Inquisition role boosts barrister's star rating

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Indy Politics

The career of James Dingemans, counsel to the Hutton inquiry, is set to receive a significant boost after his role as star inquisitor of MPs, journalists and Whitehall mandarins.

The barrister's London chambers have been deluged with requests for Mr Dingemans to appear in a range of cases after he is released from his inquiry duties. His clerks have also been fielding calls from media outlets keen to interview the 39-year-old advocate. Mr Dingemans, who was only made a QC last year, has impressed with his polite but penetrating questioning of a long list of witnesses such as Tony Blair.

Mr Dingemans's new profile will help to increase his annual earnings, which are already thought to be around £400,000.

Anthony Scrivener QC, a former chairman of the Bar and an old hand at judicial inquiries, said Mr Dingemans was doing a "thoroughly good job". He added: "I expect his clerks will want to cash in on his new-found fame. But his real test will come this week when he begins cross-examination."

Mr Dingemans, married with three children, is a keen rugby player, winning a blue at Oxford. His first public foray outside the Hutton inquiry will be next month at the launch for a book he has co-written on employer's liability. And as for raising his fees? James Donovan, senior clerk to Mr Dingemans' chambers, said: "It's not something we have considered."