Since graduating from the University of Northampton in 2009 after studying his Master of Laws (LLM), Toby Cadman has gone on to become an internationally recognised law specialist in the area of war crimes, extradition and human rights law. Following on from his success in this field, in November 2016, Toby set up his own Chambers, “Guernica 37”, which specialises in international justice.
Beginning his time at Northampton studying an undergraduate degree in Business, Toby quickly changed his degree to study Law, as “I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer”. During his studies, Toby “spent time with firms of solicitors and members of the Bar”, but for Toby, it was a short placement in Chambers at 3 Gray’s Inn Square that “pushed me towards a career as a barrister”.
During his studies, Toby was “exposed to areas of law, such as human rights and transnational crime”, which for him, “shaped my career path”. His law lecturers also encouraged Toby to “pursue a career at the bar rather than as a solicitor”.
Indeed, Toby pursued this career in earnest, and after graduating in 2000 from his LLB at Northampton, Toby started a “secondment in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Human Rights Chamber as a legal advisor”, as he knew that recognised that getting experience in the field he wished to work in would be essential. Toby was later appointed as the Head of the Prosecution Section for War Crimes and Special Advisor to the Chief Prosecutor, which led him to act as the Senior Legal Advisor to the EU Police Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he advised on “war crimes, organized crime and terrorism cases”.
When Toby returned to the UK, he worked at 9 Bedford Row, becoming involved in a “number of high profile international cases and developed a reputation as an extradition prosecutor”. But in November 2016, Toby left in order to set up his own Chambers with Almudena Bernabeu a “renowned human rights lawyer based in the United States”, and Carl Buckley, “with whom I studied at Northampton”. Tony now acts as the Co-Founder of Guernica 37, alongside Almudena Bernabeu. This group filed “the first criminal case against the Syrian Regime for crimes against humanity in February 2017”. Toby plans to grow his Chambers, and aims to “bring together like-minded lawyers who hold truth, justice and accountability as core principles”.
Reflecting on his time at the University of Northampton, Toby recognises that he learnt to “carefully and thoroughly research. That preparation is key. I also learned to have the confidence to reach high”. For Toby, a person must “have a clear idea on what you want to achieve and how far you are prepared to go to achieve it as it is a highly competitive market, more so now than ever before, and you need to stand out from the crowd”.
Studying his LLB and LLM at the University of Northampton, Toby has achieved many things; “I met my wife. I met Carl Buckley with whom I work closely and who has become my closest friend. I achieved more than I ever believed possible”. For Toby, Northampton “brings out the best qualities in all of us”, and studying a law degree “was the first step in my career development”, in which he now aims to “develop Guernica 37 as a brand of excellence in human rights accountability” – something we wish him the best of luck in!
Indeed, Tony has already made some great steps towards developing Guernica 37, by being part of the first team of international lawyers to file a criminal case against the Syrian regime. For more information, have a look at our interview with Toby.