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Kirsten Mercer

Year of call:
Newcastle University, LLB
Nottingham Law School, BVC ('very competent')
Pupil at Park Court Chambers, Leeds
Tenant at Park Court Chambers
Tenant at Park Square Barristers
Government Legal Department panel counsel
List B of the Panel of Specialist Regulatory Advocates
North Eastern Circuit

Kirsten Mercer prosecutes or defends across the range of criminal matters, and is a Grade-3 prosecutor.

Kirsten is particularly interested in cases where there are difficult disclosure issues. She is regularly instructed by the CPS where there are known to be complexities in respect of disclosure and, as a result, has been involved in cases beyond her level of call, including multi-handed homicide cases, multi-agency prosecutions instructed by the complex casework unit, and cases for the RASSO unit.

She has acted as independent counsel for the National Crime Agency.

Kirsten has previously advised the Child Maintenance Group (CMG) regarding the transfer of their work to the CPS, and regularly provided charging advice to the CMG prior to the transfer. She has also provided regular charging advice to the Department of Work and Pensions regarding benefit-fraud cases. She therefore has a particular interest in benefit fraud.


Kirsten has provided training to officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

Notable cases

  • R v BG and Others – Disclosure junior to Bryan Cox QC in a homicide and multi-handed conspiracy to supply class-A drugs.
  • R v MF – Disclosure junior to Richard Mansell QC in a homicide case where the defendant had confessed to the murder of a person other than the victim and subsequently accused that same third party of the murder of the deceased. There was a history of violence between all 3 men.

Public Access

Kirsten Mercer may accept Public Access work, where he can be instructed directly by a member of the public rather than a solicitor.

Contact Kirsten’s clerks

Andrew Thornton on 0113 213 5202

Gina Hawkins on 0113 213 5205

Rebecca Wilson on 0113 213 5203

Hannah Dempsey on 0113 213 5211

Elaine Foster-Morgan on 0113 213 5217

Kirsten is a highly experienced inquest advocate, who represents interested persons in a wide range of matters from deaths arising out of road traffic collisions to unlawful killing.

Kirsten is regularly instructed in article 2 inquests on behalf of the state. She is junior counsel to the crown, appointed to the regional B panel. As a result she receives instructions on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, the National Probation Service and the Department of Work and Pensions in the most serious of cases. She has significant experience of representing interested persons where there has been a death in custody and has a detailed understanding of the relevant prison service instructions relevant to emergency responses and the management of prisoners at risk of harm to self, to others and from others.

Kirsten is a specialist in inquests arising out of deaths in custody and she now receives an increasing number of instructions in road traffic collisions on behalf of insurers.

Kirsten is organised and approachable with an excellent understanding of the difficulties that witnesses face giving evidence about their involvement in cases before the Coroner’s Court. Kirsten has undertaken training in respect of questioning of vulnerable witnesses, applicable equally in the Coroner’s Court as in the Crown Court. Kirsten is confident handling expert witnesses and is used to doing so in both an inquisitorial and adversarial setting.

Kirsten has recently represented a defendant in a fraud matter linked to the death of a baby in a cot, where the co-accused initially facing a charge of gross negligence manslaughter, pleaded guilty to health and safety offences arising out of the design and manufacture of the cot.

Kirsten has been Government Legal Department panel counsel since 2012 and was appointed to the B panel of the specialist regulatory advocates in 2019.

Recent inquests

  • Inquest into the death of CM – death of a prisoner as a result of an accident where there had been a long delay in the ambulance attending the deceased and where a falls risk assessment had not been completed on a man with a history of falls. Representing the prison. (May 2019)
  • Inquest into the death of AA – death of an 11 year old in a road traffic collision, involving three vehicles, following the acquittal of one of the drivers of causing death by dangerous driving. Representing the insurers of one of the drivers. (May 2019)
  • Inquest into the death of MG – death of a prisoner from natural causes, where there were questions whether there had been missed opportunities to treat him in the hospital or to take him back to hospital when his condition deteriorated. Representing the prison. (April 2019)
  • Inquest into the death of LB – death of a young woman, with a history of epilepsy, who died whilst in the process of appealing a decision made by the DWP regarding her entitlement to benefits. Representing the DWP. (March 2019)
  • Inquest into the death of SH – death of a prisoner from misadventure, 5 days before he was due to be released. The scope of the inquest included the input and assessments completed by the mental health team and his movements to different parts of the prison as well as the management of the ACCT process. Representing the prison. (March 2019)
  • Inquest into the death of SH – death of a serving police from suicide, following multiple contacts with mental health services. Representing the police service. (December 2018)
  • Inquest into the death of JP – death of a prisoner from suicide. The scope of the inquest included considered a missed roll call by an officer support grade. Representing the prison. (October 2018)
  • Inquest into the death of DS – death of a prisoner from misadventure, following the passing of a package of drugs to the deceased by a visitor. Representing the prison (October 2018)
  • Inquest into the death of AW – death a prisoner in hospital as a result of an accident, having suffered from respiratory problems. Representing the prison. (May 2018)

Recent regulatory cases

  • R v CW and JB – representing the second defendant in a case arising out of the design and manufacture of a cot, in which a baby died.

Forthcoming Seminars

Kirsten will be speaking at the following seminars:

23rd May 2019 – Regulatory roundup – developments in Coronial Law

18th July 2019 – Article 2 inquests

Contact Kirsten’s clerk

Madeleine Gray on 0113 202 8603

Patrick Urbina on 0113 213 5250