Inquests & public inquiries

Garden Court North Chambers has always been committed to providing representation for bereaved families.  Our members regularly appear in all parts of the country, work with the national campaign and advice group INQUEST, and have had a number of cases reported.

We have been involved in inquests following high-profile and controversial deaths, including:

  • The 2014-2016 Hillsborough Inquests (four Members of the Team were instructed by 22 families in what became the longest inquest in English legal history – the jury found that the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Disaster had been unlawfully killed and exonerated the Liverpool supporters);
  • The Christopher Alder Inquest (a case concerning the unlawful killing of a black ex-paratrooper in police custody);
  • The Sonny Lodge Public Inquiry (a case concerning the death of a prisoner at HMP Manchester);
  • The Kingsway Hospital Inquests before the South Derbyshire Coroner (on behalf of a former member of the hospital staff whose conduct was called into question); and
  • The Abergele Cyclists Inquests.

Our members, who have particular experience of inquests into deaths in police custody and prisons, have successfully pursued remedies for bereaved families by way of judicial review, including the landmark case of R (Middleton) v HM Coroner for West Somerset [2004] 2 AC 182 (regarding the applicability of Article 2 to inquests into deaths in custody). The decision in Middleton has had a substantial impact on jury findings in inquest cases and on the determination of state responsibility where prison authorities or the police have failed in their duty of care.

Although Chambers is in Manchester, our members frequently travel to courts across England and Wales. If you would like to know more about our inquests and public inquiries work please contact the Practice Management Team on 0161 817 6377 or at


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