Year of Call
Silk - 1995
Griffin Building, Gray's Inn
London, WC1R 5LN
t +44(0)20 7404 3447
Cherie Booth is a leading barrister specialising in public law, human rights, employment and European Community law, arbitration and mediation. She has appeared in a number of leading cases both at home and abroad. She is also a noted speaker on human rights and a staunch supporter of women's rights.
Cherie studied law at the London School of Economics (LSE) and graduated with a First Class Degree in 1975. While studying for her Bar exams she also taught Law at the University of Westminster. Later Cherie came top of her year in her Bar examinations and was called to the Bar in 1976. Initially she was a general common law junior with a broad practice, including personal injury, crime and family.
Cherie moved to 4-5 Grays Inn Square in 1991, and became a Queen's Counsel in 1995. In 1999, she was appointed a Recorder (a permanent part-time judge) in the County Court and Crown Court.
In 2000 Cherie and 21 other prominent Barristers set up a ground breaking legal practice, Matrix Chambers. They were looking to achieve a different working model from the traditional English Chambers and to break down the barriers between providers of legal services. With a focus on human rights and public law and an expanding scope into criminal, commercial and EU law, Matrix has quickly built an impressive reputation.
Cherie continues to work as a barrister both in Britain and internationally. She has appeared in the European Court of Justice, in Commonwealth countries and as an international arbitrator. She has also argued cases in the House of Lords, one of the most well known being the Begum case on whether a decision by a school to exclude a female pupil for wearing a full jilbab infringed her religious rights.
In her employment and discrimination work, Cherie acts for applicants and respondents in both individual and collective disputes. In public law, she has a strong practice advising local authorities and other public bodies on human rights as well as acting for individuals and organisations who want to challenge these bodies in Court.
Cherie is also an active campaigner for prison reform and was 'President of The Commission on English Prisons Today' between 2007 and 2009, under the auspices of the Howard League for Penal Reform, for which she is an Ambassador. She regularly visits prisons on behalf of the Prison Reform Trust and is a Patron of Victim Support.
For her latest speech on prison reform to the Sheriffs and Recorders Fund see Speeches and Articles.
More about Matrix Chambers
Since its formation Matrix has been at the forefront of reform of the way the bar practices. There is no head of chambers and traditional Bar terminology has been abandoned - Practice Manager and trainee are in, clerk and pupil are out. Matrix aims to move beyond the traditional divisions that separate public and private law, civil and criminal law and domestic international law. Matrix has been dubbed "the future of the bar" by its peers and its innovative working practices have begun to spread to other sets. Matrix is a modern environment where diversity and accessibility are widely championed, and outdated practice is challenged.
Matrix actively seeks to promote equality of opportunity, and its long term aspiration is that the practice be comprised of roughly equal proportions of women and men, and that minorities be properly represented. It is one of the aims of the practice to help facilitate access to the legal profession to those traditionally excluded.