Public Inquiries and Inquests – Accountability in the time of COVID

Monday 10 May 2021

Allison Munroe KC

Stephen Simblet KC

Leslie Thomas KC

Ade Adeyemi MBE

Elkan Abrahamson

Hannah Brady

This webinar is brought to you by Garden Court Chambers.

Date: Monday 10 May 2021
Time: 5pm-6.30pm
Venue: Online  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Inquests and Inquiries , Civil Liberties and Human Rights , Administrative and Public Law

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This webinar will consider COVID issues in the context of the current limitations relating to Inquests and the overwhelming arguments that favour a Judge-led PUBLIC INQUIRY.

Our panel will critique the response to COVID so far, analysing the lessons which need to be learnt urgently for our future health security, the need to confront the social determinants of health inequalities, and the COVID impact on healthcare providers and NHS workers, particularly ethnic minority practitioners.




Allison Munroe QC, Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Allison has extensive expertise and experience working on large scale Inquests and Public Inquiries of national and international importance. She represented a number of the bereaved families in the historic Hillsborough Inquests (2014-2016). Presently she represents some of the Bereaved Families in the Grenfell Tower Fire Public Inquiry, as well as survivors and residents.

Within the coronial field Allison has particular expertise in complex mental health and medical cases concerning  vulnerable adults, young people and care leavers. She is often called upon to represent families in circumstances where their loved ones have died in psychiatric hospitals, units and local authority care homes/accommodation, as well as in the community. Additionally where individuals at suicide risk, have been under the care of, or involved with prison psychiatric services.

Professor Leslie Thomas QC, Garden Court Chambers
Professor Leslie Thomas QC has spent his entire career acting for vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged people, who seek justice and accountability from the state and others. He has appeared in many landmark cases such as: representing bereaved families at the Grenfell Public Inquiry; high-profile death in custody cases representing the families of the deceased such as Kevin Clarke, Christopher Alder and Sean Rigg; representing the families of Stephen Port’s murder victims in their claim against the police for alleged failings during their investigations; the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by police sparking national riots; the inquiry into the death of Azelle Rodney, who was unlawfully killed by the police; the Hillsborough inquests for 11 families; and the inquest that followed the Birmingham Pub Bombing.

Leslie Thomas joined Garden Court Chambers in 1990 and is the former joint head of Garden Court Chambers. In June 2020, Leslie became the first Black Professor of Law at Gresham College. His inaugural lecture series is taking place in the current academic year, examining Death, the State and Human Rights. In October 2020, Prof Leslie Thomas QC also became a Visiting Professor in Law at Goldsmiths. Leslie recently won the Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion Award at Chambers UK Bar Awards 2020. He was previously awarded the Legal Aid Barrister of the Year award in 2012, and again in 2016, for his work on the Hillsborough disaster. He also won the Lifetime Achievement Award at UK Diversity Legal Awards 2017.

Stephen Simblet QC, Garden Court Chambers 
Stephen is a specialist in inquests into deaths in hospital and deaths in police and prison custody, having represented families at inquests for many years. He represents families in several inquests each year and has represented in many controversial inquests, including several deaths involving police restraint. He was lead advocate for a group of families in the Hillsborough inquests. His questioning of police officers about the inadequate emergency police response to the unfolding disaster at Hillsborough was regularly reported in national media, as was his questioning of Kenny Dalglish. He, along with the other family legal teams from the Hillsborough Inquests, was a recipient of Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year 2016.

Stephen was also instructed on behalf of survivors of child sexual abuse in three phases of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, appearing in the “Nottinghamshire Councils” phase,  the “Accountability and Reparations” phase and the “Lambeth Council” phase. This public inquiry is one of the biggest ever. Stephen has also sat as an Assistant Coroner.

Ade Adeyemi MBE, Managing Director & Founder, Global Health Jobs
Ade has recently started studying for a Doctor of Philosophy in Global Health and Social Medicine at King's College London, after completing an Executive MBA whilst working for UCLH Foundation Trust in London and being the Director for the African Global Health Leaders Fellowship at Chatham House. He has also taken a role at the main Executive body of the NHS, NHS England and NHS Improvement, and is a Managing Director for the global resourcing platform -

Ade has served on the National Executive of the Fabian Society. Prior to this, he served as vice-chair of the Young Fabians, the section for members under 31. Writing for the Fabian Society, Ade won its 2017 annual prize for young writers for his discussion paper on ideas to improve BAME representation in the Labour party. Ade was also elected to serve as the Chair for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network of NHS England and NHS Improvement in March 2020. Ade was also a member of the Davos World Economic Forum’s prestigious Global Shapers community of leaders, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and senior associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine. He was nominated as a 2014 ‘Rising Star’ of the NHS by leading publication Health Service Journal (HSJ), particularly for helping to develop the idea of NHS Change Day. NHS Change Day 2014 was the biggest day of collective action for improvement in the history of the NHS. Ade received an MBE in the Queen's 2020 Birthday Honours List for services to health policy and leadership.

Elkan Abrahamson, Director, Broudie Jackson Canter
Elkan is a solicitor with Broudie Jackson Canter. He has acted in several ECHR cases, most famously the prisoners’ voting rights case, of which Prime Minister David Cameron said the issue ‘makes me sick‘ (Hirst v UK). He has represented bereaved families in the Hillsborough Inquest, the Birmingham Pub bombings Inquest and currently is acting for families in the Manchester Arena Inquest. He represents the COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, a group of bereaved seeking a statutory inquiry into the government handling of the pandemic.

Hannah Brady, Paralegal, Member & Spokesperson for Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice UK
Hannah Brady is a 25-year old paralegal. In May 2020, she lost her Dad, Shaun Brady (aged 55) to Covid-19. He was a key worker. He spent his last 45 days in Hospital, 42 of those in a coma on a ventilator. He had no underlying health conditions. Hannah then lost her Nan (Dad’s Mum) to Covid-19 in her Care Home in July 2020, after Covid positive patients were discharged there from Hospitals, cared for by Staff who often had to buy or make their own PPE. 

Hannah has been a member and spokesperson of Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice UK. since June 2020, and is one of the Claimants in the proposed application for Judicial Review against the Government’s reluctance to commence a Public Inquiry into their handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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