Orla Scanlan


  • I qualified as a solicitor in 1994, joined BLM in 2000 and made partner in 2003.
  • I am head of BLM's national police team and have over 20 years' experience in defending public liability and employers' liability claims on behalf of police forces across the country.
  • I am instructed to deal with claims involving assault, wrongful arrest, unlawful stop and search, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligence, misfeasance, handling of public order/demonstrations and deaths in police custody.
  • My particular strength is in advising on technical and complex claims arising out of alleged breaches of the Human Rights Act and associated Article 2 inquests.
  • I was instructed in the reported case of AAA v Chief Constable of Kent (2017) in which the claim against the police for damages for privation of liberty in breach of Article 5 was struck out in the High Court.


  • Chair of BLM's lawyers' forum.
  • Secretary of BLM's social committee.

Contact Details

+44 20 7865 3306


‘Orla Scanlan deals with complex cases with ease; she is diligent, pragmatic, knowledgeable and a robust negotiator. She is definitely the best solicitor in private practice in police cases.’

Chambers and Partners 2022 - Police Law: Mainly Defendant (UK-wide)

"Orla is an absolute delight to work with. She is a real team player, collaborative, good fun to work with and sees the bigger picture. She is diligent and on top of things."

Chambers & Partners 2021

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