Health & Safety

Chambers has a commanding presence in Health & Safety.

Chambers & Partners 2014

Our barristers offers unparalleled experience and service throughout the Health & Safety field.

Chambers specialist Health & Safety team regularly advises employers, companies, company directors, individuals and public bodies on all aspects of health & safety enforcement, including:

  • Corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter; company, directors and managers, employer and employee criminal liability for alleged health and safety breaches;
  • Response to and appeals of prohibition and improvement notices; representation at the Employment Tribunal on notice appeals;
  • Advice following work related deaths and representation at inquests and inquries;
  • Response to investigation by HSE, Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) local environmental health / health & safety and police, the exercise of statutory powers under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) and invitations to be interviewed under caution;
  • Breach of HSWA and health & safety regulations, including: Construction (Design and Management) Regulations; risk assessment provisions; landlord’s gas safety;
  • Representation at the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court; jury trials and sentencing; appeals to the Court of Appeal;
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005; fire safety enforcement; breaches of the Order, enforcement notices, appeals, advice and representation.

For many years 2 Bedford Row has been ranked as a leading health and safety set in the Chambers & Partners Guide, an independent guide to the Bar, with the 2015 edition describing describes how:

“This heavyweight criminal set has the volume, expertise and numbers to make a strong impact in the health and safety sector. It handles an equal mix of prosecution and defence work, and is well known for its involvement in complex and high-profile cases.”

Furthermore, the 2019 guide continues to recommend Queen’s Counsel and junior barristers as leaders in this field.

Similarly, the 2019 Legal 500 guide to the bar also ranks 2 Bedford Row as a leading set in health and safety, stating:

Demonstrating real strength in depth, 2 Bedford Row is ‘one of the most respected and established criminal sets’ in the country and is able to take on the most serious of cases. However, it is also particularly strong in regulatory and health and safety matters thanks to its ‘A-list collection’ of advocates.

Members of the 2 Bedford Row specialist health & safety team have been involved in high profile cases relating to:

  • Construction
  • Oil & Gas
  • Nuclear
  • Gas supply
  • Lifts, lifting equipment and the provision and use of work equipment
  • Railway
  • Hotel, Catering & Leisure
  • Retail
  • Hospitals and medical related incidents
  • Care home and elderly care
  • Uniform and emergency services
  • Farming
  • Fatal fires

The Health & Safety team at 2 Bedford Row:

  • Includes the co-author of the principal practitioners’ text in this field, Health & Safety Enforcement: Law and Practice (Oxford University Press, 4th edition 2011) and the author of Blackstone’s Guide to the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (Oxford University Press);
  • Includes Standing Counsel to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR);
  • Have appeared in the leading House of Lords decision on health & safety, R v Chargot [2008] UKHL 73, (the scope of the duties under HSWA, director’s liability and ‘reasonable practicability’) and many of the leading Court of Appeal authorities concerned both with liability of employers and company directors (R v Tangerine Confectionery Ltd; Veoliia ES Ltd [2011] EWCA Crim 2015; R v HTM [2007] 2 All ER 665; R v P [2008] ICR 96) and with sentence (R v Sellafield Ltd; Network Rail [2014] WECA 49);
  • Have been involved in the UK’s major health & safety prosecutions acting for both the prosecution and defence;
  • Have a real depth of experience in corporate manslaughter and individual gross negligence manslaughter having appeared for prosecution and defence in high profile cases in this field, particularly arising from rail accidents, construction deaths, landlord’s gas safety and those involving uniformed / emergency services;
  • Members have particular experience in offering advice at an early stage of investigation following a work related death; at and in respect of inquests; where corporations or individuals are subject to compulsory powers under section 20 Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974; following an invitation to be interviewed under caution or as a witness; and following the service of an improvement / prohibition notice;

The team has particular experience of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005 and have advised and acted for fire and rescue authorities, companies and individuals in respect of fire safety enforcement notices, appeals and prosecutions for breaches of fire safety.


Contact information

For further information and enquiries please contact our clerks team.

+44 (0)20 7440 8888

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