Helping Families Find Answers at Fatal Accident Inquiries

We have a strong track records at Fatal Accident Inquiries where our mixed specialisms in the criminal justice system, complex civil procedure, the practice of mental health care and treatment and trial advocacy all come together.

We are compassionate but robust.


What is a Fatal Accident Inquiry?


Certain types of death are investigated further at Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAIs).

Fatal Accident Inquiries are held to investigate deaths in industrial accidents, in prisons, and deaths where it is felt necessary to hold a public inquiry. They are held relatively rarely and are not used for deaths by suicide or for the vast majority of road traffic deaths.


The Fatal Accidents and Sudden Death Inquiry (Scotland) Act, 1976 introduced four major changes:

  • it dispensed with the need for a jury
  • gave wide powers to the Lord Advocate in relation to such inquiries
  • brought deaths in prisons and of persons in legal custody into the normal FAI system
  • and extended the jurisdiction of sheriffs to cover the offshore oil industry.


Deaths in Custody

Fatal Accident Inquiries are automatically held where someone dies in custody. That is because people are supposed to be safe and looked after in custody. We know that sometimes questions need to be answered. Contact is to set up a consultation to begin the process of helping you find the answers you are looking for.


What can you do for me?

First of all, we will listen to you. Then we will investigate. We will help you try and find out what went wrong. We will try and obtain Civil Legal Aid to fund your case. We have previously managed to instruct international experts to prepare reports and attend the Inquiry to give evidence about how things could be improved and what lessons can be learned.


Our experience

We are uniquely placed to provide representation at Fatal Accident Inquiries nationwide.

Our team have experience of conducting FAIs and obtaining important recommendations to be learned from each death. Our team also have experience of working in the Deaths department of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal’s Service itself.

We have the experience, the skills, the compassion and the strength to represent you in your time of need. 

Kirkcaldy Office

McLaughlin & Co

Evans Business Centre

1 Begg Road

John Smith Business Park



LP-19 Kirkcaldy


Tel:   01592 645 772

Fax:  01592 807 067



Leven Office

McLaughlin & Co

Fife Renewables Innovation Centre

Ajax Way




LP-19 Kirkcaldy


Tel:   01333 424482

Fax:  01592 807 067


Open Saturdays, evening appointments available.

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