We have a reputation for securing substantial damages in the most difficult cases and for pursuing innovative points of law to secure the best possible outcome for our clients. We are strongly committed to representing the vulnerable and the marginalised.
Garden Court is recognised as one of the leading chambers in the UK specialising in actions against the police and public authorities. Our barristers are highly ranked in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for police law, including Band 1 counsel.
Our barristers have very considerable expertise in holding the State to account and bringing private law claims against a range of public bodies.
We bring claims against
- All police forces in England and Wales
- The Metropolitan Police Service
- The Prison Service (via the Ministry of Justice)
- The Probation Service
- Private companies such as G4S and Serco
- Local Authorities
- Social Services
- NHS Hospital Trusts
- The Home Office (especially immigration detention)
We specialise in pursuing a wide range of civil claims for our clients, including damages claims relating to:
- Post-inquest civil claims including breaches of Article 2 ECHR
- Breaches of Articles 3 & 4 ECHR investigative obligations on behalf of victims of trafficking and sexual offences
- Assault and battery and breaches of Article 3 ECHR
- False imprisonment, unlawful detention and breaches of Article 5 ECHR
- Trespass and breaches of Article 8 ECHR
- Protest cases and breaches of Articles 9, 10 and 11 of the ECHR
- Malicious prosecution
- Misfeasance in public office
- Discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010 and Article 14 ECHR claims
Given some of the very real difficulties in obtaining public funding, we do our best to provide flexible fee arrangements, including Conditional Fee Agreements.
We also bring related judicial review challenges to individual decisions made by public bodies (such as the IOPD) as well as wider public law and human rights challenges to published policy.
Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI)
This inquiry is tasked with investigating and reporting on undercover police operations conducted by English and Welsh police forces since 1968. Representing Peter Francis - former undercover police officer and whistle-blower who exposed the activities of the Special Demonstration Squad.
Birmingham Pub Bombings
Representing the families of victims killed in the 1974 pub bombings in Birmingham. Examining the conduct of the police investigations, which led to one of the worst miscarriages of justice in British history, and the issue of whether the police may have missed two opportunities to take steps to prevent the bombings. This is an extremely challenging case into a historic tragedy of national significance.
Stephen Port murder victims: claim against the police on behalf of the families of his victims
Human Rights Act claim against the police for a series of operational failures in the investigation which allowed Port to operate with impunity and continue to murder young men, despite being arrested and bailed early on by the police. This high-profile, sensitive and complex matter will test for the first time the scope of certain duties under the Human Rights Act in UK law.
Successful malicious prosecution claim against police over Daniel Morgan murder - Rees and others v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  EWCA Civ 1587
This was a successful appeal to the Court of Appeal, following a lengthy (two month) High Court trial in 2017. The claimants succeeded in their claim for malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office. The original trial concerned an alleged contract killing with an axe and serious police cover-ups.
PD (by her mother and LF, ZD) v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police and Just For Kids Law & CRAE (Interveners)  EWCA Civ 114: Annex A of Code C of PACE (strip searches) does apply to the (forcible or otherwise) removal of clothing of suspects in police custody pursuant to s. 54 of PACE (clothes removed for own safety). More information can be found in this post on the UK Human Rights Blog.
Michael and Others v Chief Constable of the South Wales Police and Another  UKSC 2,  2 WLR 343
Acting for the Interveners (Refuge and Liberty) in the most recent Supreme Court authority on police liability in negligence for a preventable death, as well as under the Human Rights Act 1998 (i.e. whether there was a breach of Article 2 ECHR).
CLG and others v Chief Constable of the Merseyside Police  EWCA Civ 836
The Court of Appeal considered whether the police could rely on judicial proceedings immunity in a claim for negligence arising out of disclosure of the addresses of eye witnesses to a shooting.
South Wales Police v Daniels and others  EWCA Civ 680
Successfully responding to an interlocutory appeal by the police in relation to claims for misfeasance in public office and the extent to which such claims were caught by the absolute immunity from suit as set out in Darker v Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police  1 AC 435.
Hayes v Merseyside Police  EWCA Civ 911,  1 WLR 517
Test of necessity under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
Muuse v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 453
Unlawful immigration detention and misfeasance in public office leading to substantial award of damages, including exemplary damages.
Buike v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire  EWCA Civ 971
The Court of Appeal considered the proper approach to section 329 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.