"the exceptional Serjeants’ Inn Chambers is instructed in some of the most prominent cases in the country": Chambers and Partners
Serjeants' Inn Chambers is rated as one of the best chambers for defendant police work in the UK. We act for most forces around the country together with a number of PCCs and other police bodies, handling nearly 2,000 police law matters over the last three years.
We believe this is because we offer a more muscular defence of officers, more forthright presentation of misconduct hearings and better oral advocacy than our competitors. It is also because we provide specialist knowledge and breadth of expertise in police related disciplinary matters, civil claims, inquests, judicial review etc - the challenges police forces face are constantly changing and they increasingly want a one stop shop.
26 of our 36 police practitioners are ranked as leading barristers in their field by Chambers and Partners and/or The Legal 500, with John Beggs ranked as the Star Individual for Police Law (defence). The team comprises barristers who between them specialise in all aspects of police law including discipline, civil claims such as false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, misfeasance, and negligence claims, human rights, pensions and employment work, judicial review, sex offender and ASBOs, firearms appeals, Police (Property) Act work, proceeds of crime matters, general operational and other advisory work for force solicitors and senior police offices, and construction and property work.
We have experience of acting in the full range of civil litigation involving the police including actions in assault and battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office, breach of confidence and negligence. We have particular expertise in claims brought under s.6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 or other claims where human rights arguments are raised.
Members of the Police Team appear in the full range of civil restraining orders including ASBOs, SOPOs, ROSHOs, FBOs, DBOs, VOOs and Closure Orders. We also appear in applications under POCA. We are particularly experienced in appeals to the Crown Court and challenges by way of judicial review or case stated. We appear in proceedings under the Firearms Act 1968 including firearms licensing appeals. We also deal with matters under the Police Property Act and Licensing hearings involving the police.
We are trusted advisors to the police service (and other law enforcement agencies) on sensitive operational matters. We are often asked to provide advice on an urgent basis by telephone. Areas we have advised on recently are the policing of public order operations, firearms operations and covert operations engaging the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and associated legislation.
We have unrivalled experience of prosecuting and defending at police misconduct and performance hearings and at appeals to the PAT. We have been involved in many of the judicial review challenges to police disciplinary decisions. We deal with officers and staff of all ranks and in recent years have advised and acted for officers and Police Authorities (now PCCs) in cases involving chief officers.
We advise and appear in judicial review challenges against the police in a whole range of areas including public order, sufficiency of investigations, discipline, disclosure and human rights. Members of the Police Team are expert in the complex and ever changing area of police pensions and retirement including on grounds of ill health. We have appeared in many of the most significant judicial review challenges in this field.
We have appeared in many of the most high profile Inquests and Public Inquiries involving the police including the 7/7 London Bombings Inquests and the Leveson Inquiry. We have particular expertise in inquests into deaths following police shootings, restraint by police officers and where the deceased had mental health issues (a number of our team are mental health law experts).