5 Essex Court > London, England > Set Profile

Chambers of Jason Beer QC
5 Essex Court

London Bar > Inquests and inquiries Tier 1

5 Essex Court's team comprises several inquest and coronial law specialists; and in addition to the set's expertise in police-related inquests, its 'high-quality' members represent healthcare providers, emergency services, government departments, local authorities, prison services and the military. Jason Beer QC is currently engaged in four public inquiries, namely Grenfell Tower, Undercover Policing, Magnox, and Post Office Horizon IT; and Fiona Barton QC is one of the country’s leading QCs specialising in police law. At the senior-junior level, Alison Hewitt consistently acts as counsel to inquests in high-profile, complex and sensitive investigations, such as acting for HM Senior Coroner for Avon in relation to Spencer Ashworth (Deceased), who had a history of mental health difficulties and was fatally shot by armed police after driving through three counties, allegedly threatening to shoot other drivers with a handgun.

Rising stars

Aaron Moss - 5 Essex CourtAaron is knowledgeable, intelligent, a pleasure to work with, and able to provide sage advice in demanding situations with ease and confidence. He has become a go-to junior for inquests work.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Fiona Barton QC - 5 Essex CourtExceptional in all respects.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jason Beer QC - 5 Essex CourtA highly respected and formidable senior practitioner in this field. He commands the confidence and respect of clients, judges and colleagues alike, and has the extraordinary ability to make the complex seem simple. Strategically, Jason never takes a wrong turn - he is excellent on the law and excellent on the evidence, as well as being a top-drawer advocate - charismatic, clear, measured, composed, accurate, and in command of the detail and of the big picture.
Ranked: Tier 1
Samantha Leek QC - 5 Essex CourtA top-rated QC in inquiry work - intelligent and compassionate, and knows her way round the inquiry law environment like the back of her hand.
Ranked: Tier 1
Alan Payne QC - 5 Essex CourtOutstanding and instructed in the most difficult cases.
Ranked: Tier 3
Anne Studd QC - 5 Essex CourtVery incisive in terms of assessing documentation. Able to handle vast amounts of material - often dealing with historical situations going back many years where the ability to place oneself in the mindset of the era is important; and Anne has shown herself adept at dealing with this issue as well as being up to date on case presentation and the mindset of the courts.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Alison Hewitt - 5 Essex CourtOne of the most respected advocates practising in coronial law. She matches a peerless knowledge and understanding of the law with a straightforward and no-nonsense approach. She sees the answer before anyone else, is always calm under pressure, and quickly establishes a fantastic working relationship with any coroner. I can’t think of anybody better than Alison to represent your interests at a difficult inquest.
Ranked: Tier 1
Francesca Whitelaw - 5 Essex CourtExtremely knowledgeable in the law governing inquests and inquiries, and has a wealth of experience in high-profile cases. Her expertise in national security work is particularly notable, her advocacy is impressive, and Francesca works well in a team.
Ranked: Tier 2
Georgina Wolfe - 5 Essex CourtGeorgina has crystalline clarity of thought, which coupled with a comprehensive knowledge of coronial law and a deep insight into the workings of inquests, makes her the ideal choice of counsel. Her technical skills, as well as the ability to express arguments in writing, are coupled with an appreciation of the wider landscape and the ability to think strategically. She is a go-to choice as a junior on inquests and inquiries.
Ranked: Tier 2
Claire Palmer - 5 Essex CourtAn extremely persuasive and tenacious advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3
Ranked: Tier 3
Bilal Rawat - 5 Essex CourtAt the top of his game - one of the leading practitioners in the field of inquests and inquiries, and one of the most senior juniors consistently appearing in the most high-profile cases. Bilal's style is measured but firm when required, and he robustly represents his client's interests - very impressive.
Ranked: Tier 3
Jonathan Dixey - 5 Essex CourtJonathan is an excellent barrister. He is unerringly polite and his courteous manner in court is particularly effective when having to put unattractive evidential points either directly to a witness or in submissions. He is always well-prepared and has an excellent grasp of the law - I highly commend him.
Ranked: Tier 3
Mark Thomas - 5 Essex CourtMark's approach to inquests and families is highly professional - he brings a humane approach to the task.
Ranked: Tier 4
Barnabas Branston - 5 Essex CourtVery incisive, and able to deal with voluminous material and get to the core issues. Also exceptionally good with clients and witnesses, with very good presentations to courts, and very eloquent while being down to earth in explaining matters to lay witnesses.
Ranked: Tier 4
Robert Cohen - 5 Essex CourtHe has a good understanding of the workings of prison and draws upon this for his inquest work - very pleasant to work with and the witnesses like him.
Ranked: Tier 4
Cicely Hayward - 5 Essex CourtTop-notch, extremely diligent, enthusiastic, energetic, very intelligent, and with the ability to get to grips with detail without missing the strategic issues.
Ranked: Tier 4



