Inquests and Inquiries

Inquests | Inquiry Chairmen | Public Inquiries

Our team of barristers are involved in a very wide range of Inquests and Inquiries. Our team also provide Inquiry chairmen who can provide a private fact finding determination for a company or organisation that avoids the need for publicity or a formal disciplinary process.


Inquests Team

We regularly represent interested parties whether they be bereaved families, companies, authorities or organisations at Inquests. Our team acts in Inquests and civil actions that arise from deaths in custody, deaths in prison and healthcare institutions, deaths during medical procedures, deaths in the armed forces as well as deaths caused by individuals in a wide range of circumstances.

In relation to Police involvement in Inquest, our team is able to draw on a large amount of experience representing Police Officers both at Inquests and in front of other tribunals. Most of the Inquests involving Police Officers are Article 2 (Jury) Inquests. We are not only able to provide high quality advice and representation but are well positioned to cater for the level of demand from those individuals, particularly when many Inquests receive significant media attention.

Inquests that we have been involved in include:

  • The Inquest into the death in custody by suicide of Roseanne Irvine at HMP Maghaberry held in 2007  This inquest was monitored by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the subject of a report into the imprisonment of women (NIHRC- ‘The prison within’ by Professor Phil Scraton and Dr Linda Moore.  2007). The inquest jury came to an unprecedented verdict which then formed the backbone of civil proceedings in the High Court on behalf of the family. The inquest was nationally reported and subject to extensive commentary. The Coroner made representations to the Government recommending the holding of a Public Inquiry arising out of same. (Press)
  • The inquest into the death of the assistant chief constable of Wiltshire (Press)
  • Re Matthew Seddon (2015): An Article 2 Inquest following an IPCC investigation into the death of a teenager following a Police pursuit that came to a conclusion on the A33 in Reading. The driver, who was the sole occupant of the car, was thrown into the road after colliding with the central reservation. He was hit by one of the pursuing vehicles and died at the scene. (Press)


Inquiries Team


Inquiry Chairmen

Our Inquiry Chairmen consist of senior practitioners, all with judicial experience, under the leadership of Nigel Pascoe QC. Currently, senior members of Pump Court sit as Civil and Criminal Recorders, Deputy High Court Judges, Chancellors in Consistory Courts and Legal Assessors in Employment and Regulatory Tribunals. Our Inquiry Chairmen have the experience of making findings of fact enabling them to conduct discreet independent inquiries on behalf of companies and authorities and to investigate and reach independent conclusions on a wide range of public and private issues.

Local Authorities, public bodies and large and small companies from time to time require a fact finding inquiry to be conducted by an independent outsider without the need for publicity. Sometimes this will involve investigation and hearing evidence; sometimes it will involve merely reading pre-prepared documents. Having the ability to appeal to an independent outsider whose integrity is beyond question is important for such organisations to resolve issues fairly and openly. Our Inquiry Chairmen take the role of inquiry investigator, hearing evidence, reading documents and reaching conclusions.

Pump Court Chambers Inquiry Chairmen are able to offer:


  • Competitive fixed fees
  • Experience & Expertise
  • Day and evening availability
  • Flexibility over venues
  • Secretarial support if appropriate

All work will be covered by agreed terms of reference and time scales. To view a copy of our online brochure please click here.

Our Inquiry Chairmen have been instructed by high profile fundraising organisations where there are allegations of financial impropriety by members of staff. Investigations and findings of fact made by our team resulted in private resolutions and satisfactory redress avoiding press intrusion and the inevitable disproportionate adverse publicity.

As another example of our work, Nigel Pascoe Q.C. was instructed by a local authority to conduct an inquiry into alleged serious misconduct by a councillor who was also their Member of Parliament. The case involved detailed investigation of allegations made by a vulnerable complainant against a powerful and high profile individual. This was a private inquiry whose formal findings were then made public at a later stage by those who commissioned the report. (Press)


Representation at Public Inquiries

Our team represents individuals, companies, authorities and organisations required to attend inquiries.

As an example of our work, a member of our team was instructed in the first War Crimes trial held in the United Kingdom and went on to complete two years as counsel representing a core participant in the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry chaired by Sir William Gage – which was the largest inquiry into the murder and torture of civilians in Iraq while in British Military custody.


Oba Nsugbe QC's picture

Oba Nsugbe QC

020 7353 0711

Year of call: 1985

Recorder of the Crown Court since 1999 Legal Assessor to the General Medical Council Legal Assessor to the General Pharmaceutical Council...

Nigel Pascoe QC's picture

Nigel Pascoe QC

020 7353 0711

Year of call: 1966

Recorder of the Crown Court for 34 years President of Mental Health Restricted Tribunals for over 10 years Legal Assessor to the Nursing and...

Frank Abbott's picture

Frank Abbott

01962 868161

Year of call: 1972

Recorder of the Crown Court since 1991, a qualified Arbitrator & Mediator.  He lectures for the College of Law and other outside training...

Justin Gau's picture

Justin Gau

020 7353 0711

Year of call: 1989

Legal Assessor to the General Medical Council Legal Assessor to the General Dental Council Legal Assessor to the Nursing and Midwifery Council...

Mark Ruffell's picture

Mark Ruffell

020 7353 0711

Year of call: 1992

Inquests: Mark has represented families and other interested parties who were concerned over sudden deaths that have occurred whilst serving in...

Mark Ashley's picture

Mark Ashley

020 7353 0711

Year of call: 1993

Richard Tutt's picture

Richard Tutt

01962 868161

Year of call: 2000

Emily Hamilton's picture

Emily Hamilton

01962 868161

Year of call: 2000

Simon Lane's picture

Simon Lane

020 7353 0711

Year of call: 2002

John Dyer's picture

John Dyer

01962 868161

Year of call: 2002

Conor Mullan's picture

Conor Mullan

020 7353 0711

Year of call: 2003

Conor has significant experience of inquests in Coroner's courts, representing the interests of families of the deceased or those of other...

Rachel Troup's picture

Rachel Troup

01962 868161

Year of call: 2005

Guy Draper's picture

Guy Draper

020 7353 0711

Year of call: 2008

Naomi Gyane's picture

Naomi Gyane

020 7353 0711

Year of call: 2010

Paul Mertens's picture

Paul Mertens

0207 3530711

Year of call: 2010

Since joining chambers, Paul has been instructed in a number of matters by the Treasury Solicitor. He has experience of dealing with issues...

Ezra Macdonald's picture

Ezra Macdonald

020 7353 0711

Year of call: 2012

Naima Asif's picture

Naima Asif

020 7353 0711

Year of call: 2012