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Peter Watkin Jones, Consultant

Peter Watkin Jones

Consultant

Languages

Fluent French and Welsh

Practice areas

  • Central government
  • Commercial litigation
  • Inquiries and investigations
  • Litigation and dispute management

Practice notes

Peter Watkin Jones was a Partner with Eversheds Sutherland for 33 years before becoming a Consultant to the firm two years ago. On his retirement, Peter was the Head of the firm’s Public Inquiries and Investigations team which he set up in 1997, and was the Head of the Commercial Litigation department for the firm’s Cardiff, Birmingham, and Nottingham offices.

Peter has led teams in the highest profile public inquiries in the UK, acting as Solicitors to the Inquiry, and undertaking all the evidence gathering and hearing preparation on behalf of the Inquiry Chair/ panel.

Peter's involvement began when he represented ITV and the BBC in the North Wales Child Abuse Inquiry. In 1997, Peter was then appointed by Lord Saville of Newdigate to lead a team of 50 lawyers undertaking the evidence gathering work for the Bloody Sunday Inquiry for a period of over 7 years. This was the largest ever UK public inquiry, and operated in both Northern Ireland, London, and elsewhere in the UK. 

Peter and his team were then appointed to act as Solicitor agents for the Shipman Inquiry. A team of 24 lawyers and support staff conducted the role of evidence gathering and analysis from a mobile office established in a warehouse in Hyde.

Peter then led a team acting as Solicitors to the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry chaired by former High Court judge, Sir Michael Moreland. This four years long inquiry focused on allegations of alleged state collusion in the murder of a prominent Northern Ireland human rights lawyer.

In 2010, Peter was appointed as Solicitor to the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, leading a 30 strong Eversheds team gathering and analysing all the evidence for the most important public inquiry on healthcare in a generation. Peter was personally responsible for interviewing senior members of the Department of Health, those responsible for regulating standards, and senior politicians responsible for Government policy, including the former Secretary of State for Health. He was one of the senior editorial team assisting the Chairman in the completion of the report.

Peter led the Eversheds team who were the solicitors to the Independent Jersey Care inquiry, investigating child abuse on the island back to the second world war. This role encompassed all aspects of the inquiry’s work, from establishing the hearing centre, to arranging all witness interviews, and attendance at hearings. The work was undertaken from a mobile office in St Helier.

Peter and his team have also represented Core Participants to major inquiries. He has acted for two Core Participants in the ongoing Edinburgh Tram Inquiry. He and his team currently act for two Core Participants in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Peter's team also acted for the Metropolitan Police Authority (now "MOPAC") in the Leveson Inquiry. He currently gets acts for two Core Participant clients appearing in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry,  and for the Haemophilia Society as a Core Participant to the Infected Blood Inquiry. He also now assists the team acting for a Core Participant to the Post Office Inquiry, and as solicitors to the Sarah Everard Inquiry.

In other areas of the law, Peter sits as a Chair for Fitness to Practise Panels of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, the General Pharmaceutical Council, CIPFA and the Gwent Police Authority.

Peter is a regular speaker at public conferences on issues relating to investigative work; for example, he was a guest speaker on "Conducting Internal Investigations" in San Francisco at the International Bar Association's conference, and at an international conference in San Diego. He has spoken at a European Summit meeting in Dublin on accountability and transparency in healthcare regulation. Peter is a regular contributor to national BBC TV and radio news on matters relating to public inquiries, as well as Times Radio.

Peter is a co-author of “the Practical Guide to Public Inquiries”, published in 2021.

Directories’ comments:

Peter Jones is noted in particular for his expertise leading large public inquiries. He is “very good at strategy” according to market sources. They add: “He is excellent at the bigger-picture” thinking and troubleshooting difficulties. He’s good at looking at things from all angles”. Chambers and partners.

"Peter Watkin Jones is an outstanding strategist whose vast experience inspires confidence." Chambers and partners.

"Peter Jones is "a great strategic mind who thinks of innovative solutions," according to sources. He is recommended for his work in inquests and public inquiries." Legal 500.

Related news

Title Date
An informative new public inquiries handbook10/12/2020