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Areas of Expertise

About Melanie

Melanie specialises in the defence of actions against the police and social services departments.


Melanie defends public liability and employers' liability for police forces and has been involved in a number of high profile cases representing clients in the County Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and the former House of Lords. Melanie deals with claims for wrongful arrest, malicious prosecution and misfeasance, Human Rights Act breaches and accidents in the workplace as well as motor claims and is regularly recognised as a leading figure in the area of police law in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.


Melanie also deals with complex claims against social services departments for alleged failure to protect children from abuse and neglect and Human Rights Act challenges.


Melanie represents insurers in more complex litigation and has experience of dealing with claims in respect of care homes, deprivation of liberty and personal injury claims relating to the provision of care.

Legal Commendations

"Melanie has real expertise in police data systems and she has a great manner with the client." "She takes responsibility to ensure she is giving clients the best service."

Chambers & Partners, 2024

“Melanie Standley ‘delivers confident advice on complex matters’, including in the defence of claims against social services for alleged failure to protect children from abuse and neglect."

Legal 500, 2024


Legal 500, 2023

"Melanie is truly fantastic at navigating complex cases where there is an interplay with police law and discrimination. She is technically strong and highly experienced."


"She is detail-oriented and a true pleasure to work with."

Chambers & Partners, 2023

"She has very good attention to detail."

Chambers & Partners, 2022

"Melanie Standley handles a range of public and employers' liability claims made against the police. Market commentators highlight her ability to handle complex, large-scale cases."

Chambers & Partners, 2020


Notable Cases

Howarth v Chief Constable of Gwent Police EWHC 2836 QB) [2011]: the subjective and objective tests in cases of malicious prosecution

Robert Edward Seal v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2007] UKHL 32, House of Lords and ECHR 50330/07: whether a failure to obtain leave under s139(2) Mental Health Act 1983 renders subsequent proceedings a nullity

Michael O'Brien v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2005] 2 AC 534, House of Lords: similar fact evidence in civil proceedings

Janet Leach v Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary [1999] 1 WLR 1421, Court of Appeal: whether a duty of care was owed by the police to an appropriate adult in a notorious multiple murder investigation

Mark Anthony Sacco v Chief Constable of South Wales Constabulary and others [1998] EWCA Civ 843, Court of Appeal: extent of the duty of care owed in the transportation of detained persons

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