The set as a whole are leaders in their field.

Five Essex Court is a powerhouse of coronial lawyers, who lead and inspire younger members of chambers who specialise in this area.

When I have used other sets, I have felt that the whole service has not matched 5 Essex Court.

It is rare to have a set of chambers where the reception, clerks, and junior and senior barristers are equally impressive in the service they offer.

High-quality barristers, a pleasure to work with, well prepared, sensible and without question a safe pair of hands for whoever they are representing.


The clerks are fantastic – always willing to help and responsive.

London Bar > Police law (forces and constables) Tier 1

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 fieldFiona 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.

Leading Silks

Fiona Barton QC - 5 Essex CourtA leader in the field of police work.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jason Beer QC - 5 Essex CourtA star performer; he combines an assured manner with a piercing intellect.
Ranked: Tier 1
Anne Studd QC - 5 Essex CourtAnne has an exceptional amount of experience and is able to perform well at any level of court or tribunal, also a very confident in dealing with Chief Constables and other senior officers.
Ranked: Tier 2
Samantha Leek QC - 5 Essex CourtA practical silk with an authoritative presence.
Ranked: Tier 3
Alan Payne QC - 5 Essex CourtAlan's written pleadings and advice is excellent.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Beatrice Collier - 5 Essex CourtBeatrice is an excellent advocate and negotiator.
Ranked: Tier 1
Charlotte Ventham - 5 Essex CourtIncisive in her written work and clearly extremely knowledgeable in the area of police law.
Ranked: Tier 1
Francesca Whitelaw - 5 Essex CourtFrancesca is cerebral, thorough and has excellent judgement and can hold her own among silks. She knows her cases better than anyone and is able to work with all sorts of clients at the highest level.
Ranked: Tier 1
Georgina Wolfe - 5 Essex CourtA polished, very talented advocate who commands the confidence of the court.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jonathan Dixey - 5 Essex CourtAn extremely sharp and intelligent barrister with a good mind for strategy and tactics.
Ranked: Tier 2
Robert Cohen - 5 Essex CourtRobert demonstrates a highly impressive command of the evidence in a case with a fine ability to grasp and then focus on the key issues.
Ranked: Tier 3
Russell Fortt - 5 Essex CourtA robust advocate with a firm grasp of the law.
Ranked: Tier 3
Cicely Hayward - 5 Essex CourtCicely is incredibly easy to deal with, always conscious of wider strategic issues and very knowledgeable about police practice.
Ranked: Tier 3
Robert Talalay - 5 Essex CourtHis attention to detail is remarkable.
Ranked: Tier 3
Mark Thomas - 5 Essex CourtA measured and affable advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3
Ranked: Tier 3



‘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.’

London Bar > Employment

Leading Juniors

Richard Oulton - 5 Essex CourtRichard is unflappable- a calm and reassuring presence when dealing with complex cases or challenging opposition. He's always willing to take the time to discuss queries and advise at short notice, and is extremely personable and skilled at setting witnesses at ease and guiding them through the tribunal process. 
Ranked: Tier 4
Victoria von Wachter - 5 Essex CourtVictoria always demonstrates an impressive ability to assimilate and analyse information, often of great volume, to distil the essential issues. Always impressive, clear and fluent - clearly immensely capable, skilled and fiercely intelligent, but also very personable, approachable and able to put clients from extremely diverse backgrounds, and with different levels of confidence, at their ease.
Ranked: Tier 4
Daniel Hobbs - 5 Essex CourtAlways positive and friendly, which makes working together enjoyable, and he provides clear and helpful advice.
Ranked: Tier 5
Ranked: Tier 5


