5 Essex Court

Claire Palmer

Call 2003


Claire is regularly instructed in inquests with particular experience of dealing with deaths in or on release from custody (including police and prison custody and immigration detention) and after contact with police. She has an excellent relationship with clients who comment favourably on her pragmatic and straightforward approach to the process. Claire is also instructed in a number of civil claims arising out of cases connected to inquests.

Claire’s experience in inquests regularly includes the involvement of healthcare providers both within custody and in the community, evidence from healthcare experts, and consideration of the issue of neglect. Her experience of disability discrimination cases in the Employment Tribunal and civil courts is valuable in addressing cases involving issues relating to mental health. She is a member of the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine.

Recent cases include:

Instructed by Thames Valley Police force in respect of a death in police custody of Leroy Medford relating to the care of a detainee who had plugged and then subsequently swallowed drugs including consideration of intimate searches, interaction with hospital care including viability of CT scans, and the implementation of the drugs SOP;

Inquest for the Ministry of Justice in relation to a prisoner who confessed to the murder he had previously denied in the face of a high-profile innocence campaign and consideration of personality disorder;

Inquest for a Police force including detailed consideration of the Prisoner Escort Record forms and information communication;

Three-week inquest for the MOJ relating to a death in custody involving complex mental health issues;

Inquest for GCHQ in respect of the death of one of their employees.

Claire’s employment experience has been particularly invaluable in cases where the (deceased) individuals were employed by state agencies.