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Leading Silks

Kate Blackwell KC – Lincoln House Chambers ‘Kate is a tenacious advocate who does not hold back from difficult questions, has a measured manner, and is always thinking ahead. She is all over the detail and is great at leading a team.'
Sophie Cartwright KC – Deans Court Chambers 'Sophie has phenomenal client care skills; she can talk to a client, explain a complex issue, and put them at ease in even the most difficult circumstances. She is passionate about what she does and truly cares, and she is a good advocate and her calm demeanour hides a ruthless instinct.'
Michael Rawlinson KC – Kings ChambersMichael’s advocacy sets him apart from many of his peers, as he has great poise in the courtroom with rhythm and clarity to his legal submissions; he always hits the mark. He is as formidable as he is charming, but always willing and able to adapt to the task at hand.’
Pete Weatherby KC – Garden Court North Chambers ‘Pete is fearless in his pursuit of the truth for his clients. He is extremely clear sighted in how to put his case, and he identifies key issues and ensures that they are pursued through the examination of witnesses and legal submissions; Pete is the go-to advocate for any bereaved family in an inquest or inquiry.'

2023 Silks

Anna Morris KC – Garden Court North Chambers ‘Anna is a sensible and highly able advocate who excels in her management of vulnerable witnesses and sensitive material. She is well-organised and rigorous, both in terms of her preparation and examination of witnesses and evidence, and her understated and calm disposition coupled with a very sharp intellect mean that she is the perfect choice for inquests involving vulnerable participants and state agencies.’

Leading Juniors

Elizabeth Dudley-Jones – Deans Court ChambersElizabeth is very thorough, knowledgeable, and professional, and most importantly, she is able to put people at ease during the inquest process, which is very important, as giving evidence can be very traumatic, particularly if the family of the prisoner are present.’
Leila Ghahhary – Lincoln House ChambersLeila’s written advice is comprehensive yet succinct, and written in a way that is accessible to both lay and professional clients. She has a commanding court room presence and is clear in her oral argument and submissions; one of the go-to counsel for inquests operating on the Northern Circuit.’
Laura Nash – St John’s BuildingsLaura has an in-depth understanding of regulatory proceedings and the coronial process, particularly in relation to the representation of healthcare professionals and care homes. She is able to identify the key issues in a case quickly and succinctly and formulate robust and thought-provoking defences, while also being able to advise the client of these in a concise and clear way.'
David Pojur - Lincoln House Chambers 'David is an exceptional advocate who also provides timely written advice that is logical and thorough. He is extremely well trusted and his expertise is faultless.'
Kate Stone – Garden Court North Chambers ‘Kate provides practical and client-focused advice and is always on top of the detail of cases. She is also great with lay clients and persuasive on her feet in front of judges and coroners.'
Sara Sutherland – Exchange Chambers ‘Sara is a first-rate barrister who is strong in all areas. She has excellent client skills.’
Austin Welch – Lincoln House ChambersAustin is an excellent advocate and an outstanding strategist with an authoritative presence in the court room, and he emits gravitas. He presents clear and well-reasoned arguments with ease, and he is one of the best senior juniors in the field of health and safety, inquests, and public inquiries.’
Richard Borrett – Kings Chambers ‘Richard is excellent with clients in an inquest situation. Managing very emotive situations is one of Richard’s great strengths, and his detailed and pragmatic advice on complex human rights matters is also impressive.’
Patrick Cassidy – Kenworthy’s Chambers ‘Patrick is unflappable and a hugely reassuring presence to his clients.'
Peter Smith – Deans Court ChambersPeter is exceptional in his organisation and planning. He commands great respect from the bench, which is particularly beneficial in the technical aspects of matters, and he is a great communicator with both corporate clients and individuals.'
Sarah Barlow – Exchange Chambers 'Sarah Barlow must now be regarded as one of the slickest and competent juniors in the country. Her tactical awareness is astonishing. Her advocacy now oozes class and she does not take a single bad point. Outstanding.'
Lee Hughes – Lincoln House Chambers 'Lee is experienced beyond his years. He has a keen eye for detail, an approachable nature, and his experience as a former solicitor enables him to fully understand what an instructing solicitor needs from counsel.'