5 Essex Court is a top tier set of chambers recognised for exemplary client service, depth and breadth of experience in its specialist areas and outstanding quality of counsel. Chambers has a formidable reputation in its core areas of practice – police law, public/administrative law, public inquiries, inquests, professional disciplinary/regulatory, information law, employment law and human rights. Members, many of whom are recognised as leaders in their field, have appeared in some of the UK’s most significant civil law cases, inquests and inquiries over the last decade. Chambers represents a broad range of clients in both the public and private sectors and across the United Kingdom. The public accountability of many of the set’s clients is always a key consideration and members deploy measured, forensic advocacy coupled with an accessible, efficient and practical approach. A number of members accept direct public access work.

Work Undertaken.

Police Law
Pre-eminent in this field, Chambers is consistently recommended as the leading set for police law. The strength in depth of the police law team is highlighted by the large number of members ranked at all levels of call in this area of expertise. 5 Essex Court’s highly regarded specialists are instructed by every police force in England and Wales and by Police Scotland on all aspects of police law. They have a formidable and unrivalled record of appearances in almost every case, inquest or inquiry of substance concerning police law to Supreme Court level. Public/Administrative Law: Legal challenges to public bodies have been at the core of 5 Essex Court’s work for more than half a century. Members are often involved in public law cases that break new legal ground. They regularly advise and act in a wide range of public law cases for individuals, ministers and government departments, local authorities, regulatory authorities and other public bodies. The team includes members of each of the Attorney General’s panels of counsel. Members are particularly known for their work in cases that have a civil liberties, human rights or criminal justice dimension.

Public Inquiries
5 Essex Court continues to lead in this area with members instructed in most major inquiries including the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the Renewable Heat Inquiry, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the Undercover Policing Inquiry. The public inquiries team represents a broad range of clients and members are also regularly instructed as counsel to the inquiry. Public inquiries are inherently high profile and members are consistently praised for their effective handling of the sensitivities and challenges facing clients who are often in the spotlight for an extended period.

Recognised as a leading set, 5 Essex Court offers a comprehensive service covering all stages of an inquest. The team comprises a large number of recommended specialists including a senior coroner. In addition to renowned expertise involving the police, members have extensive experience of representing clients from a range of sectors including other emergency services, healthcare providers, government departments, local authorities, prison services, security firms, publicly listed and private companies. Members of the inquest team have appeared in the most high-profile inquests of recent years, both as counsel to interested persons and as counsel to the inquest, including: Deepcut, London Bridge Attack, Westminster Terror Attack, Birmingham Pub Bombings, Perepilichnyy, Poppi Worthington and Maughan.

Data Protection and Information Law
From national security to cyber security, 5 Essex Court’s team regularly provides advice and advocacy in matters relating to information and data protection law, with extensive experience acting for government, police forces, businesses and regulators.

Members of our team appear in UK courts and tribunals from the Supreme Court down in some of the highest-profile cases involving information law. Significant matters in this area include R (Bridges) v Chief Constable of South Wales Police (SWP) in the first ever legal challenge against the use of automatic facial recognition technology. Sir Cliff Richard v BBC, R (Miranda) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and R (Catt & T) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis.

The information law team provides practical advice and excellent advocacy at all stages, from time-sensitive crisis management through to complex and high-value litigation.

Employment Law
Chambers has a team of talented employment law specialists recognised for their experience and practical advice and representation across the full scope of employment law issues.

5 Essex Court’s barristers are renowned for their expertise representing government departments, public bodies and Chief Constables in employment law, as well as mainstream private industry companies of all sizes.  They apply their vast experience in some of the most contentious and complex employment cases relating to public bodies as well as all industry sectors, from national retailers and service providers to blue-chip financial institutions.

Our employment law specialists represent and advise both employers and employees from the public and private sectors and regularly appear in Employment Tribunals as well as senior courts up to Supreme Court level. The team is recognised for giving sound practical and pragmatic advice. A number of our barristers pursued other careers such as Industrial relations, in industry before joining the Bar, so we have first-hand knowledge of the commercial issues facing clients.

