5 Essex Court
Temple, London, EC4Y 9AH
Phone: 020 7410 2000
YEAR OF CALL 1999
Barney studied French with Linguistics at Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in 1991. Whilst at university, Barney was sponsored by the Welsh Guards and after graduating he served in the regiment for five years in Northern Ireland, Shropshire, Paris, Germany and London.
On leaving the Army he converted to law at City University and studied for the BVC at ICSL; he was called to the Bar by Middle Temple in October 1999. Barney was recently awarded an MA from Oxford University, being congratulated by both the Vice Chancellor of the University and by the Dean of Christ Church for his "hard work and dedication".
“The "very good" Barnabas Branston "charms the panel," and "has the knack of not overplaying his hand" in cases and inquests. He has been involved in a number of inquests recently, including one into the death of Sean Walsh, who suffered a seizure in custody and died in hospital. Branston was also involved in the Ian Tomlinson case” (Police Law) Chambers and Partners 2013
“is a firm favourite among clients and instructing solicitors alike. Sources rate him highly for his work in coroners' inquests, disciplinary hearings and civil actions.” (Police Law) Chambers and Partners 2012
“impresses sources with his solid expertise in relation to disciplinary proceedings, employers' liability claims and coroners' inquests." Chambers and Partners 2011
“a solid reputation for his work, particularly on employers’ liability claims” Chambers and Partners 2010
“a star of the future in this field” Chambers and Partners 2007
“an incredible ability for one so young” Chambers and Partners 2007
Barney’s police law practice consists largely of work in disciplinary proceedings, both on behalf of the presenting officer/appropriate authority at misconduct hearings and at Police Appeals Tribunals; he is also regularly instructed as the independent legal adviser to the panel and has appeared as legal adviser to the panel in third stage UPP proceedings brought pursuant to the Police (Performance) Regulations 2008. He continues to provide update training throughout the country in relation to the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008 and the Police (Appeals) Tribunals Rules 2008, having been part of the Chambers’ team which created the NPIA accredited training that was so well-received in forces nationwide.
Re PC Caroline Warren - Independent legal advisor to the panel convened by the Metropolitan Police to hear allegations amounting to insubordination but set against the background of cogent medical evidence of panic attacks.
Re Ex PC Dunbar - Representing Warwickshire Police before the Police Appeals Tribunal opposing the application of the “Dart Harbour” test of “reasonable”
Re PC Polly Johnson - Representing the Metropolitan Police in a misconduct hearing arising from a false and malicious allegation of assault made against a colleague.
Re Ex PC Smith - Representing Staffordshire Police before the Police Appeals Tribunal where the grounds relied on were procedural irregularities and the consequent perception of unfairness.
Re PC Dean Bonner - Representing West Midlands Police in a misconduct hearing arising from an investigation led by the anti-corruption unit.
Re PC Smith - Independent legal advisor to the panel convened by Suffolk Police to hear allegations amounting to an indecent assault.
Re PC Baillon and PC Clease - Independent legal advisor to the panel convened by Gwent police to hear allegations brought by a member of the public following a contentious road traffic stop.
Re PC Rackham – Presenting Officer in Fast Track disciplinary proceedings pursuant to Police (Conduct) Regulations 2004 in respect of an officer who was later convicted of serious sexual offences.
Re Insp Burrows, Sgt Thurogood, PC Johnson - Legal Advisor to an externally-appointed panel convened to consider allegations of gross misconduct against officers who were very highly placed in the force's Federation hierarchy.
Re Supt Trotman - Legal Advisor to the panel in misconduct allegations against a senior officer convened to consider matters of gross misconduct.
Re PC Joseph - Legal Advisor to the panel chaired by the DCC in allegations of gross misconduct brought against an officer alleged to have assaulted members of the public when off duty, where proceedings continued despite the officer's prior acquittal in the magistrates' court.
Barney continues to represent Chief Officers in coroners’ inquests, having recently been instructed on behalf of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police as junior counsel in the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan. Barney also appeared on behalf of City of London Police in the six-week inquest into the death of the newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson on the day of the G20 demonstrations. Other police inquests in which Barney has appeared have included various deaths in custody where death has followed episodes of drug toxicity and excited delirium, those where issues of positional asphyxia have been raised, those where death resulted from acute alcohol withdrawal and those where death followed vehicle pursuits.
Re Jack McLeod - Representing Warwickshire Police in an inquest into the suspicious death of a fourteen year old boy who was found to have drowned in the River Leam.
