Gerard Forlin KC writes comment piece for The Times following the Shoreham air show disaster inquest
Issue20th January 2023
The coroner found that all eleven men had been unlawfully killed when a Hawker Hunter T7 aircraft crashed while attempting an incorrectly flown looping manoeuvre.
Gerard pointed out that he had first been instructed in 2017, and there had been no fewer than eleven preliminary hearings and a trip to the Divisional Court before the inquest commenced.
He has said that representing the families has made him a much more rounded lawyer, as he usually acts globally for major corporations.
It also highlighted to him the difficulty in getting Legal Aid for the families, which had been initially refused.
He states: “How can families be expected to act in very complicated inquests without legal aid; especially as so often many other state agencies have leading counsel supported by specialist professionals.”
Gerard also notes that there has been no real increase in Legal Aid for at least a decade. He states: “The Bar is haemorrhaging so much talent.” The official figures for those practising at the Bar between the ages of 25 and 34 have been falling since 2019.
The whole experience has been a huge privilege and honour for Gerard to act for the remarkable families and the experience will stay with him for the rest of his life.