5 Essex Court

Jason Beer QC

Call 1992
Silk 2011

Police Law

Jason appears in the full range of disciplines on behalf of the police service. He has been instructed by nearly all of the 43 forces in England and Wales, by many Police and Crime Commissioners and by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

He has appeared in a significant number of civil jury trials for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution and non-jury actions for assault. These are often ‘high profile’ claims where serious allegations of racism and / or corruption have been made.   He successfully defended Gwent Police against a claim seeking £9m in damages arising from the investigation of a prominent firm of solicitors specialising in the defence of those accused or road traffic law offences and successfully defended South Wales Police in a claim brought by a former solicitor for £2m in damages for malicious prosecution. He is presently defending Norfolk Police in a claim seeking over £30m in damages arising from the prosecution of two directors of a chain of private psychiatric hospitals for fraud and the IOPC in a claim for substantial damages for misfeasance in public office and negligence arising from a series of disciplinary proceedings brought against police officers. 

Jason has also appeared in non-malfeasance claims involving the police service. He acted on behalf of the Attorney-General in the application for disclosure of police documents in the Madeleine McCann case; and represented the Counter-Terrorism Command in the Omagh Bombing Trial in the High Court in Northern Ireland.  He acted on behalf of the Metropolitan Police in the Phone Hacking claims and on behalf of South Yorkshire Police in Sir Cliff Richards’ claim for damages for misuse of his private information.

He has acted and advised in over 300 discipline and misconduct cases. These have often involved complex misconduct investigations and substantial document intense, misconduct hearings.

Appearing in many difficult and sensitive inquests involving the police service, Jason acts in inquests involving the deliberate use of lethal force by police officers (firearms incidents), suicides and other deaths in police custody. These might involve allegations of lack of care and deaths in road traffic accidents following pursuits by police vehicles. Jason was counsel for the Metropolitan Police Service in the New Cross Fire Inquest - a three month inquest into the deaths of 13 children at a birthday party in 1981.

Jason’s public law practice frequently sees him acting on behalf of the police service in the Administrative Court. Cases have involved challenges to a policy on police cautioning, to disclosures made to the Disclosure and Barring Service, to national policies on the retention of information for policing and other purposes. Jason acted for the Metropolitan Police Service in the David Miranda judicial review, successfully defending the challenge in the Court of Appeal to the use of powers under the Terrorism Act 2000; and for the Metropolitan Police Service in Officer W80’s challenge to the approach taken by the IOPC to the law of self-defence in fatal use of force cases.

Jason also carries out a significant amount of advisory work on non-contentious police business including for ACPO, the NPCC, the Home Office, the IOPC and Police and Crime Commissioners This is on operational and policy matters, including in relation to sensitive and terrorist related issues. Additionally, he has also provided advice on the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Notable cases include:

R (Officer W80) v Director General of the Independent Office for Police Conduct [2019] EWHC 2215 (Admin)

Rudall v (1) Crown Prosecution Service and (2) Chief Constable of South Wales [2019] Lloyd’s Rep FC 115

Evans & Ashcroft v Chief Constable of South Wales [2019] ICR 583

Sir Cliff Richard v (1) BBC and (2) Chief Constable of South Yorkshire [2018] 3 WLR 1715

Breeze & Wilson v Chief Constable of Norfolk [2018] EWHC 485 (QB)

R (R) v National Police Chiefs Council [2017] EWHC 2586 (Admin)

Miranda v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Ors [2016] 1 WLR 1505

Rudall v (1) Crown Prosecution Service & (2) Chief Constable of South Wales [2016] EWHC 2884 (QB)

R (Commissioner of Police) v Independent Police Complaints Commission [2015] EWCA Civ 1248

Daniels v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2015] EWCA CIv 680

Various Claimants v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2014] 2 WLR 756

A and B v Chief Constable of Hampshire [2012] EWHC 1517 (QB)

Various Claimants v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2012] 1 WLR 2545

Al-Hassan Daniel v Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2011] 2 WLR 488

Richardson v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police (2011) Cr.App.R.1

Hayes v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police (2011) 2 Cr App R 30

Howarth v Chief Constable of Gwent Police and Gwent Police Authority [2011] EWHC 2836 (QB)