Actions Against the Police and Public Authorities

"I want to thank you for so much for putting hard work, understanding & compassion into my case which was as much about principles as it was compensation" Lay Client


Practice Summary

We are ranked as the number one barristers’ set for police claimant work by the latest Chambers and Partners Directory.  We have held this number one ranking for over a decade and have an unrivalled reputation in this specialist field.  Eleven individual team members, including both Silks and junior barristers are listed as leaders in this field of work.


We are regularly engaged in the full range of damages claims against the police, including tort claims for false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, assault, misconduct in a public office and negligence.  Members of the team have particular expertise in Human Rights Act (HRA) claims, discrimination cases, deaths in custody issues and protest law.  Many of the team are also experienced in bringing  public law claims challenging the exercise of police powers, decisions not to prosecute, determinations of police complaints and police retention and disclosure of historic material.  We also act in relation to compensation applications to the Ministry of Justice on behalf of those who have suffered miscarriages of justice and related litigation. 


We are involved in bringing cases at the cutting edge of legal developments; in the last year members of the team have been involved in all the landmark Supreme Court cases in this area of law: Michael v CC of South Wales (liability of police in negligence and under HRA for delayed response to a 999 call); R (Catt) v Metropolitan Police Commissioner (lawfulness of police retention of sensitive information); R (T, JB & AW) v SSJ (disclosure of childhood cautions on enhanced criminal record certificates); R (Nunn) v CC of Suffolk (duty to disclose material affecting the safety of a conviction); and BSkyB v Metropolitan Police Commissioner (whether police could rely on secret evidence when applying for production orders against media organisations).


In addition to police cases, members of the team have considerable experience of both public and private law claims against other detaining and prosecuting authorities involved with the criminal justice system; claims arising from immigration detention; and claims against the British military authorities.   


We are regularly involved in Inquests arising from deaths in custody and from other acts and omissions of State agents.  Members of the teamwere recently representing bereaved families at the Hillsborough Inquest.


We are able to take advantage of the overlapping areas of specialism in Chambers, which provides a beneficial multi-disciplinary approach to our case work, encompassing expertise, for example, in criminal law, mental health, large scale personal injury claims and international law issues.

For details of Doughty Street Chambers' work in immigration detention please click here.  To speak to our clerks call 020 7404 1313.

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