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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 > North West > Human resources > Health and safety > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Consultant Iain Moore heads up DAC Beachcroft LLP's health and safety practice. The department provides advice for companies who are suspected of corporate manslaughter, health and safety as well as environmental offences, particularly those operating in the construction, manufacturing, healthcare and public sector.

Practice head(s):Iain Moore

Other key lawyers:Barrie Hall

Testimonials

'The team at DAC Beachcroft are available, professional and knowledgeable, who often go above and beyond to ensure our needs are met'.

Key Clients

DHL

BAE SYSTEMS

At Addleshaw Goddard, practice head Erin Shoesmith - 'a fantastic lawyer who is that great mix of technical and commercial' - was promoted to partner in May 2018. The team was also strengthened by the arrival of Alan Fox , who joined as a legal director from the Health and Safety Executive in March 2019. The team acts for large national and multinational corporate defendants on matters pertaining to fire safety, food safety and product safety, as well as a wide range of criminal regulatory matters. In addition to legal representation, the firm provides advice and training on issues such as compliance and employee duties.

Practice head(s):Erin Shoesmith

Other key lawyers:Nick Ashcroft; Priscilla Addo Quaye; Helen Mattingly; James Currie; Alan Fox

Testimonials

'Erin Shoesmith is very committed to providing a quality service to high-profile clients'.

'The team is experienced and pragmatic.  It understands business needs and is proactive in its advice. Where necessary it ensures that those from the business involved in any investigation are reassured and given confidence in the quality of support.'

'The team are very experienced in health and safety matters. They attract some of the best quality work and provide a very high level of service to clients.'

'Erin Shoesmith is a fantastic lawyer who is that great mix of technical and commercial. She is well supported by her team, who show real strength in depth.'

'An informed, sleeves-rolled-up, can-do mentality that really engages with the client and the issues.'

'The team is very switched on and client friendly.'

'It is the inspiring leadership of Erin Shoesmith which gives this practice its unique stamp. Her relentless focus on the client's best interests, coupled with her phenomenal work rate, gives this team its hallmark. The incredibly high standards to which she works gives the team its benchmark. The result is an exceptional team, which achieves exceptional results.'

'Erin Shoesmith is dedicated, bright and knowledgeable. Committed to her clients and on top of the law.'

'Erin Shoesmith is at the top of her game. A very experienced and very knowledgeable lawyer who is a pleasure to work with.'

'Erin Shoesmith is excellent. She is a great lawyer, as well as being approachable and commercial.'

'Erin Shoesmith and Priscilla Addo-Quaye brought real clarity and honesty to our cause and gave us real confidence that we had engaged a best in class team that personally cared about our business and the outcome of our particular challenge.'

'Nick Ashcroft is peerless in navigating the minefield of privilege and getting to the best commercial answer.'

'The individuals in this team bring a clear sighted focus to the task in hand, coupled with unremitting application and energy. This and their genuine interest in client outcomes sets them apart.'

Key Clients

Skanska Construction UK Limited and Morrison Utility Services Limited

Marks and Spencer Plc

PZ Cussons Plc

National Grid Property

Manchester Arena Inquests - Pro Bono

Air Liquide UK limited

Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc

Accrol Papers Limited

Boohoo.com Plc

Work highlights

  • Instructed to represent Air Liquide UK Limited in a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive in relation to a breach of section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • Appointed following a bidding process involving three firms to deliver health and safety training to National Grid Property.
  • Providing pro bono representation for three families in the Manchester Arena inquests scheduled to take place during 2020.

