• '…a commendable public duty in revealing these issues'  Theresa May, when Home Secretary, Stephen Lawrence Independent Review
  • '…an astute, tactical approach to problems…' Chambers UK 2017
  • 'The very talented barristers here are known for their superior advocacy skills and their approachability' Chambers UK 2017

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.


QEB Hollis Whiteman’s strength in advocacy and equal focus on regulatory and criminal law give 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

The Whyte Review (2020-2022)
Anne Whyte KC was commissioned by UK Sport and Sport England to conduct an independent review into the culture of gymnastics in the UK and into the way British Gymnastics managed complaints and the welfare of gymnasts. Her report and recommendations were published in June 2022 (The Whyte Review) and is already considered to be of invaluable application to gymnastics and other sports.

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

Nicholas Griffin KC and Bar in the Community

QEB takes its outreach work very seriously, as Nick Griffin KC discusses in the most recent...


The Lampard Inquiry. Nicholas Griffin KC is Counsel to the Inquiry, supported by Rebecca Harris.

The Department of Health and Social Care has today, 10 April 2024, published the terms of reference for the independent statutory Inquiry into the deaths of mental health inpatients in Essex. The Inquiry - which is chaired by Baroness Lampard CBE - was...

Nicholas Griffin KC and Bar in the Community

QEB takes its outreach work very seriously, as Nick Griffin KC discusses in the most recent edition of Counsel Magazine. Nick Griffin KC, explains in the December edition of Counsel Magazine how he came to volunteering though Bar in the Community (BIC),...

Independent Inquiry relating to Afghanistan continues with Kerry Broome calling evidence from Brigadier Matthew Cansdale

The Inquiry continued with evidence from Brigadier Matthew Cansdale this morning, who is the Commander of the Army’s Collective Training Group to give evidence regarding Operational Staff Work and Consequence Management. The full Terms of...

Nicholas Griffin KC of QEB Hollis Whiteman is announced as Counsel to the Lampard Inquiry.

Nicholas Griffin KC  of  QEB Hollis Whiteman  is announced as Counsel to the Lampard Inquiry. The Lampard Inquiry is Chaired by Baroness Kate Lampard CBE and is investigating matters surrounding the deaths of mental health inpatients across...

Independent Inquiry relating to Afghanistan continues with Kerry Broome calling evidence from key witnesses for the Ministry of Defence.

The Inquiry continued with evidence from Brigadier Keith Eble and Gareth Martin, both Corporate Witnesses for the Ministry of Defence.  Kerry Broome called Gareth Martin, Ministry of Defence Director National Security, as part of the proceedings...

Patient evidence concludes in the Muckamore Inquiry. The next phase relating to staff members to follow in November. Tom Kark KC is the Chair.

Thursday 12th October 2023 marked the end of the inquiry hearing from patients about their experiences of Muckamore. Since the hearings began in June 2022, the panel has heard evidence from more than 90 witnesses. Chair to the Inquiry, Tom Kark KC of QEB...


In The Times: Lucy Letby - The Power of the Inquiry by Nicholas Griffin KC and Rebecca Harris

In this article for  The Times ,  Nicholas Griffin KC  and  Rebecca Harris  of  QEB Hollis Whiteman  explore the additional powers of the statutory inquiry and whether they actually make a positive difference in the...

Bullied in court? Here's what our chambers can do about it

It is vital that chambers support individuals who have suffered bullying. QEB Hollis Whiteman has now adopted an external bullying policy. A panel of barristers within Chambers (including a senior QC) will now address complaints of bullying by judges,...

The Angiolini inquiry: Missing the big picture?

Ruth Broadbent examines the scope of the inquiry into Sarah Everard’s murder: what exactly does it seek to prevent, & how far is it willing to go? The full article can be accessed  here. ...

A Podcast: A Public Inquiry into Covid-19 A Series of Discussions Hosted by QEBHW Part 2: Women - Has the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on Women?

This is the second in a series of podcasts by QEB Hollis Whiteman looking at the topic of a public inquiry into Covid -19 from a variety of perspectives. In this podcast, we explore whether or not the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on...

A Podcast: A Public Inquiry into Covid-19 - a Series of Discussions Hosted by QEBHW Part 1: The NHS - Might the Hand-clapping Turn to Finger-pointing?

The government has now committed to a full statutory public inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic.  This is the first of a series of podcasts by QEB Hollis Whiteman looking at the topic of a public inquiry into Covid -19 from a variety of perspectives. We...

AN UPDATE: Walking the tightrope of COVID-19 - how can doctors and other healthcare professionals protect themselves from criticism?

Considering how front-line healthcare workers might protect themselves. With the 2020 "clap for the NHS" and recent outrage at the 1% pay rise for NHS staff, it is clear that the national sense of thanks for the NHS prevails and is as strong...