Ceri Harrison

Teams: Crime & Regulatory (General Crime), Family, Landlord & Tenant and Housing (Commercial, Residential, Social), Employment

Year Called: 2008

Inn: Gray's Inn

Qualifications: LLB (2:1) - Bristol, 2004 Bar Vocational Course : Very Competent

Appointments: Grade Two Prosecutor - Crown Prosecution Service

Bar Council Registration

Ceri completed her pupillage with the Treasury Solicitor's Department (TSol), a division of the Government Legal Service. Whilst at TSol Ceri gained experience in all areas of public law work and her last postings were as legal advisor in the Cabinet Office and the Department of Education.

Ceri left TSol to undertake a third six pupillage and subsequently tenancy at 12 College Place. She maintains an interest in Public Law matters in addition to areas of general common law practice and is developing litigation practice encompassing both civil and criminal matters.

Ceri is particularly known for her research skills, developed in part whilst previously employed as a research trainer for legal publishers LexisNexis, and her interpersonal skills in dealing with clients.

Prior to Pupillage Ceri worked as a legal assistant at William Bache Solicitors, where she handled a caseload of serious criminal cases, predominantly involving sexual abuse allegations (especially historical) and cases involving infant deaths. She developed considerable expertise in dealing with medical experts and clinically complex areas of law such as 'shaken baby syndrome' and salt poisoning, in term of trials, appeals and Criminal Cases Review Commission applications.

At 12 College Place, Ceri prosecutes mainly in the Crown Court. She is a Grade 2Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service and regularly conducts trials and ancillary hearings in all areas of the criminal law.

Ceri also regularly defends in criminal matters, in the Magistrates Court and Crown Court, developing particular expertise in road traffic matters and special reasons hearings. Ceri’s research skills mean that she particularly enjoys dealing with complex and novel issues of law, and of statutory interpretation, ranging from the Magistrates Court to the High Court.

Due to her expertise in mental health law, Ceri is experienced at dealing with clients requiring additional support, including those with mental health difficulties, youths, the elderly and those with cognitive impairments.            

Examples of cases include:

Crown Court trials

•   R v A (Portsmouth Crown Court)
Defence Counsel. Benefit fraud, living together case. Matter discontinued at half time.

•    R v B (Southampton Crown Court)
Prosecution Counsel: Benefit fraud, living together case. Defendant acquitted.

•    R v P (Portsmouth Crown Court)
Prosecution Counsel: Theft of a bicycle and handling stolen goods. Defendant found guilty of the handling offence.

•    R v D (Winchester Crown Court)
Prosecution Counsel: s.20 GBH following a night out. Issue was self defence. Defendant found guilty.

•    R v G (Portsmouth Crown Court)
Prosecution Counsel: ABH following a night out. Issue was identification.  Prosecution discontinued at half time.

•    R v W (Bristol Crown Court)
Defence Counsel: Representing a youth charged jointly with adult defendants of an AHB following a road rage incident. Defendant unanimously acquitted after week long trial.

Legal Arguments

•   Wiltshire Council v Piggin [2014] EWHC 4386 (Admin)
Case stated: Council tax liability order, jurisdiction of Court

•    R v C (Bournemouth Crown Court)
Appeal against conviction on a legal argument on what constituted ‘lawful purpose’ of possession of police uniform. Succeeded for the Crown, and appeal dismissed at the Crown Court. Matter subsequently appealed to the High Court ([2015] EWHC 3312 (Admin)).

•    R v D (Swindon Magistrates Court)
A legal argument on whether and how to correct defects arising from summonses incorrectly issued by the Court.

Mental Health & Health Care Law    
Ceri has a particular interest in mental health law, providing representation at the Mental Health Tribunal to clients seeking release from detention under the Mental Health Act. Given the difficult personal circumstances under which many clients seek review of their detention, Ceri puts particular emphasis on building up a good rapport with clients, and is noted for her compassionate and careful approach.

Ceri is interested in the legal regulation of care homes, and health care law in general, especially relating to adults, and the elderly.         

Particular work has included:

• Involvement in CQC proceedings against care home staff, relating to neglect, dementia, and bed sore management. 
• Experience dealing with clients with complex multiple diagnoses, and those with substantial involvement with the Criminal Justice System and MAPPA.
• Experience at dealing with patients in long term isolation, PICU, and medium secure units.
•  Experience at dealing with Restricted Patients.

Ceri is regularly instructed to represent Housing Associations at possession hearings, gas injunctions and anti social behaviour injunctions, including breaches and committals. Ceri also undertakes written work, drafts pleadings and gives advice in these areas.

Ceri has a particular interest in anti social behaviour work involving complex mental health issues and hopes to develop this and her housing practice in general.

Other Work
Ceri has experience at successfully representing appellants at the first-tier tribunal regarding benefits assessments.

Ceri undertakes parole hearings, and has particular interest in developing this practice, especially for clients with involvement with mental health services.