BLM has strength in sectors including manufacturing, construction and care, handling complex fatal accident investigations and high profile inquests for public and private sector clients alike. The team also offers a 24-hour helpline for immediate post-incident advice, encompassing attendance at site and legal advice representation. Practice head Helen Devery focuses on defending companies and individuals in investigations and prosecutions. David Rainey was promoted to partner in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Helen Devery

Other key lawyers:Sally Hancock; Natalie Puce; Nick Gianferrari

Key Clients

Zurich Insurance

Allianz Insurance

Ecclessiastical

Travelers

Liberty

Aviva

Chubb

Warburtons Limited

Redrow Homes Limited

Oldham Council

Stockport Council

QBE

Thomas Cook

CNA Hardy

Barbican

AIG

Areas

Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company

Persimmon

Travelodge

Sainsburys

Protector

Clyde & Co LLP¬†is praised for its ‚Äėcustomer focus and understanding‚Äô as well as its ‚Äėin-depth knowledge and experience‚Äô. The team, which acts for both insurer and corporate clients, is led by¬†Chris Morrison, who is described as 'the best lawyer in this field'.¬†Rod Hunt¬†is sought after by clients in the energy, construction and manufacturing sectors, while legal director Mark Brookes¬†handles work relating to fatalities, corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter, advising blue chip clients, SMEs and individuals in the retail, agricultural, manufacturing and construction space. Legal director Nathan Buckley¬†regularly undertakes his own advocacy before the Magistrates' Courts and the Coroner's Courts.

Practice head(s):Chris Morrison

Other key lawyers:Steven North; Rod Hunt; Mark Brookes; Nathan Buckley

Testimonials

'The team is second to none - they work extremely hard for their clients. They provide honest, reliable and timely advice and always, always work in their client's best interests.'

'The team are incredibly personable and approachable; they can deliver detailed, practical advice in a human and caring manner. Their attention to detail is second to none, and they have tremendous strength in depth'.

'One of, if not the, best teams of health and safety lawyers, with strength in depth from partner to associate.'

'From the head of the unit - Chris Morrison - down to the most junior member, the team are aware of the important part they play in the team as a whole. Chris works tirelessly to make sure that he is doing all that he can to help his clients and the rest of the team follow his lead. It really is a pleasure to work with Chris and his team.'

'Chris Morrison is a valued partner for myself and our business. He balances knowledge with experience and empathy which is a unique combination, putting us at ease that our cases are in good hands. You can tell Chris genuinely cares about his business, his cases, his clients and most importantly his team which shines through in the team's dedication and delivery.'

'Nathan Buckley is a superb lawyer - he has unrivalled knowledge of the law; his attention to detail; ability to identify the crucial elements of a case and his professional and friendly approach make him my first choice.'

'From a regulatory perspective, Chris Morrison is the best lawyer in this field I have ever worked with. Chris and his team constantly surpass my expectations from a customer anticipation perspective.'

'Having Chris Morrison on the team means I never have to worry about the legal aspect.'

Key Clients

Sports Direct

AIRBUS

Aviva

AXA

Wagamama

Natwest/RBS

Work highlights

  • Advised Martin Baker Aircraft Company Limited on a HSE prosecution arising from the death of a Red Arrows pilot in 2011 at RAF Scampton, when he was inadvertently ejected from his aircraft whilst stationary on the runway.
  • Representation of CEP Facades Ltd, a St Helens based (Merseyside) cladding fabricator in the ongoing Metropolitan Police investigation and the public Inquiry arising out of the Grenfell Tower fire of June 2017.
  • Instructed to represent Geof Van der Vliet, director of Petroleum Distribution (Jersey) Limited, following a serious fire at the company's premises in La Collette in May 2017.

DWF's health and safety team acts in some of the largest cases for major clients nationwide, and is frequently involved in cases resulting from major incidents including corporate manslaughter, fatalities and very serious injuries. The firm's clients are drawn from a wide range of sectors, including energy, retail, transport, education, healthcare, construction, hotels and manufacturing. Steffan Groch and Vikki Woodfine are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):Steffan Groch; Vikki Woodfine; Gary Smith

Other key lawyers:Simon Belfield; Joanne Witheford

Testimonials

'Top level technical knowledge, allied with excellent service both for insured clients and insurers'.

