Police law

Field Court Chambers acts for a number of Police forces and Local Authorities, and is regarded as a chambers which gets excellent results.

Those results are achieved through:

  • A dedicated team of barristers who, in addition to technical ability, bring a thorough understanding of how the Police and Local Authorities work, and what they require.
  • A commitment from our barristers to achieving a close working relationship with both Force Solicitors and Instructing Officers, ensuring that our clients’ needs are identified at an early stage.
  • Innovative problem solving, and a strategic approach to cases, including consideration of publicity.
  • An experienced and approachable clerking team.

The Police team is made up of barristers at all levels of seniority, giving it great flexibility and depth. Members of the team handle cases at all levels, including:

  • Anti Social Behaviour.
  • Applications under the Licensing Act 2003.
  • Cash seizure and forfeiture.
  • Coroners’ Inquests and Public Enquiries.
  • Defending civil actions brought against the Police.
  • Firearms.
  • Football Banning Orders.
  • Foreign Travel Orders.
  • Judicial Review.
  • Notification Orders.
  • Police Disciplinary Hearings, acting for the Presenting Officer.
  • Police Property Act cases.
  • Risk of Sexual Harm Orders.
  • Sexual Offences Prevention Orders.
  • Violent Offender Orders.

In addition, the team undertakes a wide programme of training, usually at the invitation of our clients, in response to their needs.

Recent notable cases undertaken by the team include:

  • Extensive Judicial Review hearings arising from cautions which have subsequently been challenged in the High Court. In all these cases, members have been able to extricate the Police from proceedings at an early stage, and on favourable terms, saving costs and the risk of adverse publicity.
  • Advising in connection with claims brought for false imprisonment and assault.
  • Various Inquests, (including those of Goswell and Abatan) in all of which favourable verdicts were secured without the Police being the subject of extensive Judicial criticism (often in contrast to other public bodies involved in the proceedings). Most of the verdicts were subsequently reported in the national press.
  • An ASBO against “Britain’s Worst Fly-Tipper”, subsequently extensively reported in the press and the subject of a BBC documentary.
  • An ASBO preventing the Defendant from misusing the emergency services (reported extensively in the national press).
  • The first ever mother and daughter ASBO (reported in the national press and, oddly, in “Closer” Magazine).
  • One of the first Closure Orders under Part 1A of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 for “significant and persistent disorder or persistent serious nuisance to members of the public” in relation to a self-styled ‘cannabis café’ (which featured on the BBC’s ‘Inside Out’ Programme).
  • A number of the very few successful Foreign Travel Orders in the country (members of chambers have in fact secured a large overall percentage of all FTOs granted in England and Wales).
  • Successful resistance of a large claim for compensation arising under the Proceeds of Crime Act, where the claimant relied upon forensic financial expert evidence.
  • One of the few Violent Offender Orders granted in the country. Securing the dismissal of a large claim for costs after the Police Authority had withdrawn their Proceeds Of Crime Action at a late stage and the defendant had instructed foreign lawyers.
  • Numerous and, in every case, successfully prosecuted disciplinary hearings, at all levels from junior to senior Officer.
  • Providing legal advice to the Panel during the course of complex disciplinary hearings.
  • Various Licensing Review hearings leading to closure of problem establishments, or the imposition of extensive lists of conditions on the licence.
  • Putting forward Police objections to a major pop festival.

The Police team has been steadily growing over recent years, and is recognised for its expertise in all areas of police law.