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UK Covid-19 Inquiry

QCs and Junior Counsel

Overview

The Prime Minister has announced that Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett DBE will chair the UK Covid-19 Inquiry (‘The Inquiry’) to investigate and report on the UK’s preparations and response to the pandemic.

The Inquiry is seeking to recruit suitably experienced counsel from across the United Kingdom. It anticipates recruiting up to eight QCs, 15 senior juniors and 20 juniors.

Fees for senior juniors are in line with the Attorney General’s ‘A Panel’; junior counsel with ‘C Panel’. QC rates will be £180 to £220 per hour depending on role and experience.

Inquiry counsel will join teams to work on separate modules and/or prepare for and appear at public hearings across the UK. Successful applicants will join an expanding team supporting Hugo Keith QC, appointed as Leading Counsel, and the Solicitor to the Inquiry.

Counsel will be required to work virtually, in London and across the UK. Work will vary and the role will require flexibility.

Counsel to the Inquiry are appointed by the Chair and, by rule 2 of the Inquiry Rules 2006, may be a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales and Northern Ireland, or a solicitor or advocate in Scotland.

Essential skills

We are looking for excellent team players of obvious talent and ability who exhibit exceptional legal skill in the preparation of complex and voluminous evidence, and as advocates. Successful applicants will have sound legal judgement and an ability to think strategically as well as tactically. Counsel will be responsible for planning their work in the context of the Inquiry’s overall programme and will work closely with the Solicitor to the Inquiry and Secretariat to ensure realistic plans and progress reports. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate strong evidence of their ability to work collaboratively and to build and retain the confidence of the Chair and the Inquiry team.

Main duties

● Scoping individual Inquiry modules
● Identification of evidence required in order to further the terms of reference
● Drafting
● Advising on applications for core participant designation or restriction orders
● Analysis and review of documents and witness statements
● Legal research
● Assisting with preparation for hearings

● Attending some hearings, including advocacy as required

The successful candidate should be willing to undergo security checks up to SC level at the cost of the Inquiry. www.gov.uk/guidance/security-vettingandclearance.

Candidates must be able to commit to working a minimum number of hours per week for a period of months, as agreed with the solicitor. If you wish to apply, please send your CV with a covering letter (no more than 2 x A4 pages), providing examples of how you meet the essential criteria and any relevant legal experience to recruitment@covid19.public-inquiry.uk.

 The closing date for receipt of applications is 4pm on 15 February 2022.

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