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Debra Powell QC and Rhys Hadden involved in urgent medical treatment case before the Court of Protection

20th March 2019

Debra Powell QC and Rhys Hadden were involved in an urgent medical treatment case before the Court of Protection. King’s College Hospital were seeking a declaration that it would be lawful and in the best interests of a patient, FG, to undertake an operation under general anaesthetic to repair his severely fractured and disclocated right shoulder. FG, who was also detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, repeatedly refused to acknowledge or accept the need for any form of treatment. In light of this, the Hospital also sought authorisation to covertly sedate him, if necessary, to transport him to hospital.

Debra Powell QC was instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of FG. Rhys Hadden was instructed by Andrew Popkiss at King’s College Hospital and Clementine Robertshaw at Bevan Brittan.

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Chris Daw QC secures freedom for financier in a major prosecution by the National Illegal Money Lending Team

18th March 2019

Chris Daw QC, instructed by Shaun Draycott of Draycott Browne, achieved the successful resolution of a major financial services and money laundering prosecution, brought by the National Illegal Money Lending Team.

The court accepted Mr Daw’s argument that his client, Craig LaPenna, offered a vital lifeline to many small businesses, denied funding by banks and other mainstream lenders.

Mr LaPenna was described by one borrower as a “godsend” and the case raised important questions about the approach to business lending by financial institutions.

As a result of the settlement, negotiated on Mr LaPenna’s behalf, he received a suspended sentence and his wife was conditionally discharged.

Chris Daw QC has significant expertise in major financial and regulatory cases and can be consulted for advice on regulatory processes and pre-charge investigations, as well as defending serious criminal proceedings.

Please click here for coverage.

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Gerry Boyle QC and James Berry appear in misconduct proceedings arising from the death of Sean Rigg

1st March 2019

Sean Rigg died on 21st August 2008 shortly after being arrested and detained by four Metropolitan Police officers in Brixton.

An inquest was held into Mr Rigg’s death in 2012 at which Debra Powell QC and Claire Watson represented two of the Interested Persons.

Following two IOPC investigations, an independent review, litigation in the Administrative Court and the acquittal of one of the officers at a perjury trial, the matter came before a misconduct panel at the Metropolitan Police Service. Gerry and James presented the case against the officers on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

In a hearing that lasted six weeks, Gerry and James defeated a substantial abuse of process argument based on the 10 1/2 year delay since the incident. The panel delivered its finding on 1st March 2019 and dismissed the allegations against each of the officers.

For press coverage please click here: The BBC & The Guardian


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Michael Mylonas QC featured in The Lawyer Hot 100 for “legal firsts in new and exciting areas of law”

1st February 2019

We are delighted that Michael has been included as one of 16 barristers featured in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 this year:

The Lawyer comments as follows: “Michael Mylonas QC had 24 hours to secure the extraction and posthumous use of a fatally injured man’s sperm to allow the victim’s wife to become pregnant.

A day before the man died, Mylonas collaborated with the doctors involved and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to urgently submit an application to the Court of Protection, which hears cases related to people who – due to lack of mental capacity – cannot make decisions for themselves.

Showing how the couple was undergoing a fertility treatment and was keen to have a child, the barrister convinced the judge that it was the man’s will to enable his wife to conceive, and subsequently allowed for his sperm to be retrieved and stored through the signature of a deputy.

As part of his medical law practice, Mylonas has been working on a series of groundbreaking cases at the intersection of biology, ethics and law, often pushing regulatory boundaries and shaping the public debate. Next year, he will work on the regulatory void surrounding the case of a transgender man who wants to be recognised as father of his baby after a local registrar said he would be forced to be recorded as mother.”

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Rhys Hadden appointed as a part-time Judge of the First-tier Tribunal

31st January 2019

Serjeants’ Inn is delighted to announce that Rhys Hadden has been appointed as a part-time Judge of the First-tier Tribunal.

Rhys has been assigned to the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber which is responsible for mental health, special educational needs and disability, care standards and primary health list cases. His practice in Chambers will continue as usual.

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Guildford Pub Bombings: Edward Pleeth and James Berry appear at application to resume inquests

21st December 2018

On 5 October 1974 bombs exploded at the Horse and Groom Pub and the Seven Stars Pub in Guildford, Surrey. Four soldiers and one civilian were killed and dozens of people were injured. Inquests into the five deaths were opened and adjourned pending criminal investigations. The inquests were never resumed following the convictions of the “Guildford Four” and the Maguire Seven” arising out of the bombings. Those convictions were later quashed by the Court of Appeal.

