Trusted when it’s critical

Clients choose us to steer them through crucial cases, often involving important legal, ethical and social issues.

Read our profiles

Recent news

Explore our news archive

Collated advice and guidance from Serjeants’ Inn on issues arising from the coronavirus pandemic in our practice areas

9th June 2020

Webinars

Lawyers in lockdown: managing the challenges
Bridget Dolan QC and Rachel Spearing  discuss the challenges created by the pandemic. Despite Bridget’s PhD in psychology and her 13 years working with the NHS as a Psychologist before she came to the Bar and Rachel’s experience gained as the co-founder and first Chair of the Bar Wellbeing Initiative, they are clear that there are no simple solutions and that what works for one person may not be relevant to another.

 P in Lockdown: getting in to P and getting P out
Practical advice for assessments, advocacy and access.
This Court of Protection webinar, chaired by Jess Flanagan and Sophia Roper, will draw on the panel’s experience of difficult issues arising from lockdown.

Skype in the Court of Protection – the courts in the time of Coronavirus
Serjeants’ Inn barristers Sophia Roper and Nageena Khalique QC acted for two of the parties in the first case to be heard remotely in the Court of Protection. In a lunchtime seminar introduced by Michael Mylonas QC they share their experience and answer questions.

Coronavirus police powers and duties talks
Dijen Basu QC, David Lawson and Elliot Gold recorded video seminars on new and existing police powers, the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, police organisation and collaboration and the duty of care to officers, police staff and members of the public arising from the Coronavirus emergency.

Podcasts

13.05.20   How has the law adapted to coronavirus
LBC, Alexander dos Santos

04.05.20   The Coronavirus Legislation
Police Law On Demand, Elliot Gold & Deborah Britstone

24.04.20   Covid-19 Guidance and Police Misconduct Hearings
Police Law On Demand, Cecily White  & Deborah Britstone

Articles

02.06.20  One Kingdom but four nations emerging from lockdown at four different rates under four different laws
UK Police Law Blog, Dijen Basu QC

15.05.20  Reducing restrictions, increasing inconsistency? Impact of the Lockdown Amendment Regulations on the Police’s Enforcement Ability
UK Police Law Blog, Dijen Basu QC & Frances McClenaghan 

11.05.20  Trial by ordeal? Not necessarily
Counsel, Michael Mylonas QC, Nageena Khalique QC, Sophia Roper, George Thomas, Simon Cridland, Alexander dos Santos & Hannah Hinton

07.05.20  Dealing with the increased risks to BAME NHS staff treating Covid-19 patients
UK Healthcare Law Blog, Dijen Basu QC & Sebastian Naughton

28.04.20  Covid-19 Deaths and Possible Exposure in The Workplace: The Coroner’s Role
UK Inquest Law Blog, Clare Hennessy

24.04.20  Covid-19: Government guidance on emergency rationing of critical care is needed to support professional decision making
BMJ, referencing paper by George Thomas, Katie Gollop QC & Sophia Roper

23.04.20  NHS faces billions in coronavirus claims
The Times, quoting George Thomas

23.04.20  The lawfulness of the Coronavirus Restrictions Legislation imposing ‘Lockdown’
UK Police Law Blog, Dijen Basu QC

15.04.20  Remote Verification of Community Deaths During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Should family members be relied upon?
UK Inquest Law Blog, Katie Gollop QC

14.04.20 Families of patients who die due to lack of ventilators could sue hospitals, legal experts warn
The Telegraph, quoting Katie Gollop QC and referencing paper by George Thomas, Katie Gollop QC & Sophia Roper

06.04.20  COVID-19: Allocation and withdrawal of ventilation – the urgent need for a national policy
UK Medical Decision Law Blog, George Thomas, Katie Gollop QC & Sophia Roper

01.04.20  A life worth living: Continuation of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration in an incapacitous but sentient man
UK Medical Decision Law Blog, Nageena Khalique QC

31.03.20   Legislation and guidance – what is in force
UK Police Law Blog, Elliot Gold

31.03.20   The quickly mutating Coronavirus legislation – drafting anomalies and police powers
UK Police Law Blog, Dijen Basu QC

