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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 > London > Human resources > Health and safety > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘excellent’ and ‘strong, well-led customer-focused team’ is highly rated for its ‘robust and pragmatic advice’. Practice head Chris Morrison, who is ‘without doubt the best regulatory criminal lawyer in the UK at the moment’, successfully represented the ride operator in a Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation arising from the Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster accident. Rod Hunt acted for an employee of Laing O’Rourke in a joint police and HSE investigation following a fatality that occurred during construction at Heathrow Airport in 2014. Hunt also represented MP Moran & Sons in an investigation conducted by the local authority arising from an accident at a showroom. The team also includes David Leckie, who specialises in handling regulatory matters in the energy and oil and gas sectors. Other clients include Airbus, Sports Direct and Asda.

DWF’s practice acts for insurers and large corporates, often handling prosecutions. Paul Matthews acted for Mercado in a corporate manslaughter investigation arising from the fatality of an employee. Hilary Ross and Dominic Watkins represented Queenswood School in a prosecution brought before the Crown Court following a serious accident. The practice is headed by Manchester-based Steffan Groch, who often acts for directors and managers in HSE prosecutions, with particular expertise in corporate manslaughter. Paul Matthews, who has experience advising clients on compliance and risk management, is another name to note.

Highly rated for its ‘strategic, pragmatic and focused support’, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s group frequently defends clients in high-profile prosecutions and inquests. Well-regarded group head Kevin Elliott and Paul Verrico represented Tarmac Trading in a prosecution arising from a roadwork fatality. Tim Hill acted for McCain Foods in a HSE investigation and prosecution arising from an employee suffering serious arm injuries. David Young is acting for Goodyear Tyres following the death of an employee during a product demonstration in Spain. Katie Vickery is now at Osborne Clarke LLP.

A league above its rivals’, Kennedys’ team is ‘excellent on all levels’ of health and safety law, with particular expertise handling high-profile disaster incidents. Daniel McShee, who is ‘a client’s dream’ and ‘one of the best known lawyers in this field’, is acting for the managing director of Wood Treatment in a complex investigation arising from an explosion that resulted in the fatality of four employees. David Wright is representing tank-cleaning contractor B & A Contracts in a corporate manslaughter investigation following an oil refinery explosion at South Wales that resulted in the fatality of three employees. Practice head Richard Crockford, who is ‘enormously experienced in the field’, is acting for a number of demolition companies in Crown Court trials arising from demolition site fatalities.

Experienced and very easy to work with’, Osborne Clarke LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice has notable experience advising on contentious and compliance matters with international elements. Practice head Mary Lawrence, who was promoted to partner in 2016, is ‘a pleasure to work with from counsel’s perspective’. The team includes commercial and regulatory partner Catherine Wolfenden and senior associate Jo Forbes, who ‘provides a high quality service’ to clients in the healthcare and retail sectors. The group was strengthened by the arrival of Katie Vickery, who is ‘clearly an expert within her field’, from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in 2016. Other clients include RWE, Vodafone and Marks & Spencer.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘very responsive and knowledgeable’ group handles a wide range of health and safety matters for international clients. ‘A leader in this field’, department head Kevin Bridges has experience advising on joint police and HSE investigations. The team includes Sean Elson and senior associate Kizzy Augustin, who specialises in fire safety and lift safety issues, covering corporate manslaughter and regulatory investigations. Laura Cameron, who heads the group in Scotland, is also recommended.

The ‘responsive, commercial and reliable’ team at BCL Solicitors LLP is ‘a strong practice for corporates and directors facing personal investigations or prosecution for health and safety offences’. Department head Guy Bastable, who has ‘good technical knowledge, great tactical awareness and excellent judgement’, specialises in handling corporate manslaughter matters. The team includes senior associate Richard Reichman, who has extensive experience representing companies and individuals in criminal and regulatory investigations, as well as environmental, fire safety and food safety prosecutions.

BLM is ‘a steady insurance panel operator in this field’ and its group has notable experience defending high-profile prosecutions. Key names include practice head Jennette Newman, Victoria Kennedy, who has particular expertise acting for clients in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, and Leanne Conisbee. The team’s client base includes Aviva, Allianz and Fusion.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s team handles the full range of health and safety matters for domestic and international clients, including strategic board-level advice, investigations and prosecutions. Practice head Jon Cooper is handling multiple investigations and prosecutions arising from explosions at the Pembroke Refinery in 2011 for the HSE. Cooper also assisted a leading company in the defence sector with an internal investigation and inquest concerning a fatality at the client’s premises in Bristol. Other clients include Network Rail, the Post Office and Nissan.

