Expertise and key strengths
I represent members of the public with civil claims for compensation against the police, prison service, Home Office and other detaining authorities (including Serco and G4S). I have expertise in helping people with claims for assault, unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, breach of human rights, misfeasance, and discrimination. I also help people make complaints against police officers, which can lead to officers being dismissed from the police force.
I undertake work in the Coroner’s court and assist families to find out the truth of what happened when their family members have died at the hands of the state – in prison, police custody, or after police contact.
I help people to challenge decisions by public bodies using the Judicial Review procedure and dispute funding decisions by the Legal Aid Agency, decisions by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute offenders, decisions by the Independent Office for Police Conduct not to uphold complaints against the police, outcomes of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks which can affect people’s prospects of employment, and decisions by the police to retain DNA samples (and DNA profiles derived from those samples), fingerprints and custody photographs.
Before joining Hudgell Solicitors, I trained as a solicitor at Christian Khan Solicitors under Louise Christian and Sadiq Khan where I worked after qualifying. I have specialised in actions against the police, inquests and judicial review throughout my career. I also previously worked GT Stewart Solicitors.
Proudest professional achievement
I represented the family of Osvaldas Pagirys who died whilst detained at HMP Wandsworth on 11th November 2016. Osvaldas was held on remand at HMP Wandsworth between August and November 2016 after being arrested for stealing sweets. He was held in the prison as he awaited extradition to Lithuania under a European Arrest Warrant for minor theft. This was his first time in prison custody and it is clear that he found the experience extremely distressing. As a vulnerable young prisoner who spoke very little English he struggled to cope. He repeatedly self-harmed and was found with a noose around his neck on five separate occasions prior to his death. On 11th November 2016 Osvaldas’s emergency cell bell began ringing at 1pm. Despite the Prison Service’s target response time of 5 minutes no member of prison staff attended Osvaldas’s cell until 1:37pm. When discovered, he was already unconscious. He died in St Georges’ Hospital, Tooting, on 14th November 2016. On 20th February 2018, following a 10-day inquest, a jury at Westminster Coroner’s Court returned a unanimous verdict identifying numerous failures in the actions of the prison staff. The jury found that communication between prison and healthcare staff in the period leading up to Osvaldas’s death was inadequate, as was the decision to locate Osvaldas in the prison’s segregation unit. The jury found that the delay in responding to Osvaldas’s emergency cell bell was a failure which did contribute to his death. This case featured in the ITV documentary: “Prison’s Uncovered: Out of Control?” which was broadcast in June 2018, the Today Programme on Radio 4, and has been reported on television and national newspapers:-
I also represented a man in 6 day trial in the County Court for a claim of assault and unlawful arrest. The man had been punched, tasered and arrested by police officers. Two of the man’s friends were pushed around by police officers and the man’s brother was arrested for struggling when he saw the assault and tasering. The jury gave a unanimous verdict for the man, who received an award of £21,000 in compensation plus his legal costs.
I have also represented a man who had been held in remand at police station for 9 days under a magistrate’s warrant on suspicion of swallowing drugs. During his detention he was routinely kept in handcuffs. I obtained £7,500 for his client in compensation from the police for the conditions in which he was held.
I represented a 15-year-old boy in a claim for assault against the staff of a secure children’s unit. A staff member grabbed the boy by the waist, lifted him from the ground and fell to the floor whilst holding him. The boy struck his head on the concrete floor and briefly lost consciousness. Thankfully an x-ray showed that the boy had not suffered a fractured skull. The staff member has been dismissed from his post. I obtained £3,500 for his client in compensation.
“Thank you again for all your work, I only trust that I am not in the position to have to come to you again. I cannot praise your handling of this matter high enough.”
“Andrew has been easy to get hold of, better than other solicitors I have dealt with, and provided a lot of good customer service.”
“Andrew has fought my corner for the last 10 months.”
Qualifications and professional memberships
Admitted as a solicitor in 2004
Member of the Police Action Lawyers Group
Inquest Lawyers Group