Paul Stagg KC

Call: 1994     |    Silk: 2024

Paul Stagg has a broad civil practice, based mostly in the areas of personal injury, with an emphasis on claims against public bodies, clinical negligence, police law and public law.  He mainly acts for defendants but also accepts instructions on behalf of claimants.  He has extensive experience of advocacy in a range of tribunals, in the Coroner’s court and before civil juries as well as litigation heard by judges at all levels from District Judges to the Court of Appeal.  He is regularly instructed in high-value and medium-value claims, often involving matters of public controversy and multiple parties.  He is equally at home as a sole advocate or acting as a leading junior.  He has been instructed to advise in litigation in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

Paul seeks to provide down-to-earth, robust advice tailored to the needs of the client, be it an individual or a large insurer.  He prides himself in his ability to work as part of a team with leading or junior counsel, solicitors and expert witnesses.  He has an understanding and empathy with the pressures faced by public officials who face criticism in controversial litigation, and is particularly renowned for his client care skills in such cases.

Paul regularly lectures and provides seminars in his areas of practice both inside and outside chambers.  He has delivered talks to members of PIBA and PNBA on a variety of topics.  He is currently a co-editor of Kemp and Kemp, The Quantum of Damages.

At 1 Chancery Lane, prior to its merger to form Deka Chambers, Paul was, successively, head of the police law and clinical negligence practice groups and was the head of chambers’ Admissions Committee with responsibility for pupillage and recruitment.  He is now head of Deka Chambers’ Lateral Recruitment Committee with responsibility for dealing with applications for tenancy from established practitioners, and is a member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Paul has a long-standing commitment to pro bono work and is a former committee member of the Free Representation Unit.  He represented his first FRU client in 1993.  He was also an adviser at Waterloo Legal Advice Service for about ten years and later acted as a mentor to junior advisers.  He has undertaken work for Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit) and arranged for Deka Chambers to sign up to Advocate’s Pro Bono Framework.

Paul is authorised to accept instructions on a public access basis and has undertaken both one-off pieces of work and long-term instructions assisting clients with the running of complex litigation.  He is also willing to accept instructions from bodies who are registered by the Bar Council under the licensed access scheme.

Outside work, Paul has a deep love of different kinds of music and goes to as many gigs and festivals as possible.  He plays a number of instruments, all of them very badly.  His other hobbies include football, cinema, eating out and travel.

Paul has long-standing experience in the field of clinical negligence, acting mainly for defendants on the instructions of NHS Resolution and the Medical Defence Union.  He also accepts instructions on behalf of claimants.  His work covers the whole range of medical disciplines.  Recent work has included cases arising from transplant surgery, spinal surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, cardiology, neurology, colorectal surgery, diabetic podiatry, general practice and mental health care.  He is instructed in claims of high and medium value and has a deep knowledge of quantum issues, including fatal accident damages and the complex interaction between public care provision and care and assistance claims.  He advises regularly on issues relating to vicarious liability and direct duties of care.

Notable Clinical Negligence cases

  • P v NES Healthcare (High Court, settled 2023)

    A cauda equina case with four defendants and unusual complications including the transfer of a clinician from one employer to another during the period of her alleged negligence. Paul represented one of those defendants and successfully negotiated a drop-hands agreement with the claimant on behalf of his client

  • A v Dr R (High Court, settled 2023)

    Paul represented the defendant in this fatal cancer case which gave rise to difficult quantum issues arising from the fact that the deceased was employed in Nigeria and only limited documentation relating to his appointment was available. The claim was pleaded at £3.3 million but settled for a fraction of that sum

  • S v Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (High Court, settled 2022)

    A highly complex case, originally valued at £7.5 million, concerning a failed live donor liver transplant, with difficult issues of liability (including informed consent), causation and quantum. Paul represented the defendant. The case has recently settled for a small fraction of the sum claimed.

  • R v Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (High Court, settled 2021)

    Paul acted for the defendant in a case brought by a paraplegic who suffered from a pressure ulcer due to inadequate nursing care in hospital. There were difficult quantum issues arising from the fact that the claimant had previously brought a claim in respect of his paraplegia which had been settled. After successfully pursuing a hotly contested application for permission to use documents from the previous proceedings, the case was settled for a small fraction of the pleaded £2 million value.

