Press "Enter" to skip to content

Panel Members

Martin Forde QC (Chair)

Martin Forde QC (Chair)

Martin Forde QC is a distinguished and experienced barrister with an extensive record of acting in complex cases.  Many of these cases have involved human rights, employment law and catastrophic injuries. Notable examples include acting for the National Union of Seamen in the Zeebrugge Ferry Inquiry, chairing an inquiry into allegations of racism for an NHS trust and acting as legal assessor to a Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority panel in its most complex case. 

He has appeared in long, controversial inquests involving deaths in custody and acted for families, NHS trusts and medical practitioners in inquests for over 30 years.

Martin has sat as a Recorder – a part-time Crown Court judge – presiding over jury trials since 2010.  He was appointed the Independent Adviser to the Windrush Compensation Scheme in April 2018.


Baroness Lister of Burtersett

Baroness Lister of Burtersett

Ruth Lister has been a Labour peer since 2011 and is a member of Nottingham South CLP.  She is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at Loughborough University and honorary president of the Child Poverty Action Group and the Social Policy Association.  She is the outgoing chair of the board of Compass. 


Baroness Wilcox of Newport

Baroness Wilcox of Newport

Debbie Wilcox was the first woman Leader of Newport City Council and the first woman to lead the Welsh Local Government Association. She taught in comprehensive schools from Brixton to Pontypridd for 35 years and became a Life Peer in November 2019. She is part of the Opposition Whips office in the House of Lords and speaks on Local Government issues.


Lord Lawrence Whitty

Lord Lawrence Whitty

Larry Whitty was General Secretary of the Labour Party for 10 years from 1984 to 1994 during the leaderships of Neil Kinnock and John Smith.  Prior to that he had worked in the aviation industry and the civil service and from 1973 to 1984 for the GMWU – now the GMB.

He acted as Tony Blair’s European emissary from 1994 to 1997, joined the Labour benches in the House of Lords in 1996 and between 1997 and 2005 was a Government Whip and a Minister for transport, environment and agriculture. Since then he has been Chair of Consumer Focus, on the boards of the Environment Agency and Ofwat and chaired various environmental and road safety charities. Until last year he was a member of the Lords EU Select Committee during Brexit and its aftermath.


Image of Baroness Wilcox of Newport © Natasha Hirst

Official portrait of Lord Whitty © House of Lords, licensed under CC BY 3.0