Described by Legal 500 (2013) as "intelligent, enthusiastic and able", Helen specialises in human rights law and actions against the police. Her work includes inquests, judicial review claims, and public inquiries, as well as civil claims and complaints against the police.
Helen has significant experience of working with the families of those who have died in police and prison custody. Her work includes representing the father of Duncan Tomlin who died in Sussex police’s custody in 2014. The case has been referred to the CPS by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to consider charges over the actions of five police officers. She is also acting with Partner Kate Maynard for the family of Dalian Atkinson, the former Aston Villa football player who died in August 2016 in West Mercia police’s custody. A criminal investigation has been opened into Dalian’s death.
Helen is also a member of the team who represented Susan Alexander, the mother of Azelle Rodney who was shot dead in April 2005 by the Metropolitan Police. In July 2013 the Chairman of the Azelle Rodney Inquiry (ARI) found that there no lawful justification for shooting Azelle so as to kill him, and that the police had also failed in the planning and control of the operation. Subsequently the officer who shot Azelle was charged with murder.
Helen worked on all three judicial reviews connected with the ARI. Her other judicial review work has included challenging the lawfulness of police cautions, acting for companies in a British Overseas Territory challenging the decisions of an Airport Authority, and as part of the team representing Andrew Adams in the Supreme Court, challenging the Justice Secretary's definition of "miscarriage of justice".
Helen is involved in acting for the family of Sean Rigg, a mentally ill man who died in Brixton Police station in 2008. In 2012 the inquest jury found that restraint by the police of Sean in the prone position more than minimally contributed to his death, resulting in the IPCC commissioning an unprecedented independent review of its investigation.
Helen was also part of the team who won a £3.8 million settlement from Sussex Police for Gary Reynolds who suffered permanent brain injury and partial paralysis following arrest and detention in March 2008.
Helen has a Masters degree in Human Rights Law from the University of Nottingham. She is a member of the Police Actions Lawyers Group and is on the steering group for the Inquest Lawyers Group.