  • Wilkins v University Hospital North Midlands NHS Trust [2021] EWHC 2164 (QB), (2021) 181 BMLR 161

    Paul acted for the claimant in a trial of preliminary issues of limitation. The claimant had suffered chronic knee pain after his surgeon allegedly failed to identify underlying infection when carrying out a revision replacement. Proceedings were not commenced for over nine years after the alleged negligence. The court, however, held that an application to disapply the limitation period under section 33 of the Limitation Act 1980 succeeded. A substantial sum in damages was subsequently paid in settlement.

  • H v Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (High Court, discontinued 2020)

    Paul acted for the defendant. The claimant underwent a proctocolectomy for chronic bowel disease and subsequently an attempt to reverse his ileostomy was unsuccessful. He claimed that biological agents should have been prescribed for him, before those agents were approved by NICE. The defendant stood firm at a settlement meeting and refused to make any offers of settlement. The claimant discontinued his claim a few weeks before trial.

  • Brayshaw v Partners of Apsley Surgery [2018] EWHC 3286 (QB), [2019] 2 All ER 997; [2019] EWHC 889 (QB)

    Paul represented the defendant partners in a GP surgery. The claimant claimed to have suffered psychiatric injury after a locum GP introduced her to his brand of radical Christianity. The court held that the GP acted negligently, but that the partners were not vicariously liable for his actions. Paul was later successful in maintaining the judgment in his clients’ favour after the GP, who had not appeared at trial, successfully set aside the judgment entered against him.

  • Symes v St George's Healthcare NHS Trust [2014] EWHC 2505 (QB), [2014] Med LR 449

    A leading case on the effect of a default judgment. Paul succeeded, on appeal, in establishing that it was open to the defendant to rely on arguments as to causation of loss. The outcome of the appeal induced a subsequent discontinuance by the claimant.

  • Peters v East Midlands SHA [2009] EWCA Civ 145, [2010] QB 48

    The leading case on the interaction between state care and damages claims. Paul represented the defendant, led by Lord Edward Faulks QC.

Paul’s personal injury practice is defendant-orientated and he acts mainly for public authorities in relation to public liability claims: see “public liability” and “abuse” below.  However, he also regularly receives instructions in relation to employer’s liability claims, particularly involving stress at work.  He also has a long-standing seam of work on behalf of claimants suffering from asbestos-related disease.  He regularly deals with issues of vicarious liability.

Notable Personal Injury cases

  • T v A Local Authority (County Court, ongoing)

    A claim arising from a tripping accident at work, allegedly causing the claimant to suffer from cervical dystonia. Surveillance evidence has been successfully deployed to call into question the veracity of the claimant’s assertions as to her medical condition. The claim is due to be tried in 2024.

  • C v Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police (County Court, settled 2023)

    A police officer claims damages for a stress reaction allegedly caused by his work with abuse victims and an encounter with another police officer who, he claims, sexually abused him as a child. The claim settled for a modest sum shortly before trial, the claimant having advanced a six figure claim for the loss of his police career.

  • Stanton v Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (County Court, 2022)

    Paul successfully defended the Trust against a claim for psychiatric injury caused by a sexual assault at work. The assault was admitted, but the defendant was held not to be vicariously liable.

  • Barkas v Danes Education Trust (County Court, 2021)

    The claimant school pupil claimed over a locked gate to get into school on her final day and suffered injury in the process. Paul successfully defended the claim. The claimant abandoned an appeal to the High Court shortly before the hearing of a renewed application for permission to appeal.

  • Hufton v Somerset CC [2011] EWCA Civ 789, [2011] ELR 482

    Paul successfully defended this claim brought by a school pupil who slipped on a wet patch in a school hall, both at trial and on appeal.

The majority of Paul’s personal injury practice currently consists of public liability claims against public authorities.  Much of it arises out of alleged failings by local authorities to address abuse of children and vulnerable adults: see the separate heading “abuse” below.  However, he also has extensive experience of other types of claims brought against local authority social services departments, such as claims by foster carers and adoptive parents, and litigation against local authorities in relation to education, housing and highways.

