Police law (defendant) in London Bar
Police law (defendant) section covers representation of both police forces and constables in disciplinary proceedings, as well as civil claims against the police. See also Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police) for representation of claimants against the police.
5 Essex Court is viewed as being 'at the forefront of police law chambers, with impressive depth and breadth of talent'. Noteworthy instructions include Jeremy Johnson QC (soon to join the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court) acting for West Midlands Police in ongoing group litigation against claimants seeking damages following the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. In another instruction of note, Beatrice Collier represented the Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police in a judicial review claim concerning the seizure of a cow's DNA; the police suspected the animal had been stolen.
Serjeants' Inn Chambers' John Beggs QC and Cecily White acted for Essex Police in the compensation claim brought by television presenter Michael Barrymore, following his arrest after the discovery of a man’s body in his swimming pool; in a landmark Court of Appeal decision, it was established that nominal damages only were to be paid, as although the arrest was made under unlawful procedure, only nominal damages will be paid where the person could and would have been lawfully arrested had the correct procedures been followed. Other work highlights include Dijen Basu QC representing Greater Manchester Police in a number of human rights claims arising out of prolonged retention of human tissue from murder victims, and Gerard Boyle QC successfully defending the former Chief Constable of Cheshire, Simon Byrne, against more than 70 allegations of gross misconduct; Byrne was cleared of all charges.
1 CHANCERY LANE is 'a first-class set with great depth of counsel' for police defendant instructions. In one representative matter, Andrew Warnock QC acted for Thames Valley Police in a human rights claim arising from the death of a suspect who was killed during a police pursuit; the case involved the issue as to whether the police should cease pursuit of a suspect who is endangering their own life by dangerous driving and refuses to stop.
'Excellent set' Three Raymond Buildings houses a team of barristers which counts representing officers in disciplinary proceedings as a core area of their expertise. Alisdair Williamson QC successfully defended police constable Andrew Birks, one of five officers charged with alleged misconduct over the death of Sean Rigg which followed the musician's restraint while in police custody. Also of note, Neil Saunders was instructed in the case of an officer disciplined after using allegedly excessive force on a young person who was in possession of a machete; the officer, a senior black belt, used martial arts training to protect himself.