Caroline Stone

Year of Call: 2005
Email Address: caroline.stone@3pb.co.uk
Secure Email: caroline.stone@3paper.cjsm.net
Telephone: 020 7583 8055

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Overview

Caroline Stone’s practice focuses on public, regulatory and employment law. Cases of note include acting as junior counsel in a 6-week ‘fitness to practise’ hearing before the General Medical Council, advising as to the legality of a European Arrest Warrant and litigation involving a national security dimension, including immigration matters.

Caroline has experience of advocacy in the High Court, County Courts and various specialist Tribunals such as the Employment Tribunal. She also has a busy advisory practice.

Complementing her domestic practice in public law and human rights, Caroline also has extensive experience of international law and foreign jurisdictions. Having worked at the War Crimes Chamber of the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo) prior to joining 3PB, in 2012, Caroline was a Judicial Assistant to the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (based in The Hague), dealing with appeals arising from the conviction of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia.

In late 2011, as a Pegasus Scholar, Caroline undertook a 2-month secondment at the Legal Resources Centre, Cape Town, one of South Africa’s pre-eminent public-interest law clinics. Her work ranged from conducting asylum seeker and refugee appeals to advising on the constitutionality of proposed legislation which purported to restrict access to sensitive state information and criminalise ‘whistle-blowing’ in the security sector.

Caroline’s meticulous attention to detail, pragmatic advice, personable approach and keen instinct for legal argument are among her key strengths. These skills are of particular value in the protracted, multi-party (Claimant and/or Defendant) cases in which she is often instructed, especially those involving substantial documentation.

In 2009, Caroline was nominated for a Bar Pro Bono Award for her involvement in R (Compton) v Wiltshire PCT, for which she and her co-counsel received a special commendation from the judging panel.

Caroline has a passion for singing and photography.

Expertise

  • Public and Regulatory
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    Reflective of the expansive nature of modern government, Caroline has a wide-ranging public and regulatory law practice, with a developing expertise in litigation involving a national security dimension.

    Caroline’s national security work includes civil damages claims (arising from allegations of false imprisonment and/or misfeasance in public office) and immigration bail applications requiring consideration of Article 5 ECHR. Her aptitude for constructing legal submissions from ‘first principles’ - enhanced in the course of her international work (see further below) - is well-suited to this area of work, particularly in relation to the novel human rights and disclosure issues which frequently arise.

    In March 2011, Caroline was appointed to the ‘C Panel’ of the Attorney-General’s List of Junior Counsel. Having observed judicial review from both sides of the public law spectrum, she is sensitive to the frustrations and complexities of litigating both for and against public authorities.

    Public Law and Human Rights

    National Security cases of note include:

    • W and Ors v SSHD (Special Immigration Appeals Commission, 25 January 2013 and Court of Appeal – Judgment pending) Deportation appeal challenging the ‘safety on return’ to Algeria of several suspected terrorists (CoA: whether Algerian prison conditions breach Article 3 ECHR; appropriate standard to be applied in ‘foreign’ cases; SIAC: legality of DWA (deportation with assurances) arrangements in light of ‘reverse-closed’ evidence submitted by the Appellants)
    • R (Sarkandi and Ors) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2014] EWHC 2359 (Admin) (ongoing)
    • Judicial Review of the Foreign Secretary’s decision to propose five individuals alleged to be senior members of IRISL (Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines) for designation on the list of those subject to EU sanctions (application for a closed material procedure under section 6 of the Justice and Security Act 2013; interplay between domestic and EU processes leading to the imposition and annulment of sanctions)
    • L1 v Secretary of State for the Home Department (ongoing)
    • Statutory review and appeal by an individual deprived of British nationality and subsequently excluded from the UK (whether the Secretary of State abused her powers by deliberately seeking to deprive this individual whilst he was abroad)
    • Al Rawi & Ors v The Security Service & Others (2010)
    • Multi-party civil litigation arising from the detention of individuals at Guantanamo Bay and Coalition facilities, raising complicated issues of disclosure and international human rights and humanitarian law. This work was undertaken, in part, during a six-month secondment to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

    Other Public Law cases of note: 

