Recognised as a leading set in the field of inquest work, we have an enormous breadth and depth of experience in coronial law. Our members have appeared in many of the most high profile and controversial inquests over the years, as well as cases that have shaped this area of law.

We appear in jury inquests as well as claims for judicial review of coroners’ decisions and subsequent damages claims. This work often overlaps with other areas of expertise, including public inquiries, clinical negligence, personal injury, human rights, mental health, public law (including prisons, police, the military and the intelligence services). We are therefore ideally placed to advise and represent interested persons and coroners in the most complex of cases.

We provide representation to families and other interested persons, including clinical practitioners, NHS bodies, private health care providers, government departments (including the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence and the intelligence services), the police and local authorities. Our members have been Counsel to the Coroner and regularly undertake advisory work for coroners.

Members have also edited and co-authored the leading practitioner guide to coronial law The Inquest Book: The Law of Coroners and Inquests (Hart Publishing, 2016). Read more about our publications here. Caroline Cross is Consultant Editor of Halsbury’s Laws on Coroners, Cremation & Burials.

Areas of expertise encompass:

  • Medical deaths, including alleged surgical, nursing, obstetric and anesthetic failures
  • Homicides
  • Terrorist-related deaths
  • Deaths in custody
  • Military deaths
  • Construction Accidents

Notable cases include:  

  • Manchester Arena Bombings
  • Stephen Port Inquests
  • Westminster Bridge Inquests
  • London Bridge Attack Inquests
  • Guildford Pub Bombing Inquests
  • The Hillsborough Inquests: 96 football supporters lost their lives as a result of a crush on the terraces at Hillsborough stadium during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989.
  • Inquest into the death of Molly Russell: an inquest which explored the impact of Instagram on teen suicide.
  • Inquest into the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse: a young girl with a severe sesame allergy who died after eating a baguette from Pret at Heathrow Airport, which led to ‘Natasha’s Law‘ and the formation of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation.
  • Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)
  • 7/7 Bombings: terrorist bombings in London on 7 July 2005, in which 52 people were killed.
  • Inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko: the former officer of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) who was poisoned by FSB operators.
  • Inquest into the death of Alexander Perepilichnyy: a Russian national and whistleblower found dead whilst running. It has been claimed he was poisoned.
  • Inquest into the death of Kingsley Burrell: 6 week jury inquest into the death of a man in Birmingham who was restrained by police at a Mental Health Unit and then transferred by ambulance, whilst still under restraint and with a covering over his head, to another Unit. He was then left in a seclusion room and shortly thereafter died.
  • Birmingham Inquests (1974): the reopened inquests of 21 people who died in the IRA Birmingham pub bombing on 21 November 1974.
  • In Amenas: inquest into the murder of seven BP workers during a terrorist attack on an Algerian gas plant.
  • Alice Gross: inquest into the murder of Alice Gross by a Latvian criminal Arnis Zalkalns.
  • Coagh Inquests: inquest into the shooting of three IRA volunteers by a specialist British Army unit in 1991.
  • Re AC: Irish resident who died of a massive haemorrhage following a late termination of pregnancy, having been discharged from the abortion clinic shortly prior to death.
  • Inquest into the death of Grace Roseman: a seven week old baby who died of asphyxia after her head became stuck over the half lowered side edge of a bedside sleeper cot. The inquest has led to an industry-wide re-examination of baby cot safety internationally.
  • Liam Hogan: the six year old boy whose father threw him off a hotel balcony in Crete.
  • Horatio Chapple: schoolboy who was attacked and killed by a polar bear on a school expedition in Norway.

“1 Crown Office Row is singled out as “undoubtedly a market leader” by sources for its presence and expertise in inquests and inquiries. Members are frequently instructed as counsel to the largest public inquiries and brought in to represent coroners in the most sensitive and high-profile inquests, as well as related litigation. They also represent bereaved families and the full range of interested parties, including NHS trusts, government departments, police forces and local authorities. The barristers have attracted major instructions in the Birmingham and Guildford pub bombing inquests, the Undercover Policing Inquiry, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the Alexander Perepilichnyy inquest, and the Westminster Bridge inquests, among others. According to a solicitor, “their barristers are all absolutely top-notch.” (Chambers & Partners 2020, Band 1)

“The clerking is always brilliant, smooth and responsive.” “They are approachable and understand the work we do and the client demands we face.” (Chambers & Partners 2020)

“1 Crown Office Row is for many ‘the leading set for inquests and inquiries work‘. Members have appeared in inquiries covering a vast array of areas such as child abuse, matters with national security elements, deaths in custody and clinical settings and transport accidents. They have also been involved in many of the most high-profile inquests, acting for both interested parties and coroners, as well as handling judicial reviews of coroners’ decisions.” (Legal 500 2019, Tier 1)

For information on our team based in Brighton, please click here.


Matthew Phipps 1COR

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