Lucy Ryder


I have acted for critical services suppliers and private prison operators for over 25 years. I have expertise the following areas:

Judicial Review

  • I am experienced at handling all types of Judicial Review claims arising within the prison estate and wider critical support services, including claims from litigants in person and legally represented claimants.
  • My experience includes claims relating to deportation, use of force, recategorisation, and failure to provide means to prove rehabilitation, racial, gender and religious discrimination.  
  • Additionally, my experience involves claims issued in the Royal Courts of Justice and at regional administrative courts and includes cases that have been determined at the Court of Appeal.  
  • I handle all aspects of pre-litigation cases and litigated cases, including drafting pleadings and preparing supporting evidence.  
  • I understand the often unique nature of every case, the need for quick and proactive advice and I have 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.  
  • I also understand the importance of being aware of developments in law and the need to defend claims robustly if unmeritorious.

Offender Litigation 

  • I have over 25 years’ experience of dealing with a breadth of employer's liability and public liability claims arising across the prison estate, immigration removal centres, secure training centres, youth offender institutes and from court custody suites and police custody suites, together with claims arising during the escort of prisoners.  
  • I handle claims brought by litigants in person and those represented alleging negligence, medical malpractice, and breach of duty, all types of tort, including assault and false imprisonment, breach of human rights, malicious prosecution and lost property.  
  • I understand the discreet issues arising in such cases, including disclosure specific to the secure estate, and am experienced in defending claims for aggravated and exemplary damages.

Death in Custody

  • I specialise in and have vast experience relating to inquests and coronial law, particularly Article 2 inquests where death has occurred whilst in prison custody and in hospital, whilst under secure escort.  
  • I have particular expertise in deaths occurring during the use of physical restraint.  
  • I represented an interested party in an inquest involving the first death in this country of a foreign national who died whilst being deported from the UK.  
  • My experience also includes handling cases and advising clients in all aspects of litigation that flow from complicated inquests, including criminal proceedings, the need for separate representation for staff and civil claims.  
  • My expertise involves cases focusing on all aspects of policies, procedures and operation of the secure estate, including ACCT interpretation and implementation, adequacy of documentation and record keeping and falsification of records, substance misuse, dependency, detoxification and rehabilitation regimes and services, anti-bullying, anti-discrimination and violence reductions procedures and policies and adequacy and efficacy of admission procedures, assessments, including healthcare assessments, and training, and more recently, the enormous challenges facing the entire prison estate due to the increased prevalence and unpredictability of NPS.


  • Member of BLM’s retail special interest group.

Contact Details

+44 161 236 2002