    • Advising the Department for Education regarding the potential termination of an Academy’s funding as a result of poor governance and failure to comply with the Independent School Standards (consideration of the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010, in particular provisions relating to safeguarding and the need to promote community cohesion)
    • Syed & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 196
      Interpretation of the Immigration Rules (whether ACCA Professional Level Qualification was a “UK recognised bachelor or postgraduate degree” qualifying for the award of points under the Tier 1 (Post Study) work route; role of UK NARIC in assessing the level of non-degree qualifications obtained in the UK)
    • Nicolaou v Redbridge Magistrates’ Court (2011)
      Advising as to the legality of a European Arrest Warrant and the interpretation of section 1 of the Child Abduction Act 1984
    • Cattrell v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2011] EWCA Civ 572, Lawtel 29 March 2011
    • Successfully resisting an appeal by the Secretary of State challenging the award of Incapacity Benefit, in exceptional circumstances, to an allergy sufferer (interpretation of Regulation 27 of the Social Security (Incapacity for Work) (General) Regulations 1995 and the meaning of “substantial risk”)
    • R (Compton) v Wiltshire PCT [2009] EWHC 1824 (Admin), Lawtel 28th July 2009
      Judicial Review of a Primary Care Trust’s decisions regarding the closure of hospital facilities (lawfulness of the consultation process; principles governing the apparent bias of advisors to public authorities)
    • R (Compton) v Wiltshire PCT [2008] EWCA Civ 749, 1 WLR 1436 (assisted during pupillage)
      One of the leading Court of Appeal authorities on Protective Costs Orders (guidance on the criteria and procedure for making and setting aside protective costs orders; scope of the “general public importance” test)

    Caroline has also advised in relation to challenging decisions of the Police Medical Appeals Board (receipt of injury awards/pensions) and various public law matters arising from UK Border Agency enforcement action (including challenging the improper exercise of judicial discretion to grant leave to appeal out of time).

    Other public law experience 
    Prior to being called to the Bar, Caroline gained extensive experience of public law and human rights issues. As a Legal Intern at the Public Law Project for 7 months (2005), she advised on diverse matters ranging from the powers of the Criminal Records Bureau and DVLA to challenging the lack of support for ‘looked after’ children. One of her more unusual cases involved the decision of a PCT Joint Exceptions Panel concerning the provision of elective plastic surgery.

    In 2006, Caroline worked as a researcher on the ‘The Dynamics of Judicial Review Litigation’, a Nuffield Foundation-sponsored study into the mechanics of judicial review, in particular the permission stage, undertaken by the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. As part of this research, Caroline interviewed dozens of solicitors - working for central and local Government, leading private firms and NGOs - about their experience of the judicial review process. These interviews related to specific judicial review applications covering all the core public law areas, including prison law, education and asylum support.

    Regulatory Law
    Regulatory law cases include:

    • JC v OFSTED [2011] UKFTT 449 (HESC)
      On behalf of OFSTED, successfully resisting the appellant’s appeal against temporary suspension from the register of childminders
    • General Medical Council v Abayomi (2010)
      Instructed as a junior in a 6-week prosecution of a doctor before the GMC’s Fitness to Practise Panel (charges of dishonesty and financial misfeasance)
    • Representing a Councillor accused of breaching the Code of Conduct before his Local Standards Committee. Thereafter, appealing to the First Tier Tribunal (Local Government Standards of England Chamber)

    International Law and Human Rights
    Caroline’s work in various foreign jurisdictions complements her domestic public law and human rights practice.

    Appeals Chamber, Special Court for Sierra Leone, The Hague (2012) – as a Judicial Assistant (P3), Caroline worked on the preliminary appellate proceedings arising from the conviction of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, for being an accessory to war crimes and crimes against humanity in neighbouring Sierra Leone. This role involved complex legal research, drafting and case-analysis.

    Visiting Pegasus Scholar, Legal Resources Centre, Cape Town (Autumn 2011) – a privileged opportunity to work at the ‘coal face’ of public interest law in South Africa, encompassing a variety of public law and constitutional challenges. Please see Caroline’s report in the Inner Temple Yearbook for further details.

    War Crimes Chamber, State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo (2007) – as a Judicial Assistant, Caroline drafted procedural and substantive decisions, including a major Judgment in a case involving crimes against humanity (Tanasković, X-KRŽ-05/165) and a procedural decision concerning the legitimate use of pre-trial confessions as evidence and the scope of the right to silence.

    Published Articles 
    "The South African 'Secrecy Bill': taking stock", Constitutionally Speaking, 8 June 2012 and UK Human Rights Blog (abridged version), 24 June 2012
    “Corner House Revisited: The Law Governing Protective Costs Orders”, [2009] JR 43

    Asset and Tax Recovery 

    As an adjunct to her public and regulatory law practice, Caroline has significant experience of asset forfeiture law. Under the tutelage of her pupil supervisor Judge Sutherland Williams, Caroline was exposed to the full range of asset forfeiture work undertaken by 3PB for both Prosecuting Authorities and Receivers, including civil recovery and restraint proceedings. She was involved with numerous High Court and Court of Appeal hearings, many of which raised Article 7 ECHR challenges.

