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Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB) LLP and Pitmans LLP merged on 1 December 2018 to become BDB Pitmans LLP. More details can be found here

Inquests / Public Inquiries

We advise on a wide range of high-profile cases involving public bodies, charities, hospitals and individuals.

Sectors and Services
Public Law

We have significant experience having acted as both inquest solicitors and representing individuals and organisations at high-profile inquests and inquiries, therefore understand the full process from both sides.

The breadth of our expertise means we recognise the importance of handling matters with sensitivity and clarity to ensure that all those involved have confidence in the process and investigation.

Our experience

Inquests:

  • Most recently we have been instructed as solicitor to the Westminster Bridge and Palace of Westminster Inquests and solicitor to the London Bridge and Borough Market Inquests by the Chief Coroner
  • We were appointed solicitor to the Tunisia Inquests in October 2015 by the Coroner. In this role we worked closely with the Coroner, Counsel to the Inquests, as well as the Metropolitan Police Service, the families of the 30 deceased, TUI and Her Majesty’s Government from October 2015 until 2017. We dealt with classified material, public interest immunity issues, setting up a website for the Inquests and a significant document management service for in excess of 4000 documents, obtaining witness statements and working with the local Coroner’s Court and the Ministry of Justice
  • We represented a high-profile charity as an Interested Person at the Hillsborough Inquests into the deaths of the 96 individuals at the Hillsborough Stadium on 15 April 1989 which were Article 2 engaged Inquests before a Jury
  • We represented King Edward VII Hospital at the Inquest into the death of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who committed suicide after being the victim of a hoax call from an Australian radio station. This attracted worldwide publicity and issues with various coronial documents being leaked to the press
  • We have represented various Government bodies in wide ranging Article 2 Inquests with a Jury, including the Inquest into the death of Naomi Bryant where a life prisoner had been released on parole and had gone on to commit a murder
  • We have represented train operators and their employees, for example, at the Potters Bar 2010 Inquest into the deaths caused by the Potters Bar derailment
  • We have also represented train drivers of rail operators at Inquests into suicides on the track
  • We understand disclosure issues involving public interest immunity and official secrets
  • We have represented companies in connection with the death of their employees and advised on possible health and safety prosecutions
  • We regularly act for charities who operate care homes and have advised in cases involving residents who died in suspicious circumstances or as a result of the actions of third parties, and assisted suicide
  • We have acted for individuals at the Inquest where a family member has died as a result of medical negligence and then pursued a claim under the Fatal Accidents Act on their behalf. We also have significant experience of managing and supporting individuals and employees who may be witnesses at Inquests and Inquiries, as well as dealing with media interest and advising on reputational issues.

Public Inquiries:

  • Acted for the Kelly family at the Hutton Inquiry which examined the circumstances surrounding the death of the government scientist Dr David Kelly
  • Acted for a high-profile individual at an Inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane in Northern Ireland
  • Acted  for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Related Services and Sectors

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Crime (White Collar)