A consistently excellent police law set, undertaking the full range of actions against the police, including public law challenges, private law claims and inquests. Interviewees commented that "Doughty Street Chambers stands out as a leader in actions against the police and human rights work." "Its barristers are all very approachable and give extremely detailed advice. They show dedication, commitment and professionalism." With 41 barristers in the team, it is no surprise that market commentators refer to Doughty Street as "one of the strongest claimant sets."
Client service: "They are still at the forefront in terms of their ethos and the level of service they give to solicitors and clients." The civil clerking team is led by Richard Bayliss.
Heather Williams QC
Regarded as "a forerunner in actions against the police," she undertakes the most contentious and high-profile cases in the field.
Strengths: "She is a masterful advocate, who has fantastic judgement." "She is completely measured, thorough and amazing in cross-examination."
Recent work: Acted in ZH v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, a matter concerning a severely autistic claimant who had been handcuffed, arrested and detained in a police van after becoming transfixed by the water of a swimming pool. The case has ground-breaking implications for disability discrimination in police interaction with the public. She is also engaged in the Hillsborough inquiry.
Nicholas Bowen QC
A vastly experienced public law practitioner who is particularly adept at cases challenging the police over failures to protect those to whom they may owe a duty.
Strengths: "He has a fantastic breadth of knowledge of the liability of the police and public authorities, and one is always confident that he leaves no stone unturned."
Recent work: Acted in Williams v Chief Constable of Gwent Police, a Human Rights Act and negligence claim arising out of police failures to arrest a known perpetrator of domestic violence who went on to kill his estranged wife.
Henrietta Hill QC
Undertakes a wide range of actions against the police, and has extensive discrimination and general public law experience. She has also acted in inquests and public inquiries.
Strengths: "Very bright, very quick and really hard-working, she has a phenomenal grasp of the facts." "She is very persuasive and manages to win over everyone's confidence."
Recent work: Acting on behalf of 22 families of victims at the new Hillsborough inquest, and has recently handled numerous cases concerning deaths in custody.
Receives regular instructions in cases where miscarriages of justice have occurred, and where police officers have acted ultra vires. She has linked prison law, criminal law and public law knowledge.
Strengths: "She is absolutely brilliant. She develops novel legal arguments and is incredibly bright and hard-working." "You have absolute confidence that she won't miss anything and will do everything in the best possible way."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of protesters arrested in the G20 protests of 2009 in the case of Walpole v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.
Regularly handles allegations of miscarriages of justice, where claimants have often spent long periods in prison, and other cases concerning police misconduct.
Strengths: "He is relentless in his cross-examination and questioning."
Recent work: Acted in AKJ v Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis in a case where police officers are alleged to have deceived women into sexual relationships.
Particularly skilled in the areas of civil liberties and discrimination law, and handles claims against the police when rights are violated.
Strengths: "He is extremely erudite, and strong on the less mainstream aspects of human rights law and their application to unusual situations." "He has great strategic knowledge, is very personable and methodical, and will strive to get the right result for the client."
Recent work: Handled the case of Michael v Chief Constables of South Wales and Gwent Police, which featured a clarification of the duty of care owed to those who call the emergency services.
A human rights specialist, who regularly challenges the actions of police authorities via judicial review. She further acts in cases where child rights and prison law matters are engaged.
Strengths: "She is very industrious and very thorough in going through documents."
Recent work: Acts for families involved in a new inquest into the Hillsborough disaster.
Acts in significant civil claims against the police where allegations are made of malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office and unlawful detention. She often handles inquests relating to death in custody.
Strengths: "She is very good at explaining what are often complex legal matters in a way that puts the clients at ease."
Recent work: Acted in R (Miller and Others) v Justice Secretary, a judicial review into the decision not to launch a public inquiry following the collapse of a large-scale police corruption trial.
An assistant coroner, who in private practice is particularly effective in inquests following deaths in custody. He is also regularly instructed in cases of misfeasance and false imprisonment, and undertakes judicial reviews challenging the decisions of the Independent Police Complaints Commission and police authorities.
He is particularly proficient at utilising the judicial review mechanism to challenge police and public authorities in cases where they are found to have acted unlawfully or used practices that violate human rights. He is further experienced in areas including miscarriages of justice and inquest work.
Strengths: "He is a good technical lawyer." "He is able to advise on the real make-or-break questions to ask the experts."
Recent work: Acted in the inquiry into the death of Azelle Rodney and the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan.
Conducts cases across the full range of civil actions against police and other public bodies. Areas of expertise include the law relating to protesters and data protection breaches.
