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Leading Silks

Kate Blackwell KC - Lincoln House Chambers 'Kate is extremely hard working, sees the bigger picture, and manages clients and other counsel deftly and tactfully. She inspires confidence in her strategy and enthusiasm from her team.'
Louis Browne KCExchange ChambersHighly intelligent, with the ability to digest and make sense of complex papers quickly. A good advocate.
Sophie Cartwright KC - Deans Court ChambersSophie is tenacious. She will leave no stone unturned and always goes the extra mile.
Michael Rawlinson KC - 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.
Pete Weatherby KC – Garden Court North Chambers  'Pete is very strategically astute; he knows when to focus on an argument to develop a point in the best interests of a client. He is a persuasive advocate and one of the leading barristers for representing families in major inquests and inquiries. He has an eye for the bigger picture and knows how to ensure that the actions of corporate and government participants are scrutinised forensically.'

Leading Juniors

Elizabeth Dudley-Jones – Deans Court ChambersElizabeth is very good in the detail and absolutely meticulous. Every word on every page of her papers has been considered. She is excellent at preparing witnesses and reassuring them to ensure they are able to give their best evidence. Firm but fair, she stands her ground with coroners.’
Leila Ghahhary – Lincoln House ChambersLeila is a superb leading junior in inquests and inquiries. She is a highly skilled advocate who presents well-reasoned arguments, captures the attention of the tribunal and always considers the bigger picture. She is meticulous in terms of approach and a fantastic team-player who will take on board the views of others.'
Anna Morris – Garden Court North Chambers ‘Anna is an exceptional advocate. She is well liked by clients and solicitors alike. She is a strategic thinker, who is able to find workable solutions to complex problems. She is a commanding and persuasive presence in hearings in front of coroners and her experience on inquests really shines through. She is a reassuring presence for clients, who respond well to her clear expertise in this area and her strategic nous.'
Laura Nash – St John’s BuildingsLaura has excellent understanding of coronial law and processes. She is a highly competent advocate with excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to distill a case to its key elements without over-complicating it.'
David Pojur – St John’s BuildingsDavid's knowledge of the coroners rules and procedure is second to none. He is excellent with lay clients and he is able to confidently handle complex and fast changing situations. During hearings, other parties look to him for guidance with strategy, and he is able to deploy this to the advantage of the client.'
Kate Stone – Garden Court North Chambers ‘Kate is a passionate and fearless advocate. Her knowledge of Article 2 and its engagement is second to none. In court, she ensures that no stone is left unturned for the family.’
Austin Welch – Lincoln House ChambersAustin is an excellent senior leading junior. A superb advocate with a commanding presence and natural gravitas in the courtroom. He is unflappable during cross-examination, holds real weight with clients and delivers strategic and well thought out advice in a clear and accessible way. He is highly personable and fosters a true sense of collaboration.'
Richard Borrett – Kings Chambers ‘Richard is excellent with witnesses at inquests where the situation can be quite emotional. He is very pragmatic, flexible to the demands of the case and analytical. He is also very good on his feet. Highly recommended for complex Article 2 inquests, particularly those involving social care and the vulnerable.’
Patrick Cassidy – Kenworthy’s Chambers ‘Patrick is extremely efficient. He is always the first port of call in the majority of cases where counsel is required at the Coroner’s Court. He is very personable with clients and will often receive great feedback. He is very helpful and will also be on hand to provide advices when needed in a very quick turnaround. A fantastic advocate!’
Peter Smith – Deans Court ChambersPeter is highly knowledgeable and is academic in his approach. It is of note that he commands much respect from the bench and other interested parties who often reach out for his advice. From the outset of a matter, Peter has a strategy which ensures that there no periods of uncertainty or high pressure preparation.’
Matthew StanburyPark Square Barristers Ltd. ‘Matthew is a tenacious barrister who does not give up the fight.’
Tom Gent – Deans Court Chambers ‘Tom is down to earth, relatable and likeable for all clients. He can put clients, who are going through some of the worst times of their lives, at ease. He is always prepared and knows the cases he is instructed on very well. Inquests can be very tense and emotional proceedings, which he handles with professionalism and sensitivity.’
Joseph Hart - Deans Court Chambers 'Joseph brings a wealth of expertise and experience. The fact that he sits as a Deputy Coroner is extremely helpful, providing clients with insight as to the likely way in which a coroner will respond. He has significant empathy with the coronial process and consistently exercises good judgement.'

