I represent people who wish to bring the state and its officers to account, particularly those who have lost loved ones in custody and those who have been badly treated by the police or criminal justice system. My caseload includes claims and challenges against the police, the Ministry of Justice, prosecuting agencies and local authorities.
I specialise in acting for young or vulnerable people who have become caught up in the criminal justice system, victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, people who have suffered discrimination on grounds of race, gender and disability, political activists and the families of people who have died in police or prison custody or in mental health detention. I have a particular interest in challenging unlawful decisions by public authorities on behalf of political or campaigning groups in any of these areas.
After qualifying as a solicitor at Lovells (now Lovells Hogan) in 2005 I moved to Public Interest Lawyers and worked on cases arising out of the war in Iraq at the Court of Appeal and House of Lords (as it then was). I moved to Bhatt Murphy in 2007 where I developed my specialism in actions against the police and deaths in custody. I joined Hodge Jones & Allen in 2016.
In December 2015 I gave oral evidence to the House of Commons Justice Committee on behalf of the Police Action Lawyers Group on how the recent dramatic increases to court fees are likely to disproportionately impact on the most vulnerable members of society, such as those who bring claims under the Human Rights Act.
I ranked in Chambers 2021 in the field of police law and I’m also recommended in Legal 500, 2021. ” I was described as “incredibly thorough and nothing will slip through the net with Alice.” In Legal 500 “Alice Hardy is intelligent, creative, articulate and reflective. She is an excellent team player and provides great support for her clients.”
I am currently representing a number of Hillsborough families under the “Hillsborough Victims’ Misfeasance Litigation” – claims being brought for misfeasance in public office against the Chief Constables of South Yorkshire and West Midlands Police in relation to the investigations made by the police following the Hillsborough tragedy in April 1989.
- “Because Alice was very helpful and kept in contact with us, very encouraging, we achieved the apology we wanted through her hard work…everything was perfect…thanks a lot for your help. You have given our family hope that we can still be heard.”
- “Professionally thorough, helpful, supportive and friendly… throughout I felt so at ease and confident with everything.”
- “You were really helpful and even when I got anger because of things being postponed, the solicitor knew I wasn’t anger at her, she was understanding, she listened and she knew I was just frustrated with the police.”
- “I was fully satisfied…I believe Alice…did everything possible to win my case…I was totally happy with the service Alice…provided.”
- Claim against Northumbria Police (2015)
Claim against Northumbria police for a woman who suffered brain damage after being arrested during a hypoglycaemic attack and left in a police cell for nearly seven hours without being checked. The case settled for £450,000.
- Claim against Metropolitan Police (2015)
Acting for a man who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and lost his job as a result of being grabbed him from behind by a police officer and knocked to the ground, then detained for 22 hours before being released without charge. The matter settled for £65,000 plus an apology and removal of the incident from police records.
- Claim against Metropolitan Police (2015)
Claim for assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution for a husband and wife who both suffered post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their treatment by Metropolitan police officers. The case settled for £125,000 plus an apology and removal of all records of the incident from police records.
- KZA and GXW v Chief Constable of South Wales Police (2014)
Acting for a 12-year old girl who was strip searched without her mother or an appropriate adult being present. South Wales Police apologised and the girl accepted £17,000 in settlement of her claim for assault. Her mother was also strip searched and received £1,000 in damages.
- Estate of Shaun Elliott v Thames Valley Police (2014)
Acting for the family at the three-week inquest of Shaun Elliott, a vulnerable man who died after going missing from his care home in July 2011. The jury returned a highly critical verdict, finding failings on the part of Thames Valley Police which meant that his death could have been avoided. Thames Valley Police subsequently accepted liability for breaching Article 2 (right to life) and paid compensation to the family.
- Race discrimination claim against Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (2013)
Acting for a young black man claiming race discrimination claim after being stopped and searched up to 80 times over a five-year period. The claim settled for £44,000.
- Inquest and civil claim against Ministry of Justice and Suffolk Primary Care Trust (2012)
Representing the Estate and family of a man who died in custody after suffering a serious mental illness which was inadequately treated. The inquest jury returned a highly critical verdict. The civil claim for negligence settled for £150,000 days before trial.
- Minio Paluello v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (2011)
Acting for a protester whose arm was broken by a police officer during a lawful demonstration. The case went to trial at the High Court, where Eder J ruled that the officer’s manoeuvre was “obviously dangerous” and awarded the claimant £14,000.
- R (Gentle and Clarke) v Prime Minister and others (2008)
Assistant solicitor acting for the mothers of two soldiers who died in Iraq in a judicial review at the House of Lords of the government’s refusal to order a public inquiry into whether reasonable steps were taken to establish the legality of the Iraq war under international law before embarking on it.
- R (Al-Skeini & others) v Secretary of State for Defence (2007)
Assistant solicitor for the claimants in a large group action in the House of Lords challenging the refusal of the Secretary of State for Defence to apply Article 2/3 standards to investigations of civilian deaths at the hands of British soldiers in Iraq, invoking an extension of the jurisdiction of the Human Rights Act to those deaths in certain circumstances.
- R (Al-Jedda) v Secretary of State for Defence (2007)
Assistant solicitor for the claimant, a British citizen detained for three years without charge in Iraq, in an action in the House of Lords challenging the lawfulness of his detention under Article 5; disputing in particular that Article 5 (right to liberty) is qualified by UN Security Council Resolution 1546.
- Police Action Lawyers Group
- Inquest Lawyers Group
- 2016: Partner, Hodge Jones & Allen
- 2007 – 2016: Solicitor, Bhatt Murphy
- 2005 – 2007: Solicitor, Public Interest Lawyers
- 2003 – 2005: Trainee, then newly qualified solicitor, Lovells
- 2001 – 2002: Legal Practice Course, BPP
- 2000 – 2001: Postgraduate Diploma in Law, BPP
- 1996 – 1999: English Literature BA, New College, Oxford