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inquests and investigations


Coroners’ inquests into unnatural deaths involving health and social care organisations are on the increase. They are particularly stressful for individuals called to give evidence, with the cases being held in public and often in front of family members of the deceased.

We know that every case is different and our approach is tailored to your requirements - inquests always require a combination of shrewd legal analysis and sensitive handling.

Our specialist inquest team advises on over 300 inquests per year, dealing with many complex and sensitive matters and has developed a nationally recognised expertise in the field of coronial law. Many of the witnesses we deal with are unfamiliar with the coroner’s court and have never given evidence before. We support them throughout the process, providing careful guidance on what to expect.

We have been working on behalf of public and private sector health organisations for many years, appearing before more than 50 different coroners across the country, lecturing nationally and hosting quarterly inquest and litigation forums.

what we do...

  • A total solution - we advise on related claims and policy issues, police investigations, Health & Safety Executive prosecutions and disciplinary action.

  • Review of statements to be sent to the coroner.

  • Advice on legal issues, disclosure of documents and likely determinations.

  • Advice on dealing with media and reputational issues.

  • Pre-inquest meetings with your people involved in the case.

  • Advocacy at the inquest and any pre-inquest hearings.

  • Assistance with responding to Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) reports.

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Checklist for NHS organisations when commissioning external reviews

When commissioning external reviews, robust end-to-end Terms of Reference (ToR) should be agreed at the outset. Find out more here.

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Systemic failure or medical negligence?

Lord Burnett handed down Judgement at the RCJ on 10 June 2020 of the following case which is the latest in a line of authorities to explore the engagement of Article 2 at Inquests concerning medical care/treatment, reaffirming the point that such cases will not ordinarily trigger the need for an Article 2 inquest.

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High Court denies relief from sanctions

In Magee v Willmott Browne Jacobson successfully appealed on behalf of the Defendant a lower court decision to allow the Claimant relief from sanctions to rely upon expert evidence served after the deadline had passed for exchange and not to strike out part of the Claimant’s case which was unsupported by the Claimant’s breach expert and where no case on causation had been pleaded.

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