Background

Charlotte Ventham KC

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Charlotte Ventham KC is recognised as a specialist in police law, public law, human rights, discrimination, inquests and inquiries, and malfeasance claims.

She is regularly instructed by police forces and government departments / agencies in a range of courts and tribunals. Her practice includes a number of high profile cases and those involving national security and public interest immunity issues.

Clients find Charlotte ”very easy to deal with” and “Her effort on cases is tireless” (Chambers UK). She is commended for having “a keen analytical mind with a persuasive advocacy” (Legal 500) and considered to be “A great choice for claims which are complex, sensitive or difficult”.

Notable examples of her work include the Daniel Morgan litigation and Kamoka litigation (claims of alleged complicity in rendition and torture by HM Government).

Charlotte was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel between 2019 and 2024 when she took silk.

Charlotte was editor of the 5 Essex Chambers Police Law Update for many years and regularly provides lectures to solicitors on all aspects of her practice.

Expertise

Charlotte’s practice embraces all areas of civil and public law relevant to policing. She has extensive experience as a trial advocate, defending civil actions for false imprisonment, assault, human rights breaches, malicious prosecution, negligence, discrimination and misfeasance in both jury and non-jury actions. She also has particular expertise in handling judicial review claims for the police and the IOPC.

Charlotte’s cases have included challenges to the retention and/or disclosure of police information; promotion policies; police cautions; disciplinary outcomes; and the handling of complaints against the police. Charlotte has acted for the police in a number of sensitive inquests including firearms incidents, unlawful killing following domestic violence and deaths in custody. She is experienced in dealing with cases involving public interest immunity and national security issues. Charlotte is regularly asked to advise on non-contentious matters including policy, procedure, police powers and operational issues. Charlotte has also represented the police in numerous employment law claims (particularly in relation to discrimination) and disciplinary matters (including related judicial review claims).

Featured Police Law cases


R (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis) v Kingston Crown Court [2023] EWHC 1938 (Admin)

availability of closed hearings where sensitive material is relied upon in firearms appeal


DE v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police [2023] EWHC 146 (KB)

appeal concerning necessity of arrest where sole justification is the imposition of bail conditions


Breeze & Wilson v Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary [2022] EWHC 942 (QB)


Rees & others v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2018] EWCA Civ 1587; [2019] EWHC 2120 (Admin); [2021] EWCA Civ 49

substantial damages claims for malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office arising out of the murder of Daniel Morgan in 1987.


MR v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 888 (QB) and [2019] EWHC 1970 (QB)

appeals concerning necessity of arrest and the effect of competing Part 36 offers.


R (CL) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police [2018] EWHC 3333 (Admin)

challenge to the retention of crime reports relating to “sexting” by a 14 year old child.


Brown v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police [2018] EWHC 2046 (Admin):

appeal concerning the interpretation of the CPR44.16(2)(b) exception to QOCS.


R (Pitts) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2017] EWHC 646 (Admin)

judicial review challenging the interpretation and application of the Home Office Counting Rules on Recorded Crimes in relation to an allegation of rape.


McPherson v Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police ​[2016] EWCA Civ 6

appeal concerning the admissibility of the Claimant’s previous offending history in a jury action for false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution; and when the reasonableness of force used by a police officer may be decided by the judge as a question of law without recourse to the jury.


R (XX) v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [2014] EWHC 4106 (Admin)

judicial review brought by a convicted sex offender challenging the legality of a scheme providing for the collection, retention and disclosure of information relating to his offending history.


R (Simpson & ors) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police [2013] EWHC 1858 (Admin)

judicial review concerning the claimants’ legitimate expectation as to the application of a promotion selection policy in light of an ongoing promotion freeze.

Charlotte has acted in a number of sensitive and document-heavy inquests engaging public interest immunity issues and necessitating the careful handling of allegations of failings/Article 2 breaches on the part of state agencies.

Featured Inquests cases


Firearms incidents eg the shooting of Anthony Grainger – acted for IPCC; Chandler’s Ford inquest (interception of armed robbery on a cash in transit vehicle by members of the MPS “flying squad”) – acted for Hampshire police.