Re Kevin Isaac - Representing Leicestershire Police in an inquest into a death in a road traffic accident, involving consideration of the force's pursuit policy.
Re Karlene Wright - Representing the Metropolitan Police in an inquest into the death of a lady who fell from the seventh floor of a multi-storey car park after patrol officers had secured the area and were seeking to involve negotiators when she fell.
Re Jason Pierce - Representing West Mercia Police in a case in which patrol officers had restrained an individual who was later believed to have taken a “legal high”, and who became manic before suddenly collapsing with a massive heart attack. Issues of positional asphyxia, restraint techniques and training were closely examined.
Re Ian Tomlinson - Representing City of London Police in the six-week inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 demonstration on 1 April 2009, where the actions of all officers (and police dogs) involved in the clearance of Royal Exchange Buildings were considered in great detail and in highly publicised proceedings.
Re Ricky Penfold – Coroner’s inquest representing the Metropolitan Police where officers restrained an individual who was in the throes of cocaine-induced excited delirium.
Re Sean Walsh - representing Warwickshire Police in a three-week Coroner's inquest into the death of an alcoholic man whose condition declined in custody and who later died in hospital. Detailed analysis of the signs, symptoms and medical consequences of alcohol withdrawal and the ramifications for training and improved best practice in the custody suite.
Barney also defends Chief Officers in civil actions for assault, wrongful arrest/false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and misfeasance, as well as in personal injury claims, judicial review and in licensing matters.
Gonsalves v Chief Constable of Staffordshire - representing Staffordshire police defending allegations of wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution in a matter listed for a five-day trial with a jury.
Fox v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis - representing the Metropolitan Police in an application pursuant to s 329 CJA 2003 for permission to bring proceedings alleging an assault after the proposed Claimant had been convicted and imprisoned for serious offences arising out of the same incident.
Klein v Chief Constable of Staffordshire - defence of the Chief Constable in a 6 day jury trial for malicious prosecution brought by a litigant in person.
Gray v Metropolitan Police - defence of the Commissioner in a number of wide-ranging applications (both in the County Court and in the High Court) and in the eventual trial in proceedings for wrongful arrest brought by a litigant in person.
Okoro v Metropolitan Police - defending a three-day trial in the High Court for wrongful arrest and assault.
As well as representing Chief Officers in police inquests, Barney also appears on behalf of Serco Home Affairs in inquests following deaths in custody, notably for those at Doncaster prison.
Re Gary Bell - six week inquest into a prisoner’s death in 2007 from peritonitis due to a perforated duodenal ulcer and requiring the detailed consideration of matters of clinical governance and the working practices of individuals in the healthcare centre.
Re Alfred Smith - three day inquest into a death by natural causes but which required the detailed examination of procedures then in place in the healthcare centre, especially in relation to the transportation of blood samples.
Barney has also recently been instructed in the separate inquests into the deaths in custody of Andrew Stanley, Carlo Hanshaw and Robert Proctor.
Barney has also appeared on behalf of the family of the deceased in inquests following road traffic accidents or suspicious deaths in care.
Barney is regularly instructed by Police Forces and Licensing Authorities in relation to case management hearings, review hearings and appeals under various provisions of the Licensing Act 2003. He is also regularly instructed in Private Hire Vehicle Driver and Operator Licence appeals.
Re Broadway Boulevard – represented the Metropolitan Police in a review of a premises licence for a venue in West London.
Re The J Bar - represented the Metropolitan Police in a review and subsequent appeal in relation to a nightclub in Brixton.
Barney represents both claimants and defendants at all stages of proceedings and in cases that range from "simple" tripping and slipping cases on the fast track to rather more complex matters on the multitrack. He is very happy to undertake CFA work and aims to return written work within 14 days.
Barney has a long-held interest in sport and is seeking to develop a practice in the regulatory and disciplinary aspects of sports law, both on behalf of individual athletes / sportsmen and sportswomen and on behalf of individual sports’ governing bodies, primarily utilising his significant disciplinary experience in his police practice.
Barney is happy to provide CPD lectures to solicitors on all aspects of his practice.
ICSL, 1998 - 1999
City University, 1997 - 1998
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, 1992
Christ Church, Oxford University, 1987 - 1991
Rendcomb College, Cirencester, 1982 - 1987
Barney is married with three children, lives in Shropshire and his outside interests include sport (especially rugby and cricket), the Welsh Guards, and looking after his chickens and his spaniel.