DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Garden Court Chambers

Inquests & Public Inquiries

4 ranked barristersBand 2London (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers
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Ranked Barristers

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Renowned for its sensitive but robust representation of bereaved families, Garden Court Chambers has retained its strong reputation in the inquests and public inquiries space. The barristers have notable experience of representing the bereaved in matters examining the actions or inactions of the police and other public authorities. They have recently acted in high-profile cases such as the Birmingham Pub Bombings inquest and the Ballymurphy inquest.

Client service:

"All the people there have such a strong ethos. It feels like a 'grass roots' chambers and everyone is incredibly approachable." The director clerking is Colin Cook.

Strengths:

Brenda Campbell QC
Qualified to appear in inquests across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. She typically acts for bereaved families in matters involving police conduct and state collusion. She has been particularly active handling legacy inquests arising out of the Northern Ireland Troubles.
"Brenda is absolutely outstanding." "She is passionate and empathetic when representing families at inquests."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of the family members of Hugh Mullan and Francis Quinn in the Ballymurphy inquest. This inquest investigated the deaths of ten individuals who were shot by British armed forces in Belfast in 1971.

Strengths:

Ifeanyi Odogwu
Specialises in representing family members at inquests into the deaths of loved ones during police custody and restraint, or as a result of police shootings. He has an impressive track record of appearances in Article 2 jury inquests, and has also brought several judicial review challenges to coroners' decisions.
"He is a really measured and intelligent advocate for families of the deceased. He is forensic rather than agenda-driven, which is highly effective." "He does a lot of different work and some very, very heavy-hitting cases."
Recent work: Represented Duncan Tomlin's partner at his inquest. Mr Tomlin died after being restrained by Sussex Police, during what may have been an epileptic fit.

Strengths:

Kirsten Heaven
Has extensive experience of appearing in inquests. She possesses expertise in various key areas, including deaths in prison, and inquests where the investigative duties of the police are placed under scrutiny.
"Really experienced and astute inquest barrister; she's got very good judgement and identifies key issues quickly." "Kirsten is a very formidable advocate, who is very strong when questioning witnesses. I would instruct her in those particularly difficult cases where you know you have to go the extra mile to make your point." "She is a powerhouse - she has encyclopedic knowledge of the law and is very tenacious and a formidable presence in court, particularly in cross-examination."
Recent work: Represented parties at the inquests into the deaths of 11 people, who died when a vintage fighter jet crashed at Shoreham Airport in 2015.

Strengths:

Leslie Thomas QC
Strong track record representing bereaved families in highly contentious inquests and major public inquiries, including Article 2 proceedings. He has particular expertise in inquests that concern police conduct, such as deaths by police restraint or police shootings. He also advises on related human rights and public law issues.
"He is a top-notch barrister, who is completely knowledgeable about all areas he specialises in. My favourite quality is that he's a great tactician and he's always got a gem of wisdom to share. He's also always a step ahead of the opponent." "Leslie is a very skilled inquest advocate."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of a number of bereaved family members and survivors in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Inquests & Public Inquiries Department

Garden Court Chambers

firm
Department location

57-60 Lincoln's Inn Fields

London

Greater London

UK

WC2A 3LJ

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

London (Bar)

Inquests & Public Inquiries


Brenda Campbell QC
Band 3
Leslie Thomas QC
Band 2

Juniors

London (Bar)

Inquests & Public Inquiries


Ifeanyi Odogwu
Up and Coming
Kirsten Heaven
Band 3