Lincoln House Chambers Wed, 13 Jun 2018 11:58:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Acceptance of Instructions in Legally Aided Cases Wed, 13 Jun 2018 11:58:29 +0000 Read more]]> Following the announcement from the CBA about its poll, the result was, by a narrow majority, that the profession will accept the proposals negotiated with the government, including a further review in 18 months time. The CBA have now withdrawn their call for action.

The members of Lincoln House Chambers will now accept instructions in legal aid cases where the representation order was granted both before and after the 1st April 2018.

Members of Lincoln House Chambers were proud to support the CBA in the action, not only in the interests of the future of the criminal bar but the criminal justice system generally. We will continue to campaign for proper recognition by the government of the problems which systemic underfunding has caused to solicitors, barristers and other professionals, and also the impact on our clients.

The CBA said “the investment in the AGFS scheme is the first step in a long road to rehabilitation for the Criminal Justice System. The damage done in recent decades will not be undone in weeks, or perhaps years. This proposal is the beginning and not the end of our campaign to improve the broken system we all work in every day. We still face exceptional difficulties, as do our solicitor colleagues. This will not fix the terrible conditions, the unhealthy and unreasonably onerous working practices and the general decrepitude. However, if we consider it a start we can build on it.”

Please do not hesitate in contacting the clerks if you have any questions or require any assistance.

St Patricks Night Sex was not Rape Wed, 13 Jun 2018 11:27:42 +0000 Read more]]> An Irish young man who took a friend out into Manchester in order to celebrate St Patrick’s Night with her in the traditional style and then invited her back to his flat where they had sex on numerous occasions did not rape her, a jury at Manchester Crown Square decided.

Mr Jeremy Lasker was instructed by Olliers solicitors to defend in the week-long trial which was conducted before HH Judge Mansell and a jury.

Although the complainant had described herself in earlier text messages to the Defendant that she was ‘Game as a Badger’ the case turned on the question of consent and whether the Defendant ought to have known that she had changed her mind.

Data Retention Policy & Disposal Policy Thu, 10 May 2018 16:49:29 +0000 Read more]]> This policy covers the period in which data is retained by Lincoln House Chambers, it also covers how both hard copy and electronic data are disposed of. Whilst information is retained Chambers Data Protection Policy governs the way in which it is stored and transported (where applicable).

This policy has been constructed based on obligations set by the GDPR and in particular principle 5 which requires personal data processed for any purpose or purposes not to be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.

The data processed by Chambers will be split into three categories, these are:

  1. Direct Access Case Information – This relates to the data provided by direct access clients to enable to the legal service (contractual relationship) to be fulfilled. It includes the specific case information such as correspondence, evidence, statements, written work etc. It does not include data relating to the financial aspects of the professional relationship (fees charged and payments received) for the service and the client and/or case name and the clients address/contact details. It does not include the name of the other parties involved in the case.
  1. Professional Client Case Information – This relates to the data provided by professional clients (anything that is not direct access) to enable a legal service (contractual relationship) to be fulfilled. It includes the specific case information such as correspondence, evidence, statements, written work etc. It does not include the data relating to the financial aspects of the professional relationship (fees charged and payments received) for the service and it does not include the name of the client and/or case name, the name of the instructing party, the contact details of the instructing party. It does not include the name of the other parties involved in the case.
  1. Professional Fees Information – This relates to the data involved in recording the financial aspects of each case. It includes the name of the client and/or case name, the name of the instructing party, the contact details of the instructing party and the name of the other parties involved in the case.

The retention period for the three categories are:

Direct Access Case Information – 7 years following case conclusion.

Members of the Bar are required by their professional conduct rules and by the Data Protection Act to keep information safe. Records must also be retained after a case has concluded: see rC129 of the Bar Standards Board (BSB) Handbook for public access work (min. 7 year retention period), and rC141 of the Handbook for licensed access work (min. 6 year retention). Money Laundering information obtained for direct access cases should be retained for 7 years.

Professional Client Case Information – 7 years following case conclusion.

