Members of Chambers have extensive experience both advising the parties to inquests and representing them at the actual hearings, whether before a coroner and a jury or just before a coroner. The inquests in which our members have been involved have included deaths arising out of serious medical malpractice and deaths occasioned while the deceased has been detained by the state or more directly where his or her death has been caused by the actions of state agents such as the police and the armed forces.
In particular, our members have appeared in a number of recent high-profile inquests into the deaths of Princess Diana, Jean Charles De Menezes (a young Brazilian man shot dead by plain-clothes police officers at Stockwell Underground station in July 2005), Mark Saunders (a barrister shot dead by police marksmen in May 2008 after a siege at his London flat), the 52 men and women killed by extremists in London on the 7th July 2005 (known as the 7/7 Inquest), and the 7 men and women killed at Potter’s Bar train station in May 2002 after a train derailed at high speed (known as the Potter’s Bar Inquest). In addition, members of Chambers have both brought and defended claims for judicial review of the decisions of coroners and inquest juries.
Members of Chambers have first-hand experience gathering materials required for public inquiries and advising those involved both as to the manner in which that material can be presented and the consequences of doing so. The experience extends to non-statutory inquiries and those conducted under the auspices of the Inquiries Act 2005 and the Inquiries Rules 2006. In particular, members of Chambers gave advice and assistance in the Ladbroke Grove inquiry, carried out in 2000 under the chairmanship of Lord Cullen to explore the circumstances surrounding the train crash at Ladbroke Grove junction that occurred in October 1999 and caused considerable loss of life and injuries. The final report was published in 2001 and made 163 recommendations for the improvement of safety on the railways. In addition, in recent years a number of our members have been working on the investigation into the alleged torture of UK citizens at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba that will lead to a full public inquiry in the near future.