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James Berry appointed to Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel

19th July 2019

James Berry has been appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel (London) following an open competition.

The appointment takes effect on 2 September 2019 and will see James instructed on behalf of government departments and agencies alongside his existing public, civil and regulatory work for public and private sector clients.

James was previously a member of the C Panel, although he had to relinquish his appointment during his (short) spell as a Member of Parliament.

James joins Edward Pleeth on the B Panel.

 


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James Berry represented the National Police Chiefs’ Council in Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church.

17th July 2019

James Berry represented the National Police Chiefs’ Council in phase 3 of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse’s investigation into child sexual abuse in the Anglican Church.

The hearing, which concluded on 12 July 2019, took evidence from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York and the Archbishop of Wales, as well a number of Bishops, clerics, safeguarding officers and victims of child sex abuse.

James has also appeared in the Internet investigation, led by Debra Powell QC and will appear in the Organised Networks investigation in 2020.

Gerry Boyle QC and Aaron Rathmell appeared in an earlier phase of the Anglican Church Investigation.

Click here for press coverage.


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Braceurself v NHS England: Jon Holl-Allen Q.C. and Amardeep Dhillon successfully argue for the application of CPR r.6.15

5th July 2019

Jon Holl-Allen QC and Amardeep Dhillon successfully argued in Braceurself v NHS England for the application of CPR r.6.15 to regularise the email service of an issued Claim Form, in circumstances where the solicitors instructed by NHS England had not been instructed to accept service by email. The underlying dispute concerns a (second) procurement challenge to the award of an Orthodontic Tender by NHS England. The case is notable for two reasons: it is the first time that the High Court has considered the application of 6.15 in the context of the procurement regulations; and helps to clarify the established case law on when the discretion under 6.15 arises.


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Angus Moon QC and Eleanor Morrison successfully defend a clinical negligence claim for brain damage

2nd July 2019

Angus Moon QC and Eleanor Morrison successfully defend a clinical negligence claim for brain damage said to have been caused by the drug nifedipine (Adalat) given to a mother during pregnancy in order to inhibit labour.

Angus Moon QC and Eleanor Morrison successfully represented the Trust in the case of Luc Jones v Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust in which judgment was given on 10th June 2019. The claimant (who suffers from complex disabilities) argued that whilst he was in utero, in 1995, his mother had been treated for pre-term labour, despite not reaching the appropriate threshold for treatment. The claimant alleged that his mother was treated with an unlicensed and inappropriate drug (nifedipine), when she should instead have been treated with the standard and recommended drug at the time (ritodrine). Complicating the question was the modern position: since 1995 nifedipine has become the standard drug with which to treat pre-term labour. The judge found for the defendant, holding that the claimant’s mother was in pre-term labour and it was reasonable to treat her with nifedipine.

Please click here for final judgement.


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Debra Powell QC successfully defends claim for obstetric negligence related to female genital mutilation

1st July 2019

Debra acted for the Defendant in FA v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, where the Claimant alleged that there had been a negligent failure to reverse her female genital mutilation prior to delivery of her baby, with the result that she suffered a third degree perineal tear and resulting incontinence, leaving her unable to work.  The Defendant contended that there had been no reason to perform the reversal procedure prior to the Claimant’s labour, and that the Claimant’s precipitous delivery had prevented the planned reversal from taking place.  The Claimant discontinued the claim mid-trial.


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Inquests arising from the deaths in the London Bridge and Borough Market terror attack conclude: Sarah Simcock acted for London Ambulance Service

28th June 2019

The Chief Coroner, His Honour Judge Mark Lucraft QC concluded the Inquests into the deaths of the eight individuals killed on London Bridge and in Borough Market on 3 June 2017.

On 3 June 2017 eight people were killed when three attackers drove a van into members of the public on London Bridge before continuing on foot inflicting stab injuries before being shot and killed by armed police officers. Sarah Simcock of Serjeants’ Inn Chambers represented the London Ambulance Service, who provided care and treatment to some of the deceased as well as the other victims of the attacks. The Chief Coroner conducted a wide-ranging inquiry into how the deceased came by their deaths as well as the overall response of the emergency services, including the LAS, to the attack.  The Chief Coroner recorded determinations of unlawful killings in relation to each deceased along with narrative conclusions that reflected that the injuries of those who died were unsurvivable.  The Chief Coroner will consider whether to make a report to prevent future deaths in relation to potential improvements which could be made to systems and procedures to ensure the emergency response to such complex incidents is as effective as possible in the future.  The Inquests commenced on 7 May 2019 at the Central Criminal Court and concluded on 28 June 2019. The inquest transcripts are publicly available here: https://londonbridgeinquests.independent.gov.uk/

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


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Dijen Basu QC and Jonathan Davies represent Leicestershire Police in successful appeal against EAT decision that paying men statutory shared parental leave pay potentially constituted indirect sex discrimination

24th May 2019

Dijen Basu QC and Jonathan Davies represented the Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police in his successful appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of the EAT that only paying statutory shared parental leave pay to those taking this leave was capable of amounting to indirect sex discrimination against men, given that women have the more lucrative option of taking maternity leave with enhanced maternity pay.

