Civil claims following inquests: Tips, tricks and licks on obtaining compensation for wrongful death and deaths in custody

Tuesday 27 July 2021

This webinar is brought to you by the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties and Human Rights Team.

Date: Tuesday 27 July 2021
Time: 5pm-6.30pm
Venue: Online  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Civil Liberties and Human Rights , Claims Against the Police and Public Authorities , Inquests and Inquiries

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This training aims to provide top tips, tactics and strategies on bringing post-inquest fatality claims for wrongful deaths at the hands of the state.

It aims to provide an overview of the type of civil claims arising from inquests as well as information on:

  • choosing your Defendant;
  • spotting and developing civil claims early on in the inquest process, including disclosure, factual and expert witness evidence and the inquest outcome itself;
  • the key case law and themes in this area;
  • tactical approaches to maximise damages;
  • common Defendant challenges and how to overcome them;
  • and recovery of the costs of an inquest in the subsequent civil proceedings and how to navigate the minefield of costs law.




Professor Leslie Thomas QC, Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Professor Leslie Thomas QC has spent his entire career acting for vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged people, who seek justice and accountability from the state and others. He has appeared in many landmark cases such as: representing bereaved families at the Grenfell Public Inquiry; high-profile death in custody cases representing the families of the deceased such as Kevin Clarke, Christopher Alder and Sean Rigg; representing the families of Stephen Port’s murder victims in their claim against the police for alleged failings during their investigations; the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by police sparking national riots; the inquiry into the death of Azelle Rodney, who was unlawfully killed by the police; the Hillsborough inquests for 11 families; and the inquest that followed the Birmingham Pub Bombing.

Leslie joined Garden Court Chambers in 1990 and is the former Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers. In June 2020, Leslie became the first Black Professor of Law at Gresham College, click here to watch his inaugural lecture series Death, the State and Human Rights . In October 2020, Prof Leslie Thomas QC also became a Visiting Professor in Law at Goldsmiths. Leslie recently won the Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion Award at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2020. He was previously awarded the Legal Aid Barrister of the Year award in 2012, and again in 2016, for his work on the Hillsborough disaster. He also won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the UK Diversity Legal Awards 2017.

Laura Profumo, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Laura specialises in civil liberties and human rights, with particular emphasis on claims against the police and public authorities, inquests, and related public law work. Laura has particular experience of advising and representing Claimants in all types of claims against the police including false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, harassment and claims under the Human Rights Act 1998. She is similarly adept at advising on civil damages claims against the prison service/Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, and disclosure and security services, across the full range of torts.

Laura has special interest in the creative scope of Article 3 and related investigative failure claims to circumvent the limitations of negligence liability, recently co-authoring an article on this subject for the Journal of Personal Injury Law. Laura also has a thriving and varied practice representing bereaved families at both Article 2 and domestic inquests. She has particular experience of inquests concerning deaths in prison and police custody, as well as those arising within the mental healthcare and probation context. She also advises on post-inquest civil claims in line. Laura was recently instructed as Junior Counsel, led by Stephen Simblet, to act on behalf of survivors of child sex abuse in the Nottinghamshire Phase of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). During pupillage, Laura gained invaluable experience of public inquiries, working with her supervisor, Maya Sikand, on the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

Stephen Clark, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Stephen specialises in complex, multi-disciplinary work which draws on the full range of his flourishing practice and with recent successes in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the European Court of Human Rights. He works across a broad spectrum of practice areas from judicial review, immigration and asylum, inquests, actions against state authorities, prison law and community care.

Stephen acts in the full range of civil work against public authorities – ranging from claims against the Police and Home Office for false imprisonment and Human Rights Act breaches to post-inquest civil claims against prison and healthcare authorities. He also acts in complex inquests across detained and community settings, particularly those involving mental health elements. In addition to his strength on legal submissions and developing cutting edge arguments, he has extensive experience in winning the confidence and trust of bereaved families under exceptionally difficult circumstances even by inquest standards.

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