Burial & Cremation

Burial and cremation remain the main methods in which mortal remains are laid to rest or disposed of. The law governing the treatment of remains on death and the establishment, regulation of burial grounds is complex.

Much of it based upon Victorian burial laws together with a modern code for cremation contained in the Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008 and for local authority cemeteries in the Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977. Overlaid on that are laws made by or for the Church of England governing consecrated churchyards and consecrated portions of local authority cemeteries.


We are the authors of the practitioners’ guide to burial law and cremation – the Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents (Burial and Cremation) and can assist private individuals, religious organisations, parochial clergy, parochial church councils, cemetery owners and managers and local authorities in the following areas:

  • Acquisition and disposal of burial grounds
  • Granting and extinguishing exclusive rights of burial
  • Churchyard regulations and faculties for memorials
  • Disinterment/exhumation of human remains
  • Infrastructure works requiring disturbance of burial grounds
  • Setting up new burial trusts
  • The post-death treatment of human remains, including disputes
  • Questions around organ donations upon death and use of human tissue for medical research
  • Responsibilities of local authorities and burial authorities in open and closed cemeteries (including under the Open Spaces Act 1906)
  • Consecration of burial grounds and consequences
  • Building or development of disused burial grounds
  • Setting up new burial grounds, including woodland burials
  • The legality of other methods of disposing of human remains.


  • Ian Blaney
      • 0207 960 7131
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  • Howard Dellar
      • 0207 960 7181
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  • Susan Newell
      • 0207 960 7171
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  • Jane Grenfell
      • 0207 960 7160
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