Maria Roche

Year of Call

Maria Roche

Maria has a broad practice in civil, international and public law, with a particular focus on torture and abuse, psychiatric injury and health law. She represents claimants in international human rights matters; clinical negligence, sexual abuse, medical law and product liability claims, particularly relating to catastrophic and birth injury; civil liberties claims, actions against the police and inquests for deaths in medical and prison settings. 


She has acted in several Supreme Court cases, including on capacity to litigate; the "right to die" and on the Foreign Act of State doctrine in private international law; as well as in appeals before the  Court of Appeal.


What the Directories Say 

She is rated in Chambers & Partners 2016 as an up & coming junior and described as "Her attention to detail is fantastic and she is very approachable. She is clearly one of the rising stars." and "She is outstandingly bright." 



Key Cases 


  • Representing Mr Belhaj and Ms Bouchar in the Supreme Court and below against Jack Straw, The Secret Intelligence Services & others for their unlawful rendition to the Gaddafi regime (judgment awaited).
  • Representing Mr Rahmattulah in the Supreme Court and below in respect of his claim for unlawful transfer to US forces and subsequent detention in Iraq and Afghanistan (judgment awaited).
  • Representing Mrs Dunhill in the Supreme Court, in Dunhill v Burgin [2014] UKSC 18] on the test for the capacity to litigate.
  • Instructed by the intervenors, The British Humanist Association, in the "right to die" cases on medically assisted suicide before the Supreme Court on R(oao Nicklinson and another) v Ministry of Justice [2014] UKSC 38.
  • Representing the family of Cherry Groce in claims brought c. 30 years out of time for psychiatric injuries suffered during the shooting of their mother,  which successfully settled against the Metropolitan Police during the limitation hearing.
  • Whiten v St George's Healthcare NHS Trust [2011] EWHC 2066 (QB): in a case concerning the quantum of damages following a negligent birth injury.
  • Representing the test claimants in the Iraqi Civilian Litigation, in their allegations of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and unlawful detention during the second Gulf War.
  • Representing the claimants in the Mau Mau litigation for their historic claims for torture and  mistreatment during the uprising against British colonial rule.
  • Representing survivors in claims against United Kingdom companies alleging their vicarious liability for the sexual abuse of children, including against British Airways relating to the conduct of their pilot Simon Wood towards children in orphanages.
  • Representing a claimant, led by Robin Oppenheim QC, in a complex spinal injury claim following a lumbar puncture for salmonella meningitis.
  • Advising on historic claims on a failure to properly investigate and assist in relation to the death of a British national overseas.
  • Advising on diplomatic immunity in respect of acts undertaken by a former head of State with current diplomatic status.
  • Advising on historic product liability claim arising out of knowledge of expected allergic reaction to vaccinations. 
  • R(N) v Walsall MBC [2015] 1 All E.R. 165 on whether a local authority was entitled to take account of capital administered by a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection when calculating whether a disabled person should contribute to the cost of social care services.


Between September 2011 - July 2012, Maria was Judicial Assistant to Lord Wilson and Lord Sumption at the Supreme Court assisting in cases such as AB v MoD [2012] UKSC 9 on limitation in personal injuries actions; RT (Zimbabwe) and others v SSHD [2012] UKSC 38 concerning refugees with no political views or affiliations and Solihull v Hickin [2012] UKSC 39 on housing rights.


Maria has a First Class degree in Politics, Philosophy & Economics from the University of Oxford. Maria graduated second in her year in the Graduate Diploma in Law at City University and was marked outstanding for her bar examinations. She was a Princess Royal Scholar of Inner Temple. Maria was appointed a Visiting Fellow in Law at City University. 


Before coming to the Bar, Maria worked for the Financial Times in journalism and strategic business management. Subsequently she was a Consultant Director for a media company. She previously acted as an independent custody visitor and a trustee of a local Law Centre.  She has been a key volunteer for many years for Crisis, running homeless shelters during the Christmas period. 

Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury

  • Whiten v St George's Healthcare NHS Trust [2011] EWHC 2066 (QB): Led by Philippa Whipple QC in a case concerning the quantum of damages following a negligent birth injury, instructed to quantify judgment sums.
  • Claim for damages arising from cerebral palsy caused during birth, led by Robin Oppenheim QC.
  • Claim for damages arising from cerebral palsy caused by the failure of a GP to diagnose suspected Group B Streptococcal meningitis in a child, led by Gerwyn Samuel.
  • Claim for wrongful selection of embryo, led by Robin Oppenheim QC.

International Law

  • Paolo Nzili and others v Foreign & Commonwealth Office [2012] EWHC 2678 (QB): Assisted Henry Witcomb, who was led by Richard Hermer QC and Philippa Kaufmann QC as one of a number of counsel acting on behalf of the claimants.
  • Recent and ongoing cases include:
  • Representing a senior Libyan figure and his wife in respect of their rendition to Libya during the Gaddafi regime (led by Dinah Rose QC, Richard Hermer QC and Ben Jaffey);
  • Representing Peruvian miners in respect of their claims for damages for unlawful imprisonment and assault (led by Richard Hermer QC);
  • Representing Iraqi detainees civilian victims in civil proceedings (led by Richard Hermer QC and Phillippa Kaufmann QC)

Inquiries and Inquests

Recent and ongoing cases include:

  • Inquest touching on the death of Conal Browning: inquest of a young man with a serious and enduring mental illness who was transferred between mental hospitals shortly before his death;
  • Inquest into the death of a vulnerable disabled adult receiving care in the community;
  • Inquest into the death of a diabetic patient from septic shock;
  • Inquest into the death of a patient from septic shock during care by an ambulance service

Administrative and Public Law

Mental Health and Court of Protection

Actions Against the Police and Public Authorities

Equality and Discrimination


Bar Vocational Course, Outstanding - BPP Law School, London

Graduate Diploma in Law,  Distinction -  City University, London

BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy & Economics, First Class- Jesus College, Oxford



Princess Royal Scholarship, Inner Temple  
Maitland Advocacy Prize
Major Exhibition, Inner Temple
Jesus College Dean's Prize for Performance in Final Examinations



Constitutional and Administrative Bar Association 
Human Rights Lawyers Association 
Professional Negligence Bar AssociationPersonal Injury Bar Association


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