Skip to main content

Emergency services

We are ranked as one of the pre-eminent teams offering a full range of legal services to police organisation, fire authorities, regulatory and representative bodies nationwide, based on years of experience in the emergency services sector. We also offer a full array of services to Ambulance Trusts.

The emergency services operate within a sensitive, high-profile sector where compliance with the law, regulations and standards of performance are critical. Increasingly the Emergency services are being required to work more closely together and we are leaders in advising on collaboration and joint working.

We understand at all times that reputation, security and public confidence are at stake  Our acknowledged specialist team acts exclusively for police and fire clients across England and Wales, using their know-how to work at full-speed for the most efficient and cost-effective service possible.

Valuable aspects of our service include:

  • A deep knowledge of the sector, and the evolving issues facing our clients
  • Pro-activity-horizon scanning Offering insights to prepare you for the future
  • Using our experience of best practice across the country to inform advice 
  • Local specialists who can connect quickly with you, working as an extension of your team


Fire authorities nationwide have been taking our specialist advice for many years on everything from regulatory matters such as health and safety and the environment to operational advice, governance issues, real estate, employers’ and public liability claims, employment law (including strike action issues) and fire operational advice. Current issues include advice on changes in governance, collaboration and fire prosecutions.

We understand your needs and expectations as a public employer, and the demands and pressures on you. Forming a committed relationship and working closely together to achieve your goals, our advice is robust, practical, realistic and always presented in plain English.

Members of our Fire team are authors of "Emergency Services Law and Liability", published recently by Jordans.


We've been involved in some of the police service’s most high-profile and significant cases over the last decade, acting for more metropolitan and regional police forces and authorities than any other private law firm. We have an in-depth knowledge of the issues facing Police clients and offer a pro-active and swift service. We support in-house Police legal teams and increasingly offer an innovative service where our lawyers are imbedded on site as part of our client’s team. 

Across the emergency service sector we can help you with legal advice in a number of specialist areas, including:

  • General commercial: collaboration agreements, funding agreements, partnering agreements and confidentiality agreements
  • Governance and Policing & Crime Act: advising on business cases, integration proposals and change in control under the Policing & Crime Act
  • Public procurement and frameworks: standalone procurement processes to call off/mini competition procedures under pre-existing frameworks, compliance procedures, contentious matters such as formal challenges before the courts, OGC framework agreements (contentious and non contentious matters).
  • IT: software licence agreements and hardware development licensing agreements and IT services, including outsourcing agreements, IT procurement and shared services arrangements
  • Intellectual property: use of anti-terrorism techniques, IP assignment and licence agreements (patent, copyrights, trademarks and know-how)
  • Charities: police endowment and benevolent funds – governance, regulation and Charity Commission guidance, trustees, forming and registering charities, as well as mergers, group structures, transfers of engagement and rationalisations.
  • Finance, banking, insurance and tax: financing business transactions and property development, including loan and security documentation and recognising statutory or contractual borrowing restrictions.
  • Charging and trading: advising on the statutory and regulatory framework for commercial contracts and agreements
  • Employment and governance: discrimination claims under the Equality Act and whistleblowing claims, police regulations, TUPE and organisational change 
  • Litigation: public liability claims – false imprisonment or assault, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office or malicious procurement; judicial review; Human Rights Act and negligence; claims under the Equality Act; Inquests (including Article 2 Inquests); Magistrates Court work; employer liability claims; public liability; RTA 
  • Property: best use of assets including advice on collaboration and One Public estate; acquisitions, disposals and estates management; construction/PFI; environmental and planning; property litigation and procurement; residential conveyancing; housing

Related publications

Main Contact
Services Publications
A matter of timing

Claimant challenged a court order for the forfeiture of cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act on the grounds that earlier seizure was unlawful.

John Riddell Partner
Holding chief officers to account – the margin of appreciation

The PCC's decisions to suspend and require the resignation of the chief constable of SYP over statements about the Hillsborough verdict were…

John Riddell Partner

Court gives protection to officers acting in good faith

An officer who believed that a court injunction was lawful and that someone was in breach of it, was acting in the execution of her duty.

John Riddell Partner

New study shows fire fighters face increased heart attack risk

A recent study revealed that fire fighters exposed to extreme heat and physical exertion demonstrated clinically recognised changes in the form of…

Jim Byard Partner

R (Hicks) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis

It was lawful for the police to detain persons to prevent a breach of the peace and to release them once the risk had disappeared without bringing…

John Riddell Partner

TL v Chief Constable of Surrey

If there are reasonable grounds for belief that questioning or imposition of bail conditions are necessary for effective investigation, an arrest…

John Riddell Partner

Public sector exit payment reforms

HM Treasury’s response to the public sector exit payments consultation tells us that the government has not seen evidence to change their view.

Phil Allen Partner

McCarthy v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police

The recorder's conclusion that the full duration of the discharge for a second time of his Taser by a police constable was unlawful was wrong in law.

Nick Peel Partner