They persuaded the Court of Appeal that the EAT and ET had been wrong to hold that male and female police officers’ terms and conditions of service were identical and that, in reality, Mr. Hextall’s claim amounted to a claim to be entitled to corresponding terms to those of a female officer in relation to maternity leave and pay. As such, it amounted to an equal terms (formerly equal pay) claim, so that any sex discrimination claim would be excluded. The equal terms claim was bound to fail because it related to terms of work affording special treatment to women in connection with pregnancy or childbirth.

To the extent that it could be brought as a direct sex discrimination claim, it would be doomed because of s.13(6)(b) (maternity leave and pay are special treatment afforded to women in connection with pregnancy or childbirth) and, in any event, because a woman taking maternity leave was not a proper comparator within s.23.

The EAT’s analysis of the indirect sex discrimination claim was flawed because the PCP relied on (only paying statutory shared parental leave pay to those taking shared parental leave) did not cause any disadvantage to women in comparison with men. In any case, birth mothers had to be excluded from the pool for comparison.

The Court of Appeal also accepted that, even if there was prima facie indirect discrimination against men taking shared parental leave, it would be justified by the aim of affording special treatment of mothers in connection with pregnancy or childbirth.

The Court held that “Mr Hextall’s complaint is in reality an attack on the whole statutory scheme, in turn derived from EU law, under which special treatment is given to birth mothers.” In rejecting it, they accepted Dijen’s and Jonathan’s formulation of the 6 different purposes of statutory maternity leave: (1) to prepare for and cope with the later stages of pregnancy, (2) to recuperate from the pregnancy, (3) to recuperate from the effects of childbirth, (4) to develop the special relationship between the mother and the newborn child, (5) to breastfeed the newborn child (recommended for a period of six months by the World Health Organisation), and (6) to care for the newborn child. (1) – (5) are unique to women.

PC Hextall is understood to be seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The hearing was livestreamed: please click here to access the video. Please click here for a copy of the judgment.


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Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse – Internet Strand

24th May 2019

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex abuse (IICSA), chaired by Professor Alexis Jay OBE was set up in the wake of some serious high profile instances of non-recent child sexual abuse and because the government had some very grave concerns that some organisations were failing and were continuing to fail to protect children from sexual abuse.​

Debra Powell QC and James Berry represented the National Police Chiefs Council in the public hearings of the Internet strand which concluded this week.

The Internet strand involved an inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse and exploitation facilitated by the internet with evidence being heard from law enforcement, victims of child sex abuse facilitated by the internet and the major technology companies including Facebook, Apple, Google and Microsoft.

The Inquiry is expected to produce its report on the Internet strand int he first quarter of 2020.

Gerry Boyle QCDavid Lawson and James Berry and Aaron Rathmell are or have been involved in other strands of the Inquiry.


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Serjeants’ Inn welcomes latest Silk arrival, Simon Fox QC

25th April 2019

Serjeants’ Inn is pleased to announce that Dr Simon Fox QC has joined its top-tier clinical negligence team, extending the senior expertise available to clients in this field. The silk team at the set has increased by 12 in three years, with 14 new tenants joining the award-winning chambers since early 2018.

Simon comments, “I have always admired Serjeants’ Inn as one of the premier specialist medical law chambers in the country. It matches my practice perfectly and I am delighted to be here.”

Simon is a medically qualified specialist clinical negligence silk with 25 years’ experience. Ranked as a Band One Clinical Negligence Silk by both directories, he has a nationwide reputation for using his medical background and expertise to fight difficult and complex cases on breach and causation. Clients cited by the directories describe him as “superb with clients” and “able to see points other barristers couldn’t and offer a new perspective.” His arrival brings the number of counsel in Chambers with a medical or clinical background to seven.

Simon is also an Assistant Coroner in Avon; he is the fifth Assistant Coroner in Chambers.

Catherine Calder, Joint CEO, notes “Simon is a stellar addition to Chambers. His arrival represents the latest step in our strategy to expand and enhance our service for clients.”

Serjeants’ Inn, which won the Legal 500 Client Award for Communications and Innovation this year, specialises in high-stakes cases, often involving important legal, ethical and social issues.

Its recent medical cases have included the decisions allowing both English and Californian surrogacy costs as a new head of damages in clinical negligence cases, one of the most significant judgments since SAAMCO on the scope of a professional’s duty of care, a case in which a father is challenging the public policy bar to recovery of damages for wrongful birth of a healthy child, and  a test case in which the claimant, who had fatally stabbed her mother, sought damages from the NHS Trust which was responsible for her mental health treatment prior to the killing, which was defeated on the grounds of illegality.


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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

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

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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
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
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
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