Unlawful killings eg Lucinda Port (fatal stabbing of the deceased following history of domestic violence) – acted for MPS.


Various prison deaths (including suicides) involving inmates with substance misuse issues, self-harming behaviours and physical and psychiatric ill-health.


Deaths in police custody eg Martine Brandon (deceased choked to death in a police cell as a result of consuming her own underwear) – acted for Hampshire police.


Deaths following emergency services’ response eg Daniel McMahon (deceased hit by train following 999 call) – acted for MPS.


Deaths involving psychiatric patients eg Preuss (deceased absconded from psychiatric hospital whilst suffering from psychotic delusions and jumped in the River Thames where she drowned) – acted for MPS.


Charlotte was junior Counsel for City of London Police in the inquest into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005.

Charlotte acts for government departments and other public bodies in a range of public law claims and policy matters. She is particularly well-placed, by virtue of her extensive police law practice, to deal with cases involving overlap between the functions of the police and government agencies.

Featured Public & Administrative cases


R (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis) v Kingston Crown Court [2023] EWHC 1938 (Admin)

availability of closed hearings where sensitive material is relied upon in firearms appeal


R (V and others (service personnel)) v Secretary of State for Defence (High Court, ongoing):

challenge concerning the jurisdiction of the service justice system in relation to offences of rape.


R (Henry) v National Probation Service [2020] EWHC 1246 (Admin)

challenge to the enforcement of the residence condition on the Claimant’s licence having regard to the risk of COVID-19 transmission in communal premises.


R (CL) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police [2018] EWHC 3333 (Admin)

challenge to the retention of a crime report relating to “sexting” by a 14 year old child.


R (Pitts) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2017] EWHC 646 (Admin)

challenge to the interpretation and application of the Home Office Counting Rules on Recorded Crimes in relation to an allegation of rape.


R (O’Brien) v Ministry of Justice

challenge to the lawfulness of the claimant prisoner’s removal to a segregation unit.


R (Simpson & ors) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police [2013] EWHC 1858 (Admin)

claimants’ legitimate expectation as to the application of a promotion selection policy in light of an ongoing promotion freeze.

Charlotte has acted for the police, Ministry of Defence and other public bodies in a range of high value personal injury claims.

Charlotte’s recent caseload includes claims for work-related stress; mesothelioma; accidental shooting (MoD); catastrophic brain injury in a custodial setting; and psychiatric trauma sustained as a result of arrest/detention/prosecution.

Charlotte’s government and police practice routinely engages myriad human rights issues, arising in a variety of operational/policy contexts. Charlotte has a particular interest in cases involving a national security element and those requiring the application of closed material procedures.

Featured Human Rights cases


Al Nashiri v Security Service & others [2023] UKIPTrib 6


Kamoka & others v Security Service & others

claims for unlawful detention and misfeasance in public office based on the alleged complicity of the British government in detention and torture abroad.


Motasim v (1) Crown Prosecution Service, (2) Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, (3) Security Service, (4) Secret Intelligence Service

damages claim for alleged breach of Article 5 following the discontinuance of the prosecution of the claimant for terrorist offences (acting for CPS).


Schedule 7, Terrorism Act 2000

general advisory work regarding powers under Schedule 7, and various public/private law claims challenging the exercise of such powers in individual cases.


B v Crown Prosecution Service

claim for damages for breach of the Article 3 investigative duty arising out of a withdrawn rape prosecution.


Plane v (1) Ministry of Justice, (2) Parole Board:

damages claim for unlawful detention, breach of Article 5 and discrimination in relation to the claimant prisoner’s parole review.


R (O’Brien) v Ministry of Justice

judicial review claim challenging the lawfulness of the claimant prisoner’s removal to a segregation unit on various human rights grounds.

Charlotte accepts instructions from regulators in relation to enforcement proceedings, in particular in the context of warrant applications.

