Background

Beatrice Collier is recognised as a leading junior specialising in police law, public/ administrative law, human rights and civil liberties, inquests and public inquiries, and malfeasance claims (assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and misfeasance).

She is a member of the Attorney General’s A panel of Counsel (having been on the B Panel 2019-2022).

Beatrice is ranked in both Chambers UK and The Legal 500 for both Police Law and Inquests and Public Inquiries and was the winner of The Legal 500 Public Services Junior of the Year 2023 award.

Recent cases include Daly v Independent Office for Police Conduct [2023] EWHC 2236 (KB), Karalis v Chief Constable of Derbyshire Police [2023] EWHC 1496 (KB), R (Kane) v Secretary of State for Justice (2023) unreported, Birks and others v IOPC, the inquest into the death of Gaia Pope (leading Amy Clarke, representing Dorset Police), the inquests into the deaths of the victims of Stephen Port (junior Counsel to the Inquests) and several police jury trials.

Current instructions include the Forbury Gardens Inquests (leading Cicely Hayward and Jack Palmer, representing the MOJ) and the inquest into the death of Sean Fitzgerald (police shooting), Child Q, numerous police civil actions and various judicial reviews on behalf of the police, prison and probation services.

Expertise

Beatrice acts in high profile litigation involving the police and has expertise in a wide range of police law issues.

She advises and represents police forces in a range of areas including search warrants, covert policing, informants, Human Rights Act claims, including claims alleging breach of Article 2 ECHR, Article 3 ECHR claims alleging a failure to investigate, trafficking/modern slavery cases, claims under Article 5 ECHR for unlawful detention, false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, misfeasance, negligence claims, stop and search, public order, assorted police powers under PACE 1984, data and information retention/disclosure including claims under the Data Protection Acts/GDPR 1998, misuse of private information, and Article 8 ECHR. Recent work includes claims and policy advice arising out of issues concerning policing and Big Data.

Beatrice’s recent advisory work has included the following topics:

  • The lawfulness of downloading digital data from complainants’ mobile phones (so-called ‘digital strip-searching’)
  • Numerous aspects of policing and mental health, including the use of s135 and s136 of the Mental Health Act 1983
  • Policing and ‘Big Data’ /the use of algorithms in policing
  • Advice on capacity assessments
  • Whether there should be a fresh independent investigation into the 1985 Bradford City stadium fire
  • The policing of drug testing tents at music festivals
  • The disclosure of information by the police (duties and powers)
  • Numerous claims asserting that a police investigation of a serious offence has been inadequate (Article 3 ECHR)
  • Human trafficking/Article 4 ECHR claims
  • Numerous challenges to a police decision to take no further action / CPS decision not to prosecute
  • Claims for overtime brought by undercover officers
  • The retention by the police of sensitive personal data
  • The legality of search warrants

Featured Police Law cases


R (XN & XD) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, CPS, College of Policing (2020)

judicial review challenge to the downloading of digital data from victims’/witnesses’ mobile phones.


R (Barbu) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2020] EWHC 2041 (Admin)

judicial review challenge to a decision to take no further action on a criminal investigation.


R (IDL) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (2020)

judicial review challenge to a decision to manage the claimant as a ‘Potentially Dangerous Person’.


R (AR) (a Child) v Waltham Forest LBC [2020] EWHC 622 (Admin)

judicial review challenge to failure to provide local authority secure accommodation such that a child was detained in police custody.


R (Owens) v Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police (2018) unreported (

judicial review challenge to the seizure of a cow’s DNA.


R (Ghuman) v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police [2018] EWHC 2059 (Admin)

challenge to the issuing of a child abduction warning notice (CAWN).


R (Garthwaite) v Chief Constable of Lancashire Police (2018)[2018] EWHC 2024 (Admin)

Judicial review challenge to a search warrant.


R (Hora) v Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary (2018)

judicial review challenge to a decision not to prosecute.


R (Brook) v Chief Constable of Lancashire Police [2018] EWHC 2024 (Admin) (2018)

Judicial review challenge to a search warrant.


R (Densham) v Chief Constable of Devon & Cornwall Police (2018)

Judicial review challenge to the police’s decision to take no further action in relation to a reported offence.


R (LJ) v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police (2018)

Judicial review challenge to the police’s decision not to refer a matter to the CPS, but to take no further action.


Soldier B v Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset Police (2020)

civil action (false imprisonment and assault).


William Reid v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police (2019)

civil action (false imprisonment and assault).