Rising Stars

Ciara Bartlam – Garden Court North Chambers ‘Ciara has developed a specialism in particularly complex inquests involving young people and children who died in the community while under the care of multiple state agencies. She draws on her previous experiences in order to apply a rare and invaluable level of expertise and insight on matters involving the intersection of housing, mental health, and social care.'
Mira Hammad – Garden Court North Chambers ‘Mira is a junior star at the Bar. She is forensic, detailed, and meticulous with her legal knowledge and her understanding of the facts; she is a robust and fearless court advocate.'
Lily Lewis – Garden Court North Chambers 'Lily is an experienced inquest practitioner who expertly represents bereaved families in complex cases that belie her junior level of call. She is relied upon by solicitors to give sound legal and tactical advice, and she prepares excellent written submissions.'
Christian Weaver Garden Court North Chambers 'Christian's approach is measured and thoughtful, and he combines professionalism with great warmth and kindness. He makes strong and clear oral submissions and arguments which are delivered politely and sensitively, allowing him to get the point across well.'

Inquests and inquiries in Regional Bar

Deans Court Chambers

Deans Court Chambers is praised as ‘the best in Manchester’, and the inquests and inquiries team houses the reputable Sophie Cartwright KC, who formed part of the counsel to the inquiry team in the Manchester Arena Inquiry. Elizabeth Dudley-Jones acts for local authorities, private companies, professional regulators, and regulatory defence unions, and she has particular expertise in inquests that engage Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, including deaths in custody and deaths resulting from domestic violence. She represented Serco in an inquest into the death of Mitchell Rudge, a sex offender who was allegedly bullied by fellow inmates into testing synthetic cannabis. The set is also home to Tom Gent, who has strengths in defending companies facing allegations of breaching health and safety laws, and Joseph Hart, who predominately acts in large inquests concerning fatal accidents.


‘Matthew Gibbons runs a very tight ship. He is extremely knowledgeable of the industry in general and displays great etiquette.’

‘Both Peter Kelly and Steve McCormack are industrious and diligent.’

‘Nothing is too much trouble for the clerks and Pete Kelly is particularly helpful.’

Garden Court North Chambers

Garden Court North Chambers ‘has a very strong inquests and inquiries practice’ that has ‘a ferocious dedication to representing some of the most disadvantaged people’. Pete Weatherby KC specialises in public law matters, and he has a well-established presence in this space; he represented the partner of Anthony Grainger in the public inquiry regarding his fatal shooting by police firearms officers. Anna Morris KC was appointed to silk in 2023, and both she  and Weatherby KC have appeared for bereaved families in the Manchester Arena Inquiry. Kate Stone has substantial experience representing bereaved families in Article 2 inquests, and the set also includes Ciara Bartlam, who specialises in representing the bereaved families of young people who have died in community and care settings.


‘The clerks are always helpful and will try to solve any issues. Gavin Reeves and Christian Wolfenden are particularly helpful.’

‘The Clerking team is fantastic, especially Christian Wolfenden and Gavin Reeves. They are quick to get back to you and always happy to assist.’

‘Christian Wolfenden is a brilliant clerk. He is responsive to emails and able to achieve fees on cases that are pleasing for barristers and instructing solicitors.’

‘The clerks are approachable and always happy to assist.’

‘The clerks are approachable and helpful and will always go above and beyond to help.’

‘Garden Court North Chambers has a very strong inquests and inquiries practice. The team has clearly been trained well, as they are knowledgeable and dedicated to their work. They also offer a number of training seminars and support charities and organisations.’

‘Garden Court North Chambers has a huge impact. It is a progressive set that has a ferocious dedication to representing some of the most disadvantaged people. Their barristers are at the legal aid coalface, and their cases often aim to advance social justice and equality.’

