Cecily White

Call 2011


Cecily is a leading junior who frequently acts in complex and high-profile inquests and public inquiries.  She represents public bodies, private organisations and individuals, often in cases engaging Article 2 ECHR alongside senior juniors and silks.  Cecily regularly advises on strategy, disclosure, and case preparation. She has been ranked for several years by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.

Inquests & Inquiries

“Clever, well-organised, sensible and switched on. Clients love her.”
Chambers & Partners 2023

Brook House Inquiry – Cecily White instructed on behalf of the Practice Plus Group
Click here for further details

experience & expertise

Cecily acts in lengthy and sensitive inquests, before a jury or Coroner alone including high-profile judge-led inquests and public inquiries. Examples include the “Deepcut” inquests, the inquest into the death of Alexander Perepilichnyy, the Undercover Policing Inquiry, and the Brook House Inquiry.  She represents individuals and organisations and often advises on “PFD” issues, regulatory implications, and collateral civil claims.

Cecily has acted in cases involving deaths in hospitals, military and custodial premises, mental health institutions, and following contact with the police including 999 calls and other emergency including suicide situations.  Recent cases in the medical field have involved treatment in care homes and by community mental health teams; and in the police field, firearms cases and cases involving restraint.

cases & work of note

Cecily’s recent cases have included the following:

  • Brook House Inquiry (2022-2023)
    Cecily appeared on behalf of the Practice Plus Group which provides healthcare services at the Gatwick Immigration Removal Centre.  The Brook House Inquiry, which is due to report in 2023, examined the circumstances surrounding the mistreatment of detainees at Gatwick IRC as shown in the BBC Panorama programme, Undercover: Britain’s Immigration Secrets, which aired on 4 September 2017.  See here for media coverage.
  • Needham & Fitzgibbons inquests (2022)
    Cecily acted for the Chief Constable of Sussex Police in the inquests into the fatal shootings of Robert Needham, his partner and their two young children.  The inquests examined the circumstances in which RN came to be issued with a firearm and shotgun licence.  See here for media coverage.
  • Undercover Policing Inquiry (ongoing)
    Junior counsel to Gerry Boyle KC on behalf of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
  • Inquests into the deaths of soldiers at Deepcut Army Barracks (2016, 2018, 2019)
    Junior counsel to Surrey Police in three fresh inquests ordered following the deaths of four soldiers at Deepcut Army Barracks between 1995 and 2002. See here for media coverage.
  • Inquest touching the death of Edson da Costa (2019)
    Police inquest involving death following restraint (led by John Beggs KC). See here for media coverage.
  • Inquest touching the death of Alexander Perepilichnyy (2016 to 2018)
    Junior counsel to the widow of a Russian businessman who died in Surrey in 2012.  After evidence hearings in June 2017 and April 2018, the Coroner concluded that Mr Perepilichnyy’s death was attributable to natural causes. The High Court determined a satellite issue concerning the jurisdiction to decide PII issues in inquests [2016] EWHC 3001 (Admin).
  • Inquest touching the death of Sally Hodkin (2018)
    Acting for the Metropolitan Police Service in the inquest concerning the death of a woman killed by Nicola Edgington who had previously been convicted of manslaughter after killing her mother. See here for media coverage.
  • Inquest touching the death of Rashan Charles (2018)
    Acting for the Metropolitan Police Service in the inquest concerning the death of a young man who was restrained by police in Hackney and a plastic package was later retrieved from his mouth. The jury found the death to have been accidental. See here for media coverage.
  • Inquest touching the death of Richard Davies (2017)
    Acting for Bedfordshire Police in Cambridgeshire’s first fatal shooting inquest, in front of a jury, which returned a conclusion of lawful killing after hearing complex ballistics evidence. See here for press coverage.
  • Inquest touching the death of Stella Alao (2017)
    Article 2 inquest into a maternal sepsis death, acting on behalf of the hospital trust.
  • Inquest touching the death of Estyna Blunnie (2015)
    Acting for Essex Police at a 3 week jury inquest into the death of a woman murdered by her former partner. See here for press coverage


‘A very approachable junior who is in total command of her brief. ‘
The Legal 500 2024

“Cecily provided very quick and helpful advice.”
Chambers & Partners 2024

“She is bright and able.”
Chambers & Partners 2024

“Cecily is very thorough and conscientious – a strong advocate.”
Chambers & Partners 2023

“She is incredibly intelligent, holds her own in court and doesn’t let anyone get away with anything.”
Chambers & Partners 2022

“She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and great judgement.”
Chambers & Partners 2022

‘Cecily is a very bright and able counsel. She is very approachable and provides sound legal advice in a way that is easily understood by non-lawyers.’
The Legal 500 2022

“She’s incredibly intelligent. She is not aggressive but never lets anything get past her and never gives up.”
Chambers & Partners 2021

“Cecily is good on paper and very clever. She’s very much in demand.”
Chambers & Partners 2021

‘Cecily is a gem. She is a very bright and articulate barrister, who I have no doubt will reach the top of her game.’
The Legal 500 2020

“She was superb and impressed the coroner by being clear and authoritative in her advocacy.”
Chambers & Partners 2020

“Thorough and articulate.”
Chambers & Partners 2020

“A real one to watch: she will progress and achieve great things.”
Chambers & Partners 2020

‘A fantastic barrister who is clever, thorough, calm, firm and approachable.’
The Legal 500 2019

“She has very good communication skills.”
Chambers & Partners 2019

“She is a very knowledgeable and impressive barrister.”
Chambers & Partners 2018

“She provides valuable advice and has extremely good interpersonal skills.” 
Chambers & Partners 2018