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Arnold & Porter London Team Represents Steven Ford Pro Bono in Death Inquest

March 2, 2021

An Arnold & Porter London team represented Steven Ford in the inquest into the deaths of his 23-month-old twins Chloe and Jake Ford at the hands of their mother, Samantha Ford. She is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

At the end of a week-long inquest that was conducted remotely, Assistant Coroner Christopher Sutton-Mattocks recorded a verdict of unlawful killing. Having heard extensive evidence from family members and many medical professionals involved in the case, the Assistant Coroner agreed with the arguments of Arnold & Porter's client and rejected the submissions made on behalf of Samantha Ford that medical professionals could have prevented their death. He also agreed with the firm's submissions that their deaths did not entail the State's obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to life. Consistent with the firm's submissions, he also refused to make a finding of any fault or failure in the actions of the medical professionals involved that contributed in any way to the deaths of Chloe and Jake. Rather, consistent with the submissions made on behalf of Steven Ford, he recorded only the manner by which they came by their deaths.

The Arnold & Porter team was led by partners Jacqueline Mulryne and Jane Wessel, and included Libby Amos, Daisy Bray, Zeno Frediani, Bithia Large, and Bart Wasiak. Arnold & Porter instructed Jennifer MacLeod and Tom Foxton of Brick Court Chambers, also on a pro bono basis.

Following the successful outcome of the Richford inquest in January 2020 (for which Arnold & Porter's work was "Highly Commended" at Law Society Excellence Awards), the North East Kent Coroners referred this pro bono matter to Arnold & Porter.