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Practice Areas



The Employment Tribunals Handbook Fifth Edition Published

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse – 13 Investigations Launched

Alan Payne and Robert Cohen act for the Secretary of State for the Home Department in an important case on the interaction of asylum and family law.

Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel Appointments

Jeremy Johnson, Alan Payne, Beatrice Collier and Cicely Hayward successfully appear for Chief Constable of South Wales Police

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Jeremy Johnson QC, Alan Payne, Beatrice Collier and Cicely Hayward representing the Chief Constable of South Wales Police in one of the largest ever civil actions against the police

Alan Payne acts for both Defendants in successful strike out application in Bill Edwards v Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and the Chief Constable of the North Yorkshire Police, in a claim for defamation, misfeasance and breach of Article 8

5 Essex Court in The Legal 500

Jason Beer QC, Alan Payne and Cicely Hayward in new Court of Appeal decision on immunity from suit

Alan Payne appears in NHS Direct NHS Trust v Gunn in which the EAT consider whether the TUPE transfer of a contract constitutes an offer of employment, and the interplay between the duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 and TUPE

Court of Appeal allows appeals concerning the application of the Immigration Rules in SSHD v SS (Congo) and others [2015] EWCA Civ 387. Alan Payne and Claire Palmer represented the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Alan Payne appears in a case concerning the rules relating to remoteness in damages for psychiatric injury

The Supreme Court gives guidance as to the correct approach in determining human rights challenges made by asylum seekers and refugees against their transfers between Member States.

16 October 2012: the Divisional Court confirms that only in exceptional circumstances will it be ‘necessary’ to disclose material under r.12 of the Inquiry Rules 2006 to a determine an application for a restriction order under s.19 of the Inquiries Ac

Alan Payne

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Alan is Junior Counsel to The Crown Panel of Counsel for Government work – A Panel (2011) (previously B panel 2007-2010 and C panel 2004-2007).


Alan practises in the areas of public law, human rights (domestic and international), immigration and asylum, Inquests, Inquiries, police and prison law, civil liberties, employment and malfeasance claims (assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and misfeasance).

Although specialising primarily in public law, Inquests, police law and employment law, he accepts instructions in all of chambers’ main practice areas.

Public Law/Immigration law:

“He is skilful and conscientious.” (Immigration) Chambers UK 2018

“He is a very pugnacious opponent, produces quality written work and is always clear in his courtroom presentations.” (Immigration) Chambers UK 2017

“He’s frustratingly good.” (Immigration) Chambers UK 2017

Alan acts principally for public authorities; with an emphasis on immigration and human rights.

He regularly appears in the Court of Appeal and the High Court and recently represented the Secretary of State in the Supreme Court in EM(Eritrea) & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] UKSC 12.

He is recommended as a leading junior in the fields of human rights and immigration law in the Legal 500 (since 2006), in Legal Experts (since 2007) and in Immigration law in Chambers and Partners since 2010.

“He is a man of no compromise but is straight as a die. The courts like and respect him.” (Immigration) Chambers UK 2016

“He has significant experience representing public authorities in immigration cases.” (Immigration) Legal 500 2015

“He is reliable, hard-working, and straightforward in his dealings.” (Immigration) Chambers UK 2015

“His Practice is complemented by broad public law expertise” (Immigration) Legal 500 2014

“He’s very bright and is involved in a ton of cases” (Immigration) Chambers UK 2014

Please find Alan’s recent Immigration/ Public Law cases further down his CV. 


Alan regularly acts in Inquests for local authorities, police, prison service and other state bodies.

Alan represented the Security Services in the Inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales and Mr Dodi Al Fayed.

Recent cases include:

Kent County Council v HM Coroner for Kent (Defendant) & Mr and Mrs Barry (Interested Parties) [2012] EWHC 2768 in which a successful challenge was made of the Coroner’s decision that Article 2 was engaged.

Sumaiya Patel v Lord Chancellor & Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner West London [2010] EWHC 2220 in which it was held that the widow of one of the bombers responsible for the bombings in London on July 7, 2005 failed to show that there was a significant wider public interest in her having exceptional funding for legal representation at the inquest into the deaths caused by the bombings.


Alan acted on behalf of the MPS in the Azelle Rodney Inquiry.