Rising Stars

Ciara Bartlam  – Garden Court North Chambers ‘Ciara is a rising star in this area. She has developed a niche for inquests involving deaths in temporary and supported accommodation and is clearly very passionate about uncovering the issues and systemic problems within this area with a desire to seek real change. As an advocate, she is calm, controlled and always keeps a level head despite coming up against a lot of opposition in these areas regarding the involvement of Article 2.’
Mira Hammad  – Garden Court North Chambers ‘Mira is an exceptional barrister. Her research, preparation and advocacy skills exceed her level of call. Mira can be trusted with complex projects and tasks which befit barristers of significantly older call. She demonstrates that she can easily work at a high level and she has a phenomenal work capacity and work rate.’

Inquests and inquiries in Regional Bar

Deans Court Chambers

Deans Court Chambers has a ‘strong inquest team‘ and is praised as ‘a leading set‘ in the region. Its members have substantial experience in handling a wide array of inquests from their outset to completion. Elizabeth Dudley-Jones  acts for local authorities, private companies, professional regulators and regulatory defence unions, and she is particularly active in inquests that engage Article 2. The set is also home to the highly skilled Sophie Cartwright , who is instructed on the Manchester Arena Bombing inquests. Peter Smith  has a thriving practice in health and safety matters, with a particular specialism in the admissibility of non-medical expert reports at inquests. Virginia Hayton is another notable name.

Testimonials

Set

‘Good mixed set with a strong inquest team and counsel available who can deal with any civil claims arising from the inquest as well as the inquest itself. Very open to providing training and support which is always very practical and useful.’

‘Deans Court Chambers is an excellent set – the barristers are always there to help no matter what time of the day. They make a wonderful team going the extra mile for their clients. Deans Court is very good at putting together and delivering training needs of their clients too.’

‘Deans Court are the most professional set in Manchester. There is an eye to ensuring that the most appropriate counsel is instructed and that there is continuity of counsel throughout, which is important in the arena of inquests and inquiries given the often extensive time frame. They are excellent with providing projected counsels fees which are important for private clients and insurers.’

‘Excellent strength and depth.’

‘Deans Court Chambers is a leading set whose members have long been active in inquest and inquiry work. 

Clerking

‘Excellent clerking team. Pete Kelly is very organised and if ever there is an issue he always comes to me with a solution. Calls returned very promptly. Cannot fault the clerks at all.’

‘The Clerks are very hands on and always available to assist. They are very well organised and efficient in what they do which makes life so much easier for solicitors and barristers. Pete Kelly is brilliant – no task is too big or too small and he gets the job done!’

‘Mathew Gibbon runs a tight ship and is highly visible and approachable.’

‘Both Pete Kelly and Steve McCormick are excellent with engagement and it is great to get a call from them. Pete Kelly is always contactable and will find a barrister for even the most last minute of hearings. He is prompt at providing fee estimates and sticking to them.’

‘Deans Court Chambers Clerks are outstanding – Pete Kelly, Steve McCormick, Ben Bennett-Williams and Matt Gibbons are simply fantastic. They cannot do enough and always try to accommodate. They are simply the best!’

Garden Court North Chambers

Garden Court North Chambers ‘has an excellent reputation for inquests and inquiries‘ and is ‘a go-to chambers for actions against the police and inquest work on behalf of claimants’. Notable names include Pete Weatherby KC, who has a thriving inquests and inquiries practice, and Anna Morris, both of whom are representing bereaved families in the Manchester Arena Bombing Inquiry. Kate Stone is another key name and her strengths include representing bereaved families, especially in cases engaging Article 2.

Testimonials

Set

‘Garden Court North is a go-to chambers for actions against the police and inquest work on behalf of claimants.’

‘Very good on inquest and inquiry work with committed and talented barristers.’

‘Garden Court North has an excellent reputation for inquests and inquiries and the new juniors complement the team well and increasingly provide suitable alternatives for when the usual counsel are unavailable. GCN offers a range of helpful and informative free and paid training sessions.’

‘A great human rights set in the North.’

‘The set is strong in inquests and inquiries.’

Clerking

‘Nicola Carroll is a stand out clerk and does go above and beyond to assist.’

‘Always efficient and helpful.’

‘The clerks are very good and always willing to help.’

