Specialist support to manage inquests and public inquiries from start to finish
Our inquests & advocacy team regularly provides representation at Coroner’s inquests, instructed by NHS Trusts, health and social care organisations and indemnity providers. We also assist our Scottish clients with fatal accident inquiries (FAIs) and public inquiries. We understand the full range of challenges in this area including investigations, critical conclusions, adverse publicity, reports to Prevent Future Deaths, and involvement by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
We appreciate that giving evidence at an inquest can be a daunting experience. The proceedings and terminology can be intimidating and confusing. We provide vital support and guidance throughout.
Our healthcare lawyers have been involved in some of the largest inquests in the UK in recent years. Clients regularly commend our skills and expertise in this complex area. They particularly appreciate our ability to identify accurately the issues in advance, giving them sufficient time to deal with them before going to court. We help drive a fair process and accurate conclusion.
We can help at each stage of the process, including advising when a death should be reported to the Coroner, when to investigate and when to refer to the police or the HSE. We liaise with the Coroner’s Court throughout and advise on how to meet your obligation to provide disclosure.
We provide advice on the initial analysis and on the likely legal risks, and review investigation reports to ensure they are as robust as possible. We assist with the preparation of witness statements and identify when separate legal representation is required. Our lawyers provide advocacy and legal submissions at pre-inquest review hearings and meet with witnesses before the inquest to identify problems with the care provided and to help them understand how to be an effective witness. We also provide advocacy at inquest hearings and FAIs, examining witnesses and making legal submissions.
In Australia, we work with regulatory bodies both locally and globally to draft and implement legislation and assist public, private and life sciences sector clients to develop their business in line with the latest regulations, legislation and best practice. Our team has exposure to health professionals' disciplinary proceedings involving the Health Care Complaints Commission, Office of the Health Ombudsman and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency investigations.