Clifford Chance has been brought on board to assist with the ongoing independent Deepcut Review just days after the investigation missed the original deadline for the delivery of its findings.
Assistant Kaspar Nazeri has been seconded to the review team for the next few months, after Matrix Chambers’ Nicholas Blake QC, who is conducting the review into the death of four soldiers at the Deepcut military barracks in Surrey between 1995 and 2002, called for the firm’s assistance.
The wider firm will also provide assistance with the review and the preparation of the report of the review team’s findings, with head of public policy Michael Smyth overseeing the relationship.
Blake has also commissioned human rights specialist Fiona Murphy, a partner at Hoxton Square-based law firm Bhatt Murphy, to advise on best practice for communication with the families of the deceased when there is an inquest or official investigation.
Blake’s request for assistance comes after the Minister of State for the Armed Forces Adam Ingram accepted that the review team needed more time.
It was originally envisaged that the review, which was announced in December last year, would be completed by the end of June. However, Blake now claims it is unlikely he will make his report until the autumn.
Smyth has previously led the legal team to the Hutton Inquiry in 2003 and the Morris Inquiry into professional standards and employment matters in the Metropolitan Police last year.
Nazeri also has experience of being seconded after assisting in such a capacity on the Morris Inquiry.