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

Sarah Clarke KC appointed as a Member of the Disciplinary Panel of the London Metal Exchange (LME)

21st November 2023

We are delighted that Sarah Clarke KC has been appointed as a Member of the Disciplinary Panel of the London Metal Exchange (LME).  This is a prestigious appointment which reflects her reputation as a leading expert in Market Abuse and Financial Services law.

Please read more about her appointment here.

Read more about her practice here.

Previous Next

Anthony Haycroft successfully represents construction company and director summonsed for failing to comply with a VAT notice

21st November 2023

Anthony Haycroft was asked in March 2023 to represent a construction company and director who had been summonsed for failing to comply with a VAT notice to provide £120,000 security following falling into VAT arrears of £80,000. The company and director faced fines of up to £20,000 each.

An appeal against the notice out of time was lodged to the Tax Appeals and the criminal case adjourned pending the outcome of the appeal. Meantime the client was put in touch with a specialist accountancy firm and advised to clear the arrears, to offer to change accountancy systems and to offer a staged payment programme.

On the eve of the appeal hearing, following discussions with HMRC in early November 2013 the appeal was withdrawn and HMRC then withdrew the notice unconditionally with no further security sought, nor costs. Negotiations were then entered into with the Crown Prosecution Service who were persuaded to discontinue the proceedings against both the company and the director again with no costs being sought. As such the company and director avoided criminal convictions and penalties and the director also avoided potential director disqualification proceedings.

Anthony Haycroft was instructed by Sarah Dyson-Bingham of Aspect Law, Birmingham.

Previous Next

Sarah Clarke KC secures significant costs order against the FCA in the long running Whitestone and Seiler v FCA Upper Tribunal case

17th November 2023

Representing Louise Whitestone, Sarah Clarke KC successfully argued that the FCA had acted unreasonably in its conduct of the Tribunal proceedings. Sarah was instructed by Subir Desai of CDS Mayfair.

The Tribunal also included stern criticism of the FCA’s conduct following the substantive hearing, and suggested that the Upper Tribunal costs rules should be reviewed.

The costs decision can be read here.

Sarah won 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 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.

Read more about her practice here.

Previous Next

Elliot Gold acts for Director General in Olympic athlete police misconduct case

13th November 2023

The Independent Office for Police Conduct brought a misconduct case against five police officers involved in a stop-and-search incident involving Olympic athletes Bianca Williams and Ricardo dos Santos. Elliot was instructed to advise and represent the Director General.

Each of the five officers was separately represented. Two officers were dismissed for dishonesty for falsely stating they smelt cannabis. The three other officers were referred for reflective practice review.

This was one of the first cases to involve the use of statistical evidence and police policy documents on racial discrimination within the police and the use of stop of search.

The IOPC statement is here.

News articles include:

Two Met officers sacked over athlete search gross misconduct (BBC)

Met officers sacked for lying in stop and search of black athletes in car (The Guardian)

Metropolitan Police officers sacked for gross misconduct over athletes search (The Standard)

Officers sacked after lying about cannabis smell in sprinter’s car (Daily Telegraph)

Met Police lie about drugs (The Times)

Previous Next

John Beggs KC and Aaron Rathmell for defendant in High Court professional discipline decision (estoppel, collateral attack, discharge from probation)

3rd November 2023

The High Court has today handed down judgment in a timely and important professional discipline case, Barnes v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, available here .

The claimant had told a racist joke to colleagues, which he knew was inappropriate and racist. He was subjected to discipline pursuant to the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020 and Home Office guidance, but not dismissed by a panel chaired by an independent lawyer.

The Chief Constable decided, following those proceedings, that the claimant’s probation should be extended and that he should be subjected to performance-type proceedings – regulation 13, Police Regulations 2003 – to consider whether he should be confirmed as a full police constable officeholder, or not.

A senior officer recommended that the claimant should be confirmed as an officer, given that the incident had been a one-off, the claimant had strong testimonials and he had not been dismissed by the disciplinary panel, which had considered the same facts.

The Chief Constable disagreed, and exercised the power reserved to him to discharge the claimant from probationary office, due to the seriousness of the claimant’s conduct in telling the racist joke, what it said about his future as a police constable and the risk to public confidence.

In his written reasons, the Chief Constable expressed surprise at the decision of the disciplinary panel and was critical of the claimant’s mitigation and insight.

The claimant challenged that decision in judicial review proceedings on grounds of irrationality, estoppel, breach of legitimate expectation and procedural fairness. An interim injunction application to keep the claimant in office failed, and the High Court has now decided that the claim should be rejected on all grounds.

