Paul Knapman – KwikChex Personal Profile

Dr Paul Knapman is a Forensic and Medicolegal Consultant.  He was Coroner of Westminster between 1980 and 2011, during which time he had ultimate responsibility for the investigation of 25,000 deaths in hospitals.  He now offers services on investigation of medical manslaughter and potential culpable mishaps to police forces, hospital trusts and other public organisations.

Paul Knapman has investigated sudden deaths and conducted inquests as an independent judicial officer at Westminster Coroner's Court for 31 years.

He is qualified as a doctor MB, BS (1968) and a lawyer and was called to the Bar as a barrister in 1972.

During his appointment as Westminster Coroner, Paul Knapman has had a number of notable cases. These include:

  • The Iranian Embassy Siege in 1980
  • The Libyan Embassy Siege in 1984
  • The Clapham Rail Disaster in 1988
  • The Marchioness Disaster 1989
  • The Ladbroke Grove Rail Disaster in 1999
  • The 7/7 London bombings (Lead Coroner) in 2005
  • Inquest into HRH Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed 2006 [appointed as deputy 1. Baroness Butler-Sloss 2006 and 2.Lord Justice Scott Baker 2007 ]

He has also presided over 10 other fatal bombings.

He was President of the Coroner’s Society in 2009 and President of the Clinical Forensic and Legal section of The Royal Society of Medicine 1995-1997.  He was Master of the Society of Apothecaries 2006 – 2007. He was chairman of Trustees, Coroners Court Support Service 2003 – 2011.

Dr Knapman was made a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London in 2008.


  • Two medicolegal diplomas, namely DMJ in 1975 and FFLM in 2005
  • Made FRCP (Honoris Causa) in 1997
  • FRCS (Honoris Causa) in 1995
  • Made Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London in 2008

Other Posts held

  • President of the Coroner’s Society in 2009
  • President of the Clinical Forensic and Legal section of The Royal Society of Medicine 1995–1997
  • Master of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries 2006–2007

Charitable work

  • Dr. Knapman was co-founder of the charity, the Coroners’ Courts Support Service. The charity won the research, advice and support category of The Charity Awards (UK) 2007. He was the Chairman of the board of trustees of the charity until 2011, when it won the Queen's Award for voluntary service in 2010.
  • Governor of the London Nautical School 1977-1999 and Chairman of governors 1996-1999.
  • Member of the advisory committee to Chelsea Physic Garden 2008.

Books and publications by Paul Knapman

  • The Law and Practice on Coroners (3 edn 1985)
  • Medicine and the Law (1989)
  • Casebook on Coroners (1989)
  • Sources on Coroners Law (1999)


Paul Knapman official website

Wikipedia entry

Debrett's entry




  1. Horror plunge skier’s ‘Dr Death’ drug riddle | Paul Knapman News - March 24, 2011

    [...] said it was unclear how he came to fall down the ravine. And Dr Paul Knapman said foul play could not be entirely ruled [...]

  2. Former Charterhouse pupil who plunged to death on ski holiday ‘had taken designer drug Dr Death’ | Westminster Coroner's News - March 24, 2011

    [...] an open verdict, coroner Dr Paul Knapman said: ‘It seems to be that the most likely explanation is an accident but other possibilities [...]

  3. Psychiatric patient from Battersea slit own throat, inquest told | Paul Knapman News - March 25, 2011

    [...] Dr Knapman described Mr Thomson’s story as “tragic”, adding: “Some mental illnesses are not easy and this seems to me this was difficult to manage. [...]

  4. Article on Paul Knapman – A coroner with quest for justice | Paul Knapman News - March 26, 2011

    [...] RECENT battles between Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime and rebel fighters have brought back memories for Westminster Coroner Dr Paul Knapman. [...]

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