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Clinical negligence

Index of tables

  1. Leading Silks
  2. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

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Leading Juniors

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3PB is home to Hamish Dunlop and Mark Lomas, each of whom has significant clinical negligence practices, acting primarily for claimants on a wide range of instructions including birth injury, spinal damage, and delayed diagnosis claims.

Members of Guildhall Chambers are especially adept at acting for claimants in clinical negligence claims, particularly in cases where quantum and liability are heavily disputed. Surgical negligence and failure to diagnose remain key instructions for the set.

Jonathan Jones QC is the key name to note on the circuit from No5 Barristers Chambers, with significant experience in all aspects of claimant work including surgical negligence, missed or delayed diagnoses and birth injuries.

Old Square Chambers is experienced in clinical negligence work from both claimant and defendant perspectives, with particular expertise in birth injury cases, where Kara Loraine and Sophie Beesley have a substantial track record. In addition, Beesley's involvement in the the clinical negligence sphere goes beyond her work on claims, having been appointed as sole counsel to the Ian Paterson Inquiry, which seeks to learn lessons and improve procedures following the conviction of the former surgeon.

Queen Square Chambers is home to Joanna Lewis and Lauren Seager, both of whom represent claimants across a range of clinical negligence instructions including surgical negligence, primary care failures, and failure to provide alternative treatment. Lewis recently represented a claimant who alleged that negligent administration of anaesthetics left her with feeling during a c-section procedure, which continued despite her crying in pain, and for which the anaesthetic and surgical notes contradicted each other. Former head of chambers Christopher Taylor was appointed a District judge in 2018.

St John's Chambers is home to one of the preeminent clinical negligence teams in the region, with its members acting for both claimants and defendants across a wide range of complex cases. Key areas of work include delayed or mis-diagnoses, negligently performed surgery, and dental negligence, an area in which Robert Mills recently secured a record £160,000 damages for a claimant.


Commercial, banking, insolvency and Chancery law

Index of tables

  1. Leading Silks
  2. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

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Leading Juniors

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Cheryl Jones at 3PB specialises in Chancery work, and is recommended for her 'dedication and commitment to direct access clients'.

Southampton-based College Chambers is home to a group of counsel with experience acting across the Chancery and commercial spaces, and who have a strong focus on heavily-contested Inheritance Act 1975 claims.

Robert Sheridan at Colleton Chambers has a broad civil practice, but is most notable for his Chancery work, including probate and Inheritance Act claims, alongside a broader commercial litigation practice.

Launched in May 2018, the Bristol office of Enterprise Chambers houses a team of insolvency specialists who are praised by clients for their 'wealth of expertise' and 'strength in depth'. Key practitioners include Stephen Davies QC, who recently acted for the applicants in Zinc Hotels (Investment) Ltd & Anor v Beveridge & Others, which dealt with the authority of the court to appoint additional administrators where applications to remove the existing administrators are pending. 

Guildhall Chambers has a large number of specialist Chancery and commercial barristers and is particularly prominent in the banking and financial services sectors, where it is described by some instructing solicitors as the 'go-to set' in the region. In a recent highlight matter, Hugh Sims QCGerard McMeel, and James Wibberley represented the respondents in the Supreme Court case Lowick Rose LLP v Swynson Ltd.

William Hopkin of Magdalen Chambers is experienced in a wide range of commercial litigation matters, including shareholder disputes and director disqualification, as well as charity law.

Members of Pump Court Chambers are best known for their expertise in Chancery matters, although commercial litigation is another key work area for the set. Of recent note, Mark Dubbery was successful in his representation of a widow claiming provision from the estate of her late husband more than 25 years after the original claim deadline.

