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Mike Atkins

Call 2006

"Phenomenally hard-working and fights his client’s corner with conviction. He has both skill and tenacity."
(Chambers UK 2018)

Inquests & Public Inquiries

Inquests

Mike regularly represents companies, directors, employees, and public bodies at inquests. He has extensive experience of cases in a broad range of contexts including construction and demolition, work at height, the rail industry, manufacturing and technology, waste management and recycling, fire safety, gas and electrical safety, medical treatment, nursing and residential care, schools and nurseries, deaths in custody, and road traffic accidents.

Selected Cases

  • Representing a gas distribution network operator in the inquest into the death of a homeowner killed by a domestic gas explosion.
  • Representing a railway industry contractor in relation to the inquest into the death of a possession support worker who was killed on the track during planned engineering works.
  • Representing a university in relation to the inquest into the death of one of its students.
  • Junior Counsel (led by John Cooper Q.C.) instructed on behalf of the demolition contractor in relation to the Didcot Power Station collapse.
  • Represented a department store business in the week-long inquest into the tragic death of a student who committed suicide at one of its stores.
  • Acted for the operator of a leisure centre in the seven-day inquest into the death of a visitor who was fatally electrocuted when he climbed the fence surrounding an outdoor 5-a-side football pitch.
  • Represented a train operating company at the inquest into the death of a passenger who suffered a cardiac arrest during her journey.
  • Represented the company which operated a nursing home and its Managing Director in the week-long inquest into the death of a resident who contracted Legionnaires’ disease.
  • Represented a train operating company at the inquest into the death of a passenger who jumped onto the outside of a train as it was departing from a station.
  • Represented a care home at the week-long inquest into the death of a resident who refused to take his medication and subsequently died of diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • Represented one of the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets at the inquest into the death of a customer who collapsed outside one of its stores.
  • Represented a care home in the four-day inquest into the death of a resident who had developed a Grade 4 pressure sore.
  • Represented a catering company at the inquest into the death of a primary school pupil who suffered a severe allergic reaction.
  • An inquest into the death of a railway depot worker who was electrocuted when he came into contact with the third rail.
  • Junior counsel (led by Ben Compton Q.C.) for the care home in an inquest into the death of an elderly resident who suffered fatal scalding injuries.
  • A week-long inquest into the death of a motorway worker who was trapped by the boom of a vacuum excavation machine.
  • A week-long inquest into the death of a supervisor killed when a silo of ink slipped from the forks of a forklift truck.
  • A week-long inquest into the death of a resident at a care home who choked on food.
  • A two-week inquest into the death of a member of the public who was struck by a horse and carriage at a country fair.
  • An inquest into the death of an infant who suffered serious fireplace burns.
  • A two-week inquest into the death of a contractor who fell from a cherry picker.
  • A four-day inquest into the death of a driver killed during a police pursuit.
  • A two-week inquest into the deaths of two students who were crushed to death at a nightclub in Northampton in 2011.
  • An inquest into the death of a patient who failed to recover from anaesthetic following major surgery.
  • Instructed to represent Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in the two-week inquest following the trial at which the Trust was acquitted of corporate manslaughter.
  • Represented an international carpet company in the five-week inquest into the death of an employee crushed by moving machinery. The case involved detailed consideration of the respective obligations of designers, suppliers and users of machinery.
  • Junior counsel (led by James Maxwell-Scott Q.C.) to the Coroner in the Lakanal House tower block fire inquests. The inquests lasted 3 months.
  • A week-long inquest into the death in custody of a remand prisoner. The case involved detailed examination of the mental health care arrangements at the prison.
View full profile »

Recommendations


“A rising star” and “a very accomplished technical lawyer who works very hard and is always very well prepared.”

Chambers UK 2020

“A very user-friendly barrister.”

Legal 500 2020

“Brilliant in terms of his attention to detail and the way he takes hold of a case.”

Chambers UK 2019

“Phenomenally hard-working and fights his client’s corner with conviction. He has both skill and tenacity.”

Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2018

“A real lawyers’ lawyer, who demonstrates a painstaking attention to detail and outstanding intellect.”

Legal 500 2017

“Absolutely excellent and so hardworking, he’s fully switched on.”

Chambers UK 2017

“He is massively well prepared and extremely thorough.”

Chambers UK 2017

“He is softly spoken, effective and very clever.”

Chambers UK 2016

“He’ll check every legal avenue to find the best possible outcome.”

Chambers UK 2015

“An approachable team player who has superb attention to detail…a popular choice for high profile matters such as corporate manslaughter cases and inquest work.”

Chambers UK 2014

“A technical genius, who is becoming a go-to junior.”

Legal 500 2014

“Very thorough in his research, knows the cases inside out, very responsive and always gets to the issues.”

Chambers UK 2013


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