Set Profile > 5 Essex Court > London, England

Chambers of Jason Beer QC
5 Essex Court

Inquests and inquiries Tier 1

'An excellent set with a stellar reputation', 5 Essex Court consistently appears in high-profile inquests and inquiries, and 'its reputation as the leading set in England, as far as police law is concerned, goes before it'. Jason Beer QC appeared, as counsel for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Fiona Barton QC acted for the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and Counter-Terrorism North West in the public inquiry into the 2017 Manchester Arena deaths. At the junior level, Alison Hewitt is a highly rated specialist in inquest and coronial law, as well as associated judicial review matters. In recent chambers news, Alan Payne QC took silk in 2019. The 'impressiveAaron Moss is highlighted as a rising star in the field.

Rising stars

Aaron Moss - 5 Essex CourtOne of the ablest juniors working in this field, with an impressive track record of major cases. His capacity for work is prodigious and his advocacy is very effective.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Fiona Barton QC - 5 Essex CourtCool, calm and unflappable; she is exceptionally knowledgeable and an absolute leader in this field. My number 1 go-to for any complex and high-profile inquest.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jason Beer QC - 5 Essex CourtA formidable and standout practitioner. A superb tactician with outstanding cross-examination skills.
Ranked: Tier 1
Samantha Leek QC - 5 Essex CourtHas a very broad range of experience in inquests and inquiries, as well as related judicial review cases - also a highly polished forensic performer, both in submissions and in examining witnesses.
Ranked: Tier 1
Anne Studd QC - 5 Essex CourtClear as crystal, faultless and measured in her advice and advocacy but, most importantly, Anne cares about what is best for the client.
Ranked: Tier 3

2019 Silks

Alan Payne - 5 Essex CourtAn outstanding barrister, whose strengths are his client-friendly approach, his depth of knowledge of the subject area and his grasp of current and future issues.

Leading Juniors

Alison Hewitt - 5 Essex CourtHer strength lies in her knowledge and understanding of all aspects of coronial law. She is calm under pressure, sets the right tone for proceedings, and always asks the most appropriate and relevant questions.
Ranked: Tier 2
Claire Palmer - 5 Essex CourtAn excellent advocate who is clear, incisive and well organised. She is an expert in complex inquests and represents with sensitivity and calm.
Ranked: Tier 3

Francesca Whitelaw - 5 Essex Court ‘Francesca is a class act. Excellent judgement and impeccable court craft. She is very well respected by coroners.

Ranked: Tier 3
Georgina Wolfe - 5 Essex CourtA first-rate lawyer. She has a deep and complete understanding of coronial law, and can perceive how the coroner will react and provide measured and precise advice adapted to the particular circumstances of the inquest.
Ranked: Tier 3
Robert Cohen - 5 Essex CourtIntelligent, ambitious and very calm under pressure. He has shown himself to be tireless and self-motivated in long and complex cases.
Ranked: Tier 4
Jonathan Dixey - 5 Essex CourtExcellent client skills and great on his feet.
Ranked: Tier 4
Emma Price - 5 Essex CourtMeticulous in every respect. She misses nothing and is a great strategic advocate, with everything prepared in good time.
Ranked: Tier 4
Bilal Rawat - 5 Essex CourtAlways fully prepared and on top of the papers. He is also measured and calm.
Ranked: Tier 4

Police law (defendant) Tier 1

'Very strong set' 5 Essex Court is viewed as a 'leading chambers in the field of police law', with a 'great depth' of 'talented lawyers'. Jason Beer QC and Francesca Whitelaw are representing the Chief Constable of South Wales Police in the Court of Appeal in a challenge brought against the judgment handed down in R (Bridges) v Chief Constable of the South Wales Police, where the High Court ruled that it was lawful for the police to use automated facial recognition software. 

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 CourtHer knowledge of police work is magnificent.
Ranked: Tier 2
Samantha Leek QC - 5 Essex CourtA practical silk with an authoritative presence.
Ranked: Tier 3

2019 Silks

Alan Payne QC - 5 Essex CourtA confident and personable silk.

Leading Juniors

Beatrice Collier - 5 Essex CourtShe has an extraordinarily sharp mind.
Ranked: Tier 1
Charlotte Ventham - 5 Essex CourtShe is tenacious and incredibly well-prepared.
Ranked: Tier 1
Francesca Whitelaw - 5 Essex CourtA very experienced junior, thorough in her preparation and charming in court.
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 CourtHe has an impressive intellect.
Ranked: Tier 2
Robert Cohen - 5 Essex CourtAn extremely eloquent barrister.
Ranked: Tier 3
Russell Fortt - 5 Essex CourtA robust advocate with a firm grasp of the law.
Ranked: Tier 3
Cicely Hayward - 5 Essex CourtShe has a brilliant analytical eye.
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


Leading Juniors

Richard Oulton - 5 Essex CourtCommunicates in a friendly manner, while still maintaining his client's interests.
Ranked: Tier 5
Victoria von Wachter - 5 Essex CourtIdentifies the key issues and provides logical, realistic advice. Clearly focused on getting the best possible outcome, while promoting reasonable expectations.
Ranked: Tier 5
John-Paul Waite - 5 Essex CourtHis analysis of the case was incisive. John-Paul was instrumental in the parties reaching a sensible settlement; he was robust with the claimant, and his own client, but fair.
Ranked: Tier 5

Set overviews: England and Wales

5 Essex Court is a leading chambers for inquest and inquiry and police law work. In recent news, Claire Palmer  was appointed a Deputy District Judge on the South Eastern Circuit; Jonathan Dixey has been appointed as an Assistant Coroner for Northamptonshire; Charlotte Ventham has been appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court; and Jason Beer QC was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge.