Featured Professional Discipline & Regulatory cases


Concordia warrant litigation

represented the Competition and Markets Authority (led by Jason Beer QC) in a long running challenge to a search warrant issued under the Competition Act 1998:

  • [2018] EWCA Civ 1881: determination of a preliminary issue concerning the reliance on PII material when defending an application to vary a warrant;
  • [2018] EWHC 3158 (Ch): the use of special advocates in such a challenge;
  • [2018] EWHC 3448 (Ch): determination of PII application;
  • [2019] EWHC 47 (Ch): determination of substantive challenge to the warrant.

Competition and Markets Authority v Unnamed (Chancery Division)

various ex parte applications for warrants under s28 Competition Act 1998.

Charlotte has dealt with numerous public and private law claims involving the alleged misuse of private information, challenges to the disclosure of information by public bodies and breaches of the Data Protection Act. Charlotte has particular expertise in cases where human rights (most notably the Article 8 right to privacy) intersect with data protection issues.

Featured Information Law cases


Crook v (1) Information Commissioner, (2) The Home Office (EA/2019/0073) (First-Tier Tribunal)

Appeal against the decision of the IC to uphold the refusal by the Home Office to disclose information sought relating to MI5 on the basis that such information was not “held” by the Home Office within the meaning of the Freedom of Information Act 2000


R (CL) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police [2018] EWHC 3333 (Admin)

challenge to the retention by the police of a crime reports relating to “sexting” by a 14 year old child.


Brown v (1) Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (2) Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (Central London County Court, 2016)

claim for misuse of private information, breach of the Data Protection Act and misfeasance in public office arising out of disclosures made between two policing bodies of private travel information relating to the Claimant.


R (XX) v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [2014] EWHC 4106 (Admin)

judicial review brought by a convicted sex offender challenging the legality of a scheme providing for the collection, retention and disclosure of information relating to his offending history

Charlotte is recognised as a leading barrister and specialises in public law, human rights, discrimination, inquests and inquiries, and malfeasance claims. She is regularly instructed by government departments/agencies in a range of courts and tribunals. Her practice includes a number of high profile cases and those involving national security and public interest immunity issues.

Featured Healthcare cases


Tamosiunas v 1) Plymouth NHS Trust, 2) Chief Constable of Devon & Cornwall Police (High Court, QBD, 2020)

very high value personal injury claim for severe brain injury allegedly exacerbated by delay in treating the Claimant in hospital. Complex issues of factual and legal causation involving the expert evidence of neurosurgeons and neurologists.


C v (1) Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, (2) Dr A, (3) Dr G (Central London County Court)

Civil claim for damages against the police and two doctors who examined the Claimant whilst in custody. Claimant suffered from a rare genetic disorder known as Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (“FOP”) which causes sheets of bone to form in muscles and associated soft tissues resulting in rigid splinting of the trunk and fixation of the large limb joints.


Inquest touching the death of Daniel McMahon (Barnet Coroner’s Court)

Article 2 jury inquest into the death of a psychiatric patient who was hit by a train. Detailed enquiry into the care/treatment plan provided to the deceased, in particular whether he should have been granted day release from hospital (Acted for police)


S v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (Manchester County Court)

Civil claim arising out of the arrest and forcible restraint of an adult with severe learning difficulties including very limited verbal communication abilities.


Inquest touching the death of Mohammed Malik

Article 2 jury inquest concerning the sudden death of an inmate from an undetected heart condition. The enquiry involved a detailed examination of the care provided to the inmate by prison healthcare staff and whether the same amounted to neglect. (Acted for the prison).


Inquest touching the death of Laurence Preuss

Deceased was a psychiatric patient who managed to abscond from a psychiatric hospital whilst suffering from psychotic delusions and jumped in the River Thames where she drowned.


Various prison inquests – Various prison deaths (including suicides) involving inmates with substance misuse issues, self-harming behaviours and physical and psychiatric ill-health.


Zarrabi v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

Personal injury claim involving disputed medical issues re diagnosis and causation in relation to Claimant’s alleged major depressive disorder with post traumatic symptoms. Involved lengthy cross-examination of Claimant’s medical expert (Consultant Psychiatrist) resulting in the Court preferring the Defendant expert’s opinion.

