Edward Pleeth

Call 2005

Overview

Edward is a leading practitioner in public inquiries and inquests and has acted in many of the most important public inquiries and inquests of recent years. This work dovetails with a civil, administrative and regulatory law practice with a specialism in police, military and national security issues. Edward is a member of the Attorney General’s A panel of civil advocates and is ranked by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 as a leading junior in inquest and inquiries, police law and professional discipline.

Edward is clerked primarily by Tom O’Connor,  Joe Ralph, Jubeda Begum and Josie Ryan.

Edward is a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.

“He is fiercely intelligent but measured, calm and eloquent.”
Chambers & Partners

Inquests and Inquiries

Edward is recognised by Legal 500 as a Tier 1 barrister specialising in ‘inquest and inquiries’: “A thoroughly charming opponent. Bright, engaging and devastatingly clever, and excellent at examining professional witnesses.”  He has acted in many of the most important public inquiries and inquests of recent years including the Manchester Arena Inquiry, the Covid Inquiry, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, the Guildford Pub Bombing Inquests and the Keyham Inquests. Edward was first appointed by the Attorney General as junior counsel to the Crown in 2012 and is now on the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel. He undertakes a range of high-profile work for a variety of government departments, particularly cases involving national security.

Police Law

Edward advises and represents police forces across the country in all areas of police civil law. He is recommended by the directories as a “A star of the junior Police Law Bar.”  His speciality includes judicial review, inquests, civil actions for false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, misfeasance and negligence. He is instructed in a wide range of advisory work, including operational advice to police forces on matters such as the implementation of new legislation, surveillance, searches and the disclosure obligations in civil and family litigation.

Public and Administrative Law

Edward has significant experience in advising on and appearing in judicial review proceedings for both claimants and defendants. He often appears on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department in the Special Immigration Appeals Tribunal as well as challenges to decisions of coroners and chairs of public inquiries, decisions involving matters of national security issues and decisions by professional regulators or disciplinary tribunals.

Professional Discipline & Regulatory

Edward is recognised as a leading junior in Professional Discipline with a practice that encompasses the police, the military and the healthcare professions. Edward regularly appears on behalf of doctors in the GMC, dentists in the GDC and nurses in the NMC.  He also acts on behalf of doctors and dentists in hearings held by their PCTs and on appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.  In the field of police misconduct, he is regularly instructed to prosecute and defend serious allegations in misconduct hearings, the Police Appeals Tribunal and on Judicial Review.

