Ms Clooney specialises in public international law, international criminal law and human rights at Doughty Street Chambers. She is currently leading an international delegation attempting to secure the release of the former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, who is being held on terrorism charges by the current government.
In January she stood before Europe’s top human rights court to represent Armenia in their case against Do?u Perinçek, the leader of the Turkish Workers’ Party, and she recently defended convicted Canadian Mohamed Fahmy in Egypt.
Ms Clooney has a career in law that long predates any association with her husband, but in comments reported by theDaily Mail, Edward Faulks QC suggested she may be given top cases because of her marriage to George and his celebrity status.
Geoffrey Robertson QC, also a world renowned human rights barrister and the head of Doughty Street Chambers, dismissed any suggestions her success at the bar is related to her marriage as “demonstrably false”.
Mr Robertson praised her “exceptional” work in international law over 15 years and said Ms Clooney also often acted in low profile cases and on a pro-bono basis.
In a statement responding to the comments, he said: “Before she was invited to join Doughty Street Chambers five years ago, on the grounds that she was an ‘exceptional’ lawyer, she had done ten years of exceptional work in international law including some time at a leading US law firm and then at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic and on the prosecution of those suspected of the terrorist murder of the Lebanese Prime Minister.
“Before her marriage, she had served as a Senior Advisor to Kofi Annan when he was the UN Special Envoy for Syria and was counsel to a UN inquiry into the legality of drone warfare. She had represented parties at the International Court of Justice, including the Government of Cambodia in a border dispute with Thailand. She had acted for Julian Assange and for the Former Prime Minister of the Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko. She also worked with the former Legal Advisor to the Foreign Office, Sir Frank Berman, who has described her as “a first-rate lawyer’. It was because of her conspicuous ability as an international lawyer that the Attorney-General appointed her in 2013 – before her marriage – to serve on his panel of experts to advise and represent this country.”