5 Essex Court ‘are a pre-eminent set acting for the police‘ fielding ‘a ‘talented team of specialists in all areas of police law‘. Leading cases include representing the Secretary of State for the Home Department and Secretary of State for Justice in the inquests and civil action proceedings arising out of the terror attack at Fishmongers’ Hall and on London Bridge in November 2019, and in Halabi v The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, acting for the Metropolitan Police in a high profile challenge to the national regime for monitoring sex offenders. ‘Leader in her field ‘ Fiona Barton QC defended the DPP in Young v Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police & Director of Public Prosecutions in a claim for misfeasance, false imprisonment, and breaches of convention rights. Andrew Waters is a top junior in both police and disciplinary law; he acted for Norfolk Constabulary in a disciplinary hearing concerning a firearms officer who was removed from her firearms role following her alleged failure to disclose serious concerns about another officer in the firearms unit.
Police law (defendant) in London Bar
‘One of the the top sets for police work.’
‘Outstanding. I consistently go to 5 Essex Court for police work.’
‘Mark Waller is still the ‘go to’ clerk for police work. Excellent knowledge of this area of work and is able advise on the right barrister for the job. He runs a tight and professional team, always friendly, approachable and professional.’
‘Like the barristers, all the clerks are approachable and helpful.’
Serjeants' Inn Chambers houses 'an unmatched arsenal of counsel' specialising in civil claims, inquests, disciplinary proceedings and judicial reviews. John Beggs QC is 'one of the top police barristers in the country', and successfully represented the National Police Chiefs’ Council in R (officer W80) v IOPC, a case concerning the shooting of an escorted prisoner by the Met Police and the appropriate test for self-defence in police misconduct proceedings; the IOPC sought to replace the criminal test in misconduct proceedings with a civil one. At the junior end of chambers, Mark Ley-Morgan represented Devon & Cornwall Police in an employment tribunal case brought by a constable who, citing a number of health conditions rendering her disabled under the Equality Act, alleged that the force failed to make reasonable adjustments such as home working and attending tai chi classes during working hours.
‘Serjeants Inn is a very strong set for police law. It has strength in depth and always finds available and suitable counsel to assist.’
‘They are the best set in the country for police misconduct work. They have an embarrassment of riches at both silk and senior junior level. It is a fairly regular feature of police misconduct work to have the set acting on both sides.’
‘In my view it is the top chambers for police law. The barristers I instruct have a good understanding of police law, and provide detailed and helpful advice that applies the law in a practical, common sense way.’
‘An unmatched arsenal of counsel with a guarantee of quality throughout. Great support from clerks who do all they can to help.’
‘The clerks know their barristers and understand the clients. Lee Johnson, Joe Ralph, Natasha Southgate and Tom O’Connor stand out as approachable, knowledgeable and reliable. Meelis Malgand is also really helpful in arranging IT solutions.’
‘I think it is well run and efficient. Lee Johnson is particular is organised, friendly and helpful.’
‘Uniquely, Serjeants Inn has a client care team which provides an additional service which many chambers do not offer. Catherine Calder is developing client care for Serjeants Inn Chambers which sets them apart from the rest of the market, providing a unique and bespoke service which is to be admired. Isabel Biggs provides excellent support to Catherine and is a key asset to the client care team. Isabel is always available to assist and nothing is too much trouble.’
1 Chancery Lane is an 'excellent set from top to bottom', with solid expertise in handling judicial review claims and claims brought under the Human Rights Act. The 'excellent' Andrew Warnock QC is well known for acting in high profile cases, such as representing South Yorkshire Police in defending a civil claim regarding the Hillsborough disaster. At the junior end of chambers, Geoffrey Weddell is 'extremely persuasive in writing'; Lisa Dobie and Laura Johnson are noted for defending forces in personal injury claims brought by officers; and Paul Stagg acts in proceedings concerning appropriate use of force. Ian Clarke has specialist expertise in handling data protection claims within the policing space.
‘Excellent set, from top to bottom.’
Three Raymond Buildings ‘has an unassailable lead in defending police officers in police misconduct hearings‘. The set also undertakes the full gamut of police law civil work as well, including for the IOPC and forces, on top of the set's long track record of representing rank and file officers through the Police Federation's preferred firms of solicitors. Hugh Davies OBE QC is representing two central command officers in relation in the Manchester Arena bombing inquiry. In another matter, Luke Ponte represented a Hampshire Police detective inspector, the most senior of a number of officers in the Hampshire Serious and Organised Crime Unit alleged of running a unit with a homophobic, racist and sexist culture. Clair Dobbin QC and William Emlyn Jones QC were elevated to silk in March 2021.
‘Excellent set with real specialists at junior and silk level in this area.’
‘3RB are without doubt the pre-eminent set for police law/police discipline.’
‘3 Raymond Buildings have an unassailable lead in defending police officers in police misconduct hearings. It is arguable one of the strongest, if not the strongest, chambers for defence practitioners in the area of police misconduct.’
‘The clerks room offers the same level of service as the leading civil sets and is pre-eminent in criminal litigation and related areas. Dean Brown is outstanding.’
‘Eddie Holland is a joy to work with and he can always point you in the right direction when it comes to needing a recommendation of someone to instruct. This service runs through the entire clerks room under Eddie’s leadership.’
9 Gough Chambers is 'an exceptional set with very talented counsel', and principally represents the Metropolitan Police, the National Crime Agency, the Border Force and individual officers in cases. Edwin Buckett possesses 'all the attributes one would want in a barrister'; he specialises in disciplinary matters, inquests and defending informant-related claims and witness protection cases. He is representing the Hertfordshire Constabulary in a civil claim brought by a former British expatriate in the Philippines, who alleges that he was imprisoned in squalid conditions for a year and then deported based on the force's provision of incorrect information to the local authorities.
‘An excellent set which frequently wins awards, and rightly so. A good stable of counsel of different call who all have a very proactive ethos and provide prompt and friendly assistance.’
‘9 Gough Chambers is an exceptional set with very talented counsel, they often offer us training in relation to various subjects which assist our officers and staff.’
‘The clerks at 9 Gough Chambers are friendly, professional and knowledgeable and always go out of their way to help. Matthew Shepherd does a first class job, can be totally relied on and always does his upmost to assist.’