Covid Inquiry Website
Inquiry solicitors and long-standing public inquiry experts, Elkan Abrahamson and Nicola Brook are representing the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group members in the ongoing UK-wide Covid Inquiry, which investigates the government’s handling of the pandemic.
Though the Inquiry has started, it isn’t too late to get involved. If you lost loved ones to the Covid-19 pandemic, you have the right to be part of the group and the public inquiry process. To instruct Broudie Jackson Canter as your legal representative, free of charge, fill in this questionnaire and we will be in touch. Alternatively, you can simply join the CBFFJ group to have your say in the Inquiry.
What is the Covid Inquiry?
The Covid Inquiry UK is a statutory public inquiry that aims to understand and scrutinise the decisions that were made regarding the Government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. With 100,000’s of lives lost it is absolutely necessary that we find out whether these deaths could have been prevented to ensure that any mistakes made are never repeated. Elkan and Nicola’s team are encouraging as many bereaved families as possible to come forward and seek the justice and answers they deserve.
Where is the Covid Inquiry up to?
On 28th June 2022, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially launched the Covid Inquiry. Elkan and the rest of the legal and counsel teams have campaigned alongside the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group for more than two years. While it is disappointing that it took so long, the Inquiry is now underway and we will continue to fight to secure the justice that the bereaved so rightly deserve. Boris Johnson announced the launch of the Inquiry via a public statement which you can read here.
The former Prime Minister also announced via his public statement that he is happy to accept the Chair’s recommended changes to the Terms of Reference in full, subject to some clarificatory amendments put forward by the devolved nations and agreed by the Chair, Baroness Hallett.
Following this, the Chair of the Inquiry gave her opening statement where she announced how her and her team intend to run the Inquiry. The Inquiry will take a modular approach with six modules being announced so far. At this stage it is unknown how many modules there will be in total. Read more on the Covid Inquiry Modules here.
Four Modules have already begun: Resilience and preparedness (Module 1), core UK decision-making and political governance (Module 2), impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on healthcare (Module 3) and most recently vaccines and therapeutics (Module 4) which started on 5 June 2023.
Module 1 held its first preliminary hearing on 4 October 2022 and held further preliminary hearings in February and April 2023. The public hearings began on 13 June 2023 with evidence being heard in court for six weeks. You can read our full breakdown of the Module 1 evidential hearings here.
What happens next?
It is vital that bereaved family members who have lost loved ones to Covid-19 get the answers they need. This means that they should be front and centre in the Inquiry process, making decisions around the scope of the Inquiry, the members of the panel, and evidence that should be called. The legal team has applied for Core Participant Status on behalf of the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Group for all modules, and will continue to do so for future modules to ensure the bereaved are at the very heart of the Inquiry, as they should be.
The team understands the power in numbers and are encouraging people to join the group. There is strength in numbers: the higher the number of people who individually instruct legal representation, the stronger the collective voice of the bereaved will be.
Elkan has a long and very highly regarded history of fighting for justice on behalf of bereaved families. Elkan has not only been involved with, but in many cases has led on major inquests and inquiries that have become part of the nation’s history, never to be forgotten. Elkan’s fought on behalf of the bereaved families in the Hillsborough Inquests for many years, forming close relationships with the bereaved, including Hillsborough campaigner and activist Anne Williams. Witnessing first-hand the appalling treatment of the bereaved families, Elkan teamed up with Pete Weatherby KC (who is also the Barrister for the Covid Inquiry), to draft the Hillsborough Law, a Law that mandates a duty of candour for all public bodies. The duty of candour means that all public bodies must cooperate and tell the truth if they are called as a witness and enforces criminal sanctions if they refuse.
Leading the legal team supporting our Covid Inquiry clients alongside Elkan Abrahamson is Nicola Brook, Associate Director and Solicitor in the Broudie Jackson Canter Inquests & Inquiries department. Nicola also has a very well-respected history of supporting bereaved families through some of the biggest inquests and inquiries the UK has ever seen. For the past five years Nicola has represented many of the bereaved families in the Manchester Arena Inquiry, investigating the events surrounding the horrific terrorist attack at Manchester Arena in 2017.
Nicola also worked closely with Elkan Abrahamson on the Hillsborough Inquests, heading up the pathology team that analysed all post-mortem reports and medical records and considering the prospects of survival.
Previous to working on inquests and inquiries, Nicola worked in criminal defence. Nicola was involved in the Milly Dowler case and was instrumental in securing disclosure of highly relevant documents that the defence had previously been denied access to. Ensuring all parties have equal access to evidence is one of the many reasons Nicola wanted to work on the Hillsborough Inquests after learning that this was something that had previously been denied to the bereaved families.
Find out more about Nicola
How we can help
If you have lost loved ones due to Covid-19, you deserve answers and accountability. You deserve to know that lessons will be learnt and that this will not happen again. Having legal representation allows you to have a voice in the fight for accountability.
If you have lost someone important to you to Covid-19, you don’t have to deal with this alone. We encourage you to join the group and to have your voice heard in this Inquiry. As we represent the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group as an entity, all you need to do to have legal representation is join the group. However, you do have the option of opening a file with us independently if you wish to be included in our regular communications. Please note, you must still be a member of the CBFFJ group in order to open a file with us. To open a file, please fill in this questionnaire.
Together we can get answers to questions that have gone unanswered for far too long.