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 (UK) Ltd [2022] PIQR P16; HXA v Surrey County Council [2021] EWHC 2974 (QB) (argued in the Court of Appeal in May 2022); 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

  • CN v Poole Borough Council [2020] AC 78
  • Tindall & Anr v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police [2022] EWCA Civ 25
  • HXA v Surrey County Council [2021] EWHC 2974 (QB)
  • 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

Public Sector & Human Rights Barristers

Edward Faulks KC

Edward Faulks KC


Call: 1973 Silk: 1996

Edward Bishop QC

Edward Bishop KC


Call: 1985 Silk: 2011

Andrew Warnock KC

Andrew Warnock KC


Call: 1993 Silk: 2012

Tom Little KC


Call: 1997 Silk: 2018

Laura Johnson QC

Laura Johnson KC


Call: 2001 Silk: 2022

Julian Waters

Julian Waters


Call: 1986

Edwin Buckett


Call: 1988

Cyrus Katrak


Call: 1991

Paul Stagg

Paul Stagg


Call: 1994

Simon Butler


Call: 1996

Russell Wilcox

Dr Russell Wilcox


Call: 2000

Jack Harding

Jack Harding


Call: 2004

Ian Clarke

Ian Clarke


Call: 2005

Lisa Dobie

Lisa Dobie


Call: 2006

Thom Dyke


Call: 2007

Patricia Londono


Call: 2008

Robert Parkin

Robert Parkin


Call: 2009

William Dean


Call: 2011

Francesca O'Neill

Francesca O’Neill


Call: 2012

Ella Davis

Ella Davis


Call: 2013

Kerry Nicholson

Kerry Nicholson


Call: 2015

Richard Collier

Richard Collier


Call: 2016

Theodore Bunce


Call: 2017

Susanna Bennett

Susanna Bennett


Call: 2017

Thomas Yarrow

Thomas Yarrow


Call: 2018

Amelia Katz


Call: 2018

Henk Soede

Henk Soede


Call: 2019

Anirudh Mandagere

Anirudh Mandagere


Call: 2019

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