Recent cases include:

E7 (an officer of the MPS) v Chairman of the Inquiry into the death of Azelle Rodney and various interested parties [2014] EWHC 452 in which the Divisional Court rejected a challenge to the Chairman’s report and provided guidance as to how the lawfulness of multiple shots should be assessed.

MPS v [2012] EWHC 2783] in which the Divisional Court concluded that the chairman of a public inquiry had been entitled to find that there should be limited disclosure to the legal team of an interested party of material in relation to which the police sought a restriction order in the public interest, because disclosure was “necessary” for determination of the restriction order application within the meaning of the Inquiry Rules 2006 r.12(4)(a).

Police Law:

Alan acts on behalf of the police in Inquiries, lawfulness of ECRC’s, Assault, False Imprisonment, Malicious Prosecution, Civil Actions involving the police, Discipline, and Employment matters.

Recent cases include:

Bianca Durrant v Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset Nottinghamshire [2013] EWCA Civ 1624 – the Court of Appeal overturned a judge’s decision to grant relief from sanction for non-compliance with a court order on the grounds that the judge had failed to follow the robust approach laid down in Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1537, [2014] 1 W.L.R.

Desmond v Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire [2011] EWCA Civ 3

A chief constable responding to a request for information to be included in an enhanced criminal record certificate under the Police Act 1997 s.115(7) did not owe a duty of care to the person applying for the certificate.

Barry George v. Metropolitan Police Service

A challenge brought by the Claimant to the lawfulness of the decisions of the Panels, chaired by the MPS, to include him in the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) scheme. The Claimant was unsuccessful in his claim that his inclusion in MAPPA was (i) unlawful and/or (ii) unduly intrusive amounting to an infringement of his Article 8 rights, on the grounds that they are disproportionate to the aim pursued in imposing them.

Coker v IPCC & MPS & Wood [2010] EWHC 3625 in which the High Court held that the Independent Police Complaints Commission was entitled to revise its decisions as to what, if any, recommendations as to disciplinary action should be brought against a police officer.


Alan has acted in a number of employment cases for the DWP, SOCA the Home Office and Foreign Office. In addition to standard unfair/constructive dismissal cases, and discrimination cases, Alan has recently acted in:

(i)             A case involving a challenge to the lawfulness of pre-employment checks which involve consideration of the immigration history of the potential employee.

(ii)            A case involving a challenge to the lawfulness of the national security requirement that those who have access to sensitive material need to have British nationality;

(iii)            A test case brought against SOCA by interpreters (who unsuccessfully sought to argue that they were employed as opposed to self-employed);

(iv)           Pensions cases involving complex transfer provisions between the MET and SOCA; and

In addition regularly provides high level advice on TUPE issues, and has acted in a number of cases focusing on post termination restraints (both obtaining and resisting injunctions).

Noteworthy cases include acting on behalf of the Respondent in:

(i)             DEFRA v Huish and Robertson [2005] IRLR 363;

(ii)            Chelsea F. C. in the case involving the dismissal of Mark Bosnich;

(iii)           Fulham F.C. in the case brought by Jean Tigana (employment tribunal/EAT).

Alan helped draft the employees’ handbook for Chelsea F.C.

He is also the co-author of Tolley’s Employment Tribunals Handbook – first published in October 2002. The 2nd edition (published by Tottels) came out in August 2005. The third edition is currently being drafted.

Personal Injury:

Alan has extensive experience advising, principally Government Departments, on a broad range of personal injury matters ranging from stress at work claims involving injuries arising from the Iraq war, or from detention in Guantanamo.

Recent cases include:

John Yap v Foreign & Commonwealth Office [2013] EWHC 1098 – an employer had acted in breach of contract and in breach of its duty of care in withdrawing an employee from his post as High Commissioner without affording him fair treatment, by failing to give him details of the allegations against him and discussing them with him. The FCO have been given permission to appeal this judgment and the appeal is listed for 3 days before the Court of Appeal in July 2014.

 Burn & Ors v MoJ [2012] EWCH 876 in which he acted on behalf of the MOJ in successfully defending High Court proceedings involving a claim by a number of prison guards for psychiatric injury allegedly caused by the armed escape of a dangerous prisoner.

VAT Tribunals

Alan is instructed in a number of Missing Trader Intra-Community fraud appeals and has acted in more general VAT appeals.