Clerks are always extremely accommodating.

Clerks are top class. Always available. Prompt and efficient service. Always call back when they say they will. Nothing is too much trouble including walking my papers to court even where they are not instructed and retrieving a laptop charger inadvertently left in one court and bringing it all the way to another court in London (on more than one occasion!). Dealing with the clerks at 5 Essex Court is always an absolute pleasure. Mark Waller leads the clerking team and excels in doing so.

Dan Warple is fantastic, he is efficient and always on the ball.

Excellent. All the clerks are approachable and eager to assist with any queries you might have.

Helpful and flexible. The clerks are able to handle bulk documents in emergencies, without difficulty, and are always able to provide useful alternative suggestions in the event of counsel not being available.

Helpful and knowledgeable clerks who always respond promptly. They recall my previous instructions and have evidently become aware of who my preferences are. They will always respond promptly.

I find 5 Essex Court to be such a helpful set of chambers. The clerks will move mountains to assist you, even when help is needed at short notice. I deal with clerk James Cole the most; he is really fantastic to deal with and never forgets to come back to you.

I have a great relationship with Mark Waller, Dan Waple and James Cole. The clerks do their best to find someone available for me, even at short notice. I can’t fault them.

I’ve always found the clerks to be really supportive and knowledgeable about the best barrister to cover a particular case and up front with their procedures. I have worked with Mark, James and Dan and find them all to be very helpful.

My favourite clerks’ team. Mark Waller is exceptionally amenable but professional. Dependable – always prepared to work as a team with instructing solicitor. No request for assistance is ever ignored – always deliver.

The clerks are always available to answer queries and to facilitate the conduct of the litigation.

The clerks are great. I have a great relationship with Mark Waller, James Cole and Dan Waple. They try their best to have someone available when I need them, sometimes at short notice.

The clerks are readily available and are very approachable. All of the clerks will try their utmost to accommodate your needs and requirements. They respond to emails quickly and know the strengths and specialisms of the barristers they work with very well and can advise accordingly.

The clerks room are excellent at this chambers and always answer quickly, call back, provide information requested such as dates to avoid, recommend alternatives where specific counsel are not available and cannot be faulted in their conduct. Also always willing to print out bundles, get messages to counsel and make recommendations or negotiate charges.

The service from the clerks is good and they are always keen to assist and do so quickly.


5 Essex Court has a range of talented police lawyers at all levels of call.

5 Essex Court is an outstanding set, rightly placed in Tier 1 of Inquests and Inquiries.

5 Essex Court is one of my go-to chambers for police law. They are very popular (which speaks to their quality) but even if they are busy they try and find options to cover our request.

5 Essex Court is the pre-eminent set for major police law work, and always provides the legal teams for police forces in major inquiries. It has some extremely able QCs and a host of impressive juniors.

Chambers are one of the leading sets on police law and have expertise and availability covering almost all aspects of legal issues arising in the police environment. They are switched on to what the client needs in providing free training, focused on the issues of the day.

Essex Court is a good set of chambers focusing on police work.

Exceptional set. Lots of extremely skilled barristers even at junior level. Always available for queries with no charge. Their annual police law conference is the highlight of my professional calendar. Absolutely the leading set in this area of law in my experience.

Formidable talent. I know they will always fight smart for their client.

I have found the ‘sofa series’ that chambers have been running during the lockdown really helpful. I also really like the bulletin they produce biennially. I have not made it to one of the talks yet but plan to do so next time. As a set they have a real depth of experts in their field.

If you represent police officers, 5 Essex Court is the go-to chambers for good representation.

It is evident why they are one of the primary defendant police law chambers, a host of specialised and knowledgeable counsel. Regardless of the complexity or nature of the case, I can trust there will always be an appropriate counsel available for me. Particularly with regards to complex JR, inquests and police conduct cases.

Professional, good attention to detail and able to deal with complex, large cases.

Strong reputation in defendant police work, particularly inquests and inquiries.

The chambers are a very strong set and are a go-to chambers when it comes to police law.

This is a high quality set where those who appear will be strong in their respective fields, and whose ethics and advocacy is first class.

Used this chambers for over 30 years. In my view consistently the number one set for police work. Strength in depth. Attracts good talent. Counsel always make themselves available – very good at providing training for this specific sector. Always good value for money.


