Deans Court Chambers is an 'excellent chambers' with a 'wide range of experts'. Elizabeth Dudley-Jones is active in Article 2 inquests, while Sophie Cartwright was appointed as assistant coroner in 2012 and was recently instructed as counsel to the Manchester Arena Bombing inquests. Virginia Hayton is another key name to note and has a broad regulatory practice, and represents families, police and the prison service in the Coroners Court. Peter Smith is also recommended and has a strong background in health and safety, including advising on cases involving fatal incidents.
Inquests and inquiries in Regional Bar
Deans Court Chambers
‘Chambers is always very quick to respond to requests and helpful in providing information. Chambers frequently runs training for solicitors.’
‘Excellent chambers with a professional approach and a great deal of personal interest and input from clerks who are in it because they enjoy it. An outstanding set in terms of organisation and have the capability to assist with technology on documentation which is always helpful.’
‘A good set of senior and juniors who can cover all cases and geographical areas.’
‘Deans Court Chambers is a leading set on the Northern Circuit with a deservedly strong reputation. At silk and senior junior level, it has a great deal of quality and experience.’
‘The Clerks are always very helpful and quick to respond.’
‘Matthew Gibbons leads the clerking team with a great deal of commitment and professionalism.’
‘The clerking team are really good. Peter Kelly in particular is brilliant. He always sorts out any issues with counsel’s availability etc making it look easy and if there is a problem he is really proactive and comes to us with a solution.’
‘We find that they are all very efficient, responsive and we continue to be both impressed and satisfied with the level of support provided.’
Garden Court North Chambers has a 'number of very good, sought after counsel' with a broad client offering. Pete Weatherby QC is well-established in the inquests and inquiries space, is currently leading Anna Morris representing bereaved families in the Manchester Arena Bombing Inquiry. Kate Stone is another name to note and her practice focuses on inquests including civil claims arising after coronial proceedings.
Exchange Chambers has ‘strength in depth‘ and counsel are always of a ‘high quality‘. Key areas of expertise include inquests and inquiries relating to deaths in police and prison custody, fatal accidents at work and deaths in psychiatric institutions. Louis Browne QC has substantial experience acting for families and public sector clients at inquests, and Sara Sutherland handles cases that involve deaths in clinical settings.
‘Exchange Chambers are the go to chambers in the North West of England with strength and expertise which is unparalleled. The training their members provides is always highly topical, of the moment and delivered by experts is a clear and concise manner.’
‘I cannot speak highly enough about their quality of service and attention to detail. There is strength in depth in every aspect, and counsel will make themselves available wherever possible. The training sessions they offer are of high quality.’
‘The clerk and support staff are always highly responsive and proactive for their instructing solicitors.’
‘Excellent service, particularly from Rachel Williams in Liverpool.’
Kings Chambers' inquests and inquiries team receive instructions to represent a range of clients from families of the deceased and NHS trusts, to departments of central government such as the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice. Michael Rawlinson QC is a 'tenacious litigator' and has a strong background acting at inquests relating to military deaths. Richard Borrett is 'excellent with clients' and often represents the families of vulnerable individuals that come to harm in state care, as well as public bodies.
‘Kings is highly regarded for Inquest work. They have a breadth of talent in the area, from the junior to the more senior end. This is helpful because you can find the right level of Barrister for pretty much any case. In respect of training, I think in relation to inquests they lead the field.’
‘I have worked primarily with Steve Loxton for several years and he is in every sense a professional and a great support. I couldn’t rate him higher. He works magic and understands the pressures of litigation on all parties concerned. I also think Paul Clarke is a dab hand at solving problems and always prompt and helpful.’
‘The Clerks have made specific efforts to provide assistance and have worked to move things around to accommodate our needs. Responses are also always quick to any request made. Paul Clarke is particularly helpful.’
Lincoln House Chambers is an 'impressive set' and the public inquiry and inquests team have 'outstanding experience'. Austin Welch represents a broad range of clients including businesses, family groups, public authorities, state agencies and private individuals. Welch has a particular interest in inquest and public inquiries cases that involve health and safety issues. Key cases that Welch has been instructed in include the Hillsborough Inquests and the Manchester Arena Public Inquiry. Leila Ghahhary is another stand out name and has also been involved in these high profile cases, as well as the Gosport Independent Panel Inquiry.
‘Lincoln House is a leading regional set who can offer a quality and standard of barrister and clerking service which rivals any leading set in the country.’
‘Lincoln House Chambers, in my view, are a first-rate set in the Northern Circuit.’
‘Lincoln House Chambers is an impressive set. The silks leading the set have outstanding experience in this area and as such the set attracts quality work day in day out. This allows more junior members to get relevant exposure and so the set grows and continues to develop its outstanding reputation.’
‘Lincoln House Chambers has a large team of barristers who are regularly asked to appear in Inquests, and in large Public Inquiries. This team is continually growing as a consequence of demand and in-house training.’
‘Lincoln House is easily the best set outside of London for Inquest and Inquiry work and amongst the best in the country.’
‘Always outstanding service with excellent communication.’
‘The clerking team in general are highly responsive, reliable and efficient. This is every credit to Head of Clerking, David Wright.’
‘David Wright has integrity, class and runs a tight ship. Any issues you have with any particular barrister will be addressed quickly and discreetly. He holds so much respect in this area.’
‘Ty Price is an absolute star of the future.’
St John's Buildings
St John’s Buildings‘ members combine inquests and inquiries expertise with specific knowledge of the law regarding clinical negligence and deaths in custody. Laura Nash represents a range of interested parties from companies, to local authorities and police officers, and also sits as an assistant coroner. David Pojur is also highly experienced and represents companies, healthcare workers and local authorities, and is also active in cases involving child suicides.
‘St Johns Chambers have provided excellent training on a number of areas throughout 2020. The set are approachable and always happy to help. They are excellent communicators and I would not hesitate to recommend the set, particularly in relation to health & safety matters and inquests.’
‘Very good Manchester chambers. We regularly instruct counsel from this chambers and the clerks are always very helpful. They are happy to move the diary around to accommodate listings which is appreciated. They have also held conferences to keep up to date on case law.’
‘We regularly use this chambers for inquest work. The inquest team are excellent and always achieve great results for our clients. The clerking team is excellent and efficient compared to other chambers.’
‘St John’s Buildings have a strong regulatory team which they are looking to expand. ‘
‘Excellent. Very rarely are briefs returned. They ensure continuity and their quick communication can always be relied upon.’
‘The clerks provide an excellent service and they are very responsive. They provide clear breakdowns of fees which is really helpful for all clients but particularly appreciated by insurers and corporate clients.’
‘Mark Heald is excellent. He is not only responsive but always goes the extra mile in helping out in any way he can, which includes the provision of training.’
‘Martin Craggs and Michael Johnston have always been very helpful. ‘
‘One of the best. They come back to queries quickly and efficient and reliable. Martin Craggs is a excellent Clerk. Paul Reeves is brilliant.’
‘The clerks are very helpful and will always help you find the right counsel for the job. Tom Roche is particularly good.’