Mary is an associate solicitor in the complex claims department, specialising in international claims and group actions.
- Claims against the UK Security Services for their alleged involvement in the illegal rendition of Mr Belhaj and Ms Boudchar, his pregnant wife, to Gaddafi’s Libya in 2004. In a judgment in January 2017, the Supreme Court rejected the Government’s arguments that the claims should be dismissed on the grounds of ‘State Immunity’ and ‘Foreign Act of State’ and ruled that they should proceed to trial. In early May 2018, the case settled out of court with no admission of liability. On 10 May, the Prime Minister made a public apology to Mr Belhaj and Ms Boudchar, recognising that the UK Government had contributed to their “detention, rendition and suffering”.
- Claims against Vedanta Plc and its Zambian subsidiary brought by rural Zambians for damage to their health and land allegedly caused by the Defendants’ mining operations. In May 2017, the High Court dismissed the Defendants’ arguments that the English Court had no jurisdiction to hear the claims and ruled that the Claimants could bring the action in the English Courts against both Vedanta and its Zambian subsidiary. The Defendants’ appeal to the Court of Appeal was unsuccessful but they are now appealing to the Supreme Court.
- Claims against Grunenthal GmbH, the Distillers Company and Diageo Scotland Limited for personal injury allegedly caused by exposure to thalidomide in utero.
- Claims brought by Colombian farmers against a former subsidiary of the multi-national BP plc for environmental damage caused by the construction of the OCENSA pipeline.
- Claims for torture and other human rights abuses brought by a group of indigenous Peruvians against Monterrico Metals Plc which was settled (without admission of liability) in July 2011.
Mary trained as a solicitor with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and qualified there in 2006. Before joining Leigh Day, she worked for two years at the Home Office as an assistant legal adviser, and completed an internship at the AIRE Centre in London, which provides legal assistance to individuals in the areas of human rights law and European law. She joined Leigh Day in 2010. Mary speaks fluent Spanish and has a good level of French.
Mary Westmacott in the news
Roads to serfdom Law Society Gazette 21.1.19