Background

Aaron Moss is ranked as a leading junior in all of his principal practice areas by Chambers UK: data protection; administrative and public law; police law; and inquests and inquiries. He has undergone vetting.

He was appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel (Civil) in September 2023, having been on the C Panel for four years. Aaron was shortlisted for Public Services and Charities Junior Barrister of the Year 2023 by Legal 500.

This year’s Legal 500 recognises Aaron as a “‘go-to junior for complex and sensitive inquests and inquiries. He is very personable and hard-working, and demonstrates excellent judgement and decision-making.” The latest edition of Chambers UK says “His calm and measured approach, coupled with clear strategic vision, make Aaron an obvious instruction on the most complex and sensitive of cases”.

He is currently instructed in six statutory inquiries and independent commissions, including the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry, the Omagh Bombing Inquiry, the Undercover Policing Inquiry and the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery. He recently acted as junior Counsel to the Chair of Jermaine Baker Inquiry, and the Manchester Arena Inquiry, to the Chief Coroner in the Westminster Bridge and Palace Inquests, the London Bridge Inquest, the Fishmongers’ Hall Inquests, and to the Judge hearing the Inquest into the death of Sudesh Amman in the Streatham Terror Attack.

In his broader practice, Aaron is acting for the Defendant in R (Duke of Sussex) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2024] EWHC 418 (Admin), and for the Claimant in R (Tortoise Media) v Conservative and Unionist Party [2023] EWHC 3088 (Admin).

Aaron is an editor of 5 Essex Chambers monthly Data Protection and Information Law Bulletin, The Data Brief.

Before joining 5 Essex Chambers, Aaron served as a Special Constable in the Metropolitan Police Service from 2009 to 2014, spending the last 18 months leading a team as a Special Sergeant in Westminster. He has a first-hand understanding of operational policing, both as a constable and as a line manager, which gives him a good insight into the legal and practical problems confronting public servants.

Aaron accepts Direct Public Access instructions.

Expertise

Aaron is ranked as a leading junior for police law in both of the directories. Chambers UK recognises that “Aaron not only has a high level of expertise in police-related matters but has a sound understanding of policing, with an operational awareness which provides additional reassurance that the issues have been understood”.

Building on his experience as a Special Sergeant in the Metropolitan Police Service, Aaron frequently advises and represents police forces in all manner of civil claims and applications. Having undertaken a range of police training packages and been deployed in a variety of operational roles, Aaron’s personal experiences give him an insight into police decision making and a real advantage when explaining that to judges and juries. He is vetted and has particular expertise in sensitive matters including those raising issues of public interest immunity and national security.

Aaron in often instructed to advise on novel uses of police powers. For example, in 2020 Aaron advised a police force on its constables’ powers to use force in relation to quarantining and biological samples under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, believed to be the first use of the powers in the country.

He is frequently instructed to defend civil actions against the Police in the County Court and High Court, as well as often advising on such cases. He has also appeared on behalf of prison service providers. He is acting for West Midlands Police in a novel case on the funding of Special Advocates in private family law proceedings in SK v RO [2023] EWHC 2896 (Fam) and was instructed as junior to Jeremy Johnson QC in defending the judicial review of a police search warrant in R (Hafeez) v South Crown Court [2018] EWHC 954 (Admin). He appeared for the Police in a challenge to dangerous dog legislation (Webb v Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary (Secretary of State for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs intervening) [2017] EWHC 3311 (Admin)).

Aaron often advises on the exercise of operational police powers, including the exercise of covert tactics, and the application of the Police Regulations in matters concerning pay and pensions. He acted for most of the country’s Chief Officers in the Police Overtime Claims Litigation.

Aaron has particular experience in relation to Account Freezing Orders both under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Anti -Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. He has acted in cases for the Metropolitan Police Service and specialist regional units, including an application arising from the conviction of the first all-female terror group in Britain.

Aaron is ranked in both of the directories for his practice in Inquests and Inquiries. Chambers UK says “He has got judgment well beyond his years of call: he is a really impressive performer”.

Aaron acts for Coroners, as well as IPs, in judicial reviews arising from Inquests. He acted for the Coroner in HM Area Coroner for Cumbria v Malcolm Leech [2023] EWHC 3476 (Admin).

