The vastly experienced Dean Kingham heads our prison and public law team.
He is recognised as a leading prison law specialist and expert. He undertakes privately funded criminal work.
Dean has practiced in prison law for around 14 years. He is often at the forefront of the main challenges protecting the rights of prisoners.
He is consistently recognised for his specialism by Legal 500. He has featured in Legal 500 since 2013. In 2017 he was described as a ‘tenacious lawyer’ who is ‘very dedicated to his clients and always looking to push the envelope’.
In previous years he been described as an “excellent advocate”, “excellent and relentlessly pursues the prison authorities”, “the key contact” and a “specialist” in parole.
Dean fearlessly pursues the authorities.
His practice includes:
- Parole and recall representation;
- Category A representation;
- Close Supervision Centre (CSC) representation;
- Judicial Review;
- Human Rights Challenges;
- All prison law issues including:
- Home Detention Curfew;
- Sentence planning and sentence calculation;
- Adjudication assistance;
Reputation and Passion
Well known to Parole Board members, Dean is highly experienced in challenging prison authorities. His reputation of being fearless in arguments to the board has led to him to represent some of the most high profile prisoners.
It is common for Dean to dissect psychological research studies in order to enhance his client’s case. He utilises the studies within his parole arguments and catches prison psychologists unaware. He is viewed as being polite but firm.
Achieving release for prisoners who have no support for progression is one of Dean’s passions.
He uses a number of studies he has on denial/maintaining innocence, age on risk and the limitations to assessment such as the Risk Matrix 2000.
Dean is passionate about miscarriages of Justice and is committed to assisting prisoners who maintain their innocence. He writes articles for organisations assisting those whom maintain their innocence. Dean was asked to attend the Innocence Network UK 2011 annual meeting entitled, Investigating a claim of Innocence: Going beyond a desktop review and be a guest speaker.
Dean has worked closely with the Koestler Trust and takes a keen interest in the exhibition each year. He has a number of artworks from prisoners displayed in his home as he recognises the excellent work of this organisation.
Dean is constantly looking to provide a greater service to his clients. He truly is a Prison Law specialist.
How do we know?
Key reasons to chose Dean:
- He is often at the forefront of the challenging advancing prisoner rights. Key examples include:
- Wakenshaw v SSJ- They sought a declaration that the Ministry of Justice interfered with the independence of the Parole Board. The court granted this declaration;
- He acted for John Radford (Mr. Worboys) in seeking to argue the decision of the Parole Board to release him was rational. He fearlessly spoke up at the High Court when it was clear Mr. Radford was unrepresented and every other party had Queen’s Counsel representing them;
- Warner v SSJ- He is seeking a declaration that the Ministry of Justice interfered with the independence of the Criminal Cases Review Commission. This case is on-going;
- Hassett and Price v SSJ- He acted for a prisoner in the lead category A oral hearing case seeking increased access to oral hearings for category A prisoners;
- Acted for a transgender female whom resides in the female estate. SSJ indicated that despite having her gender recognition certificate and being legally female, they were going to put her back into the male estate. Dean indicated he would seek an injunction and they backed down. The client remains in the female estate;
- He acted for an Irish prisoner arguing discrimination for failing to permit Irish prisoners a return to Ireland using the tariff expiry removal scheme or early release scheme. Every other foreign national is able to be removed under the schemes. This case remains on-going as they seek to have the issue heard by the Supreme Court;
- He acted for Harry Roberts before the Parole Board and secured his release direct from closed conditions having served 48 years in prison;
- Secured Not Guilty verdicts in a historic sexual conviction case whereby the Defence undertook significant investigations. They achieved not guilty verdicts and hung jury in the first trial before being acquitted of outstanding matters after a second trial within 30 minutes.
- He is trained in the main psychological risk assessments- HCR-20 (violence) psychological risk tool, RSVP (sexual) psychological risk tool and SAPROF (protective factors tool). Being one of a few lawyers trained in these tools he is able to better question the psychological evidence given in cases by Prison Service psychologists.
- Dean has been a committee member for the Association of Prison Lawyers (APL) since 2015.
