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

Serjeants’ Inn welcomes latest Silk arrival, Mark Harries QC

20th October 2020

Serjeants’ Inn is pleased to announce that Mark Harries QC has joined our flourishing Business and Specialist Crime Team, building on the senior expertise already available to clients in this field. This is part of our strategy to enhance the service we are able to provide, significantly consolidating our expertise in our core fields.

Ranked as a leading practitioner by both legal directories, Mark specialises in business and financial crime, professional discipline and regulatory work, in particular in the medical, legal and financial sectors. An “outstanding advocate” with “gallons of charm” who is known for his “phenomenal way of cutting through to the heart of a case“, he provides a first class service for private client individuals accused of fraud, serious crime and professional misconduct.

He also has a wealth of experience defending murder and manslaughter cases.

Mark comments, “I am delighted to be joining Serjeants’ Inn Chambers in my 25th year of practice. The opportunity to work with outstanding practitioners at the forefront of a wide range of fields was irresistible; it’s obviously and transparently a set of chambers that prides itself on teamwork across the board, in which barristers are supported by an infrastructure of management, clerking and marketing that is unique at the Bar in its structure and its exceptional quality.”

Sarah Clarke QC, Head of the Business and Specialist Crime Team, notes, “We are delighted that Mark is joining us to help support our clients, in particular in relation to business and specialist crime and professional discipline matters but also across other core areas of our practice. With increasingly blurred lines between disciplines in the modern legal world, the ability to advise on criminal law implications, alongside governance and reputational issues, informs our ability to assist, for example, our inquest, inquiries and investigations clients. As our fifth financial and regulatory crime recruit in just over 2 years, Mark enhances the advancing expertise we provide to private, insurance-backed and institutional clients alike.”

For further details, please see Mark’s full profiles which are available here. Please contact our Senior Clerk, Lee Johnson, on 0207 427 5002 if you need any further information about Mark’s work or would like to discuss how he might assist you.


Previous Next

Emma Sutton successfully acts for the applicant in mental capacity case Re ND

9th October 2020

ND (Court of Protection: Costs and Declarations) [2020] EWCOP 42

In a very interesting case, the Court of Protection made declarations under section 15(1)(c) MCA 2005 based on significant failings of a Local Authority to discharge its statutory obligations to the subject of proceedings. Costs were also awarded. Emma Sutton represented ND, by his litigation friend, the Official Solicitor, instructed by Yvonne Chapman of Cartwright King Solicitors.


Previous Next

Michael Mylonas QC acts for claimant after fertility clinic acted in breach of donor’s written consent

8th October 2020

Michael Mylonas QC acted for the successful Claimant whose donated sperm was used in direct contravention of the specific restrictions he had endorsed on the consent form.

Michael was instructed by Daniel Lee, Head of clinical negligence at Clear Law, Manchester.

For press coverage, please click here


Previous Next

Sophia Roper appointed as a Recorder

7th October 2020

Congratulations to Sophia Roper who has been appointed as a Recorder, to be deployed on the Western Circuit in Family.

Sophia is a specialist public lawyer who  is consistently ranked as a leading practitioner in both Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500, current editorial describes her as “insightful and very perceptive” and “she’s the person every instructing solicitor needs”.


Previous Next

Sarah Simcock represents P, by her litigation friend, the Official Solicitor in an unusual case of committal for contempt of court in the Court of Protection. 

7th October 2020

In P v Griffith [2020] EWCOP 46, the Court of Protection sentenced a woman, Ms Griffith, to 12 months imprisonment for forging a court order so as to obtain medical records in relation to P, her relative. P was a 50 year old woman who resided at a specialist hospital on a long term care ward having suffered a bilateral stroke in 2018 which caused significant brain damage, leaving her with a diagnosis of a permanent disorder of consciousness of the type known as Minimally Conscious State Minus.

Ms Griffith had been the applicant in proceedings before the Court of Protection, concerning a dispute between Ms Griffith and the other parties as to P’s condition and prognosis and as to her best interests in relation to her medical treatment, her residence and care and in relation to whether she should be subject to a DNACPR notice. Those proceedings before Cohen J, in which Sarah Simcock again represented P, concluded in April 2020, Ms Griffith’s application being dismissed.