Human rights
5 Essex Court barristers appear in some of the most ground-breaking human rights challenges in the courts today. Chambers’ caseload includes challenges to the actions of the police, government departments, prisons and other public bodies in the full range of courts from county level up to the Supreme Court. The team is skilled, robust and creative in dealing with claims which push the boundaries of human rights jurisprudence. The experience of members of the team includes international law and Commonwealth human rights litigation.

Building on its widely recognised expertise in police misconduct, 5 Essex Court has a strong presence in the wider regulatory context. Members of the team represent regulators, companies and individuals across a range of sectors, including healthcare, energy and professional services, and in all manner of proceedings concerning regulatory law issues. These include professional discipline, civil claims, public inquiries and inquests.

Personal Injury
5 Essex Court’s personal injury team acts for a broad range of private and public sector clients including insurers, corporates, the police, prisons, government departments, and local authorities, as well as direct access clients. Members’ expertise covers the full spectrum of personal injury cases, from the most serious and complex multi-track claims to the simplest small track claims. Clients benefit from the team’s ability to draw on their expertise in other overlapping core areas of practice including employment, regulatory and human rights law.


Senior Clerk Mark Wallerclerks@5essexcourt.co.uk020 7410 2000
Member of Chambers BEER QC, Jason (1992)
Member of Chambers BARTON QC, Fiona (1986)
Member of Chambers STUDD QC, Anne (1988)
Member of Chambers LEEK QC, Samantha (1993)
Member of Chambers PAYNE QC, Alan (1996)
Member of Chambers APTHORP, Charles (1983)
Member of Chambers HEWITT, Alison (1984)
Member of Chambers WALSH, Simon (1987)
Member of Chambers WATERS, Andrew (1987)
Member of Chambers OULTON, Richard (1995)
Member of Chambers WAITE, John-Paul (1995)
Member of Chambers RAWAT, Bilal (1995)
Member of Chambers HARRIS, Melvyn (1997)
Member of Chambers HODGE, Alastair (1997)
Member of Chambers VON WACHTER, Victoria (1997)
Member of Chambers HOBBS, Daniel (1998)
Member of Chambers BRANSTON, Barnabas (1999)
Member of Chambers FORTT, Russell (1999)
Member of Chambers VENTHAM, Charlotte (2001)
Member of Chambers CORNELL, Kate (2003)
Member of Chambers PALMER, Claire (2003)
Member of Chambers WHITELAW, Francesca (2003)
Member of Chambers COLLIER, Beatrice (2004)
Member of Chambers LANDAU, Jonathan (2004)
Member of Chambers THOMAS, Mark (2006)
Member of Chambers WOLFE, Georgina (2006)
Member of Chambers HARLAND, Robert (2006)
Member of Chambers DIXEY, Jonathan (2007)
Member of Chambers TAHERI, Peter (2007)
Member of Chambers PRICE, Emma (2007)
Member of Chambers HAYWARD, Cicely (2008)
Member of Chambers IDELBI, Saara (2008)
Member of Chambers COHEN, Robert (2009)
Member of Chambers CLARKE, Amy (2010)
Member of Chambers TALALAY, Robert (2010)
Member of Chambers USTYCH, Alex (2010)
Member of Chambers HODGE, Catriona (2012)
Member of Chambers MEREDITH, Alice (2013)
Member of Chambers MOSS, Aaron (2013)
Member of Chambers GOSS, John (2015)
Member of Chambers REICHHOLD, Remi (2016)
Member of Chambers LAVERACK, Peter (2015)
Member of Chambers JOYCE, Molly (2016)
Member of Chambers MESSLING, David (2017)
Member of Chambers WRIGHT, Jennifer (2018)
Member of Chambers MONIGHAN, Conor (2019)
Member of Chambers DOBBIE, Sarah (2020)
Door Tenant BASSETT, John (1975)
Door Tenant ALLEN, Dr Stephen (1992)
Door Tennat CHECA DOVER, Olivia (2007)
Charles Apthorp photo Charles ApthorpCharles’ areas of expertise include police law, employment law, commercial litigation and…
Fiona Barton photo Fiona BartonExamples of her work include: The London Bridge Terrorist Attack Inquests [2019]…
Jason Beer photo Jason Beer  Jason often leads teams of counsel in complex, high-profile and sensitive…
Barnabas Branston photo Barnabas BranstonBarney acts for a range of clients including police forces across England…
Amy Clarke photo Amy ClarkeAmy acts on behalf of constabularies across the country in cases involving…
