Martin Westgate KC successful in Police Overtime Lead Cases

On 10th October 2022 the High Court (Heather Williams J) handed down judgment in KSO & ors v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  [2022] EWHC 2514 (KB). These were lead claims in the Police Overtime Claims Litigation which originally comprised over 950 claims. The judgment follows a three week trial, part of which was heard in private, to determine the entitlements due to CHIS (covert human intelligence source) handlers for performing out of hours work.

Martin Westgate KC acted for the constable claimants, leading Sadie Crapper and Philippe Kuhn of 39 Essex Street. At trial the arguments covered a wide range of issues from statutory interpretation to breach of statutory duty, equitable remedies and election.

The judge upheld nearly all of the claims made by the constable claimants and a lead claim brought by an inspector succeeded in part. The parties now have time to agree the judgment sum failing which there will be a further hearing.

The 98 page judgment gives authoritative guidance on the complex provisions of Determinations concerning pay and allowances made under the Police Regulations 2003.  Among other things it:

  • Holds that failure to grant certain types of leave (“additional leave”) under the Determinations is actionable as a breach of statutory duty [§§229-265].

  • Explains the meaning of “on call” and consequent entitlement to an on call allowance. Heather Williams J rejected the Defendant’s argument that entitlement to the allowance depended on whether an officer had been “pre-designated” by being on a rota or similar. Instead “on-call” is an “objective status” arising when the when an officer is “required to be available to perform their duties outside of their rostered tours of duty”. This depends on the substance of their duties.  

A copy of the judgment can be found here.