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Barrister - Varsha Jagadesham

Senior Practice Manager:
Abdul Hafeez

Practice Group Clerks:
Craig Wain
Gavin John
Lucas Bennett
Chris Graham

Chief Executive & Director of Clerking
Tony McDaid

Tel: +44 (0) 845 210 5555
Fax: +44 (0) 121 606 1501
[email protected]


Varsha Jagadesham Prison and Police Law

Varsha worked in bioethics and the biological sciences before coming to the Bar.

She graduated from Cambridge University with a BA/MSci in Biochemistry and an MPhil in Molecular Biology. Whilst completing her MPhil, she was awarded a place at E4S, a prestigious international bioethics summer school convened by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the European School of Molecular Medicine.

Varsha subsequently worked for several years in bioethics research at the independent think tank, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. Here, she researched and prepared major reports on the ethical issues concerning dementia and neurotechnologies for the treatment of brain disorders. She also researched the ethics of paediatric clinical trials and global health issues. Varsha completed a Law and Medical Ethics course with Edinburgh University.

Varsha also previously volunteered with the Citizens Advice Bureau at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where amongst other things she examined the importance of free legal advice to the physical and mental wellbeing of patients’ families.

Before joining No5 Barristers’ Chambers, Varsha completed pupillage at a leading police/public law set.


Varsha represents prisoners in Parole Board oral hearings. She also accepts instructions for judicial review and/or claims brought under the Human Rights Act for breach of the prisoner’s Art 5.4 right to speedy review of their detention.

Recent cases include:

  • Junior counsel for the claimant (led by Philip Rule) in the judicial review, R (on the application of Hussain) v The Parole Board, [2016] EWHC 288 (Admin), where the claimant argued breach of the ‘James’ systems duty and breach of the Art 5 ancillary duty.
  • Representing an IPP prisoner at an oral hearing where he was seeking re-release.
  • Representing a claimant in a claim for damages for loss of liberty as occasioned by breach of his Art 5.4 right to speedy review of his detention.

Varsha accepts legally aided and private instructions. She is willing to act on a CFA basis where appropriate.


During pupillage, Varsha gained experience of judicial review claims, claims brought against the police under the Human Rights Act (in particular Art 2 and Art 3), and civil actions against the police (including claims for assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office).

Varsha has acted for the police in a range of civil matters in the Crown, County, Family and Magistrates’ Court. This includes: applications for forfeiture under the Proceeds of Crime Act; SOPOs/SHPOs; DVPOs; police disclosure in family proceedings; and licensing reviews of premises licences.

  • BPTC, City Law School: Very Competent
  • GDL, City Law School: Commendation
  • Law and Medical Ethics CPD course, Edinburgh University
  • MPhil Molecular Biology, Cambridge University
  • BA/MSci (Hons) Biochemistry, Cambridge University: Upper Second Class
  • BPTC Major Scholarship, Inner Temple
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award, Inner Temple
  • GDL Exhibition, Inner Temple
  • BBSRC MPhil Research Studentship
  • Award by Harvard Kennedy School of Government, European Molecular Biology Laboratory and European School of Molecular Medicine to attend E4S
  • Pro Bono Unit
  • ALBA