Cecily White

Call 2011

Cecily White | Call 2011

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Cecily is developing a thriving practice spanning the full range of chambers’ specialisms, principally police and public law, inquests and inquiries, disciplinary proceedings, and all aspects of healthcare litigation.  She is particularly adept at handling cases involving novel points of law and those likely to attract media interest. She won a Rising Star award from the Solicitors Journal this year and is ranked by Chambers & Partners as an ‘Up and Coming’ barrister in police law.

Cecily is clerked primarily by Samantha Jones and Louis Lockwood.

Solicitors’ Journal Rising Star award-winner 2016 (Highly Commended)

“She is very clever and explains her points well so that laypeople can understand.”
Chambers & Partners

experience & expertise

Cecily has successfully acted, as both sole and junior counsel, in courts up to and including the Court of Appeal along with inquests, police misconduct and Employment Tribunal hearings.  She regularly appears in the Crown, County and Magistrates’ Courts making and defending applications, attending interlocutory hearings, and conducting trials.  She has a busy paperwork practice and is equally strong on her feet.

Cecily has accepted instructions on behalf of Government departments, including the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Justice, via the GLD Junior Junior Scheme. She is security-cleared and public access accredited.

Please see specialist profiles for more detail about Cecily’s practice areas.

Prior to joining chambers, Cecily worked as a researcher in the House of Commons and as a trainee on the UK team at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. During her legal studies she interned at the Public Law Project, the Texas Fair Defense Project in Austin, Texas and a human rights NGO in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

cases & work of note

Cecily has been involved in a variety of high-profile cases of legal and social interest. 

Current and recent work has included:

  • Henderson v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust
    Led by Angus Moon QC in this test case in which the claimant stabbed her mother to death and sought damages from the NHS Trust which was responsible for her mental health treatment prior to the killing. The claim was defeated because the Court accepted Angus’ and Cecily’s argument that it was barred by the doctrine of illegality – a person cannot recover damages for their own wrongdoing.
    Click here for media coverage
  • Undercover Policing Inquiry
    Junior counsel to Sir Robert Francis QC on behalf of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
  • Gray v Police Appeals Tribunal [2016] EWHC 1239 (Admin)
    Resisting the judicial review of a decision to bring misconduct proceedings against an officer acquitted in the Crown Court of serious sexual offences.
  • Inquest touching the death of Alexander Perepilichnyy (2016)
    Junior counsel to the widow of a Russian businessman who died in Surrey in 2012.
    Please see here and here for media coverage
  • James-Bowen & Ors v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2015] EWHC 1249
    Successful strike out (led by John Beggs QC) of claims in negligence and contract concerning the Commissioner’s conduct of civil litigation brought by Babar Ahmad.  Appeal due to be heard in the Court of Appeal in Autumn 2016.
  • Inquest touching the death of Cheryl James (2016)
    Junior counsel to Surrey Police in the first fresh inquest to be ordered following the deaths of four soldiers at Deepcut Army Barracks between 1995 and 2002.
    Please see here for media coverage
  • Laporte & Christian v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2014] EWHC 3574 (QB)
    Cecily acted for the Commissioner (led by George Thomas) in the leading case on police powers to prevent disruption at public meetings.
  • Challenger II litigation
    One of several junior counsel instructed by the Ministry of Defence in the test cases on combat immunity following the Supreme Court decision in Smith & Others v MOD [2013] UKSC 410.


I am motivated to get the best possible result for my client. Often that means winning the case, but in other cases success has a broader meaning. Every case has twists and turns. Often I can add value by anticipating or responding to a new development. Persuading a court to accept my submissions, especially against the odds, is one of the great thrills of the job.

“Working together is the best way to prepare a case and secure a positive outcome.”

I aim to inspire trust and confidence in every case. I recognise that not everyone enjoys the practice of law as much as I do. In many cases, my contact with the client or witness marks an unhappy or stressful period in their life. My first lay client told me, at the end of a long and difficult case, that I had made her feel at ease. I aim to instil that feeling by providing realistic and practical advice, guidance along the way, and fluent advocacy.

The best results are always a team effort. I am extremely fortunate to be instructed by people with a wide range of skills and experience different from my own. I cannot think of a case which has not been improved by sharing ideas and insight. Working together is the best way to prepare a case and secure a positive outcome.


  • Solicitors’ Journal Rising Star Award 2016 (Highly Commended)
  • Middle Temple Lechmere Essay Prize (2012)
  • Middle Temple Certificate of Honour (2011)
  • 3 Verulam Buildings Prize for best overall performance on the GDL (2010)
  • Middle Temple Diplock Scholarship (2009, 2010)
  • Greaves Prize for History, Trinity College, Cambridge (2007)


  • BPP (2011) – Bar Professional Training Course: Outstanding, 3rd in year
  • City University (2010) – Graduate Diploma in Law: Distinction, 1st in year
  • Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and Kennedy School of Government (2009) – Postgraduate Special Student Program in Government
  • Cambridge University, Trinity College (2008) – MA Hons. History
  • Sorbonne University, Paris IV (2005) – Diplôme de Langue et Civilisation Françaises


  • Cecily is an Accredited Mediator (ADR, 2011)


  • French (advanced)
  • German (intermediate)


Contributor to Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law (3rd edition, 2016)


ALBA, ELBA, ARDL, PNBA, Bar Pro Bono Unit, FRU

further information

For further details of Cecily’s practice please click on the links to the left or contact a member of the clerking or client service team.

Bar Council Membership No: 58775
Registered Name: Cecily Frances White
VAT Registration No: 172842791