'James Roden, Joanne Witheford and Vikki Woodfine are three top notch lawyers. Always go the extra mile, no matter what time of day'.

'An excellent group of like-minded professionals; commercially minded as well as operating at the top of their game.'

'Highly professional and go above and beyond what would normally be expected when delivering the service to all of their clients.'

Key Clients

Premier Foods PLC

Hovis Ltd

RSA

Severfield PLC

Booker PLC

Wincanton PLC

Fusion Insurance Services Ltd

Faraday Insurance

Work highlights

  • Instructed to act for a large food manufacturer following a serious accident involving a subcontractor.
  • Successful defence of specialist water jetting company following a serious accident during contract works.
  • Instructed to act for a large utilities company in relation to a fatal accident.
  • Instructed to act by a national high street discount retailer following the fatal injury of a delivery driver.

David Walton heads up the Bolton-based health and safety team at Keoghs LLP, which represents clients in a wide array of sectors, including food and drink, transport and logistics, leisure and hospitality, retail, manufacturing and public. The team is instructed in matters relating to corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, environmental offences, food safety and fire safety matters,as well as care sector related investigations.

Practice head(s):David Walton

Other key lawyers:Suzannne Drinkwater; Neena Sharma; Kathryn Turner; Heather Vyse

Key Clients

LV=

RSA

Zurich

Hastings Direct

AXA

Admiral

Allianz

Direct Line Group

Esure

Kevin Bridges leads the health and safety team at Pinsent Masons LLP, which acts for major players in high hazard industries including construction, waste, manufacturing and energy. Bridges, who is also qualified as a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner and member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, has wide-ranging experience, while senior associate Zoe Betts has a particular focus on the waste sector. Associate Emma Evans handles, among other things, manslaughter investigations, inquests and challenges to enforcement notices.

Practice head(s):Kevin Bridges

Testimonials

'Zoe Betts is a very dedicated lawyer and has a keen eye for detail'.

'Kevin Bridges provides high quality expert advice immediately'.

'Zoe Betts is approachable,  confident, clear in terms of advice, bold and very trustworthy'.

Key Clients

Kier Group plc

Crest Nicholson Operations Limited

Into Properties

Morgan Sindall Group plc

Pennon Group plc (Viridor and South West Water)

Future Industrial Services Limited

Bouygues Group

Muller

FedEx / TNT

Work highlights

  • Represented Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure following a hand amputation incident which gave rise to a prosecution for a guarding offence.
  • Represented national waste contractor Viridor Waste Management Limited in two-week trial arising out of a rollaway skip lorry fatality and a sentencing hearing following a fatal incident involving entrapment in a large waste sorting machine.

Rob Elvin leads Squire Patton Boggs' health and safety team, which has a good reputation for its work defending large corporates and directors facing serious health and safety issues, as well as handling accident and internal investigation work across a wide range of sectors including entertainment, food and drink, retail, construction, energy and sport. Other expertise includes advising on regulatory compliance relating to large corporate and real estate transactions, as well as audits of compliance management systems.

Practice head(s):Rob Elvin

Other key lawyers:Gary Lewis

Key Clients

Ei Group (formerly known as Enterprise Inns)

EDF Energy

Live Nation

Showsec International Limited

Suez Plc (and subsidiary)

Bayer Crop Science

Mamas & Papas

Homebase

International Tennis Federation

Staples

Work highlights

  • Advised EDF Energy in relation to a prosecution following work at height accident.
  • Represented Homebase in relation to its appeal against a prohibition notice imposed as a result of work practices.
  • Represented Vale Park Demolition Limited at its prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive following a serious injury of an employee.
  • Advising on the health and safety aspects of the acquisition of Wigan Athletic Football Club (including its stadium and training ground) from the Whelan family. The matter included advising in relation to asbestos management and fire safety.

