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Michael Mylonas QC, Sophia Roper and Claire Watson in ground-breaking Court of Protection case

16th July 2018

Michael Mylonas QC, Sophia Roper and Claire Watson in ground-breaking case in which a dying man’s wife was permitted by the Court to have his sperm retrieved, stored and used without his express written consent, under a Mental Capacity Act application: Michael was instructed  for the Applicant by Vardags, Claire by the hospital and Sophia by the Official Solicitor.

Click here to see press coverage on the case, and here for our recent blog post on the UK Medical Decision Law Blog.

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Angus Moon QC and Cecily White in Court of Appeal test case on the doctrine of illegality

13th July 2018

In Henderson -v- Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust Angus and Cecily  argued that Ms Henderson, who was convicted of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility in 2011, should not be allowed to recover damages relating to the consequences of killing her mother. The case raises important questions about the defence of illegality in tort and in clinical negligence actions. Judgment was reserved by the Court of Appeal.

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Fiona Paterson appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel

11th July 2018

Fiona Paterson has been appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown, commencing on 1 September 2018.

Described as “an absolute star” by Chambers & Partners, Fiona is ranked by the directories as a leading junior in the fields of Administrative and Public Law, Court of Protection and Regulatory Law. Specialising in difficult, complex and sensitive medical and welfare cases concerning substantial claims, regulatory issues and treatment decisions, Fiona acts both for and against the state in matters involving fundamental human rights. Fiona has appeared in various landmark cases before both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal over the last three years.

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John Beggs QC and Cecily White represented the Commissioner in the inquest into the death of Rashan Charles

25th June 2018

John and Cecily recently represented the Commissioner in the inquest into the death of Rashan Charles before HM Coroner Mary Hassell at St Pancras Coroner’s Court. Rashan was restrained by police in Hackney and a plastic package was later retrieved from his mouth. The jury found the death to have been accidental and that Rashan’s life had not been salvageable prior to the point at which a medical emergency was identifiable.

See BBC News coverage here.

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Chris Daw QC interviewed by Adrian Chiles on the state of the criminal justice system

1st June 2018

Chris Daw QC discusses the state of the criminal justice system on Radio 5 live with Adrian Chiles.

Please click here to listen to the full interview.

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David Morris writes for Lexis Nexis on Hussain v General Pharmaceutical Council

1st June 2018

David Morris writes for Lexis Nexis on Hussain v General Pharmaceutical Council (Sanction for professional misconduct within appeal court’s powers)

Please click here for the full article.

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Angus Moon QC in key case concerning whistle-blowing by junior doctors

29th May 2018

Angus Moon QC has been instructed by Health Education England in the important case of Day relating to whistleblowing by junior doctors. The case went to the Court of Appeal in 2017 and is listed for a final hearing in October 2018

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Serjeants’ Inn welcomes Emma Sutton (2006 Call)

16th April 2018

We are delighted to announce that Emma Sutton has decided to move to Serjeants’ Inn Chambers, expanding and enhancing our Court of ProtectionPublic and Administrative LawEducation and Inquest and Inquiries teams.

Emma, described by The Legal 500 as “a tough negotiator, who is excellent with lay clients…[with] an impeccable court manner”, is the ninth established practitioner to join us in the last ten months. Her arrival reflects our ongoing commitment to building the expertise and service we offer to our instructing solicitors and lay-clients.

Catherine Calder, Joint Chief Executive, comments “Emma’s addition to our first-class Court of Protection team further expands our expertise in this field and substantially advances our ability to represent clients in Property and Affairs cases, as well as Health and Welfare. Together with the recent arrival of Dijen Basu QC and Matthew Holdcroft, it gives Chambers’ solicitors greater public law expertise to call on, as well as significantly strengthening our Education and Inquest and Inquiries teams”.

Emma’s profile, setting out full details of her practice, will be available shortly.

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Serjeants’ Inn welcomes Matthew Holdcroft and Amardeep Dhillon to Chambers

11th April 2018

We are delighted to welcome Matthew Holdcroft and Amardeep Dhillon, following the earlier arrival of His Honour Brian Barker CBE QC, Dijen Basu QC, Rachel Spearing and Ian Skelt over the last six months, with a further established practitioner recruit to be announced very shortly.

Please see Mat’s profile here and Amardeep’s here. Their arrival allows us further to enhance our service to our clients, strengthening our core expertise in police and medical law and building our ability to represent them in commercial cases too.

