Garden Court Chambers

Police Law: Mainly Claimant Department

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Redoubtable claimant-side set which houses highly skilled trial advocates, renowned for their tenacity in fighting for their clients in claims against the police and other related matters. The chambers is highlighted for its strength in inquests centred on police shootings or deaths in custody. Its members also assist with public inquiries and civil claims concerning malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and assault, and the barristers handle high-profile claims brought under the Human Rights Act in relation to the police's investigative and operational failures. The set has attracted prominent roles in the country's most significant police-related cases, including the Undercover Policing Inquiry, the Hillsborough group misfeasance claim and the inquests into the Stephen Port murders.

Client service: "Their clerking team is the best in the business. They go out of their way to accommodate you as much as possible and are all really friendly, professional and efficient." Director of clerking Colin Cook leads a team that is "always very approachable and helpful" and fields clerks who "give you what you want, when you want it."

Leslie Thomas QC
A formidable trial advocate who is renowned for acting in high-profile claims against the police as well as inquests, typically arising from police shootings. He is picked out for his considerable expertise in cases concerning deaths in custody, and his broad practice also includes claims pertaining to the police's failure to investigate.
Strengths: "He is one of the great police law advocates of his generation." "He is absolutely the leader in inquest work – completely superb." "When you want a police officer put under pressure in hearings, he is second to none."
Recent work: Represented two directors of a privately run hospital in a £30 million claim against Norfolk Constabulary for misfeasance and malicious prosecution. The case centred on inadequacies in the police handling of the investigation and arrest, and prompted an apology in the House of Commons.

Maya Sikand
Highly regarded for claims against the police in relation to misfeasance in public office, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment, often involving allegations of racial discrimination. She is highlighted for her prominent instruction in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.
Strengths: "She produces amazing advice, really thinks about every angle and is genuinely committed to the work." "Her attention to detail is second to none." "She is highly committed, razor sharp and utterly determined. She is not afraid to take on challenging cases."
Recent work: Acted as sole counsel to Peter Francis, the former undercover officer who blew the whistle on the activities of the Special Demonstration Squad, at the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

Patrick Roche
Widely known for his prominent role throughout the continuing legal fallout of the Hillsborough disaster, including at the fresh inquests and in the misfeasance claims.
Strengths: "Excellent advocacy: he brings a very rounded, fresh approach." "He has a real tactical understanding and gets the most out of inquests."
Recent work: Represented 110 relatives of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster in a claim against South Yorkshire and West Midlands Police for misfeasance in a public office, relating to their alleged cover-up in respect of the causes and police response to the disaster.

Rajeev Thacker
Acclaimed for his expertise in discrimination claims, including those against the police. He also focuses on human rights-grounded claims arising from the police's failure to protect.
Strengths: "He has a fantastically broad and deep knowledge of the law in the area. He is very good to work with and very good with clients, and is one of our barristers of choice for claims against the police." "Excellent tactician, especially on discrimination claims, and has good judgement." "A superb discrimination lawyer."

Sarah Hemingway
Acts in civil claims against the police concerning false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution. She is active in claims centring on alleged disability or race discrimination.
Strengths: "A really good trial lawyer and a strong cross-examiner." "She is always well prepared and produces detailed submissions and advocacy, and is very good with clients."
Recent work: Successfully represented the claimant in Jason O’Connor v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, a claim for false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution, in relation to a 2013 incident following a stop and search for drugs, which was alleged to be racially discriminatory.

Stephen Simblet QC
Regularly instructed in high-profile claims, he often acts for the victims of malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office. He is also well regarded for his work at inquests and is known as a barrister who enjoys addressing complex points of law.
Strengths: "Extremely bright and motivated by complex legal points." "He has a wealth of experience and his knowledge of the law is excellent."
Recent work: Successfully represented a claimant as appellant before the Court of Appeal in Rees and Others v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, an important claim for malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office.

Tom Stoate
Highlighted for his expertise in representing bereaved families at inquests and in claims against the police. His focuses include death following police pursuit, as well as discrimination and false imprisonment.
Strengths: "Highly committed and knowledgeable on actions against the police. An excellent advocate and inquest specialist." "He's tenacious, and makes sure he gets absolutely everything out of a case."
Recent work: Represented the widow of Onese Power at the inquest into his death, which occurred during a police pursuit.

Una Minetta Morris
Well-respected advocate in police claims concerning false imprisonment, assault and investigative failures, who is also noted for representing bereaved families at inquests arising from death during police contact.
Strengths: "An outstanding junior who is thorough, immensely talented and fearless." "Families really like her and she works really well with them. She is very personable, and an excellent advocate who gets to the grips with issues very quickly and gets very good results for her clients."
Recent work: Represented the family of Terrence Smith at the inquest into his death, arising from his restraint by officers of Surrey Police.