Weightmans LLP's health and safety department is now led by regulatory head Dewi Ap-Thomas, who succeeded David Lewis, now the firm's senior partner. The team is known for its work in relation to fatal accidents, assisting clients with investigations, representing them at inquests and providing a 'cradle-to-grave' service for clients, working closely with the national firm's other offices around the country. Gillian Hulme, who is dual qualified as an Environmental Health Officer, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Dewi Ap-Thomas

Work highlights

  • Advising Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council in the wake of a tragic fatal accident in 2016 where a tree branch fell on a stationary car, causing injury to the female driver, leading to her unborn baby having to be delivered under emergency C-section but who subsequently died.

Lachlan Nisbet  leads the Brabners LLP health and safety team, which is adept at dealing with matters relating to compliance and both fatal and non-fatal accident investigations. Other areas of expertise include corporate manslaughter, coroners' inquests, asbestos-related matters and product safety. Clients come from the ports and logistics, the social housing and the manufacturing sectors.

Practice head(s):Lachlan Nisbet

Testimonials

'Lachlan Nisbet quickly identifies pertinent matters in litigation and directs focus to influence outcomes.'

'The team provide an unparalleled level of expertise across HR and health and safety, taking time to understand the matters at hand before providing excellent legal and commercial advice and support through the processes that follow.'

Key Clients

The Peel Ports Group

The Riverside Group

Work highlights

  • Retained by The Peel Ports Group as exclusive health and safety advisers for ongoing proactive/preventative advice and responsive support for any matters which arise.
  • Instructed by the UK arm of a large international manufacturer of hose in relation to an ongoing investigation by the HSE following an incident whereby an employee’s arm was broken after being caught in the mechanism of a machine.
  • Instructed to act for a manufacturing company in relation to an ongoing HSE investigation into alleged breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by a self-employed individual whom has a supervisory function on a construction site.
  • Instructed in relation to a Health and Safety Executive investigation into a work at height incident whereby a male was photographed at height in the bucket of an excavator, attempting to remove the gable end of a building with a chainsaw.
  • Instructed to advise a client in connection with a potential release of asbestos at their office buildings in view of intimated investigations by the HSE.

Investigations and interviews lie at the heart of Hill Dickinson LLP's health and safety practice, which is led by Philip Moy. He is adept at dealing with serious criminal and regulatory matters, working alongside senior associate Stephen Barnfield, whose workload includes defending substantial prosecutions.

Practice head(s):Philip Moy

Other key lawyers:Stephen Barnfield

Led by Madeleine Abas, Osborn Abas Hunt's team is adept at handling inquests, defending at trial, appealing enforcement notices, particularly for clients in the construction sector. Another notable feature of the firm is the provision of advice on complex compliance questions, as well as the designing of bespoke programmes for increased compliance.

Practice head(s):Madeleine Abas

Key Clients

BAM Construction Limited

Beautiful Drinks Limited

MP Lifts

Vinci Construction Limited

Bowmer and Kirkland

Amec Foster Wheeler Plc (now Wood Group)

Barratt Homes Limited

Rochdale Borough Council

Crossrail Limited

Cordant Group Plc

Pochin Construction

Serco Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Beautiful Drinks Limited and its directors in the aftermath of the death of an 18-year old customer who suffered anaphylaxis after consuming food to which she was allergic.
  • Representing the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Services in respect of an accident in which a fire fighter became unconscious during a selection exercise to join the Technical Rescue Unit.
  • Acting for Vinci Construction Limited in respect of an accident in which barriers around a construction site were lifted in stormy conditions.
  • Acting for Barratt Homes Limited in respect of an HSE investigation following the fall from height of an electrician who sustained life changing injuries.
  • Acted for BAM Construction Limited both during investigation and in the subsequent prosecution after a tower crane hit a building and a load of scaffolding tubes fell to the floor striking and seriously injuring a worker.