In the sphere of education-related claims, Paul has represented both claimants and defendants in litigation relating to alleged failures to meet special educational needs, to deal with bullying as well as more conventional claims for injuries sustained by pupils and students while attending institutions and outside activities.  He also acts in cases relating to information rights and allegations of discrimination contrary to the Equality Act 2010.

Notable Public Liability cases

  • Abrahart v University of Bristol [2023] PIQR P17

    Paul acts for the defendant university in relation to this controversial, highly-publicised litigation arising out of the tragic suicide of a student at Bristol University. At first instance, a claim in negligence failed but the deceased’s father established breaches of the Equality Act. An appeal is pending.

  • Achille v King Edward VI Academy Trust Birmingham [2019] EWHC 1555 (QB)

    Paul represented the defendant against a litigant-in-person at the trial of numerous claims made for defamation against the Academy Trust of a Birmingham School and its head of safeguarding, in relation to the handling of concerns by a parent about the behaviour of the claimant at a tennis tournament. Paul devised a strategy to push the claims forward to a trial in order to defeat the claims at minimal cost, which he successfully achieved.

  • K v Department of Education and Children (2018, Isle of Man High Court, settled)

    Paul advised on quantum and subsequently on liability in relation to this claim brought by a dyslexic student in relation to the SEN provision during her school years.

  • Darby v Richmond-upon-Thames LBC [2017] EWCA Civ 252; [2015] EWHC 909 (QB

    The leading case on whether a claim for damages can be brought against a local housing authority for failing to provide suitable accommodation to vulnerable individuals. The High Court and Court of Appeal confirmed that such claims cannot be made.

  • Lambert v Cardiff CC [2007] EWHC 869 (QB), (2007) 97 BMLR 101

    A complex case brought by two foster parents arising out of psychiatric injury inflicted by a child who had been placed with them. It is one of the leading cases on liabilities of local authorities to foster parents.

While he was still a student, Paul acquired considerable expertise in social security law through his voluntary work representing claimants at tribunals. He carried this through to his work at the Bar, regularly appearing in the High Court and Court of Appeal in his early years of practice, and becoming a published author in the field. He still advises and represents local authorities, social landlords and claimants, often accepting instructions by way of licensed access. Most of his work in this area currently involves “exempt accommodation” disputes in relation to housing benefit, often involving large numbers of claimants. He also advises local authorities in relation to their council tax support schemes.

The early experience that Paul acquired in picking through legislation of great complexity enabled him to acquire a similarly deep understanding of social services, education and police law (see the separate heading “police law” below). He has appeared in a number of different tribunals, both at first instance and appellate level, and is regularly instructed in relation to judicial review litigation. He has a particular expertise in relation to charging powers for community care services and is regularly instructed to advise local authorities and recipients of services in that area.

Paul’s recent public law work has included advising a local authority in relation to a claim against the son and daughter of a care home resident in relation to deprivation of assets, the validity of trusts of property and enforceability of care charges against the assets of a family which has attempted to shield a service user’s assets, and judicial review proceedings brought by a protestor arrested at the coronation in 2023.

Notable Public Law cases

  • Waltham Forest LBC v O [2022] UKUT 58 (AAC) [2022] PTSR 1143

    A complex housing benefit overpayment case in which the proper treatment of a foster parent under the ‘bedroom tax’ provisions had to be considered by the Upper Tribunal. Paul was instructed for the local authority

  • Allerdale BC v JD [2019] UKUT 304 (AAC)

    A number of joined appeals relating to the proper calculation of housing benefit in an “exempt accommodation” case.

  • Francois v Waltham Forest LBC [2017] EWHC 2252 (Admin), [2018] RVR 13

    A statutory appeal from the valuation tribunal, concerning the proper treatment of an award of personal injury compensation in relation to the calculation of council tax support, successfully resisted by Paul appearing for the local authority.

