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UK Covid-19 Inquiry launches with OTC members on legal team

The UK Covid-19 Public Inquiry has now officially opened, headed by Baroness Heather Hallett who has appointed 50 junior Counsel to the legal team including OTC’s Paul Livingston and Joshua Cainer.

Baroness Hallett launched the UK Covid-19 Inquiry on 21st July 2022 and opened its first investigation into the preparedness of the UK for a pandemic. Baroness Hallett also set out the timetable for the first 12 months of the Inquiry saying, “It’s time for facts, not opinions – and I will be resolute in my quest for the truth. The Inquiry is already gathering evidence and I will be holding public hearings next year.”

The next 12 months sees Module 1 looking into the UK’s preparedness for a pandemic. Module 2 will examine core political and administrative governance and decision-making across all parts of the UK during the pandemic. Module 3 will then focus on the impact of Covid on public healthcare and the governmental and societal responses to those impacts. The Inquiry will announce further modules in 2023.

The Inquiry will be looking at the impact of the pandemic on inequalities at every stage of its investigations.

Paul Livingston and Joshua Cainer were appointed to the legal team following a competitive, fair and open recruitment process, which included both paper application and interviews. They will work closely with the 11 QCs appointed to lead the Inquiry’s investigations. Junior Counsel will conduct legal research, analyse and review documents, identify evidence, draft materials, and assist with the preparation of hearings.

Baroness Hallett has pledged to deliver reports with analysis, findings and recommendations whilst the Inquiry’s investigations are ongoing, so that key lessons from the pandemic are learned quickly.

Full information and latest updates are available on the UK Covid-19 Inquiry website.

Find out more

Paul Livingston is a civil practitioner specialising in Public Inquiries. He has been continuously instructed in public inquiries since the very beginning of his tenancy and therefore has significant experience.

Paul is currently instructed as Junior Counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the largest Public Inquiry ever in the UK. He has been instructed as Junior Counsel to the Inquiry on three different strands; The Child Migration case study, Children in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils and Child sexual exploitation by organised networks. He was also instructed for three years as Junior Counsel to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, which investigated the abuse of children in Jersey’s care system over many years.

Paul’s role in these public inquiries has involved inquisitorial advocacy, oral submissions, drafting, strategy, providing advice and analysing millions of pages of documentary evidence.

Paul was appointed to the C Panel of the Attorney General’s Counsel to the Crown in 2020 and undertakes public law work in his areas of specialism.

To find out more, contact Nick Levett +44 (0)20 7427 4908 or Adam Macdonald +44 (0)20 7427 4906 for a confidential discussion.


Joshua Cainer has a broad civil practice which covers commercial law, pensions law and employment law. He also has significant experience in public law, regulatory and human rights matters, having previously taught undergraduate students in Administrative Law as well as having worked on a wide range of appellate cases relating to public law and human rights whilst working as the judicial assistant to Sir Terence Etherton, Master of the Rolls.

He also has particular experience in areas of public and regulatory law which cross-over with the commercial and pensions law elements of his practice, having previously been seconded to assist with regulatory investigations at the Bank of England and at The Pensions Regulator.

He is also a member of the Attorney General’s Junior Junior Scheme.

To find out more, contact Sam Carter on +44 (0)20 7989 6669 or Colin Bunyan on +44 (0)20 7427 4886 for a confidential discussion.

Covid-19, News, Inquests & Inquiries during Covid-19, Public Law 29 Jul, 2022

Authors

Paul Livingston

Call: 2012

Joshua Cainer

Call: 2019

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