Oliver Fisher Solicitors are currently instructed in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry led by Sir Martin Moore-Bick, which is examining the catastrophic fire in June 2017 which claimed 72 lives and injured many others. The Inquiry opened in September 2017 and is now in its second phase.
The first phase of the Inquiry examined events on the night of the fire. Evidence was heard from survivors, emergency services personnel, survivors of the fire and bereaved family members. Phase 1 of the Inquiry investigated how the fire started, how it spread, and the response of emergency services.
The phase one report was published, which made recommendations to the central government, and contained criticisms of several organisations, including London Fire Brigade. The government has said that it will implement the measures recommended by Sir Martin Moore-Bick but has not yet done so.
The second phase of the Inquiry began in February 2020 with the purpose of examining events leading up to the fire. This includes the refurbishment of the building, testing of the cladding, building regulations, and the role of central and local government.
Difficulties arose at the beginning of Phase 2, after one of the panel members selected to assist the Chairman was found to have connections with the firm which manufactured and supplied the cladding used on Grenfell Tower.
The Inquiry was then delayed whilst the Attorney General considered and approved an application from some of the corporate core participants, who sought an undertaking that anything said by an individual witness could not be used against them in future criminal proceedings.
In March 2020, the Inquiry was suspended due to COVID-19. A small number of hearings were held in late July, but it was not until 7 September 2020 that phase two of the Inquiry recommenced in full, albeit with remote attendance for all but the Inquiry team.
So far the September hearings have heard evidence from construction firms who worked on Grenfell Tower, including Rydon, the company contracted to undertake the refurbishment work on the building, and Harley, the facades specialist subcontracted by Rydon to design and install the external cladding, and ending with RBKC Building Control being questioned from the end of September.
Oliver Fisher Solicitors’ team for the Grenfell Tower Inquiry is led by Arfan Bhatti. If you are seeking legal advice or representation for an ongoing or future Inquiry, please contact Mr Bhatti here.