5 Essex Court

Claire Palmer

Call 2003

Police Law

Claire is regularly instructed by Police forces in a variety of employment claims, inquests, judicial reviews and general civil claims. Claire has also been instructed in inquiries involving the police. In 2017 she was instructed in the Grainger Inquiry (on behalf of the IPCC as it then was) which considered issues relating to the use of firearms, surveillance and intelligence gathering as well as the post incident procedures. The report was published in July 2019. In 2017, she was instructed as a senior junior on the Undercover Policing Inquiry for the Designated Lawyers team on behalf of over 100 former SDS officers, cover officers and managers. In 2019 she appeared for Thames Valley Police in a 3-week Inquest into the death of Leroy Medford who had concealed drugs on his person when arrested, and subsequently swallowed the drugs whilst in police custody.

Claire has an excellent grasp of the issues facing police forces, from a practical and working perspective as well as experience of the legal issues. Her parents are both former police officers, she chaired her local Ward Panel Safer Neighbourhood Team for over 10 years, and was previously a member of the London Board of Crimestoppers. Combined with Claire’s previous experience as a criminal advocate (both prosecuting and defending) in the early stage of her career, she understands the particular challenges currently facing police forces and police officers. Claire’s clients comment favourably on her “down to earth approach” and ability to win the trust of police clients at all levels.

Claire has built upon her experience acting for Government departments defending claims brought by ex- employees and prisoners for negligence, interference with property rights, personal injury, harassment, misfeasance in public office and breaches of human rights. As a member of the Attorney-General’s Panel, Claire is regularly instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service co-defending with police forces in claims for malicious prosecution, of misfeasance in public office, Zenati claims, and claims relating to the misuse of information and connected claims. She undertook a number of claims arising out of Operation Elvedon in respect of the misuse of private information and breach of confidence claims. Claire was instructed by the Defendant in Rudall v CPS, a 2 week High Court trial heard in the High Court sitting at Cardiff, and successfully defended allegations of malicious prosecution brought against it. 

Claire has an excellent knowledge of the specific issues affecting police forces in the Employment Tribunals particularly discrimination claims, claims arising from attachments to other organisations and forces, and whistleblowing. Recent employment cases include acting for the National Crime Agency in whistleblowing claims brought by 3 former attached officers, acting for Kent Police in a disability discrimination claim, and a sensitive sex discrimination claim for another police force which was successfully settled on favourable terms. She is regularly instructed in cases with sensitivities and has considerable experience of rule 94 and rule 50 Orders. Claire also has experience of Equality Act claims in the County and High Court and has advised on equality impact assessments on behalf of the MOJ.

Claire also undertakes advisory work for Police forces and Police and Crime Commissioners. She has recently advised on topics such as the availability of police allowances, the complex issues involved for police officers dealing with cloud computing in the context of searches of suspects’ premises, and in respect of actual and threatened judicial review proceedings.