Blackstone Chambers’ Ian Brownlie QC and Clifford Chance partner Michael Smyth are the only lawyers to have been honoured by the Queen in her annual Birthday Honours List.
Brownlie, who has been practising in both human rights and public international law since 1967, received a knighthood for services to public international law.
Smyth, who heads Clifford Chance’s pro bono practice as well as leading the firm’s public policy practice, has been awarded a CBE for services to pro bono work.
Brownlie is recognised as a leading silk for human rights and civil liberties and has an extensive history in international law, having acted for more than 40 states.
In 2006 he was re-elected for a third five-year term on the International Law Commission, the United Nations body of 35 experts concerned with the codification of international law.
Smyth at Clifford Chance has been recognised after leading Clifford Chance’s pro bono unit, which saw lawyers at the firm dedicate 80,000 hours to pro bono and community work during the course of last year.
Other members of the legal profession to be named in the Birthday Honours List are Scottish Legal Aid Board chief executive Lindsay Montgomery, former executive director for policy at the Legal Services Commission Richard Collins and director of criminal law and sentencing policy for the Ministry of Justice Christine Stewart, who were all made OBEs.