How To Sue The Police: An Introduction to Civil Actions for Criminal Lawyers

Date: Thursday 27 April 2017

Time: 18:15 - 19:30 (Registration 18:00)

Location: 53-54 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LS

Venue: Doughty Street Chambers

Speakers: Fiona Murphy, Heather Williams QC, Joel Bennathan QC, Nick Brown, Patrick O’Connor QC, Quincy Whitaker, Rebecca Trowler QC, Rupert Bowers QC

Hear from Heather Williams QC and Joel Bennathan QC about what these seminars will entail:



Home Office statistics indicate there were almost 900,000 arrests in England and Wales in the year to 31 March 2016.  But the IPCC tells us that over 34,000 complaints, comprising almost 65,000 allegations, were made against the police over a similar period.


Whilst many of those who come in to contact with the police are dealt with even-handedly, some egregious examples of police misconduct still hit the headlines.  And even in less high-profile cases, clients may still wish to know how they can challenge a search warrant, contest the police’s retention of their data or property, seek remedy for a malicious prosecution or mistreatment during arrest or detention, or whether there may be an action for damages after an acquittal or a successful appeal.


So what should criminal lawyers do when they suspect police misconduct in their client’s case may give rise to a civil claim? Criminal barristers at Doughty Street Chambers have long benefited from being able to call upon the expertise of colleagues in our actions against the police and public authorities team, ranked alone in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners.  Together they present a seminar designed to give criminal lawyers some practical tips and advice on how to spot and pursue a civil claim against the police, and the remedies which may be available for their clients.    


The seminar will be run twice (on 29 March and 27 April) to allow solicitors to choose the date most convenient for them.  Content and materials will be the same for both sessions, though the speaker line-up will be different.  Both sessions will explore:

  • The kinds of claims available (civil damages claims judicial review, etc) and how claims can be funded;
  • Where to find relevant procedural rules and key law;
  • The basics on how to make valid claims of false imprisonment and malicious prosecution;
  • An introduction to claims arising from police searches, and seizures and retention of property. 


We will also offer more in-depth sessions which can be run at your offices on any issues arising which prove to be of particular interest.


Wednesday 29 March 2017 Thursday 27 April 2017


Joel Bennathan QC


Rebecca Trowler QC


Heather Williams QC;

Quincy Whitaker;

Rupert Bowers QC


Patrick O'Connor QC;

Nick Brown;

Fiona Murphy


If you are interested in attending please click on the date you would like to join, either Wednesday 29 March or Thursday 27 April to email our Events team.

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