Shauna Ritchie

Year of Call: 2000  


Overview


Shauna Ritchie is a specialist advocate practising in crime and health and safety. Her experience encompasses the full spectrum of serious criminal and regulatory offences, from murder, rape, and serious sexual and violent offences, to corporate and gross negligence manslaughter and HSWA offences.

Shauna is one of only a handful of barristers ranked in the two leading independent legal directories in both crime and health and safety and was nominated for Health and Safety Junior of the Year at the Chambers Bar Awards 2018.

Shauna’s experience in both prosecuting and defending in serious and complex cases is extensive:

Health & Safety – Deals with cases concerning individuals, directors, and company and corporate bodies. Expertise extends to all aspects of health and safety enforcement, environmental, and fire safety offences. Shauna has particular experience in relation to construction, asbestos, railways, and fire safety.

General Crime – Specialist in serious sexual offences and cases concerning young and vulnerable witnesses and defendants. Grade 4 CPS and Rape Panel Advocate and ‘B’ List Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law. Recently Shauna has been instructed in cases of murder and attempted murder, manslaughter, rape, money laundering, corruption, and conspiracy to supply drugs and firearms.

Inquests and Inquiries – Acts for individuals, companies, government departments, and local authorities.

Shauna accepts public access instructions, principally for advisory work.

Coroners Inquests


In the Coroner’s Court Shauna has represented individuals, companies, and government departments at inquests ranging from deaths on the railway and on commercial premises, to domestic carbon monoxide poisoning, agricultural and construction industry deaths. In recent years these have included a crane collapse and a multi-fatality gas explosion. She has particular experience representing medical professionals at inquests in relation to the death of patients in their care.

Health & Safety


Since 2005 Shauna has developed a substantial Health and Safety practice. Initially instructed principally by, and on behalf of, the Health and Safety Executive, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Office of Rail Regulation, she has dealt with a wide variety of cases relating to companies and individuals for offences involving both fatal and non-fatal incidents, including gross negligence manslaughter. In turn this has led to a growing defence practice.

Shauna has been instructed in a substantial number of health and safety cases in the last nine years. Her involvement in this area stemmed initially from involvement in the early disclosure stages of a multi-defendant prosecution for Health and Safety at Work Act offences in relation to two deaths. She has particular experience in cases involving asbestos exposure, railways, and construction industry fatalities. Shauna has also undertaken appeals against fire safety orders and the refusal to grant a licence a licence to work with asbestos, instructed by the Fire Service and Treasury Solicitors respectively.

Cases

2020

R v. M Ltd. And Others (Defence) – Representing large principal contractor acquitted of health and safety offences arising from a construction site death

R v S Ltd & H; R v MJE Ltd; R v WSSL & C (Prosecution) – H&S offences arising from incidents resulting in serious injury during equipment installation, minor injury from a crane collapse, and a worker killed in scaffolding collapse respectively

R v O and Others (Prosecution) – Corporate manslaughter prosecution relating to worker death at recycling centre

2019

R v L (Defence) – Postal worker acquitted of H&S offence arising from road traffic incident;

R v CT Ltd and P (Defence) – Representing duty holders in relation to breaches of Regulatory Reform 2019(Fire Safety) Order 2005;

Other Notable Cases

R v T & T (2018 – Prosecution) – Junior counsel to the Crown in a prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter and health and safety offences arising out of the death of a seven year old child when a fairground bouncy castle was blown from its moorings

R v WCL & Others (2016 – Defence) – Junior counsel on behalf of Principal Contractor acquitted of health and safety offences following the death of a passer-by to a construction project

R v GC & PD Ltd (2012 – Prosecution) – Junior counsel to the Crown in gross negligence manslaughter where a child was killed by the collapse of a recently constructed retaining wall adjacent to the public footway

R v M&S, WDC & Another (2011 – Prosecution) – Junior counsel to the Crown in prosecution alleging serious failings by large retailer and construction firm in relation to the management of asbestos removal

Serious Sexual Offences


Shauna has developed a specialist practice dealing with sexual offences.

She is a Specialist Rape Prosecutor, ‘B’ List Health and Safety Prosecutor, and Grade 3 CPS Prosecutor.

