Inquest Solicitors | Howells Solicitors Sheffield
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Inquest Solicitors

Inquest Solicitors based in Sheffield, Rotherham, and Barnsley

If someone dies suddenly or unexpectedly, a Coroner will be notified and may conduct a formal investigation, known as an inquest. Preparing for and attending an inquest into the death of a loved one can be extremely emotional and overwhelming. Our inquest solicitors can help you and your family get the answers you are looking for.

Our inquest solicitors can assist you with paperwork, give advice, explain the inquest process, and provide representation at an inquest hearing.

The medical negligence and civil liberties team at Howells are highly regarded in their field of work and have extensive experience supporting families through the inquest process. They are accredited in the Legal 500 as one of the top law firms in the country and have countless positive reviews from clients, having an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 from clients on Review Solicitors.

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What are Inquest Hearings?

An inquest is a legal investigation and is carried out to learn more about a death that was sudden or where there are questions about how it happened. A Coroner will conduct the investigation and the hearing and will determine where, when, and how the person died.

The inquest process is complicated and can be daunting, especially at a time when you are already trying to cope with your loss. Our inquest solicitors have extensive experience supporting families through the inquest process and representing them at hearings, helping them to get answers to how their loved one died.

The medical negligence team will work to make sure the facts are properly investigated, that you understand all the complex paperwork that is involved with an inquest and offer you and your family valuable advice.

We know that many people are hesitant about contacting a solicitor, but we’re just regular people with a particular expertise – and we’re on your side.

Contact us or call us on 0114 2496611 to discuss your situation today.

How Can an Inquest Solicitor Help?

Our inquest solicitors can help you by:

  • Giving you advice on the inquest process and procedure, so you know exactly what to expect
  • Communicating with the Coroner on your behalf
  • Dealing with all the paperwork involved in the case and explaining what it means in simple language. Often the week prior to a hearing you will be handed witness statements and medical records which you will need to read and establish what questions you want answering at the inquest hearing
  • Keeping you informed of timescales
  • Answering all questions about the cause of death and events leading up to the death
  • Arranging legal representation at the inquest hearing and pre-inquest reviews
  • Questioning witnesses on your behalf

It’s advised to contact us at the earliest stages of the inquest process by calling 0114 2496611

Having legal representation at inquest will help to ensure the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death are thoroughly investigated. A solicitor will use their experience and expertise to make sure the inquest is fully prepared for, that all circumstances are investigated and that you fully understand the process and procedures involved.

You will also be entitled to question any witnesses during the hearing, and to do this you will need to understand the complex paperwork involved and understand what questions to ask. If you do not want to question witnesses yourself, as well as explaining all the paperwork to you and helping establish what questions to ask, a solicitor or barrister can ask questions on your behalf.

It’s also important to understand that any interested parties will have legal representation, and will have the opportunity to review any statements and medical records, and can question any witnesses. In order to ‘even the the playing field’ you should have legal representation of your own as the process can be emotional and overwhelming.

Why Choose Howells for an Inquest?

Our specialist inquest solicitors have extensive experience representing families at extremely complex inquests, including those where the Coroner has determined that Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (The right to life) is engaged. They also have experience corresponding with Coroners courts.

Our inquest solicitors are an integral part of the medical negligence, civil liberties and personal injury department at Howells and will also be able to advise you on the merits of any potential claim, for those who wish to also bring a claim for compensation.

We can help the families of people who have died:

  • Unexpectedly
  • After contact with the police or in police custody
  • While detained under the mental health act
  • In an accident at work
  • While detained in a hospital or care home
  • In prison
  • In a road traffic accident

We will consider the merits of every claim brought to us, and regardless of its size, complexity or impact, we’ll give each one the care and attention it deserves.

If you choose us to represent you, we will look after you, as here at Howells we are committed to:

  • Removing any fear, worry or mystery about the legal process
  • Communicating regularly, openly and sensitively
  • Remaining a strong, staunch and tireless advocate for your rights

Howells work on a high volume of Inquests with families per year, and have recently worked on high profiles inquests which have involved:

  • Delayed medical diagnosis resulting in death
  • Multi agency failings resulting in suicide
  • Failings by mental health professionals
  • Suspicious deaths whilst in prison

Contact us or call us on 0114 2496611 to discuss your situation with us today.

Client Feedback

“I would like to share my experience of a recent inquest that was held for my son. When he died I was in shock and disbelief and on top of that I was told that an inquest would be held for him at the Coroners Court. I felt totally overwhelmed, at this stage I didn’t even know really what an inquest was or what the process was. I sent some documents to Howells and they replied very quickly and Amy Fiddler introduced herself to me. From this point on I was reassured and everything was explained to me in a way which was easy to understand. Amy’s advice throughout the whole process was clear and easy to follow. As well as being extremely professional as a solicitor Amy was also friendly and showed empathy towards my circumstances throughout.”

“For any families faced with an inquest for their loved one I would definitely recommend Howells and Amy to help you through the process, she is amazing!”

“From the moment we contacted Howells, the team were very responsive and accommodating of the assistance we needed and they supported us through both the inquest and case. They were always being proactive and constantly chasing the defendant to provide us with updates regularly (so much so that we spoke to her more than our own family!) Amy Fiddler and her team are 100% dedicated to providing the best service possible, and it shows in every interaction. I highly recommend them to anyone in need of their services.”

“I went to Howells for some advice and be represented regarding my Husbands inquest and had a meeting with Amy Fiddler. Amy has been brilliant, professional, very understanding in this difficult time for me and made me feel more at ease about going forward. I would highly recommend anyone to use Howells Solicitors.”

