Austin Welch

Call To The Bar: 2005

“Austin Welch offers an excellent capacity to handle difficult instructions in inquests and inquiries. He draws strength from his experience of health and safety law, and advises a list of clients comprising bereaved families, police forces, businesses and government departments.” – Inquests and Public Inquiries – Chambers and Partners 2024

“Austin gets to grips with a case quickly and he is personable with clients.” – Inquests and Public Inquiries – Chambers and Partners 2024

“Austin is an incredibly sound and skilled advocate.”  Inquests and Public Inquiries – Chambers and Partners 2024

“He is very experienced, very measured, and doesn’t take bad points.”  Inquests and Public Inquiries – Chambers and Partners 2024

“Austin Welch is a specialist in regulatory crime who often appears in health and safety cases. He is adept at acting on behalf of clients from the construction and waste sectors. He has expertise in food safety offences and cases relating to infectious disease outbreaks.” Tier 1 – Health & Safety – Northern/North Eastern Bar – Chambers & Partners 2024

“Austin’s attention to detail is excellent and his advocacy is persuasive and strong.” Tier 1 – Health & Safety – Northern/North Eastern Bar – Chambers & Partners 2024

“He is an incredibly sound and skilled advocate.” Tier 1 – Health & Safety – Northern/North Eastern Bar – Chambers & Partners 2024

“Austin is an excellent advocate. He has an authoritative presence in the courtroom and emits gravitas, he presents clear and well-reasoned arguments with ease, and he is an outstanding strategist and highly respected by clients and peers.”  Tier 1 Business and Regulatory Crime (inc H&S) – Legal 500 2024

“Austin is an excellent advocate and an outstanding strategist with an authoritative presence in the court room, and he emits gravitas. He presents clear and well-reasoned arguments with ease, and he is one of the best senior juniors in the field of health and safety, inquests, and public inquiries.” Tier 1 Inquests and Inquiries – Legal 500 2024

“He was on the money with everything; quick to draft under serious time pressure, and his commitment is phenomenal.” – Chambers & Partners, 2023 – Health & Safety

Inquest & Inquiries “Very good on the law and persuasive: he is able to get coroners on his side. Austin is also excellent with the clients and they trust him.” – Chambers & Partners, 2023 – Inquests & Public Inquiries

“Austin is an excellent senior leading junior. A superb advocate with a commanding presence and natural gravitas in the courtroom. He is unflappable during cross-examination, holds real weight with clients and delivers strategic and well thought out advice in a clear and accessible way. He is highly personable and fosters a true sense of collaboration” – Legal 500, 2023 – Inquests and Inquiries – Tier 1

“Austin is incredibly hard working, giving his time generously and diligently to a case. His technical knowledge of business and regulatory law is second to none; he is a quick thinking master strategist, who easily finds the best way through any legal or practical issue. He immediately gains the confidence of his clients with his straightforward and tactful approach. He is a compelling advocate.” – Legal 500, 2023 – Business and Regulatory Crime – Tier 1

“He is an absolutely fantastic barrister.” “He’s a superstar of the junior Bar across a range of specialisms. He’s the full package and his work rate is phenomenal.” – Chambers and Partners 2022 – Inquests and Public Inquiries – Band 1

“His work rate and ethic are phenomenal and his attention to detail is top-tier.” – Chambers and Partners 2022 – Health and Safety – Band 2

“He combines technical and forensic analysis of legal issues with excellent, sound judgment. He brings great insight into the fundamental issues of the case and his advocacy is exceptional.” – Chambers & Partners, 2022

“Excellent knowledge of the law, meticulous preparation, extremely hard working and tactically very astute. He is superb with clients, and very generous with his time. He will undoubtedly be in silk before very long” – Legal 500, 2022 – Inquests and Inquiries – Tier 1

“Austin’s written advice and submissions are to point and very persuasive. That to my mind shows a thorough assessment and review of the issues relevant for the court’s purposes.”

“His preparedness of matters for hearings and his oral advocacy is that of a highly-skilled advocate. He is thorough, straight-talking and his communication skills in getting often complex issues over to lay clients is excellent.” – Legal 500, 2022 – Regulatory – Tier 1

“Very knowledgeable; his written and oral advocacy is top class. He is very patient and understanding with clients. A very capable lawyer and is very generous with his time. He has a very good track record. Legal 500, 2021 – Regulatory – Tier 1

A committed and exceptionally talented barrister; without doubt a future QC. He is meticulous in his approach to the case and excellent with the client, he was reassuring, confident and worked hard to ensure a positive outcome for the client.”– Legal 500, 2021 – Inquests and Inquiries – Tier 1

“All the qualities you expect in the best barristers – he is meticulous, a great tactician and confident on his feet. He combines all this with a very personable approach, and my clients can’t speak highly enough of him.” “Austin’s capacity for hard work is mind-blowing. He has a diverse practice and is handling high-level and large-scale work.” – Chambers & Partners, 2021 – Inquests and Public Inquiries

“A very personable barrister.” – Chambers & Partners, 2021 – Health and Safety

Combines superb client care with fantastic technical ability”– Legal 500, 2020 – Inquests and Inquiries – Tier 1

His client care skills are second to none”– Legal 500, 2020 – Regulatory, Health & Safety and Licensing – Tier 1

“An excellent tactician who is persuasive on his feet.” Legal 500, 2019 – Inquests and Inquiries

 “He combines fantastic technical ability with great client care skills.” Legal 500, 2019 – Regulatory, Health and Safety and Licensing

 “Knowledgeable and approachable.” “Very thorough.” – Chambers and Partners 2019 – Health and Safety

“His legal, tactical and presentational abilities are excellent.” – Legal 500, 2018 – Inquests and Inquiries

Austin Welch specialises in public inquiries, inquests and health and safety and is one of the most experienced and well respected junior barristers in these areas of law. Over a number of years Austin has been consistently recognised by the UK legal directories as being a leading individual in these specialist areas of practice.

Austin has been instructed in some of the most significant, high profile and complex inquests and public inquiries in recent years including: The Manchester Arena Inquiry; The Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse and the Hillsborough Inquests. Austin represents companies and corporate bodies; public and local authorities; government departments; individuals and bereaved families who are granted interested person or core participant status. He has a particular specialism in representing clients in inquests and inquiries that involve health and safety issues.

Austin represents clients in relation to health and safety, fire safety and food safety offences. He is regularly instructed to represent companies and individuals charged with such offences in both the Crown Court and Magistrates’ Court and has an excellent track record for achieving positive outcomes for his clients.  Austin is experienced in representing clients from a wide variety of industries and is known for providing clear, commercial advice.

Austin also represents companies and individuals in criminal and professional disciplinary proceedings that follow inquests and public inquiries and successfully represented one of the retired police officers in R v Denton and others, the Hillsborough ‘cover-up’ trial that was dismissed at the close of the prosecution case.​

As a member of the Regulatory List, Austin is instructed by the HSE to prosecute health and safety cases. Austin is also a member of the Attorney-General’s  List of Counsel and is regularly instructed to represent government departments in complex Article 2 inquests.
Austin represents medical professionals in disciplinary proceedings brought by the GMC. He regularly appears on behalf of doctors in fitness to practice proceedings in the MPTS as well as other professionals charged with disciplinary offences by their regulators. Austin also has significant experience in representing police officers in disciplinary and criminal proceedings.