We would always recommend finding a lawyer with specific inquest experience, as most solicitors do not have expertise in inquest preparation and some may give you inadequate advice or charge very high fees. Legal funding for inquests is also complicated, so it is important that your solicitor knows how to help you get the limited funding that may be available.

INQUEST works with a network of lawyers across the country (the INQUEST Lawyers Group) who have specialist inquest experience. They also usually only represent bereaved families in the inquest process (rather than the state). Contact your INQUEST caseworker if you would like us to refer you to an appropriate lawyer.

If you would prefer to find your own lawyer, the websites at the bottom of this factsheet may help. You must feel free to ask them questions about their experience and how much they know about the different processes. We would also suggest that you put your lawyer in touch with us, so that we can provide your lawyer with additional advice, information and support throughout the process.

Traditionally a solicitor advises you and prepares for the inquest, and then instructs a barrister to represent you at court. However, some ‘solicitor-advocates’ are qualified to represent people at hearings. It is also now possible to instruct a barrister directly (provided that they are ‘direct-access qualified’) to represent you at the inquest hearing, without first instructing a solicitor. This can be a useful option if you are not eligible for public funding, or if you are having difficulty finding a solicitor who is able to take on your case. If you are considering this option, we would suggest that you speak to an INQUEST caseworker first.