Care Standards Tribunal

Alan has acted for the Respondent in statutory appeals brought under section 86 of the Care Standards Act 2000 (CAS) by persons who have been included on the Protection of Vulnerable Adults list (PoVA) and/or the Protection of Children Act list (PoCA).


Commercial disputes involving breach of directors fiduciary duties/trust, arbitrations (contractual disputes involving the outsourced provision of detention centres, removal of failed asylum seekers etc.), contractual disputes involving penalty clauses, enforceability of guarantees, restraints of trade, undue influence, and disputes involving sales of goods and services.


Alan has lectured on a range of matters, including Human Rights issues, Immigration law and Employment law.

Recent Immigration/Public Law cases include

A full copy of Alan’s CV in the area can be obtained from his clerks

Tabrizagh & 5 Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 1914 – multiple claims brought be asylum seekers trying to establish an entitlement to an in-country right of appeal on human rights grounds against their removal to Italy.

Grenville College London and Birmingham College London v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 1065 – revocation of multiple licences of educational colleges.

Biruk Habte & Ors v. SSHD [2013] EWHC 3295

Where an asylum seeker claimed to have left the European Union for more than three months between his first and second asylum claims, the Member State in receipt of his second claim was entitled to follow the procedural steps set out in Regulation 343/2003 art.16(1) to return him to the first Member State. It did not have to investigate his claim or check whether the first Member State’s obligation to take back the asylum seeker had ceased.

MC (Guinea) & Ors v. SSHD [2013] EWCA 922

Courts needed to exercise caution before they ordered blocks of immigration cases to be stayed simply because an appellate decision was awaited in another case. In the instant case, the continuation of stays in three asylum claims pending a final decision in R. (on the application of EM (Eritrea)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWCA Civ 1336, [2013] 1 W.L.R. 576 was no longer justified and the stays were lifted.

AB (Sudan v. SSHD [2013] EWCA 921

The court refused to grant a stay of an asylum seeker’s claim for judicial review of a decision that he should be returned to Italy pending the appeal to the Supreme Court in R. (on the application of EM (Eritrea)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWCA Civ 1336, [2013] 1 W.L.R. 576, where the same issues arose. The power to stay immigration cases pending a future appellate decision had to be exercised cautiously and only when necessary, in the interests of justice.

AR (Iran)) v SSHD [2013] EWCA 778

An asylum seeker did not have the right under Directive 2005/85 art.6(2) to challenge the apportionment of responsibility between Member States under Regulation 343/2003 (Dublin II) regarding asylum claims by a third-country national.
MB & Ors v. SSHD [2013] EWHC 123

rejecting the challenge of four asylum seekers had failed to gain asylum in Malta, and had later entered the United Kingdom, they were simply individuals who had entered the UK unlawfully rather than true asylum seekers and the secretary of state was entitled to issue third country certificates and remove them to Malta under Dublin II.

EM (Eritrea) v SSHD [2012] EWCA Civ 395

The Court of Appeal confirmed that a  Member State was only required to entertain a re-application for asylum under Regulation 343/2003 art.3(2) and to refrain from returning the applicant to the state of first arrival where the risk faced by the applicant was because of a systematic deficiency in the first state’s asylum and reception procedures, which the second state was aware of.

AH (Algeria) v SSHD [2012] EWCA Civ 395

The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal had erred in relying on the decision in Gurung v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2002] UKIAT 4870, [2003] Imm. A.R. 115, which was the relevant authority at the date of its determination but which had subsequently been disapproved. The Court of Appeal gave guidance as to the meaning of the words “serious crime” for the purposes of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 (United Nations) art.1F.

ED (GHANA) v SSHD [2012] EWCA Civ 39

An immigrant, who had been convicted of various offences, was unable to rely on the test in Maslov v Austria (1638/03) [2007] 1 F.C.R. 707, that there had to be very special reasons justifying his removal, where he had not been lawfully in the United Kingdom.

Control orders

SSHD v (1) AT and (2) AW [2009] EWHC 512

A report relied upon by the SSHD to make a non-derogating control order against a Libyan national was misleading, as the use of the present tense erroneously suggested that he had resumed terrorist-related activities following his release from prison. Accordingly, the SSHD’s decision to make the order was flawed. There was nothing in the relevant report that suggested the individual in question had resumed terrorist activities.