UK law firm TLT has recruited the Government Legal Department’s (GLD’s) Zaqia Rashid to set up and lead a new public inquiries team, in response to growing client demand.
The firm said the appointment supports its “ambition to expand its work for central government” and its “persistent drive” to meet the current and future needs of its clients.
Rashid was previously a senior civil servant heading up the public inquiries, reviews and litigation team at the GLD, where she worked for more than 25 years.
She was responsible for managing workflows on some of the “highest profile” inquiries to date, including the Post Office Inquiry, Magnox Inquiry, Brook House Inquiry and British Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry into allegations of corruption.
She also acted for the Secretary of State for BEIS in relation to the Grenfell Inquiry, and has advised on numerous reviews including the Windrush Lessons Learned exercise.
TLT said she has “extensive” civil litigation experience, including handling contempt of court work for the Attorney General, and dealt with contempt proceedings against The Sun and The Mirror newspapers over their coverage of the arrest of Christopher Jefferies by police investigating the death of Joanna Yeates.
She also acted on the case of Bank Mellat v HM Treasury, one of the highest value damages claims ever brought against Her Majesty’s Government. She has also worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She has specialised in national security litigation having acted for Government in the alleged Diego Garcia extraordinary rendition flight challenges and the Edward Snowdon/Miranda litigation.
The firm added its new public inquiries team will offer an end-to-end service to its clients.
Bill Hull, head of commercial services at TLT, said: “We know there is growing demand from the government for a specialist team that can lead and manage public inquiries and from participants to inquiries to provide knowledgeable and effective representation.
“As a firm, we are deeply rooted in support for government and across the public sector. We have acted on a number of high profile inquiries in recent years and saw a clear opportunity to establish and grow a full-service team. Zaqia is one of the most experienced lawyers in her field and we are delighted that she is joining us.”
Rashid, who will take up the role of partner, added: “TLT presented me with the perfect opportunity to set up and lead a public inquiries team at an important time for this kind of work; the COVID-19 Inquiry for example is expected to be one of the largest and most complex projects in our working lifetime.
“I know TLT to be an exceptionally client-driven and forward-thinking firm, and I was particularly impressed by the scale of their ambition. I would like TLT to be the first name people think of when considering legal representation at an inquiry.”
TLT has six UK offices in Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Manchester, and focuses on key sectors including clean energy; digital; financial services; leisure, food and drink; public sector; real estate; and retail and consumer goods.