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Rosa Curling's Profile Picture
"Rosa Curling is supremely clever and a tactical expert with huge emotional intelligence. – Legal 500 2020
She is incredibly committed and brilliant, both tactically and substantively. She brings such valuable insight, and amazing strategic oversight on cases. – Chambers and partners 2017
Rosa Curling is an international and UK human rights and public law solicitor. 

She is an expert in both areas of law, having advised, and led litigation, on issues such as freedom of information, privacy, anti-bribery, EU law, torture, immigration and refugee law, modern day slavery, right to life, right to death, welfare benefits, access to education services, death penalty, access to health services, the rule of law, international aid, unlawful detention, climate change and environmental law. 

She has represented clients before the UK’s High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, as well as several Tribunals, including the Freedom of Information Tribunal and the Investigative Powers Tribunal. She has also represented clients before the European Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Justice, some of the African Regional Courts of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court. 

Some of her previous cases include:
  • Intervention on behalf of Friends of the Earth in the appeal of three anti-fracking protestors who were given custodial sentences after an environmental protest in 2017. Friends of the Earth argued that the sentences (were reduced to conditional discharges on appeal) were unlawful. 
  • A and others v. Secretary of State for the Home Department (No. 2) in which the House of Lords found evidence obtained by torture was not admissible in the UK courts.
  • Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign v. Secretary of State for Health, in which the High Court found the Secretary of State had acted unlawfully in deciding to close and downgrade services at the Hospital.
  • WWF and Cornerhouse v. Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which challenged the decision taken by the Secretary of State to provide financial support and assistance to Sakhalin Energy Investment Company (SEIC) for a project which had already caused significant environmental damage and endangered the habitats of the Western Pacific Gray Whale. A few months after issuing proceedings, SEIC withdrew its application for support and assistance from the UK government.
  • UK Uncut Legal Action v. HMRC, which challenged the decision of HMRC to let Goldman Sachs off £20million worth of tax owed.
  • Help Refugees Limited v the Home Secretary which is challenging the Secretary of State’s failure to properly implement section 67 of the Immigration Act, a statutory provision by which the UK government seeks to share the care of 95,000 unaccompanied asylum seeking children who currently live in Europe. To date, just over 200 of these children have been transferred from Europe to the UK.
  • Abdel Hakim Belhadj, Caroline Lucas MP and Baroness Jenny Jones, and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism v. The UK government and the UK Intelligence Services challenging the UK government’s policy of mass surveillance, which is contrary to the principles of legal, journalistic and parliamentary privilege, as well as the right to privacy.
  • Campaign Against the Arms Trade v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills: which is challenging the Secretary of State’s decision to continue to license sales of arms from the UK to Saudi Arabia, despite the serious allegations and compelling evidence that there is a clear risk Saudi forces might use the equipment to violate international humanitarian law in their ongoing bombardment of Yemen.  
  • Khadija Al-Saadi v. Metropolitan Police, which successfully challenged the failure by the Police to investigate the involvement of government ministers and members of the UK secret services in the unlawful rendition of eight Libyans from the Far East to Gaddafi’s Libya.
  • Mr O v. Secretary of State for Development: successfully represented Mr O in a challenge to the UK government's provision of aid money to the Ethiopian government's Villagisation Programme, which is known to have resulted in the abuse, torture and loss of land for many families in the area.
  • Noor Khan v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, challenged the UK government's reported policy to share intelligence with the US government, which is then used in CIA drone attacks in Pakistan. Several member of Noor's family were killed by the Americans when a drone hit a Jirga which they were attending.
  • Serdar Mohammed v. Secretary of State for Defence: challenged the UK government's policy to transfer detainees held by UK forces in Afghanistan to detention centres run by the Afghan authorities where torture and abuse were widespread.  
  • UK Uncut Legal Action v. HMRC, which challenged the decision of HMRC to let Goldman Sachs off £20million worth of tax owed.
  • AM v. Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP): represented "Martin" (not his real name) in a challenge to the DPP's policy on assisted suicide. The DPP does not currently allow professionals to assist individuals unable to take their own lives. The Supreme Court urged the DPP to reconsider her position. 
  • Lindsay Sandiford v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, challenged the refusal by the UK government to provide Linday with the assistance and support she needs to appeal the death sentence that she is facing in Indonesia. 
  • Independent Inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust: represented over 80 individuals before this Inquiry, which was set up to investigate the widespread concerns that had raised about the mortality and the standard of care provided by the Trust at Stafford Hospital.
  • Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing: currently represents the former undercover police officer who whistleblew about the widespread, unlawful and inappropriate practices of the Special Demonstration Squad. The Inquiry’s purpose is to investigate and report on undercover police operations in England and Wales since 1968 to date.
  • Alaa Abd El-Fattah: Rosa undertook a trial observation mission regarding the ongoing criminal case being brought against the well know human rights activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah in Egypt.  
Career: BA in Anthropology and a Masters in Human Rights. Worked at several NGOs and charities including Liberty, the European Roma Rights Centre, ChildLine and the British Institute of Human Rights. Joined Leigh Day as a trainee in 2005 and qualified as a solicitor in 2007.

Key cases


  • Chambers guide to the legal profession
  • Legal 500 Next Generation Lawyer

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