Background

Public Inquiries

Simply outstanding public inquiry expertise.

A top-tier team for inquiries, our barristers have appeared in the majority of significant public inquiries of the last two decades. Recognised as an ‘enviable team’ and firm leaders in this field, they have a truly impressive depth of experience.

Our public inquiries team stands out for expert advice and advocacy in this niche specialism, representing a broad range of clients including government departments, public authorities, police forces and commercial organisations.

The high profile nature of public inquiries throws up unique challenges, and we know how to effectively handle the issues and reputational risks facing clients under the spotlight.

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We understand that the best results come from a foundation of clear strategy and forensic preparation. We have specialists at all levels to handle whatever complications may arise. Our experts are also regularly instructed as counsel to the inquiry.

Our comprehensive service covers all aspects of a public inquiry including advice and training on issues arising from core participant status. We help with witness and organisational preparation and representation in the course of an inquiry.

At the inquiry conclusion, we can advise on challenges to inquiry decisions, the implementation of recommendations and organisational learning.

We also offer in-house training, and share our knowledge in this area via lectures, regular publications and an annual conference. Additionally, our Head of Chambers, Jason Beer KC, is the author of the leading text on Public Inquiries (OUP).

We’ve been instructed on significant, complex and high-profile Public Inquiries including:

  • The Post Office Inquiry
  • The UK Covid-19 Inquiry
  • The Thirlwall Inquiry
  • The British Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry
  • The Infected Blood Inquiry
  • The Magnox Inquiry
  • The Jermaine Baker Public Inquiry
  • The Manchester Arena Inquiry
  • The Grenfell Tower Inquiry

For an initial conversation, contact our experienced and highly supportive clerking team.

For more information please contact our clerks.

Call +44 (0) 20 7410 2000 or click here to email

Public Inquiries Expertise

Counsel to the Inquiry and representation of Corporate and Public bodies at statutory and non-statutory inquiries

Advising institutions on Core Participant status

Advice and assistance in responding to Rule 9 requests for documents or evidence

Advising on reputation management

Applications including anonymity, privileged information and restriction orders

Public Inquiries Barristers

King's Counsel

Jason Beer KC

Call 1992 | Silk 2011

Fiona Barton KC

Call 1986 | Silk 2011

Anne Studd KC

Call 1988 | Silk 2012

Samantha Leek KC

Call 1993 | Silk 2012

Francesca Whitelaw KC

Call 2003 | Silk 2023

Juniors (10+ years)

Andrew Waters

Call 1987

John-Paul Waite

Call 1995

Bilal Rawat

Call 1995

Russell Fortt

Call 1999

Claire Palmer

Call 2003

Beatrice Collier

Call 2004

Mark Thomas

Call 2006

Georgina Wolfe

Call 2006

Rob Harland

Call 2006

Jonathan Dixey

Call 2007

Peter Taheri

Call 2007

Emma Price

Call 2007

Cicely Hayward

Call 2009

Alex Ustych

Call 2010

Amy Clarke

Call 2010

Alice Meredith

Call 2013

Aaron Moss

Call 2013

Sarah Taylor

Call 2014

Juniors (under 10 years)

John Goss

Call 2015

Peter Laverack

Call 2015

Molly Joyce

Call 2016

Edmund Gross

Call 2016

Aimee Riese

Call 2016

David Messling

Call 2017

Jennifer Wright

Call 2018

Conor Monighan

Call 2019

Edmund Garnett

Call 2021

Paige Jones

Call 2021

“5 Essex Chambers has developed an enviable team for inquests and public inquiries work”

Latest News & Events

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Lady Justice Thirlwall has held the first Preliminary Hearing in the public inquiry into the…

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Chambers congratulates Charlotte Ventham who was officially appointed as King’s Counsel today. The Lord Chancellor…

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We are delighted to announce that Head of Chambers, Jason Beer KC, has been listed…

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