"She is an outstanding junior – immensely talented, thorough and fearless." "She holds her own in cases where you would normally instruct a more senior barrister. She doesn't miss anything."
Chambers UK, 2019
Una is a specialist civil liberties, human rights and public law practitioner with expertise including claims against the police and other public authorities, inquests and judicial review.
Una is regularly instructed to act for claimants in actions against the police and other public authorities. She has wide-ranging expertise across the full spectrum of torts, human rights, data and privacy claims. Una also acts for claimants in proceedings against private corporate bodies and other institutions.
Una’s significant experience in this field extends to advising in writing and in conference, drafting pleadings and other written documents, through to representation at trial in the County Court and High Court and on appeal.
Una has considerable experience of acting for bereaved families at all stages of inquest proceedings, including in concurrent and post-inquest civil claims.
Una acts for claimants and other interested parties in judicial review proceedings. Una’s particular expertise in this field lies in matters relating to the other practice areas in which she specialises.
Una is Public Access qualified.
What others say
“Very approachable, excellent in negotiations and innovative in tackling challenges.” “She holds her own in cases where you would normally instruct a more senior barrister.”
Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019
“She is super-thorough and proactive, and has good attention to detail.” “She is an outstanding junior: thorough, immensely talented and fearless.”
Chambers UK Bar Guide 2018
Una was identified in Chambers and Partners 2017 as ‘Up and Coming’ in Police Law.
“A no-holds-barred cross-examiner, who is fearless.” “She has excellent attention to detail and great technical knowledge.” “She is tenacious and a real fighter.”
Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017
G v British Transport Police (2016)
Una acted for the claimant in a claim for damages for false imprisonment, assault and battery and malicious prosecution. The claimant was arrested by British Transport Police officers, during which he sustained injuries and was knocked unconscious. The claimant, who has learning difficulties, was interviewed by the police without having an appropriate adult present, before being charged. As a result of the incident, the claimant sustained severe psychiatric injury. The claim settled shortly before trial.
M v Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police (2016)
Una acted for the claimant in a claim arising out of a police dog bite incident and breaches of the claimant’s rights to privacy. The claimant succeeded in his personal injury claim and in his claims connected to the privacy and data violations, including misfeasance in public office. The claimant recovered basic damages, special damages and exemplary damages. The claimant also recovered his costs, some of which were payable on an indemnity basis.
C v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police (2016)
Una represented the claimant in a claim for damages in connection with a stop and search. The claimant succeeded in false imprisonment and assault. The jury found that not all of the necessary information under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 had been provided to the claimant. The jury also rejected the officers’ accounts of the restraint of the claimant.
G v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police (2015)
Una acted for the claimant, who succeeded in her claim for damages for assault. The claimant, who was 69 years old and disabled at the time of the incident, had been subjected to unlawful force by an officer of the rank of sergeant. The officer’s account of the incident was rejected by the judge, as was the evidence of the supervising inspector on the scene.
Morgan v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police (2015)
Una acted for Carl Morgan in this claim against the police. Mr Morgan was arrested, sprayed with CS spray and prosecuted for an offence he did not commit, following his attendance at a football match in August 2011. West Midlands Police agreed to pay damages and costs, after Mr Morgan brought proceedings for false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution.
Inquest touching on the death of Dean Joseph (2015)
Una and Leslie Thomas QC represented the maternal side of Dean Joseph’s family at the inquest into his death. Mr Joseph was shot and killed by a firearms officer in Islington in September 2014. The jury returned a narrative conclusion, in which they criticised the Metropolitan Police handling of the firearms operation, deeming it “inadequate”.
Inquests touching on the deaths of Christi and Bobby Shepherd (2015)
Una assisted Leslie Thomas QC in acting for the families at a number of points during and after the inquests into the deaths of Christi and Bobby Shepherd. The children died on a Thomas Cook holiday in Corfu in 2006 from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Inquest touching on the death of Rubel Ahmed (2015)
Una represented the family of Rubel Ahmed, who died at Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre in September 2014. The jury returned an open conclusion and a critical narrative.
Crook v Chief Constable of Essex Police  EWHC 988 (QB)
Una appeared in this High Court action arising out of the unlawful disclosure of Anthony Crook’s personal data. Mr Crook succeeded in breach of confidence, breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 and Article 8 and was awarded substantial damages.
Inquest touching on the death of Paul Malicus Coley (2015)
Una represented two of the children of Paul Malicus Coley, who died at HMP Hewell in December 2013. The jury returned a critical narrative.
G & Others v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police (2015)
Una, along with Leslie Thomas QC, represented four claimants, who were aged just 11 and 12 when they were arrested following an incident at school. The case settled at the conclusion of the claimants’ evidence.
W v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2014)
Una represented the claimant in a jury trial at Central London County Court. The claimant succeeded in establishing false imprisonment and assault against the Metropolitan Police.
Inquest touching on the death of Arsema Dawit (2014)
Una was led by Leslie Thomas QC in representing the family of Arsema Dawit. The jury returned an unlawful killing conclusion and a critical narrative.
R (Birks) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  EWHC 3041 (Admin)
Una appeared, along with Leslie Thomas QC and Jude Bunting, for the Second Interested Party, Marcia Rigg-Samuel, in proceedings brought by a police officer in relation to the refusal of the Commissioner to consent to his resignation pending misconduct proceedings arising out of the death of Sean Rigg. The challenge to the decision failed.
Una brings to her practice knowledge, experience and expertise gained in her previous career in the voluntary and community sector.
Una worked at Stop Hate UK, a national charity that provides support to people affected by all forms of hate crime and discrimination, for several years. Una worked in a number of roles and on a number of projects at Stop Hate UK, including speaking at many conferences and events across the country and appearing in print and on local and national radio and television on behalf of the organisation.
Una also worked with a group of women in Leeds to establish the rape crisis service, Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL), a charity set up to support women and girls in Leeds who have been affected by rape and sexual violence at any time in their lives.
Una completed pupillage at Garden Court Chambers under the supervision of Leslie Thomas QC and Ali Bajwa QC. During pupillage, Una worked on the Mark Duggan Inquest and related proceedings, responding to the judicial review by E7 arising out of the finding of unlawful killing in the Azelle Rodney Inquiry and as a researcher for teams representing families in the Hillsborough Inquests. Una became a tenant in 2014.
Awards and Scholarships
- CPE/GDL Award, Gray’s Inn
- Bedingfield Scholarship, Gray’s Inn
- Ann Felicity Goddard Scholarship, Gray’s Inn