Public Sector & Human Rights

Overview

Members of Deka Chambers have acted in many of the leading cases that have shaped the law of public authority liability.

Members appear regularly in a broad range of claims brought against local authorities, police forces and emergency services, education providers, care homes, social services, healthcare providers (in prison and the community) and housing associations.

The team’s expertise includes claims for damages brought under the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010, data protection legislation and the Highways Act 1980. Representations at inquiries and inquests is an important adjunct to this area of work, with examples of recent work including the Manchester Arena Inquiry and the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Deka Chambers is a pre-eminent set in negligence claims brought against public authorities. Members have appeared in many of the leading cases concerning the extent of the duty of care owed by public authorities, with recent examples including Tindall & Anr v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police [2022] PIQR P10; Lewis-Ranwell v G4S Health Services & others [2024] EWCA Civ 138; HXA v Surrey County Council [2023] UKSC 52, [2024] 1 WLR 335; CN v Poole Borough Council [2020] AC 780 and James-Bowen v Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis [2018] 1 WLR 4021. Members are accordingly well-placed to advise on any case involving contentious duty of care issues.

The team also has extensive experience and expertise in claims brought under the Human Rights Act 1998, including Traylor v Kent and Medway NHS Social Care Partnership Trust [2022] 4 WLR 35; AB v Worcestershire CC [2022] EWHC 115 (QB); Daniel v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust [2016] 4 WLR 32; Bedford v Bedfordshire County Council [2014] PTSR 351; O v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2011] HRLR 29; A & Ors v Essex County Council & Ors [2011] 1 AC 280; Clift v Slough Borough Council [2011] 1 WLR 1774; Van Colle v Chief Constable of Hertfordshire [2009] 1 AC 225; Savage v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust [2009] 1 AC 681; R (on the application of Laporte) v Chief Constable of Gloucestershire [2007] 2 AC 105 and Ali v Lord Grey School Governors [2006] 2 AC 363.  Members are currently instructed in a wide range of human rights claims, including allegations of failures to investigate allegations of treatment falling within Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Convention (eg rape, domestic violence, human trafficking), failures to protect individuals from such treatment, failures to provide reasonable psychiatric care, and the protection of bodies in mortuaries.

Members of chambers have also been involved in many of the leading personal injury claims arising out of highways law, from road maintenance and design to public nuisance and liability for highway trees. Notable cases include Sumner v Colborne [2019] QB 430; AC v Devon County Council [2013] PIQR P19; Micklewright v Surrey County Council [2011] EWCA Civ 922; West Sussex County Council v Russell [2010] RTR 19 and Mott MacDonald v Department of Transport [2006] 1 WLR 3356.

Members of chambers are experienced in dealing with claims under the Equality Act 2010.  Recently, our members have appeared in two high-profile claims under the 2010 Act in Sanchez v University of Bristol and Abrahart v University of Bristol concerning alleged discrimination in higher education.

In the growing field of claims involving data protection and information rights, Members act for a number of public sector clients, including police, local authorities and NHS Trusts, with in depth and practical knowledge of the GDPR, Data Protection Acts, and the Law Enforcement Directive. Recent claims include Ali v Luton Borough Council [2022] IRLR 422 in which the High Court considered the vicarious liability of a local authority for the deliberate theft and dissemination of sensitive social service records by an employee.

Members’ expertise in public sector issues also means the set has a strength and breadth of experience in making and defending judicial claims against both central and local government as well as health services, the police and other public bodies, involving human rights issues and other errors of public law. A number of barristers are on the Attorney General’s panel and are regularly instructed by the Government.

Areas of Expertise

  • Abuse Claims
  • Administrative and Public Law
  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights
  • Community Care
  • Data Protection
  • Highways
  • Inquests and Inquiries
  • Local Government

Notable Cases - Duty of Care of Public Authorities

  • HXA v Surrey County Council [2023] UKSC 52, [2024] 1 WLR 335
  • Lewis-Ranwell v G4S Health Services & others [2024] EWCA Civ 138
  • AB v Worcestershire County Council [2023] EWCA Civ 529, [2023] 2 FLR 795
  • Barry Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses v BXB (2023) UKSC 15 [2023] 2 WLR 953
  • Police Superintendents’ Association, R (on the application of) v The Police Remuneration Review Body & Anor [2023] EWHC 1838 (Admin)
  • Tindall & Anr v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police [2022] EWCA Civ 25
  • HXA v Surrey County Council [2021] EWHC 2974 (QB)
  • CN v Poole Borough Council [2020] AC 78
  • N v Poole Borough Council [2019] UKSC 25, [2020] AC 780
  • James-Bowen v Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis [2018] 1 WLR 4021
  • A & Ors v Essex County Council & Ors [2011] 1 AC 280
  • Savage v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust [2009] 1 AC 681
  • Van Colle v Chief Constable of Hertfordshire [2009] 1 AC 225

Notable Cases - Data Protection and Information Rights

  • Bennion v Prestfelde School [2024] EWHC 727 (KB)
  • Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police v Information Commissioner & another [2024] UKFTT 64 (GRC)
  • Ali v Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police [2023] EWHC 938 (KB)

Public Sector & Human Rights Barristers

King's Counsel

Edward Bishop KC

Call 1985 | Silk 2011

Andrew Warnock KC

Call 1993 | Silk 2012

Tom Little KC

Call 1997 | Silk 2018

Laura Johnson KC

Call 2001 | Silk 2022

Paul Stagg KC

Call 1994 | Silk 2024

Juniors (15 years +)

Julian Waters

Call 1986

Edwin Buckett

Call 1988

Cyrus Katrak

Call 1991

Simon Butler

Call 1996

Dr Russell Wilcox

Call 2000

Jack Harding

Call 2004

Ian Clarke

Call 2005

Lisa Dobie

Call 2006

Thom Dyke

Call 2007

Juniors

Robert Parkin

Call 2009

William Dean

Call 2011

Ella Davis

Call 2013

Kerry Nicholson

Call 2015

Daniel Searle

Call 2015

Thomas Jones

Call 2015

Richard Collier

Call 2016

Irene Sriharan

Call 2016

Theodore Bunce

Call 2017

Susanna Bennett

Call 2017

Thomas Yarrow

Call 2018

Amelia Katz

Call 2018

Henk Soede

Call 2019

Anirudh Mandagere

Call 2019

Pupils

Directors

Michael Goodridge

Director of Clerking & Business Development

Senior Clerks

Clark Chessis

Senior Clerk

David Barrow

Joint Deputy Senior Clerk

Jaime Brooks

Joint Deputy Senior Clerk

Practice Managers

Ellie Brand

Practice Manager

Phillip Austin

Practice Manager

Assistant Practice Managers

Matthew Shepherd

Assistant Practice Manager

Jamie Moylan

Assistant Practice Manager

George Housden

Assistant Practice Manager

Jay Levell

Assistant Practice Manager

Junior Clerks

Cameron Baker

Junior Clerk

Ronnie Scarlett

Ronnie Scarlett

Junior Clerk

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