Michael Mansfield, QC, calls for new Grenfell inquiry panel

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Sep 18, 2017
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Michael Mansfield, QC, appeared to be snubbed by the judge leading the inquiry last week

Phil Noble/Reuters

The Grenfell Tower fire inquiry should be given an additional panel, the QC representing some of the residents affected by the disaster said on Friday.

Michael Mansfield, QC, the renowned campaigning lawyer, called for the creation of a panel on Friday, a day after the inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick was accused of snubbing him.

Sir Martin, a retired Court of Appeal judge, made an opening statement for the inquiry at the Grand Connaught Rooms venue in central London on Thursday. Mansfield attempted to make a request on behalf of the residents, but Sir Martin failed even to acknowledge him. 

Mansfield told The Brief  “What I told the public in the hearing after Moore-Bick had departed was what I had intended to request.” This was “an urgent further preliminary hearing at another more suitable venue, with designated core participants and their lawyers to address and resolve the pressing concerns and reservations expressed by the survivors, one of which is the absence of any panel – different to assessors which tender expert advice – to adjudicate and take decisions alongside the chair,” he said.

Earlier in the week, a High Court judge rejected an application from a lawyers’ group for a judicial review of the composition of the inquiry panel. 

In his opening statement, Sir Martin confirmed that the solicitor to the inquiry was Caroline Featherstone, a former senior lawyer at the Government Legal Department. 

Rounding out the inquiry’s lawyer roster are three silks: Richard Millett, QC, of Essex Court Chambers, who is a deputy High Court judge; Bernard Richmond, QC, of Lamb Building chambers, who also sits as a coroner; and Kate Grange, QC, of 39 Essex Chambers. Three junior barristers are in the team: Andrew Kinnier of Henderson Chambers, Rose Grogan of 39 Essex Chambers, and Zeenat Islam of 25 Bedford Row.

 

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