The Judge (Lavender J) noted there was “… no authority which has considered the situation which arose in the present case, where the same matter gave rise to both misconduct proceedings, resulting in a finding of misconduct and a sanction falling short of dismissal, and a subsequent decision to discharge a probationary constable pursuant to Regulation 13 …” (para. 34)

The judgment analyses the leading cases of R. (Coke-Wallis) v Institute of Chartered Accountants [2011] 2 A.C. 146 (cause of action estoppel in professional disciplinary proceedings) and Christou v Haringey London Borough Council [2014] Q.B. 131 (re-opening employment discipline allegations following public interest reviews).

The High Court concluded that the Chief Constable, in taking an important managerial decision reserved to him, was not acting as a litigant or judicial tribunal duplicating disciplinary proceedings, so cause of action estoppel and the collateral attack doctrine did not apply.

It was also not unfair or irrational, in the circumstances, for the Chief Constable to take a different view to earlier decision-makers as to the seriousness of the claimant’s conduct, and the extent of his remorse and insight.

Further, it was not unfair to take the discharge decision on the papers, without giving the claimant a (further) hearing or sharing a provisional decision. The claimant had in substance known the evidence and points which may be said against him, had the opportunity to make representations, and the Chief Constable relied on no new matter.

The High Court’s decision does not, of course, permit police forces to bypass the important procedural fairness protections in disciplinary regulations, when conduct allegations are in dispute. The judgment does, however, recognise the important role for Chief Constables, as heads of their organisations in respect of recruitment, appointment and probation.

All the more so when considered together with the recent High Court decision in Victor v Chief Constable of West Mercia Police, which related to successive decisions about discipline, vetting clearance and discharge from probationary office. See a summary of that case here .

Previous Next

Suspension lifted after finding of no impairment

1st November 2023

Hannah Hinton successfully represented a doctor in proceedings before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service which were conducted in private due to their sensitivity following a period of suspension from practice for misconduct.

The Tribunal found the doctor had ‘fully remediated’ and it found ‘that he was a good doctor who is well regarded by his colleagues and his patients.  It is in the public interest for good doctors to return to clinical practise if they demonstrate, as [the doctor] had done, that he had addressed his misconduct and the risk of any repetition was low. The Tribunal was satisfied that public safety would not be compromised’ by his return to work and that it was ‘in the wider public interest’ that his suspension be lifted.

The Tribunal remarked upon Hannah’s ‘full and complete submissions’ being ‘extremely helpful’ to the Panel.  The doctor is now able to move forward and was delighted with the result.

Read more about Hannah’s practice here.

Previous Next

Sarah Clarke KC trains advocates at the American Inns of Court

1st November 2023

Sarah Clarke KC was invited by the American Inns of Court to train its most promising advocates in courtroom advocacy skills.  The training took place in the Philadelphia at the Federal Courthouse over two days, following which Sarah was a guest of the AIC at its Celebration of Excellence events in Washington DC, along with delegations from Inner Temple and Gray’s Inn, including Sir Robert Francis KC, the current Inner Temple Treasurer.

Find more about Sarah’s practice here.

Previous Next

Court of Appeal grants permission to appeal an important case relating to alleged negligence of a police investigation

31st October 2023

On the 31st October 2023, the Court of Appeal granted the Claimants permission to appeal the decision in HD & Ors v Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police [2022] EWHC 1661 (QB). The High Court previously held that the police owed no duty of care either in negligence or under Article 3 ECHR, where the Claimants alleged that had the police properly investigated a report relating to the possession of indecent images of children, they would not have been sexually abused.

Matthew Holdcroft and Cecily White represented the Defendant at first instance and will do so on appeal.

Previous Next

Court of Appeal grants permission to appeal case relating to the liability of police in the tort of negligence

31st October 2023

On the 31st October 2023, the Court of Appeal granted the Defendant permission to appeal the decision in Woodcock v Chief Constable of Northamptonshire [2023] EWHC 1062 (KB).

The claimant’s neighbour called the police to report that they had seen the claimant’s ex-partner, T, outside the claimant’s property, that she was going to be leaving soon, and that T was probably planning on attacking her. The police knew that T posed the claimant a risk, having previously constructed a safety plan with her centred on keeping T away from the house, working with neighbours to spot him, and making sure she charged her phone. Some 12-13 minutes after the phone call, the claimant left her house, and T brutally attacked her. She brought a claim on the basis that the police had been negligent in not informing her about the presence of T in her area. Mr Justice Ritchie held that in the “exceptional” and “extremely fact-sensitive” circumstances, the police owed the claimant a duty of care. They had breached this duty by failing to warn the claimant of the danger posed by T. Ritchie J remitted the case so the trial judge could hear evidence on the issue of causation.