Latest News & Events

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The final hearing of the inquest touching the death of Zara Aleena commenced on 3…

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Chambers congratulates Charlotte Ventham who was officially appointed as King’s Counsel today. The Lord Chancellor…

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Charlotte Ventham to be appointed King’s Counsel

5 Essex Chambers is delighted to announce that Charlotte Ventham is to…

“She is very thorough, pre-empts well and knows the papers inside out … always goes the extra mile”


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

Education & Qualifications

  • 2024 – Appointed as King’s Counsel
  • 2001 – Called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn
  • 2001 – Bar Vocational Course, ICSL
  • 2000 – City University, CPE/Diploma in Law
  • 1995 – University of Edinburgh, MA Hons in French and Spanish

Memberships

  • ALBA

Appointments

  • 2014 – Appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel
  • 2019 – Appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel
  • 2020 – Appointed Recorder of the Crown Court
  • 2024 – Appointed King’s Counsel

  

Chambers UK 2024

“Charlotte is an exceptional barrister. She cuts through and distils complex issues to advise in a clear and concise way. Her advocacy is brilliant and she has a fantastic way with witnesses.”

Chambers UK 2023

“Her cross-examination has on occasions been breathtaking and she has, on many occasions, undoubtedly turned a case around with her advocacy skills.”

Chambers UK 2022

“An exceptional barrister. She is very meticulous with the papers and very analytical. She is also really good with lay clients; she doesn’t hold back and will face issues head on but will be very tactical about it. Quick and eloquent, good at putting clients at ease, and ruthless with the opposition.” (Police Law)

Legal 500 2022

“Incisive in her written work and clearly extremely knowledgeable in the area of police law.” (Police Law – Defendant)

Chambers UK 2021

“She is very conscientious and she really does think of all the possible angles of a case, ensuring you’ve gone down every line of investigation with clients and officers. She gives it her all in any advocacy situation.” (Police Law)

“She has a very sharp brain and is hard-working. Provides detailed and well-reasoned advice and has excellent advocacy skills.” (Police Law)

“She is dependable, robust, tactically shrewd and a good communicator.” (Police Law)

Legal 500 2021

“She is tenacious and incredibly well-prepared.”

Chambers UK 2020

“A very thorough advocate and excellent in a trial situation. She is very personable, very approachable, excellent in conferences and helps put officers at ease.” (Police Law)

“An outstanding junior who is steeped in police law. She produces impressive written work and is a talented advocate” (Police Law)

Chambers UK 2019

“A good communicator who is able to assimilate large amounts of information in a short space of time.” (Police Law)

“Displays brilliant attention to detail. She is extremely personable with officers whilst maintaining an appropriate level of professionalism. Her knowledge of current case law is exceptional and she is able to cut through often voluminous documents and get to the heart of the issues.” (Police Law)

Legal 500 2019

‘Very strong, both intellectually and on the paperwork.’ (Police Law – Defendant)

Chambers UK 2018

“She is very personable, very easy to deal with and always goes the extra mile.” (Police Law – Defendant)

“A great choice for claims which are complex, sensitive or difficult.” (Police Law – Defendant)

“Her preparation and level of detail leave nothing to be desired, she is an excellent trial advocate.” (Police Law – Defendant)

Chambers UK 2017

“She is very thorough, pre-empts well and knows the papers inside out.” (Police Law – Defendant)

“Her effort on cases is tireless.” (Police Law – Defendant)

“She is approachable and knowledgeable” and “is good on her feet” (Police Law – Defendant)

Chambers UK 2016

“She is a very intelligent and thorough barrister.” (Police Law – Defendant)

“She has hit the mark in terms of personality and how she pitches a case. She is very good on paper and on her feet.” (Police Law – Defendant)

Chambers UK 2015

“She is very, very good at going through complex medical records and picking out the best points to use.” (Police Law – Defendant)

“She has a very analytical, scientific way of going through the evidence” (Police Law – Defendant)

Chambers UK 2014

“She is very approachable and no question is too small. She will drop anything to help her clients.” (Police Law – Defendant)

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