First Welsh speaking woman appointed as Senior Coroner in Wales
Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter
The appointment of the first Welsh-speaking woman as a Senior Coroner in Wales has been confirmed.
Cyngor Gwynedd says it is “delighted” to announce the appointment of Kate Robertson (formerly Sutherland) as His Majesty’s Senior Coroner for North West Wales, covering the counties of Gwynedd and Anglesey.
Kate, who has been serving as Acting Senior Coroner since December 2020, following the retirement of Dewi Pritchard Jones, brings a “wealth of experience and a deep connection to the local community,” the council says.
With a background in litigation law, Kate Robertson also brings a breadth of knowledge and expertise to the post.
She was born and raised in North Wales, before studying law (LLB) at the University of Leicester and the College of Law in Guildford then training in Hampshire.
On returning to North Wales, she worked at a local law firm where she became one of its first female directors.
Kate Robertson’s professional experience stretches beyond her role as lawyer and coroner as she regularly provides training to organisations such as the NHS, to GPs and the police.
She has issued a number of Prevention of Future Death Reports, contributing to the improvement of government departments, the NHS, and local councils in their efforts to prevent tragic incidents.
Kate serves as a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Standing Committee on the Welsh Language and the Fatal Drug Poisoning Review Group. Furthermore, she is the chair of two school governing bodies.
Ms Robertson said: “It’s an honour to be appointed to this prestigious role, and I look forward to serving the region.
“I imagine that most people will never come into contact with the Coroner’s Office, however it remains an all-important role within the judiciary.
“I hope to bring my experience in previous legal roles to this public service role.
“I would also like to pay tribute to my predecessor, Dewi Pritchard Jones, who served this community for so many years.”
Dafydd Gibbard, Cyngor Gwynedd Chief Executive added: “On behalf of the Council, may I extend my congratulations to Kate on her appointment as His Majesty’s Senior Coroner for North West Wales.
“With her local ties, extensive experience, and the historic significance of being the first Welsh speaking woman to hold this position, I know that she will continue to serve the community with dedication and fairness.”
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