The Manchester Arena Inquiry, an independent public inquiry established in October 2019 by the Home Secretary, is set to begin hearing oral evidence on 7th September 2020 at Manchester Magistrates Court. The purpose of the Inquiry is to investigate the deaths of the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena attack.
Sir John Saunders, having acted as the Coroner responsible for conducting the Manchester Arena Inquests, was appointed to chair the Inquiry on 22 October 2019 following his request that the Home Secretary convert the Manchester Arena Inquests into a public inquiry.
In his letter to the Home Secretary, Sir John Saunders set out the following, “It is of vital public importance that an Article 2 compliant investigation that is full, fair and fearless is conducted into the terrible events that resulted in the deaths of the 22 people killed at the Arena. I have reached the view that, in light of my ruling on the Public Interest Immunity applications […] such an investigation cannot now be achieved through the inquests and must be done by establishing a statutory public inquiry”.
Paul Greaney QC was appointed as Counsel to the Manchester Arena Inquiry in August 2019. He practises from New Park Court in Leeds and Newcastle, where he specialises in serious crime, inquests, public inquiries and regulatory law. Paul has been involved a number of high-profile inquests, public inquiries and trials in recent years including the Hillsborough Inquests, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and the Deepcut Inquest. He has also prosecuted a substantial number of terrorism cases and has defended in many high-profile cases.
Nick de la Poer QC is another member of the 5 strong Counsel team to the inquiry and similarly specialises in criminal law and regulatory work, practising at New Park Court Chambers. He has been instructed in a significant number of cases involving crimes of homicide or in which fatalities have occurred. He is instructed in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry into the deaths of 72 people and attended the entirety of Phase 1. He has considerable experience of acting for Interested Persons in Coronial proceedings, including when Article 2 is engaged. Both are instructed by Tim Suter of Field Fisher.
New Park Court Chambers has a total of four members instructed in relation to the inquiry.