Grenfell Tower – evidential hearings begin at UK’s largest ever Public Inquiry

June 5, 2018

The main evidence-gathering sessions at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, chaired by Sir Martin Moore-Bick, commenced this week with detailed outlines from lawyers representing the Inquiry as well as the organisations and individuals who have been granted core participant status.

Louis Browne QC from Exchange Chambers, instructed by Burton Copeland, is appearing at the Inquiry on behalf of The Fire Officers’ Association (FOA).

The initial phase of the Inquiry, which started last month, heard seven days of emotional commemorations and tributes to the now 72 victims, from their families and friends.

Phase 1 of the Inquiry will now focus on the sequence of the events on 14 June 2017. It will include details of fire safety and prevention measures in the 24-storey building. How and where the blaze started, its spread from a fourth-floor flat to the rest of the building and the evacuation of residents from their homes will all feature in this first phase.

Phase 2 of the Inquiry will focus on broader causes and look at the design and refurbishment of the tower, fire safety standards and the emergency services’ response.

At present the Inquiry has 562 core participants, of whom 533 are individuals and 29 organisations. It is believed to be the largest number ever accredited to a public inquiry in the UK.

Timeline of the Grenfell inquiry

  • September 14, 2017: The inquiry formally opens.
  • May 21, 2018: Commemoration hearings. Sir Martin begins hearing evidence at a central London attended by families and survivors.
  • June 4: The evidential hearings begin at Holborn Bars.
  • June 18: Expert witness presentations.
  • June 21: Evidence relevant to the circumstances surrounding the initial outbreak of the fire.
  • July 2: Firefighters who battled the blaze give evidence.
  • September 5: Evidence from the bereaved, survivors and local residents.
  • October 31: Closing submissions on Phase 1 issues.