  • R (Payne) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2011] UKSC 60, [2012] 2 AC 1; [2010] EWCA Civ 1431, [2011] 1 WLR 1723; [2010] EWHC 2162 (Admin), [2010] BPIR 1389

    The leading case on the interaction between the bankruptcy legislation and recovery of social security benefits. Paul appeared for the claimants successfully at first instance, and was led by Richard Drabble QC on appeal.

Much of Paul’s public law work (see separate heading above) is carried out for local authorities.

Paul has experience of acting in cases where misfeasance in public office is alleged against public bodies in different contexts. In addition to the cases listed below, he has advised on the circumstances in which a local authority as a corporate body can be liable for alleged misfeasance of councillors making decisions.

He has also advised local authorities in relation to different aspects of their powers, including public procurement. He has also been instructed in local government election petitions.

Notable Local Government cases

  • Perma-Soil UK Ltd v Williams [2016] EWHC 1087 (QB)

    A claim for misfeasance arising from alleged corruption in relation to the procurement of products for road construction. Paul was instructed for the local authority. The claim failed at trial.

  • Ryan v Shropshire Council [2013] LLR 429

    A claim for misfeasance brought in relation to health and safety requirements imposed by a local authority in relation to a shooting range. Paul was instructed for the local authority. The claim was defeated at trial.

  • West Sussex CC v Amberley (UK) Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 11, (2011) 14 CCLR 178

    An appeal to the Court of Appeal in relation to alleged failures to pay the proper amount of fees to a company running a residential care home. Paul succeeded both at trial and on appeal in defeating the claim.

Paul has been heavily involved in recent years in ground-breaking litigation concerning the liabilities of local authorities to children and vulnerable adults in their areas who have suffered sexual or physical abuse, or neglect, both in negligence and under the Human Rights Act 1998 (see the “human rights” heading below). With Lord Faulks KC, he appeared for the local authorities in the leading case of N v Poole BC in the Supreme Court, in which the court substantially restricted the availability of such claims in negligence. With Thomas Jones as second junior, they will appear again in the Supreme Court in October 2023 in HXA v Surrey CC, which will consider the limits and proper understanding of the Poole case. He is also instructed in the three leading cases currently before the Court of Appeal in which the limits of the N v Poole decision are being explored. He has been instructed in cases involving abuse inside and outside the home, in schools, during provision of healthcare, human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.

Paul is regularly instructed in litigation brought by multiple claimants in this field.

Notable Abuse cases

  • HXA v Surrey CC; YXA v Wolverhampton CC [2023] UKSC 52, [2024] 1 WLR 335; [2022] EWCA Civ 1196, [2023] 1 WLR 116; [2021] EWHC 2974 (QB)

    The two leading cases following N v Poole which give further guidance as to whether any claims can be brought against local authorities in negligence for failing to take children into care.  Paul successfully represented the defendants at first instance and in the High Court.  In the Court of Appeal, he appeared with Lord Faulks KC where the decisions were reversed.  The defendants succeeded, however, on further appeal to the Supreme Court.

  • L v A Fostering Agency (pre-litigation)

    A claimant who was sexually abused by a foster parents seeks damages against two local authorities and a fostering agency. Paul’s client, the agency, is denying liability on the basis that due to the fragmentation of oversight of the fostering arrangement, the decision in Armes v Nottinghamshire CC [2017] UKSC 60, [2018] AC 355 is distinguishable and the agency is not vicariously liable for the abuse committed by the foster parent.

  • B v Leicestershire County Council (High Court, ongoing)

    Four linked cases brought by individuals who were in the care of the defendant council. The claimants claim to have been subject to sexual abuse by the late Lord Janner.

  • V v Minister for Children and Housing (Royal Court of Jersey, settled 2023)

    Four claims brought by sisters who complained of abuse and neglect, which gave rise to difficult issues of causation of injury. They were compromised in a day-long mediation.

  • Various Claimants v Essex County Council (County Court, settled 2021)

    A group action brought by former pupils at a residential school at which they were placed by the defendant council many years ago, alleging sexual and physical abuse. The claims were settled at an intensive two-day settlement meeting and in the immediate aftermath thereafter.

