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The team

The Chair

Kate Eves

Photo of Kate Eves, Inquiry Chair

As Chair, Kate Eves sets the direction of the Inquiry and makes decisions about how the Inquiry will work.

Kate has over 20 years’ experience of conducting research, inspections and investigations within custodial environments, in the UK and overseas.

Kate has worked with HM Inspectorate of Prisons, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, the Forum for Preventing Deaths in Custody and HM Prison Service, where she led on the national strategy for reducing violence in custody. Kate has also worked with numerous prison and jail systems in the United States to improve detention conditions and increase accountability following deaths and serious incidents.

Kate was appointed as Chair to the Brook House Inquiry by the Home Secretary in November 2019.

The Secretary

Gemma Ludgate

Gemma is a member of the Senior Civil Service and has had a range of experience across the Civil Service, predominantly in the Government Legal Department.  She was previously working on Northern Ireland EU Withdrawal issues.

The Legal Team

Counsel to the Inquiry – Brian Altman QC

Brian was called to the bar in 1981 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2008.  He has been a Recorder of the Crown Court since 2003.

Brian has a long and successful career as Leading Counsel in the most serious and high profile criminal cases.  He ended his highly successful tenure as First Senior Treasury Counsel at the Old Bailey in June 2013, having been Treasury Counsel for 16 years.

In January 2017, Brian was appointed Lead Counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Brian was appointed as Lead Counsel to the Brook House Inquiry in April 2021.

Solicitor – Ellis Pinnell

Ellis Pinnell is an employed barrister and an experienced civil servant.  Before joining the Inquiry, he worked at the Government Legal Department (GLD) where he dealt with public law litigation. Ellis also worked for the Legal Aid Agency (and predecessor bodies) in a variety of roles.

Junior Counsel – Sarah Simcock

Photo of Sarah Simock

Sarah was called to the bar in 2001.

Sarah has extensive experience in the law relating to mental capacity, mental health and healthcare, and all aspects of police law. Sarah regularly acts in inquests and inquiries.

Sarah was appointed as Senior Junior Counsel to the Brook House Inquiry in April 2021.

Deputy Solicitor – Zainib Ali

Zainib is an experienced civil servant and solicitor.  She has spent the majority of her career working with the Government Legal Department, predominantly in public law litigation. Before joining the Inquiry, Zainib was an advisory lawyer working with the Department for International Trade, Export Control and Corporate Governance teams.

Junior Counsel – Saoirse Townshend

Saoirse was called to the Bar in 2010. She has experience in immigration, asylum, human rights, trafficking and extradition law. Saoirse has also worked in several international postings, including refugee camps, where she represented migrants and asylum seekers.

Saoirse was appointed as Junior Counsel to the Brook House Inquiry in December 2019.

Junior Counsel – Jo Moore

Jo was called to the Bar in 2015. She has academic and practical experience in immigration law, asylum and immigration detention. Prior to being called to the Bar, Jo studied international human rights law, international refugee law and European migration law.

Jo was appointed as Junior Counsel to the Brook House Inquiry in December 2019.

Junior Counsel – Paul Livingston

Paul was called to the Bar in 2012.  He has considerable experience of public inquiries, having been instructed as junior counsel to a public inquiry continuously since the beginning of his career. This includes the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry and three separate strands of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

Paul was appointed as Junior Counsel to the Brook House Inquiry in November 2020.