Aaron has significant experience as Counsel to the Inquest in sensitive cases. He acted as junior CTI in the Inquest into the death of Suddesh Amman in the Streatham Terror Attack, the Fishmongers’ Hall Inquests, the Westminster Bridge and Westminster Palace Inquests, the London Bridge Inquests and the Tunisia Inquests. He is very familiar with issues regarding national security and other sensitive material, and the admission of such material in evidence in Inquests and other proceedings. Aaron also has experience acting for the coroner in judicial review proceedings and civil claims (including in relation to data protection and information law).

Aaron is well versed with inquests which are converted to public inquiries, acting as Counsel to the Inquiry in the Omagh Bombing Inquiry, the Jermaine Baker Inquiry and the Manchester Arena Inquiry and currently being instructed in six other statutory inquiries and independent commissions.

Aaron has experience representing the Police and Government in lengthy Inquests, including A2 Inquests. His current and recent instructions include cases concerning a woman’s possible suicide whilst the police carried out a missing person’s investigation and the murder of a woman by a man whom she met on a dating website. He also has experience appearing for the ambulance service in relation to deaths in prison custody.

He has recently undertaken pro bono work on behalf of the family of the victim of a murder in a foreign country.

Aaron is currently instructed by the family of Stuart Lubbock. Stuart died at the home of Michael Barrymore in Essex in 2001. The Coroner in the 2002 inquest returned an open verdict. Aaron and his leader are instructed to seek a fresh inquest.

Aaron is ranked in both of the directories as a leading junior for his practice in Inquests and Inquiries. Chambers UK says “He has got judgment well beyond his years of call: he is a really impressive performer”.

Aaron is currently instructed by a number of individual police officers in the Undercover Policing Inquiry. He is junior CTI to the Omagh Bombing Inquiry. He is acting for the CEO of the Post Office in the Horizon IT Inquiry, and the Counter-Terrorism Policing in the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery. Aaron is acting in two further statutory inquiries at the moment. He was recently instructed as junior Counsel to the Jermaine Baker Inquiry and the Manchester Arena Inquiry.

This area of practice overlaps with Aaron’s experience in coronial law in matters involving national security in the Tunisia Inquests, Westminster Bridge and Westminster Palace Inquests, London Bridge Inquests, Fishmongers’ Hall Inquests and the Inquest into the death of Suddesh Amman in the Streatham Terror Attack.

Aaron acted in a judicial review claim arising from the Undercover Policing Inquiry in R (Da Silva and Others) v Sir John Mitting and Others [2019] EWHC 426 (Admin), for a client whom he continues to represent in the Inquiry.

Aaron is ranked as a leading junior by Chambers UK for data protection, which says that “Aaron is incredibly responsive and very practical – he gets his teeth into the wider context”.

Aaron acts for Claimants and Defendants in data protection claims, cases concerning information law, as well as advising on processes and agreements for data sharing and processing.

Aaron started and is an editor of 5 Essex Chambers monthly Data Protection and Information Law Bulletin, The Data Brief.

Issues of information law and data protection arise throughout Aaron’s practice. Examples of Aaron’s recent work include representing a police force in a civil claim for failure to comply with a Subject Access Request, defending a claim concerning the value to be attributed to data which was lost when a computer was unlawfully destroyed, and drafting a data sharing MOU between public sector organisations. He has a constant caseload acting on behalf of local authorities.

Aaron is acting for the Claimant in R (Tortoise Media) v Conservative and Unionist Party [2023] EWHC 3088 (Admin) a claim concerning the scope of the free-standing right to information under Article 10 ECHR.

Aaron has a busy practice acting for Government departments and complainants in proceedings under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Aaron is vetted, and as such often handles material of the utmost sensitivity. Recent reported cases include:

  • Department for Health and Social Care v Information Commissioner [2024] UKFTT 261 (GRC) Aaron acted for the Department in an appeal concerning the Infected Blood Inquiry.
  • Leci v Information Commissioner and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office [2024] UKFTT 225 (GRC) Aaron acted for the FCDO in an appeal concerning funding which HMG provides for projects in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
  • NGO Monitor v Information Commissioner and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office [2024] UKFTT 254 (GRC) Aaron acted in a second appeal for the FCDO closely related to Leci.
  • Williams v The Information Commissioner and The Home Office EA/2020/0154 Aaron acted for the Home Office, resisting disclosure of reports prepared by the Extremism Analysis Unit concerning Islamic and far right wing groups and activities.
  • Esslemont v The Information Commissioner and the Home Office EA/2020/0008 Aaron acted for the Home Office in this appeal concerning the application of the s12 FOIA cost limit to a complex data extraction task.
  • Williams, Wickham-Jones and Lownie v The Information Commissioner and The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office EA/2019/0212 Aaron continues to act for the FCDO in this case, which is on appeal. The case concerns the interplay between s23 and s24 FOIA, where information may not be disclosed for reasons of national security and/or relates to a body dealing with security matters.

In Aaron’s practice advising the coroner or chairman of inquests and public inquiries, Aaron is often required to give advice on data protection issues arising in the course of those cases.

Aaron is a member of the Data Protection Forum.

He is particularly keen to accept Direct Public Access instructions in this area.

Featured Information Law cases


Williams v The Information Commissioner and The Home Office EA/2020/0154

Aaron acted for the Home Office, resisting disclosure of reports prepared by the Extremism Analysis Unit concerning Islamic and far right wing groups and activities.


Esslemont v The Information Commissioner and the Home Office EA/2020/0008

Aaron acted for the Home Office in this appeal concerning the application of the s12 FOIA cost limit to a complex data extraction task.


Williams, Wickham-Jones and Lownie v The Information Commissioner and The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office EA/2019/0212

Aaron continues to act for the FCDO in this case, which is on appeal. The case concerns the interplay between s23 and s24 FOIA, where information may not be disclosed for reasons of national security and/or relates to a body dealing with security matters.

Aaron is ranked as a leading junior in Chambers UK for his administrative law practice. Aaron has a particular experience and interest in matters concerning National Security, including arising from the use of covert tactics. He has undergone vetting.

He is appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel (Civil) from September 2023, having been on the C Panel for four years.

Aaron is acting for the Defendant in R (Duke of Sussex) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2024] EWHC 418 (Admin), a claim in respect of the provision of protective security, and for the Claimant in R (Tortoise Media) v Conservative and Unionist Party [2023] EWHC 3088 (Admin) a claim concerning the scope of the free-standing right to information under Article 10 ECHR. Aaron acted in a judicial review claim arising from the Undercover Policing Inquiry in R (Da Silva and Others) v Sir John Mitting and Others [2019] EWHC 426 (Admin), for a client whom he continues to represent in the Inquiry.

He is instructed by a police force defending a judicial review claim after allegedly giving information to the media ahead of the execution of a search warrant, he  has advised on the judicial review of police cautions and appeared for the Police in a challenge to the destruction of a dangerous dog in the Administrative Court (Webb v Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary (Secretary of State for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs intervening) [2017] EWHC 3311 (Admin)).

Aaron was instructed, as junior to Jeremy Johnson QC, in defending the judicial review of a police search warrant in R (Hafeez) v South Crown Court [2018] EWHC 954 (Admin) and has acted for the police in a challenge by Case Stated to police powers of cash forfeiture under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Aaron has experience of healthcare work across his practice in inquests and personal injury litigation. A significant proportion of Aaron’s work concerns allegations of professional negligence against public authorities, with the potential impact on the individual and the organisation, including reputational risk, which such claims entail.

Aaron’s practice for healthcare clients includes representation and advice in data protection and Freedom of Information matters.

In inquests, as well as having specific experience acting for the ambulance service, Aaron is often instructed in inquests concerning issues of survivability. He was instructed as junior Counsel to the Westminster Bridge and Westminster Palace Inquests and to the London Bridge Inquests. Aaron was previously instructed as junior Counsel to the Tunisia Inquests.

Aaron is often instructed in small claim and fast track trials concerning personal injuries, and advises on the same and on quantum.

Before joining Chambers, Aaron volunteered for the charity AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents), attending a number of Inquests to support bereaved families.