St John's Chambers is home to a large team of commercial practitioners who are instructed in a wide range of cases including professional negligence and breach of contract claims. The set also reports a substantial increase in the number of wills and trusts-related instructions received in the past year, with the set being praised by solicitors as 'the go-to chambers outside London' for this area of work. In one representative instruction of note, Leslie Blohm QC and Natasha Dzameh recently acted for the parents of a millionaire who died intestate, and where his wife was alleged to have forfeited her claim by unlawfully killing the deceased.


Construction, planning and environment

Index of tables

  1. Leading Silks
  2. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

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Leading Juniors

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    • Gavin Collett - Magdalen ChambersHighly experienced in planning, highways, and rights of way matters.’
    • Brendon Moorhouse - Guildhall ChambersAn environmental law specialist.
    • Paul Newman - 3PBHis practice includes both contentious and non-contentious construction work.
    • Richard Stead - St John's ChambersRecommended for cases involving professional negligence or property damage incurred during construction.

Construction and planning remain mainstay work spheres for 3PB, with Paul Newman undertaking a wide range of construction instructions, and village green specialist William Webster a strong presence in planning matters.

Guildhall Chambers is particularly notable in the fields of construction and environmental law, with Julian Allsop predominantly acting in the former, and Brendon Moorhouse the key name in the latter. Moorhouse recently acted for several wildlife organisations in their opposition to plans to expand the M4 motorway.

Planning and environmental specialist Paul Cairnes QC is the key name to note at No5 Barristers Chambers, as he is particularly strong on highly contentious planning proposals, including the Kidnappers Land inquiry, which related to a large residential development in Cheltenham.

St John's Chambers is particularly strong on large scale construction disputes, including adjudications, breach of contract claims, and high-value international arbitrations, where Andrew Kearney is a highly regarded practitioner. In a recent highlight, James Pearce-Smith represented the defendant developer in a dispute against a construction company; the claim settled following a  counterclaim against the contractor for failure to supply appropriate heating systems.


Costs

Leading Juniors

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Described by one client as 'a leading set outside London' for costs matters, Guildhall Chambers' costs specialists Oliver Moore and James Wibberley are instructed in all areas of costs work. Wibberley highly experienced in advisory work and costs disputes arising from commercial litigation, and Moore is particularly prevelant in personal inury-related matters.

James Marwick and Darren Lewis at are the key members for costs work at St John's Chambers and are particularly experienced in costs arising from personal injury or clinical negligence claims. Marwick recently acted for the paying party in a case involving fixed recoverable costs in which the judge had allowed for significant counsel's fees over and above the fixed costs threshold.


Court of Protection and community care

Leading Juniors

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No5 Barristers Chambers is home to Ian Brownhill, who specialises in health and welfare cases, particularly those involving safeguarding concerns.

Members of St John's Chambers frequently appear in the Court of Protection in cases concerning capacity to consent, deputy disputes, health and welfare proceedings, along with property and affairs.


Crime

Index of tables

  1. Leading Silks
  2. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

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Leading Juniors

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3PB is praised by clients as a 'go-to set' for both prosecution and defence instructions work across the western circuit, with 'excellent strength in depth'. The set is instructed on all manner of cases, including serious violent, sexual, or drug-related crime, as well as more specialist areas including fraud and court-martials. Timothy Bradbury prosecuted a British Army officer, who was alleged to have raped a United States Air Force captain. Adam Feest QC prosecuted a former Southampton FC youth coach for multiple historical sexual offences against 24 complainants.

At Colleton Chambers, sexual offences are a key area of instruction for the set, with barristers including Heather Hope prosecuting and defending in substantial cases. Recent instructions of note for Hope include the prosecution of a serial sex attacker and the prosecution of a mental health nurse who sexually abused a vulnerable patient.

Devon Chambers remains one of the strongest sets for criminal law matters in Devon and Cornwall, thanks to its members' extensive experience in both the prosecution and defence of serious criminal offences. In one representative instruction, Joanna Martin QC recently defended in R v Lowe, a murder case in which the victim's body was never found.

