Sefton Kwasnik


Partner - Criminal Law, Medical Profession Defence and Inquest

Office: Manchester City Centre

Tel No: 0161 834 2623

Email address:

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I qualified as a solicitor in 1981.  I hold a wealth of experience across Criminal law defence, Inquest representation and serious accidents.

Criminal Law

I specialise in assisting clients who face proceedings brought against them by the Police and other Enforcement Agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive, Trading Standards Department, Department of Business, The Environment Agency etc. I represent clients who are faced with prosecution and those in pursuit of appealing their sentences.

In the course of my career I have represented in a number of high profile criminal cases, including The Strangeways Riots trial.

As well as representing individuals I also represent companies who find themselves faced with criminal proceedings. For example, I successfully defended a company and its Directors who faced a charge of Corporate Manslaughter.

I am commonly approached by professional clients who require a solicitor with detailed knowledge of the law and how it applies to their profession. I represented a solicitor who successfully challenged the lawfulness of two search warrants executed at his premises. I am often instructed to challenge the lawfulness of warrants and Production Orders issued by courts.

I have given professional advice to PLC’s in respect of HSE investigations in relation to serious  accidents in the workplace with a view to successfully avoiding there being a prosecution at all.

Medical Profession

The vast majority of medical professions are supported by personal insurance which protects them against negligence claims and failures within their practice. What their insurance premiums do not cover is claims of a sexual nature against a medic. I have specific and detailed knowledge of this legal issue. I have represented members of the medical profession who have faced not only police charges but also disciplinary measures and I have successfully preserved their ability to practice.


I represent families at Inquest and advise upon the issues that sudden, or any death, may raise.

I have the indisputable benefit of extensive experience dealing with the police throughout my professional career including dealing with a number of cases involving fatalities.

I am very proud to be the ambassador of “The Compassionate Friends”. I represent many clients who use this service and my experience though those cases is vast.

Common concerns amongst our members are –

  • Difficulty getting full information about the circumstances surrounding the passing
  • Difficulty speaking to police
  • Real concerns over the way investigations are carried out
  • Difficulty in receiving information from The Coroner
  • Not knowing where to turn for help
  • Feeling left out in the cold

Early professional assistance can help try to deal with these issues, and I can offer complete support and guidance to those in need on these issues and more.

I can try to ease some of the strain by offering to listen and if appropriate making formal enquiries.

Every situation is unique, and I am always striving to learn more and to try to help those grieving.

Below are some examples of my help;-

i. I conducted the Inquest relating to Callum Mark Hughes, and advised his surviving family on their civil rights regarding the local authority, and full representation at Inquest.

ii. I advised the surviving family of a 61 year old Mum who was killed by a bus driver whilst she was crossing the road on a zebra crossing in the bus station, where the authorities tried to blame Mum, but the verdict was against the driver.

iii. I advised the family of a 16 year old boy who was killed when his 50cc moped ran into the back of an unlit articulated trailer in Letchworth and fully represented at Inquest, where the police blamed the boy, but at Inquest the outcome was different, as was civil liability.

iv. I advised the widow of a 39 year old Health and Safety Operative who was killed outright in the workplace in March 2005, leaving behind 2 young children aged 4, and 1 at the time.

v. I have advised a couple living in the Isle of Man who lost their 4 1/2 year old daughter in August 2005.

vi. I advised the family of a 28 year old mother of 2 who died suddenly at home in Feb 2005, where the Coroner has not yet staged the Inquest, and where as a result of my assistance, he has now secured the assistance of the foremost forensic toxicology pathologist to assist him and my clients in understanding the cause of death.

vii. I am advising the family of a 17 year old girl who died on the operating table at hospital, after her emergency admission following an unexplained and an ill investigated sudden fall in the town centre.

viii. I advised the family of a 17 year old girl who died when a back seat passenger in a car being driven by a 17 year old boy.

ix. I advised a driver who was seriously injured in an accident when the other driver died in the collision.

x. I have also advised the family of an 18 year old boy who died whilst driving, being followed by the police, and obtaining leave for a judicial review against the Coroner in the process.


Given the nature of the areas of law within which I represent I offer a sensitive service to my clients. All discussions are confidential. I offer a no obligation initial meeting. If as a result of dialogue it becomes apparent that a case may be made out, or the need for representation arises, then I advise the options available at that time.

I am available to my client or initial enquiries by face to face meeting, telephone or by email between the hours of 7am to 11pm during the week and at weekends.

What else he does

Sefton plays an active role in children’s sporting events. Sefton is an Executive Committee Member of the South Manchester FC. Sefton can also be found umpiring and coming out of retirement to play cricket as well as a regular gym goer.