Ilott (Respondent) v The Blue Cross and others (Appellants)


Joint Press Release: Bar Pro Bono Unit and Zenith Chambers

We are disappointed that Mrs Heather Ilott was not more successful, despite the efforts of her legal team.

Mr John Collins of Zenith Chambers has been involved with the case for almost 7 years. Throughout the case, he has worked entirely pro bono. We take the opportunity to emphasise that those barristers who take cases pro bono are not paid, whatever the result of the case. They are not even reimbursed their travelling expenses.

This is part of the proud tradition of the English Bar - to try to ensure that no-one is left without someone to represent them in Court when it is needed. Mr Collins has played his part in that tradition.

Jess Campbell, Chief Executive at the Bar Pro Bono Unit said “The Bar Pro Bono Unit was very pleased to be able to find such committed barristers to assist Mrs Ilott at the start of the case in 2010. We are deeply grateful to John Collins of Zenith Chambers, Brie Stevens-Hoare QC of Hardwicke Chambers and Constance McDonnell of Serle Court Chambers, who worked together all on a pro bono basis. Whilst pro bono is never a substitute for a properly funded legal system, for the case to be decided by the Supreme Court demonstrates the important work the Bar does to provide access to justice for those with meritorious cases but without means.”

John Collins won the Bar Pro Bono Award in 2016. Lord Peter Goldsmith QC, President of the Bar Pro Bono Unit, said “John stands out for his exceptionally longstanding commitment to pro bono and the Bar Pro Bono Unit. It is clear that John’s commitment to pro bono and access to justice is felt keenly by his colleagues, and he has become a great ambassador for the Unit and pro bono generally.”


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