30.03.20  Corona Crisis: Standard of Care
UK Healthcare Law Blog, Eloise Power

30.03.20   Guidance to Appropriate Authorities: police misconduct hearings during the coronavirus restrictions
UK Police Law Blog, Aaron Rathmell & Cecily White

27.03.20   Coroners’ Courts open for urgent and essential business only
UK Inquest Law Blog, Briony Ballard

27.03.20   Joggergate: How frequently is it necessary to exercise in Wales?
UK Police Law Blog, George Thomas

26.03.20   Lockdown Regulations made: restrictions and police powers
UK Police Law Blog, Dijen Basu QC & Elliot Gold

25.03.20   What powers does “take such action as is necessary to enforce” give to police officers?
UK Police Law Blog, Dijen Basu QC, George Thomas & Elliot Gold

24.03.20   The Coronavirus Bill – police powers explained
UK Police Law Blog, Dijen Basu QC

24.03.20   Coronavirus Lockdown: Police Powers? What Police Powers?
UK Police Law Blog, George Thomas

23.03.20  Skype in the Court of Protection
UK Medical Decision Law Blog, Nageena Khalique QC & Sophia Roper

13.03.20  Prison conditions and Coronavirus
Serjeants’ Inn News Page, Hannah Hinton

05.03.20   CORONAVIRUS QUARANTINE
New Law Journal, David Lawson

12.02.20   The UK Coronavirus regulations – legal powers to control a public health crisis
UK Medical Decision Law Blog, David Lawson

11.02.20   The power to quarantine
UK Medical Decision Law Blog, David Lawson


Previous Next

John Beggs QC and James Berry appear in Court of Appeal police firearms case

27th July 2020

Between 7 – 9 July 2020 the Court of Appeal heard the appeal of the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) against the Divisional Court’s decision in R (W80) v IOPC [2019] EWHC 2215 (Admin). The case arose out of the fatal police shooting of Jermaine Baker in 2015 and an IOPC investigation into the conduct of W80, who fired the fatal shot.

​The Divisional Court found that the criminal test for self defence applies where a police officer’s use of force is being considered in misconduct proceedings. The IOPC contend that the Divisional Court was wrong, and that the civil test for self defence applies.

John and James were instructed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council as an Intervenor in the Court of Appeal. Judgment is awaited.


Previous Next

Alex dos Santos interviewed on Sky News: the Court of Appeals decision regarding Shemima Begum

17th July 2020

Alex dos Santos was interviewed on both Sky News  and LBC news yesterday,  for a legal view on the decision made by the Court of Appeal that Shemima Begum should be allowed to enter the UK in order to pursue her appeal against the decision to revoke her British nationality. The Court of Appeal held that fairness and Justice on the facts of this case outweigh national security concerns.


Previous Next

Angus Moon QC and Cecily White appear in Supreme Court case concerning doctrine of illegality

15th July 2020

During the lockdown Angus Moon QC and Cecily White appeared before 7 justices of the Supreme Court in a remote hearing in the case of Henderson -v- Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust. The case involved the claim by Ms Henderson for damages following her killing of her mother and raised the important issue of the role of the doctrine of illegality in the law of tort. Judgment was reserved.

A recording of Angus’ submissions is to be found on the Supreme Court website.


Previous Next

This not a case about choosing to die, but about an adult’s capacity to shape and control the end of his life

3rd June 2020

 Barnsley NHS Trust v MSP [2020] EWCOP 26.

Bridget Dolan QC acted for the NHS Trust in this profoundly sad case that reaffirms the principle of autonomy and also sends a clear message to all of us who might want to decide for ourselves whether life-sustaining  treatment should  be given to us on losing capacity:  Make sure your advanced decision is signed and witnessed if you wish to avoid unwanted medical treatment and litigation.   


Previous Next

Chambers welcomes Christopher Hough and Hannah Hinton

7th May 2020

We’re delighted to announce the arrival of two new barristers in recent weeks, Christopher Hough and Hannah Hinton, as part of our strategy to extend our service for clients.

Chris (1981 Call) joins our award winning clinical negligence team, building on the senior expertise already available to clients in this field. Ranked as a leading practitioner by both legal directories, he represents claimants and has a vast experience of all types of cases: cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury in children and adults, spinal cord injury, brachial plexus injury, blindness, amputations and Fatal Accident Act cases. Chris also deals with clinical negligence related solicitor negligence and employment and discrimination cases. Clients cited by the directories describe him as “ingenious…able to formulate novel solutions to complex problems” with a “very good bedside manner with the clients”.

