Alice de Coverley named as Lawyer of the Week by The Times

13th July 2023

Alice deCoverley profile 560x670 1

3PB (3 Paper Buildings) Alice de Coverley Alice de CoverleyCall: 2014(pictured here), a specialist education, equality, and public law barrister with the national chambers, has been named as Lawyer of the Week by The Times today. This follows her involvement in the widely-reported case of Mermaids v (1) the Charity Commission and (2) LGB Alliance [2023] UKFTT 563 (GRC). Alice acted successfully for the LGB Alliance and was instructed by Peter Daly of Doyle Clayton. The charity’s legal defence of its charitable status was backed by crowdfunding.

The LGB Alliance, which advocates for the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, registered with the Charity Commission in 2021. The General Regulatory Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal determined Mermaids failed to demonstrate that the Charity Commission’s registration decision had impacted its legal rights or that there was an identifiable impact on its legal rights which was likely to occur, meaning Mermaids did not have standing to appeal that decision.

The Tribunal notably upheld the protection afforded by Article 10 ECHR, holding that freedom of thought and expression is an essential condition of an intellectually healthy society and that this protection extends to charities as well as to individuals: “We respectfully agree with Lord Bingham that the fundamental rationale of the democratic process upon which our society is founded is that when competing views, opinions and policies are publicly debated and exposed to public scrutiny, the good will over time drive out the bad and the true will prevail over the false. Only when differing views are expressed, contradicted, answered and debated will the legislature be able to obtain the fullest picture of the views held by those they represent in order to create laws that are reflective of and required by society as a whole.” [68]

If you wish to contact Alice, please email her at [email protected]. To instruct her or enquire about her availability, please contact her clerking team of Russell Porter, Tom Cox or Gemma Faulkner on [email protected] or call them on 020 7583 8055.