Introduction to the Inquiry Team

Secretariat

Joanna Bain

JB pic

Interim Solicitor to the Inquiry

Joanna Bain is the interim solicitor to the Inquiry. Upon completing her Diploma in Legal Practice and LLM by Research, she trained in private practice in Edinburgh, before moving to the Scottish Law Commission, where she worked on a number of law reform projects.

She joined Cabinet Office Legal Advisers in 2013, and has worked in Government Legal Department as an advisory lawyer since then, with a secondment at the Attorney General’s Office and, most recently, a senior lawyer post in Home Office Legal Advisers.  She has advised on a broad range of high profile issues relating to public safety, policing and fire policy.

Counsel to the Inquiry

The Inquiry has also appointed Counsel to the Inquiry with a range of expertise.

Douglas Ross QC

Douglas Ross

Senior Counsel to the Inquiry

Douglas Ross QC is Senior Counsel with responsibility for the public sector response and provision of health and social care services portfolios. Prior to calling to the Bar, he taught international law, including human rights, and worked for the United Nations for eight years, serving in, among other places, Gaza and Bosnia. As a junior advocate, he was a member of the Scottish Government’s panel of standing junior counsel and the UK Government’s panel of public international law counsel and had a broad civil practice, specialising particularly in public and administrative law, human rights and medical law. He has continued to practice in those areas after taking silk in 2016, appearing regularly in the Outer and Inner Houses of the Court of Session, as well as in the Supreme Court.

Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC

Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen

Senior Counsel to the Inquiry

Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC is Senior Counsel with responsibility for the financial and welfare support to businesses and individuals and the education and certification portfolios. She called to the Bar in 2009 and took silk in 2021. Laura-Anne has a broad civil practice, with particular emphasis on commercial law, planning and environmental law and public law. She has represented core participants in a number of prominent public inquiries, including the Penrose Inquiry and the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. Laura-Anne is on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s panel of counsel and was previously on the Scottish Government’s panel of standing junior counsel. Prior to calling to the Bar Laura-Anne practised as an advocate in South Africa and also called to the Bar of England and Wales.

Miranda Hamilton

Miranda Hamilton

Junior Counsel to the Inquiry

Miranda Hamilton is Junior Counsel working on the public sector response portfolio. Miranda came to the Bar in 2007 and, since then, has worked extensively in the field of building and engineering disputes and in public law. She has experience of working with a broad range of clients, from individuals and small firms to health boards, government agencies and international corporations. In addition to her court work, Miranda has considerable experience in the field of alternative dispute resolution, including adjudication and mediation.

David Turner

David Turner

Junior Counsel to the Inquiry

David Turner is Junior Counsel on the financial and welfare support to businesses and individuals portfolio. He has been an advocate since 2012 and prior to that a solicitor at a national law firm. He is ranked as a leading junior counsel in a number of fields including company law, property, commercial dispute resolution and private client. David brings to the Inquiry his wide experience of cases involving individuals and businesses, and his degree in mathematics. As a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) he also has a keen interest in alternative dispute resolution.

Helen Watts

Helen Watts

Junior Counsel to the Inquiry

Helen Watts is Junior Counsel to the Inquiry with responsibility for the health and social care portfolios. Helen has been in practice at the Scottish Bar for 13 years. She specialises in medical law, but also practices more widely in public and commercial litigation. She was Standing Junior Counsel to the Advocate General for Scotland for 3 years prior to joining the Inquiry team. She previously represented parties at the Rosepark Care Home, Glasgow Bin Lorry, Clutha Bar, and Sumburgh Helicopter Fatal Accident Inquiries.

Jonathan Broome

Jonathan Broome

Junior Counsel to the Inquiry

Jonathan Broome is Junior Counsel on the education and certification portfolio. He has previously acted for parties in the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry and the Edinburgh Trams Inquiry. Jonathan has a longstanding interest and practice in all forms of alternative dispute resolution and is a past Chair of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Scottish Branch) and a former director of the Scottish Arbitration Centre. He has acted as legal adviser to arbitrators and adjudicators. Prior to calling to the Bar Jonathan was a partner for a number of years in a leading firm of solicitors. He also practised as a foreign lawyer in a leading firm of attorneys in Boston, Massachusetts.