Laura Profumo

Year of Call: 2016

Laura specialises in civil liberties and human rights, with particular emphasis on claims against the police and public authorities, inquests, and related public law work.

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If you would like to get in touch with Laura please contact the clerking team:

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

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Claims Against the Police and Public Authorities

Overview

Laura has particular experience of advising and representing Claimants in all types of claims against the police including false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, harassment and claims under the Human Rights Act 1998.

She is similarly adept at advising on civil damages claims against the prison service/Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, and disclosure and security services, across the full range of torts.

Laura was also involved in the High Court challenge to the grant of a wide-ranging injunction against anti-fracking protestors, concerning complex tortious issues and allied freedoms under Article 10 and 11 ECHR.  

She has special interest in the creative scope of Article 3 and related investigative failure claims to circumvent the limitations of negligence liability, recently co-authoring an article on this subject for the Journal of Personal Injury Law. 

Notable Cases

INEOS Upstream Ltd & Ors v Persons Unknown [2017] EWHC 2945 (Ch): Challenge to the grant of a singular, wide-ranging injunction to a fracking company, preventing 'persons unknown' from engaging in protest activity at planned sites. Raised complex legal issues concerning trespass, public and private nuisance, and the allied freedoms under Article 10 and 11 ECHR.

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Inquests and Inquiries

Overview

Laura has a thriving and varied practice representing bereaved families at both Article 2 and domestic inquests. She has particular experience of inquests concerning deaths in prison and police custody, as well as as those arising within the mental healthcare and probation context. She also advises on post-inquest civil claims in line.  

Laura was recently instructed as Junior Counsel, led by Stephen Simblet, to act on behalf of survivors of child sex abuse in the Nottinghamshire Phase of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

During pupillage, Laura gained invaluable experience of public inquiries, working with her supervisor, Maya Sikand, on the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

 

Notable Cases

IICSA: Nottinghamshire Councils: instructed as Junior Counsel to represent 34 Core Participants in the Nottinghamshire Phase of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

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Administrative and Public Law

Overview

Laura advises on a breadth of public law issues across her practice, including trafficking, prison and police law. Her experience includes challenges concerning prisoner’s rights, parole and progression, as well as those pertaining to trafficking decisions under the National Referral Mechanism. She is developing a particular focus on policy challenges concerning immigration control and migrant welfare.

Notable Cases

INEOS Upstream Ltd & Ors v Persons Unknown [2017] EWHC 2945 (Ch): Challenge to the grant of a singular, wide-ranging injunction to a fracking company, preventing 'persons unknown' from engaging in protest activity at planned sites. Raised complex legal issues concerning trespass, public and private nuisance, and the allied freedoms under Article 10 and 11 ECHR.

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IMMIGRATION: ASYLUM AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Laura is regularly instructed in the First-Tier and Upper Tribunal in complex protection claims, often on behalf of vulnerable children and adults. She has particular expertise in representing victims of trafficking and women fleeing from gender-based persecution. She has experience across the range of asylum and immigration law matters, including EEA law, deportation, detention and bail.

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Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery

Complementing her work in immigration asylum and human rights, Laura is developing a promising practice in anti-trafficking and modern slavery. In addition to her public law work, she has considerable experience in drafting submissions for reference to the Criminal Cases Review Commission on behalf of victims of trafficking, as well as advising on bringing statutory criminal appeals. During pupillage, she also assisted in bringing related statutory compensation claims via the Miscarriages of Justice Applications Service (MoJAS).

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Prisoners’ Rights

Laura provides representation in Parole Board hearings, often handling complex release cases on behalf of those subject to life and IPP sentences. She also advises on both civil and judicial review claims challenging decisions relating to parole, security categorisation, discipline, and prisoners' welfare.

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Mental Health Law

Laura is regularly instructed in the First-Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) to represent detained patients. Court of Protection work is also a growing interest, in particular capacity issues surrounding personal welfare and medical care.

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Pro Bono Work

Laura acts on a pro bono basis in bail hearings on behalf of those subject to immigration detention. She also represents children permanently excluded from school at Independent Review Panel hearings.

She has undertaken pro bono work for Bail for Immigration Detainees, Just for Kids Law, and the National Centre for Domestic Violence.

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Background

Laura joined Chambers in October 2017, having successfully completed pupillage under the supervision of Maya Sikand and James Scobie QC. Prior to this, she worked at Advocates for International Development, an NGO that brokers legal advice for development organisations.

Her previous experience was in the journalism sector, having graduated from Cambridge with a Double First in English. She continues to write for the Times Literary Supplement as a Fiction Reviewer.

Publications

"Minding the Gap: Where does tortious liability for public authorities end and human rights liability begin?": Journal of Personal Injury Law, Issue 1, 2019 pp44-50: co-written with Maya Sikand. 

'Hill Immunity Revisited: The Beginning of the End?', 9 February 2018.

'The Primary of EU Law: Asserting the Right to Equal Treatment v Judicial Immunity', 8 November 2017.

Training and Seminars

"Youth Justice Summit 2018: Children and the Police", hosted by the Youth Justice Legal Centre, 11 May 2018: spoke on strategies for bringing civil actions against the police for Youth Justice lawyers. Further details here.

'From Arrest to Trial: Potential Claims Against the Police", 21 February 2018: spoke at the in-house seminar on the legal framework, remedies, and procedure for false imprisonment claims.

Awards

Eastham Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn (2016)
Buchanan Prize, Lincoln's Inn (2016)
Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn (2015)
Robert Styring Award, Cambridge University (2012)
Trinity Tripos Prize, Cambridge University (2012)
Runner up in the Cassandra Jardine Memorial Prize - national young female journalists' competition (2014)

Education

  • BA (Hons) English: Trinity College, Cambridge (First Class) (2010-13)
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, City Law School (Commendation) (2014-5)
  • Bar Professional Training Course, City Law School (Outstanding) (2015-16)

Professional Membership

  • INQUEST Lawyers' Group (ILG)
  • Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
  • The Howard League for Penal Reform
  • Police Action Lawyers' Group (PALG)
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers

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