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From the beginning, Alison’s practice has had at its heart state accountability for those in detention, those who claim to have been abused, and those who have been discriminated against.  This has seen her practice develop from mainly mental health and inquest work, to expand to include prison law, actions against the police and Court of Protection. She now has extensive experience of appearing in wide variety of jurisdictions, including civil, administrative, coronial and the Court of Protection. 

Alison plays the saxophone and when time allows she also sings in her community choir. She likes to keep fit and practices yoga as well as being a regular runner. Alison is also keen to keep learning and is currently studying part time for a degree at Birkbeck University in Politics, Philosophy and History. 

What others say

"She is incredibly sharp, very hard-working, has really good strategic insight and she is very thoughtful in her approach." 

"Really thorough and she can get to the nub of an issue very quickly and explain it."

"She is very good on the details. She looks thoroughly into the evidence and her pleadings are excellent. She is very good on her feet cross-examining witnesses, and her analysis of the evidence and strengths of the case are also excellent." 

Chambers and Partners 2017

Prison Law and Criminal Justice

Alison regularly represents prisoners in civil claims as well in judicial reviews and in parole related matters. She was junior counsel in the successful group litigation claim against the Home office concerning the treatment of opiate dependant prisoners, in which the Home Office conceded liability in negligence, breach of human rights and assault. She has also conducted civil trials on behalf of prisoners against prison officers, including in particular in assault, negligence and breach of human rights.

Alison has also conducted a number of appeals against sentence and conviction in the Court of Appeal.

Actions Against the Police and Public Authorities

Alison is currently instructed as junior counsel in the claim by the victims of the Hillsborough disaster in a group action against the South Yorkshire and West Midlands Police for misfeasance in a public office.

Recent high court trials include:

(1)   (1) MLIA (2) CLEL v Chief Constable of Hampshire (2017)

Case against the police for failure to effectively investigate and protect against domestic violence and abuse

El Husseini v. Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (2016)

Claim against the police where the police had mis-identified the claimant as a suspect who they had under surveillance. Due to the mis-identification the claimant was subjected to an armed stop and restraint.

(1)   Mohidin (2) Khan (3) Hegazy (Claimants) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (Defendant) & (1) Mark Jones (2) Steven White (3) William Wilson (4) Neil Brown (Third Parties) (2015)

Claim against the police for assault, false imprisonment and racial discrimination.

(1)   NTC (2) DSC (a child by his litigation friend NTC) (3) SSC (a child by her litigation friend) (4) SRC v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2015)

Claim by a mother and her two young children and her sister against the police for subjecting them to an armed intervention. The police wrongly identified the claimants as being in a flat where a suspect with a gun was being sought.  

Mental Health and Court of Protection

Alison is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to act on behalf of individuals deprived of their liberty in care homes, as well as on behalf of family members and local authorities.

She is a regular contributor to the Legal Action Group Court of Protection update and is a co- author of the Butterworths New Law Guide: Mental Capacity Act.

Alison is currently the Head of the Doughty Street Inquest and Inquiries Team.

Inquiries and Inquests

Alison has extensive experience of representing families in inquests involving deaths in police custody and police related deaths, deaths in prison as well as in psychiatric hospital.

Examples of recent cases include:

The death of women who died while she was detained in prison where she had shown clear and extreme signs of risk and distress. The Coroner criticised the actions and inactions of the prison staff. Read about this in the press here

The death of a very popular teacher and father who at the time of his death was suffering with mental illness and was receiving inpatient treatment. The Coroner in particular criticised the lack of involvement of the family in the weeks prior to his sad death. 

The tragic death of a man who took his own life while waiting to be assessed in A&E following his having taking an overdose. The Coroner found numerous and serious failings on the part of the hospital. Read about this in the press here

Alison also represented one of the victims of the terrorist attack in In Amenas in Algeria. In reaching findings the Coroner highlighted flaws in security at the gas plant site. Read about this in the press here

Administrative and Public Law

Alison is regularly instructed in prison, police and mental health related judicial reviews. Recent examples include the successful challenge to and Inquest verdict ( R (on the application of Rossana Hair) (Claimant) v HM Coroner for Staffordshire (South) (Defendant) & ors and the successful (on appeal) challenge to a Category A prisoner’s categorisation (R (on the application of Mackenzie) v Secretary of State for Justice).

International Law

Alison has experience of Constitutional law, in particular in cases concerning the Caribbean. In addition to her death penalty work Alison has been instructed in cases in the Turks and Caicos Islands (R (on the application of Michael Misick) v Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonweatlh Affiars) and in Belize [Civil Appeal No.07 of 2011].

Alison has experience in applications to the European Court of Human Rights, as well as before the Inter American Court of Human Rights. Notable cases before the European Court of human Rights include an application on behalf of a child who had been made the subject of a mandatory and indefinite Sexual Offences Notification Order, and on behalf of a mentally disordered offender who is seeking to appeal his life sentence.  Alison was also junior counsel in Boyce & Joseph v R [2005] 1 AC 400 (challenge to the mandatory death penalty in Barbados before the Inter American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica.

Alison was also junior counsel in a group litigation claim against Trafigura, brought by nearly 30,000 claimants in the Ivory Coast, for personal injuries following the dumping of “toxic waste” at various sites in Abijan, Ivory Coast.Alison was also junior counsel in a group litigation claim against Trafigura, brought by nearly 30,000 claimants in the Ivory Coast, for personal injuries following the dumping of “toxic waste” at various sites in Abijan, Ivory Coast.

Alison has also appeared in the Privy Council in death penalty cases, including in Boyce & Joseph v R (2005) 1 AC 400 (challenge to the mandatory death penalty in Barbados) and successfully before the Inter American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica. She is also now advising African lawyers who are bringing similar challenges to the death penalty in Malawi, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia.

Product Liability and Group Actions

Alison also has expertise in Group Litigation and was junior counsel in the successful group litigation claim against the Home office concerning the treatment of opiate dependant prisoners, in which the Home Office conceded liability in negligence, breach of human rights and assault.

Alison was also junior counsel in a group litigation claim against Trafigura, brought by nearly 30,000 claimants in the Ivory Coast, for personal injuries following the dumping of “toxic waste” at various sites in Abijan, Ivory Coast.