Case details

James-Bowen and others (Respondents) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2017/0003

Case summary


Whether a person who is sued in civil litigation for alleged misconduct by his employees (or others for whom he is vicariously liable) owes those employees a duty of care in the conduct of his defence


The respondents are police officers who took part in the arrest and detention of Babar Ahmed in December 2003. Mr Ahmed alleged that he had been seriously assaulted by the respondents and in 2007 brought a claim against the appellant on the grounds that he was vicariously liable for those assaults. Two days into the trial the appellant compromised the claim on terms which involved an admission of most of the alleged assaults. The respondents issued the present proceedings in 2013 alleging that the appellant had conducted the proceedings negligently, and seeking damages for reputational, economic and psychiatric harm. The appellant applied to have the claims struck out.

Judgment appealed

[2016] EWCA Civ 1217



Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis

  1. Rod James-Bowen
  2. Nigel Cowley
  3. Mark Jones
  4. John Donoghue



Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Lloyd-Jones

Hearing start date

06 Mar 2018

Hearing finish date

07 Mar 2018

Watch hearing
6 Mar 2018 Morning session Afternoon session
7 Mar 2018 Morning session Afternoon session