Inquests & Public Hearings

Whether a loved one has passed away in unexplained circumstances or you have been called as a witness or Interested Person in an inquest or public hearing, we are on hand to support you.

We have wide-ranging expertise advising at representing clients in inquest and public hearing proceedings, from the families of deceased people, to companies and employers, to people involved in road traffic accidents.

We understand that coping with the sudden or unexplained death of a loved one is a devastating time for you and your family. Our specialist team of solicitors can guide you through the inquest process, help you prepare any questions you may personally have about your family member’s death and ultimately seek the answers and justice you deserve.

Our solicitors also advise witnesses and core participants in inquest and public hearing proceedings with the aim of protecting your legal rights, preserving your commercial interests, and minimising reputational damage in both your personal and public life.

We have extensive experience supporting both individuals and companies or organisations, for example, we recently represented a gambling charity during an inquest. We can ensure that you are represented by experienced advocates during the inquest and, if required, we can advise on the need for independent expert evidence.

Our team also has an enviable reputation for successfully assisting clients in complex and high profile cases, including the Hillsborough Inquests, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.

For further information from our inquest and public hearing solicitors, please get in touch by calling 0207 264 2016 or by emailing

Our inquest and public hearing solicitors’ expertise


Inquests often take place where someone has died in unexplained circumstances to ascertain how and why they died. An inquest is not, in itself, a criminal law matter. However, they often take place before and sometimes after criminal proceedings.

Therefore, if you’ve been called as a witness or “interested person” at an inquest, it’s crucial to consult a skilled solicitor, even if you have not been arrested or investigated in relation to the death.

We also support the bereaved families of deceased people. The inquest process can be daunting for family members; however, we will vigorously fight to get the answers you need, including instructing experts to examine the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death.

Common scenarios in which an inquest is likely to take place include:

  • Unexplained deaths of family members
  • Violent or unnatural deaths
  • Deaths in police custody or prison
  • Deaths following police contact, including shootings and in the course of arrest
  • Deaths in hospital
  • Deaths involving social care or community healthcare teams and individuals
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Employee deaths
  • Child and baby deaths

Our team is proud to include Paul Harris, a Partner of our firm and a Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 recognised solicitor with specialist experience in high profile inquest cases.

Paul was instructed in the Hillsborough Inquest, the 1989 tragedy in which 96 Liverpool FC fans lost their lives.

Public hearings

Public hearings (also referred to as public inquiries) are investigations into matters of serious public concern, such as health scandals, abuse scandals, illnesses caused by environmental contamination or exposure, and transport accidents.

If you’ve been asked to act as a witness or participant in a public inquiry, we have significant expertise working on high profile and multifaceted cases. Our priority is always to protect your interests and minimise disruption to your life, reputation, and professional or commercial concerns.

We are currently instructed in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which was set up to investigate historic child sexual abuse cases following the Government’s serious concerns that various agencies  are failing to protect children from sexual abuse.

We’re also acting for an individual under investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in relation to the Stephen Lawrence inquiry. Stephen Lawrence was a young man murdered in a racially motivated attack in 1993.

The public hearing focuses on officers involved in the initial Metropolitan Police investigation into the murder. The case has thrown up many complex issues involving allegations of police misconduct, institutional racism, and police leadership failures, requiring the expertise of our specialist inquest and public inquiry solicitors.

Why choose our inquest solicitors?

At Edward Fail, Bradshaw & Waterson, we specialise is providing practical and robust advice and representation in relation to a wide spectrum of criminal law matters. We are consistently ranked as a top crime law firms in London and the UK by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.

Our team has significant experience representing clients in the most serious and highest profile inquests and public hearings, including the Hillsborough Inquests, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.

We deeply understand that you may have concerns about being drawn into public proceedings, and we will do everything we can to minimise the impact on your life and protect your reputation.

We will stay by your side every step of the way from the moment you are called to appear at an inquest or public hearing, helping you prepare your evidence, and appropriately managing any reputational issues throughout.

We have an enviable success rate at helping clients achieve positive outcomes to their cases, enabling them to move on with their lives as soon as possible.

Legal aid and private funding options for inquests and public hearings

Legal aid may be available for inquests and public hearings in some circumstances so if you would like advice about your potential eligibility please contact us for a confidential discussion.

If you are not eligible for legal aid or would prefer to fund your case privately, we offer a number of flexible private funding options, including agreeing fixed fees where feasible.

For general information about our fees, please visit our funding and legal aid page.

Get in touch with our inquest and public inquiry solicitors in London today

For further information from our inquest and public hearing solicitors, please get in touch by calling 0207 790 4032 or by emailing


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