Kings Chambers

Kings Chambers is praised as an ‘excellent set‘ as well as for providing members with ‘experience and specialties’ in inquests and inquiries cases. The department has handled cases for the Ministry of Defence, the prison service, the police and fire and rescue services and care homes.  Michael Rawlinson KC has a strong background acting at inquests concerning military deaths. Richard Borrett is also a name of note with substantial experience acting for families and other interested parties in a range of inquests, including those regarding suicides, psychiatric treatment, hospital deaths, military deaths and safeguarding matters.

Testimonials

Set

‘Kings Chambers are every bit the equal of many of the specialist sets in London and have a great reputation for inquest work.’

‘They can provide a very good choice of experience and specialties in their Barristers.’

‘Kings Chambers is an excellent set.’

Clerking

‘The clerks provide quick responses and are organised with regards to accepting and disseminating digital instructions and large amounts of paperwork.’

‘The clerks room is excellent. Stephen Loxton works extremely hard.’

‘Steve Loxton in particular stands out. A real operator, client focused and helpful.’

‘Extremely good. Stephen Loxton is fantastic at accommodating last minute instructions and advice; he really goes above and beyond.’

‘The clerks are very helpful and have always covered matters when there has been a diary conflict with Counsel of similar experience and background.’

Lincoln House Chambers

The members at Lincoln House Chambers provide a ‘strong offering’ as well as ‘clear strength in depth’Kate Blackwell KC is a prominent member of the set, handling major, high-profile inquiries. Austin Welch‘s strong practice includes work for both companies and individuals. Welch also has a particular focus on inquests and inquiries regarding health and safety issues, and has been instructed on the Manchester Arena Public Inquiry and the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse. The set is also home to Leila Ghahhary, who has a thriving inquiries practice.

Testimonials

Set

‘Lincoln House Chambers provides excellent support, with excellent communication and willingness to assist where possible.’

‘The set has clear strength in depth across a variety of areas.’

‘Chambers has a strong offering in this area and in associated areas.’

‘Lincoln House Chambers are a fantastic set based in the North West with national outreach.’

‘Lincoln House is one of the strongest sets in the country for regulatory law. It contains a number of well thought of specialists.’

Clerking

‘David Wright is excellent. He responds quickly to queries and is always open and transparent.’

‘The clerks have always provided excellent service, with timely responses and clarity on fees.’

‘The clerks team, led by Julian Campbell, provides a prompt and helpful service, always available to discuss advocate options and fees.’

‘David Wright at Lincoln House Chambers goes out of his way to assist – he really adds an extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ and nothing is too much trouble for him or his team.’

‘David Wright and Ty Price are always super responsive which is very much welcomed.’

St John's Buildings

St John’s Buildings is ‘an excellent set‘ and its members have broad ranging expertise in inquests and inquiries. Laura Nash has a thriving practice representing a range of professionals at inquests, including police officers and doctors, as well as those acting for care homes. Nash also sits as an assistant coroner, as does David Pojur, who is highly experienced in handling complicated prison deaths, inquest with juries and Article 2 human rights inquests, as well as unlawful killings. Of recent note was Pojur’s representation of a large online pharmacy regarding the public’s ability to obtain lethal doses of drugs by filling in a form without a personal consultation.

Testimonials

Set

‘An excellent set; very accommodating and always willing to assist at short notice.’

‘Availability has been good and responsiveness is excellent with suitable experts available for the relevant issues.’

‘A small but extremely competent group of Counsel in this field.’

Clerking

‘Fantastic clerks who are very responsive, particularly Tom Roche and Mark Heald.’

‘Tom Roche is excellent in ensuring that queries are addressed promptly.’

‘Clerks work as a great team; Mark Heald is excellent and Tom Roche is particularly helpful.’

‘The clerks are good.’

Exchange Chambers

Exchange Chambers has been praised as a ‘superb set‘ and its members represent a wide range of individuals and groups, including trade unions, clinical practitioners, government bodies, and members of the police force and emergency services. Key areas of expertise for the department include inquests and inquiries relating to deaths in police and prison custody as well as in psychiatric institutions, and fatal accidents at work. Louis Browne KC has substantial experience acting for families and public sector clients and is involved in both the Grenfell and Manchester Arena Inquiries. The set is also home to David Sandiford , who receives frequent instructions from the Government Legal Department.

Testimonials

Set

‘A superb set covering the entire spectrum of law. Their training sessions have also touched on the subjects which are relevant and topical, provided by the experts in the field and have been to an excellent standard.’

‘Exchange is a very set strong.’

Clerking

‘The clerks are friendly, energetic and motivated by the Senior Clerks, particularly Nick Buckley, who gets the job done.’

‘The clerks are excellent and responsive.’