Drystone Chambers is home to several strong criminal practitioners, who act on a wide range of criminal cases. Recent work highlights include R v David, a high-profile multiple rape case prosecuted by Robert Bryan in which the defendant used Grindr to connect with his victims.

Guildhall Chambers is home to a very strong criminal team, with 'incredible breadth and depth'. Key areas of work for the set includes serious violent crime and drug-related offences, but the set is perhaps best known for its members' experience acting in sexual offences cases. Head of chambers Anna Vigars QC recently defended a client accused of murdering his girlfriend, in circumstances where the body was never found, while Mary Cowe prosecuted three defendants charged with a series of frauds relating to a biotechnology company. Rosaleen Collins recently retired from practice.

Ali Rafati at KBG Chambers is experienced in both prosecution and defence of serious cases, with a particular focus on cases involving vulnerable defendants.

Members of Pump Court Chambers 'solid' criminal team are instructed on a wide range of criminal matters for both prosecutors and defendants, including serious sexual offences, drug-related crime, and large-scale frauds. In a recent highlight, James Newton-Price QC acted for the second defendant in a 12-handed conspiracy to defraud. Also of note, Sarah Jones QC took silk in 2019.

Queen Square Chambers provides expertise in all areas of criminal law, for both prosecutors and defence solicitors. Fraud remains a key area of work for the set, with Charles Row and James Tucker prosecuting in carbon credit fraud case. Robin Shellard prosecuted a man for historic sexual offences against three stepdaughters.


Employment

Index of tables

  1. Leading Silks
  2. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

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Leading Juniors

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3PB's employment specialists are instructed on behalf of all parties across a range of employment disputes, including TUPE, discrimination, constructive dismissal, and protected disclosures. Craig Ludlow recently represented a London bus company, which was one of three respondents to a large-scale claim for unauthorised deductions from wages brought by 55 employees, which related to non-payment of a historical meal allowance. In another highlight, Sarah Clarke acted for a respondent in an unfair dismissal case which also involved issues of protected disclosure, successfully defending against all 29 claims.

Key areas of work for Guildhall Chambers' employment specialists include TUPE, discrimination, whistleblowing, and appeal tribunal work. Of note, Debbie Grennan recently represented 15 claimants in a complex TUPE claim featuring five respondents. The set was recently strengthened with the arrival of Kerry Gardiner from Queen Square Chambers in June 2019.

No.18 Barristers Chambers is home to Barnaby Large, who is instructed in a wide range of matters for claimants and, more notably, respondents. In a recent highlight, Large represented the respondent picture framer in a discrimination, unfair dismissal, and victimisation claim brought following the dismissal of an employee for breach of confidentiality.

Old Square Chambers is home to several specialist employment barristers, providing good coverage across all aspects of employment law. Whistleblowing specialist Jack Mitchell acted as junior to Simon Gorton QC in the Supreme Court case Royal Mail Group Ltd v Jhuti, in addition to representing both respondents and claimants in several separate tribunal cases also concerning whistleblowing.

Members of Pump Court Chambers are instructed on a wide range of employment cases for both claimants and respondents, with experience in complex whistleblowing claims, direct and indirect discrimination cases, TUPE, and equal pay disputes.

Members of Queen Square Chambers are instructed on behalf of both respondents and defendants at both first-instance and appellate stages. Particular areas of expertise include disability discrimination and constructive dismissal. James Bromige represented the respondent school in a multi-faceted claim by a former teacher, who accused the trust of religious discrimination, constructive dismissal, and protected disclosure detriments, where the claimant is alleged to have bullied and misgendered a transgender student. Kerry Gardiner departed the set in June 2019 for Guildhall Chambers.