- He is also the Parole Board lead for the APL and as a result sits on the Parole Board user group. Through this role he is safeguarding prisoner’s interests and assisting to improve the parole system. He is involved in a number of projects to improve the process.
- He works closely with FASO (False Allegation Support Organisation) and JENGBA (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty By Association). He is vice chairman of Progressing Prisoners Maintaining Innocence (PPMI).
- He sits on the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) User Group.
- He is a Council member for the Human Rights Charity Justice.
- He passes his experience and knowledge down to his team and continuously develops his team.
Dean also writes many articles regarding Prison Law which are published regularly:
Background and work history
Dean joined us in January 2011 to work exclusively within the Prison Law department and has progressed to an Associate.
He is an able lawyer who specialises not only in prison law matters, but also criminal appeals, Judicial Review applications and Human Rights challenges.
Before joining Swain and Co Solicitors, he spent a number of years at a leading East London firm specialising in criminal matters and prison law. During this time he was a prison law supervisor and headed the public law department.
Dean has a wealth of experience and can be truly regarding as a specialist in prisoner rights, criminal appeals, Judicial Reviews and the Human Rights Act.
Dual qualified lawyer
He is essentially dual qualified as he was called as a Barrister in 2005. As a result of his bar training he has substantial advocacy skills as evidenced by his Legal 500 entry.
Whilst studying he undertook a number of legal placements including mini-pupillages at Matrix chambers, 187 Fleet Street and Landmark Chambers. He also spent time as a Judicial Marshal experiencing life as a Judge both at Snaresbrook and Chelmsford Crown Court. To complete his experience he also has a short placement in the Crown Prosecution Service. He also volunteered with a number of organisations including homeless projects.
His considerable experience in a wide range of settings make him a well-rounded Solicitor. His main role is representing prisoners at Parole hearings and prison disciplinary hearings. Dean is known for dealing with the most complex parole cases often representing those with very complex presentations and needs including prisoners with Personality Disorders, gender dysphoria, Brain injuries and Austistic Spectrum Disorders including Aspergers Syndrome. He has built considerable knowledge of these issues.
Dean regularly engages in Judicial Review proceedings challenging decisions of public bodies. He is viewed as a Judicial Review specialist.
Dean has substantial criminal law experience and is accredited to represent individuals at the police station. He regularly advises in respect of both Appeals against Conviction and Sentence. He has a particular interest in individuals whom have received life sentences but are subsequently detained under the Mental Health Act in Hospital and should have received a Mental Health Act based sentence such as a Hospital Order. He regularly advises in respect of whether a prisoner was correctly assessed as “dangerous” and given an IPP sentence. He is always happy to discuss potential appeals.
Out of the office interests
Outside of the office Dean’s passions include Scuba Diving, travelling, yoga, photography and Football. He is a keen West Ham fan, but do not hold that against him!
Dean has also travelled extensively and whilst in Ecuador assisted an Irish national obtain parole whilst detained for drug trafficking. He gave his time for free to investigate an appeal against sentence. Whilst assisting her he taught English to other inmates at El Inca Prison.
What Dean's clients say:
Well, what can I say, it is unbelievable, I keep reading the Parole Board decision to reassure myself it is not a dream, as I fully expected to end my days as a prisoner in a prison somewhere, I really did. Of course it is down to your professionalism, even though you are a West Ham supporter, thank you so very much Mr. Dean Sir.
Dear Dean Kingham, Sarah Grundy (Blake) and Jemma Atkinson, I am just writing to say thank you all, for the help you have gave me. The time you have spent looking into my case must of been a burden on all of you, so I would like to say a massive Thank you once again. Thank you all!
Dear Dean Kingham, I’d just like to thank you for all the efforts you, and Swain & Co have put in regarding my recent trial. Even though it was unsuccessful I was very satisfied with the service provided by your team.
Dear Dean and Antonia, I trust you are well. I have received the parole broad decision today – Release! Excellent! All that left for me to say id a massive Thank you, for all your help and assistant in these matters. Thank you to all at Swain & Co for all your hard work. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. One last time thank you Kindest personal regards