Peter’s practice encompasses public inquiries, inquests, clinical negligence, judicial review, national security and personal injury litigation, with a particular emphasis on multi-party actions and human rights.
Peter acts for both claimants and defendants.
Most recently, Peter has been instructed by a large number of claimants who allege that they were sexually abused by Jimmy Savile and others. He is also acting for groups of claimants in several other cases, including the Winterbourne View Litigation (institutional abuse exposed by Panorama), Ian Paterson (breast surgery) and Rob Jones (gynaecological surgery). Previously, Peter acted for the claimants in the Cornwall Partnership Trust Litigation and in the Nationwide Organ Group Litigation.
On the defendant side, Peter is presently junior counsel for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the Mau Mau case, based on allegations of mistreatment during the Kenya Emergency in the 1950s. From 2009 to 2010, he was a member of the senior counsel team in the Guantánamo Bay Litigation, representing five Government departments accused of complicity in the rendition and torture of detainees by the United States. In early 2011, he appeared in the Supreme Court case which determined whether the courts in England and Wales have a common law power to order secret hearings (Al Rawi v The Security Service  1 AC 531).
Peter has also been instructed in several major public and private inquiries in the last thirteen years, most recently the Leveson Inquiry, the Al-Sweady Inquiry and the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry. From 2005 to 2009, he was Junior Counsel to the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry, which investigated allegations of Government collusion in the murder of the Northern Irish solicitor, Rosemary Nelson.
More generally, Peter has considerable experience in dealing with litigation arising from medical and dental treatment, including cases involving catastrophic injuries and death. He has appeared in many inquests, representing various interested parties, from bereaved families to Government organisations. He has undertaken a large number of inquests involving detention and medical or psychiatric treatment. And he has given many presentations on legal and procedural issues arising in the context of clinical negligence litigation and inquests.
Chambers & Partners – Clinical Negligence: “Skelton is “[as] impressive in his advice, advocacy and written submissions” as he is both “incisive and very quick to grasp the key issues””
Chambers & Partners – Administrative & Public Law (London) – “... has an impressive pedigree and acted for the Metropolitan Police Authority and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in the Leveson Inquiry. Peers at the Bar remark that he is “impressive, eloquent and very bright””
Legal 500 – ranked in Clinical Negligence
2006 Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland
1997 Called to the Bar – Middle Temple
1996 Master of Philosophy – University of Cambridge
1995 Common Professional Examination –College of Law London
1994 BA English Literature: First Class Honours – University of York
Contributing author of Public Inquiries, by Jason Beer QC, published by Oxford University Press in 2011.
Co-author (with Lizanne Gumbel QC and Caroline Cross) of ‘Inquest Law: An Update’ (2011) PIBUJ.
Professional Negligence Bar Association (Committee Member since 2012)
Personal Injury Bar Association
2009 Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel
2009 Special Advocate
2004 Attorney General’s C Panel of Counsel
1996 Harmsworth Scholarship from Middle Temple to the Inns of Court School of Law
1995 Economic and Social Research Council Scholarship to the University of Cambridge
1994 Harmsworth Scholarship from Middle Temple to the College of Law
1992 Academic Scholarship to the University of California
Significant cases include the following
Mau Mau Litigation
Jimmy Savile Litigation
Winterbourne View Litigation
Al Rawi v The Security Service  UKSC 34,  1 AC 531
Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry
Guantánamo Bay Litigation
Cornwall Partnership Trust (CPT) Litigation
Rosemary Nelson Inquiry
In Re Organ Retention Group Litigation  QB 506
Devon Breast Screening Litigation
Royal Liverpool Children’s Inquiry
Bristol Royal Infirmary Public Inquiry
VAT Registration No: 722 6713 45