We write to update you following the Inquiry’s announcement of the provisional timetable for the hearings from September to December and the logistical arrangements for attendance at the hearings.
Attendance at the hearings
The link below will take you to all the relevant information you need to register to attend on any particular day.
If you register, once you receive confirmation from the Inquiry that you have been allocated a space on a particular day it would be useful if you could email us to let us know when you will be attending.
A member of the Collins’ Contaminated Blood Team will be physically in attendance at the hearings each day. Each Recognised Legal Representative has only been allocated two seats at the hearings (irrespective of the number of clients that the firm represents) and therefore we are only able to have one member of the team attend with one member of our Counsel team (either Steven Snowden QC or Brian Cummins).
Although our physical presence at the hearings will be limited we will have a remote team watching the live stream from the office and feeding into the team at the Inquiry as necessary.
Questions to the witnesses
In line with the Inquiry’s Statement of Approach we have been advised that any suggested questions or lines of questioning must be submitted in advance and no later than 7 days before the witness gives evidence.
Any questions/lines of questioning proposed must be in accordance with the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference. The Inquiry will be looking at the wider, generic issues rather than individual cases and therefore any questions regarding an individual’s specific treatment will not be considered.
If you do have questions or lines of questioning at this stage that you wish to suggest for any of the witnesses who are being called in these hearings then please email a member of the Contaminated Blood Team at email@example.com.
This email address can also be used to send through questions/comments during the hearings and will be monitored throughout.
If you would prefer to speak to someone by telephone please call the usual office number and ask for a member of the Contaminated Blood Team. We confirm that the current team members are:
Des Collins, Senior Partner
Danielle Holliday, Partner
Catherine Fox , Senior Associate
Anna Murduck, Senior Associate
Elaine O’Brien, Legal Executive
Rachel Hire, Solicitor
Liam Orton, Paralegal
Rio Baldwin, Paralegal
Communication in advance of the hearings
We are aware that communication is even more important as we approach this phase of the Inquiry given that we cannot meet face to face in the way that we might have done with some of you at previous hearings.
It is therefore our intention to arrange for Zoom meetings in advance of each tranche of evidence and you will be contacted separately according to the Treating Centre/Clinician identified in individual witness statements.