Zeenat is a specialist public inquiry practitioner and is currently instructed as Junior Counsel to the Inquiry for the UK Covid-19 Inquiry and Grenfell Tower Inquiry.  Her practice is focused on state accountability and public interest work. She brings a multidisciplinary approach to her work, given her background in human rights and early years of practice in criminal defence. She sits as a Legally Qualified Chair for the Medical Practitioners Tribunal and a Panel Member for Redress Scotland, determining applications for redress from survivors of historic abuse.


  • UK Chambers Bar Awards, Outstanding Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion: Future Leader Highly Commended Award 2019
  • The Baton Awards, Professional Services Award, Nominee 2018
  • Asian Legal Awards, Rising Star, Finalist 2018
  • South Eastern Circuit Criminal Advocacy Award 2017
  • UK Legal Diversity Awards, Rising Star, Finalist 2017
  • Society of Asian Lawyers Awards, Rising Star, Finalist 2016
  • The Pegasus Scholarship 2016
  • The Criminal Bar Association Bursary Award 2014
  • Inner Temple BPTC Prize for Outstanding Performance 2013
  • Inner Temple Major Exhibition Award 2012
  • Inner Temple Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship 2012
  • Asian Women of Achievement Awards, Social & Humanitarian Category Finalist 2011
  • Women of the Future Awards, Young Star Category Finalist 2010
  • University of Warwick Law School, Best Academic Performance Prize (Final year) 2010
  • Julia Kerr Human Rights Award 2010
  • University of Warwick Law School, Best Academic Performance Prize (Penultimate year) 2009
  • University of Warwick MSP Scholarship 2007-2010


‘Highly skilled in terms of her advocacy. With a friendly and approachable persona, she has a natural way of putting the bereaved and survivors at ease before giving evidence. Zeenat is a calm advocate who does not falter under pressure; and is a good team-player who quickly builds strong relationships with those around her. She is also able to explain tasks clearly in order to get the best support from her team.’
Legal 500 2023 – Leading Junior, Inquests and Inquiries


  • Legally Qualified Chair: Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (2022)
  • Panel Member: Redress Scotland (2021)
  • Trainer: Bar Council Race Training Panel (2021)


  • University of Law, Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding), 2013
  • London School of Economics and Political Science, Masters in Public International Law, LLM (Merit), 2012
  • University of Warwick, Law, LLB (Hons) (First Class, Highest in Year), 2010

Professional Memberships

  • The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
  • Bar Human Rights Committee
  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Muslim Lawyers Action Group



Public Access

Undertakes Public Access work


The Radical Lawyer: Legal Practice, the Bar, Activism: The Critical Legal Pocketbook

16th October 2021

The Critical Legal Pocketbook consists of a series of chapters written by expert critical legal researchers and practitioners. Zeenat’s contribution reflects on her activism and her experiences at the Bar. She invites readers to rethink the traditional confines of the legal system and re-envision a justice system for all.

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A Survival Guide to Being on Your Feet

8th October 2020

Zeenat’s article for the Young Bar section in Counsel Magazine is targeted at pupils about to start on their feet.

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Finding a Way to Serve

6th May 2020

Zeenat writes about her lockdown project, Redefined Lawyers, targeted at aspiring lawyers from underrepresented backgrounds.

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Diversity and Inclusion: Beyond the Tick Boxes

14th February 2020

Zeenat writes about the need to rethink the Bar’s approach to diversity and inclusion, with a renewed focus on addressing root causes to achieve structural change.

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Fiona Canby and Zeenat Islam appointed as Junior Counsel to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry

20th June 2022

The Inquiry has appointed 49 junior Counsel to join its legal team to support Hugo Keith QC, Lead Counsel to the Inquiry, Martin Smith, Solicitor to the Inquiry and eleven recently appointed Queen’s Counsel with the preparation and delivery of the Inquiry’s investigative work.

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Grenfell Tower Inquiry

9th May 2022

The Inquiry is currently hearing evidence for Module 4, examining the actions of Central Government, Local Government and the Tenant Management Organisation in the immediate aftermath of the fire. Zeenat Islam is Junior Counsel to the Inquiry, leading on the evidence relating to the bereaved, survivors, and residents, the community and faith sector, the Cabinet Office and the Tenant Management Organisation.

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TGC Welcomes New Tenant

3rd May 2022

TGC are delighted to announce that Zeenat Islam has accepted an invitation to join Temple Garden Chambers. Zeenat’s practice is focused on state accountability and public interest work. She has specialist expertise in public inquiries. Zeenat brings a multidisciplinary approach to her work, given her background in human rights and early years of practice in criminal defence.

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