Independent counsel investigation and report service
Our clients already know us for our rapid response when in-depth investigations are required to explore and report upon an urgent situation or a long-term systemic issue. In the most complex of investigations we can deploy specialist barristers and we are now able to access the legal and regulatory expertise of one of the UK’s most prominent Queen’s Counsel at the independent Bar, Tom Kark QC, and the whistleblowing and employment expertise of one of the UK’s leading juniors at the independent Bar, Jane Russell. Tom Kark QC is a leading barrister in the field of regulation and he brings considerable experience and knowledge to his work with the Verita investigatory team. As with all Verita investigators, our legal experts have the experience, the rigour and the independence of analysis that allow them to focus on the key issues facing organisations, whether in the public or the private sector.
We have significant depth of experience in handling high-profile, complex cases for regulated organisations, many of which are firmly in the public eye. We know the value to our clients of wholly independent investigations that address serious issues and failures of performance, governance or management. Our reports and recommendations are clearly focussed on providing outstanding analysis of the issues, backed up by recommendations for sustainable improvements that deliver real results for our clients.
We provide a consistently high-quality approach to investigations, based on a model that has been used and proven over many years and our response to clients’ needs is rapid. We can make an initial assessment of a client’s issues, develop terms of reference, and assemble the investigation team within 24 hours of first contact. We know that clients in urgent need of help appreciate our ability to mobilise quickly, without letting the practicalities of setting up the investigation hold us back. Our experience makes Verita the essential resource for organisations to turn to for immediate independent support, instead of wasting valuable time and money on in-house investigations. Verita’s 17 years of experience running more than 300 investigations means that we can react comprehensively to speed up the commissioning process and ensure that work can begin swiftly.
We have worked with nationally-known clients in the security, charity and healthcare sectors, as well as working with UK political parties and on behalf of Secretaries of State in government departments.
Our investigative work has spanned private and public organisations including charities, political parties, large companies and public sector organisations. The topics investigated have covered:
- Organisational performance including that of boards & senior management
- Media exposés
- Safeguarding lapses
- Institutional abuse
- Professional behaviour & malpractice
- Disciplinary action against senior staff
- Serious complaints
- Death & serious harm
Across these investigations, and the many others we have managed, our clients have consistently valued our independence, our thoroughness, the quality of our analysis and the relevance of our reports. Our clients trust us to deliver.
All our investigations are supported and project-managed by Verita’s experienced administration team who ensure that the processes run smoothly, with confidential information and document control and a single point of access for participants. The end product is an investigation that is thorough, controlled and compliant.
We also have access to expertise in communication and crisis management to ensure our clients can benefit from a coordinated approach to media and public relations.
For more information on our independent counsel investigation and report service please contact Ed Marsden, 020 7494 5670 or [email protected].
Tom Kark QC has 35 years’ experience (9 as Queen’s Counsel) at the independent Bar undertaking criminal and regulatory trials as well as reviews and appeals in the Divisional Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. His regulatory experience and reputation caused him to be appointed counsel to the Mid Staffordshire NHS public inquiry under the chairmanship of Sir Robert Francis. He continues to undertake public inquiry work (recently acting for the Home Office in IICSA) as well as regulatory investigations and reports. Most recently he was commissioned by the Health Minister to examine and report upon the effectiveness of the ‘fit and proper person’ test in the NHS. His report, co-authored with Jane Russell, is currently under government review. He brings to his investigations huge experience of the regulatory world together with a close forensic and objective analysis of the material. Tom Kark QC is a Verita senior associate.
Jane Russell has 20 years’ experience (15 years at the independent Bar and 5 years as a solicitor) undertaking employment, equality, regulatory and whistleblowing work and she has appeared in the Court of Justice in Luxembourg, the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Employment Tribunals. Jane is also on the Attorney General’s “B” Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown and has acted on a range of matters for the UK Government. Jane’s whistleblowing and equality experience caused her to be appointed to assist Tom Kark QC with the report commissioned by the Health Minister into the effectiveness of the fit and proper person test in the NHS. She brings to her investigations substantial experience and knowledge of whistleblowing, equality and discrimination issues. Jane Russell is a Verita associate.
Peter Killwick has 25 years of experience working in international strategy consulting, the last five years of which he was a partner in his firm. He acted for a large number of global clients on a variety of strategic and operational issues. His sector experience includes healthcare, automotive, financial services, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications and government. Since joining Verita in 2012, he has had a focus on the development and evolution of our diagnostic tools as well as undertaking numerous complex investigations in both public and private healthcare in the UK and internationally. He has acted for regulators, commissioners, professional bodies and providers at all levels from board to the front line.
He is a founder of a new healthcare tech company called Eva Applications.
Ed Marsden has a clinical background in general and psychiatric nursing and NHS management. He has worked for the National Audit Office, the Department of Health and the West Kent Health Authority where he was director of performance management. He combines his responsibilities as Verita’s managing director with an active role in leading complex consultancy. He worked with Kate Lampard to provide independent oversight of the 40 or so investigations carried out by the NHS into allegations about Jimmy Savile. He and Kate wrote a lessons learnt report for the Secretary of State for Health arising from the publication of the Savile investigations. Recently, he was appointed by the global board of G4S plc to investigate the concerns raised by BBC Panorama in their programme about Brook House immigration removal centre at Gatwick airport. The report was published in December 2018. Ed has advised the Jersey government about the inquiry into historical child abuse. He is an associate of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit where he has carried out three assignments on immigration.
He is the founder of a new healthcare tech company called Eva Applications.
Stephen Webb is a board-level communications director with over 20 years of experience and a successful track record of leadership, delivery and innovation in demanding corporate affairs roles. Previous roles include executive director of communications and public affairs for NHS London from 2008-13 and director of communication for Transport for London. He specialises in providing senior level corporate communication and engagement services to clients, including the NHS, private sector consultancies and service-provider organisations. Recent work includes advising clients, including a major charity, about the impact of stories in the national media.