Samantha Leek QC

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YEAR OF CALL: 1993

Described in The Legal 500 UK as:

  • “She combines pitch-perfect advocacy with excellent empathy and client skills.”  – Inquests (2015)

Described in Chambers UK as:

  • “She has a great client manner, and is good at dealing with bereaved families.” Police Law (2017)
  • “She facilitated discussion and put the chief constables at their ease with a very relaxed manner.” Police Law (2017)
  • “She is level-headed, fantastic with clients and an expert on police shootings.” Police Law (2017)
  • She has the ability to remain impartial and to manage process effectively in the most sensitive cases, which is a very great skill.” Inquests and Inquiries (2017)
  • “Incredibly charming, which is important with judges. She’s also very tough: if she were representing you, you would be over the moon.” Inquests and Inquiries (2017)
  • “She is a truly fantastic barrister with an excellent depth of knowledge.” – Police Law (2016)
  • “A solid advocate who is good on the law.” – Inquests & Public Inquiries (2016)
  • “Has an ability to set clients’ minds at rest in difficult circumstances.” Inquests & Public Inquiries (2016)
  • “She is extremely approachable and has a great client manner.” – Inquests & Public Inquiries (2015)
  • “In some problematic cases, her sensitive manner has allowed her to break down reluctant witnesses in the nicest possible way.” – Inquests & Public Inquiries (2015)
  • “She is highly personable, approachable and accommodating.” – Police Law (2015)
  • “She is very knowledgeable in what is a difficult area to understand.” (2015)
  • “She is very effective. She is very good at identifying what her client’s objectives are, and at fighting for them.” -Inquests & Public Inquiries (2014)
  • “An extremely calm and collected advocate who is able to control a potentially explosive case.” -Inquests & Public Inquiries (2014)
  • “She has the ability to set a client’s mind at rest in difficult circumstances.” Police Law (2014)
  • “An excellent practitioner who is very charming.” Police Law (2014)
  • “Steeped in police law,” Samantha Leek QC is “a charming silk who has a thorough understanding of the police service and the needs of the client.” “Impressive in conference,” she has the “ability to set clients’ minds at rest in difficult circumstances.” Well known for her work in police shootings, Leek represented one officer in the public inquiry into the death of Azelle Rodney – Police Law (2013)

Background:

Samantha’s first degree was in French and German at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford.  She did a CPE at Central London Polytechnic, took the BVC at ICSL and was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in October 1993.

She accepted tenancy at 5 Essex Court in 1995, was appointed to the Attorney-General’s “C” Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown in 1999, to the “B” Panel in 2004 and to the “A” Panel of Treasury Counsel in 2010.  She took silk in 2012.

Inquests/Public Inquiries

Samantha regularly appears in high profile inquests / public inquiries on behalf of Police Forces, the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence and other government departments. She frequently gives lectures to police, coroners and solicitors on the conduct of inquests.

Tunisia Shootings Inquests

  • Sam was appointed as Counsel to the inquests by HHJ Loraine-Smith

Inquest into the death of Bijan Ebrahimi 

  • Sam is instructed as counsel for the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset.

Inquests into the death of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Disaster

  • Sam is currently representing the Home Office investigation team, Operation Resolve, which is being led by Assistant Commissioner Jon Stoddart.  The team has been appointed to re-investigate from scratch the Hillsborough Disaster, with a view to identifying if any criminal offences have been committed.

Inquest into the death of Dr Abbas Khan 

  • Sam is instructed as counsel to HM Chief Coroner in the inquest arising from the death of a British doctor detained in Syria.

Inquest into the death of Mark Duggan

  • Mark Duggan was shot by officers from the MPS in August 2012.  His death sparked riots in London and elsewhere.  In the inquest into his death Sam represented the Serious Organised Crime Agency, which had provided to the MPS the intelligence upon which their surveillance operation was based.

Public Inquiry into the shooting of Azelle Rodney

  • Azelle Rodney was in a car with 2 others en route to commit a robbery.  Specialist Firearms Officers from the MPS intercepted the vehicle.  During the course of the stop, E7, one of the officers, shot and killed Azelle Rodney.  Sam represented E7 at the Public Inquiry into Azelle Rodney’s death.

Inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson

  • Sam represented the Metropolitan Police Service in the inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson, who died shortly after being pushed over by an MPS officer, during the G20 riots.

Inquest into the death of John Charles de Menezes

  • Counsel for 16 members of CO19, the Metropolitan Police Service Firearms Unit into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Inquest into the death of Terry Nicholas

  • Counsel for the 3 Metropolitan Police Service ‘Specialist Firearms Officers’ who discharged firearms and fatally wounded Terry Nicholas.

Inquest into the death of Simon Murden.

  • Counsel for the Chief Constable of Humberside in the seven-week inquest into the shooting of Simon Murden.

Inquest into the death of Louise Giles.

  • Acted on behalf of the Home Office in a four-week inquest into the death of Louise Giles, who killed herself whilst serving a term of life imprisonment for murder in Durham Prison.

Inquest into the death of Stephen Brown.

  • Acted on behalf of Serco Home Affairs in the four-week inquest into the death of Stephen Brown who died of septicaemia whilst in Doncaster Prison.

Inquests into the deaths of David Christie / Paul Macaulay

  • Acted on behalf of the Ministry of Defence in the inquests into the deaths of members of the Royal Navy, who died whilst undergoing training to be Navy divers.

Samantha was also  junior counsel to the Thames Safety Inquiry, the Marchioness Inquiry, and counsel to the Public Inquiry into the Provision of Library Services on the Wirral.

See also Police Law section.

Police Law 

Samantha represents the police in most areas of civil law, including judicial review, inquests, claims for assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office and advises on all aspects of police powers including policy and operational issues.

See section on Inquests for information as to Inquest expertise.

Recent Police Law cases:

Inquests (see above) into the deaths of: 96 Hillsborough Victims, Dr Abbas Khan, Mark Duggan, Ian Tomlinson, Jean Charles de Menezes, Terry Nicholas, Simon Murden, David Sycamore, Fosta Thompson, Andrew Kernan,

 

R (on the application of Vijay Karia) v Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary [2015] EWHC 4083 (Admin)

  • Counsel for Hampshire Constabulary  

Julia Tomlinson & others v Commissioner of Police of Metropolis

  • Representing the Commissioner in the civil claim arising out of the death of Ian Tomlinson, who died after being pushed over by PC Simon Harwood.

Allen v Chief Constable of Hampshire [2013] EWCA Civ 967

  • Acted on behalf of the Chief Constable in responding to an appeal against a strike out of Ms Allen’s claims that that the Chief Constable was liable for (i) harassment, assault and trespass perpetrated against her by a police officer; (ii) breaching her Article 3 ECHR rights by failing to investigate the allegations, offer sufficient protective measures, or take reasonable steps to prosecute or discipline the officer.  Important case in which the Court of Appeal found that Article 3 gave rise to an obligation on the part of the State to conduct an effective investigation into allegations that treatment amounted to violation of a person’s rights, but that the scope of the obligations would differ greatly depending on whether the violation was inflicted by agents of the State or, at the other end of the scale, private individuals, as in the instant case.

Desmond v Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire [2009] EWHC 2362 (QB)

  • Representing the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire in resisting Mr Desmond’s appeal against the order of the County Court striking out his claim in negligence.

R (Gunn) v MAPPA [2009] EWHC 1812

  • See public law section.

R (De Menezes) v HM Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner South London[2008] EWHC 3356

  • Urgent application for permission by the family of Jean Charles De Menezes, challenging the Coroner’s ruling which restricted the verdicts and questions to be left for the jury to consider.

Charles v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis 2008 Central London County Court

  • Civil jury action in which the Claimant claimed damages for assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

Singh v Chief Constable of West Midlands [2006] EWCA (Civ) 1118

  • See public law section.

Alder v Police Complaints Authority & others

  • Acted for the PCA in long running claim for discrimination and misfeasance in public office.