The ‘highly rated’ and ‘very responsive’ practice at Burges Salmon LLP acts for clients in the transport and construction sectors, notably handling HSE investigations and prosecutions. ‘Extremely experienced’ and ‘very balanced’ practice head Ann Metherall’s highlights included defending a train operating company in an Office of Rail and Road (ORR) prosecution arising from a fatal accident. Metherall also successfully defended a construction company in a HSE prosecution regarding the client’s duty as principal contractor in a major project. Chris Jackson is advising a train operating company on an ORR investigation following a train-on-train collision resulting in 18 passenger injuries. ‘Very thorough’ senior associate Matt Kyle, who has ‘great attention to detail’ and ‘a very calm approach’, is also noted.

CMS’ practice has significant experience in a wide range of environment, and health and safety matters, and was further bolstered by the firm’s merger with legacy firm Nabarro LLP. Practice head Jan Burgess represents multinational companies in criminal prosecutions, personal injury claims and inquests, among other matters. The team includes Olivia Jamison, who specialises in environmental liability, compliance and risk management matters. Lukas Rootman, who previously headed Nabarro LLP’s practice, has particular expertise acting for companies in the chemicals, construction, energy, waste and manufacturing sectors. Insurance and dispute resolution expert Carl Dray is also recommended.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s ‘seamless’ and ‘accessible’ team stands out for its ‘very high quality of service’, and has notable experience in ‘what are often very difficult cases’. London practice head Fiona Gill, who ‘provides very good partner support’, has considerable experience representing clients in investigations brought by the HSE, police and other regulators, as well as acting in inquests. Gill’s recent work includes advising a healthcare provider on a number of deaths in hospital care. Colin Moore, who was recently promoted to the partnership, has extensive experience advising on criminal investigations, as well as handling regulatory matters regarding fire safety, food safety and environmental law. Clients include insurers Aviva, Zurich and Allianz.

DLA Piper’s practice advises on regulatory matters for domestic and international clients from a broad range of sectors, including retail and construction. Practice head Teresa Hitchcock represented Ardagh Group in a HSE investigation following a serious accident concerning one of the client’s employees at a third party’s site. Litigation expert John Gollaglee acted for Wilko in an investigation conducted by the local authority following a serious accident at a store near Leicester. Mark Franklin is acting for Airbus Helicopters in a fatal accident inquiry arising from a helicopter crash. Roy Tozer and Charles Arrand are now at Shoosmiths LLP.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s practice is known for its ‘very sophisticated and tough approach in terms of litigation’, and has considerable experience defending domestic and international companies in high-profile investigations and prosecutions. The practice is led by Howard Watson, who has ‘a first-class legal brain’ and ‘leaves no stone unturned’. Watson is advising BP on all aspects of the inquests arising from the deaths of 40 people at a gas plant in Algeria following a terrorist attack in 2013, and is leading advice to Chevron on an explosion at one of the company’s refineries. Rod Fletcher, who has experience defending manslaughter prosecutions, is also noted. Other clients include Caterpillar and British American Tobacco.

Plexus Law’s ‘highly experienced and efficient’ practice has significant experience acting for clients from ‘a vast spectrum of industries’, as well as ‘organisations and individuals’. Anthony Bushell acted for Down Hall Hotel in an inquest and subsequent Environmental Health Officer prosecution arising from the drowning of two guests in a hotel swimming pool. Philip Tracey, who jointly heads the practice with Bushell, has core strengths defending individuals and companies in corporate manslaughter prosecutions, and handling related insurance coverage matters. The ‘extremely diligent’ Anthony Baker, who ‘provides the sort of reassurance that clients appreciate’, is another key name. The team was bolstered by the arrival of Richard Salvini and Chris Foulkes from insurance company Triton Global. Peter James is now at Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

At RPC, the health and safety team acts for corporate clients and insurers. Nick McMahon represented South Lakes Safari Zoo and its director in a prosecution by the Barrow Borough Council regarding the death of an employee. Gavin Reese, who jointly heads the team with McMahon, assisted a client with an inquest and HSE investigation arising from a fatality during a lift installation. Other clients include XL Catlin.

Squire Patton Boggs’ environmental, safety and health group is experienced in handling a broad range of work, including regulatory, transactional support and compliance matters, as well as defending clients in criminal prosecutions. Group head Rob Elvin, who also leads the wider European practice, defended Ei Group in a case brought by the local authority regarding an employee who was injured at one of the client’s pubs. Elvin also acted for Saica in a HSE asbestos investigation following the client’s acquisition of a manufacturing plant. Other key names include David Gordon and Gary Lewis. Senior associate Robert Biddlecombe and associate Laura Clare are also recommended.

Gowling WLG’s ‘excellent’ and ‘responsive’ team is highly rated for its ‘tailored advice’. Practice head Andrew Litchfield, who ‘has a wealth of experience’ and ‘can be relied on in a crisis’, represented food manufacturer Bakkavor in a HSE prosecution arising from an employee suffering an arm injury at the client’s bakery site. ‘Calm and measured’ senior associate Natalie Barton-Howes is also recommended. Susan Dearden is now at Finch Consulting. Other clients include Starbucks, Tuffnells and Cemex UK.

