People

Counsel, Solicitors and Secretariat officers all held equivalent appointments at the suspended inquest into Mr Litvinenko’s death.

The Inquiry Chairman, Sir Robert Owen

Sir Robert Michael Owen acted as Assistant Coroner with responsibility for the inquest into Mr Litvinenko’s death and chairs the inquiry. He was a Judge of the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, between 2001 and 19 September 2014 when he retired. From 2005-2008 he was the Presiding Judge of the Western Circuit. He was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1968 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 1988. In 1997 he was Chairman of the Bar of England and Wales. On 7 August 2012 he was appointed as Her Majesty’s Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner North London to hear the inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko. On 25 July 2013 new coroner Rules and Regulations were introduced by the Ministry of Justice under the auspices of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. As a result Sir Robert’s coronial title became “Her Majesty’s Assistant Coroner for Inner North London”.

The Chairman’s Role

The Chairman is responsible for discharging the inquiry’s terms of reference and decides its procedures, subject to the provisions of the Inquiries Act 2005 and the Inquiries Rules 2006.  He supervises the running of the inquiry and will write the report at its conclusion, making findings of fact and any relevant recommendations for the future. He cannot make any findings of civil or criminal liability, nor can he award any compensation.

Counsel to the Inquiry

Robin Tam QC

Robin Tam’s practice has become specialised in the fields of judicial review and administrative law, especially in immigration, asylum and human rights and in the interface between public law and private law. Before taking silk in 2006, he had been on the panels of Junior Counsel to the Crown since 1994, including the A Panel. Recently, he has been prominently involved in litigation relating to control orders, “deportation with assurances” and the detention and deportation of foreign national offenders. He was also instructed in connection with the inquests into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed.

Hugh Davies OBE QC

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 QC

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. He also represents the IPCC in connection with the new inquests arising from the Hillsborough Stadium disaster.

Solicitor to the Inquiry

Martin Smith

Martin Smith is a partner in the Public & Regulatory Law Group at a firm of solicitors in private practice called Fieldfisher. He heads the firm’s Inquiries, Inquests and Investigations team and has particular experience of inquest and inquiry processes. He has previously advised Lords Hutton and Morris on their public inquiries as well as Sir William Gage in relation to the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry. He acted as Solicitor to the Inquests into the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed and the Inquests into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005.

Inquiry Secretariat

Lee Hughes CBE

Lee Hughes is the Secretary to the Inquiry. 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.

Frances Currie

Frances Currie is the Deputy Secretary to the Inquiry and a former civil servant with a background in HR and project management. She was Deputy Secretary to the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry and Al-Sweady Public Inquiry.

Mike Wicksteed

Mike Wicksteed is the Inquiry’s Communications Officer responsible for media issues and for editing this website. A former soldier and senior civil servant, he specialises in communications. He previously worked in the former Lord Chancellor’s Department and Department for Constitutional Affairs. In 2005 he set up and ran the Judicial Communications Office for the then Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf. He has been responsible for providing communications support to the Saville Inquiry, the Omagh Bombing Inquests, the Hutton Inquiry, the Inquests into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed, and the Inquests into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005.

Core Participants and their Legal Representatives

Mrs Marina Litvinenko & Mr Anatoly Litvinenko

Counsel: Ben Emmerson QC and Adam Straw
Solicitor: Elena Tsirlina, Blokh Solicitors [+44 (0)20 7034 7055]

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

Counsel: Richard Horwell QC and Saba Naqshbandi
Solicitor: Jenny Leonard and Prit Mandair, Directorate of Legal Services  [+44 (0)20 7230 1212]

Secretary of State for the Home Department

Counsel: Neil Garnham QC and Robert Wastell
Solicitor: Paul Bishop & Catherine Turtle, Treasury Solicitor’s Department  [+44 (0)20 7210 3000]

AWE plc

Counsel: David Evans QC and Alasdair Henderson
Solicitor: Simon Ramsden, Treasury Solicitor’s Department  [+44 (0)20 7210 3000]

Mr Dmitri Kovtun