The areas of work in which we have particular expertise, experience and excellence.
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  PIQR P10; Lewis-Ranwell v G4S Health Services (UK) Ltd  PIQR P16; HXA v Surrey County Council  EWHC 2974 (QB) (argued in the Court of Appeal in May 2022); CN v Poole Borough Council  AC 780 and James-Bowen v Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis  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  4 WLR 35; AB v Worcestershire CC  EWHC 115 (QB); Daniel v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust  4 WLR 32; Bedford v Bedfordshire County Council  PTSR 351; O v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  HRLR 29; A & Ors v Essex County Council & Ors  1 AC 280; Clift v Slough Borough Council  1 WLR 1774; Van Colle v Chief Constable of Hertfordshire  1 AC 225; Savage v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust  1 AC 681; R (on the application of Laporte) v Chief Constable of Gloucestershire  2 AC 105 and Ali v Lord Grey School Governors  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  QB 430; AC v Devon County Council  PIQR P19; Micklewright v Surrey County Council  EWCA Civ 922; West Sussex County Council v Russell  RTR 19 and Mott MacDonald v Department of Transport  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  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.
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