Statement from the Chair ahead of Compensation Issues hearings

  1. I am very grateful to all the recognised legal representatives and others who have taken up my invitation to make written submissions on the compensation issues which I identified in my Statement of 10 May 2022. All the written submissions received by me have now been disclosed to Core Participants and they were published on the Inquiry’s website on 29 June 2022.

  2. A number of the recognised legal representatives who have provided written submissions have indicated that they wish to make oral submissions at the hearings which I have scheduled to take place on 6 and 13 July 2022. At the hearing on 6 July, I will hear oral submissions from Counsel to the Inquiry, followed by oral submissions on behalf of Post Office Limited, United Kingdom Government Investments and the Core Participants represented by Howe+Co. On 13 July I will hear oral submissions on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Core Participants represented by Hudgell, Solicitors and the Core Participants represented by Hodge, Jones & Allen. This information was published on the Inquiry’s website on 24 June 2022.

  3. For the avoidance of any doubt, I should say that no witnesses will be called at these hearings. The purpose of the hearings is to provide a forum in which the advocates for the Core Participants identified above can develop and supplement the written arguments which have already been provided to me although, of course, the advocates may choose to refer to parts of the evidence which has already been presented to the Inquiry.

  4. I have no doubt that during the course of their oral submissions the advocates who appear before me may wish to highlight parts of the written submissions which have been submitted to the Inquiry on behalf of their clients. However, I would like to stress that I am very familiar with those written submissions and the oral submissions by the advocates will be of most benefit to me if they highlight those aspects of the written submissions made on behalf of others with which they agree or disagree and, in the case of disagreement, in particular, explain the reasons for that disagreement.

  5. This morning there has been a Ministerial announcement about matters which are relevant to issues which are bound to be the subject of detailed submissions at the hearings on 6 and 13 July. I make it clear that I will permit all advocates to make submissions, if they so wish, about that announcement and any further announcement which is made or event which occurs between now and the close of the hearing on 13 July which is relevant to the issues which I have identified in my Statement of 10 May 2022. How the process of making such submissions will be managed, of course, will depend upon the timing and nature of any announcement or event.

  6. Once I have heard the oral submissions, I will determine whether I should make an interim report pursuant to section 24(3) of the Inquiries Act 2005 or simply provide a non-statutory progress update. I cannot say, now, which it will be; much will depend upon the nature of the oral submissions made to me and what transpires over the coming weeks.

Sir Wyn Williams

30 June 2022