The Court of Appeal’s decision may have significant ramifications for the scope of liability of public authorities in the tort of negligence. In general, courts are reticent to impose on police duties of care to the public; in Hill v Chief Constable [1989] and Michael v Chief Constable [2015], the House of Lords and Supreme Court (respectively) held that police owe a duty of care to the public at large and not specific individuals within it. However, this case appears to be the first in which the High Court recognised an exception on the facts, following the Supreme Court’s lead in Robinson v Chief Constable [2018].

Matthew Holdcroft represented the Defendant before the High Court and will do so on appeal.

Previous Next

Serjeants’ Inn nominated for three awards at the Women & Diversity in Law Awards 2024

26th October 2023

Congratulations to Nageena Khalique KC for being nominated as Advocate of the Year at the Women & Diversity in Law Awards 2024.

We are also delighted to be nominated as a Set for Social Mobility Initiative of the Year and Race Equality Initiative of the Year.

With more than 260 nominees across all categories, the line up reflects the inspirational work taking place to make the UK legal sector more equitable, diverse and inclusive.

Congratulations to all those shortlisted.

Previous Next

Sarah Clarke KC leads the 30th Anniversary of the Advanced International Course, held at Keble College, Oxford

11th October 2023

Sarah Clarke KC, Course Director of the world renowned South Eastern Circuit Advanced International Course, held at Keble College, Oxford, led the celebrations for the 30th Anniversary of the Course. The celebrations included a gala dinner honouring participants, faculty, and the founders of the Keble Course, in particular, the course founder Tim Dutton CBE KC.

The dinner marked the end of a successful week of advocacy training where participants and faculty worked together with the common aim of improving standards and upholding the Rule of Law.

The Course was particularly proud to host the Lady Chief Justice, the Senior Presiding Judge Lord Justice Edit, Chair of the Bar Standards Board Kathryn Stone, Chair of the Bar Nick Vineall KC and Leader of the South Eastern Circuit Leon Kazakos KC.

Sarah won 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 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.

Read more about her practice here.

Listen to the full podcast of Sarah interviewing Tim Dutton KC here.

Previous Next

Christopher Johnston KC speaks at the Brain and Mind annual conference

11th October 2023

Brain and Mind hosted their second annual conference last Thursday: Clinical Medicolegal Challenges.

Christopher Johnston KC spoke on “How biases and inequalities at the interface of Brain and Mind impact medicolegal thinking and methodology: A Debate between barristers”. He was joined William Latimer-Sayer KC (Cloisters Chambers) and Bradley Martin KC (2 Temple Gardens).

The conference took place at the Royal College of Physicians and focused on the lack of parity between physical, cognitive, and mental illnesses and its implications in various healthcare and medicolegal settings.

Thank you Nandi Jordan, Anna Brothers, Suzanne White of Leigh Day for their organisation and sponsorship.

Chris is a top flight medical silk. He heads Chambers’ award-winning clinical negligence team and co-chaired the esteemed PNBA Clinical Negligence weekend from 2014-2018.  A recognised leader in the field of product liability, he is a team player with extensive experience of large class actions. He edits a seminal medical ethics book. Chris was lead counsel for the injured claimant in the landmark Supreme Court case of XX v Whittington which changed the law on the recoverability of surrogacy damages. Described by the directories as “phenomenally detailed”, “ferociously bright”, “meticulously prepared” and “so easy to work with”.

Read more about his practice here.

Previous Next

The Legal 500 UK Bar Guide 2024

4th October 2023

Following the recent release of The Legal 500 rankings, we are delighted to be ranked as a Tier 1 set in the following 5 practice areas:

  • Clinical Negligence
  • Court of Protection
  • Inquests & Inquiries
  • Police Law
  • Professional Discipline

We have also been awarded over 143 rankings, featuring 69 ranked barristers across 16 practice areas.

Thank you to our clients for giving their time to take part in the research process and The Legal 500 for all the work and thought involved.

Previous Next

Serjeants’ Inn wins 4 awards at The Legal 500 UK Bar Awards 2023

3rd October 2023

Congratulations to John de Bono KC (awarded Clinical Negligence Silk of the Year), Katie Gollop KC (awarded Court of Protection Silk of the Year) and our Chief Executive Catherine Calder (awarded Chambers Leader of the Year).

We are also delighted to be awarded Professional Discipline and Regulatory Law Set of the Year.

Set testimonials from Professional Discipline and Regulatory clients noted that Serjeants’ Inn is “a great set, possessing strength in depth” and recognises our clerking team as working “incredibly hard” and ensuring that they “put forward the most suitable and experienced counsel for the case.”

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.


Previous Next

Chambers blogs



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

Transparency Standards


Serjeants’ Inn  accepts instructions from solicitors, whether working in private practice or in-house, and from individuals: 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


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