  • PP v Lancashire County Council (County Court, majority of issues settled 2019 and 2021)

    Five joined cases brought by siblings against Lancashire County Council which Paul and his instructing solicitor inherited years after substantial admissions of fault had been made. Together they were able to settle the cases at a very considerable saving on the claims which were made. Complex issues of the comparable calculation of damages in negligence and under the Human Rights Act, and in relation to damages for deputy costs, arose in the litigation.

  • N v Poole BC [2019] UKSC 25, [2020] AC 780; [2017] EWCA Civ 2185, [2018] 2 WLR 1693; [2016] EWHC 569 (QB), [2016] HLR 26

    The leading case on whether claims in negligence can be made against social services for failing to seek to remove children from the care of their parents. From 2003 onwards, it had been assumed that a common law duty of care generally was owed by a local authority. Paul devised an argument that the common assumption was erroneous; an argument which was eventually vindicated on appeal to the Supreme Court, where Paul appeared with Lord Faulks QC.

Much of Paul’s personal injury, clinical negligence and inquest work has human rights aspects (see those separate headings above and below). He also advises and appears in litigation in which the sole claims brought are under the Human Rights Act 1998, and in the related spheres of information rights and claims under the Equality Act 2010.

Paul’s human rights experience includes the following:

  • claims under Art 2 brought against healthcare providers and police forces, both in relation to the deliberate use of force and failures to protect members of the public from lethal attack or from self-harm or suicide.
  • claims under Art 3 for failing to protect members of the public from physical or sexual abuse, discriminatory treatment, domestic violence, and failing to investigate allegations of offences.
  • claims under Art 4 brought by alleged victims of human trafficking or modern slavery.
  • claims under Art 5 brought by people deprived of their liberty in care homes or community facilities for young offenders.
  • Art 6 litigation in a variety of contexts.
  • Art 8 claims brought in different contexts for failure to respect the claimants’ rights to private and family life, and their homes.
  • Art 10 claims brought by protestors against restrictions imposed on their rights to protest.
  • Art 14 claims for discrimination.
  • Claims for alleged interference with property under Art 1 of the First Protocol.
  • Claims relating to alleged failings in the provision of education under Art 2 of the First Protocol.

Notable Human Rights cases

  • M v A Local Authority (pre-litigation)

    A claim for breach of Art 3 and Art 5 of the Convention brought on behalf of a boy with autistic spectrum disorder, challenging alleged practices of seclusion at his former school.

  • D v An Academy (pre-litigation)

    The claimant was subjected to a strip-search by police at school and brings claims against the school (represented by Paul) and the police.

  • X v Greenwich LBC (High Court, settled 2023)

    The claimant was subject to sexual exploitation as a teenager when she fell in with a gang. She brought a claim against the local authority, represented by Paul, and the Metropolitan Police for failing to intervene and protect her from the abuse that she suffered at an earlier date. Her claim was settled for a modest sum.

  • AB v Worcestershire CC [2023] EWCA Civ 529; [2022] EWHC 115 (QB))

    The first decided case since N v Poole BC (see “Abuse” above) concerning the availability of Art 3 claims to victims of abuse and neglect against local authorities for failing to intervene. Paul successfully argued that the claimant’s allegations of neglect did not arguably meet the threshold for Art 3 ill-treatment. The judgment was upheld by the Court of Appeal, where Paul was led by Lord Faulks KC.

  • Birchall v Brighton and Hove CC (County Court, 2021)

    A tragic case arising out of the suicide of a young man who lived with his aunt, having been subject to a care order, shortly after he moved from the defendant’s area to live with his father. After a fraught week-long trial in which Paul represented the defendant, the claim was dismissed in its entirety. An application for permission to appeal was subsequently refused by the High Court.

  • O v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2011] EWHC 1246 (QB), [2011] HRLR 29

    The first litigated case in the UK concerning positive obligations under Art 3 and Art 4 in relation to individuals trafficked for domestic servitude. Paul appeared with Lord Faulks QC for the defendant.