Roxana Jones v Chief Constable of Kent Police (2018)

Civil action (wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and assault).


Medihani v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2017)

(led by Jeremy Johnson QC) – Negligence/ Article 2 ECHR claim brought against the MPS by family of a girl murdered by her friend.

Beatrice has wide-ranging experience of inquest work and is used to advising and representing clients throughout the inquest process. She has the knowledge and skills to help clients identify potential impact and risks at an early stage, to advise on witnesses and evidence and to represent clients at the inquest. She understands the importance of working with other interested persons where appropriate and helping clients to manage any post-inquest matters, including any Regulation 28 Reports.

Her inquest work usually overlaps with other areas of her expertise, including policing (police pursuits/restraint) prisons (death in custody) and mental health and capacity (care homes/social care/psychiatric patients/dementia sufferers).

She is currently instructed on behalf of Surrey Police in the inquest into the deaths of the victims of the 1974 Guildford Pub Bombing and on behalf of Dorset Police in the inquest into the death of Gaia Pope and by the Government Legal Department in various ongoing inquests.

Featured Inquests cases


Inquest into the death of Andrew Goldstraw (2020)

representing the NHS Trust providing mental health.


Inquest into the death of Lisa Skidmore (2019)

representing West Midlands Police (alleged failure to protect the deceased who was murdered by a convicted rapist released on licence).


Inquest into the death of Jacqueline Oakes (2018)

representing the West Midlands Police (alleged failure to protect the deceased in a domestic abuse context).


Inquest into the death of Richard Handley (2018)

representing the local authority


Inquest into the death of Kirsty Walker (2017)

representing the NHS Trust providing mental health


Inquest into the death of Ashley Forde (2017)

representing the police in a police pursuit death


Inquest into the death of John McKeown (2017)

representing the police in a police pursuit death


Inquest into the death of Leah Ratheram (2017)

representing the social care provider (mental health context)

Beatrice has considerable experience of representing and advising clients in public inquiries. She is able to guide clients effectively through the challenges faced when involved in a public inquiry, and can advise on all aspects of this process.

Featured Public Inquiries cases


IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (2016-2019)


Billy Wright Inquiry

(public inquiry into the fatal shooting in the Maze Prison of a loyalist paramilitary prisoner by a republican paramilitary prisoner) (2006-2010)

Beatrice undertakes a range of public law work, with particular specialisms in civil liberties, human rights, policing and criminal justice, and mental health/capacity.

Featured Public & Administrative cases


R (Ghuman) v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police [2018] EWHC 2059 (Admin)

challenge to the issuing of a child abduction warning notice (CAWN)


R (Brook) v Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary and R (Garthwaite) v Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary [2018] EWHC 2024 (Admin)

two separate challenges to search warrants


R (on the application of Parkinson) v HM Senior Coroner for Kent [2018] EWHC 2173 (Admin)

decision concerning mental capacity and the appointment of a litigation friend

Beatrice is an acknowledged authority on policing and mental health and has expanded her practice to include mental health and capacity law more generally, including detention, deprivation of liberty and best interests. Her clients have to date included the Ministry of Justice, NHS providers, prisons and local authorities as well as individuals.

Recent work includes an application before the Divisional Court for an assessment of capacity, s21A MCA 2005 proceedings and s16 MCA 2005 proceedings.

She also undertakes work in the areas of mental health and capacity pro bono, via the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

Many of Beatrice’s cases have a human rights dimension, whether in the context of privacy/Article 8, criminal justice, equality and discrimination (Article 14), detention (Article 5), mental capacity, trafficking/modern slavery (Article 4), or policing and criminal justice generally.

Over the last few years she has advised and litigated on numerous Article 3 ECHR claims following DSD. She is frequently instructed to represent the police and other public authorities at inquests and then in connection with Article 2 ECHR civil claims arising from the death and has litigated and advised upon Article 8 ECHR claims in a variety of contexts.

She regularly provides training to police forces on human rights and policing.

Beatrice is able to provide assistance and representation on contentious and non-contentious information law issues in this shifting regulatory and civil litigation environment. Her expertise covers Article 8/privacy, the overlap between privacy and data protection, the conflict between freedom of expression and privacy, breach of confidence and misuse of private information as well as the DPA, the FOIA and the GDPR.

Beatrice’s clients include private individuals and public authorities. In connection with the latter in particular she understands the importance of excellent crisis and reputation management in this sensitive area.

