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Watch a recording of our Inquests Information Evening

The Compassionate Friends have produced 3 fact sheets about inquests in England and Wales.

Please note that although some of the terminology may have changed, the basic information in the fact sheets is correct to the best of our knowledge.
  • Part 1 gives a brief OVERVIEW of the inquest process and who is involved.
  • Part 2 offers detailed advice on PREPARATION, including getting legal and other support.
  • See Part 3 gives an explanation of what happens on THE DAY.

For information on SCOTLAND please see The Investigation of Sudden and Unexplained Deaths in Scotland.

For information on NORTHERN IRELAND please see NI Direct Government: Coroners, Post-Mortems and Inquests

The Ministry of Justice publishes the publication A Guide to Coroner Services for Bereaved People (2020)

For advice or advocacy about all legal matters solicitor Sefton Kwasnik, head of the PI Department and Health and Safety at Ozon Solicitors in Manchester, would be happy to offer a confidential service on a no obligation basis. He is familiar with many of the issues that death may raise and has extensive experience of dealing with the police and coroners. He can be contacted by text/mobile on 07836 630889 or sefton@ozonlaw.com

Sefton has accumulated a wealth of experience in actually appearing with bereaved families at inquests and in 2016 alone he has represented, amongst others, for the mum of a 4 year old child who drowned in a swimming pool; the parents of a 15 year old girl who lost their daughter in a railway incident; a mum who lost her daughter following a faulty diabetic product; a mum, twin and two other sisters of a woman who was failed by the mental health services; and the parents of final year university student who was the subject of bullying from his tutor; as well as the daughter of a mum who was crossing the road when struck by a speeding vehicle where the police have failed to prosecute.

Recognising the sensitive needs of the family, Sefton can oversee and handle the whole inquest process from start to finish, to ease anxiety and to secure maximum outcomes.


This voluntary service is for anyone attending an inquest at a Coroner’s Court. You can find out more here: www.coronerscourtssupportservice.org.uk .

The CCSS is there to offer you practical and emotional support whilst you are at the Coroners Court. If possible, the volunteer will take the you into the Court before the proceedings start and explain how an Inquest is conducted and the layout of the Court.

The Service is free and works under strict guidelines of confidentiality and equal opportunities.

More information about the Coroners' Court Support Service (CCSS)

More information about the CCSS Helpline

Complaints about inquests can be made to the Chief Coroner - https://www.judiciary.uk/related-offices-and-bodies/office-chief-coroner/

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