Public Inquiries

Public Inquiries set up by government have become a predominant feature of UK politics. They are major investigations into issues of “public concern” about a particular event or set of events.

Public Inquiry Services for Business

Public Inquiries have become a predominant feature of UK politics. Birketts offers a full range of support to organisations which may become involved in one.

Organisations may be required to provide evidence to or appear before a Public Inquiry, or they may be affected by its outcome.

Recent Inquiries have addressed topics as wide-ranging as transport accidents, fires, the mismanagement of pension funds, self-inflicted deaths in custody, outbreaks of disease, and decision-making that has led to war.

We recognise the strain that involvement in a Public Inquiry places on an organisation and we have the experience and expertise to advise and assist throughout the process.

Members of the team have been involved in several prominent national Public Inquiries and have represented clients through every stage:

  • From the initial request for evidence and/or disclosure under Rule 9 of the Inquiry Rules 2006
  • Representation at the Inquiry, including putting questions to other witnesses
  • Preparation for giving oral evidence
  • Representing those called to give live evidence to the Inquiry
  • Making written submissions in relation to the report following warning letters (or the ‘Maxwellisation’ process)

Daniel Irving, who leads the team at Birketts, is currently representing a core participant in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry who gave three days of oral evidence to the Inquiry at the end of 2020.

As a specialist, his clients benefit from his extensive Public Inquiry experience having represented a former senior Cabinet Minister in his response to the Iraq Inquiry (the ‘Chilcot Inquiry’) and subsequently serving as junior counsel to the ongoing Public Inquiry into undercover policing (‘UCPI’).

The team is highly experienced in:

  • Making applications for core participant status
  • Drafting and making submissions in relation to any undertakings the Inquiry may seek from the Attorney General
  • Advising on closed proceedings, including applications for anonymity and restriction orders over the disclosure of evidence.

As a full service law firm with specialists across the breadth of practice areas, Birketts can also offer expertise in the areas of law the Public Inquiry may affect. Every client can expect technical excellence delivered with the highest standards of client care.

Credit to the team for all the preparatory work carried out. On reflection, there wasn’t one topic that hadn’t been considered in the build up to giving evidence and this is testament to all of the hard work Daniel, Liam and Francesca have put in since inception. Daniel in particular has been and continues to be a calm, reassuring and conscientious presence.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Client