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Hugo Keith KC – Who is ‘Star at the Bar’ grilling former PM at Covid-19 inquiry?

Screen grab from the UK Covid-19 Inquiry live stream of counsel to the inquiry Hugo Keith KC as he questions former prime minister Boris Johnson at Dorland House in London (UK Covid-19 Inquiry/PA)
Screen grab from the UK Covid-19 Inquiry live stream of counsel to the inquiry Hugo Keith KC as he questions former prime minister Boris Johnson at Dorland House in London (UK Covid-19 Inquiry/PA)

The leading KC questioning former prime minister Boris Johnson at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry has represented royalty and is considered a “Star at the Bar”.

Hugo Keith KC is counsel to the inquiry and has previously grilled Dominic Cummings and Matt Hancock over the government’s handling of the pandemic.

Mr Keith has represented a number of high-profile clients since beginning his career as a barrister in 1989 – including Queen Elizabeth II during the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Princess Royal is also among those previously represented by Mr Keith when she was prosecuted for being in charge of a dog that bit two children in 2002.

Anne’s English bull terrier was not ordered to be put down after the barrister successfully argued it was unnecessary.

Other cases the KC has taken on include being leading counsel to the inquests into the London 7/7 bombings and representing News UK chief executive Rebekah Brooks at the Leveson Inquiry.

Mr Keith, who took silk in 2009, has also been described as “maybe the best extradition barrister” – appearing in the case of Abu Hamza.

He has also taken on roles in the inquests of Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko and the Westminster Bridge terror attack in 2017.

In more recent times, he provided legal assistance to Chelsea Football Club over its sale from Roman Abramovich to Todd Boehly.

According to the legal directory Chambers UK, Mr Keith is an “absolutely top-notch inquiries lawyer” and has also been described as a “formidable opponent”.

He was named as a “Star at the Bar” in the Chambers and Partners 2015 Guide to the UK Bar and, according to his chambers’ website, is “currently top ranked in no less than seven practice areas by the professional directories to the Bar”.