Who is Hugo Keith? Chambers lawyer leading covid inquiry

Who is Hugo Keith? Chambers lawyer leading covid inquiry

The government of 2020 may not come out from the Covid-19 inquiry with much credit, but the occasion will certainly be an opportunity for the lawyers involved to make their mark.

Boris Johnson has been criticised by his former aides Lee Cain and Dominic Cummings on Tuesday (October 31) as part of the ongoing review into how the pandemic was handled.

The man making sure that the former No 10 aides do not get an easy ride is Hugo Keith KC, a man the Telegraph once described as an “attack dog” against political bluster.

On Tuesday afternoon he was seen asking Mr Cummings to explain why he appointed Michael Gove to be in charge of regular devolved administrative updates and not the prime minister.

He had spoken to Mr Johnson’s former aide Imran Shafi on Monday where it was revealed the prime minister had asked why he would destroy the economy “for people who would die anyway”.

But this is far from the first time that Mr Keith’s services have been called upon for a high profile case, the lawyer having previously represented the Princess Royal, Chelsea Football Club and even Queen Elizabeth II.

Who is Hugo Keith KC?

The 56-year-old began his career as a barrister in 1989 having studied at Magdalen College, Oxford.

Mr Keith took silk, becoming a member of the King’s Counsel, in 2009 having won the Chambers and Partners award for criminal barrister of the year for 2008.

Chambers has described him as “a formidable opponent” with a “meticulous” style. He is currently joint head of Chambers at Three Raymond Buildings.

He was previously a member of the “A panel” of civil Treasury Counsel for eight years serving in legal matters on behalf of governments.

A court sketch involving Hugh Keith (PA)
A court sketch involving Hugh Keith (PA)

Who has Hugo Keith represented before?

You might not have heard of Hugo Keith but you will likely be familiar with stories involving him.

He first represented Princess Anne when she was in charge of a dog that bit two children in 2002. The Princess Royal pleaded guilty and became the first member of the royal family to be convicted of a criminal offence - but her dog Dotty was not put down.

His second royal assignment was to represent the Queen at Princess Diana’s inquest. In addition, he has worked on the cases around Alexander Litvinenko’s death and the death of Mark Duggan which sparked the 2011 riots.

More recently, he provided legal assistance as Chelsea Football Club was sold from Roman Abramovich to Todd Boehly.