The 7 year retention period for this category of data is in place to allow for:

  1. Appeals (including a reasonable provision for appeals out of time
  2. The use of documents as precedents
  3. Legal Research relevant to a current case
  4. Instructions facts or expert opinions that may be relevant to a current case
  5. Conflict of interest searches
  6. Complaints or claims against insurers or instructing bodies

Although the Data Retention policy allows Chambers to retain this classification of data for 7 years if there is no specific requirement for us to do so, and where the obligation for data retention is on those instructing us, we reserve the right to return, delete or securely destroy data that is no longer required following the conclusion of our contractual relationship.

Professional Fees Information – Retained indefinitely.

The requirement for retention of barrister financial records remains indefinitely. The information retained is strictly limited to the name of the client/case, the name and contact details of those who instruct and the recording of fee information. In addition to the requirement to retain fee information, the potential for conflicts of interest exist beyond the 7 year retention period and as such it is of benefit to retain client names. However, in the event of a request for the case name or name of the lay client to be anonymised the Data Protection Administrator has the ability to facilitate that.

Date of case conclusion

The date of case conclusion will be the latest date of either the full payment of fees for the case, the date outstanding fees are written off or the concluding court hearing or judgement.

Disposal Methods

Secure Disposal of Media Equipment

Chambers have a legal responsibility to dispose of redundant equipment responsibly and ensure that the data held on such equipment is securely deleted, especially is it contains ‘personal data’ within the meaning of the General Data Protection Regulation.

Counsel who wishes to dispose of any computer, hard drive, removable drives or other removable media on which sensitive or restricted material has been stored, including computers used at home, must ensure that the relevant media is effectively destroyed or wiped before disposal using a recognised method to ensure that information is put beyond recovery.  Mere file deletion, single pass overwriting or reformatting is insufficient.  Physical destruction or the use of specialist deletion and overwriting software is required. Chambers offers the service to all members.

The Information Commissioner has the power to award fines of up to £500,000 (or 4% of global worldwide turnover, whichever is higher) for breaches of the Date Protection Act.

Chambers old or broken electronic equipment should be stored in the server room on the 8th floor, which is locked at all times.

All equipment that is for disposal must be completed cleared of data at the very earliest opportunity.

All equipment must be destroyed using Chambers recognised service providers in this area (currently Houghtons Waste Paper Ltd) who comply with the UK Security Shredding Associations code of practice for destruction of confidential material and provide a certificate of destruction.

Secure Disposal of Hard Copy Information

The vast majority of hard copy information that is used by members of chambers is available electronically and stored on the Lex case management system. Very occasionally we will be supplied with a paper brief by those instructing that we do not convert to an electronic file. We ask that any briefs/instructions that are provided in paper form are duplicates and the originals are retained by those instructing.

At the completion of the case of the case the instructing body is given a choice as to whether the hard copy information is returned to them or securely destroyed by chambers. The choice and confirmation of the action is recorded on our CMS.

Any hard copy information that is generated by members from the electronic version held on our CMS is securely destroyed as soon as the case is completed.

The secure destruction facility is available to members for both work instructed through chambers and for private/personal information.

Chambers uses the secure destruction service provided by Houghtons Waste Paper Ltd who comply with the UK Security Shredding Associations code of practice for destruction of confidential material and provide a certificate of destruction.

Deletion of Electronic Data

Both Barristers and Staff are required to fully utilise the Lex CMS for the storage of correspondence and case data. This means that there is a single facility and location for all information relating to a specific case. The case record email facility within Lex allows for emails to be sent directly from the case and in doing that they are stored on the case. Emails that are sent in response to emails sent using this facility are automatically stored on Lex. In the event that emails are sent or received outside Lex they are to be transferred to Lex at the earliest opportunity. Once information is stored on Lex it should be permanently deleted from email accounts.

Any data downloaded from Lex to a device (to enable work to be undertaken) will be permanently deleted from the device following the completion of the task.

