Inquests and coronial law

Expert advice on all matters relating to inquests in the coroner's court.

Weightmans regularly represents and advises a range of private and pubic sector clients in connection with all types of inquests and public inquiries, ranging from simple cases to the most complex and wide-ranging Article 2 inquests. Our clients include local authorities, police forces, fire and rescue services,  health trusts and charities.

We advise both organisations and individuals  on the law and procedure around the coronial process, and also on issues such as supporting employees who may be witnesses, helping to minimise the risk of reputational damage (both personal and corporate) and shaping media coverage. Our work is often in high-profile cases of the utmost sensitivity, with potentially far-reaching ramifications.

We are always mindful of the potential impact of the evidence given at inquest hearings upon associated proceedings, whether in the civil and criminal courts or in other disciplinary and regulatory settings, and assist clients in understanding how best to protect their interests.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • New rules and procedure under the Coroner’s and Justice Act 2009 which came into force in July 2013. 
  • Supporting and advising staff 
  • Assisting with the preparation of statements and reports
  • Liaising with the coroner and his team 
  • Advocacy in the coroner’s court, at inquests and pre-inquest review hearings
  • Drafting submissions on the law
  • Wide-ranging Article 2 inquests and jury cases 
  • Costs control 
  • Dealing with the media 
  • Helping clients to avoid or respond to Prevention of Future Death reports
Introduction of Medical Examiners expected to lead to more inquests

An impact assessment has indicated that, following the introduction of Medical Examiners in April 2019, there may be an increased number of inquests.

Coroner’s Inquests and Article 2 - Fernandes endorsed by the UK Courts

On 15 June 2018 the High Court gave judgment in a case which has clarified the UK position regarding the applicability of Article 2 of the European…

The Chief Coroner’s report to the Lord Chancellor (2015/2016)

Executive summary The outgoing Chief Coroner, Judge Peter Thornton QC, published his annual report to the Lord Chancellor on 15 July 2016.

Root cause analysis investigation reports

A root cause analysis investigation is an investigation undertaken to establish the originating causes which have led to a death or an avoidable…

Dewi Ap-Thomas
Dewi Ap-Thomas Partner

Coroners' forms and investigation process explained

What coroners' forms are available, how do they fit into to the whole process, what is their purpose, who receives them and why?

David Lewis
David Lewis Senior partner

Recent developments in inquests law

A summary of recent developments in inquests law, covering limits to the scope of inquests, proposed changes for deaths under DoLS authorisation and…

David Lewis
David Lewis Senior partner

Disclosure to and by coroners

Over the last few years there have been huge changes to both law and practice with regard to disclosure of information to coroners.

David Lewis
David Lewis Senior partner

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