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27 Jan 2020

UK: Second phase of Grenfell Tower fire inquiry to consider role of construction, design and cladding companies

On 27 January 2020, the second phase of the Grenfell Tower inquiry, commissioned by the UK Government to examine the circumstances surrounding the fire that claimed 72 lives in 2017, began. While the first phase focused on the night of the fire, the second will look into issues such as the refurbishment of the building and the cladding, the main source of fire spread, and opened with statements from the companies involved.

The inquiry is not set up to establish liability, but rather to examine and make recommendations to government, although legal experts have said the inquiry could pave the way for individual or corporate prosecutions. Cladding and insulation makers are already facing a lawsuit in a court in the US, where they are headquartered. In the UK, police are investigating possible manslaughter and corporate manslaughter charges but have said they will await the conclusion of the public inquiry before pressing any potential charges.

Below is a compilation of articles related to the inquiry including company comments, where available. All submissions to the hearing including those by companies are available on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry website.

The Inquiry has concluded hearings for Phase 2, however publication of its report is still pending, having been delayed several times. It means potential criminal prosecutions for manslaughter, fraud and health and safety offences will also be delayed.