The Team

HM Assistant Coroner – Her Honour Judge Sarah Munro QC

(This photograph may be downloaded and published by media organisations free of charge – © Philip McCarthy Photography)

Her Honour Judge Sarah Munro QC was appointed an Assistant Coroner in the London East jurisdiction on 1 May 2019. Called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 1984, she practised on the Western Circuit from chambers in Exeter, specialising from 1990 onwards in criminal work. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002 and was a Crown Court Recorder authorised to act as a judge in both the trial and sentencing of serious sexual offence cases. While practising as a barrister, she conducted the prosecution and defence of all types of criminal cases, including homicide, serious fraud, serious sexual offences, and drug offences including importations. In 2011 she was appointed a Circuit Judge based at Portsmouth Crown Court. Appointed to the Sentencing Council on 6 April 2013, she moved to Old Bailey in 2017 as a Circuit Judge at the Central Criminal Court.

Counsel to the Inquests – Andrew O’Connor QC

Andrew O’Connor has extensive experience of inquests and public law litigation. In recent years, he has appeared in a series of high profile inquests and inquiries, including the 7/7 inquests, the inquest into the death of Gareth Williams, the Hillsborough inquests and the Litvinenko Inquiry. He is currently instructed as one of the Counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. He is also acting for the National Crime Agency in the Undercover Policing Inquiry and for the Manchester Arena at the inquests into the deaths of those killed in the May 2017 terrorist attack.

Junior Counsel to the Inquests – Beatrice Collier

Beatrice Collier has wide experience of police law, inquests and public inquiries. She has represented police forces, local authorities, NHS Trusts and central government departments in numerous inquests. Her public inquiry experience includes the Billy Wright Inquiry (investigation of whether there was state collusion in the shooting in the Maze Prison of this loyalist paramilitary by republican paramilitaries) and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. She is currently instructed in the Guildford Pub Bombings (1974) inquests and the inquest into the death of Gaia Pope.

Junior Counsel to the Inquests – Cicely Hayward

Cicely Hayward has particular expertise in police law and inquest work. She frequently represents police, central government departments, local authorities and families in inquests. She has acted in a number of notable inquests including the inquest into the death of Sean Cunningham (Red Arrows), the inquest into the death of Geoff Gray (Deepcut Barracks) and the inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson (G20 death). She also acted for the Department of Health in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and is currently instructed by the Government in the Manchester Arena Inquests.

Solicitors to the Inquests – Fieldfisher LLP

Oliver Carlyon is a partner in the public and regulatory group at Fieldfisher LLP. He has specific expertise in advising interested parties and others in relation to inquests, having previously worked on the inquests into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005 and the Lakanal tower block fire inquests. He was Deputy Solicitor to the inquests arising from the Hillsborough Stadium disaster and is also part of the Solicitor to the Inquiry’s team on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Secretary to the Inquests – Lee Hughes CBE

Lee Hughes is a former Senior Civil Servant. He has been the Secretary to several public inquiries and major inquests and was the hearings manager for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. 

Press Officer – Mike Wicksteed

Mike Wicksteed is a former Senior Civil Servant.  In 2005 he set up, and then managed, the Judicial Communications Office for the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf. He was responsible for providing communications support to Lord Saville’s Bloody Sunday Inquiry, the Omagh Bombing Inquests, Lord Hutton’s Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly, the Inquests into the deaths of HRH Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi al-Fayed and the Inquest/Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko. His most recent appointment was press officer and website manager to the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel.