Hogan Lovells comments on the Manchester Arena Public Inquiry Volume Three report

Press releases | 02 March 2023

Manchester, 2 March 2023 – Today, the Chairman of the Manchester Arena Inquiry has published Volume Three of his report into the death of the 22 victims of the attack on 22 May 2017. 

The report considers the evidence heard by the Chairman during the oral hearings on the radicalisation of Salman Abedi, the planning and preparation of the attack and whether the attack could have been prevented. In this report, the Chairman confirmed that there was a significant missed opportunity to investigate Salman Abedi by MI5, with a delay in internally sharing intelligence and a lack of context shared about this information concerning Abedi.  A previous investigation found that it was “conceivable” that “if the cards had fallen differently”, the attack might have been averted.  Today, the Chair confirmed that he went further than this.  For example, finding that had the significance of intelligence held by MI5 been understood prior to the attack, this could have resulted in further investigative action that may have led to a vehicle containing the explosives being identified, or a search at a time when Abedi may have had bomb making parts on him.  

Helen Boniface at Hogan Lovells, a global law firm representing a number of the families, commented: “We fully support the Chair's findings and recommendations in the Manchester Arena Public Inquiry. 

It's clear that a lack of coordination and communication between the different services and institutions significantly contributed to the failings on the night. Such institutional errors should not have occurred, especially since some of these shortcomings were known before the attack.  We have represented bereaved families in inquiries including the 7/7 attacks, London Westminster and London Bridge inquests and it is always disappointing to see that shortcomings remain on topics that have been considered previously.  As well as the issues raised with internal MI5 procedures, we are pleased that the Chairman has repeated the recommendation from the London Bridge inquests that legislative change is needed to enable prosecution of those possessing the most serious material which glorifies or encourages terrorism, as we saw again in the online presence of Hashem Abedi and other associates of the attacker in this case. 

Our Safety practice will work to ensure recommendations are implemented to reduce the likelihood of similar attacks. This inquiry has been crucial in holding those responsible accountable for their actions, and we stand with the families in their pursuit of justice and healing." 

Hogan Lovells is representing:

The parents of Chloe Rutherford (17) and the mother of Liam Curry (19).

The mother of Courtney Boyle (19).

The daughters of Jane Tweddle (51).

The husband of Michelle Kiss (45).

The father and step-mother of Olivia Campbell-Hardy (15).

The Hogan Lovells core team working on this important matter includes Scott Baxter, senior associate, Haylea Campbell, associate, Helen Boniface, counsel, and Victor Fornasier, partner.