Inquests & Inquiries
“A death behind closed doors, but an Inquest in public”
Read Jamie’s post on our UK Inquest Law Blog.
Jamie was instructed as one of two Counsel to the Inquest in the fresh Inquest into the death of Cheryl James at Deepcut Barracks in 1995.
Experience & Expertise
Jamie was trained during pupillage by inquests specialist Bridget Dolan QC, assisting her with her work as Counsel to the Inquest during the Inquests into the deaths of seven British nationals in the terrorist attack at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria. During pupillage he also assisted barristers working on the Hillsborough Inquests and the Inquest into the death of Amy El-Keria.
Following this, Jamie was instructed as one of two Counsel to the Inquest in the fresh Inquest into the death of Cheryl James at Deepcut Barracks in 1995. He spent much of his first year of practice continually involved in all aspects of a uniquely complicated process involving over 100 witnesses, around 90 lever arch files of disclosure, and complex forensic evidence culminating in weeks of hearings under the spotlight of intense media interest. Jamie has since been instructed in the same role at the Inquest into the death of Sean Benton at Deepcut, which will commence in January 2018.
Jamie’s own inquest experience as sole counsel includes:
- Inquest into the death of LDJ and NN , an Inquest into the death of two young women from traumatic asphyxiation in a nightclub crush. Only weeks after finishing pupillage, Jamie acted pro bono as the sole family representative during a two-week long jury inquest featuring five other interested persons, represented by senior counsel including a QC. After hearing evidence from victims, staff and emergency services, the jury returned a narrative conclusion stating that the safe exit of clubbers had not been adequately considered by club management and that a lack of oversight had contributed to the deaths.
- Inquest into the death of WM , representing an NHS mental health trust regarding the death by overdose of a former patient.
- Inquest into the death of BM , on behalf of the parents of a three year old who died from a secondary infection following chicken pox. The Coroner returned a narrative conclusion setting out that an opportunity for doctors to prevent her death had been missed. BM’s family subsequently received compensation after the NHS Trust responsible admitted negligence.
- Inquest into the death of KS , questioning eight doctors and two experts on behalf of a family investigating the complex background to the death of a woman with undiagnosed chronic liver disease who had suffered from years of unexplained abdominal symptoms.
- Inquest into the death of AW , where Jamie’s client was a GP in a jury inquest into the unexplained death of a woman detained under the Mental Health Act from necrotizing fasciitis. The jury returned a conclusion of natural causes.
- Inquest into the death of RG , representing a bereaved family at an Inquest into the death of a man from a drugs overdose at a music festival, featuring seven other Interested Persons.
- Inquest into the death of IG , acting for two GPs at a week-long Inquest into the tragic death of a 17 year old from meningitis.
- Inquest into the death of PW , instructed on behalf of the widower of a 69-year-old woman who had died from sepsis 2 days after being turned away from A&E. After several part-heard hearings the Coroner returned a narrative conclusion finding that the death had been contributed to by neglect and directly referred the A&E Consultant who had discharged PW to the GMC. There were significant factual disputes between Jamie’s client and the Consultant, multiple applications for adjournment by the Consultant’s representatives, and arguments over the admissibility of evidence. Following the Inquest the family were offered damages by the NHS Trust, which had previously denied liability in its Letter of Response.
- Inquest into the death of OW , Jamie represented a Consultant Paediatrician during six days of hearings into the tragic death of a baby from Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn, where there were factual differences between several different doctors and nurses, and critical allegations made both by the bereaved family and between the different clinicians. The factual and medical background was extremely complex. Legal matters were also in dispute with the Coroner inviting submissions both before and during the Inquest on whether Article 2 was engaged.
- Inquest into the death of AD , representing a trainee GP at a three week Article 2 jury Inquest into the death of a man with learning disabilities from an undiagnosed ulcer whilst deprived of his liberty in a care home. The Coroner directed the jury that they were not as a matter of law to make any judgmental comment regarding Jamie’s client.
- Inquest into the death of IS , acting for a GP Practice Nurse at an Inquest into the death of a 94 year old woman from a subdural haematoma. The Coroner concluded that Jamie’s client had monitored the deceased’s anticoagulation entirely properly.
Jamie also has the rare experience of proceedings under the Presumption of Death Act 2013. His work in the Deepcut Inquests means he has encountered unusual situations such as applications and arrangements for exhumation. He has recently assisted with training for clinicians at two NHS trusts on the Coronial process and giving evidence at Inquests, and is a regular contributor to the UK Inquests Law Blog.