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Supreme Court judgment in PJ (Amy Street for the Welsh Ministers)

17th December 2018

The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in the case of Welsh Ministers v PJ [2018] UKSC 66.

The case is about community treatment orders under the Mental Health Act 1983 and deprivation of liberty. The Supreme Court decided that it is not lawful to impose conditions under a community treatment order which amount to a deprivation of liberty. Although this was a case which started in a Welsh tribunal, the case applies to both England and Wales. The Supreme Court’s decision is consistent with the Mental Health Act Codes of Practice for both England (which says that conditions must not deprive a patient of liberty) and Wales (which is silent on the particular point).

Amy Street represented the Welsh Ministers, led by Richard Gordon QC, instructed by Joanna Corbett-Simmons and Allan Wilson at Blake Morgan LLP.

Link to judgment and related material:

In the Court of Appeal, PJ  was heard together with the case of Secretary of State for Justice v MM, which addressed the same question in relation to conditional discharges also under the Mental Health Act 1983. The Supreme Court heard the appeals separately but also reached the equivalent conclusion in MM – ie that a conditional discharge may not have conditions which deprive a patient of liberty. Link to MM judgment and related material:

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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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Gerry Boyle QC successfully defends Cheshire police chief in misconduct inquiry

14th December 2018

Gerry Boyle QC, instructed by Deborah Britstone of 3D Solicitors, has successfully defended the former Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary, Simon Byrne, at a gross misconduct hearing. Mr Byrne faced over 70 allegations, all of which were dismissed.

Following Gerry’s cross examination of over 20 witnesses and detailed written and oral closing submissions the Panel ultimately concluded that the proceedings “could and should have been avoided.” The outcome is the latest in a number of high profile successes for Gerry during 2018 on behalf of senior police officers and medical practitioners.

Elliot Gold assisted with complex and significant legal arguments in the case at an earlier stage of the proceedings. Sample press coverage is here.

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James Berry succeeds in judicial review

15th November 2018

James Berry appeared in judicial review challenge to the decision of a police misconduct panel not to dismiss a police officer who the panel found had attempted to kiss a vulnerable member of the public while he was on duty. James argued that the panel had acted unlawfully by failing to follow the correct approach to determining disciplinary action in police misconduct proceedings.

Following a hearing on 13 November 2018 in the Administrative Court sitting in Manchester, the misconduct panel’s decision was quashed and remitted to be reheard applying the correct legal approach.

This is understood to be only the second case where a misconduct panel’s decision has been successfully challenged by way of judicial review. James has previously appeared (led by John Beggs QC) for the claimant in the first successful judicial review of a Police Appeals Tribunal’s decision and the first successful judicial review of the suspension of a police officer.

James was instructed by Nick Cook of Greater Manchester Police Legal Services.

For coverage of the original misconduct hearing, in which James did not appear, please click here.


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Stephen Morley represented the Appropriate Authority in the misconduct proceedings brought against a Metropolitan Police officer

12th November 2018

Stephen Morley appeared on behalf of the Appropriate Authority in the police misconduct hearing concerning a Metropolitan Police officer who was accused of sexually assaulting a female on a train in 2016.  The officer had previously been acquitted at the Crown Court in 2017, but after a 3 day hearing the misconduct Panel concluded that the officer had behaved in a predatory manner.  At the end of the three day hearing, the officer was dismissed without notice.

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Manchester City Council v P and R (Conrad Hallin for the Council, Sarah Simcock for the litigation friend)

29th October 2018

Conrad Hallin is currently representing Manchester City Council in the widely reported case of Manchester City Council v P and R in which a young autistic woman with an obsessional interest in Asian men has been found by the Court to have capacity to marry and engage in sexual relations, but to lack capacity to decide whether contact with men is safe.  Sarah Simcock represented the young women in earlier hearings before Baker J , prior to taking a period of parental leave.

In a hearing yesterday Mr Justice Hayden, the vice-president of the Court of Protection, ruled that Manchester City Council had appropriately brought an end to the previous Court-ordered care plan for P when it became apparent that it was unsafe, and further ruled that there should be a continuation (without alteration) of the Council’s more restrictive care plan in place since early September, and that the case should come before him in January, after further input was available from a clinical psychologist.

Please click for sample press coverage from the Guardian.

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The Barrister magazine features our four latest arrivals

15th October 2018

Leading Chambers Serjeants’ Inn is pleased to announce that Alexander dos Santos,  Matthew Chidley, Rhys Hadden and Elizabeth Fox have joined the set. The award-winning chambers has gained 14 new tenants in 12 months, including two silks and a former judge in Dijen Basu QC, Nageena Khalique QC and His Honour Brian Barker CBE QC.