Rhian Greaves now serves as head of regulatory at Pannone Corporate LLP, having arrived from Clyde & Co LLP in March 2018. Tristan Meears-White stepped down from the partnership in September and is now acting as a consultant. The team covers a wide array of matters in the health and safety arena, including corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, coroners inquests, food, fire and product safety as well as environmental law issues. Director Bill Dunkerley joined from Keoghs LLP in January 2019.

Practice head(s):Rhian Greaves

Testimonials

'Rhian Greaves is extremely professional and highly competent'.

'Rhian's knowledge and ability to target her message appropriately makes her a highly value business partner. Coupled with her exceptional presentation skills she is an absolute pleasure to work with and I would not hesitate to put her in front of our clients'.

'Pannone has emerged as a specialist in the area of Health and Safety. They have recruited the best from other firms in the marketplace and are now well poised to become a big player. Their attention to detail and strength in depth enables them to provide a comprehensive service to their clients. One to watch for the future.'

Work highlights

  • Represented a large industrial client following a fatality by drowning at one of its sites.
  • Represented a major food retailer following an allegation of failure to control pests at a store in the South East.
  • Representing an individual suspect in the manslaughter investigation following the collapse of the boiler house at the Didcot power station.

Led by Gareth Martin, the practice at Markel Law LLP has recently seen an uptick in work in the care home sector. Associate Lauren Wilson specialises in representing providers against regulators such as the Care Quality Commission, Ofsted and the Department of Education, and has experience of defending professionals in fitness to practice proceedings.

Practice head(s):Gareth Martin

Key Clients

Federation of Small Businesses

The Fostering Network

Serendipity Devon (Devon) Ltd

Greenacre Care Services Ltd

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended fitness to practise proceedings for Wholesale Hearing Ltd.
  • Successfully defended A1 Budget Skips Ltd in proceedings brought by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner, avoiding revocation or suspension.
  • Representing Serendipity (Devon), a large family assessment centre in a First Tier Tribunal Appeal, appealing cancellation against Ofsted since early 2018.
  • Successfully represented a paramedic over a period of 18 months, facing fitness to practise proceedings brought by his regulator.
  • Successfully represented Bondcare, a care home provider at an inquest following the death of a resident in hospital following a fall.

Led by Jason Cropper, TLT's health and safety practice handles food safety, environmental enforcement and other criminal prosecutions. The department also advises companies on regulatory compliance, particularly in relation to remedial action following injuries or fatalities.

Practice head(s):Jason Cooper

Other key lawyers:Duncan Reed; Angela Craven; Liam Whitefield

Testimonials

'TLT has a unique experience in health and safety in the water Industry. It is ideally placed within the market to give big City experience and advice at a regional level.'

'Duncan Reed is the standout individual in the team, with substantial experience in the area. His easy, confident manner underlies his iron determination to get the best result for the client. He is known by both other solicitors and counsel who operate in the area as the man with for the big case.'

'Jason Cropper is very experienced, while Angela Craven is a very well prepared and detailed solicitor with a cheerful and helpful approach.'

Key Clients

Iceland Foods

Biffa Waste

Pennon Group

South West Water

JD Sports

James West Ltd

Gaskell Waste (North West Ltd)

British Renewables Ltd

Nationwide Building Society

Elavon Financial Services

Bohoo / PLT (Pretty Little Thing)

The Co-operative group

Bibby Hydromap

Greene King

Work highlights

  • Received three new regulatory instructions from Iceland Foods, an existing client of the firm, relating to health and safety and food safety.
  • Advised Southern Water on an internal investigation concerning safety and other environmental concerns at the company from 2014 to 2018.
  • Advising James West in respect on a health and safety investigation concerning a site in Manchester where there were two fatalities. The investigation was originally a joint investigation involving GM Police who were investigating a potential murder
  • Advise Pretty Little Thing in connection with various health and safety and regulatory matters.

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Legal Developments in North West 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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