‘Counsel at Garden Court North Chambers have a multidisciplinary practice and background experience, enabling them to advise and support clients on wide-reaching matters. They are extremely committed to their clients and are fearless in the pursuit of justice, both on individual cases and systemically.’

Exchange Chambers

The inquests and inquiries team at Exchange Chambers represents a diverse range of individuals and groups, from bereaved families, trade unions, and clinical practitioners, to government bodies, local authorities, police forces, and police and prison officers. It is active in Middleton inquests concerning deaths in psychiatric institutions, police custody and prisons, as well as matters in workplaces. Louis Browne KC is a key name of note, and represented the University of Salford (where the bomber was a student) and the Fire Officers Association in the Manchester Arena and Grenfell Tower inquiries respectively. The set is also home to David Sandiford, who has expertise in prison deaths and deaths after police contact, and Sara Sutherland, who is skilled in inquests into deaths in medical contexts.

Kings Chambers

Kings Chambers‘ inquests team is often instructed by a range of clients, including bereaved families, local authorities, NHS trusts, insurance companies, police forces, and governmental departments. Michael Rawlinson KC is a key name in this area; he is acting for the wife of the deceased and the Police Federation in an inquest into the death of a motorway patrol officer caused by an engine fire in the BMW he was driving at high speed on the M6. Richard Borrett is particularly active in inquests into the deaths of service personnel and suicides, as well as safeguarding and community care inquests. He represented the wife of the deceased in an inquest into the death of a man, who was being transported to hospital for an urgent cardiac procedure in an ambulance which struck a wall to avoid hitting a turning HGV.


‘Steve Loxton is great. He is always happy and able to diffuse stressful situations.’

‘Good service from the clerks, especially Steve Loxton.’

‘Stephen Loxton is very good at what he does and is very well known in the world of the senior clerks.’

Lincoln House Chambers

Lincoln House Chambers is praised as ‘a stellar set’ with ‘an extensive pool of highly experienced and talented counsel to choose from’. Its members are instructed by a range of interested parties, from government and professional bodies, to insurance-backed solicitor firms. The set houses Kate Blackwell KC, who appears in high-profile public inquiries alongside her criminal practice. It is also home to Austin Welch, who has a strong focus on inquests and public inquiries concerning health and safety issues, and he represents companies and individuals. Welch has been instructed in the UK Covid Inquiry for the Health and Safety Executive. The junior end of the set was recently bolstered by the arrival of David Pojur in September 2023.



‘Lincoln House Chambers is a top-tier, reliable, and strong set of chambers. You have peace of mind instructing any barrister from this set, knowing they are experienced and diligent.’

‘Lincoln House Chambers has a breadth of excellent regulatory counsel with a vast range of experiences; it has long been established as a go-to set.’

‘Lincoln House Chambers is a stellar set. They have an extensive pool of highly experienced and talented counsel to choose from.’

‘A shining example of how to get things right in the North of England for public inquiries and inquests.’

‘Lincoln House Chambers remains at the top of its game in Manchester; a go-to set.’


‘Director of Clerking David Wright is fantastic, and Ty Price is highly responsive.’

St John's Buildings

St John’s Buildings‘ ‘offering for inquests is strong’, and its members have expertise in matters across the space. In recent instructions for the set, Laura Nash represented the Earlsheaton Conservative Club in an inquest into the death of a patron who fell down the stairs of the club.


‘The clerks are fantastic, particularly Mark Heald.’

‘Joe Murphy is very organised and efficient.’

‘They are very approachable, easy to work with, and understanding of the importance of quick and effective communication in urgent cases.’

‘St John’s Buildings are always willing to offer training sessions to support firms. They have a number of excellent members and are working to increase their numbers in this field.’

‘The offering for inquests is strong and they offer bespoke training.’

‘The clerks are all excellent. They respond quickly and always do what they can to assist. Mark Heald and Joe Murphy in particular are excellent to work with.’

‘The clerks respond quickly and helpfully.’

‘The clerks are efficient.’