Further Statement by the Chair in relation to Phase 4 Written Closing Submissions

  1. As they were entitled to do, Post Office Limited (the Post Office), Fujitsu Services Limited and the Core Participants represented by Hodge Jones & Allen chose to make written closing submissions at the conclusion of Phase 4 of the Inquiry.
  2. At paragraph 38 of its submissions the Post Office made specific points about one of the case studies which I chose for investigation in phase 4, namely the prosecution and conviction of Mrs Oyeteju Adedayo.
  3. Those points prompted Mr Paul Marshall, a barrister who acts for Mrs Adedayo in relation to issues relating to compensation, to write a detailed letter to me, dated 5 March 2024, responding to the points made by the Post Office.
  4. Hodge Jones & Allen represent a number of Core Participants including Mr Lee Castleton. In the written closing submissions filed by that firm a number of points were raised relating to the evidence given by Mrs Anne Chambers during the course of the Inquiry and in the civil trial between the Post Office and Mr. Castleton – see paragraphs 78 to 89 of the submissions.
  5. Those paragraphs prompted a written response dated 4 March 2024 from Mr Stuart Biggs, a barrister who acts for Mrs Chambers, in which he takes issue with the adverse contentions made about Mrs Chambers’ evidence. He also complains about the propriety of making such contentions.
  6.  The responses by Mr Marshall and Mr Biggs were not invited by me nor anyone on my behalf. Ordinarily, I would, unhesitatingly, ignore unsolicited submissions about closing submissions made on behalf of Core Participants whether made by or on behalf of other Core Participants or by anyone else. I recognise, however, that the submissions made by the Post Office about Mrs Adedayo’s case and the submissions made on behalf of the clients of Hodge Jones & Allen about the evidence of Mrs Chambers concern very sensitive issues.
  7. Accordingly, and exceptionally, I have decided (1) to disclose the responses made by Mr Marshall and Mr Biggs to Core Participants and the public at large (by publishing the responses on the Inquiry website) and (2) to take those responses into account when reaching such conclusions as I consider appropriate about Mrs Adedayo’s case and Mrs Chambers’ evidence.
  8. For the avoidance of any doubt, I make it clear that I will not take account of any submissions received by the Inquiry after the publication of this statement about any of the closing submissions made in respect of phase 4 to date or about the responses of Mr Marshall and Mr Biggs.
  9. Core Participants and others should understand that opportunities exist to make submissions at the conclusion of all of the evidence of the Inquiry, and that any person who it is proposed should be explicitly or significantly criticised in the Inquiry Report will receive a warning letter in accordance with Rules 13-15 of the Inquiry Rules 2006 and will be given a reasonable opportunity to respond to it.
Sir Wyn Williams' signature









Sir Wyn Williams
19 March 2024

Attached Correspondence