Amy Fiddler is currently dealing with an inquest relating to my mother. She has been fantastic, nothing has been too much trouble. I have been kept update with absolutely everything. Going through an extremely heartbreaking time and Amy is very sympathetic and compassionate.”

Amy Fiddler was amazing throughout, every time we had a question she was there to answer”

Amy Fiddler has been lovely, very knowledgable, friendly and proactive. I have had quick responses from both telephone and email.”

“My son took his life in the care of care givers, mistakes were made to the lead up of his death. Howells represented my family during the inquest and after. They were compassionate, professional, and cared for my family through out this devastating time. I can only say thank you to the whole team that represented us though out.”

Inquest Solicitor Fees

We appreciate that worry about costs can be the biggest barrier to getting professional help – so don’t let it stop you. Howells are here to discuss your funding options and to take the burden and worry of the inquest away from you.

You should contact us or call us on 0114 2496611 to discuss your options.

Following an inquest, if we believe you have a claim for medical negligence or civil liberties, then we can potentially pursue it via one of several funding options or fee arrangements such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee) if you are eligible

Inquests Frequently Asked Questions

Who decides if an inquest is needed?

A doctor or the police usually report a death to the Coroner, but the deceased’s loved ones can also approach the Coroner if they feel that a death should be reported.

What is the role of a Coroner?

Coroners are independent officers who investigate deaths that are reported as unexpected or suspicious. They will lead an investigation into the reason why a death was caused. They have the authority to obtain witness statements, medical records and to instruct witnesses to attend hearings.

What happens during an inquest?

At an inquest, the Coroner will hear evidence from the family, as well as doctors, nurses, and midwives who were involved in the deceased’s treatment.

How long does an inquest take?

Many inquests last only a few hours, but when a person has died in complicated circumstances – especially Article 2 cases – it could take several days, or even a number of weeks.


How can we help? Contact us today

Contact us on 0114 2496611 and one of our advisors will be in touch to discuss your situation. We will take some initial information and if we can help, we will book you in for a consultation with a legal professional.

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Free Drop in Sessions

We offer free drop-in sessions with our medical negligence specialists at our Sheffield, Rotherham, and Barnsley offices. If you think you may have a compensation claim for medical negligence, call 0114 2496611 to speak to one of the team who can go through your claim with you, no appointment necessary.

Free Drop-in Sessions:

  • Tuesday 10am – 4pm
  • Thursday 10am – 4pm
  • Wednesday 10am – 4pm
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The Inquest Team

Our inquest team are headed up by the highly rated Michelle Gyte, and includes other highly regarded solicitors such as Amy Fiddler and Phillipa Matthews. The team are a specialist practice group driven hard by their belief that everyone is entitled to access to justice.

The inquest team are highly skilled, very diligent lawyers who scrutinise every aspect of a claim and represent their clients tirelessly. Very simply, they want to give people the best possible chance of continuing their lives with the requisite financial and medical support.

They are down to earth, friendly, and approachable people whom you can talk to and confide in. They’ve seen most things and understood how these traumatic incidents can devastate lives, gauging the true cost of the physical, psychological, and emotional damage sustained. They will listen and encourage and then use their technical skills to translate everything that they’ve heard and felt into positive action for you.

Professional Feedback

“Thorough, reliable, extremely knowledgeable and approachable.  Able to put clients at ease while retaining a professional manner.” 7 Bedford Row Chambers, 2023

“Professional with an approachable and empathetic client manner.” Parkland Plowden, 2023

“Approachable. Prompt advice. Able to assist on advanced cases at short notice without any compromise on quality. Excellent knowledge of case law, procedure and practice.” 7 Bedford Row Chambers, 2022

“Approachable. Excellent client care skills and ability to manage client’s expectations. Willing to undertake pro bono inquest work.” 7 Bedford Row Chambers, 2022

“You have made a very fortunate choice of legal representation who have done a fantastic job of persuading the Defendants to part with a large sum of money. I am certain that no legal team could have done better.” His Honour Judge Robinson, Medical Negligence Case, 2021

The team also have an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 from clients on Review Solicitors.

Legal 500

The Legal 500 2023 recommends the Howells Clinical Negligence department. saying “Howells provides a broad offering, handling both serious injury cases, including birth injuries and fatalities, and more niche claims arising from transgender treatment, plastic surgery, and mental health. Senior associate Michelle Gyte leads the Sheffield-based practice, specialising in complex cases involving fatal accidents, dependency claims, and multiparty actions. She works alongside senior associate Jenna Kisala, who has a special interest in birth injury cases, fatal accidents, and inquests.”

The team were also recommended in the Legal 500 2022.

Jenna Kisala is also named as a key lawyer in this field.

Chambers UK

The prestigious Chambers UK 2022 guide ranks the department highly and says Howells is a “noteworthy team offering a broad range of clinical negligence advice to clients, including related human rights claims. Further experience in claims concerning issues surrounding failures in hospital care, including severe birth injuries and delayed diagnoses. Also acts on spinal injury claims, amputations and fatal accidents. The department possesses significant experience in medical inquests.”

“They go the extra mile for the client and are highly efficient.”

Michele Gyte is named as a Star Associate in this area of law and that she is “A very good lawyer – technical, conscientious and hard-working.”


Jenna Kisala

0114 249 6754
Michelle Gyte

0114 249 6695
Amy Fiddler

0114 249 6673
Elizabeth Walton

0114 249 6711
Philippa Matthews

0114 249 6649