In October 2019, Ms Griffith sent an email to Barts Health NHS Trust attaching what purported to be a court order made on 10 July 2019. The purported court order attached to Ms Griffith’s email provided for the disclosure of P’s medical records directly to Ms Griffith from Barts Health NHS Trust. The records were sent by Barts to the solicitors instructed by Ms Griffith – the solicitor with conduct of the case did not, in fact, read the records or show them to Ms Griffith. No such order had, in fact, been made, something which only came to light when the solicitors instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of P sought disclosure from Barts pursuant to orders actually made by the court.

Matters were then put in train to investigate and by the Official Solicitor to seek permission to make an application for committal for contempt. Ms Griffiths did not attend the hearing, but was represented; whilst she exercised her right to silence, her representative submitted that the circumstances did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that Ms Griffith falsified a court order and presented this in support of her request in order to obtain disclosure of confidential medical records of P.

MacDonald J found that he was:

39. […] satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Dahlia Griffith forged the purported court order and sent the forged purported order to Barts Health NHS Trust with the intention of obtaining the medical confidential records of P despite the court refusing to direct this. This action constituted a very serious interference with the due administration of justice. I am further satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Dahlia Griffith took this action with the intention of interfering with the due administration of justice, her applications for the disclosure provided for by the purported order having previously been refused by the court on a principled basis.

He adjourned sentencing for two days to give Ms Griffith an opportunity to attend court; she did not do so and MacDonald J declined to further adjourn sentencing. The Official Solicitor made clear that (although she had no formal role as regards penalty) she had no wish to see Ms Griffith sentenced to a term of imprisonment but felt compelled to bring the conduct of Ms Griffith before the court by way of an application for committal on behalf of P given the gravity of that conduct.

MacDonald J was extremely concerned by the conduct and resulting disclosure, noting at paragraph 47 that:

Ms Griffith’s action in forging a court order, whilst not resulting in her receiving P’s medical records, resulted in confidential medical records to which she was not entitled being disclosed to her solicitors. It was only a matter of chance that Ms Griffith actions were discovered when a legitimate order was made by the court. Within this context, P was, to a certain extent, prejudiced by Ms Griffith’s contempt, particularly in circumstances where medical records are confidential to the individual and it is crucial to respect the privacy of a patient (see Z v Finland (1997) 25 EHRR 371). These actions by Ms Griffith were undertaken in the face of repeated, principled decisions of the court that Ms Griffith should not have such disclosure. In the circumstances, a high degree of culpability must attach to Ms Griffith’s actions which, as I have noted, were deliberate in nature. Ms Griffith has shown no remorse for these actions, and indeed has failed to co-operate with the court by attending court in response to the application to commit her. There is no indication that she appreciates the gravity of her conduct.

Further, he noted:

48. Further, the act of forging a court order strikes at the very heart of the due administration of justice. The need for litigants and third parties to be able to have confidence in the integrity of orders made by the court is fundamental not only to the integrity of individual proceedings but to the maintenance of the rule of law. Any course that acts to undermine confidence in the integrity of court orders is accordingly highly corrosive of both the administration of justice by the courts and to the rule of law more widely (see Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs v. Munir [2015] EWHC 1366 (Ch)at [9(i)]). Within this context, the counterfeiting of court documents is considered by the courts to amount to a very serious contempt of court (see for example Dryer v HSBC Bank Plc [2014] EWHC 3949 (Ch) and Patel v Patel and others).

The sentencing exercise he was carrying out, MacDonald J noted, was also, in part, designed to deter others from “forging orders of the court by making abundantly clear that by doing so they would place themselves at grave risk of an immediate and lengthy sentence of imprisonment” (paragraph 49).

MacDonald J therefore found that the appropriate sentence was one of 12 months imprisonment (which would have been 18 months but for the fact that Ms Griffith had not to date experienced prison, and the current impact on the nature of custody of the COVID-19 pandemic).  He did not consider appropriate to suspend the sentence of imprisonment in circumstances where the objective of the sentence is to mark the disapproval of the court of Ms Griffith’s deliberate and calculated actions and to deter others from acting in a similar fashion, rather than to ensure future compliance with orders of the court in circumstances the substantive proceedings having now concluded.


Previous Next

Serjeants’ Inn shortlisted for 3 awards at the Chambers UK Bar Awards

2nd October 2020

Congratulations to Claire Watson and James Berry for their individual shortlistings and also to everyone at Serjeants’​ Inn Chambers for our Set of the Year shortlisting in Professional Discipline and Regulatory Law. Many thanks to all our clients for taking the time to participate in the research and good luck to all the different chambers and counsel nominated!


