Nigel Meadows is Senior Coroner for Manchester and former Coroner for Plymouth and South West Devon, inquiring into more than 60,000 deaths and completing over 10,000 inquests during his career.
As a former student of Staffordshire University, Nigel is now a Visiting Professor, regularly takes students on work experience and generously sharing his knowledge and expertise with the Law School. He began his own LLB in 1978, moving to Staffordshire from Devon when he was 19 years old. He said: “I wasn’t a work horse student at school and didn’t do very well at O Levels and A Levels, but Staffordshire University gave me a chance, I worked hard on my degree, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”
Nigel completed his solicitors finals exams in Bristol, then two years of training in Plymouth, before being appointed as a solicitor in 1985. For the next four years, he worked for one of the firms where he’d completed his training, before moving to another Plymouth law firm. A senior partner was the Coroner for Plymouth and South West Devon and eventually appointed Nigel as his deputy, a post he held from 1995-98.
At 38-years-old, Nigel was promoted to Coroner, following his predecessor’s retirement, carrying out his public duties alongside those of his private employer. Within a year, he chose his coronial career and left the law firm, accepting two further part-time judicial positions. In 2006, Nigel was appointed as Coroner for Manchester, resigning as an Appeal Service Judge while maintaining his position as a Judge on the Mental Health Review Tribunal.
“Since then I’ve worked on lots of very big, complex cases, where I specialise in long, difficult legal rulings,” he explained. “One such example is from last year, when I presided over an 80-witness inquest into an arson case, with an unlawful act of manslaughter by two 15-year-old juveniles with learning difficulties.”
Nigel is now also the Coroners’ Society representative on the Forensic End Users Group, a member of the Steering Group for the National Confidential Enquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with a Mental Illness, and a National Judicial College Director of Training of Coroners.
The Award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Nigel in recognition of his noteworthy career, from Staffordshire University law graduate to Senior Coroner for Manchester, and recognises his continued support of the University’s law students.