Paul has regularly been instructed on behalf of public authorities in relation to inquests arising from controversial deaths, including many inquests to which the investigative obligation under Art 2 of the Convention applies. Paul commonly represents police forces, including in relation to fatal shootings, and local authorities, generally in inquests arising out of discharge of their community care responsibilities.

Notable Inquests & Inquiries cases

  • Annie Crowther Inquest (HMC for Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton, 2023)

    Paul represented the family of a woman who suffered from a multiplicity of health problems, instructed by public access. His tenacity on the family’s behalf persuaded the Coroner to look more closely at the possible role of a care agency and her treating doctors in her death.

  • Lance Walker Inquest (HMC for Inner West London, 2022))

    The deceased young man was placed by Paul’s local authority client at a hostel in West London. He was murdered by a fellow resident. The inquest was a highly complex one with criticisms being made of a number of public bodies who were involved in the background to the killing.

  • Jessica Stephens Inquest (HMAC for Surrey, 2020)

    The deceased died of morphine poisoning. Her family were convinced that she was the victim of foul play and that the police investigation was inadequate. Paul represented the Chief Constable. The adequacy of the investigation was ruled to be out of scope during the inquest.

  • Alfie Gildea Inquest (HMC for South Manchester, 2020)

    The deceased was an infant boy murdered by his father. Paul represented the local authority who had received referrals which, with the benefit of hindsight, indicated that the boy’s mother was being subject to coercive control by the father. The local authority’s witnesses, who felt responsible for the deceased’s death, needed careful and compassionate handling.

  • Power v HM Coroner for Inner North London [2017] EWHC 3117 (Admin), [2017] Inquest LR 288

    An application for a fresh inquest on the Attorney-General’s fiat arising from a collision between a police car and the deceased’s motorcycle.

Paul continues to act regularly for the Metropolitan Police and local forces across England and Wales in relation to litigation in the Coroner’s Court, the County Court, the High Court and the Administrative Court. He is frequently instructed in litigation alleging police malfeasance arising in particularly controversial circumstances, including deaths in custody and police shootings. He regularly represents the police in relation to allegations of failures to investigate or failure to protect members of the public under the Human Rights Act 1998, and in relation to claims for stress at work brought by officers (see “personal injury” above).

Paul has acted as independent counsel supervising the execution of a search warrant by checking for legally privileged material.

Paul is regularly called on to advise police forces about their powers and policies. Recent work has included advice about the regulation of drone usage, the interrogation of electronic devices during stop and search, pay and pensions issues, investigatory powers and the use of restraint and confiscation powers.

Notable Police Law cases

  • Carter v Chief Constable of Essex Police [2024] EWHC 126 (KB)

    A civil claim brought by a male who was arrested and detained following an altercation in a pub in Southend.  He failed to establish liability for numerous uses of force in the police station but succeeded in showing that a decision to remove his clothing forcibly was unlawful.  That decision was, however, overturned on appeal to the High Court.

  • B v Chief Constable of North Wales Police (pre-litigation)

    Paul represents the Chief Constable in relation to threatened proceedings by a woman who was held hostage at gunpoint by her ex-partner.

  • I v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (pre-litigation)

    A threatened claim for misfeasance by a former Commissioner of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Paul is instructed to lead Kerry Nicholson at the pre-action stage.

  • Hemming v Chief Constable of Staffordshire (High Court, ongoing)

    A highly publicised claim brought by a former MP who claims that he was wrongly subjected to an investigation in relation to a woman who alleged that he had participated in ritualistic sexual abuse.

  • MTA v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (County Court, ongoing)

    A test case brought by a claimant who was the subject of an anti-social behaviour injunction at a time when he lacked capacity to litigate. He was arrested under the injunction on a number of occasions by officers acting in reliance on its validity. The claim gives rise to interesting issues about the circumstances in which reliance on court orders which were invalidly made can justify police actions.

  • Smith v Chief Constable of Surrey Police (High Court, ongoing)

    The family of the claimant seeks damages under Art 2 of the Convention arising out of his death arising from excited delirium while being restrained by officers. The case gives rise to important issues about the calculation of damages awarded to bereaved relatives under the Human Rights Act.

