On the 5 June 2018 Howe & Co’s lead counsel, Sam Stein QC, made his powerful opening statement on behalf of the victims and survivors of Grenfell Tower that Howe & Co represent. Mr Stein’s opening submissions highlighted the “vertical village” that was the Grenfell Tower Community. Thereafter Mr Stein conducted a forensic examination of the failures that led to the loss of so many loved family members, neighbours and friends.
A link to the transcript of the hearing can be found here. Mr Stein’s submissions on behalf of Howe & Co’s clients begin from 02:03:43 here until 02:50:58.
The Inquiry will continue to hear opening statements on behalf of Core Participants until the end of Thursday 7 June 2018. Howe & Co’s team will be in attendance at the hearing centre every day to support our clients and to make sure their views and priorities are heard loud and clear.
This followed the opening of the Inquiry, with commemorative statements from the 21 May 2018 until 30 May 2018. The commemorative hearings were an incredibly moving tribute to those that did not survive the fire. The hearing started with the youngest loss of life, Logan Gomes, whose parents are represented by Martin Howe, and finished with another of Howe & Co’s clients, the Choucair family who lost six family members.
The tributes were moving and often distressing. The powerful words of the family members fundamentally changed the way the Chair and legal team of the Inquiry viewed the victims and survivors and the loss they had suffered.
On the 4 June 2018, Counsel to the Inquiry made his opening statement, and specifically identified the submissions of Howe & Co, as part of the group of three solicitors submissions. Counsel to the Inquiry stated that:
“G3 group of bereaved, survivors and residents assert at paragraph 68 that it is "beyond argument" that many more would have survived than did survive if the stay-put policy had been abandoned at 1.26 am, or at any rate long before 2.47 am. “
Whilst Counsel to the Inquiry has stated that he does not agree with this assessment Howe & Co are confident that this is correct and will maintain in argument this position that the stay put policy should have been abandoned sooner rather than later.
Howe & Co are determined that the lives of those lost in Grenfell will not be forgotten and that the victims and survivors of Grenfell Tower will be placed at the very heart of this Inquiry.
The Inquiry have asked that when Core Participants attend the hearing they sign in with the Inquiry so that they can arrange for subsistence payments to assist with your attendance at the hearing.
We will return to the Inquiry on the 6 June 2018, and continue to listen to the opening submissions. In the next few days we will start to hear from the Corporations Core Participants. A number have already been criticised for failing to be clear, and use due candour in their opening, and so might use the oral submissions to set out their positions.