Matrix Chambers

Police Law: Mainly Claimant Department

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An estimable public law set whichboasts considerable expertise in large-scale public inquiries and complex civil claims against the police. Members are instructed in claims pertaining to false imprisonment and malicious prosecution, and those that arise from police shootings and the use of Tasers. They also offer experience in human rights claims concerning the police's failure to investigate, as well as cases challenging the ECHR compatibility of criminal records disclosure. The barristers have taken leading roles in the most high-profile cases in the country before the Supreme Court and in Strasbourg, such as the John Worboys litigation, along with continued involvement in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

Client service: "Great clerks – the service is always efficient and helpful." "They know exactly what is going on with their barristers and they go above and beyond other what other chambers do to make things happen." Paul Venables is the senior practice manager for police work.

Anita Davies
Displays strong command of and commitment to human rights law in her representation of claimants, whether in civil actions against the police or in judicial review.
Strengths: "Her input was really valuable and it was clear she totally knew what she was doing."
Recent work: Acted in a judicial review challenging Greater Manchester Police's decision to disclose a rape acquittal in the context of a job application, on the grounds of incompatibility with Article 8 ECHR.

Helen Law
Highly regarded advocate, known for complex civil claims against the police regarding malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and assault. She is also active in judicial review in relation to the police's failure to investigate, the misuse of private information and high-profile police shootings.
Strengths: "She is brilliant in mediation, can process complex legal issues in the context of traumatic incidents, is effective with opponents and gives very clear and thorough advice." "Tenacious and very bright. She is keen to take on challenging cases and push at the boundaries of the law in appropriate cases. She demonstrates a real empathy for clients and what they are attempting to achieve." "An astute and quick-witted advocate with excellent analytical skills and the ability to empathise with clients and explain legal issues clearly to them."
Recent work: Acted in Ed Bridges' pioneering judicial review of South Wales Police's trial of facial recognition technology, on the grounds of multiple human rights breaches.

Hugh Southey QC
Specialises in judicial reviews challenging police action or inaction, including the disclosure of information or failure to investigate. He has taken on a number of case scrutinising the role of PSNI during the Troubles.
Strengths: "He's extremely thorough and knowledgeable, hard-working and tactically very astute."
Recent work: Acted in a judicial review challenging the police's decision to disclose details of a rape acquittal.

James Laddie QC
Focuses on civil claims relating to death following police contact, in addition to misfeasance and assault, as well as actions brought by the victims of police dog bites.
Strengths: "Very, very smart."
Recent work: Represented the mother and partner of Robin Goodenough, who died following an assault by an officer after a police pursuit, in a claim for damages. The officer in question had previously been acquitted of manslaughter in respect of the same incident.

Phillippa Kaufmann QC
An exceptional civil liberties lawyer who can boast considerable experience in claims against the police, including malicious prosecution, misfeasance and false imprisonment. She is highlighted for her skills in advocacy and is frequently instructed in high-profile public inquiries and ground-breaking human rights claims in relation to the police's investigatory failures. She has also been active in judicial review arising from the conduct and findings of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, as well as representing core participants in the inquiry itself.
Strengths: "Probably the best silk in police law. Her tenacity, determination, empathy with clients and cross-examination skills are excellent." "She is a brilliant advocate – really superb on her feet." "I often recommend that junior or aspiring barristers go and watch Phillippa on her feet, as she is one of the best advocates around."
Recent work: Represented the claimants in DSD and NBV v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, a landmark claim concerning the police's failure to conduct an effective investigation into John Worboys' prolific sexual assaults.

Raj Desai
Strong practitioner offering experience in civil claims against the police concerning false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, assault and battery, as well as those pertaining to the police's misuse of private information.
Strengths: "The go-to junior for any aspect of police law and beyond. A wise and skilled tactician who is meticulous and collegiate, and never loses sight of the wider issues, while providing consummate client care. He is always the best advocate in the room at inquests." "He is right up there as one of the best barristers in police work. His written work is super and he always understands all issues." "Excellent all round: he is bright, dedicated, exceptionally good with clients and communicates very well with those instructing him."
Recent work: Acted for the victim of an alleged unprovoked assault by Territorial Support Group officers at a London Premier League football derby, in a claim for battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

Richard Hermer QC
Acts in civil claims concerning issues ranging from police shootings to the unlawful disclosure of information.
Strengths: "Knows how to win difficult cases and has good instincts for how things will go. Committed, and great to work with."
Recent work: Acted for the family of Mark Duggan in a civil action concerning his fatal shooting by police in 2011.