5 Essex Court

Alan Payne QC

Call 1996
Silk 2019


Alan was made a QC in 2019 having been recognised for many years as a leading junior. His practice focuses on areas of public law, human rights (domestic and international), immigration and asylum, inquests, inquiries, and claims against the police and other public bodies.

Alan acts for variety of clients including police forces, prison services, local authorities and government departments. He routinely appears in the High Court and the Court of Appeal, has also appeared on a number of occasions in the Supreme Court.

He is described as “a pugnacious opponent” and “a man of no compromise but who is straight as a die” whom “the courts like and respect”. His clients value his “broad public law knowledge” and commend him for being “reliable, hard-working, and straightforward in his dealings” (Chambers UK).


Alan regularly acts in inquests for the Coroner, and for local authorities, police, prison service and other state bodies. He recently acted for the Coroner in a 3 week inquest involving complex issues surrounding cause of death and causation involving medical experts from multiple disciplines. In addition, he is currently acting for a Coroner in an application for a new Inquest.

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

Alan has also acted in a number of judicial review relating to Inquests and funding for inquests.

Examples include:

Kent County Council v HM Coroner for Kent (Defendant) & Mr and Mrs Barry (Interested Parties) [2012] EWHC 2768 - 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 - court 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.

Public Inquiries

Alan has acted in a number of high profile inquiries and cases including:

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) - represented a number of police forces in two separate modules. The first related to police investigations undertaken into Cyril Smith. The second relating to investigations into child abuse at Ampleforth.

Azelle Rodney Inquiry - Alan acted on behalf of the MPS in the 3 month into the death of a person shot by the police.

E7 (an officer of the MPS) v Chairman of the Inquiry into the death of Azelle Rodney and various interested parties [2014] EWHC 452 - 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 Chairman of the Inquiry [2012] EWHC 2783] - 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. Disclosure was “necessary” for determination of the restriction order application within the meaning of the Inquiry Rules 2006 r.12(4)(a).