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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Human resources > Health and safety > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

The regulatory and corporate defence practice at Birketts LLP has extensive cross-industry experience in serious health and safety defence including disasters and multiple fatalities. Practice head Laura Thomas and legal director Matthew Gowen are barristers and the firm employs three consultants who are all former HSE Inspectors. Senior associates Julie Gowland and Philippa Dyer also advise companies and individuals on HSE matters. The firm also provides a full compliance assessment service.

Practice head(s):Laura Thomas

Other key lawyers:Matthew Gowen; Philippa Dyer; Julie Gowland


"The firm has a tremendous team approach and a very cohesive group of people. It identifies and manages expectations very well and really gets to know its clients' culture and aspirations."

"Matthew Gowen has represented us very effectively and in court is a gifted and natural orator and performer. He displays great calm and control and has that steely determination to succeed."

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a manufacturing company on the day of a tragic fatal explosion to assist with the accident investigation.
  • Instructed by an entertainment company following a fatality onsite.
  • Instructed by a business to advise and represent them following a fatality onsite.
  • Instructed by a charity to investigate an accident which occurred at a public event managed by the client.
  • Instructed to conduct an accident investigation by an international business following allegations of a fatal electrocution.

The practice at Greenwoods GRM is regarded as one of the region's leaders in the field of health and safety, thanks largely to the stellar track record of leading light Kathryn Gilbertson who leads the regulatory team. The firm acts for a national client base in matters ranging from safety compliance and fire safety through to the defence of corporate criminal prosecutions. The firm is best known for its work within the hospitality, SME manufacturing and construction sectors, and it has a standout practice for matters involving food safety regulation.

Practice head(s):Kathryn Gilbertson

Key Clients

Principal Hayley Hotels

McColl’s Retail Group PLC

Crown Golf Ltd

Moy Park Ltd


Royal Society for Public Health

Work highlights

  • Advised and assisted Moy Park Ltd following a fork lift truck accident in which the injured party sustained major injuries resulting in the amputation of his left leg and significant damage to the right leg.
  • Advised McColl’s Retail Group PLC in defence of health and safety prosecution where Bristol Council alleged that an elderly customer slipped and fell on a store entrance mat and subsequently died due to his injuries.
  • Advised Dacorum Borough Council during an investigation by HSE after Dacorum reported a number of cases of Hand Arm Vibration (a notifiable occupational disease) under RIDDOR.
  • Providing advice and assistance following an incident in which a trespasser fell from the roof of Principal Hayley Hotels and was found dead in the adjacent river.
  • Advising on a major accident involving contractors repairing electrical cabling within the plant room of Unite Students accommodation site, in which contractors sustained severe electric shock with life changing injuries.

The regulatory practice at Mills & Reeve LLP specialises in regulatory enforcement actions and related advice. It has notable expertise in the education and healthcare sectors, though it recently handled high-profile matters in the construction industry. Head of the regulatory practice Duncan Astill is a leading light and his group is a key component in litigator Jamie Wheatley's national regulatory, public and commercial disputes service line. Principal associate Amanda Narkiewicz is a rising star who regularly handles investigations and prosecutions by police, the HSE and other regulators following incidents of significant injuries and fatalities.

Practice head(s):Duncan Astill; Jamie Wheatley

Other key lawyers:Amanda Narkiewicz

Key Clients


Adamson Construction Limited

Elysium Healthcare (Farndon) Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing a family-owned construction company prosecuted by the HSE in respect of an accident during building works on domestic premises.
  • Advice and representation in respect of the HSE investigation into the death of a secure mental patient after she jumped from a moving vehicle.
  • Advising the Director of a care home being threatened with prosecution in his personal capacity following a serious injury to an employee who fell down a lift shaft, which was alleged to have been caused by his conduct in failing to approve repairs.
  • Advising client in respect of an investigation into a serious injury to a delivery driver whilst unloading at a garden centre.
  • Urgent and advice and support to a logistics business being investigated by the HSE following a serious injury to a delivery driver whilst unloading.

At Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich, veteran litigator Hugh Rowland frequently advises on investigations by the HSE and local authority departments. His practice handles all matters relating to product safety and is particularly involved in advising businesses on how to avoid investigative scrutiny by Trading Standards and HMRC. Howard Catherall is the driving force behind the firm's new Gotelee Guardian app, which helps clients to screen products imported from the EU for product safety compliance.

Practice head(s):Hugh Rowland

Other key lawyers:Howard Catherall

Work highlights

  • Represented major importer/distributor on investigation by HSE following the supply to schools of equipment impregnated with a hazardous substance.

The health and safety practice at Hunt & Coombs LLP in Peterborough has two highly knowledgeable and long-serving crime partners in Simon Milburn and Andrew Cave. It offers a full service to both individuals and corporate clients, who appreciate the strong advocacy skills of the key partners. Milburn handles both prosecution and defence work, while Cave handles a high volume of motoring and vehicle licence offence prosecutions.

Practice head(s):Simon Milburn

Other key lawyers:Andrew Cave

Work highlights

  • The firm is appointed to represent DVSA in an area covering 9 courts in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, and receives approximately two cases per month of varying complexity.
  • Defended a business against charges of corporate manslaughter.
  • Defending a client prosecuted for selling cigarettes that did not meet health & safety standards in the UK.
  • Advising a private individual on a potential prosecution for causing death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Legal Developments in East Anglia for Health and safety

  • Companies should plan now to minimise their pension protection levy

    The amount that pension schemes have to pay to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) for the year 2006/07 may have increased by as much as five times the previous year's levy. Employers who ultimately bear the cost of many pension schemes will need to make plans now to ensure the levy payable for the year 2008/09 is kept to a minimum.
    - Stephenson Harwood

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of¬† ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan ¬† [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess ¬†Surinder Singh ¬†cases that appear before them.
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    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
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    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to