Philip Rule KC

Viewing: Inquests Public Inquiries and Coronial Law for Philip Rule KC

Appointed to the preferred counsel panel of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2019. Legal Aid Barrister of the Year winner of the Legal Aid Practitioner Group’s LALYs award 2017. Philip is recognised as a leading junior barrister in public law matters by both the Legal 500 and the Chambers UK Bar directories.
Philip’s inquest practice encompasses advice and representation for family members. He has acted for family members in cases that include self-inflicted deaths, and unexplained or complex medical deaths; and has particular expertise in cases engaging the investigative duty of the state arising by virtue of the positive obligations to protect life under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. He usually attends inquests in London and the Midlands, but is willing to accept instructions in other locations also.
Philip is junior counsel to the family of one of the deceased whose inquest is to be heard in 2021 by the Chief Coroner concerning the terrorist events at the Fishmongers’ Hall and London Bridge in late 2019. The inquest raises important issues of systemic and operational matters engaging a multitude of public and private bodies.
He has acted on behalf of a family seeking to secure a fresh inquest to comply with the state’s Article 2 ECHR investigative duties where they had been initially unrepresented and the coroner had at that inquest simply read through the police and medical evidence. Philip assisted with judicial review and with an application to the Attorney-General for a fiat to enable the bringing of a fresh inquest (pursuant to section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988).
Philip was recently involved in an inquest in which he successfully obtained recognition of the Article 2 ECHR investigative duty in a context that explored, as the law is developing, the protective obligations that arise in an outpatient setting where there is a known history of and some risk of self-harm or suicide.
Philip represents the parents of a young girl who died in hospital and who seek answers to many questions concerning her medical treatment. The question as to what was and was not done arises in light of the dispute as to the best interests of the child between her parents and the hospital, and where the young girl sadly died before the High Court gave judgment in favour of the parents’ position that she should have been eligible for readmission to paediatric intensive care.
In addition, he is also instructed on behalf of care service providers in inquest proceedings, and therefore understands the workings of organisations that provide essential care to the elderly and disabled in the community.
Philip settled proceedings and appeared before the Chancery Division of the High Court in a case concerning the Worcester Crematorium, a funeral care home and the representatives of a deceased person, seeking an injunction to prevent a funeral proceeding to enable a person suspected of a homicide offence and under police investigation to obtain a pathologist’s post-mortem of the body prior to its destruction.
Philip juniored to Nageena Khalique QC in the Court of Appeal in judicial review proceedings concerning the conduct of an inquest and the test for causation involving Art. 2 ECHR (R (Wiggins) v HM Assistant Coroner for Nottinghamshire [2016] EWCA 1414).
He spoke at No5’s Annual Inquest and Public Inquiries seminar in 2016, and attended the Public Law Project’s Inquiries, Investigations and the Law conference on 22 April 2016. He has a keen interest in legacy cases and transitional justice, and historic miscarriages of justice. Philip spoke at the joint Bar Council and Law Society conference in Bogota, Colombia, in 2019 on issues of public law accountability and judicial review.
Philip has spoken about, amongst other things, judgment in the High Court of Northern Ireland in the case of the murder of Patrick Finucane and the continuing efforts to obtain a public inquiry into his murder and State collusion. Philip is keen to use his background in criminal cases, including the use of covert human intelligence sources, to assist core participants in the ongoing Pitchford inquiry into the use of undercover policing.
Philip has a particular interest in detention and the safeguarding of vulnerable individuals. His detailed knowledge of the procedures and policies applied to detention for instance in police stations, and in prisons and young offender institutions, is an advantage to him in inquest and inquiry work that concerns events and deaths in custody. However Philip’s attention to detail and analytical strengths make him a force also in cases concerning detailed medical issues and contests of expert opinion. He has been instructed in cases concerning ‘shaken baby syndrome’ as well as a wide variety of psychiatric conditions.
As well as legal skills, Philip always seeks to bring to any case a humanity and understanding of the client’s interests in what is always a difficult and testing experience of litigation. He tries to develop a trust and understanding that gives the client full confidence that they will be assisted with courtesy and sensitivity, as well as being represented with force and vigour when called for.
In respect to other forms of inquiry, in 2017 Philip was instructed to advise the Chairman of a football association in the Caribbean in relation to an investigation by an anti-corruption commission concerning matters connected to the international investigations FIFA are undertaking into corruption and misappropriation of funds.
Philip was also instructed to advise the director of an organisation providing care and rehabilitation accommodation to remanded young boys facing a corporate manslaughter investigation following the drowning of one boy on a day trip conducted by the home.
Philip regularly appears before the Administrative and Divisional Court, and in the Court of Appeal, both the Civil and Criminal Divisions. Philip’s Public Law profile lists his most high-profile work in judicial review and appellate cases, and his civil High Court and Court of Appeal successes.
“Philip is quick thinking on his feet. He is a very good tactical thinker, and able to utilise this effectively in written advice and in advocacy. He has strong attention to detail, which is particularly important in factually knotty cases.”
Chambers UK 2023
"Absolutely fantastic in his work. His written work is flawless, his advice creative and with deep understanding of novel points of law. Instructing solicitors have been very impressed and would jump at the chance to instruct him again."
Legal 500 2022

Latest News & Publications

On 4 April 2023, the Divisional Court (Macur LJ and Chamberlain J) held a further hearing in the case of R (Bailey and Morris) v Secretary of State for Justice...

Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2023
Today the Supreme Court reveals its judgment on the question of the permissible approaches for the panels of the Parole Board to take to unproven allegations....

Date: Wed, 05 Apr 2023
On 31 March 2023 the Administrative Court (sitting at Leeds) allowed the judicial review claim of R (HP) v Royal Borough of Greenwich [2023] EWHC 744 (Admin). No5’s Philip Rule KC represented the successful claimant....

Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2023