5 Essex Court

Jason Beer QC

Call 1992
Silk 2011

Health & Safety

Jason is recognised as a leading silk, specialising in public inquiries, inquests, public law and police law. He represents a range of clients, including central government, public authorities, police forces, coroners, and corporations, who are “very impressed by his client care” and note that he “Produces very effective legal submissions, and cross-examines with the panache of a top-flight criminal silk” (Chambers UK).

Jason often leads teams of counsel in complex, high-profile and sensitive investigations, inquiries and claims. His multi-disciplinary background (before taking silk, he was Junior Counsel to the Crown (A Panel); he currently sits as a Recorder on the South-Eastern Circuit) allows him to provide a service across a range of jurisdictions and fields of law: clients appreciate his ability to take a case from the investigatory stage (including giving advice on issues of criminal law such as corporate manslaughter and health and safety), advising or acting in any inquest or inquiry, appearing in any misconduct, criminal or disciplinary proceedings, and then handling any civil proceedings (including appellate proceedings to the Supreme Court).

He has provided this end-to-end service in a number of the most prominent cases of the last two decades. His caseload has included: the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, the Hutton Inquiry, the Shipman Inquiry, the 'Phone Hacking' Claims, the Hillsborough Inquests, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Jason is the Head of Chambers of 5 Essex Court

Public Inquiries

Jason has appeared in most of the significant public inquiries of recent times: he has now appeared in 16 public inquiries, mainly on behalf of central government or other public authorities, or as counsel to the inquiry. He is ranked as a leader in this field by both of the major directories, sources noting that “…Jason can do everything. He is a lateral thinker and tactician and will usually think of a solution however novel the situation” (Chambers UK).

He wrote the leading practitioner’s text, Public Inquiries, for the Oxford University Press. Notable inquiries include (over the past 10 years):

Grenfell Tower Inquiry – Leading Counsel for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse – Leading Counsel for the Metropolitan Police

Devon & Cornwall Police, and Dorset Police Undercover Policing Inquiry – Leading Counsel for a number of police forces, and for individual officers

Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry- – Leading Counsel for Ofgen

Anthony Grainger Inquiry – Leading Counsel to the Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry - Counsel for Metropolitan Police Director of Public Affairs.

Al-Sweady Inquiry - Second Counsel to the Inquiry

Baha Mousa Inquiry - Leading Counsel for 15 Soldiers

Rosemary Nelson Inquiry - Leading Counsel for the Northern Ireland Office

Billy Wright Inquiry - Leading Counsel for 92 serving and retired prison officers and governors

Inquests

As well as appearing in inquests themselves, Jason is often instructed in related proceedings in the Administrative Court. He is rated as a Band 1 silk for Inquests. He acts on behalf of coroners whose decisions and actions are challenged.

He appeared on behalf of the Ministry of Defence in the Porton Down Inquest into the death in 1953 of a serviceman who acted as a “human guinea pig” testing the Sarin nerve agent. He advised the Metropolitan Police Service on the public law aspects of the inquest into the 7/7 Bombings in London and represented the Parole Board in the Naomi Bryant Inquest.

Jason also acts for individuals and corporation – he acted for the University of Manchester in three inquests into the deaths of academic staff who occupied the Rutherford Rooms at the University; for G4S in an inquest into the death of an employee shot by a colleague in Iraq; for an academy in an inquest into the death of a pupil following allegations of bullying at school; for a leading prep school in an inquest concerning the death of a parent on the school’s premises; and for Sheffield Wednesday Football Club in the Hillsborough Inquests.

Notable cases include:

R (Hicks) v Senior Coroner for Inner North London (2017) 181 JP 1

R (McLeish) v HM Coroner for the Northern District of Greater London [2010] All ER (D) 211

R (Independent Police Complaints Commission) v HM Coroner for Inner North London [2009] EWHC 2681 (Admin)

R (Sutovic) v HM Coroner for the Northern District of Greater London [2006] EWHC 1095 (Admin)

R (Ministry of Defence) v HM Coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon [2006] EWHC 309 (Admin)

Regina (Hurst) HM Coroner for Northern District London [2003] EWHC 1721(Admin)

Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v HM Coroner for Southwark [2003] 1 WLR 371

HM Coroner for Wiltshire & Swindon v Ministry of Defence [2002] EWHC 2567 (Admin)