Any data obtained from other sources (DCS, downloaded from instructing bodies shared file facility etc) will be downloaded onto Lex and permanently deleted at the earliest opportunity.

Barristers and staff will conduct a bi-weekly review of their devices to ensure that all data is permanently removed.


The longest backup cycle used by Lincoln House Chambers is 3 months. This means that a full backup of Chambers data will exist for 3 months after the date of deletion from the Lex system. At the start of the 4th month the drive is overwritten with the most up to date version of data.









Chambers is delighted to announce Anna Chestnutt’s acceptance of tenancy Wed, 09 May 2018 07:09:46 +0000 Read more]]> After the successful completion of her 3rd sixth pupillage, under the supervision of Leila Ghahhary, Anna Chestnutt officially joins chambers as a tenant.

Prior to being called the bar in 2016 Anna gained international experience in America, working with the Texas Defender Service, the American Counsel Association, and obtaining work experience across various offices of Heyl Rosyter, a multi-disciplinary firm based in Illinois.

Andrew Thomas commented “Anna Chestnutt joined us having completed pupillage at a leading London set. Already she has made a strong impression. She is a talented lawyer and a very able advocate. We are delighted to welcome her to Lincoln House Chambers.”

View Anna’s full profile here.

Charlotte Holland appointed as a District Judge Fri, 04 May 2018 08:59:10 +0000 Read more]]> Chambers is delighted to announce Charlotte Holland’s appointment as a District Judge (Magistrates’ Court).

The Lord Chief Justice has deployed Charlotte to the North Eastern Circuit, based at Leeds Magistrates’ Court with effect from 11th June 2018.

Head of Chambers, Andrew Thomas QC, said of the appointment:

“I am delighted at the appointment of Charlotte Holland as a  District Judge. Charlotte has been a pillar of strength to our criminal team for many years. She has appeared with distinction in many difficult and high profile cases and already has considerable experience as a part-time judge. We are sorry to lose Charlotte from Chambers but she is an excellent appointment as a Judge.”

Charlotte was called to the Bar in 1996 (Lincolns Inn) and has practised from Lincoln House Chambers since 2001 when she joined from Old Colony House Chambers. Charlotte had a part time Judicial Appointment as a fee paid Judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) and sat on Financial Ombudsman Panels.

Quadruple Murder Trial Commences Tue, 01 May 2018 07:54:40 +0000 Read more]]> The trial of three individuals has begun before Mr Justice Davis at Crown Square. All three are accused of the murders of four children under the age of 15 in a house fire in Salford in December 2017 and of the attempted murders of three further individuals.

Lincoln House represent all parties:

Paul Reid Q.C. and Neil Fryman appear for the Crown.

Peter Wright Q.C. and Dan Thomas act for Bolland (instructed by Daniel King and Rod Hall of Forbes).

Ian McMeekin acts for Worrall (instructed by Abigail Henry of Berry & Berry).

Richard Simons acts for Brierley (instructed by Kerry Morgan of Morgan Brown & Company).

See here for more information:

Neil Usher secures acquittal of female teacher accused of having sex with her pupil Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:21:13 +0000 Read more]]> Following a seven day trial, Deborah Lowe, 54, was acquitted of all six counts of sexual activity with a child and sexual activity whilst being in a position of trust. Mrs Lowe was a secondary school teacher accused of grooming and then seducing a 15 year old male pupil in her care. She had always denied the offences, whilst admitting that she did have a sexual relationship with the young man, but only after he had left school and at a time when he was 17, not 15.

The case highlighted the importance of full disclosure of telephone downloads. The prosecution initially refused to disclose the download of the complainant’s mobile phone. Neil made a successful application to the court for the download to be served, as evidence (again, opposed by the prosecution but ordered by the trial judge). The complainant initially told the police he was 17 when the relationship with his ex teacher began. The download revealed that days before the complainant changed his story by now claiming he was 15 when the sex began, he had contacted The Sun newspaper to sell his story as an exclusive. The download searches undertaken by Neil also showed that the complainant then browsed the websites of a leading designer clothes shop and Harvey Nichols before giving his new account to the police.