Family and children law

Index of tables

  1. Leading Silks
  2. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

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Leading Juniors

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    • Laura Baines - No.18 Barristers ChambersVery knowledgeable and quick on her feet.
    • Melissa Barlow - 3PBAble to engage well with lay and professional clients alike.
    • Catherine Breslin - Pump Court ChambersIn court she provides a masterclass in advocacy.
    • Rupert Chapman - Magdalen ChambersAlways meticulous in his preparation and clear in his advice.
    • Nigel Chorlerton - No.18 Barristers ChambersHis easy and confident manner helps put clients at ease.
    • Caroline Eldford - St John's ChambersRecommended for complex care cases.
    • Caroline Hartley - Pump Court ChambersCombines excellent advocacy with good client care.
    • Steven Howard - 3PBSpecialises in care proceedings.
    • David Josty - Pump Court ChambersFocuses on public law children cases.
    • Geoffrey Kelly - Pump Court ChambersHis knowledge of financial settlements, trusts and companies is second to none.
    • Tara Lyons - Pump Court ChambersKnowledgeable, and gives clear, confident advice.
    • Carol Mashembo - Magdalen ChambersShe leaves no stone unturned in both financial and private children matters.
    • Nick Miller - St John's ChambersSolid as a rock and extremely persuasive in court.
    • Richard Norman - St John's ChambersHe has an excellent strategic mind well beyond his years.
    • Sarah O'Hara - 3PBA strong advocate, who cuts through to the heart of any matter.
    • Gina Small - KBG ChambersTenacious, experienced and really fights for the client.
    • Daniel Swan - KBG ChambersA very safe pair of hands who is unfailingly prepared.
    • Oliver Thorne - 3PBHis cross-examination and conduct of advocacy is second to none.
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    • Richard Carron - Queen Square ChambersParticularly active in non-accidental injury cases.
    • Gemma Chapman - 3PBUtterly dedicated to getting the best for her client.
    • John Chapman - Pump Court ChambersReally fights his client’s corner.
    • Sally Daulton - Devon ChambersFantastic on children matters.
    • Chris Godfrey - Colleton ChambersAn excellent barrister, who immediately puts the client at ease.
    • Ian Halliday - Queen Square ChambersActive in a wide range of family law work.
    • Jack Harris - St John's ChambersGood on his feet and great with clients.
    • Katherine Henry - No.18 Barristers ChambersParticularly skilled with difficult Children Act cases.
    • Sarah Jennings - 3PBVery good with vulnerable clients.
    • Amy Lush - 3PBAttentive, efficient, and thorough.
    • Imogen Robins - Pump Court ChambersHer practice includes public and private children law, along with financial matters.
    • Mark Whitheall - Colleton ChambersRecommended for children law cases involving complex medical evidence.
    • Elizabeth Willsteed - Magdalen ChambersCombines good and realistic decision-making with meticulous forensic analysis.
    • Lee Young - No.18 Barristers ChambersActive in all areas of family law.

3PB has 'exceptional depth in family law', and is praised by clients as 'an exceptional set' which 'overshadows its peers'. The set is home to members who specialise in all areas of family law, including complex care proceedings and high-value financial disputes. Hamish Dunlop, as junior to Nigel Dyer QC, represented the husband in Supreme Court Case Owens v Owens, which considered the legal requirements for divorce without spousal consent.

Children law specialist Anthony Hand is a key practitioner at College Chambers, which is also home to members specialising in matrimonial finance matters.

Colleton Chambers is praised by clients for the 'great depth' of its family law team, who are instructed on the full spectrum of disputes. Recent cases have included issues of sexual abuse and non-accidental injury in children law, as well as add-back issues in family finance matters.

Devon Chambers 'are rapidly developing a skilled team, particularly in private and public law children proceedings,' according to one instructing law firm. Team head Victoria Hoyle is particularly experienced in children law matters involving vulnerable parents, while Sally Daulton is the name to note for finance-related work.

One of the key sets for family law in Cornwall, KBG Chambers provides 'a diverse broad spectrum' of counsel, covering a wide range of cases across both the public and private children spaces, as well as financial remedy matters. Recent cases for the set included serious child abuse allegations, undisclosed assets in financial remedy proceedings, and jurisdictional issues in private Children Act cases.  