Strengths: "He is incredibly bright and hard-working."
Recent work: Instructed in Taylor Myers v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, in a case where officers were alleged to have intentionally knocked the claimant from his bicycle.
Garden Court has an accomplished actions against the police team that provides comprehensive coverage of the full range of civil proceedings against the police, including actions for the torts of negligence, misfeasance in public office, assault and false imprisonment. The practitioners are also experts in human rights law, and have significant experience of judicial review proceedings. This set is "easy to deal with, committed to upholding civil liberties and preserving fundamental rights."
"Phil Bampfylde is one of the best clerks around. He's just fantastic and everyone likes him for his professionalism, efficiency and helpfulness." He leads clerks who are "flexible on fees and happy to talk, whatever the problem is."
Leslie Thomas QC
A celebrated police law expert, highly valued for his human rights law expertise and his experience of handling inquests. His police practice sees him receiving high-profile instructions in civil claims launched in response to police negligence and misuse of power. Market commentators praise his cross-examination skills.
Strengths: "He is very much a leading figure in this area." "I don't think anyone can doubt he has been in the most significant inquests for the last 25 years."
Recent work: Instructed as lead counsel in inquests following the shooting of Mark Duggan and the death of musician David Emmanuel.
Displays excellent ability in cases of wrongful detention, particularly where the claimant suffers from mental health issues. His wider work includes challenges on human rights grounds and inquests resulting from police-related deaths.
Strengths: "He is a superb trial advocate, who has inside-out knowledge of the process. He is one of the first names that comes to mind for difficult and hard-fought police trials." "He is very bright and very good at building relationships with clients."
Recent work: Acted in Creamer v Chief Constable of North Wales, where the female claimant was subjected to an unlawful strip search.
Has a broad practice encompassing areas including malicious prosecution, trespass to person and property, and false imprisonment claims. She also has strong judicial review experience.
Strengths: "She is a good advocate, and is able to stand her ground and respond effectively to unexpected questions." "She is obviously passionate about the client's best interests and that shines through in her advocacy."
Recent work: Acted in Abdullah v Greater Manchester Police, an Article 8 challenge to a raid conducted upon a residential home under terrorism legislation.
Highly regarded for her handling of civil claims brought against the police and public organisations, many of which relate to negligence and assault. She has appeared in the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "I am really impressed by the level of detail and care that goes into her advice." "She does not seem fazed when a hearing is not going the right way, and she has the ability to turn things around."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of Abdulla, Arif and Faratol v Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, a case where four youths suffered psychiatric and physical damage following a 'hard stop' being carried out on their car.
Exhibits strong expertise in the area of inquests, particularly where the police have used unlawful or excessive force. He also has prison law expertise.
Strengths: "He is someone who knows his stuff, particularly on inquests."
Has considerable understanding of police law and human rights-related claims. She is particularly good at handling cases resulting from the police treatment of protesters or those concerning mass arrests.
Strengths: "She is brilliant. She is on the ball and positive but realistic in managing client expectations." "She is forensically analytical in her approach."
Recent work: Acted for Lindis Percy in her unlawful arrest case against the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police.
Enjoys a strong reputation in the field, and receives high-profile instructions in judicial reviews, inquests and wrongful arrest cases. He has previously undertaken work including failures to protect.
Strengths: "He is totally calm at all times, and patient and courteous where others would lose their temper." "He is very knowledgeable and his advocacy is very good."
Recent work: Instructed in both the judicial review quashing previous inquests and the new inquest into the Hillsborough Stadium disaster of 1989.
Impresses market commentators with his strong civil liberties practice and discrimination law background. He is regularly engaged in challenges to police and public authority actions through the use of the Human Rights Act.
Strengths: "He's immensely likeable, really easy to work with and constructive in his approach." "He is determined to utilise his knowledge to ensure that his clients get the right result."
Recent work: Acted in Yousif v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, a challenge to police detention based on Articles 3 and 8 of the ECHR.
Handles all aspects of public and private law proceedings that may arise from police mistreatment and malfeasance. She is well known for her ability in inquests and has taken on cases where police officers are accused of using excessive force in the execution of their duties.
Strengths: "She is relentless and completely comprehensive in her approach to matters that need to be examined." "She is a fantastic advocate for bereaved families, who absolutely love her."
