Deputy Head of Human Rights -“through you they will become hopeful and determined, they will know that they are right to make a stand and that it will be worth it in the end” (Clare’s former client, December 2021). Clare is a civil liberties solicitor, specialising in human rights, inquest and public law.
Clare has a decade of experience representing some of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised members of society. She is committed to holding the state to account on behalf of her clients, be it for human rights breaches, or deliberate state abuse of power. She regularly challenges the police and prisons, and represents deceased victims and their families at inquests, where death has occurred in state custody.
Clare is mentioned in the Legal 500 for her standout contribution in the areas of Civil Liberties & Human Rights, and Administrative & Public Law.
Legal 500 testimonial – “Clare Evans is a fabulous lawyer – nuanced, insightful and meticulous in her approach. She trains and leads her team to uphold the highest standards of client care and case progression”.
Recent case examples:
- Inquest / civil claim for breaches of human rights –
- Clare represents a client who lost close family members in the Plymouth mass shooting of August 2021, perpetrated by Jake Davison. Jake was in lawful possession of the pump-action shotgun used in the killings. He had self-declared in his application for the shotgun licence, that he had Asperger’s and Autism. He was also known on police records, for a string of violent incidents in the near past. Yet the licensing police force did not take into consideration how these neurodiverse conditions or his violent past might impact upon or give an indication as to how he might respond to social situations in future, before deciding to grant him with the shotgun licence. Even after he committed a violent unprovoked assault later, in 2020, the shotgun was given back to him. Approximately one month later, he shot and killed 5 people, before killing himself. Through Clare, a relative of 2 of the deceased is enforcing their rights as an Interested Person at the inquest. They are also enforcing their human rights by way of a civil claim for the breaches of the ‘right to life’ (Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights).
- Prison claim – mistreatment in custody
- Clare represents a prisoner convicted under terrorism legislation in an ongoing claim for discrimination and breaches of various human rights, further to a string of incidents including multiple strip searches.
- Police brutality –
- Clare secured a 6-figure settlement and an apology for a client who was partially blinded by a senior police officer. He was elbowed to his eye whilst subjected to full body restraint. The Sergeant lied in his account as to his whereabouts during the incident, in an attempt to cover up for his wrongdoing.
- Whilst intoxicated and in a highly vulnerable state, Clare’s client was punched 10 times to his face, by a police officer. This led to a finding of ‘gross misconduct’, and a 5-figure damages settlement.
- Whilst in the middle of a mental health crisis, and waiting for an ambulance to arrive, Clare’s client was sprayed by police officers in a confined space, using PAVA incapacitant spray. He had merely been trying to move away from the police whilst free to do so (i.e. he was not under arrest), who he perceived to be trying to provoke him to react negatively, when the spray was used. He was subsequently charged with assaulting a police officer, before the charges were dropped. Clare negotiated a 5-figure settlement sum including loss of earnings, for this client.
Clare has acted for numerous other clients in their race discrimination claims, obtaining successful outcomes including damages, apologies and upheld findings in complaint matters. Examples of recent successful discrimination cases:
- a police officer noted as the ground for his reasonable suspicion for possession of drugs, his view that a black man and a white man travelling in an expensive car together, did not ‘match’;
- police officers relying upon intelligence specifying ‘3 black males on pushbikes, stealing mobile phones’, stopped and tasered (without warning) a young black male walking home from college, with 2 non-black friends.
Clare has represented numerous families in inquest matters (including deaths in mental health settings), arising from deaths in custody, and regularly negotiates damages settlements for family members of the deceased, in the resulting civil claims.
Clare has acted in numerous claims arising out of NHS or other clinical / care settings, often initially taken on as inquests. For example:
- the family of a man with Asperger’s who took his own life in a private care home. At the inquest, systemic as well as individual failings on the part of the state, were uncovered. In the resulting civil claim, Clare negotiated a 5-figure settlement for the deceased’s family members, arising from the various human rights breaches;
- a man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and detained in a secure psychiatric hospital, who was sexually assaulted by a nurse over a number of weeks. Clare negotiated a 5-figure damages settlement;
- victims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by an NHS paediatric doctor;
- the family of a child who took his own life within an hour of leaving a CAMHS meeting. The night before, he had made a serious attempt at ending his life, and hours before the meeting, CAMHS had been made aware and assessed him as being at high risk of suicide. The Coroner made serious findings against the Trust and prepared a ‘Report to Prevent Future Deaths’.
Clare has acted for multiple survivors of rape, sexual assault and domestic abuse, in their challenges to the police and/or CPS, for failure to investigate and prosecute the perpetrator. She has successfully brought challenges resulting in police reviews of such matters, and negotiated damages settlements as well as securing apologies.
She also has experience in breach of privacy, Data Protection Act, misuse of private information and defamation claims. For example, she recently settled a claim for an elderly court worker, whose photograph was published in a newspaper together with a caption erroneously stating he was a convicted paedophile.
Clare is a member of the Police Action Lawyers Group and the Inquest Lawyers Group. She is a panel solicitor for the Centre for Women’s Justice.