Slater and Gordon solicitor, 31, becomes youngest coroner in England and Wales

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By Alex Aldridge on

Leeds University graduate reaches judicial office way ahead of schedule

A young Manchester solicitor who qualified just six years ago has become what his firm reckons is the “youngest coroner in the country”.

Zak Golombeck, an associate in Slater and Gordon’s medical negligence team, takes on the role of Her Majesty’s assistant coroner at the tender age of 31.

The Leeds University graduate’s meteoric rise, which began with a training contract at Linder Myers in 2008, is not dissimilar to that enjoyed by Briony Clarke, also 31, who became a deputy district judge last month.

Like Clarke, who is a newly-minted partner at Essex firm Taylor Haldane Barlex, Golombeck will juggle his judicial role with his day job as a lawyer. He admits that “it will be interesting being on the opposite side of the bench”.

In a statement, Golombeck provided some more details about how he became the hot young thing of the inquest world, commenting:

I’ve been representing families at inquests since I started. I’ve always been very interested in the role of a coroner and always hoped I would become one at some point — I just never thought it would happen this early!

As Legal Cheek readers will of course know, a coroner is an official who confirms and certifies the death of an individual within a jurisdiction. Coroners may also be asked to conduct or order an inquest into the manner or cause of death, and investigate or confirm the identity of an unknown person who has been found dead.

Golombeck, who is already married with two kids, has a modern take on the position, adding:

A coroner’s role is obviously to find out how a person died, but it’s also to guide families through the process in the most sensitive way possible and make sure they get that sense of closure that an inquest should bring.

It’s worth noting that Golombeck and Clarke aren’t the only relative youngsters to put on judicial robes. Last year, Anna Midgley, a criminal barrister at Albion Chambers in Bristol, became a part-time Crown Court recorder at just 33. But the accolade for the youngest judge ever goes to Richard Wright QC. The Leeds-based silk became a deputy district judge at just 29 back in 2006.

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