On 18 August 2016 it was announced that the Lord Chief Justice, after consultation with the Lord Chancellor, the Rt. Hon. Liz Truss MP, had appointed His Honour Judge Mark Lucraft QC as the Chief Coroner of England and Wales with effect from 1 October 2016 for a three year term.
His Honour Judge Mark Lucraft QC was authorised to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge on 22 November 2016 and appointed as a Senior Circuit Judge at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) on 7 February 2017. He divides his time between his duties as Chief Coroner and sitting as a judge at the Central Criminal Court and in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).
Counsel to the Inquests
Jonathan Hough QC
Jonathan Hough QC is a barrister with a civil, commercial and public law practice, who was called to the Bar in 1997 and took Silk in 2014. He has considerable experience in substantial inquests and inquiries. He has appeared as counsel to the inquiry in a number of important inquests, including those concerning: the Hillsborough stadium disaster; the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Al Fayed; the shooting of Jean-Charles de Menezes; the explosion on HMS Tireless (nuclear submarine); and the Potter’s Bar and Grayrigg rail disasters. In addition, he has special expertise in the law relating to coroners and inquests, having appeared in many of the recent cases in the High Court concerning challenges to coroners’ decisions.
Aaron Moss is a barrister at 5 Essex Court specialising in inquests, inquiries, police and public law. He has experience in inquests involving the police and ambulance service, as well as other public authorities. He appears for organisations and bereaved families, and was instructed as Junior Counsel to the Tunisia Inquests. He has a first-hand understanding of the work of the emergency services from five years in the Special Constabulary of the Metropolitan Police Service.
Solicitors to the Inquests
Siân Jones is a partner at Bircham Dyson Bell LLP. She has experience advising interested parties to inquiries and inquests, including the Hutton Inquiry, the Hillsborough Inquests, Potter’s Bar Inquests and the inquest into the death of Nurse Jacintha Saldanha. She was appointed Solicitor to the Inquests on the Tunisia Inquests which concluded in early 2017. She is also experienced in family law and police law.
Matthew Smith is a partner at Bircham Dyson Bell LLP. He is a specialist Public and Administrative Lawyer, both as a litigator and an adviser. He has also represented parties in a wide range of Public Inquiries and investigations, including the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, the Hutton Inquiry, the Equitable Life investigation and the Savile Investigation, and the Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse.