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Scott Matthewson teaches at the International Criminal Court in The Hague

1st June 2023

Scott Matthewson is part of the Inner Temple teaching faculty providing advocacy training to lawyers at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The course is being run by the Institute for International Legal and Advocacy Training (IILAT) and the Inner Temple. The prosecutors come from a number of different jurisdictions: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, India, Italy, Lebanon, Romania, Switzerland & USA.


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Dijen Basu KC and Matthew Holdcroft successfully defend Derbyshire Constabulary against a claim brought by a family seeking £2.5m in damages and costs

11th May 2023

Dijen Basu KC and Matthew Holdcroft successfully defended the police in the High Court in ABC & others v Derbyshire County Council and Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary [2023] EWHC 986 (KB) in a case in which a family claimed over £1.2m for unlawful arrest of the parents, unlawful removal of the children, violation of their human rights and negligence. The Claimants’ costs estimate to the end of trial was almost £1.3m.

The facts were highly unusual. Safeguarding concerns were raised by a paediatrician of Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII), a very rare form of child abuse. The parents were regularly taking the children to non-mainstream medical practitioners in private practice, albeit all registered with the General Medical Council, and procuring invasive tests and treatments for them.

The Defendants decided that the parents could not be told of the suspicions of FII before they were arrested, with the children being removed from their care. While the preferred option had been for the local authority to apply to the Family Court for an ex parte interim care order under s.38 of the Children Act 1989 immediately after the parents were arrested on suspicion of child cruelty offences, this was not possible and police officers instead took the children into police protection under s.46 of the Act, which entails no judicial oversight.

The trial judge, Mrs. Justice Hill, held that the s.46 power was available to the police only in ‘exceptional circumstances’ to separate children from their parents but found that the police had proved that this action had had been justified in order to safeguard the children. The Court was satisfied that the medical professionals involved had concluded that the children would be at immediate risk of significant harm if the parents became aware of their concerns, and that all of the professionals had agreed on the plan for removal of the children.

The parents’ claims for damages for negligence were dismissed. The Court held that the Bolam test applies to the actions and decisions of social workers with respect to children in their care and found that the decisions taken did not fall outside the range of reasonable responses open to a reasonably competent and careful social worker. The Court also found that the Chief Constable’s officers had not been negligent and that the Claimants could not show any material loss.

The Article 8 ECHR claims of all of the Claimants were dismissed, the Court holding that the Defendants had shown that their actions were lawful, necessary and proportionate.

Importantly, the learned judge also held that the principle in R (Lumba) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] 2 AC 245 applied, so that, if her conclusion on the lawfulness of the use of s.46 to remove the children was wrong, they would have been removed in any event, by the Family Court making an ex parte ICO with removal, at or around the same time as s.46 had been invoked.

The case is an excellent example of multi-agency working in a highly challenging, and extremely rare, child protection case involving FII.


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Hannah Hinton appointed as an Assistant Coroner in West London (Hammersmith & Fulham)

26th April 2023

We are pleased to announce that Hannah Hinton has been appointed as an Assistant Coroner in West London.

Hannah’s experience in coronial proceedings includes acting on behalf of healthcare trusts, Police, and care homes. Her practice encompasses complex extradition work, inquests, public law, police law, professional discipline, FCA work and financial crime.

Hannah has experience of working on inquires and high-profile criminal cases for example the criminal trial of senior police and a solicitor involved in the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster and its aftermath.

She has provided advice and representation to a bereaved family through the INQUEST charity and has a good knowledge of public inquiry work.

Hannah will carry out her part-time judicial role alongside her full-time practice as a barrister.

For further information on Hannah’s practice, please click here.

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Neil Davy KC and Emma Sutton KC appointed as King’s Counsel

27th March 2023

We are delighted to announce that Neil Davy KC and Emma Sutton KC were appointed to silk on Monday, the 27th of March 2023, in Westminster Palace. Neil and Emma were accompanied at the ceremony by clerks Lee Johnson and Tom O’Connor.

Neil specialises in healthcare related work, particularly medical negligence claims. He has particular expertise in legally or technically complex and unusual cases requiring exceptionally detailed analysis or lateral thinking. He is described by Chambers & Partners as “a rising star”, a “impressively tough negotiator” and a “powerful advocate”.

Emma specialises in public law in the areas of mental capacity, mental health, health and social care and education, in cases which routinely involve significant human rights issues. She is noted by the directories as being “tenacious, detailed, thorough, confident, an exceptional advocate”.

Congratulations to Neil and Emma and many thanks to all those who participated in the application process as referees. Since 2016 our silk team has increased from 9 to 26 (including 8 women) and we have recruited 28 new tenants, enabling us to extend and diversify the service we provide to our clients.


