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Leading Silks

Louis Browne QCExchange ChambersHighly intelligent, with the ability to digest and make sense of complex papers quickly. A good advocate.
Michael Rawlinson QC - Kings ChambersMichael is fantastic at putting clients at ease and explaining the most difficult legal concepts in easily understood language. He is a tenacious litigator with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law. A safe pair of hands to tackle the most difficult cases and winning over the most challenging clients.

Leading Juniors

Elizabeth Dudley-Jones - Deans Court ChambersElizabeth is very meticulous; always in the detail and never misses a point in the papers or the evidence. Really approachable, great at handling difficult witnesses and getting the best from them. Her experience as an assistant coroner really gives a lot of insight into how to handle the inquest cases to achieve the best impact. Isn't afraid to stand her ground with Coroners and opponents on difficult points. Very much a team player, it always feels like she is on your side and that you can rely on her 100%.
Laura Nash - St John's BuildingsLaura's knowledge of coronial law is exceptional and her role as an assistant coroner provides a helpful insight into the tactics and strategies to be adopted when robustly defending the client's position.
David PojurSt John’s BuildingsDavid is our first choice for inquests in the north of England, particularly those involving the care sector. He cuts straight through to the issues, is unflappable no matter problem what crops up unexpectedly and lay clients find his confidence reassuring. As you would expect, as an assistant coroner, he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of coroners rules and procedure.
David Sandiford Exchange Chambers  ‘David handles bereaved families with great respect and compassion. He is impressive on his feet and families are immensely reassured by his presence in conference and in the hearing.
Sara Sutherland - Exchange ChambersSara displays an excellent level of knowledge, supported by bags of common sense with intuition on when to be empathetic and sympathetic and when to attack!
Austin Welch - Lincoln House ChambersExcellent knowledge of the law, meticulous preparation, extremely hard working and tactically very astute. He is superb with clients, and very generous with his time. He will undoubtedly be in silk before very long.
Richard Borrett - Kings ChambersRichard always gets up to speed very quickly on cases with significant documentation. He has an excellent manner with clients, particularly those finding the inquest process stressful. He provides practical and thoroughly thought through advice.
Sophie Cartwright - Deans Court ChambersSophie is tenacious. She will leave no stone unturned and always goes the extra mile.
Patrick Cassidy - Kenworthy's ChambersAn excellent lawyer with a forensic mind and brilliant with client care.
Leila Ghahhary - Lincoln House ChambersLeila's attention to detail and thoroughness are outstanding. Leila is a fantastic team player and ensures that everyone's view is considered. Leila's view is invariably sensible and clear.
Virginia Hayton - Deans Court ChambersA very safe pair of hands, always well-prepared and strong in cross examination.
Anna Morris - Garden Court North ChambersAnna is an incisive, compassionate and humane lawyer. She matches high intellectual ability with strength of conviction, and real understanding of a client's trauma. She is also tactically aware, and due in part to sitting as an assistant coroner she understands how best to present a case to the court.
Peter Smith - Deans Court ChambersPeter is vastly experienced and consistently demonstrates technical brilliance. He is always aware and readily shares his knowledge, experience and views on relevant developments in the law and practice. He is pragmatic, accessible and unfailingly helpful when working on cases. He immerses himself to help achieve the best possible outcome for clients. I cannot speak highly enough of him and he continues to be one of my principle and go-to counsel on cases.

Inquests and inquiries in Regional Bar

Deans Court Chambers

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. 



‘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

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

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

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

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.’