Devon-based Magdalen Chambers reports a substantial increase in matrimonial finance and private Children Act instructions, in addition to its substantial public children law practice. The set is praised by clients for its handling of diary conflicts and 'considerable strength in depth'. Susan Campbell QC recently rejoined the set from Pump Court Chambers.

No.18 Barristers Chambers is active in financial remedy and private children law proceedings, as well as reporting an influx of public law instructions in the past year. Nigel Cholerton is particularly noted for public law proceedings involving complex findings of fact.

The 'solutions-focused, practical, and unstuffy' family team at Pump Court Chambers remains the ‘crème de la crème’ for those requiring counsel in the eastern areas of the western circuit. The set houses a large number of specialist counsel, with clients praising the set's 'excellent expert service across all areas of family law'. Penny Howe QC is highly recommended for serious public Children Act matters, particularly when acting for clients subject to parallel criminal proceedings. Among the junior ranks, Margaret Pine-Coffin is highly experienced in non-accidental injury and sexual abuse cases, while Edward Boydell is a key name to note for family finance matters. Susan Campbell QC departed the set for Magdalen Chambers in 2019, but retains a door tenancy at the set.

Care specialist Richard Carron is the key name in family law at Queen Square Chambers, with a practice including vulnerable parents and non-accidental injuries. Ian Halliday has also appeared in several complex care cases recently, in addition to private law and financial remedy instructions.

St John's Chambers is home to a large contingent of specialist family barristers, who provide 'great depth' across public and private children law cases, as well as all aspects of divorce and financial remedy work. Areas of specialism include international assets in finance cases, non-accidental injury matters involving complex causation evidence, and child maintenance, where Jody Atkinson is the key name to note.


Immigration

Leading Juniors

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    • Laura Baines - No.18 Barristers ChambersClient-focused and provides down-to-earth advice.
    • Sarah Hirech - No.18 Barristers ChambersRecommended for appeals overlapping with domestic violence, human rights claims, and deceptive applications.

No.18 Barristers Chambers is home to immigration practitioners Laura Baines and Sarah Hirech, who acts predominantly for appellants in immigration cases, although the set is also instructed on behalf of respondents.


Inquests and inquiries

Leading Juniors

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St John's Chambers is the preeminent set for inquest work in the South West, with specialist areas including deaths in custody, care deaths, and fatal accidents. Notable recent instructions include self-inflicted custody death Re: Jeffery Griffiths, and Re: Christopher Clarke, which concerned a fatal workplace accident.


Leading Sets


Personal injury

Index of tables

  1. Leading Silks
  2. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

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Leading Juniors

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3PB is home to a 'wealth of technical experts' who are instructed across a wide range of personal injury cases including complex public liability and RTA claims, particularly those involving multiple injured parties and counterclaims. Mark Lomas is particularly recommended for catastrophic injury claims, while Michelle Marnham has a strong track record in cases involving technical issues as to causation, such as product liability, and Duncan McNair is most notable in employment liability cases.

Members of Guildhall Chambers are instructed for all parties in a wide range of personal injury cases, including employer's liability, serious road traffic accidents, contested schedules of loss, and psychiatric injury. Of particular note are James Bentley and John Snell, who respectively specialise in claims where dishonesty is alleged and equine-related injuries.

At KBG ChambersThomas Challacombe is noted for his strong claimant practice, with particular experience of employer's liability claims involving members of the armed forces.

Old Square Chambers is home to a strong contingent of personal injury juniors, with experience of complex, multi-track cases on behalf of claimant and defendant. Particular areas of specialism for the set include employers liability and high-value road traffic accidents, with Andreá Risoli recently securing a £6.5m settlement for a claimant motorcyclist who had been struck by a car, following two failed mediation attempts.

