Specialist Legal advice 24/7: Tel: +44 (0)20 8692 2694
Email: info@mk-law.co.uk

Offices across London & the South East:

Duncan Burtwell




Duncan joined MK Law as a consultant duty solicitor in March 2017. Primarily he is self-employed, working as a civil litigator, specialising in taking cases against the police. MK Law can refer cases arising from our criminal defence work to him, often following a successful acquittal. Duncan is happy to advise informally as to whether he considers that you would have a viable claim. Typically cases will involve allegations of wrongful arrest / false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution and will often include claims brought under the Human Rights Act and Equality Act.

Duncan is an experienced criminal defence solicitor, having qualified as a solicitor in 2004 and working for eight years exclusively as a criminal defence solicitor, before switching to civil litigation in 2012. He remains a practising duty solicitor regularly advising at the police station and the magistrates court for MK Law.

In his police action cases, Duncan has developed a particular specialism in pursuing disability discrimination cases, where police forces have failed to make reasonable adjustments to their standard practices in order to take into account a person’s disabilities.

He also provides legal representation at inquest proceedings and in civil actions arising from deaths in custody and/or in circumstances involving the state.

He featured as “lawyer in the news” in the Law Society Gazette in January 2015 following a religious discrimination case brought against HMP Belmarsh on behalf of a criminal defence solicitor refused entry to the prison.

Duncan is a member of the Police Action Lawyers Group and is on the Pro Bono Panel for the Travellers Movement Equality and Social Justice Unit. He is recommended in the Legal 500 Directory.

Recent case outcomes include:

  • Case brought against Essex Police for an assault involving a young woman taking place in her own home and in front of her eight year old daughter, with her 2-year-old son sleeping upstairs. In the course of the assault she was molested, punched in the face and sustained head injuries, a broken hand and a broken wrist. The claim settled with an agreement for the Essex police to pay £20,000 damages plus her legal costs.
  • Disability discrimination claim brought against the Metropolitan Police by a 23-year-old male with mild learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorder and a history of mental illness. At the time of the incident, he was resident in supported accommodation provided by Social Services. The police attended at 5.30 am in order to execute an arrest for breach of a bail condition. The arrest quickly and needlessly escalated into the police use of force, including the use of riot equipment. The man was charged with assault and prosecuted. The case was discontinued by the CPS on the basis of a lack of public interest. He then sued for assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and disability discrimination. His claim settled with the Metropolitan Police agreeing to pay damages of £10,000.
  • Case brought against Devon and Cornwall Police following the arrest for a “breach of the peace” of a young woman suffering an acute mental health episode. While detained at the police station she sustained significant self-harm injuries requiring reconstructive surgery. The claim settled with police agreeing to pay £27,500 plus her legal costs.