Inquests and inquiries in the Covid-19 era

May 14 2020

Legal News and 30 Park Place chambers present an authoritative online event on inquests and inquiries in a Covid-19 era.

This free online event will provide practitioners with advice and practical tips on representing a range of parties in investigations into Covid-19 related deaths and will look at a potential statutory inquiry.

Speakers & themes

30 Park Place is delighted that HM Senior Coroner for South Wales Central, Mr Graeme Hughes, will open the webinar with a discussion of the Chief Coroner’s recent Covid-19 related guidance.  His segment will ask ‘Covid-19 – an industrial disease?’

Ruth Henke QC and Lloyd Williams QC will follow and provide practical advice for representing various core participants in statutory inquiries.

Miss Henke QC’s segment, ‘ "All Apologises" – responding to an Inquiry’, will draw on her experience of representing a criticised institution in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Mr Williams QC’s segment, ‘A search for justice’, will draw upon his experience of representing hundreds of victims in the Infected Blood Inquiry.

Christian J Howells will provide a discussion relating to ‘Covid-19 and the right to life’, touching upon care homes, prisons, PPE and child and adolescent mental health during lockdown.  He will address the question of a Welsh statutory inquiry.

Finally, but not least, Michael Imperato, Head of Administrative and Public Law at Watkins & Gunn Solicitors, will provide an update on recent decisions relating to re-opening inquests and judicial reviews of Coroners.

Who should attend?

This event will be suitable to a range of bodies including the Government, local authorities, health boards, regulators, public interest groups and family representatives.

Speakers’ profiles:

Mr Graeme Hughes, HM Senior Coroner for South Wales Central

Information about the South Wales Central Coroner’s service can be found here.

Ruth Henke QC, Barrister, 30 Park Place

Ruth is an experienced silk specialising in the protection of and provision of services to children and vulnerable adults. She has a deserved reputation as an expert in her field. Her knowledge of the relevant law is widely acknowledged. She has a reputation as a highly skilled and effective advocate whose client care skills shine through. Ruth works well both with individuals and teams. She is regularly instructed by local authorities, LHBs, hospitals, parents, relatives, incapacitated adults, and children. Ruth appears in the Family Court, the Court of Protection and the Administrative Court.

Ruth is a S9(4) Deputy High Court Judge. Ruth is the editor responsible for the Welsh Materials in the Family Court Practice and is the author of the chapter on Welsh Family Law in Butterworth’s Family Law Service. She represented Ealing Abbey in IICSA.

Lloyd Williams QC, Barrister, 30 Park Place

Lloyd is an exceptionally experienced Silk in matters primarily regarding high end brain and spinal injuries in both personal injury and clinical negligence, together with police work and inquests. He is also Head of the Civil team at 30 Park Place chambers.

An important part of Lloyd’s professional work is to inspire confidence in the client (often very seriously injured clients), confidence in themselves and the team who represents them. He advises, guides and reassures the client to ensure that they achieve the best possible result. Lloyd works closely with a number of senior juniors in 30 Park Place which enables us to offer a combined service, taking different roles in a case, whilst maintaining continuity. This usually results in a considerable saving in both time and costs.


Christian J Howells, Barrister, 30 Park Place

Christian is a public law specialist. He is on the Attorney General’s Regional A Panel and the Counsel General for Wales’ B Panel. He is ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in public law, described as ‘tenacious with a very sharp intellect’. Christian has extensive experience in the higher courts, including the Administrative Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He is instructed on behalf of claimants, local authorities, health boards, police forces, the Home Department, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defence and several charities.

His recent inquests and inquiries include: the Infected Blood Inquiry; the Emeliano Sala inquest; the inquest into the first drug related death in HMP Berwyn – Wales’ ‘super prison’; and the inquest into the death of a three month old child from meningococcal septicaemia at the UHW.

Michael Imperato, Partner, Watkins & Gunn

Michael is a Partner, Solicitor and Head of Public & Administrative Law at Watkins & Gunn.

Michael has been involved in some of the highest profile cases in Wales in recent years that cover Judicial Review, Education law and Personal Injury matters. He is regularly asked to speak at national Personal Injury and Public Law conferences and events and has a back catalogue of high profile articles and media commentaries on his cases.

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