The secure estate faces its most challenging time in recent past. In a time of intense media scrutiny and in an era where the prison estate is operating at 98% capacity in England and Wales, it is vital that those operating within the secure estate receive relevant, and appropriate advice which takes into account the demands and pressures currently in operation within the estate.
The firm has a dedicated specialist team that has acted for clients operating in the secure estate for more than 20 years. The team advises prison, detention and security service operators and has a wide range of experience with lawyers who have expertise in handling civil claims including those pursued under the Human Rights Act, matters involving allegations of negligence and misfeasance, assault, prison healthcare medical negligence, judicial review (including the challenge of decisions relating to deportation, use of force, re-categorisation, failure to provide means to prove rehabilitation, racial, gender and religious discrimination), wrongful death and deaths while in custody.
The team has a particular speciality in representing the interests of clients at inquests (including those which involve Article 2 ECHR issues). This expertise includes representation in any civil claim which may be pursued as a result of the death, and in any judicial review submitted during the inquest proceedings or flowing from the inquest conclusion.
As a result of many years working in partnership with companies operating within the secure estate, the team has developed an understanding about how such businesses need to operate and understands the balance it has to achieve in weighing up operational issues and patterns of litigation. It has the ability to deal with whatever comes its way and this includes handling a wide range of litigants in person claims and prides itself on being able to factor in the different approaches required when prisoners represent themselves. The team has relationships within the coronial setting that has established the firm’s reputation for being an expert in this field; reactive, reliable and thorough.
Clients can be confident that the team understand the often unique nature of every case, and the need for quick and proactive advice. The team has the ability to recognise if there are potential difficulties and to advise how and in what manner steps can be taken and measures put in place to address issues and resolve grievances. The team is alive to developments in law and through its expertise, understands who will be the relevant parties so it can react quickly in conjunction with, and respecting the operational needs, of the significant critical services suppliers it is representing.