On 20 December 2018 an application to resume the inquests into the Guildford Pub Bombings was heard by the Senior Coroner for Surrey, Richard Travers. A decision on the application is expected on 31 January 2019.

Edward Pleeth represented the Ministry of Defence.

James Berry represented the Metropolitan Police Service.

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Court of Appeal awards damages for Californian commercial surrogacy in XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust [2018] EWCA Civ 2832

19th December 2018

Christopher Johnston QC and Claire Watson, instructed by Alison Eddy and Anne Kavanagh of Irwin Mitchell, have succeeded on appeal in XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust [2018] EWCA Civ 2832. Acting for the Claimant, Chris and Claire successfully argued that the High Court’s decision not to award her damages for the costs of commercial surrogacy in California was wrong.

Ms X developed cervical cancer and was left infertile due to the Hospital Trust’s negligent failure to correctly report on a number of smear tests and biopsies. At first instance, Sir Robert Nelson held that Ms X could recover limited expenses for UK-based surrogacy using her own eggs but not those of a donor. That decision, the first of its kind, was significant in itself. However, Ms X appealed, arguing that the judge was wrong to follow Hale LJ’s judgment in Briody [2002] QB 856 and hold that commercial surrogacy arrangements were considered to be contrary to public policy.

The Court of Appeal (comprising McCombe LJ, King LJ and Nicola Davies LJ) unanimously allowed the appeal and dismissed the Trust’s cross-appeal. For the first time, the Court has held that, in the light of the Supreme Court’s decision on the concept of illegality in Patel v Mirza [2016] UKSC 42, there is no public policy bar to the recovery of damages for the costs of commercial surrogacy in California. Ms X proposed to do nothing that was unlawful either in the UK or in California. In addition, in a departure from Hale LJ’s dicta in Briody, it was held that damages for the cost of ‘donor egg’ surrogacy had the effect of putting Ms X as nearly as possible in the position she would have been in had the Trust not been negligent. The distinction between ‘own egg’ and ‘donor egg’ surrogacy was artificial and could not be maintained.

The Trust was refused permission to appeal by the Court of Appeal.

Lord Faulks QC and Charles Feeny, instructed by Daniel Morris of Bevan Brittan, acted for the Trust.

See our UK Healthcare Law Blog post on the High Court’s decision below (September 2017) here. A further post on the Court of Appeal’s judgment today will follow shortly. A copy of today’s judgment is here.




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Court of Appeal hands down judgment in the case of ARB v IVF Hammersmith

18th December 2018

Michael Mylonas QC and Susanna Rickard, together with David Halpern QC of 4 New Square, were instructed by Rachel Stewart (Hughes Paddison Solicitors) on behalf of ARB, in his breach of contract claim against IVF Hammersmith. The clinic thawed and implanted a frozen embryo into ARB’s ex-partner without his knowledge or consent – resulting in a child. Judgment was handed down by the Court of Appeal today. ARB succeeded in overturning the trial judge’s finding of no negligence, and in upholding the finding of strict liability under the contract. The Court of Appeal however found that ‘policy’ prevents ARB from recovering any damages for the financial consequences of the breach, drawing on principle from the tort cases of McFarlane and Rees. ARB is likely to seek permission to appeal from the Supreme Court.

Judgment and press summary can be found here.

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John Beggs QC and Cecily White for Essex Police in Court of Appeal proceedings arising from the arrest of Michael Barrymore

14th December 2018

Essex Police won their appeal against the High Court decision that Barrymore should be awarded more than nominal damages following his arrest in 2007, which was unlawful because the arresting officer did not have the grounds for arrest in mind (the intended arresting officer having been unable to perform the arrest as a result of being delayed in traffic).  The Court of Appeal held that, since Barrymore could and would have been arrested lawfully if the correct procedures had been followed, he had suffered no loss and was only entitled to nominal damages.

John Beggs QC and Cecily White acted for the Chief Constable of Essex Police below and in the Court of Appeal and Lord Faulks QC was also instructed on the appeal. Adam Hunt led the team at Essex Police with Tom Walshaw at DAC Beachcroft as the instructing solicitor.

Analysis of the case and a copy of the judgment are available on our UK Police Law Bog here. BBC coverage of the decision is here.

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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
Tom Crowther QC 1993 | 2013
John de Bono QC 1995 | 2014
Dijen Basu QC 1994 | 2015
Nageena Khalique 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