Inquest

Albion Chambers has an experienced inquest team offering approachable and experienced practitioners at all levels of seniority. We provide professional representation and advice at all stages of the inquest process.

This includes advice as to early contact with the coroner and issues of disclosure, representation at pre-inquest reviews and advocacy at inquests both with and without juries. Our early involvement can ensure effective legal arguments being raised in relation to whether or not a jury is required, whether the provisions of Article 2 are engaged, and other legal matters which will have a significant effect on the inquest proceedings.

We are also able to advise on routes of appeal following inquests.

Members of the team have experience representing many different parties, including:

  • Family of the deceased
  • Primary Care Trusts
  • Mental Health NHS Trusts
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • Fire and Ambulance Services
  • Police authorities and individual officers, (through the Police Federation)

The team has experience of inquests where unlawful killing verdicts are considered, including those cases where the evidence of medical experts such as neurologists and pathologists is rigorously tested. We also regularly assist Trusts to avoid Coroners’ reports under Rule 43/Preventing Future Deaths by demonstrating that procedural changes have been implemented.

The breadth of experience within the team is further exemplified by the following examples of cases recently undertaken by members:

  • Re: Orchid View Nursing Home – representation of the Care Quality Commission at an inquest into deaths of 19 residents of a care home;
  • JL – inquest into suicide of man following release from psychiatric unit ‘B and M’  the inquest concerned the well-publicised death of a young mother and her newborn child who were found close to the Clifton Suspension Bridge after the mother left the midwifery unit of a local hospital. The inquiry examined the mental health services and assessments provided to the mother, alongside general supervision and social services involvement;
  • NE – an article 2 inquiry into the death of a female prisoner.The inquest assessed the medical care provided by nurses, HCAs, GPs and paramedics, alongside ambulance response times, provision of emergency equipment and communication systems within the prison. A particular focus of the inquest was on medical professionals’ response to symptoms of septicaemia and related conditions;
  • RG –  inquest into the death of a patient following extensive surgery and treatment in ICU. Instructed on behalf of the family to explore potential failings in post-operative medical care, leading to or contributing the patient’s death;
  • JJ – inquest into the death of a newborn baby delivered in a midwifery-led setting;
  • Jenkins v HM Coroner – appeal to the High Court on behalf of the family of the deceased against the inquest jury’s verdict of suicide;
  • Re: Molly Cunliffe – a toddler who was strangled by a drawstring bag tied to the cot at her nursery;
  • Re: MR – representation of two police officers who had been involved with a detained suspect who died from alcohol-related complications;
  • Flight Lieutenant Simon Burgess – a jet aircraft crash at RAF Valley, Anglesey, caused by maintenance practices;
  • Re: C – a police constable who sustained fatal injuries whilst acting in the course of his duties;
  • Re: DM – representation of the family of a child who died when a hospital performed an incorrect procedure. The case involved expert evidence about neurological interventions;
  • British Waterways – the death of a diver due to inadequate safety procedures. The case involved highly complex expert evidence relating to dam construction and diving practices.

Many members of Albion Chambers are licensed to undertake work under the direct Public Access Scheme. Please click here for a list of public access barristers and here for more about our public access services.

Under public access, members of the inquest team provide a flexible service. In some cases we have provided full representation at inquest, and in others we have given advice and legal support to family members who wish to represent themselves.

Please contact the team clerk, Nick Jeanes, for more information about the team, to retain Counsel or discuss fees.

Continuing education, internal and external, is important to chambers. Albion Chambers is accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to provide external training; we run regular programmes of seminars together with frequent in-house training sessions. Please contact our Chambers Director, Paul Fletcher for further information.

Team Leader: Anna Midgley

Team Clerk: Nick Jeanes
T: 0117 311 0307

Team Members