  • Plumbley v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (High Court, 2021)

    The claimant brought civil proceedings alleging assault when officers used a Taser to restrain him after his partner demanded that he leave her home. The trial was characterised by the improper conduct of the claimant’s solicitor-advocate which required a firm response by Paul. The claim failed.

  • Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Meekey [2021] EWHC 34 (Admin), [2021] QB 773

    An appeal by way of case stated against the decision of a District Judge (Magistrates Courts) refusing to make an order under the Firearms Act 1968 and ordering the return of firearms to a man who had served a lengthy prison sentence for unlawful possession and supply of firearms. The court accepted Paul’s submission that since any civil claim by the claimant for the return of the firearms was time-barred, it was wrong to order their return to the claimant.

  • Joseph v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (County Court, 2018)

    Paul led Nicola Atkins, his former pupil, against two KCs in claims brought by family members of a man fatally shot by a firearms officer while holding his former partner hostage at knife-point. The claims were defeated.

  • R (L) v Chief Constable of Surrey Police [2017] EWHC 129 (Admin), [2017] 1 WLR 2047

    A leading case on the requirement that an arrest be necessary to be lawful.

  • R (Cabot Global Ltd) v Barkingside MC [2015] EWHC 1458 (Admin), [2015] 2 Cr App R 26

    One of the leading cases on the description of electronic devices in search warrants. Paul represented the Metropolitan Police in successfully seeking to uphold the grant of the warrant.

  • Adorian v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2009] EWCA Civ 18, [2009] 1 WLR 1859

    The leading case on the use of section 329 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 as a defence by the police. Paul represented the Commissioner, led by Lord Edward Faulks KC.

  • Ashley v Chief Constable of Sussex Police [2008] UKHL 25, [2008] 1 AC 962

    A case arising out of a notorious fatal police shooting, leading to litigation which raised numerous issues about the nature of claims for assault and battery and the defence of mistaken belief. It established that the latter defence can be established if the belief is based on reasonable grounds. Paul appeared with Lord Edward Faulks KC for the Chief Constable.


“Paul has a strong academic knowledge, is extremely intellectually sound and pleasant to work with. He gives calm, practical and sensible advice.”

Chambers & Partners 2024

“A titan in the world of local authority and police liability with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law.”

Legal 500 2024

“I see Paul as a trusted and safe pair of hands dealing with the most sensitive of subject matters. He has a real awareness of everything going on in the wider context and provides sensible and helpful advice.”

Chambers & Partners 2023

“Paul has an encyclopedic knowledge. He is very organised and a persuasive advocate.”

Chambers & Partners 2023

“A standout barrister whose skeleton arguments are among the best.”

Chambers & Partners 2023

“A safe and trusted pair of hands. His advice will always be well thought-out and pragmatic.”

Legal 500 2023

“Excellent at tackling all kinds of cases.”

Legal 500 2023

“An impressive barrister who delivers timely and pragmatic advice with an element of realism.”

Legal 500 2022, Clinical Negligence, Band 4 junior

“He is very thorough and detailed in his advice. An extremely robust advocate.”

Chambers & Partners 2021, Clinical Negligence, Band 4 junior

“Technically excellent and always provides good insight into claims.”

Legal 500 2022, Personal Injury, Tier 3 junior

“....very thorough and good at managing clients and complex cases.”

Chambers & Partners 2022, Clinical Negligence, Band 4 junior

“He is excellent on Human Rights Act and Equality Act claims and gives very forensic legal advice. A very good advocate.”

Chambers & Partners 2022, Personal Injury, Band 2 junior

“Very user-friendly - he provides robust and sensible advice to clients.”

Chambers & Partners 2022, Personal Injury, Band 2 junior

“A silk in waiting. He knows police law inside out and is a very experienced barrister.”

Chambers & Partners 2022, Police Law, Band 2 junior

“His paperwork is meticulous and detailed and he is also a very forceful and persuasive advocate.”

Legal 500 2022, Personal Injury, Band 3 junior

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB)

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate.

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB)

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate.

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© Deka Chambers 2024


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