North West law firm Broudie Jackson Canter has appointed a new Head of Inquests, to help take the department forward.

Clair Hilder joins the firm from London-based Deighton Pierce Glynn and has more than 10 years’ experience in civil liberties.

An Oxford and Cambridge alumni, she holds a degree in law and an MA in criminology.

In her new role at Broudie Jackson Canter’s Liverpool office, Clair will head up a team of 9, assisting bereaved families following deaths in detention or otherwise involving the state and in associated claims for compensation.

Previous notable cases for Clair include the second inquest into the death of Private Jason Smith which occurred whilst he was on active service in Iraq in 2003. The inquest helped secure an apology and compensation from the Ministry of Defence as a result of the failings in the care given to Private Smith.

She has also been instrumental in bringing justice to the families of multiple HMP Winchester prisoners, who died following self-inflicted deaths.

Clair, who was previously shortlisted for the Legal Aid Newcomer Lawyer of the Year award, said: “I’m extremely proud to join Broudie Jackson Canter and head up the inquests team, bringing with me my extensive experience in inquests and civil claims.

“My team will be helping people obtain information about what happened to their loved ones, expose failings where they have occurred and ensure that lessons are learnt for the future. Where possible, we also help families obtain legal aid funding for representation at inquests.

“What attracted me to the role was the emphasis on taking ownership for your learning and development. The firm is transparent in relation to which skills are needed to progress through the company, with plenty of training opportunities available.

“We’re also encouraged to support more junior fee earners – giving them first-hand experience and knowledge not only helps them grow but allows each one of us to make a positive difference in the workplace and nurture the next generation of leaders in the legal sector.

“I’m looking forward to rolling out the comprehensive training plan we are developing for the team, which will bring civil claims and inquest work together. We will also be recruiting for a paralegal to deal inquiry work associated with COVID-19 inquests, so there’s lots of growth in the pipeline.”

Clair’s work within the legal sector continues outside of her day job, as she is also a member of the INQUEST Lawyers Group Steering Group and takes an active role in advocating for improvements to the legal aid regime funding representation for bereaved families at inquests.

Broudie Jackson Canter, which is a part of Jackson Lees Group, is committed to offering an accessible and friendly service for clients that helps them to know where they stand in relation to legal services without unnecessary formality or confusing legal jargon.

Esther Leach, Managing Director at the Jackson Lees Group, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Clair to the team and we’re confident her wealth of experience and impressive education will make her an important asset to the inquests team, as well as the firm as a whole.

“With a plethora of experience dealing with extremely sensitive and emotional cases, she brings with her a strong skillset in emotional intelligence and her empathy will make her a vital role model to the more junior fee earners.

“Her membership of the INQUEST Lawyers Steering Group also made her application stand out to us; it’s clear she cares deeply for gaining justice for all. We look forward to Clair beginning a promising career with us and helping our clients.”