Aaron is ranked as a leading junior in Chambers UK for his administrative law practice. In this area, and throughout Aaron’s police law practice, human rights issues play a key role.

Aaron is acting for the Defendant in R (Duke of Sussex) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2024] EWHC 418 (Admin), a claim in respect of the provision of protective security, and for the Claimant in R (Tortoise Media) v Conservative and Unionist Party [2023] EWHC 3088 (Admin) a claim concerning the scope of the free-standing right to information under Article 10 ECHR. He has a number of on-going Article 8 claims brought against public authorities, many in alleged respect of data breaches. He advises the police on their Article 2 obligations in respect of counter-terrorism operations and investigations.

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“His calm and measured approach, coupled with clear strategic vision, make Aaron an obvious instruction on the most complex and sensitive of cases”


Instructing Aaron
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Education & Qualifications

  • 2015 – James Hunt Prize for Advocacy (Gray’s Inn)
  • 2013 – Called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn
  • 2013 – BPTC (graded Outstanding in 3 modules, including Civil Advocacy), Kaplan
  • 2011 – University College London, LLB

Memberships

  • Advocate, previously the Bar Pro Bono Unit (BPBU)
  • Data Protection Forum

  

Chambers UK 2024

“He is incredibly knowledgeable in data protection.” (Data Protection)

“Aaron Moss is a very helpful, clear and reliable adviser.” (Data Protection)

“Aaron is incredibly responsive and very practical – he gets his teeth into the wider context.” (Data Protection)

“His calm and measured approach, coupled with his clear strategic vision, make Aaron an obvious instruction on the most complex and sensitive of cases.” (Police Law)

“Aaron not only has a high level of expertise in police-related matters but has a sound understanding of policing, with an operational awareness which provides additional reassurance that the issues have been understood.” (Police Law)

“Aaron is really bright and he turns things around promptly. He is very responsive and easy to work with.” (Administrative & Public Law)

“Aaron is excellent and really sensible about being strategic in dealing with issues in a pragmatic way. I found him an intelligent and pragmatic barrister.” (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

“He is very familiar with police structures and how national security issues work in public law. He has got judgement well beyond his years of call: he is a really impressive performer.” (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

Legal 500 2024

‘He has great attention to detail, a thorough and up to date knowledge of the law, and a concise and objective style of advocacy which is ideal for representing public bodies.’ (Administrative Law and Human Rights)

‘A go-to junior for complex and sensitive inquests and inquiries. He is very personable and hard-working, and demonstrates excellent judgement and decision-making.’ (Inquests and Inquiries)

Chambers UK 2023

“He has got judgement way beyond his years of call, and he can handle issues in high-profile cases with such assurance. I rate him very highly.” (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

“Fantastically diligent; really astonishingly capable. He has an incredibly mature approach in running cases and examining witnesses.” (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

Legal 500 2023

“Aaron conducts his advocacy at a level far beyond his years. He is clever, well read and always gets to the point without prevarication. His written work is at a similar level. A star in the making.” (Inquests and Inquiries)

Chambers UK 2022

“He wears his cleverness in a really light way. He masters very complex issues very quickly and his work quality is outstanding.” (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

“He’s wise beyond his years and can stay on top of a large volume of material.” (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

Legal 500 2022

“Aaron is knowledgeable, intelligent, a pleasure to work with, and able to provide sage advice in demanding situations with ease and confidence. He has become a go-to junior for inquests work.” (Inquests and Inquiries)

Chambers UK 2021

“He is very confident and articulate. He researches well and has good judgement in relation to how to pitch arguments tactically. He is a very good advocate, who is eloquent, clear and not afraid to stand up to the court.” (Inquests and Inquiries)

Legal 500 2021

“One of the ablest juniors working in this field, with an impressive track record of major cases. His capacity for work is prodigious and his advocacy is very effective.” (Inquests and Inquiries)

Chambers UK 2020

“He is absolutely fantastic and – mark my words – will end up as a leading silk in this area. He’s a terrific lawyer and a very good advocate who has fantastic judgement.” (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

“He knew everything about the case and cut a very impressive figure in it. He’ll rise through the ranks very quickly.” (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

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