"Committed, excellent with clients and tenacious with opponents."
Beverley McBean was Deighton Guedalla’s first ever trainee. She qualified in 1997. She left the firm to work as a criminal solicitor. She worked in the voluntary sector as a solicitor at the mental health charity Mind as well as for local authorities. She returned to Deighton Guedalla in 2011, becoming an associate solicitor at Deighton Pierce Glynn in 2012.
Beverley has worked on some of the most important cases in the field of actions against the police, particularly in relation to race discrimination claims against the police. One case concerned a claim by a 17 year old Somali refugee after her and her young cousin were attacked by white youths. The police were called but arrested the girl. She was charged and prosecuted but acquitted. She brought a civil claim alleging race discrimination. The Court of Appeal confirmed that the police could be sued for discrimination but only the individual officers, not the officer in charge of the force.
Beverley was also involved in preparing for the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry on behalf of Duwayne Brooks. One of Lord Macpherson’s recommendations following the inquiry was to amend discrimination legislation to make officers in charge of police forces responsible for discrimination by their officers.
Beverley also acted for victims of other racist assaults by notorious gangs in the South London area to claim for criminal injuries compensation as a result of the injuries they suffered.
She also worked on a claim for assault which resulted in a record award from a jury. The claim concerned a young man who was arrested, handcuffed and then hit on the head with a police baton, sustaining injuries. This case and other similar jury awards were successfully appealed by the police. This prompted the Court of Appeal to set guidelines as to the amount of damages to be awarded in successful claims against the police.
Throughout Beverley’s career she has worked with vulnerable sections of the population and in particular with clients who are also dealing with mental health issues. While at Mind Beverley was involved in the training of volunteers and assisted on the public advice line. She provided the legal updates for the Mind newsletter which was distributed to other lawyers, volunteers and subsidiary organisations.
Beverley’s particular interests are in assisting clients with cases involving discrimination, inquests and claims in relation to failures of the police and local authorities to protect and investigate.
Her recent cases include claims by those evicted from a traveller site; advising on claims being brought by the children of those who have died in police custody and clients whose detention by the police was motivated by discrimination.
Beverley is a member of the Police Action Lawyers Group.
Significant cases in which Beverley McBean has acted include:
Y v Metropolitan Police – successful claim by an elderly man assaulted in his home by police during a search for his son resulting in substantial damages.
S & others v Metropolitan Police – successful claim by three members of the same family. Following the arrest of one of them the other two were arrested when they went to the police station to find out what was happening.
T v Home Office – successful claim won at trial by prisoner assaulted by prison officers.
L v Metropolitan Police – claim being brought in relation to repeated stops by police of black man.