Public Inquiries

Drawing on wide experience and expertise at all levels, QEB Hollis Whiteman is sought after to provide advice and representation at all stages of the public inquiry process and in respect of inquiries of all kinds.

Overview 

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. Inquiries invariably involve complex, sensitive and controversial subject matters which counsel at QEB Hollis Whiteman are well placed to negotiate, offering advice and representation to anyone contemplating involvement as a core participant or as a witness giving oral evidence.

Our Experience

QEB Hollis Whiteman has a wealth of experience in public inquiries, including advising and appearing for witnesses and core participants and acting as Counsel to the Inquiry itself. We have conducted inquiries ourselves and have provided expert witnesses on points of importance.

We offer advice and representation in respect of all aspects of the inquiry process, from early but important considerations such as disclosure, through to advocacy at the inquiry and to matters arising from the inquiry’s report.

Our notable strength in this field has placed us at the very top of the list for complex, high profile and sensitive Inquiries.

Notable Cases

Stephen Lawrence Independent Review (2014)
Mark Ellison QC conducted an independent inquiry into potential police corruption and the role of undercover policing in the investigations into the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993. The Review was held up as an example of how to run an inquiry of this sort. Mark subsequently conducted the Review of Possible Miscarriages of Justice (2015), considering the impact of undisclosed undercover police activity on the safety of convictions. Members are now involved in the Undercover Policing Inquiry, announced following these reviews.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry (2013)
Public inquiry into the failings in patient care and why they were not identified and acted on sooner. Three members acted as leading and junior counsel to the inquiry which began hearing oral evidence in November 2010. Seven junior members assisted on the production of the resulting Francis Report. The inquiry was praised for its efficiency and the breadth and depth of evidence examined. The report continues to have wide-reaching repercussions in healthcare reform.

Leveson Inquiry (2011)
Public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press following the News International phone hacking scandal. Members provided advice to various parties.

Rosemary Nelson Inquiry (2011)  
Public inquiry following the murder of a Catholic solicitor in 1999 in Lurgan, Northern Ireland by loyalist terrorists. The inquiry was launched following allegations of state collusion in her death. Nicholas Griffin QC acted on behalf of a serving chief constable and the large team of officers conducting the investigation into Mrs Nelson’s murder.

Bloody Sunday Inquiry (reported 2010)
This was the independent public inquiry into the events of 30 January 1972 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Members provided advice to and appeared for the team acting for military witnesses.

 

Recent Cases

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry (Ongoing)

Representing a corporate core participant at this inquiry, announced following the devastating...

Undercover Policing Inquiry (Ongoing)

Nicholas Griffin QC is representing the Home Office at this ongoing...

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (2018)

Fraser has been instructed as junior counsel to represent the CPS at the Independent Inquiry...

Stephen Lawrence report published by Home Office (2014)

Head of Chambers Mark Ellison QC’s report was published today (6th March 2014) by the Home...

Savile Inquiry (2012)

Mark Aldred was instructed by The Police Federation of England and Wales to represent all officers...

News

NHS Inquiry for Stephen Barclay MP

Tom Kark QC to conduct a review of the effectiveness and operation of the fit and proper person test as it is applied within the NHS.

Selva Ramasamy QC appointed as the legal advisor to the GMC's Gross Negligence Manslaughter Review

Selva Ramasamy QC has been appointed as the Legal advisor to the GMC’s Review of gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide, an independent review led by Dame Clare Marx Read the GMC's press report - Here  ...

Independent Jersey Care Inquiry reports - expert evidence of Nicholas Griffin QC

The Inquiry published its report yesterday (3 July). It was set up to establish what went wrong in Jersey's care system over many years and to find answers for people who suffered abuse as children. Nicholas Griffin QC gave evidence to the inquiry as an...

Nicholas Griffin QC interviewed on BBC Today Programme

Nicholas Griffin QC spoke about public inquiries in the wake of the London fire and the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday that there would be a “full public inquiry” into the incident. The interview can be heard at ...

Inquiry into the Iraq Historic Allegations Team ('IHAT'), led by Sir David Calvert-Smith, publishes report.

The independent inquiry, commissioned by the Attorney General in April 2016 and chaired by Sir David reviewed, amongst other things, the current practice and processes of the IHAT and made a number of suggestions and recommendations for change.  ...

Articles

Nicholas Griffin QC has been interviewed by Legal Business as a prominent name in the field of public inquiries.

He notes that lawyers formally became involved in public inquiries as a spin-off from their normal areas of practice, but 'Increasingly now you get a group of lawyers who have become inquiries specialists.

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Public Inquiries: getting at the truth

Nicholas Griffin QC and Peter Watkin Jones assess the Inquiries Act 2005 ten years on in the Law Society Gazette.

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Tom Kark QC comments on the exposure of NHS Trusts to criminal proceedings brought by the HSE

Tom Kark QC was recently interviewed for the Lexis PSL series on the potential liability of NHS Trusts for criminal charges in the light of the recent announcement that the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust is facing charges brought by the HSE in connection with the deaths of patients.

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