What We Do…
- Professional Discipline
- Health and Safety
- Sports Law
- Civil Asset Recovery/Forfeiture
- Financial Services Regulation
- Coroners Inquests
- Public Inquiries
- Judicial Review
- Environmental Enforcement
- Military Law
2 Bedford Row has a long history of association with the armed forces, certain members of chambers appear in the different Courts' Martial, Military Inquests and Boards of Inquiry and Regimental Inquiries. Chambers is proud of its long history of both representing and defending officers and men in the different tribunals.
Barristers from 2 Bedford Row regularly appears in the different Courts' Martial defending members of our Armed Forces as well as civilians prosecuted in the Service Civilian Courts. Members of chambers maintain close links with all three Services and the Ministry of Defence; many members of chambers have military backgrounds.
Both Queen's Counsel and barristers from 2 Bedford Row have acted for members of all 3 services in both very serious cases concerning allegations of torture murder, attempted murder and rape to less serious matters of common assault, fraud and simple theft. We have appeared in court martial centres abroad, "Field Court Martials established on operations, and Military Court Centres in the UK. Members of chambers have also been heavily involved in the high profile prosecutions arising out of the Iraq war. William Clegg Q.C. appeared in a murder trial at Bulford MCC arising out of the second Iraq war, his client was acquitted. Stephen Ferguson appeared in a manslaughter trial which took place at Basra Airbase, his client was acquitted. Andrew McGee and Austin Stoton co-defended in an attempted murder trial at Sennelager MCC, both defendants were acquitted. Upcoming cases in which we are acting for service personnel include attempted murder, rape, public disorder, assault and theft.
We not only act for military clients before courts-martial but also the families of serving officers warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, soldiers, seaman and airmen in the Summary Appeal Court and the Service Civilian Court.
Members of chambers are routinely involved in proceedings from an early stage in both the Military and Service Civilian Courts. Chambers can assist clients in obtaining legal aid to ensure that their representation is funded through the Armed Forces Criminal Legal Aid Authority (AFCLAA). Clients can approach us directly through a dedicated page on this website. If necessary, we can refer clients to UK-based solicitors if their cases require that. Chambers has video-conferencing facilities to make "face-to-face" conferences possible no matter where the military client is based or serving.
Boards' of Inquiry
The purpose of a Board of Inquiry is to examine the facts and circumstances surrounding an incident, to learn lessons and to make recommendations to Senior Officers for the improvement of working practices, procedures or equipment, which could help to reduce the likelihood of a similar incident happening again. Chambers has a number of retired military officers amongst its members who are well placed to act for and represent parties to a Board of Inquiry, It is inevitably advantageous to instruct counsel early prior to a Inquiry being heard. Boards of Inquiry place a burden on counsel of not only understanding a clients position in the greater scheme of things but also to be fluent and conversant with working practices, procedures and the equipment of the armed forces. Instructing counsel from chambers ensures that there is access to both legal expertise and a ready comprehension of military matters. In the event that the Boards report is forwarded to a Coroner, a barrister is then well placed to represent the member of the armed forces in the Coroners' Court.
An Inquest is an independent judicial inquiry into the facts surrounding a death which in England and Wales is conducted by a Coroner. The Inquest may not name who was legally responsible for causing the death. However, the Coroner does have the power to investigate not just the main cause of death but also any acts or omissions that directly led to the cause of death. The purpose of an Inquest is to determine who the deceased was; and when, where and in what circumstances the deceased came by his or her death. To Barristers from 2 Bedford Row are frequently involved in inquests arising from Military matters and are typically instructed well advance of inquests being heard to advice on all points of importance. To that end a coroner will attempt to establish the medical cause of death and by what means it arose. The court may draw attention to the existence of circumstances, which, if nothing is done, might lead to further deaths in the same circumstances.