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Adrian Hopkins KC gives the Legal Update at the AvMA Annual Clinical Negligence Conference 2023 in Bournemouth

23rd March 2023

Adrian Hopkins KC spoke at last week’s AvMA Annual Clinical Negligence Conference 2023 in Bournemouth, providing this year’s Legal update, covering a wide range of issues such as consent and . The Update was researched by Serjeants’ Inn junior, Liam Duffy.

Acknowledged as a leading silk, Adrian has over 30 years’ experience in medical law, ranging from clinical negligence, inquests, professional discipline and regulation, to medical ethics and healthcare. He has earned the respect of the leading claimant and defence clinical negligence solicitors alike. He is instructed on behalf of both claimants (with public funding, CFAs or privately) and defendants such as NHS Trusts, private hospitals and medical defence organisations (including the MDU, MPS and MDDUS). He has been described as “at the top of his field” and “quite simply one of the best silks in the country.

Liam Duffy’s practice covers all aspects of healthcare including clinical negligence, inquests and medical treatment decisions. He is noted by the directories as being “sharp and clear in his advice, especially in complex matters”.

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Sarah Clarke KC wins Responsible Leader Award 2023 at the Women and Diversity In Law Awards

21st March 2023

Sarah Clarke KC wins Responsible Leader of the Year at the Women and Diversity in Law Awards 2023.

This is in recognition of her contribution to the development the Vulnerable Witness Programme and as Director of South Eastern Circuit Advanced International Advocacy Course (the “Keble Course”) as well as her work as King’s Counsel and a Recorder. It was announced in January that Sarah had been appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge.

Congratulations to all the winners and those shortlisted.

Sarah’s practice encompasses a wide range of fields including financial services, insider dealing, corporate fraud, sexual offences, police and regulatory proceedings and inquests. She is noted by the directories as being “an absolutely outstanding advocate with a brilliant analytical mind. A force to be reckoned with.”

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Sebastian Naughton successfully acts for Claimant in Employment Tribunal concerning harassment and post-employment victimisation of employee

14th March 2023

Holland v A&A Coach Travel Ltd (Employment Tribunal)

This disability discrimination claim recently upheld at the Leeds Employment Tribunal and reported in the media concerned a Claimant bus driver with Asperger’s Syndrome, who was subjected to many years of name-calling related to his condition (on various social media platforms). The name-calling (not repeated here) was of a kind rarely seen by employment law practitioners since the 1980s/1990s. Matters then came to a head when his employers tried to take advantage of the Claimant by forcing him to sign a false “confession” which (wrongly) identified him as the responsible party for some vehicle damage. After he resigned in response, he instructed Chris Bennett at Taylor Law, who assisted him to bring an employment tribunal claim.

The case had some extraordinary features, including an upheld complaint of post-employment victimisation after the employer threatened to report the Claimant to driving authorities if he did not withdraw his employment tribunal claim (by an email headed ‘without prejudice’, but to which no prejudice was held to apply), and a costs order based in part on foul and abusive language directed at the Claimant and his solicitors.

The Tribunal upheld all complaints, made an award of aggravated damages and costs in the Claimant’s favour.

Sebastian Naughton was instructed by Chris Bennett at Taylor Law.

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Angus Moon KC 1986 | 2006    Joint Head of Chambers
Michael Horne KC 1992 | 2016    Joint Head of Chambers
Adrian Hopkins KC 1984 | 2003
John Beggs KC 1989 | 2009
Michael Mylonas KC 1988 | 2012
John de Bono KC 1995 | 2014
Dijen Basu KC 1994 | 2015
Nageena Khalique KC 1994 | 2015
Katie Gollop KC 1993 | 2016
Simon Fox KC 1994 | 2016
Bridget Dolan KC 1997 | 2016
Gerard Boyle KC 1992 | 2017
Sarah Clarke KC 1994 | 2017
Debra Powell KC 1995 | 2017
Jon Holl-Allen KC 1990 | 2018
Ian Skelt KC 1994 | 2020
Mark Harries KC 1995 | 2019
Sophia Roper KC 1990 | 2022
Claire Watson KC 2001 | 2022
Neil Davy KC 2000 | 2023
Emma Sutton KC 2006 | 2023
Jemma Lee 2010
Liam Duffy 2012
Chloe Hill 2019
His Honour Brian Barker CBE KC 1969 | 1990    Associate Member
Sir Robert Francis KC 1973 | 1992    Associate Member
James Watson KC 1979 | 2000    Associate Member
Natalie Cargill 2016    Associate Member
Susan Burden 1985    Door Tenant
Anthony Jackson 1995    Door Tenant
Benedict Wray 2009    Door Tenant