Funding for public inquiry representation
Our team at Hudgell Solicitors have represented at a number of public inquiries where public funding has been secured to enable our clients to take part. We are committed to ensuring our clients have the best legal representation and we work to ensure funding is in place.
Inquiries into tragedies, failings and miscarriages of justice
Public Inquiries are held to ensure full and impartial investigations are carried out when things have gone badly wrong.
They independently investigate some of the biggest tragedies, failings and miscarriages of justice in our country and have the legal power to compel witnesses to give evidence when they perhaps would not wish to have their actions examined and questioned in the glare of public scrutiny.
Our public inquiry expertise
Hudgell Solicitors is proud to have a team of Public Inquiry lawyers who offer legal representation to families and individuals.
Our lawyers have represented core participants at;
- The Manchester Arena Inquiry – Investigating how, and in what circumstances, 22 people came to lose their lives in /group-actions/manchester-arena-bombing/manchester-arena-public-inquiry-our-role/the 2017 attack, highlighting security, emergency response and MI5 failings.
- The Post Office Horizon Inquiry – Established to gather a clear account of the implementation and failings of the Horizon IT system at the Post Office, which led to hundreds of former subpostmasters being wrongfully prosecuted.
- The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse – Established in the wake of serious high profile instances of non-recent child sexual abuse, and concerns some organisations were continuing to fail to protect children from sexual abuse.
- The Grenfell Tower Inquiry – Investigating the cause and origin of the fire which caused the death of 72 people, its subsequent development, the loss of life incurred and the response of emergency services.
Our legal team ha also made representations on behalf of three groups to be involved in the Covid-19 Inquiry.
Our focus, as always, is on supporting people through each and every stage, and advising them on their next legal steps following an inquiry’s conclusion.
How we can represent you
Explained in five easy steps
Free initial Advice
Call us, request a call back, or complete our online form and one of our team will assess whether we feel able to represent you.
Apply for funding
We will help you to decide how best to fund your claim and let you know if Legal Aid is available.
We will obtain relevant disclosure from the Coroner and any other relevant sources.
Inquest Attendance & Submissions
We will make submissions to the Coroner/Chair with our views on the appropriate conclusions based on evidence revealed.
Verdict / Findings
We will help you to understand that Coroner’s verdict and advise you on any possible further legal steps to assist you.
Our client stories
Stories related to public inquiry representation
Manchester Arena Inquiry: ‘I’ve been left disabled and a prisoner in my own home. Compensation can help me get part of myself back’
Manchester Arena bombing survivor Joanne McSorley says she has been left a prisoner her own home as she continues to await compensation for the disabling injuries she suffered in the attack more than five-and-a-half years ago. Joanne, 49, of Runcorn, suffered catastrophic injuries to her left side and shrapnel injuries all over her body in […]
‘I spent 18 months in jail for a crime I didn’t commit and was told I should admit to. It ruined my life but I am glad I always maintained my innocence’
Unlike many others affected by the Post Office Horizon scandal, Harjinder Butoy refused to buckle to the pressure of being warned he’d likely be sent to prison by pleading his innocence. Faced with allegations of stealing more than £206,000 from the accounts of the sub Post Office he had run for a year, he denied […]
Hudgell Solicitors represents another 30 subpostmasters to challenge Post Office Horizon convictions at Court of Appeal
Hudgell Solicitors and Doughty Street Chambers are this week representing a further 30 former subpostmasters who are seeking to have convictions of theft, fraud and false accounting quashed. The Post Office Horizon scandal saw hundreds of sub-postmasters wrongly convicted of crimes when accounts showed unexplained shortfalls and discrepancies. Many were forced to ‘repay’ thousands of […]
The quashing of these convictions feels like the heavy lead box we have been trapped in has had the lid ripped off
Chris Trousdale, 38, from Whitby, was one of the country’s youngest sub postmasters when he was prosecuted by the Post Office and advised to plead guilty to false accounting or face jail. He was sentenced to a Community Punishment Order in March 2004, with a probation order and a fine, at the age of just […]
Statement from former sub-postmaster Vipinchandra Patel, 67, today following the quashing of his conviction relating to the Post Office Horizon Scandal. He was handed an 18-week prison sentence for fraud in June 2011, having been accused of stealing £75,000. Good faith, honesty, honour, integrity, and trust are the foundations of any relationship. Sub-postmasters delivered on […]
‘My husband died a wrongfully convicted criminal. Now is the time for the Post Office to finally do the right thing and pave the way to clear his name’
“I’ve got to see this through for Julian and clear his name because he is no longer here to fight for justice himself.” Four years after losing her husband to bowel cancer, and 12 years after he was convicted of false accounting by the Post Office, 65-year-old Karen Wilson is hopeful that she is on […]
Our client reviews
We’re always committed to getting the optimum outcome for you.
How is a Public Inquiry established and who runs it?
Public inquiries are set up by the Government, under the Inquiries Act 2005 and the Inquiry Rules 2006.
They can be led by one person or a panel, who take evidence in the form of documents and oral testimony regarding the events in question. Inquiries are often chaired by a currently serving or retired judge.
Crucially, once they have been established, they are independent of the Government department.
These often long-running hearings can generate significant media interest as they seek to establish what happened, why the event, incident or miscarriage of justice happened and who was to blame, whilst also focusing on ensuring lessons are learned for the future.
How is it established what a Public Inquiry will cover?
One of the first stages of a Public Inquiry is setting out the ‘Terms of Reference’ or ‘scope’ of the Inquiry. This is a stage where legal representatives are often consulted as to what the Inquiry should cover.
It will clarify the matters to be examined and the facts which need to be established. It will also set out whether the inquiry is to make any recommendations. Once this is agreed an inquiry has no power to act outside of its terms of reference.
How long will a Public Inquiry last?
Given the large amounts of documentation and evidence usually needing to be considered, Public Inquiries are not speedy processes and there is no set time frame to which they are required to be completed.
Most take around two years to report back with findings but can take much longer.
Can a Public Inquiry lead to criminal prosecutions?
A Public Inquiry cannot find a named individual liable for a criminal act, but can make findings about the credibility and actions of people involved, which can ultimately lead to further criminal or civil investigations.
Who takes part in a Public Inquiry?
A person who has played a role in the matters being investigated ,or has a ‘significant interest’ in them, can apply to be given ‘core participant’ status at the inquiry. Core participants – often those directly affected or families of loved ones – can be awarded funds to pay for legal representation, and their lawyers may be permitted to ask questions to other witnesses who give evidence.
How will I be represented at a Public Inquiry?
Our team at Hudgell Solicitors have represented at a number of Public Inquiries where public funding has been secured to enable victims and families to take part. We are committed ensuring our clients have the best legal representation and work to ensure funding is in place.
Can people refuse to take part?
No. The 2005 Act permits the compulsory provision of documents or the giving of oral evidence and to compel testimony and the release of other forms of evidence.
Meet our public inquiry representation lawyers
Local lawyers at the heart of your community