Recent and current Cases of note

  • The  Covid Inquiry
    Instructed by the Cabinet Office in the Covid Inquiry.
  • Manchester Arena Inquiry
    Instructed by the UK Government.
  • The Keyham Inquests
    Instructed by the Independent Officer of Police Conduct in these inquests arising out of the shooting of five people in Plymouth in 2021.
  • The sinking of the Bugaled Briezh
    Instructed by the Ministry of Defence in this inquest into the deaths of French nationals who were members of the crew of the trawler Bugaled Briezh that capsized off the coast of Cornwall.
  • Guildford Pub Bombing Inquest
    Instructed by the Ministry of Defence in the reopened inquests arising out of the 1974 bombing of a pub in Guildford.
  • Ministry of Defence v Superintendent Yates
    Represented the Chief Constable of the Ministry of Defence Police in this misconduct hearing involving allegations that Superintendent Yates committed a sexual act in public.
  • Chief Police Officer of the Gibraltar Defence Police v Inspector Howard and Sergeant Slater
    Represented the Chief Police Officer of the Gibraltar Defence Police. This was an appeal against the dismissal of an Inspector and Sergeant from the Gibraltar Defence Police.
  • BK v Secretary of State for the Home Department
    Representing the Secretary of State for the Home Department in this Special Immigration Appeals Commission case.
  • Inquest into the death of Corporal Bayliss – Red Arrow crash at RAF Valley
    Instructed by the Ministry of Defence in this inquest into the death of Cpl Bayliss who died when a Red Arrow Hawk aircraft crashed at RAF Valley.
  • Inquest into the death of Major General Holmes
    Instructed by the Ministry of Defence in this inquest into the self-inflicted death of Major General Holmes, the former Commandant General Royal Marines.
  • The Queen on the Application of David Owens v The Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police, The Secretary of State for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs
    Instructed by the Secretary of State for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs in this judicial review relating to the lawfulness of a search warrant.
  • BCC v FZ and Others
    Instructed by the Chief Constable of Police in this Public Interest Immunity application.
  • MQ v Secretary of State for the Home Department
    Representing the Secretary of State for the Home Department in this Special Immigration Appeals Commission case.
  • Chief Constable of West Mercia Police v PC Walters
    Represented the Chief Constable of West Mercia Police in this police misconduct hearing involving allegations that PC Walters sexually assaulted a colleague.
  • Inquest into the death of Officer Cadet Perks – Death of an officer cadet at Sandhurst
    Instructed by the Ministry of Defence in this inquest into the self-inflicted death of an officer cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
  • The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse
    Instructed by the Independent Officer of Police Conduct led by Gerry Boyle KC.
  • Inquest into the deaths of Mr Whitworth and Mr Kovari – Stephen Port’s victims
    Instructed by HM Senior Coroner for The Eastern Area of Greater London in the High Court application quashing the original inquest conclusions into the deaths of Mr Daniel Whitworth and Mr Gabriel Kovari.
  • Inquest into the death of Spencer Ashworth
    Instructed by the Chief Constable of West Mercia Police in this inquest into the shooting of Mr Ashworth following a police pursuit.
  • Inquest into the deaths of Cpl Hatfield and Cpl Neilson – Challenge 2 Tank Explosion
    Instructed by the Ministry of Defence in this inquest arising from the explosion of a Challenger 2 tank during live-firing exercise in Wales.
  • Inquest into the death of Fight Lieutenant Parr – The Empire Test Pilot School Aircraft Crash
    Instructed by the Ministry of Defence in this inquest arising out of the death of Fight Lieutenant Parr i an aircraft crash at the Empire Test Pilot School at Boscombe Down.
  • Inquest into the death of Mr Douglas Oak
    Instructed by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust in this inquest into the death of Mr Oak following an episode of ‘Acute Behavioural Disturbance’ and restraint by the Police.
  • Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry
    Instructed to work for the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry which was tasked with investigating and reporting on the violent events that took place in Bahrain during the ‘Arab Spring’.
  • Graham Mouncher and others v The Chief Constable of South Wales Police
    Instructed by the Government Legal Department to advise in relation to disclosure failure arising from the investigations and prosecutions surrounding the murder of Lynette White.
  • Joel Richards & 38 Others v The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police and The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police
    Instructed by the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police. The claimants alleged that the policing arrangements made by the defendants for the monitoring/escorting of approximately 18 coaches on a journey home to the Liverpool area after attending a Premier League football was unlawful.

Appointments

  • Attorney General’s A Panel of Junior Counsel

Recommendations

Edward is recognised by The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as leading junior barrister. Recent editorials include:

  • He comes across as someone more senior than he is;
  • he commands respect in court and has great presence;
  • he is calm, consistent and an effective advocate;
  • He really knows his brief and is very knowledgeable;
  • a star of the junior Police Law Bar;
  • he is fiercely intelligent but measured, calm and eloquent;
  • a very clever barrister and delivers impressive submissions;
  • he is a real expert in police discipline;
  • clients love him;
  • he is very calm;
  • he has a very common-sense approach;
  • as an advocate he is methodical, effective, measured and controlled;
  • he is very intelligent;
  • brilliant counsel and good to deal with;
  • I can send him a huge amount of documentation and he’ll pull out the fundamental point and provide the advice in a really concise and clear manner;
  • very good at cross-examination;
  • a commanding presence in court;
  • I would recommend him highly as his level of detail and presenting of cases is of an extremely high standard;
  • well liked by clients and solicitors;
  • he is a tough opponent;
  • lay clients are very impressed with him and speak highly of him after the hearing;
  • he presents cases very well;
  • clients appreciate his approachable manner;
  • absolutely charming;
  • highly knowledgeable;
  • very good at written and oral submissions and when cross examining witnesses; 
  • very good judgement;
  • great with both witnesses and clients;
  • he has an excellent knowledge of inquest law and practice; and
  • a very reassuring manner with witnesses and clients;

privacy

Edward adopts and adheres to the provisions of the privacy notice which can be accessed here.

Further Information

For further details of Edward’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: 48622
Registered Name: Edward James Pleeth
VAT Registration No: 942781795