Kingsley Napley LLP’s health and safety team is part of the firm’s wider criminal practice, and defends individuals in criminal investigations and prosecutions. Key partner Jonathan Grimes has ‘a sound knowledge’ of health and safety matters, including corporate manslaughter.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s environment, safety and planning team advises on a broad range of matters, including fatal accidents, asbestos exposure and product liability. Department head Caroline May has particular expertise acting for clients in the transport and construction sectors, largely handling corporate manslaughter and other liability issues. The team includes of counsel Lucy Jones and associate Emilia Richards, who have experience advising on contentious and non-contentious health and safety matters. The group’s client base includes DP World, Crest Nicholson and Energizer.

Weightmans LLP’s regulatory team represents a wide range of corporates and individuals. Crispin Kenyon, who leads the London team, defended a British Eventing member, as the event organiser, in criminal proceedings pertaining to an accident that occurred during the Chatsworth International Horse Trials in 2013. Leeds-based David Lewis heads the regional practice.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s practice handles a broad range of health and safety matters, including asbestos, fire safety and serious accidents. Associate director Jeremy Bark advised Angel Trains on various regulatory issues. The practice is led by Craig Baylis, who is experienced in representing clients in high-profile cases, including those pertaining to fatal accidents.

Bevan Brittan LLP’s group excels in acting for clients in the public sector. Group head Adam Kendall represented Reading Borough Council in a HSE investigation and prosecution regarding a patient death at one of the client’s care homes. The group includes Stuart Marchant, who advises healthcare clients on regulatory matters concerning the HSE and Care Quality Commission.

The team at Blackfords LLP represents companies and individuals in high-profile matters, including HSE investigations, prosecutions and inquests. ‘Very knowledgeable’ practice head Gary Rubin is acting for the tram driver in a high-profile investigation arising from a tram accident at Croydon in 2016. Rubin and Gary Bloxsome are defending Martinisation and its director Martin Gutaj against a corporate manslaughter prosecution following the fatality of two individuals during renovation work at a property in London. Other key names include Trevor Francis and Cardiff-based consultant Philip Williams.

Dentons’ team has notable experience handling contentious and non-contentious matters, including compliance issues and prosecution. Sam Boileau acted for Humbly Grove Energy in a number of health and safety issues, including a HSE prosecution and regulatory investigation. Boileau is also assisting Virgin Media with the health and safety aspects of Project Lightning, which includes advising on regulatory investigations and enforcement issues. Stephen Shergold jointly heads the team with Boileau. Helen Bowdren is another name to note.

At Fieldfisher, the ‘exceptional’ health and safety team often goes ‘above and beyond expectations’, and specialises in acting for clients in the travel sector. Sarah Ellson is representing Alec Sharples Farm Supplies and Transport and owner Alec Sharples in a criminal prosecution brought by the HSE arising from the death of a subcontractor at the client’s haulage yard. Rhys Griffiths heads the practice and Andrew Sanderson provides ‘creative, tailored and common sense advice’. Other clients include Media Force and All Transport & Logistics.

Fisher Scoggins Waters LLP’s practice specialises in representing clients in HSE investigations and prosecutions before the Crown Court. Key partner Mark Scoggins represented Balfour Beatty in HSE prosecutions arising from two employee fatalities. Co-founder Charlotte Waters has extensive experience advising on high-profile corporate manslaughter charges and investigations. The practice was strengthened by the arrival of the well-regarded Michael Appleby from Bivonas Law LLP. Consultant Louise Smail is also noted.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s team has experience handling compliance and other regulatory matters. Environment head Louise Moore advises on liability issues across the oil and gas, infrastructure and energy sectors, and consultant Gary Cassidy handles investigations, inquests and prosecutions.

K&L Gates LLP has a strong multidisciplinary practice, with particular expertise advising large construction companies on domestic and cross-border matters. Neil Baylis, supported by associates Dylan Moses and Patrick Navein, is advising start-up company Driver Risk Dynamics on compliance matters. Practice head Christine Braamskamp acts for clients in inquests, as well as handling investigations arising from serious and fatal industrial accidents. Robert Hadley has experience handling crisis management issues and prosecutions.

Tuckers Solicitors’ team specialises in prosecutions, frequently acting for the HSE. Recent work includes acting for the HSE in inquests and prosecutions arising from various serious and fatal accidents. Practice head Jim Meyer and associate Julia Thomas are the key names.

Excellent’ boutique firm Turnstone Law handles a wide range of health and safety matters with a criminal element, including serious accidents and compliance matters. ‘Engaging’ group head Simon Joyston-Bechal, who ‘performs very well’, has extensive experience handling investigations and corporate manslaughter prosecutions. The group is also able to draw upon a team of barristers that includes Kevin McLoughlin and Valerie Charbit.

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Legal Developments in London 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

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