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Inquests and Inquiries

"Renowned for its sensitive but robust representation of bereaved families, Garden Court Chambers has retained its strong reputation in the inquests and public inquiries space."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

"All the people there have such a strong ethos. It feels like a 'grass roots' chambers and everyone is incredibly approachable."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

"Garden Court Chambers is widely respected for its representation of bereaved families and victims in inquests and public inquiries."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

"The barristers have notable experience of representing the bereaved in matters examining the actions or inactions of the police and other public authorities."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

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Winner UK Bar Awards 2016 Human Rights and Public Law Set of the Year

Garden Court is one of the leading barristers’ chambers in the UK representing bereaved families in inquests and core participants in public inquiries.

Our inquest barristers have been involved in most of the landmark and far-reaching inquests including the Hillsborough inquests, the Birmingham Pub Bombings Inquest, the Mark Duggan inquest, the Litvinenko inquest and inquests into historic political deaths in Northern Ireland such as the Ballymurphy Inquest.

Garden Court has also been involved in ground-breaking inquiries such as the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the Undercover Policing Inquiry, the Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry, the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry and the Mubarek Inquiry.

Members of the team have acted as counsel to the Coroner in several notable inquests and we are active members and supporters of INQUEST, the campaign group supporting families of those who have died in state custody.

Areas of Expertise

  • Actions by state agencies including surveillance
  • Police contact, such as detention, police shooting, pursuit and restraint
  • Investigations and prosecutions of crimes
  • Prison and immigration detention
  • Company negligence under health and safety legislation
  • Local authority services and social services
  • Hospital failings
  • Military service
  • Emergency service response or failings

The work we do

Our inquest and inquiries barristers specialise in representing properly interested persons and core participants throughout every stage of the inquest and inquiry process. We also advise on potential civil claims for damages and judicial review challenges to inquest and inquiry rulings or conclusions.

Garden Court Chambers is instructed in all types of inquests and inquiries, but we have particular expertise in complex cases (with or without a jury) where an individual dies in State custody or where the State may be responsible for the death, such as cases where Article 2 ECHR is engaged. In such cases we have significant expertise pursuing and winning private law claims for damages against public bodies such as the police and emergency services, the CPS, the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, local authorities, NHS Trusts and other healthcare providers.

 

Recent notable cases and news

Inquest finds inadequate care contributed to death of Frazer Williams who took his life at HMP Guys Marsh

Paul Clark, of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests & Inquiries Team, represented Frazer’s Family, instructed by Maya Grantham of Leigh Day.

23 May 2024

Inquest finds inadequate care contributed to death of Frazer Williams who took his life at HMP Guys Marsh

Paul Clark, of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests & Inquiries Team, represented Frazer’s Family, instructed by Maya Grantham of Leigh Day.

23 May 2024

Peter Wilcock KC makes opening submission at UK Covid-19 Inquiry (Module 2C) Northern Ireland

Peter Wilcock KC, of the Garden Court Inquests & Inquiries team, represents Northern Ireland Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, instructed by Conal McGarrity of P.A. Duffy & Co Solicitors.

1 May 2024

Inquest for Muhammedou Mahrie Kinteh concludes restraint contributed to death

Christopher Williams of Garden Court Chambers represented the family of ‘Pa’, instructed by Kim Vernald of Taylor Rose Solicitors.

26 April 2024

Inquest into the death of Sabina Rizvi returns a conclusion that she was unlawfully killed

The  Rizvi  family are represented by Rajiv Menon KC & Chris Williams of Garden Court Inquest & Inquiries Team, and solicitor Anna Moore of Leigh Day,  and have been supported by the charity INQUEST.

27 March 2024

Bethan Harris and Kirsten Heaven deliver oral submissions to UK Covid-19 Inquiry Wales (Module 2B)

Bethan Harris and Kirsten Heaven, of the Garden Court Inquests & Inquiries team, represent Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Cymru, instructed by Craig Court of Harding Evans Solicitors.

22 March 2024

Inquest into the death of Maia Schroder-Lewis, aged 21

The family were represented by Tim Baldwin of Garden Court Chambers and Leanne Devine, partner at Leigh Day.

14 March 2024

UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2B commences today in Wales - Opening statement on behalf of Core Participants

Bethan Harris and Kirsten Heaven represent the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice for Cymru Wales, instructed by Harding Evans Solicitors.

27 February 2024

Garden Court barristers contribute to 'Achieving Racial Justice at Inquests' Guide

Achieving Racial Justice at Inquests is a joint guide developed by human rights charities JUSTICE and INQUEST together and in consultation with advisory group members, including our Allison Munroe KC, Leslie Thomas KC, and Thalia Maragh.

21 February 2024

Kane Boyce: Coroner raises serious concerns about risk of future deaths at HMP Lowdham Grange

Kane's fiancée, Kate, is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Taimour Lay of Garden Court Chambers and Amalia King of Deighton Pierce Glynn.