Beatrice is recognised as a leading junior specialising in the areas of police law, public law, mental health and capacity law, human rights and civil liberties, inquests and public inquiries. Beatrice acts for a range of clients including police forces, prison services, local authorities and NHS Trusts.

In her inquest practice she specialises, in particular, in cases with a mental health or capacity dimension (whether in the context of the police or community care services or in prison) and in police pursuit deaths.

Beatrice is an acknowledged authority on policing and mental health and has expanded her practice to include mental health and capacity law more generally, including detention, deprivation of liberty and best interests. Her clients have to date included the Ministry of Justice, NHS providers, prisons and local authorities as well as individuals. Recent work includes an application before the Divisional Court for an assessment of capacity. She also undertakes work in the areas of mental health and capacity pro bono, via the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

Beatrice’s areas of expertise include:

  • Capacity
  • Deprivation of liberty
  • Best interests decisions
  • Deputyship matters
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Medical treatment
  • Welfare matters including contact, residence and care decisions
  • Safeguarding of vulnerable adults

Beatrice was called to the Bar in 2004 and was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of counsel in 2022 (having previously served on the B Panel).

Her public inquiry experience started in 2006 as one of the team of four counsel representing the Northern Ireland Office in the Billy Wright Inquiry, which ran until 2010. The Billy Wright Inquiry was established to examine allegations that there had been collusion by state authorities in the shooting dead of loyalist paramilitary prisoner Billy Wright by Republican paramilitary prisoners in the Maze Prison.

In 2019 she advised the IOPC in connection with the Janner Strand of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) which was concerned with the institutional responses to the allegations of sexual abuse made against the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC.

She has been instructed in numerous sensitive inquests on behalf of police forces, government departments and NHS Trusts. Her recent inquest work includes the East London Inquests the (inquests into the deaths of the victims of ‘the Grindr killer’, Stephen Port) where she was junior counsel to the inquests, and the inquest into the death of Gaia Pope in which she represents Dorset Police.

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“She has an exceptional level of experience beyond her level of call”


Instructing Beatrice
Please contact James Cole if you have any questions or wish to instruct us.

Call +44 (0)20 7410 2000 or click here to email

Education & Qualifications

  • 2004 – Called to the Bar by Middle Temple
  • 2004 – ICSL, Bar Vocational Course
  • 2003 – St Hugh’s College, Oxford University, BA in Law
  • 1998 – Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University, BA in History and English

    

Legal 500 2023

‘Beatrice is always extremely well-prepared and represents her clients in court with significant skill and ability. She is a highly sought-after barrister in her field.’

‘Beatrice has a fantastically analytical brain. She reduces complex facts to their essential ingredients, and has a great advocacy style.’

Chambers UK 2022

“She is a very elegant advocate: very precise and measured, and demonstrates real intellect.” (Police Law)

“She is quite often instructed without a silk and she is very impressive.” (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

“She is always fighting her client’s corner.” (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

Legal 500 2022

“Beatrice is an excellent advocate and negotiator.” (Police Law -Defendant)

Chambers UK 2021

“She is responsive and collaborative.” (Police Law)

“Her oral advocacy is assured and persuasive and her written submissions are in the same vein.” (Inquests and Inquiries)

“She’s a pleasure to work with. She gets to grips with the issues quickly and is always looking to find a sensible solution for the benefit of the client.” (Inquests and Inquiries)

“She does some very heavy-hitting inquests and is very good all round.” (Inquests and Inquiries)

Legal 500 2021

“She has an extraordinarily sharp mind.”

Chambers UK 2020

“She is a sharp-witted and able junior who provides a good level of support and is also capable of running things herself.” (Police Law)

“Excellent written work and really easy to instruct and to get on with. She comes back to you straight away and the quality is always good.” (Police Law)

Legal 500 2020

“Instructed by forces in judicial reviews and human rights cases.” (Police Law)

Chambers UK 2019

“She is very considered, accommodates tight deadlines and her pleadings are detailed, insightful and robust.” (Police Law)

“Very conscientious and has a good ability to get to grips with a case and quickly identify and communicate potential issues.” (Police Law)

Chambers UK 2018

“She is very bright and thorough, does very detailed paperwork and always provides helpful guidance” (Police Law -Defendant)

Legal 500 2015

“an excellent grasp of employment law”

Chambers 2017

“well educated, well qualified and bright” (Police Law -Defendant)

Legal 500 2017

“She has an exceptional level of experience beyond her level of call”

Legal 500 2016

“careful and conscientious”

Legal 500 2015

“an effective advocate”

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