We can help you if you have lost relatives or loved ones in the Inquest process in a number of ways including the following:
Obtaining medical and other records belonging to the deceased person:
Leigh Day can make formal requests for records on behalf of their clients whether it be to a hospital, care home, prison or private company. Leigh Day can also liaise with the Coroner’s Office in relation to disclosure of records. Leigh Day has extensive experience in making Freedom of Information Act requests and applications under the Access to Health Records Act to obtain records belonging to a deceased person.
Obtaining independent expert evidence
Leigh Day can instruct expert witnesses on behalf of clients in appropriate cases. We can ask the Coroner to hear evidence from that expert or use the expert’s report to inform the questioning of witnesses at the Coroner’s Court.
For example, in certain circumstances it may be appropriate to obtain evidence from a pathologist and/or another medical professional to help question post-mortem evidence adduced at an Inquest or explain information in medical records.
Leigh Day work regularly with a with a wide range of medical and other experts who have provided evidence in Inquest proceedings.
Making legal submissions to the Coroner
Solicitors at Leigh Day have extensive experience in corresponding with Coroner’s courts and making representations on behalf of clients in relation to Inquest proceedings. Such submissions could include representations relating to whether a jury should summoned, whether the Coroner should undertake an enhanced investigation into the circumstances of a death, which witnesses should be called and what conclusion should be properly made at the end of an Inquest.
Leigh Day can also assist clients in drafting statements to be presented at the Coroner’s Court.
Instructing a barrister to represent clients at court hearings
Depending on the circumstances of a death and the number of witnesses called, an Inquest hearing can sometimes last days or weeks or longer. Leigh Day can instruct barristers to represent the family members of a person whose death is being investigated by a Coroner. Such barristers are specialist advocates with extensive knowledge of Coronial law and experience in cross examining witnesses and making oral submissions in the Coroner’s Court.
Liaising with the press and preparing press releases
Inquests are public hearings and can sometimes attract interest from the press. Leigh Day have a specialist media relations team which is able to assist clients in managing such press interest sensitively and appropriately at what is a very difficult time for families involved.
For more information please contact Suzanne White on 020 7650 1200 at Leigh Day for information and support about inquests.