Regulatory: Public Inquiries

QEB Hollis Whiteman’s strength in advocacy and equal focus on regulatory and criminal law gives our members a keen appreciation of the risks and opportunities that involvement in a public inquiry can present for both organisations and individuals. Our members are ideally placed to offer advice and representation to anyone contemplating involvement in a public inquiry as a core participant or as a witness giving oral evidence.

Members of QEB Hollis Whiteman have been involved in a number of public inquiries:


Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry

In June 2010 the Secretary of State for Health announced a full public inquiry into the serious failings in patient care at the Trust and why they were not identified and acted on sooner. The inquiry aimed to identify important lessons to be learnt for the future of patient care.

On the 6th February 2013 the report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry was published identifying recommendations for improvements.  

Three members of QEB Hollis Whiteman acted as leading and junior 'Counsel to the Inquiry' which began hearing oral evidence in November 2010. The inquiry’s terms of reference focused on healthcare regulation and the reasons for the failure of the regulatory systems in relation to Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

The inquiry was praised for the efficiency with which it was run and the breadth and depth of the evidence examined.

Fallon Alexis, Tim Naylor, Polly Dyer, Rhys Meggy, Thomas Coke-Smyth, Tom Doble and Katherine Buckle all assisted on the production of Robert Francis QC’s Report into the care provided by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.  Their involvement included proofing, reference checking, and drafting. Please CLICK HERE to download Ben FitzGerald's PowerPoint presentation relating to The Inquiry.

Tom Kark QC Ben FitzGerald Tom Baker


Leveson Inquiry

Judicial public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press following the News International phone hacking scandal; the review considered the relationship between the press and the public, the press and the police, the press and politicians.

In July 2012 the Prime Minister announced a two stage inquiry into the role of the police and the press in the phone hacking scandal.

The inquiry seeks to make recommendations to achieve better practice in relation to policy and regulation. It aims to safeguard press integrity and freedom whilst encouraging attainment of the very highest ethical standards.

Hearings began at the Royal Courts of Justice on 14th November 2011.  Members of chambers have provided advice to various parties involved in Part 1 of the Leveson inquiry; Part 2 of the Inquiry has been deferred until after related criminal investigations and prosecutions have concluded.


Dutton Inquiry

The Inquiry into allegations that £19.3million of Lottery funding was unlawfully paid from an account called the World Class Payments Bureau to individuals and organisations at the request of small governing bodies.

Chambers provided advice and assistance to the Inquiry; Alex Felix was specifically instructed to consider whether there was evidence of funds being misappropriated.

Alexandra Felix


Saville Inquiry

The independant Public Inquiry into the events of 30 January 1972 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland 1972 - 'Bloody Sunday'

Members of Chambers provided advice to the Saville Inquiry, specifically for the team acting for military witnesses.

Notable cases:

Stephen Lawrence Review (2013)
Mark Ellison QC conducted an independent Inquiry into potential police corruption in the case of Stephen Lawrence

Leveson Inquiry (2011)
The Leveson Inquiry was a Judicial Public Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press.

Saville Inquiry (2010)
The Saville Inquiry was the independant Public Inquiry into the events of 30 January 1972 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland 1

Dutton Inquiry (2010)
Dutton Inquiry - inquiry into Sport England World Class Payment Bureau
Alexandra Felix


The Mid Staffordshire Inquiry - An Introduction to its lessons.
Ben FitzGerald has completed an article on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry. 16.8.2013
Download (PDF) >