Robert Cohen photo Robert CohenNotable cases: R(Hambleton) v HM Coroner for the Birmingham (1974) Inquests (appeal…
Beatrice Collier photo Beatrice CollierNotable recent work includes: Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, R. (on…
Kate Cornell photo Kate CornellNotable civil cases include: defending a claim for alleged breach of Article…
Jonathan Dixey photo Jonathan DixeyJonathan’s clients include police forces, public bodies and coroners. Recent high profile cases…
Russell Fortt photo Russell ForttRecent work includes a scoping exercise for the IPCC into the policing…
John Goss photo John GossJohn acts in civil claims, police discipline cases, judicial reviews and has…
Robert Harland photo Robert HarlandRobert is a member of the Attorney General’s B panel and is very…
Melvyn Harris photo Melvyn HarrisHe advises and represents both Claimants and Respondents in the private and…
Cicely Hayward photo Cicely HaywardCiicely specialises in the areas of Police law, Inquests, Employment law, Public Law and…
Alison Hewitt photo Alison HewittAlison  specialises in inquests and is very experienced in all aspects of…
Daniel Hobbs photo Daniel HobbsDan has been conducting employment cases ever since he qualified in 1998.…
Alastair Hodge photo Alastair HodgeAlastair has successfully acted for both teachers and head teachers in misconduct…
Catriona Hodge photo Catriona HodgeCatriona specialises in police and public law, inquests, employment, human rights and…
Saara Idelbi photo Saara IdelbiShe regularly appears and advises on matters in the Tribunals, Coroners’ Court,…
Molly Joyce photo Molly JoyceMolly regularly acts for police forces before the Crown and Magistrates’ Court…
Peter Laverack photo Peter LaverackHe frequently acts in the High Court, Crown Court, County Court and…
Samantha Leek photo Samantha LeekParticular expertise in inquests and civil claims arising out of: deaths in…
Alice Meredith photo Alice MeredithShe has particular experience in civil claims including discrimination and ECHR claims,…
David Messling photo David MesslingDavid joined 5 Essex Court as a tenant in September 2019 after…
Aaron Moss photo Aaron MossFrom 2017 to 2019, Aaron was instructed as junior counsel (CTI) to…
Richard Oulton photo Richard OultonRichard specialises in employment, police misconduct, commercial and personal injury law. He…
Claire Palmer photo Claire PalmerShe is regularly instructed by a number of government departments as well…
Alan Payne photo Alan PayneAlan, who is develop vetted, acts for variety of clients including police…
Emma Price photo Emma PriceEmma’s inquest practice focusses on article 2 inquests into deaths in detention…
Bilal Rawat photo Bilal RawatSignificant cases include:   Grenfell Tower Inquiry (as counsel to the Inquiry);…
Remi Reichhold photo Remi ReichholdRemi is currently junior counsel for the Government of Mauritius in relation…
Anne Studd photo Anne StuddAnne undertakes judicial reviews, civil claims, inquests and inquiries for police forces…
Peter Taheri photo Peter TaheriPeter’s practice is mainly focused on Inquests and on work across the…
Robert Talalay photo Robert TalalayRobert has considerable trial experience as well as particular expertise and interest…
Mark Thomas photo Mark ThomasHaving acted as junior counsel for the Metropolitan Police in the landmark…
Alex Ustych photo Alex UstychAlex specialises in police law, inquests/inquiries, data protection/information law, employment law, public…
Charlotte Ventham photo Charlotte VenthamNotable cases: Rees & others v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis…
John-Paul Waite photo John-Paul WaiteIn addition to the above areas, John-Paul has a particular specialism in…
Simon Walsh photo Simon WalshSimon now focuses his practice on police discipline and regulatory work after many…
Andrew Waters photo Andrew WatersRepresenting and advising police forces in England and Wales across the whole…
Francesca Whitelaw photo Francesca WhitelawFrancesca is appointed to the Attorney-General’s B Panel of Junior Counsel to…
Georgina Wolfe photo Georgina WolfeGeorgina appears regularly as sole counsel and junior counsel before a range…
Victoria von Wachter photo Victoria von WachterVictoria advises a wide range of private and public sector clients on…