Inquests & Public Inquiries
Michael is recognised as a leading junior in this field in the Legal 500, and is widely recognised as an Inquest & Public Inquiry specialist.
Michael specialises in lengthy and complex Article 2 jury inquests, and has significant experience of healthcare and prison related inquests, as well as inquests dealing with health and safety issues, safeguarding issues, mental health care and treatment and deaths in police custody. He has represented individuals at inquests, with an emphasis on healthcare professionals and police officers, as well as NHS Trusts, police forces, care homes, schools, local councils, and a wide variety of other corporate bodies and limited companies. He has particular experience of appearing for professionals in inquests where there are associated disciplinary or criminal proceedings.
Michael also has considerable experience of advising and representing interested parties at judicial review proceedings arising from inquests, and appeared in one of the leading Administrative Court cases on the proper scope of the Article 2 ECHR investigatory obligation in coronial inquests.
R (Speck) v HM Coroner of York  EWHC 6 (Admin)
Appeared for NHS England in a High Court case heard before the President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Sir Brian Leveson. The court adopted arguments put forward by Michael on behalf of NHS England that in Article 2 inquests, whilst a coroner has a discretion to investigate matters that may have possibly contributed to the death, there is no duty on him to do so. In Speck, the Court considered this matter particularly in the context of the statutory requirement to provide a “place of safety” under the Mental Health Act.
Inquest touching the death of MW;
Inquest touching the death of MH.
Represented Leeds NHS Trust at two separate but linked contentious and high-profile Article 2 inquests, dealing with the deaths of two children following complex heart surgery at the Leeds General Infirmary. The cases received national attention after the LGI paediatric heart unit was closed after data suggested a higher than average death rate.
Inquest touching the death of JR
Acted for Leeds NHS Trust at a high profile two-week jury inquest. The inquest concerned the death of a Leeds student killed in a ‘one-punch’ manslaughter scenario by a professional boxer. Complex issues of gross negligence manslaughter, causation and unlawful killing.
Inquest touching the death of PM
Represented a Consultant Psychiatrist in a contentious inquest involving the suicide of 15 year-old anorexic psychiatric inpatient. Successfully argued no contributory acts or omissions by the Doctor.