Inquests into the events surrounding tragic accidents and incidents are helping to deliver practical regulation to improve public safety.

Having participated in numerous inquests, helping to gather information and guide our clients through the process, HDY understand the pressures on both community members and clients. We work proactively with our clients to understand the cause of an event, and identify immediate action that can be taken before an inquest is underway. This action helps our clients’ exercise their functions or improve their systems, as well as improve public safety and prevents future similar events as soon as issues are apparent.

How we can help

We guide our clients through the inquest process, helping them to

  • Manage inquests in a clear and cost efficient manner
  • Understand the process, feel supported and give evidence to assist the inquest
  • Ensure that expert evidence (including internal experts) is used effectively and that experts are appropriately briefed
  • Determine what the key legal issues or main focus for the Coroner will be
  • Reach a fair outcome that appropriately recognises the needs and statutory obligations of the client in relation to the event being investigated, whilst balancing its obligations to assist the Coroner to discharge their statutory duty.

Our goal is to help our clients to develop a solution that prevents the particular event or conduct from happening again, including working with counsel assisting and the Coroner to develop recommendations that achieve this balance.

Inquests are more common in some industries than others. As our government and community aim to reduce road transport deaths, for example, regulation around the road transport industry is often subject to inquests following a tragic event. You can find more information on HDY’s road transport regulation expertise here.

Panel appointments

HDY is currently represented on the following panels for inquest engagements:

  • NSW Whole of Government Panel.


Michael Sullivan

I don't shy away from challenge or ambition or difficulty in order to get the right outcome, and always with integrity.

Meet some of our team

Our Inquests Experience

Lindt Café Siege inquest

This is one of the most significant inquests to be heard in NSW. The public interest in the siege aside, this Inquest also has the potential for a close examination and recommendations, if required, for reform of national security and counter terrorism policies and practices, siege management, tactical negotiations procedures, gun control and reforms to the NSW Bail system.

Inquest into the death of Graham Lees

RMS' heavy vehicle inspection and registration processes were examined carefully. The inquest included review and preparation of expert evidence in relation to brake function and testing. As a result of the work that we were able to do no adverse recommendations were made against RMS in relation to this death.

Inquest into the death of Philip Hughes

There is significant public interest in the death of Philip Hughes who died when struck by a cricket ball in a test match. The inquest will review cricket safety measures, emergency response issues as well as media reporting of deaths.