Hannah (2008 Call), who has appeared in 33 reported cases in the last three years with a Supreme Court case currently in the pipeline, strengthens our business and specialist crime team in particular. Specialising in public law in extradition, cross-border financial crime, fraud, police law, unlawful detention claims and complex disciplinary misconduct cases, she represents individuals, governments and other public bodies in cases involving technical arguments as well as sensitive health, capacity and human rights issues and judicial review. She is a member of the Attorney General’s civil panel. She is ranked as a leading junior by the directories, and has been commended in the editorial as “fearless and quick on her feet” with a “friendly approach” .

This will further enhance the service we are able to provide to you, significantly consolidating our expertise in all our core fields.

For further details, please see Chris and Hannah’s full profiles. Please contact our clerking team if you need any further information or would like to discuss how they might assist you.


Previous Next

Angus Moon QC and Eleanor Morrison succeed in a clinical negligence action for severe brain damage caused at birth by the Defendant’s negligent failure to monitor the claimant’s heart rate with a CTG monitor whilst his mother was in labour

9th April 2020

Angus Moon QC and Eleanor Morrison, instructed by Leigh Day, successfully represented NKX in the case of NKX v Barts Health NHS Trust, in which judgment was given on April 7th 2020. Liability was in dispute both on breach of duty and causation.

The case involved complex factual questions, which required cross-examination of six midwives, and difficult expert evidence leading the judge to say that the experts were “on the edge of what they could confidently say”. On the timing of the brain damage, Mr Simeon Maskrey QC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court, rejected the so-called conventional model and accepted an extended model, finding that the damaging insult lasted 35 minutes.

Damages are to be assessed at a later date.
A copy of the judgment can be found here.


Previous Next

COVID-19: Allocation and withdrawal of ventilation – the urgent need for a national policy

6th April 2020

This blog is written towards the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown. We are not yet three weeks in, and do not know what the future holds.  This post has already been updated once since publication and in the fast paced news of coronavirus, more updates will come.  This post therefore may not be an exhaustive analysis, but we will revisit the subject as and when developments require.  We would also welcome any relevant new information on the topic, especially from those at the front line: please send to sroper@serjeantsinn.com.

The Government is clear that there is not, and is unlikely to be, a situation where there are more patients nationally requiring ventilation than there are ventilators.  If achieved, avoidance of the situation faced by doctors in Italy and Spain will come about by a combination of increased supply of ventilators, moving patients and ventilators around to match supply to demand, and the application of tough triage criteria, so that access to ventilation is limited to those likely to make a recovery.

But avoidance cannot be guaranteed. Local surges in demand will occur, and may lead to temporary shortages.  The risk of demand exceeding supply exists.  News reports in The Guardian and Daily Mail suggest that this has already happened in some hospitals.

Were that risk to eventuate, the withdrawal issue would arise:

Can a ventilator ever lawfully be removed from a ventilated patient who may be deriving benefit from it, for the purpose of providing that ventilator to different patient?

If it can, how should withdrawal and reallocation decisions be made?

In our view, these questions should be asked and answered now, before the risk eventuates, and in the profoundest hope that it never does.

Read the full article on our UK Medical Decision Law Blog.


Previous Next

Andrew Hockton wins case for NHS England (West Midlands) before First Tier Tribunal

9th April 2020

The appellant, an optometrist, sought to challenge a decision made by the Performers List Decision Panel [PLDP] to impose conditions on his inclusion in the Ophthalmic Performers List. The appellant challenged the jurisdiction of the PLDP on the basis that the General Optical Council (GOC) had already made an interim decision in relation to the same subject matter. The appellant further challenged the merits of the decision. Upon a review of their respective statutory roles and functions, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) accepted the argument made on behalf of the Respondent, NHS England (West Midlands), that the roles of the GOC and PLDP were separate, distinct and complementary and that the jurisdictional argument must therefore fail.  The FTT also held that the conditions imposed by the PLDP were necessary and proportionate. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed on both grounds. Andrew Hockton acted for the Respondent, instructed by Hill Dickinson.


