in custody (prison, police, immigration and mental health), workplace and road traffic accidents, service deaths and related claims in tort and under article 2 of the ECHR.

Selected Cases

  • Re Molly Russell: Children and online harms.
  • Re Paul Craig & Others: Guildford Pub Bombings 1974.
  • Re Stuart Fuller: HIV and HCV contaminated blood products.
  • Re LCpl Brynin: Friendly fire.
  • Re Eystna Blunnie: Domestic homicide.
  • Re Private Lomas: White water rafting.
  • Re Jimmy Mubenga: Deportation restraint.
  • Re Rhiya Malin: Nursery playground accident.
  • Re Michael Harland: RAF Tornado ejection seat malfunction.
  • Re Cpl Bryant & Others: Snatch Landrover IED.
  • Re Able Seaman Johnstone: Navy diving accident.
  • Re Godfrey Moyo: Prison restraint.
  • Re Flt Lt Sale & Others: RAF helicopter crash.
  • Re Lt Cole & Others: Navy helicopter crash.
  • Re Capt Wright: SAS parachute accident.

Oliver acted for Number 10 witnesses in the Hutton Inquiry and has been heavily involved in the Undercover Policing Inquiry since 2017. In the latter, he is acting for a core participant group comprising more than 110 former Met Police members of the Special Demonstration Squad and National Public Order Intelligence Unit.

He has also worked on other statutory and non-statutory investigations, inquiries and reports including as counsel to the Intelligence Services Commissioner (Michael Adebolajo torture claims) and Operation Kenova (Northern Ireland legacy cases).

Selected Cases

Oliver acts for private individuals and organisations, charities, government, the police and other public authorities in connection with: compliance issues, requests, appeals and claims arising under the UK GDPR, the Data Protection Acts 1998 and 2018 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and privacy-related claims for misuse of private information and breach of article 8 of the ECHR.

In addition to the cases referred to below, he has advised on data and privacy issues in the context of: accidental disclosures; adoption information cases; bulk personal datasets; credit investigations and reports; health data; investigatory powers and surveillance; media and television reports; online harms; open source materials; press releases; the Register of Companies; security and intelligence databases; scientific research; telephony and switchboard services; the use of and unauthorised access to personal email accounts in the workplace; vetting information; and voyeurism offences.

Selected Cases

More about Oliver Sanders KC

  • Northern Ireland Bar (2020)
  • Attorney General’s A Panel (2012)
  • Attorney General’s FOI Sub-Panel (2009)
  • Attorney General’s B Panel (2005)

  • Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award 2023

  • BCL, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford (1994-1995)
  • BVC, Council of Legal Education, Inns of Court School of Law (1993-1994)
  • LLB (First Class), Queen Mary College, University of London (1990-1993)

  • Chapters on national security and defence plus other sections in all six editions of Coppel on “Information Rights” (2004, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2020 and 2023)
  • “Candour and Disclosure in Claims for Judicial Review: An Outline” [2008] JR 244
  • “Disclosure of Documents in Claims for Judicial Review” [2006] JR 194 (cited as “valuable” in Tweed v PCNI [2006] UKHL 53, per Lord Carswell at [29])

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