Serjeants’ Inn is rated by the independent legal directory Chambers & Partners as one of the best police law teams in the UK. We act for most forces around the country together with a number of PCCs and other police bodies, including the College of Policing, handling nearly 2,000 police law matters over the last three years.
We act in the cases which shape police law in this country. Our work includes the Undercover Policing Inquiry, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the Leveson Inquiry; the David Rathband, Walid Yusif and Michael Barrymore civil claims; the Raoul Moat, Hillsborough, Deepcut and Perepilichnyy inquests; the Duggan and Plebgate judicial review proceedings; a four-week employment case concerning discrimination, protected disclosures and victimisation and a high profile dispute over pay and conditions. We are also instructed in the major police misconduct cases, both prosecuting and defending and including the key chief officer cases, as well as in Police Appeals Tribunal and judicial review challenges to police disciplinary decisions.
We have specialist police barristers at every level of call: 29 of our 37 police practitioners are ranked as a leader in their field by the Legal 500 and/or Chambers & Partners. We are rated as a band one set for police work by both legal directories and members of the team have won numerous individual awards.
Our team, led by John Beggs QC, is distinguished by:
- first, our problem solving approach. We know that police clients need practical and effective solutions, with regard not only to the complex law but also to the politics of the situation, public confidence and the media;
- second, our robust defence of our police clients’ interests. We are committed to providing our clients with the defence they are entitled to under the rule of law and in accordance with their public duty; and
- finally, our excellence in advocacy and trial tactics. Our advocacy is distinct, impressive and we get results.
We are acknowledged for our approachable style and we offer a one-stop shop. Our barristers have day-to-day experience of police law in all its forms: civil claims, inquests and inquiries; misconduct proceedings; operational policing matters encompassing public order, firearms and RIPA; pensions and employment work; public law including judicial review; and the full range of civil restraining orders.
Our police publications include Police Misconduct, Complaints and the Public Regulation
and Public Order: Law and Practice and you can follow our police law blog here.
Members of the Police Team appear in the full range of civil restraining orders including ASBOs, SOPOs, ROSHOs, FBOs, DBOs, VOOs and Closure Orders. We also appear in applications under POCA. We are particularly experienced in appeals to the Crown Court and challenges by way of judicial review or case stated. We appear in proceedings under the Firearms Act 1968 including firearms licensing appeals. We also deal with matters under the Police Property Act and Licensing hearings involving the police.
We have experience of acting in the full range of civil litigation involving the police including actions in assault and battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office, breach of confidence and negligence. We have particular expertise in claims brought under s.6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 or other claims where human rights arguments are raised.
We are trusted advisors to the police service (and other law enforcement agencies) on sensitive operational matters. We are often asked to provide advice on an urgent basis by telephone. Areas we have advised on recently are the policing of public order operations, firearms operations and covert operations engaging the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and associated legislation.
We have unrivalled experience of prosecuting and defending at police misconduct and performance hearings and at appeals to the PAT. We have been involved in many of the judicial review challenges to police disciplinary decisions. We deal with officers and staff of all ranks and in recent years have advised and acted for officers and Police Authorities (now PCCs) in cases involving chief officers.
We advise and appear in judicial review challenges against the police in a whole range of areas including public order, sufficiency of investigations, discipline, pensions, disclosure and human rights.
Members of the Police Team are expert in the complex and ever changing area of police pensions and retirement including on grounds of ill health. We have appeared in many of the most significant judicial review challenges in this field.
Many members of the Police Team are also employment law experts and appear in the Employment Tribunal and the High Court in claims brought by police officers and staff for all forms of discrimination and whistleblowing and by police staff for unfair dismissal.
We have appeared in many of the most high profile Inquests and Public Inquiries involving the police including the Deepcut Inquest and the Undercover Policing Inquiry. We have particular expertise in inquests into deaths following police shootings, restraint by police officers and where the deceased had mental health issues (a number of our team are mental health law experts).
24 Hour Urgent Advice
Our Police team provides a 24 hour service, 365 days a year to arrange for urgent advice and representation on applications including injunctions. For more details about our emergency service please click here.
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