V i s c a r i a


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Practice Area

Election Law

Viscaria has the leading election law team. More members of Viscaria are featured in the election law section of Chambers & Partners Bar Guide than from any other set. We are involved in all the leading cases, ranging from local government and mayoral elections to Parliamentary and European Parliament elections. We are able to advise on all types of election issues, utilising specialist knowledge and our expertise in this area’s intersection with human rights, public, media and information, and criminal law.

Our members in this team have all been involved in election petitions at every level, from initial scrutiny to Divisional Court hearings. We have acted in the groundbreaking Oldham East and Saddleworth general election petition (a successful challenge to the election of Phil Woolas MP), the Winchester general election petition, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets case, Knight v Nicholls [2003] EWHC 3177 (QB), Belle Vale and the Bordesley Green and Waltham Forest petitions.

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  • Election Law

    Our expertise in election law extends beyond governmental elections and into elections in different contexts, e.g. trade unions, political parties, private members’ clubs, and sporting and trade associations.

  • At Viscaria Law Firm, We:

    • Regularly advise political parties, returning officers and the Electoral Commission on a number of topics, including equality issues (such as all-women shortlists), the consequences of spending during election periods by non-aligned campaigning organisations, and libel allegations against returning officers.
    • Are regularly instructed by political parties for his advice on a wide-range of issues and act in the high-profile case Simmons v Khan [2008] EWHC B4 (QB), concerning corruption and the falsification of names on the electoral register.
    • Acted in the case of Erlam & Ors v Rahman & Anor [2014] EWHC 2766 (QB) the petition challenging the mayoral election in the Borough of Tower Hamlets in 2014.
    • All of the counsel in the leading election law case of the last decade, Watkins v Woolas [2010] EWHC 3169 (Admin), are at Viscaria.

    • We have expertise in this field in Scotland. We have represented the Appellants in Smith v Scott [2007] CSIH 9 and XU v Scottish Ministers & Ors [2007] CSIH 45 on the non-implementation of Hirst v United Kingdom (No.2) App No.74025/01 in Scotland and appeared in McGeoch v Lord President of the Council in the Supreme Court [2013] UKSC 63 in the Supreme Court.

    • Viscaria has also been involved in leading election cases in the European Court of Human Rights. We were involved in Greens & Anor v UK App Nos. 60041/08 & 60054/08, which concerned the consequences of the non-implementation of the Hirst (No. 2) judgment in respect of voting rights for prisoners.

    • Viscaria ’s familiarity with political work extends beyond electoral process. Members of the crime team represented parties in the so-called ‘cash for peerages’ investigation and the MPs’ expenses enquiry. Members of the employment team have represented politicians facing allegations of breaches of the Equality Act 2010.

    • In the run up to the 2015 General Election the election law team posted a number of briefings on election law. They are still available to download on our articles and downloads page.