Garden Court Chambers is delighted to announce that Stephen Simblet and Allison Munroe of Garden Court Chambers have been formally appointed Queen’s Counsel today.
On 16 March 2020, the Lord Chancellor presided over the appointment ceremony at Westminster Hall, where he formally bestowed the title of QC.
The title of QC is awarded to those who have demonstrated particular skill and expertise in the conduct of advocacy. QCs are appointed by The Queen, on the advice of the Lord Chancellor. He is in turn advised by an independent Selection Panel which receives and considers each application and makes recommendations as to appointment.
Stephen Simblet (Call: 1991)
Stephen's practice focuses on individual rights in four discrete areas: civil claims against the police and public authorities; inquests; mental health and mental capacity; public law and judicial review. He was one of the lead advocates representing bereaved families in the Hillsborough Inquests for which he and the other family legal teams received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2016.
Recent prominent cases have included representing 34 survivors of child sex abuse in the Nottinghamshire Council's phase of the The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), the largest Public Inquiry there has been into child abuse. In 2019, the Inquiry published a damning report showing that scores of children were exposed to serious sexual abuse and were failed by the institutions supposed to care for them.
In 2019 Stephen represented environmental campaigners in a high profile and successful Court of Appeal challenge which overturned draconian injunctions against “persons unknown” which sought to prevent protests against INEOS fracking activities.
Stephen represented one of the claimants in Rees and others v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis . This was a successful appeal to the Court of Appeal where the claimants succeeded in their claim for malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office, securing £100,000 in compensation last year. This was one of the most important court decisions in this area over the last two years. The original trial concerned the alleged contract killing of Daniel Morgan and serious police cover-ups.
Allison has a mixed practice specialising in family public law, inquests, Inquiries, crime and mental health. In all spheres of her work, she has focused upon acting for vulnerable clients with a particular emphasis on the protection of their civil liberties.
She has extensive expertise working on large scale inquests and Public Inquiries of national and international importance. Since October 2017 Allison has been representing a large number of bereaved families, residents and survivors in the Grenfell Tower Fire Public Inquiry. Phase One of the Inquiry ran throughout 2018 with Phase Two beginning later this month.
She represented a number of the bereaved families in the historic Hillsborough Inquests (2014-2016) where she was part of the barrister team that represented 71 of the 96 deceased. The inquests culminated in the complete exoneration of Liverpool fans and saw the Jury return verdicts of unlawful killing; which ultimately lead to criminal prosecutions. Allison with the other Hillsborough legal teams received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2016.
Within the coronial field Allison has particular expertise in complex mental health and medical cases concerning vulnerable adults, young people and care leavers and homicides in prison.
As a highly experienced family public law practitioner, Allison regularly undertakes complex matters in the High Court, particularly representing vulnerable parents with physical and/or mental health disabilities in proceedings including domestic and international adoption, the most serious cases of non-accidental injuries, factitious illnesses and serious sexual and physical child abuse. Allison has also represented parents in complex medico-legal matters involving the withdrawal of treatment from children.
Allison continues to conduct criminal defence work across the full range of offences at the highest levels as well as in the appellate court. She brings her considerable experience as a criminal barrister to cross over cases, advising and representing both in family matters arising out of serious injuries and homicides, and in serious criminal trials arising from family proceedings.