Notable Cases

R v U (Defence) – Represented security guard accused of sexual offences against detained women

Murder & Manslaughter


2020

R v H and Another (Defence) – Defendant acquitted of s.18 GBH in relation to an incident also concerning a ‘one punch’ manslaughter

R v O and Others (Prosecution) – Corporate manslaughter prosecution relating to worker death at recycling centre

2019

R v G & 8 Others (Defence) – Murder acquittal following violent disorder.

Other Notable Cases

R v T & T (2018 – Prosecution) – Junior counsel to the Crown in a prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter and health and safety offences arising out of the death of a seven year old child when a fairground bouncy castle was blown from its moorings

R v KD & Others (2014 – Defence) – Junior counsel acting for fourteen-year-old defendant accused of joint enterprise murder with five others, the youngest of whom was thirteen

R v GC & PD Ltd (2012 – Prosecution) – Junior counsel to the Crown in gross negligence manslaughter where a child was killed by the collapse of a recently constructed retaining wall adjacent to the public footway

Crime


2020

R v H and Another (Defence) – Defendant acquitted of s.18 GBH in relation to an incident also concerning a ‘one punch’ manslaughter

R v I and Others (Defence) – Attempted Murder allegation following an incident in which a man was doused with petrol and set on fire – Re-trial Pending

R v W (Prosecution) – Contempt of Court concerning witness to violent murder refusing to give evidence

2019

R v G & 8 Others (Defence) – Murder acquittal following violent disorder

R v D (Defence) – Representing defendant who attempted to set fire to a woman after pouring petrol on her immediately following an attack in which he sustained a serious head injury

R v E, H, and I (Prosecution) – Prosecution for attempted murder and GBH where defendants mounted the pavement in a vehicle and drove at a crowd of partygoers

Other Notable Cases

R v KD & Others (2014 – Defence) – Junior counsel acting for fourteen-year-old defendant accused of joint enterprise murder with five others, the youngest of whom was thirteen

R v M & Others (2010 – Defence) – Junior counsel acting for engineering contractor in case concerning allegations of fraud and corruption in relation to contracts for work carried out for a public body

R v E & Others (2007 – Defence) – Junior counsel in month long abuse of process hearing resulting in stay of proceedings against all defendants on charges relating to brothel keeping

R v S & Others (2007 – Defence) – Junior counsel for only acquitted defendant in VAT fraud and money laundering offences arising out of hawala banking

Environmental


EA v S and Others (Defence) – Worker acquitted of Environment Act offence on appeal to Divisional Court

 

Fraud


R v M & Others (2010 – Defence) – Junior counsel acting for engineering contractor in case concerning allegations of fraud and corruption in relation to contracts for work carried out for a public body

R v S & Others (2007 – Defence) – Junior counsel for only acquitted defendant in VAT fraud and money laundering offences arising out of hawala banking

Directory Quotes


 “A barrister with first-class advocacy skills who will stop at nothing to ensure justice is achieved. Her handling of difficult witnesses and ability to adapt while on her feet is simply outstanding.” “She is a fantastic advocate and is extremely hard-working.” [Chambers UK Bar – 2021 – Health & Safety]

“A very meticulous and accomplished barrister.[Legal 500 – 2021 – Crime]

Shauna has a unique combination of both criminal and regulatory expertise (particularly health & safety, fire and environmental). Shauna is meticulous in her preparation and has the ability and presence to put clients at ease. Her track record of success speaks for itself.[Legal 500 – 2021 – Health & Safety]

“Gets to grips with the meatiest of cases well. Nothing daunts her.” [Chambers UK Bar – 2021 – Crime]

“A very personable advocate, who is absolutely brilliant with clients and will roll her sleeves up and get stuck in to help sort out their issues.” [Chambers UK Bar – 2020 – Health & Safety]

“Very bright.” [Chambers UK Bar – 2020 – Crime]

A hardworking junior who takes a methodical and sensible approach.[Chambers UK Bar – 2019 – Health & Safety]

An excellent practitioner prepared to fight the cause of her client.[Chambers UK Bar – 2019 – Crime]

 “She’s a very appealing advocate who is good on her feet.” “She’s charming, tenacious and meticulous.”  [Chambers UK Bar 2015]

“Has a great manner with the jury, is very persuasive and shows great attention to detail.”

“When handling matters she shows a great deal of sensitivity in dealing with the families of those injured or deceased.” [Chambers UK Bar – 2018]

Memberships


  • Criminal Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Health & Safety Lawyers Association