R (Mulholland) v HM Coroner for Inner North London [2003] EWHC 2612(Admin)

  • Acted for Commissioner in JR against decision of Coroner.

R (Stanley) v HM Coroner for Inner North London [2003] EWHC 1180 (Admin)

  • Acted for Commissioner in JR against decisions of Coroner.

Public / Administrative Law:

Sam appears in the Administrative Court on behalf of Police Forces and government departments. She undertakes all areas of public law work, including prison law, judicial review, human rights.

Recent Public/Administrative Law cases:

Goode v Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire[2013] EWHC 1726 (Admin)

  • Case concerning the validity of a search warrant and the jurisdiction of the Crown Court to examine the circumstances of the issue of a warrant by a magistrates’ court

R (Sreedharan) v HM Coroner for Greater Manchester [2013] EWCA Civ 181

  • Appeal to Court of Appeal concerning scope and ambit of coroners’ inquests.

R (De Menezes) v HM Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner South London[2008] EWHC 3356

  • Urgent application for permission by the family of Jean Charles De Menezes, challenging the Coroner’s ruling which restricted the verdicts and questions to be left for the jury to consider.

R (Pounder) v (1) HM Coroner for North & South Districts of Durham & Darlington (Defendant) (2) Youth Justice Board (3) Serco Home Affairs Ltd (4) Lancashire County Council (Interested Parties) [2009] EWHC 76 (Admin) (Administrative Court)

  •  Represented Serco Home Affairs Ltd, who operated Hassockfield Secure Training Centre, where Adam Rickwood had hanged himself in his cell, aged 14. The Claimant, Adam’s mother, applied for judicial review of a decision of the defendant coroner not to make any ruling as to the legality of a restraint used on Adam 6 hours before his death, whilst he was detained at Hassockfield.

R (Gunn) v MAPPA [2009] EWHC 1812

  • Advised MAPPA in a JR in which the Claimant claimed that MAPPA had wrongly categorised him as Category 3, Level 3 according to the MAPPA Guidelines and accordingly imposed too stringent licence conditions.

JN (Cameroon) v SSHD  [2009] EWCA Civ 307

  • Represented the SSHD in an appeal against a decision of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal to uphold the SSHD’s deportation order.

MF (Jamaica) v SSHD [2007] EWCA (Civ) 1153

Represented the SSHD in an appeal against the decision of the AIT as to whether there was a subsisting marriage.

Singh v Chief Constable of West Midlands [2006] EWCA (Civ) 1118

  • Represented the Chief Constable in a challenge to the way in which West Midlands police had dealt with protests against the play Bezhti, which some members of the Sikh community found deeply offensive. The Claimant challenged the lawfulness of a direction to disperse protesters which had been issued on 16.12.04 pursuant to section 30(4) of the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 (‘ASBA’).

Personal Injury:

Samantha is instructed on behalf of private companies, police forces, government departments (including Home Office, MOD, Department for Transport, Ministry of Justice, FCO) and privately run prisons in all aspects of personal injury law including:

  • claims for damages for psychiatric injury;
  • claims by prisoners for negligence / assault;
  • employer’s liability;
  • claims arising out of deaths in custody and police shootings;
  • road traffic accidents;
  • occupier’s liability
  • Highways Act claims;
  • fatal accidents.

Lectures:

Samantha provides CPD lectures to solicitors and police officers on all aspects of her practice. She has lectured widely on topics including:

      • Human Rights.
      • Inquests and the ‘adjectival obligation to investigate’ pursuant to Article 2.
      • The role of the police in major disasters.
      • The seizure, detention and forfeiture of terrorist cash.
      • The Police Reform Act 2002 and deaths in custody.
      • The legal implications of the police use of firearms.
      • Post incident management in firearms incidents.
      • Police disciplinary procedures.

Education:

ICSL: 1992-3

CPE: Central London Polytechnic: 1991-2

St Hugh’s College, Oxford University: 1987-1991

King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham: 1980-1987

Interests:

Theatre, Opera, Scuba diving, Skiing.