A robust team that provides high-quality representation for those wishing to make civil claims against the police. Areas of expertise include a vast array of torts, including malicious prosecution, trespass to the person and property, and also claims arising from miscarriages of justice and the application of terrorism legislation. With linked criminal law, discrimination law and civil liberties teams, the set is well placed to advise clients on the human rights implications of their cases. Matrix Chambers is particularly strong in the silk department.
Phillippa Kaufmann QC
Pre-eminent in the field, and holds public authorities and police bodies to account in all of the major courts, including the Supreme Court. She is consistently involved in the biggest civil claims made against the police for acts of negligence and the deliberate commission of wrongs against members of the public.
Strengths: "She is a great trial advocate who knows her law and tactics inside out, and is extremely dedicated." "She is superb at thinking on her feet, and is as good at presenting innovative and detailed submissions as she is at responding off the cuff."
Recent work: Instructed in DSD and NBV v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, a civil case stemming from the failure of police to arrest John Worboys after a complaint. Twenty-nine women were sexually assaulted subsequent to the complaint being brought.
Tim Owen QC
Enjoys a sizeable profile, and represents clients in actions that give rise to important clarifications of significant points of law. He has handled a vast amount of judicial reviews in his distinguished career.
Recent work: Acted in the case of R (Catt) v Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Force, where a protester launched a judicial review against police data collection practices.
Matthew Ryder QC
Advises clients seeking to make private law claims against the police for acts of malpractice. He also has major experience of criminal and civil liberties cases.
Strengths: "His legal mind is incredibly sharp." "He has an amazing ability to connect with the client and to understand their needs. They always feel he's speaking directly on their behalf."
Hugh Southey QC
Well regarded for his work challenging the actions of police and other detaining authorities, including private contractors fulfilling public functions. He has a strong record of appearing in Supreme Court cases.
Strengths: "He's fantastic on his feet. If there is a novel point of law, he'll find it."
Recent work: Acted in a case where the law was clarified in terms of the amount of force permissible for agents to use in immigration removals. Further acted in Sarjantson v Chief Constable, where the police duty to protect was said to extend to unnamed individuals.
Hugh Tomlinson QC
A vastly experienced practitioner with significant human rights and public law variants to his practice.
Strengths: "He is an outstanding all-round silk."
Richard Hermer QC
Undertakes civil litigation as part of a wider practice strongly featuring public international law work. He has a strong reputation in cases where there are multiple parties to the case.
Strengths: "He's creative, thorough and very agile in his thinking."
James Laddie QC
Conducts a wide range of claims against the police arising from causes of action including false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and battery. He excels in civil actions where there is a discrimination element.
Strengths: "His advice is excellent. He strategically thinks about the end results and gets to grips with detailed and complex evidence very well." "Where others might get a little excited, he's calm and assured."
Recent work: Acted in Cary v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, a case alleging sexual orientation discrimination in the way the claimant's police reports were handled.
Regularly acts in civil actions against the police concerning various torts, including negligence. She has handled major judicial reviews into significant areas of public policy.
Strengths: "She makes things very clear for clients in terms of her written advice and produces lovely pleadings." "She's very good at getting to grips with complicated medical evidence."
Recent work: Acted in a judicial review on behalf of David Miranda, challenging police powers to detain.
Practises across criminal, public and human rights law, giving her particularly strong insight into actions against the police.
Strengths: "She's extremely approachable, knowledgeable and thoroughly reliable."
Recent work: Acted in AKJ v Metropolitan Police, a case concerning the sexual conduct of undercover police officers.
Paul Bowen QC of Brick Court Chambers
Specialises in bringing civil law claims against police and other public bodies for negligence and acts of misfeasance. He further acts in inquests.
Recent work: Represented the claimants in S v Chief Constable of Gwent Police, a matter concerning the death of a family member in custody.
Anthony Metzer QC of Goldsmith Chambers
Well respected for his actions against the police in areas ranging from false imprisonment and negligence to assault and judicial review of police actions.
Strengths: "Approachable, knowledgeable and excellent at cross-examination." "He is incredibly good in the way he deals with vulnerable clients, especially those who have post-traumatic stress disorder."
Recent work: Acted in Seaford, Pugh and Others v South Wales Police, a case where police officers arrested for the murder of a prostitute brought misfeasance proceedings when their trial collapsed.
Stephen Cragg QC of Monckton Chambers
A human rights specialist with significant experience in judicial reviews and inquest work.
Strengths: "He is great at the very technical cases." "He continues to be extremely innovative, and has a niche in data retention work."
Recent work: Acted in R (Ali) v Justice Secretary in a case seeking compensation for three claimants who had suffered miscarriages of justice.