Temple Garden Chambers

Inquests & Public Inquiries Department

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Hosts a number of leading barristers who have a wealth of inquest and public inquiry experience. The set is best known for representing governmental and local authorities, boasting many Treasury panel members among its ranks, and for its numerous instructions as counsel to the inquest or inquiry. It has noteworthy experience in inquests involving health and safety law, deaths in prison, and terrorism, including the Manchester Arena and Westminster Bridge attacks. The barristers have also been instructed for central core participants in the Grenfell Tower, Infected Blood, and Undercover Policing Inquiries, among others.

Client service: Dean Norton leads a team of clerks who "make everything very easy and ensure we never have any issues."

Andrew O'Connor QC
Incredibly knowledgeable about inquests and public inquiries. He typically acts on behalf of state agents in highly publicised inquests of national and international significance. He is well versed in matters invoking national security, and is adept at advising coroners when serving as counsel to the inquest or inquiry.
Strengths: "A gifted, first-rate barrister who has good strategic ability and great knowledge of the workings of public inquiries." "He has considerable experience in anything with a national security connection and is a very measured advocate." "He's calm, fair-minded, excellent to work with and highly regarded."
Recent work: Instructed by SMG, the owner of the Manchester Arena, at the inquests into the deaths of the 22 victims of the 2017 terrorist bombing.

Cathryn McGahey QC
Routinely instructed as counsel to large public inquiries and also demonstrates great aptitude when appearing on behalf of participants. She is a skilled representative of state agents in inquests and has a particular focus on proceedings involving deaths in custody. She is developing a particular specialism in cases concerning child protection.
Strengths: "She is a lifesaver and an absolute godsend." "She's a very fair, compassionate lawyer for the state and tends to gain the confidence of citizens who are suspicious of her client." "She's a class act and a real barrister's barrister: bright, pleasant and very straightforward. However, you can't take anything for granted when you're against her."
Recent work: Acted for the Education Secretary as a core participant, or potential core participant, in nine investigations undertaken by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Charles David Barr QC
Receives instructions in a wide range of inquests and public inquiries and is particularly experienced at counselling chairs of public inquiries. 
Strengths: "He is great at acting for the government and taking a very good, discreet approach in difficult positions. He keeps everyone on side."
Recent work: Instructed as lead counsel to the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

Fiona Canby
Brings an impressive background in health and safety law to her work for interested parties and core participants. She is also sought after to appear in an increasing number of high-profile terrorism and disaster inquests.
Strengths: "I have always been super impressed by her. She's very easy to get on with, and a good advocate with a clear, persuasive, attractive manner." "She brings a good tactical approach to inquests where there's a prosecution possibility, knowing when to ask questions and make submissions and when not to." "She's responsive, hard-working, user-friendly and diligent and has a good 360-degree approach to things."
Recent work: Appeared for a council employee at the inquest into the death of a child at a council-run playground.

Keith Morton QC
A superb choice for handling inquests involving health and safety law, particularly in the context of aviation accidents. He represents regulators, businesses, individuals and bereaved families. 
Strengths: "His combination of legal knowledge, including of health and safety legislation, translates impressively into inquests and inquiries." "He's got a very attractive, methodical advocacy manner and judges respond well to his submissions." "He's thorough and lovely to deal with, but absolutely no pushover."
Recent work: Instructed by the Civil Aviation Authority at the inquest touching the deaths of 11 bystanders killed in the Shoreham Air Disaster.

Nicholas Moss
Exceptional junior, regarded as one of the best advocates of his generation, who is much sought after to act as lead counsel on behalf of state agents in complex Article 2 inquests and public inquiries. He is particularly strong in inquests arising out of military and prison deaths, and adept in matters involving issues of national security.
Strengths: "He is outstanding, immensely well prepared and hard as nails." "One of the best advocates I've seen on their feet. He's unfailingly precise and polite and has perfect tone, manner and pace." "Phenomenal - he's extremely fair and balanced and has untold levels of energy."
Recent work: Led a team of counsel for the MOD at the fresh inquests into the Deepcut deaths.