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Adjourned: Deepcut Inquest into the death of Sean Benton

28th March 2018

“The ‘Deepcut Inquest’ into the death of Sean Benton has adjourned today until closing legal submissions are heard in May. The inquest has heard evidence from over 130 witnesses since it began in January 2018. Bridget Dolan QC and Jamie Mathieson are Counsel to the judge Coroner. John Beggs QCCecily White and Paul Spencer of Serjeants’ Inn represent interested persons.

Read press coverage of the case here.


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Thomas Evans & Kate James v Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

22nd March 2018

On 20th March 2018, the Supreme Court refused the parents of Alfie Evans permission to appeal against the decisions of the Court of Appeal and Hayden J regarding the withdrawal of Alfie’s ventilator support.

Alfie was born in May 2016 and is now 22 months old.  By the time of his four month check Alfie’s parents and health visitor had noticed that he was not meeting his developmental milestones.  By December 2016 Alfie had lost some of his previously learned skills and was admitted to Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool – a tertiary unit and centre of excellence for the treatment of severely ill children.

During 2017 Alfie’s condition continued to deteriorate and he was given ventilator support.  Initially it was possible to wean him from the ventilator support but that ceased in May 2017 and he has required constant and increasing support with his breathing ever since.  Serial MR imaging demonstrated progressive destruction of Alfie’s brain matter and both his treating and the visiting clinicians concluded that he was suffering from an untreatable neuro-degenerative disorder.  In addition to the underlying condition, Alfie also suffers from uncontrollable seizure activity.

The treating team at Alder Hey obtained external reviews and also provided facilities for the family’s independent experts to assess.  All the treating clinicians and medical experts were unanimous in agreeing that Alfie’s condition was untreatable and that his seizure activity could not be controlled.

In those unusual and tragic circumstances the Trust and the UK independent experts concluded that continued active treatment provided no benefit to Alfie.  His parents did not accept the medical evidence and the case was brought before Hayden J.  After a seven day hearing in which he carefully considered all the evidence he concluded that, in view of Alfie’s condition and the unanimous medical evidence, continued treatment was not in his best interests.

Alfie’s parents unsuccessfully appealed that decision to the Court of Appeal who handed down judgment on 6th March.  Alfie’s parents then sought permission to appeal from the Supreme Court.  Their primary argument was that the Court  should not intervene in a parent’s choice as to medical treatment unless a threshold of significant harm had been established.

This echoed the basis of the appeal in the Gard case in 2017.  In Alfie’s case the argument was advanced on the basis that his parents were victims of discrimination contrary to Article 14 ECHR.  In refusing permission to appeal, the Supreme Court confirmed that the test in medical treatment cases was the child’s best interests, describing this as “the gold standard”.

It is possible that Alfie’s parents will now seek to bring the matter before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg alleging that the actions of the UK Courts in rejecting their case on discrimination is an infringement of their rights by the state.

Michael Mylonas QC has represented Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust throughout.  Susanna Rickard was instructed as junior on the appeal to the Supreme Court. Sophia Roper was instructed by CAFCASS to act for the Child’s Guardian appointed by the Court.

Please click here for a copy of the judgment.


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Two new LexisNexis awards for Serjeants’ Inn

19th March 2018

“The judges felt that this leading set particularly stood out as a result of its involvement in many of the high-profile cases of the past year and for its deep commitment to client service”:  we were delighted to win both the Chambers of the Year and the Best Client Focus awards at the LexisNexis Legal Awards 2018, as well as being shortlisted for the Wellbeing award.

This brings us to 22 awards in the last three years: many thanks to our clients for all their support and congratulations to the other winners, in particular to Dana Denis-Smith as Legal Personality of the Year.

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Angus Moon QC 1986 | 2006    Joint Head of Chambers
John Beggs QC 1989 | 2009    Joint Head of Chambers
Sir Robert Francis QC 1973 | 1992
James Watson QC 1979 | 2000
Adrian Hopkins QC 1984 | 2003
George Hugh-Jones QC 1983 | 2010
Michael Mylonas QC 1988 | 2012
Chris Daw QC 1993 | 2013
John de Bono QC 1995 | 2014
Dijen Basu QC 1994 | 2015
Michael Horne QC 1992 | 2016
Katie Gollop QC 1993 | 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
Natalie Cargill 2016    Associate Member
Huw Lloyd 1975    Door Tenant
Siobhan Goodrich 1980    Door Tenant
Susan Burden 1985    Door Tenant
Charles Foster 1988    Door Tenant
Malcolm Lim 1989    Door Tenant
Anthony Jackson 1995    Door Tenant
Benedict Wray 2009    Door Tenant