Previous Next

Sir Robert Francis QC

1st April 2020

This is to announce that Sir Robert Francis QC, who has been a barrister in these Chambers since 1973 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 1992, has decided to retire from regular practice with effect from 31 March 2020.

Maintaining his links with Serjeants’ Inn as an Associate Tenant, Robert will continue to be available to undertake work connected with inquiries, reviews, investigations, mediations and employment processes, while pursuing his work as Chair of Healthwatch England, non-executive director of the CQC and President of the Patients Association. He will also continue as a Governing Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, where he is currently Reader-Elect.

Robert was knighted in 2014 for services to healthcare and patients. A leading specialist in medical law, including mental health treatment and capacity issues, clinical negligence and professional discipline, he has chaired several important health-related inquiries, including two into the care provided by Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, and the Freedom to Speak Up Review into the treatment of NHS staff who raise concerns. He has acted in many leading cases which have shaped the law and the society it reflects, ranging from the first PVS withdrawal of treatment case in 1993 (re Tony Bland, the last victim of the Hillsborough disaster) to – most recently – the Undercover Policing Inquiry (as Leading Counsel for the National Police Chiefs’ Council). He was Joint Head of Chambers from 2000 to 2009.

Robert comments, “Since I started in 1973, Serjeants’ Inn has grown from a tiny, young set into the major player it is today in medical, police and public law, as well as financial and other regulatory sectors. I am immensely privileged to have played a small part in that development. Giving up my practising certificate brings mixed emotions, but the time has come for a change of direction. I look forward to being able to contribute in various ways to the cultural learning and development of the public and private sectors. Serjeants’ Inn has been my professional and emotional home for so long; so I am delighted to be able to retain my links here. I look forward to being available to assist in inquiries, investigations and similar work.”

Angus Moon QC and Michael Horne QC, Joint Heads of Chambers at Serjeants’ Inn, comment, “The pioneer of the Duty of Candour and the Freedom to Speak Up agenda now embedded in the NHS, Robert has been a colossus bestriding the medical and legal landscapes for four decades. Serjeants’ Inn has been honoured to have him as a member of Chambers casting his gold dust for the benefit of others throughout that time. With his wisdom and warmth, we are delighted that he will continue to be so closely associated with Chambers’ life and work as an Associate Tenant.”

Robert can be retained to chair or assist with inquiries, arbitrations and mediations by contacting Lee Johnson, Senior Clerk, as usual on LJohnson@serjeantsinn.com and 020 7427 5000.


Previous Next

Chambers blogs

Social Responsibility

 

Serjeants’ Inn is committed to pro bono work and provides financial and practical support to Friends in Law and First 100 Years: read more

Specialisms

 

Serjeants’ Inn specialises in important, high profile medical, police, regulatory, criminal and public law cases, often involving political, ethical or social issues: read more

24 Hour Assistance

 

Serjeants’ Inn frequently deals with urgent applications including injunctions and declarations and provides a 24 hour service for matters requiring immediate assistance: read more

Awards

Angus Moon QC 1986 | 2006    Joint Head of Chambers
Michael Horne QC 1992 | 2016    Joint Head of Chambers
James Watson QC 1979 | 2000
Adrian Hopkins QC 1984 | 2003
John Beggs QC 1989 | 2009
Michael Mylonas QC 1988 | 2012
Tom Crowther QC 1993 | 2013
John de Bono QC 1995 | 2014
Dijen Basu QC 1994 | 2015
Nageena Khalique QC 1994 | 2015
Katie Gollop QC 1993 | 2016
Simon Fox QC 1994 | 2016
Bridget Dolan QC 1997 | 2016
Gerard Boyle QC 1992 | 2017
Sarah Clarke QC 1994 | 2017
Debra Powell QC 1995 | 2017
Jon Holl-Allen QC 1990 | 2018
Jemma Lee 2010
Liam Duffy 2012
His Honour Brian Barker CBE QC 1969 | 1990    Associate Member
Sir Robert Francis QC 1973 | 1992    Associate Member
Natalie Cargill 2016    Associate Member
Susan Burden 1985    Door Tenant
Jonathan Davies 2003    Door Tenant
Benedict Wray 2009    Door Tenant
Close X

COVID-19 and the operation of Chambers: important information for our clients and contacts

Please click here to read