Northern Ireland

Clair Dobbin KC: Belfast lawyer returns to lead Covid inquiry

Ms Dobbin’s handling of the Covid inquiry has been widely praised

Counsel for the Covid Inquiry Clair Dobbin

Clair Dobbin, the internationally renowned lawyer at the helm of the Northern Ireland module of the UK wide Covid inquiry, was educated in west Belfast.

A former pupil of St Louise’s Comprehensive College on the Falls Road in Belfast, Clair Dobbin KC left the north to study law at the prestigious Clare College at Cambridge University.

She has since been based in London having joined Three Raymond Buildings, a leading set of barristers with a national and international reputation, as a barrister in 1999.

Practicing in the fields of public law, human rights, inquests and inquiries she has appeared alone before the Supreme Court, the Privy Council and in the European Court of Human Rights.

One of Ms Dobbin’s main areas of practice is public inquiries and inquests. She was part of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and acted as counsel to the inquiry into Children’s Homes in Lambeth, as part of her role as counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Before becoming a KC, she served as Counsel to the Crown for 17 years, and has acted on many influential cases including representing the United States in their case against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Ms Dobbin has been acting as lead counsel to the Covid inquiry which has been sitting in Belfast since earlier this month.

This module is investigating the initial response, central government decision-making, political and civil service performance as well as the effectiveness of relationships with governments in the devolved administrations and local and voluntary sectors.