5 February 2024

Garden Court counsel make closing submissions to UK Covid Inquiry Module 2

Garden Court counsel make closing submissions for Module 2 of the Covid-19 Inquiry.

15 December 2023

Rajiv Menon KC and Leslie Thomas KC question Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Public hearings for Module 2 of the the UK Covid-19 Inquiry continued. Our Rajiv Menon KC and Leslie Thomas KC questioned Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

11 December 2023

Garden Court counsel question Boris Johnson at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Rajiv Menon KC, Leslie Thomas KC, Brenda Campbell KC, Liz Davies KC & Bethan Harris questioned Boris Johnson at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

7 December 2023

Garden Court counsel question Matt Hancock at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Rajiv Menon KC, Leslie Thomas KC, Liz Davies KC & Bethan Harris questioned Matt Hancock at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

1 December 2023

Garden Court counsel question Professor Dame Jenny Harries and Sajid Javid at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Our Peter Wilcock KC, Leslie Thomas KC, Marina Sergides & Kirsten Heaven questioned Professor Dame Jenny Harries and Sajid Javid MP at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

29 November 2023

Liz Davies KC and Kirsten Heaven question Dominic Raab MP at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Our Liz Davies KC and Kirsten Heaven questioned Dominic Raab MP at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

29 November 2023

Rajiv Menon KC, Peter Wilcock KC and Kirsten Heaven question Michael Gove at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Our Rajiv Menon KC, Peter Wilcock KC and Kirsten Heaven questioned Michael Gove MP at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

28 November 2023

Leslie Thomas KC and Brenda Campbell KC question Sadiq Khan at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Our Brenda Campbell KC and Leslie Thomas KC questioned the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

27 November 2023

Leslie Thomas KC questions Kemi Badenoch at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Our Leslie Thomas KC questioned Kemi Badenoch MP at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

23 November 2023

Peter Wilcock KC, Leslie Thomas KC, and Kirsten Heaven question Professor Sir Chris Witty at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Peter Wilcock KC, Leslie Thomas KC, and Kirsten Heaven question Professor Sir Chris Witty at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

22 November 2023

Leslie Thomas KC and Liz Davies KC question Dame Priti Patel at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Last week, our Leslie Thomas KC and Liz Davies KC questioned Priti Patel at Module 2 of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

13 November 2023

Rajiv Menon KC submits questions at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2

Rajiv Menon KC, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, submitted questions on behalf of children's rights organisations Just for Kids Law, Save the Children UK and Children's Rights Alliance for England.

1 November 2023

Inquest concludes ‘stark’ failures by probation service led to death of family

Kirsten Heaven and Paul Clark of Garden Court Chambers represented some of the family members of the victims at the inquest.

24 October 2023

UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2 Continues - Opening statement on behalf of Core Participants

Several Garden Court Barristers are representing core participants at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

4 October 2023

Garden Court secures top tier rankings in the Legal 500 UK 2024

Garden Court Chambers is proud to be recognised as a Top Tier set again in the Legal 500 UK 2024 rankings.

4 October 2023

Trevor Monerville: Inquest critical of ‘unacceptable’ care of epileptic man at Lewes prison

Allison Munroe KC of the Garden Court Inquests and Inquiries Team, instructed by Paul Ham and Constance Collard of Birnberg Peirce Solicitors, represented the family of Trevor Monerville.

4 October 2023

UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2 - Opening statement on behalf of Core Participants

Several Garden Court Barristers are representing core participants at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

3 October 2023

Stephen Simblet KC delivers oral submissions to UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 3

Stephen Simblet KC delivers oral submissions for COVID-19 Airborne Transmission Alliance to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 3.

27 September 2023

Allison Munroe KC delivers oral submissions to UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 3

Allison Munroe KC delivers oral submissions for Covid Bereaved Families for Justice UK to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 3.

27 September 2023

Dangerous use of force, failure of safeguards and culture of dehumanisation - Brook House Inquiry report finds 19 instances of inhumane or degrading treatment

Stephanie Harrison KC leading Louise Hooper, Gordon Lee, Kirsten Heaven, Una Morris, and Alex Schymyck, of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests and Inquiries Team represented former detainees, instructed by Hamish Arnott of Bhatt Murphy.

19 September 2023

Trevor Monerville: Inquest opens into epilepsy related death in HMP Lewes

Allison Munroe KC of Garden Court represents Trevor's family, instructed by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Paul Ham and Constance Collard of Birnberg Peirce. They are supported by INQUEST Senior Caseworker Jodie Anderson.

15 September 2023

Sonali Naik KC delivers oral submissions to UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 4

Sonali Naik KC leads our Maria Moodie, instructed by Helen Mowatt of Public Interest Law Centre.

14 September 2023

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