Inquests and inquiries in Regional Bar
Cobden House Chambers
Cobden House Chambers is a go-to for interested parties, healthcare professionals, and custody officers in a range of inquests, from accidental deaths to those caused by medical or nursing errors, as well as providing prior advice. David Sandiford advises and acts for the police in civil actions and inquests, representing Operation Resolve in the recent Hillsborough inquests.
Peer barristers praise Kenworthy's Chambers' 'unflappable' Patrick Cassidy for his hard work and empathetic nature which is 'no doubt a reassuring presence for clients in difficult cases'. Cassidy is a highly experienced practitioner, particularly in Article 2 inquiries. He is a go-to for death in custody cases, prisoners who kill while on license, as well as failures in medical treatment of patients in care homes and hospitals.
Deans Court Chambers
Elizabeth Dudley-Jones at Deans Court Chambers specialises in Article 2 cases, particularly clinical cases involving a death in hospital, acting for both public bodies and healthcare professionals. She represented Cheshire Constabulary in the high-profile Lauren Lelonek inquest into failure to prosecute bullies; no criticism of the police was made. Appointed an assistant coroner in 2012, the 'simply brilliant' Sophie Cartwright is also worthy of note at the set, as is the 'calm under pressure' Virginia Hayton and Peter Smith who is 'pound for pound amongst the best value on the circuit'.
Garden Court North Chambers members are instructed by bereaved parties at inquests and inquiries, undertaking pro bono matters and working with INQUEST, a charity advising on state-related deaths. 'A genius strategic thinker and a major asset' to cases, Pete Weatherby QC leads teams in high-profile cases such as phase one of the Grenfell Tower inquiry, representing 80 victims, and the Hillsborough inquest, representing 22 bereaved families. Described as 'meticulous and does not shy away from difficult issues', Kate Stone acted as part of the team for the Hillsborough inquest, with a practice complemented by expertise in civil claims arising from inquests. Anna Morris is highlighted by clients for her 'encyclopaedic knowledge of Coronial law that meant she was able to robustly challenge and push back against the Coroner's decision-making every step of the way'.
Exchange Chambers specialises in inquests involving Article 2 ECHR matters, taking a multi-discipline approach. Louis Browne QC represents parties in the high-profile Grenfell Tower and Manchester Arena inquiries, acting for a senior commander of the London Fire Brigade and Salford University respectively. He also appeared for the Probation Board at the inquest into the murder of a young man on probation by others also supervised by the board. Sara Sutherland sits as an assistant coroner and advises both bereaved families and health boards throughout the process of an inquest, from advancing submissions to conclusion.
Members of Kings Chambers act for bereaved parties, public bodies such as the police and fire services, and care homes. Michael Rawlinson QC specialises in inquests for military deaths, including those for injuries from faulty equipment, as well as deaths occurring within the NHS. He was instructed by the bereaved family in the Olivia Perks inquest, regarding the first death of a female cadet at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. At the junior end, Richard Borrett is praised by solicitors for providing 'great support for nervous witnesses – he is a great fit for clients/witnesses in the health and social care sector'.
Lincoln House Chambers
Lincoln House Chambers' inquest work is aided by its expertise in regulatory matters and disciplinary cases involving medical professionals. Eight members of the team are currently acting in the Manchester Bombing Arena inquiry, including Austin Welch, who represents three bereaved families. He is also instructed by the former lead investigator in the inquiry regarding the institutional response to allegations of child sexual abuse by Lord Janner. Welch has particular experience in inquests that involve health and safety issues. A 'commanding and authoritative presence on her feet', Leila Ghahhary is also one to watch in this area of practice.
St John's Buildings
St John's Buildings' inquests team support and represent clients throughout the inquest and inquiry process, with specific expertise in clinical negligence, death in custody and unlawful killing. Laura Nash, who sits as assistant coroner, has particular expertise of inquests into deaths in custody, with a more recent specialism in acting for care homes. She has represented individuals after a death occurred during their employment, such as a 17-year-old lifeguard in an inquest into a child's death during a swimming lesson, as well as bereaved families and police officers. Simon Murray and David Pojur are also go-to juniors in chambers.