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 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

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

GMC v Professor X (2019- present)

Selva Ramasamy QC is representing a leading academic in relation to allegations of financial...

GMC v Dr P (2018-2019)

Acting for a consultant psychiatrist said to have taken “kickbacks” for referring...

Re: a Core Participant (Grenfell Tower Inquiry)

Selva Ramasamy QC is advising an employee of a Core Participant in the Grenfell Tower...

The Kark Review (2019)

The Kark Review was an Inquiry on behalf of the Minister for Health into the Fit and Proper...

News

Anne Whyte QC appointed to undertake an independent review (The Whyte Review) into the issues raised in British Gymnastics

In July 2020 a significant number of gymnasts, and parents of gymnasts, made allegations about mistreatment within the sport of gymnastics. A number of the concerns alleged that British Gymnastics had failed to deal appropriately with complaints it had...

The Covid-19 Public Inquiry - Where are we now?

The PM's recent announcement that there will be an independent inquiry into the C-19 response has been welcomed but has also prompted difficult questions: what might the inquiry look like and involve? And what of those who want or are required to give...

Inquests: The impact of COVID-19, work related deaths and Article 2 ECHR

Deaths from COVID-19 are likely to give rise to the requirement to hold inquests in a wide variety of cases. This will likely pose a substantial challenge to coroners in both the timing and scope of these inquests, particularly where deaths are also linked...

Covid-19: A Public Inquiry

Calls for a public inquiry into the government and state reaction to Covid-19 are mounting. But is there actually a need for an inquiry and, if so, what form should it take and what should it investigate?  QEB Hollis Whiteman's  Nicholas...

Calls for coronavirus inquiry will be hard to ignore - Nicholas Griffin QC writes for The Times

Nicholas Griffin QC co-authors with Richard Spafford of Reed Smith LLP in an article for The Times. Together they consider that calls for a coronavirus inquiry will be hard to ignore; those who have suffered most deserve answers but the shaping...

Inquiry reports on Westminster abuse

The public inquiry into child sexual abuse published its Report into allegations of abuse linked to Westminster this month. It considers the institutional responses to allegations of abuse and exploitation involving persons of public prominence, such as...

Articles

The Covid-19 Public Inquiry - Where are we now?

The PM's recent announcement that there will be an independent inquiry into the C-19 response has been welcomed but has also prompted difficult questions: what might the inquiry look like and involve? And what of those who want or are required to give...

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

Considering how front-line healthcare workers might protect themselves. Recently, the “clap for the NHS” came to an end, after ten weeks. Reasons for its demise include some NHS staff feeling it had been hijacked by politicians, and some...

Inquests: The impact of COVID-19, work related deaths and Article 2 ECHR

Deaths from COVID-19 are likely to give rise to the requirement to hold inquests in a wide variety of cases. This will likely pose a substantial challenge to coroners in both the timing and scope of these inquests, particularly where deaths are also linked...

Covid-19: A Public Inquiry

Calls for a public inquiry into the government and state reaction to Covid-19 are mounting. But is there actually a need for an inquiry and, if so, what form should it take and what should it investigate?  QEB Hollis Whiteman's  Nicholas...

Calls for coronavirus inquiry will be hard to ignore - Nicholas Griffin QC writes for The Times

Nicholas Griffin QC co-authors with Richard Spafford of Reed Smith LLP in an article for The Times. Together they consider that calls for a coronavirus inquiry will be hard to ignore; those who have suffered most deserve answers but the shaping...

Preparing for remote hearings: Planning ahead to avoid pitfalls

The outbreak of Covid-19 has put a sharp focus on video link hearings in legal proceedings, and has greatly accelerated their use. The Coronavirus Act 2020 has expanded the use of remote hearings in the criminal courts. Over the Easter weekend,The Times...