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Andrew Petherbridge

Legal Executive and Head of Civil Liberties

Inquests Claims Against the Police Wrongful Arrest Death in Custody Police Assault Complaints Against the Police

Expertise

Andrew has worked in legal practice since 2008 and specialises in leading cases relating to Civil Liberties and Human Rights, and in representing families throughout investigations into the actions of state bodies, and at Article 2 inquests. His work covers complaints against the police, police misconduct, deaths in custody, wrongful arrest, malicious prosecution, assault, police firearms incidents and unlawful detention. As head of the department he has played an important role as the firm has become increasingly recognised and respected for its work both locally and nationally, particularly given the high-profile cases now handled. These include major ongoing national inquiries and investigations, representing victims, families and survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster, families of victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, and core participants of the ongoing Infected Blood Inquiry. Andrew is often interviewed by the national media on Civil Liberties issues and human rights relating the actions of the police.

I regularly deal with people who have been subjected to unacceptable treatment in their dealings with the police. Officers have a difficult job to do, and of course the majority do this without problem, but as in any walk of life there are some among their numbers whose actions can taint the reputation of the vast majority. There are also many examples of police officers and forces failing to follow set policies and procedures, leading to both physical and reputational suffering to innocent people. This must always be fully challenged and investigated.

I lead cases for clients whose lives, and those of their families, have been turned upside down as a result of the wrongful and unlawful actions of the Police. In some of these cases my clients have wrongly been accused of serious offences, such as murder, sexual assault or firearms offences. I also have a particular expertise in dealing with victims of crime whose Human Rights have been breached as a result of failings by the Police, and in representing families in inquests, where the actions of state bodies are questioned.

Significant Cases

Alongside Neil Hudgell, I have led the firm’s representation on behalf of the families of the four victims of murderer Stephen Port, representing their interests as the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IPOC) investigated possible failings and missed opportunities by the Met Police to catch him and prevent deaths, and in inquests which are to be held in 2020.

I am acting for the parents of Shana Grice, who was killed by her former stalker boyfriend in August 2016, despite repeatedly reporting her concerns to Sussex Police. Instead of helping her, officers gave Shana a penalty notice for wasting their time. The force was subject to an Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) report, from which several learning recommendations were made, and two officers faced charges of gross misconduct.

I lead the firm’s representation of two families of victims of the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017.

I also represented the daughter of Jacqueline Oakes, who was murdered by her ex-partner Marcus Musgrove, at inquest. In this a jury concluded that she was unlawfully killed and despite regular multi-agency meetings about Jacqueline, there were incidents of failure to share information and act upon that accordingly. There was heavy criticism of State Agencies at the inquest.

Other inquests I have been selected to represent families at include acting for Julia James, sister of 66-year-old Christine Lee, and aunt of Lucy Lee, 40, who were both shot dead by puppy farmer John Lowe, after police returned is guns which had previously been confiscated.

I also represent the family of Lewis Skelton, who was shot dead by police officers in a Hull street. I have also led the firm’s representation of more than 40 people wrongly convicted of drug-driving offences following the alleged tampering of forensic samples at a centre used by police forces across the UK.

My proudest moment was being awarded the ‘rising star’ of the claims profession at the national Modern Claims Awards in 2017. This award came off the back of being instructed to act for families in a number of high profile human rights cases of national significance.

Career, qualifications and memberships

  • BA in Politics and International Relations
  • Postgraduate Diploma in law
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
  • Member of Human Rights Lawyers Association
  • Member of Police Action Lawyers Group

"A Sussex Police officer has been found guilty of gross misconduct at a disciplinary panel today over his failure to properly investigate Shana Grice’s complaints"

Andrew Petherbridge, Legal Executive and Head of Civil Liberties

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