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The team

The Chair


Kate Eves, Brook House Inquiry, Chair

Kate Eves


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


Lead Counsel – Cathryn McGahey QC


Cathryn McGahey QC, Lead Counsel, Brook House Inquiry


Cathryn McGahey QC was called to the Bar in 1990 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2016.  

Cathryn has extensive experience in immigration, national security, prison law and public inquiries.  She was junior counsel to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry from 2000 to 2010, worked on the Al-Sweady Inquiry and was co-counsel to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.  

Cathryn was appointed as Lead Counsel to the Brook House Inquiry in January 2020.  


Solicitor – Ellis Pinnell


Ellis Pinnell, Solicitor, Brook House Inquiry


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. 


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.