    Indicative cases include:

    • Advising the Serious Organised Crime Agency as to the merits of pursuing civil recovery following a failed prosecution (£6 million fraud)
    • Advising as to the merits, drafting pleadings and appearing in judicial review cases arising from condemnation hearings
    • Indirect tax – Caroline has conducted numerous condemnation trials and restoration appeals (the latter before the First Tier Tribunal (Tax)), in addition to drafting the originating summons or Statements of Case in such claims
    • Cash forfeiture hearings
    • Enforcement hearings on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service

    Caroline has a keen interest in further developing her asset forfeiture practice. Her aptitude for cutting through complex statutory provisions lends itself to this area of law; so too, her ability to research foreign law.

    Caroline has lectured on the subject of Civil Recovery Orders.

    Significant cases

    • SFO v Lexi Holdings Plc (In administration) [2008] EWCA Crim 1443
      During pupillage, Caroline assisted in the preparation of this crucial Court of Appeal case which determined the scope of the amended legislative steer contained in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

    Caroline is a Member of the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers’ Association.

    Published Articles 
    “Whose car is it anyway?”, New Law Journal, 159 NLJ 595
    “R v Morgan; R v Bygrave – A Case Commentary”, Proceeds of Crime Review: The Journal of Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering, 2008 Vol. 2, p55-57

  • Employment and discrimination
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    Caroline is regularly instructed to advise on and appear in Employment Tribunal proceedings. Her cases range from preliminary hearings to substantive multi-day trials, representing the full spectrum of the labour market – from cleaners to hedge fund employees; care home providers to public authority employers. Caroline’s meticulous attention to detail ensures she is always fully conversant with the finer details of her client’s work environment, of particular assistance in relation to industries which are heavily regulated or more technical in nature.

    Caroline has also advised on the merits of appealing decisions to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

    Caroline has experience of:

    • unfair dismissal – including constructive unfair dismissal, gross misconduct and the reasonableness of selection criteria for redundancy
    • the definition of an ‘employee’
    • TUPE
    • unlawful deduction of wages (including bonus schemes)
    • breach of contract claims
    • public interest disclosures relating to health and safety
    • all forms of discrimination claims, including indirect discrimination
    • Equal Pay Act claims

    Cases of interest include:

    • Acting on behalf of the UK Border Agency in successfully defending a claim for discrimination ‘arising from disability’ brought under the novel provisions of section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 (consideration of the necessary causal link between the impugned conduct and the disability relied upon)
    • Successfully arguing that a school groundsman who had accounted for his own tax and national insurance for over 20 years, had a considerable degree of autonomy in the manner in which work was completed and undertook similar jobs elsewhere as a contractor was nonetheless an ‘employee’ for the purposes of an unfair dismissal claim
    • Advising as to whether a Civil Service injury benefit scheme (Ministry of Defence) was indirectly discriminatory on the grounds of age
    • Advising whether termination of employment in order to prevent a local authority employee accessing his pension amounted to age discrimination
    • Persuading a Tribunal that despite technical difficulties with its website having prevented a prison governor from submitting his claim online on the final day of the limitation period, it was nevertheless reasonably practicable for him to have presented his claim in time (consideration of new procedural Rules and the validity of incorrectly submitted applications)

    Caroline represents both Claimants and Respondents, providing valuable insight into the complexities of the workplace environment and the underlying sociological factors which drive and shape employment litigation. She is alert to the commercial realities which often call for the pragmatic resolution of a case.

     

  • Education
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    Caroline has a growing practice in education law and is keen to further develop her interest in this field, in particular cases concerning special educational needs (‘SEN’).

    Caroline’s relevant experience includes:

    • Advising the Department for Education regarding the potential termination of an Academy’s funding as a result of poor governance and failure to comply with the Independent School Standards (consideration of the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010, in particular provisions relating to safeguarding and the need to promote community cohesion)
    • Representing a School before an Exclusion Appeal Panel (under the old regime)
    • Acting as a Clerk and legal advisor to Admission Appeal Panels in Oxford and Buckinghamshire, including advising on the implications of disability discrimination in the context of school admissions
    • Prosecutions for non-attendance under section 444 of the Education Act 1996

    Whilst at the Public Law Project, Caroline’s education-related work included advising on the lawfulness of a University’s disciplinary scheme and the legality of a decision to close the last all-male state school in Hackney.

    Caroline has also provided training to local authorities and Independent Review (formerly Appeal) Panel members on the subject of exclusion appeals, most recently in respect of the legislative changes which came into force in September 2012.

Academic qualifications

  • MA (Hons), Downing College, Cambridge
  • Bar Vocational Course, BPP Law School (9th in year of 300)

Scholarships

  • Pegasus Scholarship (South Africa, 2011)
  • Chrystal Macmillan Prize (Middle Temple) in recognition of BVC results (2005)
  • Queen Mother's Scholar (Major BVC Scholarship, Middle Temple) (2004)

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • Attorney-General's Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel)

Professional bodies

  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Human Rights Lawyers' Association
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers' Association

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