The UK Covid-19 Inquiry, which has been established to examine and learn lessons regarding the UK’s preparedness and response to the Covid-19 pandemic, launched its website on Monday 28 February.

According to the website, two experienced individuals have been appointed as Solicitor to the Inquiry and Counsel to the Inquiry, both of whom have been involved in other high-profile public inquiries in the past.  They will support the Chair, Baroness Hallett, in conducting the Inquiry.  For example, Counsel to the Inquiry will have the right to ask questions of witnesses who are called to give oral evidence.

The website notes that Baroness Hallett “will set out her vision for the Inquiry’s work in the coming months, which will include consulting the public on the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry once she has received a draft from the Prime Minister”.  The detailed timeline for this consultation exercise has not yet been announced.  However, according to transparency disclosures by the UK Cabinet Office, the Inquiry has been working with a strategic consultancy firm to support the Inquiry’s launch and consultation on its Terms of Reference, with the aim of completing work by late February 2022.  We therefore expect to see some progress with the Terms of Reference in the near future.

Covington’s UK Parliamentary and Public Inquiries team is closely monitoring developments relating to the Covid-19 Inquiry, and intends to provide further updates when the consultation for Terms of Reference begins.

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Photo of Ian Redfearn Ian Redfearn

Ian Redfearn is special counsel in the dispute resolution group of the London office. He advises clients on their most complex and high-profile arbitrations, litigations, and investigations, and he also counsels clients on how to navigate global compliance challenges. He has worked for…

Ian Redfearn is special counsel in the dispute resolution group of the London office. He advises clients on their most complex and high-profile arbitrations, litigations, and investigations, and he also counsels clients on how to navigate global compliance challenges. He has worked for clients across many sectors, and he has significant international experience, including matters in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Photo of Thomas Reilly Thomas Reilly

Ambassador Thomas Reilly, Covington’s Head of UK Public Policy and a key member of the firm’s Global Problem Solving Group and Brexit Task Force, draws on over 20 years of diplomatic and commercial roles to advise clients on their strategic business objectives.

Ambassador…

Ambassador Thomas Reilly, Covington’s Head of UK Public Policy and a key member of the firm’s Global Problem Solving Group and Brexit Task Force, draws on over 20 years of diplomatic and commercial roles to advise clients on their strategic business objectives.

Ambassador Reilly was most recently British Ambassador to Morocco between 2017 and 2020, and prior to this, the Senior Advisor on International Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs and Head of Government Relations at Royal Dutch Shell between 2012 and 2017. His former roles with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office included British Ambassador Morocco & Mauritania (2017-2018), Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Egypt (2010-2012), Deputy Head of the Climate Change & Energy Department (2007-2009), and Deputy Head of the Counter Terrorism Department (2005-2007). He has lived or worked in a number of countries including Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Argentina.

At Covington, Ambassador Reilly works closely with our global team of lawyers and investigators as well as over 100 former diplomats and senior government officials, with significant depth of experience in dealing with the types of complex problems that involve both legal and governmental institutions.

Ambassador Reilly started his career as a solicitor specialising in EU and commercial law but no longer practices as a solicitor.