In a case that attracted significant national media interest, the jury took just over two hours to find Mrs Lowe not guilty on all counts. In a press release following her acquittal Mrs Lowe thanked Neil and his instructing solicitor, Jared McNally of Clifford Johnson solicitors in Manchester.

View Neil’s full profile here.
Richard Dawson successfully resists Prosecution Appeal in death by dangerous driving case Tue, 10 Apr 2018 16:57:55 +0000 Read more]]> Glenn Wall was convicted by the jury, by 11:1 majority, in December 2017, of causing death by dangerous driving.  He was sentenced in January 2018 to 2 years’ imprisonment.

The Prosecution, through the Solicitor General, made application to the Court of Appeal that the sentence was unduly lenient.  They sought to argue that insufficient regard had been had to the aggravating features in the case, so that the sentence starting point was too low; and that too much weight had been attached to the mitigating features of the case, so that the final sentence imposed was too low.

Richard was instructed, by Martin English on behalf of Weightmans Solicitors, to defend Glenn Wall on the Attorney General’s Reference.

The Prosecution success rate on Attorney General’s References is in the order of about 90%. On this occasion however, Richard successfully resisted the application and the Court of Appeal were persuaded that it would be inappropriate to interfere with the sentence. Accordingly, the sentence was not increased. The original sentence of 2 years’ imprisonment stands.

On behalf of Glenn Wall, Richard argued that the Solicitor General had erred in his analysis of the sentencing exercise which had been undertaken; the application was misguided; and the sentence was not unduly lenient.  The erroneous analysis of the case by the Solicitor General failed to appreciate that this was not a clear cut case of dangerous driving.  The aggravating features relied on by the Solicitor General were not aggravating features as normally recognised.  Individually, none of themselves amounted to dangerous driving.  It was only in their collective totality that the overall standard of driving could be said to have fallen a long way below the standard to be expected of the competent, careful driver.  The Trial Judge was best placed to determine the true culpability of the offender.  Likewise, he was best placed to judge the appropriate final sentence, in light of the relevant mitigating factors

The Court agreed that the Trial Judge was best placed to determine the weight to be attached to the various factors.  He had presided over the trial and had carefully set out his decision.  He had rightly considered the guidelines and was correct in his assessment that this was Level 3 on the guidelines.  There was considerable and powerful mitigation.  This was not an unduly lenient sentence.

To view Richard’s full profile, click here. Please contact a member of the clerking team for details on how to instruct Richard.

Matthew Howarth Secures Appeal in Licensing Case Tue, 10 Apr 2018 08:56:23 +0000 Read more]]> Following a trial at Tameside Magistrates Court on Thursday 5th April, Matthew successfully appealed a Local Council against a revocation of a Scrap Metal Dealers License.

The Local Council sought to apply the “Fit and Proper Person” Test commonly used for Taxi License appeals. Matthew argued that the “Fit and Proper Person” Test was not one used in the wording of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 and thus the high threshold applied to Taxi Drivers did not apply to Scrap Metal Dealers.

The “Suitable Person” test was not similar to a “Fit and Proper Person” and as a matter of law it would not be appropriate to apply a different test not envisaged by Parliament.

To view Matthew’s full profile, click here.

Austin Welch and Leila Ghahhary appointed to Attorney General’s Civil Panel of Counsel Fri, 06 Apr 2018 10:56:37 +0000 Read more]]> Chambers are delighted to announce that Leila Ghahhary and Austin Welch have been appointed by the Attorney General as Junior Counsel to the Crown.

Both Leila and Austin received letters of appointment from The Right Honourable Jeremy Wright QC MP who described the competition for places on the Panel as “fierce”.

As Junior Counsel to the Crown, Leila and Austin will be undertaking complex civil, public law and EU work for all government departments.

Leila and Austin join two other recent appointees, Heather Aspinall and Dan Thomas, on the Panel demonstrating Lincoln House Chambers’ growing strength in civil and public law at the highest level.