Inquests


At St John’s Chambers we have a highly specialist inquest team who, with members of our clinical negligence and personal injury teams, regularly undertake inquest work. We have significant expertise in deaths arising in state custody and other Article 2 cases.

Our team has a significant breadth of experience in inquest and public inquiry work, providing expertise at all levels of seniority. Our barristers provide first class guidance, support, advice and representation throughout the whole inquest process.

We act for all types of interested person including:

  • All those at risk of prosecution or criticism, for example by the HSE or CQC
  • Hospital Trusts
  • Police, fire and ambulance services and members
  • Prisons
  • Local Authorities, Social Services and similar agencies suspected of being involved in a death
  • Residential and care homes and their directors, managers, and employees

Members of our specialist inquest team have extensive experience in dealing with complex and long running inquests, often where Article 2 of the ECHR is engaged and frequently involving a jury. Such cases include deaths in custody, death following police restraint or contact, prison deaths, military deaths and deaths where the deceased was vulnerable perhaps by reason of age or mental illness and was under the care of the state in some way.

Within our specialist inquest team we have regulatory and disciplinary barristers who appreciate the importance of giving proper advice to potential witnesses who may be at risk of prosecution and/or whose activities may be called in to question. We understand the significance of the evidence that is given at such proceedings most particularly as it may relate to prosecutions under health and safety regulation or road traffic provisions.

We have experience of emergency judicial review and also advise on how best to use evidence elicited at inquest in subsequent criminal and civil proceedings.

Our team boasts specialist advocates with expertise in personal injury and clinical negligence matters who understand the importance and implications of an inquest finding on a potential future claim. In the context of a death in hospital or a death related to medical care, specialist clinical negligence barristers in our team will provide a level of expertise from the early stages of an inquest to any potential future claim for damages. Likewise in any future possible fatal accident claim, our team has a full depth of knowledge to be able to provide the advice and representation needed.

The team thoroughly understand the nuances of the Coronial process, the nature of advocacy required at these hearings and the related procedure.

Under the public access scheme, our Inquest team can either provide full representation at the inquest or give advice and legal support to family members who wish to represent themselves.

We will always consider alternative funding arrangements including fixed or capped fees where this is appropriate.

Our team regularly delivers lectures to solicitors and other professionals on recent developments in the law and practice. If you are interested in arranging a lecture then please contact our clerks.

Members