Police Law

Identified as a premier set in police law by Chambers UK and the Legal 500 directories, members of 5 Essex Court are instructed by the majority of police forces in England and Wales.

  • ‘Clearly a market leader in terms of delivery and profile’ – Chambers and Partners
  • ‘5 Essex Court’s ‘widespread knowledge means you can be confident that whoever picks up the brief will be well versed in police law’ – The Legal 500

Members of our police law team have a formidable and unrivalled record of appearance in almost every recent case or inquiry of substance concerning police law. Entries in the leading directories reflect the wealth of experience at every level and the strength in depth of the team and entirely support the assertion that 5 Essex Court is a “one-stop shop” for police law. Members provide advice and advocacy in

  • civil jury actions,
  • judicial reviews,
  • inquests,
  • misconduct and discipline,
  • employment,
  • EL/PL matters,
  • POCAs and the full range of banning orders,
  • operational and sensitive issues of police policy.

An advice line is available for immediate assistance in areas of law impacting on the police.

The level of expertise in the field of police law means that members are regularly invited to contribute to national conferences and seminars, and chambers itself hosts its own highly regarded annual police conference each summer. Chambers also regularly publishes its Police Civil Actions Update .

Cases in which members of chambers have appeared or are currently instructed include:

Civil claims

  • Phone Hacking – Civil Claims – claims for damages brought against the owners of the News of World by celebrities and others.
  • Morgan & Others v South Wales Police – Claims arising out of the collapse of the criminal trial alleging a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by large number of police officers in the context of the investigation of the Lynette White murder.
  • ZH v Met Police – Claim brought by the father of a severely autistic 16 year old boy restrained by Police.
  • Watson & others v Cleveland Police – Claims brought by a solicitor and counsel arising out of arrests for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice following the collapse of a criminal trial.

Alam v Cleveland Police – Claim brought by a former officer for misfeasance & malicious prosecution. Claim in excess of£1millon.

Howarth v Gwent Police – A claim for £2.5m for malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office brought by Trevor Howarth, the Practice Manager of Freeman & Co Solicitors (the principal of which is Nick Freeman, popularly known as “Mr Loophole”).

  • Hayes v Merseyside Police- Appeal to the Court of Appeal from the decision of the Judge to dismiss a claim for false imprisonment. The appeal raised for the first time, at appellate level, the proper approach to be taken to the new “necessity” criterion in s24 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
  • Richardson v West Midlands Police – first case to provide guidance on the practical application of the necessity of arrest requirement in s24(4) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
  • BRS v Derbyshire Police – Challenge to CRB certificate for a Consultant Psychiatrist.
  • ABC, JKL & XYZ v Chief Constable of West Midlands Constabulary – Claims for damages for breach of contract and negligence brought by the claimants, who had been part of the force’s witness protection programme.
  • Powell v West Midlands Police – Claim brought by various family members of the deceased, alleging assault, misfeasance, negligence, false imprisonment, breaches of RRA and HRA.

For Inquests, Judicial Reviews and Public Inquiries see individual pages relating to these areas of law.