Prison, Police & Healthcare

The Prison, Police & Healthcare team provides advice and representation in relation to disputes that arise out of the provision of these services by Police Forces, other Law Enforcement Agencies, public and private prison providers, the Probation Service, the Ministry of Justice and NHS bodies.

The team provides advice and advocacy in cases including:

False imprisonment
Warrants and searches
Malicious prosecution
Breaches of the Human Rights Act
Negligence, including Clinical Negligence
Training accidents
Disciplinary matters
Breaches of confidence and source related issues
Judicial Review
Public Inquiries

William McCormick QC and Iain Daniels successfully represented the Metropolitan Police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency in a breach of confidence claim against the Times Newspaper. Ronald Thwaites QC also succeeded in a case on behalf of the Metropolitan Police with regard to the search of solicitors’ offices and the arrest and detention of members of the firm. Chambers is instructed on behalf of Serco, GS4 and the Probation Service with regard to claims including detention and recall as well as discrimination and breaches of human rights. Recent cases have included claims relating to the ‘hunger strike’ and Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre, the detention of children in such centres, alleged breaches of human rights by prisoners recalled to prison and disability and racial discrimination claims.

Members of Ely Place also represent individual and corporate claimants with regard to similar actions.

The emotional as well as the physical consequences of clinical accidents – both on those who have suffered them, and on the medical staff alleged to be responsible for them – can hardly be overestimated, which makes this field particularly challenging.

That is why the approach at Ely Place is to give clients as realistic a view as possible of what the litigation process can – and cannot – achieve. Defendants are advised that, where appropriate, an early apology with an honest acknowledgement of the impact of what has happened to the claimant may repay itself many times over. Claimants are advised of the limits to what court action can achieve for them.

Members of Ely Place who work in this field offer experience that spans a wide range of clinical specialities. We recognise that there is no such thing as an ordinary claim; even cases that seem likely to be of modest value are capable of generating complex factual and legal issues which need to be promptly and properly addressed. Members advise and represent PCTs, NHS Hospital Trusts, practitioners and members of the public in cases ranging from inquests to ‘best interest’ cases and disciplinary proceedings. We recognise that representation in such cases requires a careful, considered and often low key approach as well as the need to provide the lay client and its employees with appropriate support. Additionally we provide advice with regard to non-contentious matters such as the development of protocols, procedures and risk analysis.

Ely Place Chambers has been recommended in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 with regard to Police Law for many years.