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.


Department Name Email Telephone
Senior Clerk Mark Waller 020 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 MONIGHAN, Conor (2019)
Member of Chambers DOBBIE, Sarah (2020)
Door Tenant BASSETT, John (1975)
Door Tenant ALLEN, Dr Stephen (1992)
Photo Name Position Profile
 Charles Apthorp  photo Charles Apthorp Charles’ areas of expertise include police law, employment law, commercial litigation and…
 Fiona Barton photo Fiona Barton Examples 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 Branston Barney acts for a range of clients including police forces across England…
 Amy Clarke  photo Amy Clarke Amy acts on behalf of constabularies across the country in cases involving…
 Robert Cohen  photo Robert Cohen Notable cases: R(Hambleton) v HM Coroner for the Birmingham (1974) Inquests (appeal…
 Beatrice Collier  photo Beatrice Collier Notable recent work includes: Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, R. (on…
 Kate Cornell  photo Kate Cornell Notable civil cases include: defending a claim for alleged breach of Article…
 Jonathan Dixey  photo Jonathan Dixey Jonathan’s clients include police forces, public bodies and coroners. Recent high profile cases…
 Russell Fortt  photo Russell Fortt Recent work includes a scoping exercise for the IPCC into the policing…
 John Goss  photo John Goss John acts in civil claims, police discipline cases, judicial reviews and has…
 Robert Harland  photo Robert Harland Robert is a member of the Attorney General’s B panel and is very…
 Melvyn Harris  photo Melvyn Harris He advises and represents both Claimants and Respondents in the private and…
 Cicely Hayward  photo Cicely Hayward Ciicely specialises in the areas of Police law, Inquests, Employment law, Public Law and…
 Alison Hewitt  photo Alison Hewitt Alison  specialises in inquests and is very experienced in all aspects of…
 Daniel Hobbs  photo Daniel Hobbs Dan has been conducting employment cases ever since he qualified in 1998.…
 Alastair Hodge  photo Alastair Hodge Alastair has successfully acted for both teachers and head teachers in misconduct…
 Catriona Hodge  photo Catriona Hodge Catriona specialises in police and public law, inquests, employment, human rights and…
 Saara Idelbi  photo Saara Idelbi She regularly appears and advises on matters in the Tribunals, Coroners’ Court,…
 Molly Joyce  photo Molly Joyce Molly regularly acts for police forces before the Crown and Magistrates’ Court…
 Peter Laverack  photo Peter Laverack He frequently acts in the High Court, Crown Court, County Court and…
 Samantha Leek photo Samantha Leek Particular expertise in inquests and civil claims arising out of: deaths in…
 Alice Meredith  photo Alice Meredith She has particular experience in civil claims including discrimination and ECHR claims,…
 David Messling  photo David Messling David joined 5 Essex Court as a tenant in September 2019 after…
 Aaron Moss  photo Aaron Moss From 2017 to 2019, Aaron was instructed as junior counsel (CTI) to…
 Richard Oulton  photo Richard Oulton Richard specialises in employment, police misconduct, commercial and personal injury law. He…
 Claire Palmer  photo Claire Palmer She is regularly instructed by a number of government departments as well…
 Alan Payne photo Alan Payne Alan, who is develop vetted, acts for variety of clients including police…
 Emma Price  photo Emma Price Emma’s inquest practice focusses on article 2 inquests into deaths in detention…
 Bilal Rawat  photo Bilal Rawat Significant cases include:   Grenfell Tower Inquiry (as counsel to the Inquiry);…
 Remi Reichhold  photo Remi Reichhold Remi is currently junior counsel for the Government of Mauritius in relation…
 Anne Studd photo Anne Studd Anne undertakes judicial reviews, civil claims, inquests and inquiries for police forces…
 Peter Taheri  photo Peter Taheri Peter’s practice is mainly focused on Inquests and on work across the…
 Robert Talalay  photo Robert Talalay Robert has considerable trial experience as well as particular expertise and interest…
 Mark Thomas  photo Mark Thomas Having acted as junior counsel for the Metropolitan Police in the landmark…
 Alex Ustych  photo Alex Ustych Alex specialises in police law, inquests/inquiries, data protection/information law, employment law, public…
 Charlotte Ventham  photo Charlotte Ventham Notable cases: Rees & others v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis…
 John-Paul Waite  photo John-Paul Waite In addition to the above areas, John-Paul has a particular specialism in…
 Simon Walsh  photo Simon Walsh Simon now focuses his practice on police discipline and regulatory work after many…
 Andrew Waters  photo Andrew Waters Representing and advising police forces in England and Wales across the whole…
 Francesca Whitelaw  photo Francesca Whitelaw Francesca is appointed to the Attorney-General’s B Panel of Junior Counsel to…
 Georgina Wolfe  photo Georgina Wolfe Georgina appears regularly as sole counsel and junior counsel before a range…
 Victoria von Wachter  photo Victoria von Wachter Victoria advises a wide range of private and public sector clients on…