Inquests & Public Inquiries
Sandesh is frequently instructed to represent interested parties at inquests. He has experience of inquests involving complex issues across a wide range of areas such as construction, transport, medical and social care, housing, travel, retail and policing.
Sandesh is currently instructed to advise in connection with the Grenfell Tower fire and the Brixton Academy incident.
Sandesh recently represented a charity which provides health and social care services at a two-week Article 2 inquest. The case concerned the death of a patient at a specialist mental health unit, which was run by the charity in collaboration with an NHS Trust. The deceased had been diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder and was detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. She had self-harmed in various ways, including by applying ligatures, whilst at the unit. In the early hours of the morning on a day in January 2019, the deceased was found by support staff with a ligature around her neck. Around an hour later, she applied a further ligature to her neck which led to her death. It was suggested that, after the first incident, the deceased should have been placed on 1:1 observations and that her bedroom ought to have been searched for other items which could be used as a ligature. At the conclusion of the inquest, the Jury delivered positive findings that the decisions made after the first incident were reasonable. The Jury also rejected a suggestion that the death was contributed to by neglect.
Other recent cases include:
Representing a charity which provides supported housing for homeless people. In January 2017 a resident at shared accommodation managed by the charity was fatally stabbed by another resident. The assailant was subsequently convicted of Manslaughter by reason of Diminished Responsibility and sentenced to a Hospital Order. A two-week Article 2 inquest was held to examine whether any acts or omissions of the Mental Health Trust, the Metropolitan Police, the Local Authority or the charity contributed to the death. At the conclusion of the evidence, the Coroner ruled that it would not be safe for the Jury to consider any issues relating to the charity and that it was not necessary to issue a Regulation 28 Report.
Representing a housing association at a nine-day inquest which concerned a tenant in shared accommodation owned by the housing association who was fatally stabbed by another tenant. Both individuals had been allocated to the property via the Local Authority and were in receipt of support provided by a further organisation. The assailant, who was also under the care of the mental health services, was subsequently convicted of Manslaughter by reason of Diminished Responsibility and sentenced to a Hospital Order. An Article 2 inquest was held to examine whether any acts or omissions of the NHS Trust, the Metropolitan Police, the Local Authority, the support provider or the housing association contributed to the death. At the conclusion of the evidence, the Coroner delivered a narrative conclusion in which he identified various failings in risk assessment/management. The Coroner did not find that any matter concerning the housing association was either probably or possibly causative and no Regulation 28 report was issued in respect of the housing association.
Other examples of Sandesh’s extensive inquest experience include representing:
- Police officers involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Underground station at an inquest lasting three months before Sir Michael Wright KC and in associated judicial review proceedings (led by KC).
- A major transport company at an inquest into the death of a man who suffered a cardiac arrest whilst being detained after travelling on the Metrolink in Manchester. https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/jack-barnes-tribute-metrolink-police-12343316
- A property developer at an inquest into the death of a construction worker following an explosion near Hampstead Heath in London. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4321332/One-killed-gas-explosion-London-s-Hampstead-Heath.html
- A major travel company at an inquest into the death of a passenger in Egypt. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-48871242
- A company at an inquest into the death of a football fan who was found in an excavation close to his home in Luton. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5598731/Football-fan-40-died-falling-roadworks-hole-near-home.html
- A shipping company at an inquest concerning the death of a dock worker who was crushed between two shipping containers at Portsmouth Dockyard. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/man-arrested-after-34-year-11073016
- A major transport company at an inquest into the death of a coach driver involved in a crash near Alpe D’Huez in France. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/22/bus-driver-crashed-into-rocks-to-save-passengers-inquest-hears
Selected CasesView full profile »
Professional Discipline Junior of the year (Chambers & Partners Bar Awards 2018)
- Jury acquittal in long running fatal accident prosecution
- Sandesh Singh & DWF successful in representation of charity at Article 2 ligature inquest
- LLB (Hons), University of Bristol
- BVC, College of Law, London
“Extremely bright, very thorough and has great attention to detail. He gets right to the heart of a case. His advocacy is clear and very impressive.”
“His attention to detail and preparation are first class and he has great client care but can be firm when necessary …. he will always ensure that the client’s position is protected and stand his ground.”
“Really gets into the detail and is very methodical. He has a great eye for detail and is able to anticipate the issues in advance.”
“A very smooth and effective advocate.”
“He is extremely diligent, thorough and very good with clients.”
“He is incredibly impressive, a brilliant advocate. He is meticulous, thorough and one of the most hard-working barristers I know.”
“He is very clever, insightful and has a great manner with clients.”
“Responsive, commercial and user-friendly with excellent strategic insight and strong advocacy.”
“Whether leading or being led, Sandesh has an intimate knowledge of the documents and facts from the very outset in a case. This ability to “get into” the case stand him apart from his competitors and his preparation is unrivalled. He is able to adapt and think on his feet at a moments notice and it really gives clients faith that they are in good hands. He is always thinking about the bigger picture and understands the commercial implications for clients.”
“He’s incredibly diligent, hard-working, and his attention to detail is second to none. A brilliant junior.”
“He is very smooth, pragmatic and efficient.”
“He’s organised, meticulous and very good at getting into the details of a case and working through a large amount of documents.”