5 Essex Court

Fiona Barton QC

Call 1986
Silk 2011


Fiona is recognised as a leading silk and her practice encompasses judicial review proceedings, civil claims, professional misconduct proceedings and advisory work. She has appeared in many high profile inquests and regulatory proceedings relating to healthcare settings, with particular experience in mental health settings. Fiona is adept at handling complex and sensitive cases and has an in-depth understanding of the impact of legal principles. According to her clients she has “gravitas and commands confidence” and is commended for having “a fantastic approach to sensitive cases which require sympathy and empathy but a robust defence” and an “innate sense of the right solutions to issues raised by new emerging principles” (Chambers UK)


Fiona appears in complex, high profile inquests Recent cases include:

[2020] Inquest arising from the death of Leon Briggs - taken into custody when suffering a mental health crisis

[2019] The London Bridge Terror Attack Inquests

[2018] Inquest arising from the death of Kingsley Burrell - restrained in a mental health facility
[2017] The Perepilichnyy Inquest – Acting for Surrey Police in the inquests concerning the death of a Russian in circumstances alleged to give rise to suspicion that he had been poisoned by the Russian authorities.

[2016] Akinyemi Inquest – Acting for Greater Manchester Police in the inquest concerning the death of Mr Akinyemi at the hands of Arran Coghlan.

[2013] – [2016] Hillsborough Inquests – Leading Matthew Holdcroft acting for South Yorkshire Police in the inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans at the Hillsborough Stadium in 1989.

[2013] Saldanha – Acting for the King Edward VII Hospital in the inquest into the death of the nurse who was victim of a prank call from an Australian radio station concerning the Duchess of Cambridge.

[2013] Atherton and Mc Goldrick Inquests – Acting for Northumbria Police in the inquests into the high profile deaths of several members of the same family arising from a shooting on New Year’s Day. The inquest involved consideration of firearms licensing issues from a police perspective.

[2011] Cumbria Shootings Inquests  – Acted for the Cumbria Police in the inquests into the deaths of Derrick Bird and his many victims. It involved close examination of the police preparedness and response to a rampaging gunman.


Fiona has appeared in some of the most high profile public inquiries, including:

The Manchester Arena Inquiry – Acting for Greater Manchester Police

The Undercover Policing Inquiry – Acting for individual officers

The Grainger Inquiry – Acting for the NCA in the public inquiry into the shooting of Anthony Grainger by GMP officers

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse – Acting for Surrey Police in the investigation into alleged abuse by members of the Anglican Church.

The Billy Wright Inquiry – Represented the former Chief Constable of the RUC regarding the murder of Billy Wright in HMP Maze.

The Bichard Inquiry – Represented the Chief Constable of Humberside during the public inquiry into the Soham Murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.


Fiona has extensive experience in regulatory proceedings in various fields including the IPT, police misconduct, Ofgem, Ofcom and Trading Standards investigations. She is well aware of the need for a more nuanced inquisitorial approach to such proceedings.