Saimo Chahal

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Saimo Chahal is a partner and Joint Head of the Public Law and Human Rights team at Bindmans. She has had numerous successes in high-profile cases at the cutting edge of the law and became an honorary QC in 2014.

Saimo is passionate about human rights and civil liberties and her successes have included four cases before the House of Lords – all of which have attracted extensive national publicity. Two of her clients became household names – right-to-die campaigners Debbie Purdy and Tony Nicklinson.

Debbie Purdy, who died in December 2014, won a landmark ruling in the House of Lords in 2009 when five Law Lords ruled that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) must specify when a person might face prosecution for assisted suicide. Former DPP Keir Starmer went on to publish new guidelines in 2010. Tony Nicklinson died a week after losing his High Court euthanasia battle in 2012. His wife and another right-to-die campaigner who pursued Tony’s case lost an appeal in the Court of Appeal in 2013.  

Chambers and Partners 2015 rates Saimo in Band 1 for Civil Liberties and Human Rights and Administrative and Public Law: Traditional Claimant. It says that market sources describe her as a “fantastic practitioner who is “completely tireless in the work she does” and that she is acclaimed for her experience in cases involving mental health, alongside offering significant expertise in areas including torture and end-of-life issues. Sources describe her as “incredibly focused and extremely diligent”. 

 Saimo graduated from Sussex University in 1982 with a BA Honours in Sociology. She then worked for several years as a caseworker at the Brighton Rights Advice Centre, largely on Immigration and Housing law cases. She did her Solicitors’ Finals at the College of Law, completing this in 1988. She did half of her Articles at the North Lewisham Law Centre and the other half at Hornby and Levy, a law firm in Brixton, London. Her then supervisor, Marcia Levy, did Mental Health work and she became very interested in this area of.

In an interview with BLD, Saimo was asked why she had chosen a legal career. She replied: “I suppose it was a genuine choice in the sense that there was no background of the law as a career in my family.  I chose the law because the idea of advancing and enhancing the rights of people who are disadvantaged seemed like a worthwhile thing to do.  I thought it was a career in which I could make a difference.”

Saimo qualified as a solicitor in 1990 and after qualifying she joined Battersea Law Centre as the Supervising Solicitor. Prior to joining Bindmans in 1993, Saimo worked at Hanne & Co, a law firm in Lavender Hill, South West London where she did Employment, Housing and Mental Health work.

Saimo is a part-time judge for the Mental Health Tribunal and is a member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Panel.

Saimo has received numerous awards including: being shortlisted for the Law Society Legal Personality of the Year 2013; Times Law 100 List 2012, Public Law and Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 2011, The Lawyer Hot 100 2010, Law Society Solicitor of the Year 2008, and Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (Mental Health) 2006.

See Also: 
The Solicitors and the Legal Eves sections.