Skip to content

Robert O’Leary in Supreme Court victory establishing prison service vicariously liable for prisoner at work

In Cox v Ministry of Justice [2016] UKSC 10, Robert O’Leary, led by Robert Weir QC of Devereux Chambers, instructed by Thompsons solicitors, acted for a catering manager at HMP Swansea injured by a prisoner engaged in kitchen work. The Supreme Court unanimously held that the Ministry of Justice was vicariously liable for the prisoner’s negligence. Lord Reed, giving the only reasoned judgment, recognised that prisoners working in the prison kitchens are integrated into the operation of the prison and that their work furthers the prison’s aims, in particular the activity of providing meals for prisoners. Furthermore, such prisoners present a risk of committing a variety of negligent acts within the fields of activities assigned to them.

To read the full judgment, please click here.

To read the press summary, please click here.



Barrister Portfolio close
Barrister Call CV Email

Remove All


Click here to email this list of barrister to a colleague.