Called to the Bar in 1999, Alexander dos Santos practises in financial and regulatory crime, commercial law, extradition, public law, professional discipline and inquests.

Alexander has conducted lengthy and high value trials, and advises companies on issues of compliance with anti-bribery and corruption, money laundering and health & safety regulations. He provides pre-litigation and strategic advice to those caught up in regulatory and criminal investigations. Alexander also has significant experience in judicial review in a variety of contexts, including sports law and prison law.

For many years Alexander has served as an appointed specialist advocate on panels to prosecute matters of specialist regulatory law including health and safety, environmental law, extradition, proceeds of crime and serious and organised crime. He is also a member of the League Managers Association Legal Panel.

Matthew Chidley, called in 2008, is instructed on a range of significant matters ranging from investment, revenue and immigration fraud, to money laundering, bribery and corruption and misconduct in a public office.

Appointed to the SFO Panels for both prosecution and proceeds of crime work, as well as the CPS Specialist Fraud Panel, Matthew is increasingly instructed in substantial matters and has a wealth of experience in contested hearings post-conviction, enforcement hearings and cash forfeiture applications.

Matthew has appeared in extradition proceedings, both at first instance and on appeal and he has considerable experience in factually complex, multi-handed cases, in particular financial crime, which require an ability to master large volumes of material and present complex issues with clarity.

Rhys Hadden, 2006 call, represents a broad variety of clients in the Court of Protection in both Health and Welfare and Property and Affairs cases. He regularly acts for the Official Solicitor, the Public Guardian, health bodies, local authorities, deputies and family members.

Rhys also specialises in all areas of public and administrative law in both England and Wales. He has particular experience of cases affecting children and vulnerable adults, human rights, community care, healthcare, mental health, education and social housing.

He is frequently instructed in judicial review proceedings, other divisions of the High Court, the Court of Appeal and specialist tribunals in the public law field.

Elizabeth Fox joins after a successful pupillage at the set. Before joining Chambers Elizabeth worked as a legal researcher for a range of organisations specialising in human rights.

Catherine Calder, Joint CEO comments, “This is part of our strategy to extend our service for clients. It gives us even greater capability to provide Court of Protection expertise in Property and Affairs as well as Health and Welfare cases.  It enhances our public law practice and builds our Business and Specialist Crime offering in direct response to client demand”.

Serjeants’ Inn, which specialises in high-stakes cases, often involving important legal, ethical and social issues, have won 23 awards in three years. We are currently shortlisted as Clinical Negligence and Professional Discipline Set of the Year at the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards, with John Beggs QC a finalist for Professional Discipline Silk of the Year.

Serjeants’ Inn announces four new arrivals boosting Court of Protection, Public and Business and Specialist Crime teams

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Angus Moon QC secures the dismissal of the whistleblowing claims of Dr Chris Day.

15th October 2018

In the widely publicised case brought by Dr Chris Day for whistleblowing against Health Education England and a health Trust, Dr Day agreed today that his claims should be dismissed after 6 days of evidence in the Employment Tribunal. Angus represented Health Education England.

Dr Day agreed that his claims should be dismissed on the basis that both he and HEE had acted in good faith. The case had been listed for 20 days. The parties’ agreed Position Statement can be found here.

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Court approves pioneering treatment for British CJD patient – Bridget Dolan QC acts for the Official Solicitor

12th October 2018

In a novel case, the Court of Protection has endorsed the human administration of a potential treatment for sporadic CJD, before the product has undergone any clinical trials.

Bridget Dolan QC, instructed by the Official Solicitor, represented the incapacitous patient at the centre of this case. He is now to be the first human recipient of PRN100, a monoclonal antibody that has shown some promise in combatting this dreadful disease in earlier animal studies.

BBC News coverage here.

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Inquest into the deaths of the Westminster Terror Attack: Sebastian Naughton acts for NHS Trust

10th September 2018

The Chief Coroner, HHJ Mark Lucraft QC, is holding the Inquests into the deaths of the four victims of the Westminster Bridge attack and the Police Officer killed within the Palace of Westminster in March 2017.

Sebastian Naughton of Serjeants’ Inn Chambers is representing one of the NHS Trusts who provided care to victims of the attack.  The inquest transcripts are publicly available here .

For press coverage, please click here and 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
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