If you have lost a loved one in unusual circumstances and have questions in relation to their death, we can help you to obtain answers through representation at an inquest.
This can include both ensuring that an inquest is opened by making representations to the Coroner, and by representation throughout the inquest process.
We appreciate that the death of a loved one is difficult enough without having to go through legal proceedings. Our solicitors are accustomed to dealing sensitively with difficult issues at what can be a very upsetting time. We can take on the burden of ensuring that your loved-one’s death is accounted for and that all questions are answered whilst providing you with support and guidance throughout the process.
An inquest is a fact-finding exercise that is aimed at scrutinising and establishing the circumstances surrounding someone’s death. They are often complex, involving highly detailed examinations of policies, procedures and evidence. A coroner’s verdict or decision provides a narrative account of the circumstances that led to the death. Although they do not seek to attribute blame or responsibility, they are a means for establishing accountability, which can raise issues of civil or criminal liability.
If you’re involved in a coroner’s inquest into a death, whether as a family member or organisation, we offer specialist legal advice and assistance throughout the entire process. We draw on our vast experience of inquest work to ensure you’re thoroughly represented and fully supported. We will also help you prepare for the outcome, including the possibility of challenging a coroner’s verdict via judicial review or dealing with any further consequences that are beyond the scope of the inquest procedure, such as civil or criminal proceedings.
Our vast experience spans many different types of cases where an inquest is opened following a state body’s or private organisation’s involvement in a death. From work-related deaths that require formal investigations to contentious deaths that occur following police contact or at a hospital, we offer specialist support and guidance aimed at ensuring our clients are fully and effectively represented. We have particular expertise in more complex inquests involving Article 2 of the Human Rights Act and where a jury is required.
Some examples of our work on behalf of family members are as follows:
- Terry Smith inquest – Represented the family of Terry Smith who tragically died in police custody after exhibiting symptoms of Excited Delirium following prolonged and excessive restraint by the police along with the use of a spit hood. After 13 weeks of evidence (understood to the longest inquest into an individual’s death in England and Wales), the jury return a damning verdict that neglect contributed to his death.
- Josh Pitt inquest – Represented the girlfriend of Josh Pitt who died following a police shooting.
- Amanda Bowles inquest – Representing the son of Amanda Bowles whose death raises vital concerns regarding the treatment of anorexia and the relationship between hospital and community treatment.
- Nuno Cardoso inquest – Represented the family of Nuno Cardoso, a law student who died in police custody following restraint.
- Colin Cameron inquest – Represented the family of Colin Cameron whose landrover was struck by a train at a level crossing.
- Kyle Maher inquest – Represented the family of Kyle Maher who was killed by a known schizophrenic and whose death raised concerns regarding the steps taken by authorities to protect him.
Read our guide: Inquests