5 Essex Court

Francesca Whitelaw

Call 2003

Police Law

Francesca is a specialist in advising and representing police forces nationwide in all areas of police civil law. These include judicial review, inquests, civil actions for false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, misfeasance, and negligence. She advises forces on all aspects of operational and policy matters. Francesca acted as the Independent Legal Advisor to the Police Misconduct Panel for the public hearing of allegations against Inspector Mackaill, which arose out of the ‘Plebgate’ incident.

Significant cases include:

Gatland and Others v Independent Police Complaints Commission [2018] - First Junior Counsel to Jeremy Johnson QC representing the Independent Office for Police Conduct in proceedings being brought by six claimants under Articles 6 and 8 and Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention.  Two of the claimants also bring a claim in misfeasance in public office. The claims arise out of disciplinary proceedings brought against the officers. 

R (on the application of Kashaba) v Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary [2016] - Acted on behalf of the Chief Constable in defence of an application for judicial review challenging the retention by police of an oral harassment warning issued to the Claimant.

R (on the application of Desmond Campbell) v IPCC [2015] EWHC 3424 - Counsel to the IPCC in an application for judicial review of its appeal decisions concerning a Metropolitan Police investigation into complaints the Claimant made following the execution of a search warrant at his home.

R (on the application of McNeany) v Independent Police Complaints Commission [2014] EWHC 1873 (Admin) - Represented the IPCC for the judicial review of a decision to dismiss the Claimant’s appeal against the dismissal of his complaint to police that he had been blackmailed.

Laurance v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2013] - Counsel to the Commissioner in a claim, tried by judge and jury, for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution, brought by a protestor following his arrest at a Stop the War demonstration in Hackney.

R (on the application of Driver) v Independent Police Complaints Commission [2012] EWHC 1271 (Admin) - Counsel to the IPCC in the substantive hearing of a claim for judicial review brought by a man challenging his treatment in police custody and the subsequent review of his complaints. The case particularly involved complaints concerning the removal of his clothing, following his attempts to harm himself with it.