Counsel, Solicitors and Inquest Secretariat
Her Majesty’s Deputy Assistant Coroner, Sir Robert Owen
Sir Robert Michael Owen has been a Judge of the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, since 2001. He was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1968 and became a QC in 1988.
In 1997 he was Chairman of the Bar of England and Wales. From 2005–08 he was the Presiding Judge of the Western Circuit.
Counsel to the inquest
Hugh Davies, OBE
Hugh Davies was called to the Bar in 1990 and has extensive experience of inquests; criminal law; police regulation and associated public law. He has appeared in multiple high-profile and controversial inquests, including many engaging Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. He is co-author of the leading Oxford University Press practitioner textbook Police Misconduct, Complaints, and Public Regulation. An independent member of the national ACPO child-protection working group, with a documented interest in preventing the international exploitation of children, he was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to children and young people.
Andrew O’Connor has extensive experience of inquests and public law litigation. He has been a member of the Attorney-General’s civil panels since 2000, and was appointed to the A Panel in March 2011. He was instructed as Junior Counsel to the Inquests into the London bombings of 7 July 2005 and acted for the IPCC at the inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson.
Solicitors to the inquest
Martin Smith has particular experience of advising those conducting independent inquiries and investigations. He has previously advised Lords Hutton and Morris on their public inquiries and the Baha Mousa Inquiry chaired by Sir William Gage. He has also acted as Solicitor to the Inquests into the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed and the inquests arising from the 7/7 London bombings. He is also instructed as solicitor to the Commission of Inquiry into the death of the second UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold.
Tim Suter has experience of acting as solicitor to those conducting independent public inquiries, investigations and inquests. He has previously acted as the deputy solicitor to the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry and the inquests in to the London Bombings of 7 July 2005. He has assisted a client in connection with the Leveson Inquiry and represents witnesses in the Al Sweady Public Inquiry. He is also instructed as solicitor to the Commission of Inquiry into the death of the second UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold.
Lee Hughes CBE
Lee Hughes is a former senior civil servant. He was Secretary to the Hutton Inquiry, the Inquests into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed, the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry and Al-Sweady Public Inquiry. He has a background in legislation, as the lead official on the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. He was appointed CBE in 2004.