Chez Cotton

Senior Consultant Solicitor

E: chez@matthewgold.co.uk

Chez specialises in police law and civil actions, with a broader practice encompassing strategic litigation, judicial review, discrimination law and human rights.  She has a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes for her clients and holding the police, state and public authorities to account.  Known for her tactical thinking and attention to detail, Chez works tirelessly to protect the rights, freedoms and reputation of her clients and to promote fairness and equality.

Chez has been involved in a number of important and high profile cases in her areas of specialism.  These include the Panorama hospital abuse case, undercover policing, redress for political journalists/NUJ and major environmental and political protests.  She is known for her ability to co-ordinate large scale claims that combine litigation, campaigning and using the media.  One of the most influential lawyers of her generation, she is recognised for pioneering work representing disabled prisoners and vulnerable young people who have been mistreated within the justice system.

Chez uses new legislation creatively in support of those most disadvantaged in society.  In private practice she has consistently been recognised as a ‘key individual’ in claims against the police.  In the Chambers and Partners legal directory she has been described as a ‘razor sharp, reliable and shrewd’ lawyer who is ‘incredibly down to earth and easy to get on with.’

Chez is a regular speaker at seminars, conferences, public debates and rallies throughout the UK and internationally, on the right to protest, freedom of expression, disability rights and rule of law issues.  Her work has featured on Newsnight, BBC News, Radio 4 and in the Guardian, Independent and Private Eye, amongst others, as well in international media:

https://www.lag.org.uk/article/209553/human-rights-act-1998–scope-of-potential-claims-for-victims–relatives

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/11/race-equality-chief-tony-sewell-faces-legal-challenge-over-appointment

Chez joined MG & Co as a Senior Consultant Solicitor in 2019.

She trained at leading civil rights firm Christian Fisher, qualifying in 2000 and joining the Action Against Police team, under Sadiq Khan.  In 2002 she moved to specialist human rights firm Hickman and Rose, where she became a partner.  In 2008 she moved to head the Police Misconduct team at Bindmans LLP.  In 2014 she left to focus on consultancy and international work, particularly in relation to the right to protest/freedom of expression, and training on rule of law issues, most notably in Myanmar with the International Senior Lawyers Project.  She works with individuals, campaigning and action groups, journalists, unions and other organisations.

Chez is a former chair/co-ordinator (2002-2014) and current member of the Police Actions Lawyer Group (PALG).  She is a member of the Legal Action Group (LAG).

LLB: Law (London School of Economics)

LPC (BPP Law School)

Chez deals with all aspects of abuse/misconduct claims and public law challenges against the police and detaining authorities, arising from the criminal justice system. She has a significant wider practice including judicial review, discrimination law and human rights. She is known for her strategic thinking and meticulous approach to litigation.

A skilled negotiator, Chez has a long history of getting positive results for those she represents.  Many of her cases settle at an early stage, with damages, destruction of DNA data/fingerprints/photographs and apologies, often without the need to issue proceedings.

Chez has considerable experience in running complex, large scale, strategic litigation, including succeeding at trial in one of the largest multi-party actions in the UK courts (acting for over 100 claimants, with twelve test cases, relating to the Fairford/Laporte Iraq war protest coach cases).

Her areas of expertise include:

  • Strategic litigation
  • Civil claims against the police:
  • False imprisonment, unlawful detention and loss of liberty;
  • Assault and battery;
  • Malicious prosecution;
  • Misfeasance and misconduct in public office;
  • Human rights breaches;
  • Negligence and failure to investigate;
  • Discrimination and claims under the equality act;
  • Trespass to property or goods
  • Judicial review, discrimination law and human rights claims
  • Challenging policing decisions and police powers
  • Privacy rights relating to the misuse and/or retention of data by the State
  • Inquest and Public Inquiry work
  • Police complaints

 

In the Chambers and Partners legal directory she has been described as ‘extremely practical and passionate about getting the result, whilst always remaining completely realistic’.

Image to follow

Chez Cotton

Senior Consultant Solicitor

E: chez@matthewgold.co.uk

Chez deals with all aspects of abuse/misconduct claims and public law challenges against the police and detaining authorities, arising from the criminal justice system.

She has considerable experience of running complex litigation against police forces throughout the UK, including settling cases at an early stage through negotiation, achieving damages, destruction of DNA data/fingerprints/photographs and apologies) through to full civil jury trials.

Her areas of expertise include:

  • Civil claims against the police
  • False imprisonment, unlawful detention and loss of liberty
  • Assault and battery
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Misfeasance and misconduct in public office
  • Human rights breaches
  • Negligence and failure to investigate
  • Discrimination and claims under the equality act
  • Trespass to property or goods
  • Challenging policing decisions and police powers
  • Privacy rights relating to the misuse and/or retention of data by the State
  • Inquest and Public Inquiry work
  • Police complaints

Chez trained from 1998 at civil rights firm Christian Khan (then Christian Fisher), under Louise Christian and Mike Fisher.  She qualified in May 2000 and joined the firm’s Actions Against Police team, under Sadiq Khan.

In 2002 she moved to specialist human rights firm Hickman and Rose, where she became a partner.  In 2008 she moved to Bindmans to head the Police Misconduct team.  She left in 2014 to focus on consultancy and international work, particularly in relation to the right to protest/freedom of the expression, and training on rule of law and related issues, most notably in Myanmar with the International Senior Lawyers Project.  She works with individuals, journalists, campaigning and action groups, unions and other organisations.

Chez is a former chair/co-ordinator (2002-2014) and current member of the Police Actions Lawyer Group (PALG).  She is a member of the Legal Action Group (LAG).

LLB: Law (London School of Economics)

LPC (BPP Law School)

Chez joined Mathew Gold in July 2019 as Consultant Senior Solicitor.

She specialises in police law and civil actions.  With over fifteen years experience, she has been at the forefront of holding the police and other detaining authorities to account for wrong-doing, abuse of power, unlawful acts/operations and misconduct.  She is known for working tirelessly to protect the rights, freedoms and reputation of her clients and for promoting fairness and equality.

Chez has been involved in some of the most important and high profile cases in this area, including G20, undercover policing, Fairford/Laporte multi-party action, redress for political journalists/NUJ, Climate Camp, The Thirst (Brixton band, arrested at gunpoint), as well as pioneering work representing disabled prisoners and vulnerable young people who have been mistreated within the justice system.  She has a particular interest in strategic litigation and using new legislation creatively in support of those most disadvantaged in the criminal justice system.

In private practice Chez has consistently been recognised as a ‘key individual’ in claims against the police.  In the Chambers and Partners legal directory she has been described as ‘extremely practical and passionate about getting the result, whilst always remaining completely realistic’ and ’a razor sharp, reliable and shrewd’ lawyer who is ‘incredibly down to earth and easy to get on with.’

Chez is a regular speaker at seminars, conferences, public debates and rallies throughout the UK and internationally, on the right to protest, freedom of expression, disability rights and rule of law issues.  Her work has featured on Newsnight, BBC News, Radio 4 and in the Guardian, Independent and Private Eye, amongst others, as well in international media.