Neil Garnham QC and Neil Sheldon, representing the Foreign Secretary, were successful in a judicial review challenge to the Public Interest Immunity (PII) decision of the Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner North London (Sir Robert Owen) in the Litvinenko inquest -[2013] EWHC 3724 (Admin).

The Coroner had upheld William Hague’s certificate in part but overruled important elements of it. The challenge was to the lawfulness and rationality of Sir Robert’s decision. The Divisional Court (Goldring and Treach LJJ and Mitting J) overturned the Coroner’s ruling and upheld the PII certificate in its entirety. The Coroner has indicated he does not intend to appeal.