Previous Next

Goodland/Wright et al. v Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police: Jon Holl-Allen QC and Aaron Rathmell represent the successful Chief Constable as Police Pension Authority in this repercussive pensions case

2nd October 2020

On 16 September 2020 the High Court (Linden J) handed down judgment in the consolidated police pensions cases of Goodland and Wright et al versus the Chief Constable of Staffordshire, in which Jon Holl-Allen QC and Aaron Rathmell represented the Chief Constable as Police Pension Authority (PPA). Both claims were dismissed.

In Goodland the police authority had agreed in 2008 not to review the level of some injury pensions already in payment, as a result of which representations were made to Mr Goodland that his award would not be subject to review in future.  He contended that this meant that the Chief Constable could not review the level of his pension even though he was under a statutory duty to do so after a suitable interval.  The Court held that the police authority did not have the power to guarantee that pension payments would always be made at the then existing level, and that the Chief Constable was not bound by its previous representations.

There were 17 Claimants in Wright et al.  The case raised important issues about the process for review of police injury pensions under reg 37 of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006, and the meaning and application of reg 33, which allows the Chief Constable to make his own decision about degree of disablement (in place of an independent selected medical practitioner or SMP), and therefore about the level of the pension, where the pensioner has wilfully failed to submit himself to such medical examination or attend such interviews as the SMP may consider necessary in order to enable him to make his decision. This decision has implications for all PPAs nationally.


Previous Next

Serjeants Inn welcomes Louisa Brown and Rachael Gourley

2nd October 2020

Serjeants’ Inn is delighted to announce that Louisa Brown and Rachael Gourley have joined Chambers as new tenants following the successful completion of their pupillage.


Previous Next

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

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

17th March 2020

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we are taking various steps – to reduce risks to our clients, contacts, barristers and staff while ensuring the efficient operation of Chambers – as follows:

 

  • Since 20.03.20 all barristers and staff are working from home.
  • We will have full access to our system and emails will be dealt with as usual.   Calls to Chambers will be forwarded to the relevant mobiles, but if – wherever possible – you could email rather than telephone us, it would greatly help us in maintaining the swift and effective service we would always want to give you.
  • We understand that you may well want to have a conversation but if you email us first  – if possible with brief details of your enquiry – we will call you back promptly.  If you do not have the email address of the person you wish to communicate with, please use clerks@serjeantsinn.com.
  • We will be liaising as necessary to arrange for conferences to be conducted by either telephone or video.
  • We are also asking that material is provided digitally rather than in hard copy format.  If you have to provide papers in hard copy please email us and we will be in touch to discuss a solution.
  • Please bear in mind that due to mobile network issues, the phone may ring for a little longer than usual before it is answered, but we have a team of clerks ready to deal with your call.  If you have any difficulties at all in contacting us please do call Catherine Calder, our joint CEO, on 07515 868 616.  She will be happy to assist.

Members of Chambers have produced a number of blog posts and articles on issues arising from Coronavirus in our practice areas: these are available here.

In these unprecedented times our barristers are available as usual for remote access hearings, mediations, RTMs and meetings.   As a result of the many emergency medical treatment applications which we have conducted by telephone with out-of-hours judges over numerous years, we are well placed to advise as to whether any particular hearing or other process should be conducted remotely, bearing in mind the interests of the client as well as other relevant factors in each case.

Our team have significant expertise with remote working by Skype, Skype for Business, Zoom, MS Teams, and Blue Jeans, and we would also be happy to discuss the practicalities and set up.

If you have any questions or concerns please do let us know by emailing our Joint Chief Executives, Martin Dyke and Catherine Calder, at ChiefExecutives@serjeantsinn.com

Full contact details are available on our website here.

We look forward to continuing our effective working relationship with you during the pandemic and wish you well in these testing times.


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
Mark Harries QC 1995 | 2019
Ian Skelt QC 1994 | 2020
Jemma Lee 2010
Liam Duffy 2012
Louisa Brown 2019
Rachael Gourley 2019
His Honour Brian Barker CBE QC 1969 | 1990    Associate Member
Natalie Cargill 2016    Associate Member
Sir Robert Francis QC 1973 | 1992    Associate Member
Susan Burden 1985    Door Tenant
Jonathan Davies 2003    Door Tenant
Benedict Wray 2009    Door Tenant