Apthorp-c enlarge photo

Practice Areas


Charles Apthorp

Print PDF Version


Charles Apthorp was called to the Bar in 1983 and joined 5 Essex Court in 1997.

His areas of expertise include police law, employment law, civil litigation, ancillary relief and professional negligence.

Police Law:

Charles’ practice also includes instructions in internal disciplinary tribunals, including police discipline and he provides advice and representation for a number of constabularies around the country (As Presenting Officer and as Legal Adviser to the Panel).

He has also been instructed in a Chief Constable’s review of two failed discipline cases, advising and reporting on the management of complex discipline cases and errors and omissions in the investigation.

A notable recent case was Carter and others, the leading case in respect of claims asserting misfeasance in public office arising from the conduct of police discipline cases, during which he was able to obtain an order striking out the claim, together with an indemnity costs order.

Charles frequently lectures for a number of organisations including police authorities, insurers and solicitors on police related subjects. Charles has played an important role in developing and delivering Chambers’ NPIA accredited training on all aspects of the 2008 Conduct and Performance Regulations


Charles has widespread experience of employment law, representing large public bodies such as NHS Trusts and police forces in cases involving dismissal for disciplinary reasons, incapacity, unfair dismissal and those involving allegations of disability and racial discrimination. He is also regularly instructed in respect of redundancy, in particular ETO’s and TUPE transfers and in matters relating to pensions. Charles was recently instructed in a complex disability discrimination case relating to a consultant in the oil and gas industry who has MS and represented a Broker in a high value claim in the High Court, which also involved alleged breaches of FSA regulations.

Civil Litigation

Charles has wide ranging experience of civil litigation, contract disputes and contract drafting, particularly the drafting of PMS and GMS agreements.

He recently advised all General Practioners in Northumberland on the termination of their PMS contract with the local PCT, damages claims arising from breaches of GMS agreements and unilateral termination of GMS contracts by PCTs. Charles recently represent a GP in a six day arbitration with his partner involving a dispute over the retention of the partnership GMS contract, obtaining a successful result and recovery of costs. He has been recently instructed in matters as diverse as web sites and insurance claims and personal injury, including head injury claims.

Ancillary relief

Charles is instructed in high value ancillary relief applications. For example he recently represented a Head of Department of a City firm of Solicitors obtaining a successful result and a favourable cost order. Recent instructions also included a contentious probate claim, where his client recovered a substantial sum and his costs.

Professional Negligence

Charles has been regularly instructed in professional negligence claims involving solicitors and other professionals. In a recent multiparty case, allegations of negligent claims handling, he successfully defended an insurance broker obtaining a favourable costs order.

Charles has been a frequent lecturer for a number of organisations including Police Authorities, Insurers and Solicitors. Charles has run in house training courses for solicitors in negotiating skills, ADR and Mediation for Hodge, Jones and Allen and Weightmans. Lectured the Crawford THG Liability Conferences. Charles is due to lecture General Practitioners on litigating PCT contracts, legal remedies for GMS and PMS contractual disputes at a one-day conference in March.

Appointments and Professional Memberships: PIBA, ELBA and has been a member of the Sports Dispute Resolution Panel.


South Eastern


Haileybury College, Memorial University Newfoundland, University of Westminster; Council of Legal Education:

Other Interests

Sailing, Olympic Squad 1983 – 1992, Flying Fifteen World Champion 2001, UK and European Champion 2004.