Pump Court Chambers is home to personal injury specialist Adam Gadd, who is particularly specialised in cases where fraud is suspected and acts for defendant insurers.

Following the departure of former head of chambers Christopher Taylor to sit as a district judge, Joanna Lewis and Lauren Seager are now the key practitioners for personal injury work at Queen Square Chambers. The set's members are predominantly instructed on behalf of claimants, with employer's liability claims a particular area of specialism for chambers.

The personal injury team at St John's Chambers reports an increase in defendant work, with members acting for government departments, insurers, and employers, in addition to claimant work. Key areas of work include catastrophic injury, road traffic accidents, and cases involving allegations of fundamental dishonesty, as well as more niche areas such as Animals Act claims, where Richard Stead is the key practitioner. Industrial disease and workplace injury specialist Andrew McLaughlin successfully defended the Ministry of Defence in a £1.5m stress at work claim brought by a former RAF sergeant.


Property

Index of tables

  1. Leading Silks
  2. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

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Leading Juniors

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    • Natasha Bellinger - Magdalen ChambersA social housing specialist.
    • Mathew Cannings - 3PBKnowledgeable, thorough, and client-friendly.
    • Antonietta Grasso - 3PBA safe pair of hands.

3PB is active across the property litigation space, with members acting for a range of clients on boundaries and easements disputes, as well as social housing, restrictive covenants, and land registration disputes.

Guildhall Chambers' property team is praised by instructing solicitors for the 'vast array of expertise' available, with some feeling that the set 'can and does give London sets a run for their money.' Notable areas of work include agriculture, boundaries and easements, and possession claims. Tim Walsh departed chambers to sit as a district judge.

KBG Chambers member Rawdon Crozier is highly experienced in a wide range of property issues, including complex landlord and tenant disputes, and land use matters.

At Magdalen Chambers, Russell James, and Natasha Bellinger are recommended for possession claims and other housing matters including exclusion orders, tenancy regulations, and anti-social behaviour. James is also notable for his expertise in homelessness matters and recently represented a tenant in the Court of Appeal, in a case involving a possession claim against the client's fixed-term tenancy, which centred on the correct interpretation of sections 21(1A) and 21(1B) of the Housing Act 1988.

Stephen Jones is the key figure for property litigation matters at Pump Court Chambers, and is particularly knowledgeable on restrictive covenants, as well as boundary disputes.

St John's Chambers property group is home to a large number of specialist members, who are experienced in commercial, agricultural, and residential property cases. In a recent highlight, Leslie Blohm QC and John Sharples recently acted for the respondent in the easements case of Haddock v Churston Golf Club.


Public law

Leading Juniors

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At Guildhall Chambers, Jorren Knibbe specialises in public procurement work,  acting for both claimants and defendants in a wide range of procurement cases, including advisory work. Rebecca Stickler departed the set in December 2018 for a research position with The Institute For Criminal Policy Research.

Old Square Chambers is home to Nadia Motraghi, who specialises in public law cases involving NHS trusts and other medical bodies, both at the advisory stage and in judicial review proceedings.


Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing

Index of tables

  1. Leading Silks
  2. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

  1. 1

Leading Juniors

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Members of 3PB are particularly experienced in health and safety cases, receiving both prosecution and defence instructions. Notable areas of specialism include maritime prosecutions and care home deaths, where David Richards and Nicholas Cotter are the key names to note respectively. Notable recent cases include Richards' prosecution of a yacht operator for the gross negligence manslaughter of four sailors lost at sea, and Cotter's defence of a care home after three patients died; the home was accused of negligent care following injuries sustained by the deceased upon falling out of a window.

Guildhall Chambers regulatory team is home to a broad range of specialists, and uses this 'strength in numbers' to its advantage, with instructing solicitors praising its 'good availability at all levels of call'. Key areas of work for the set include health and safety, and professional discipline, as well as a sector-specific focus on sports regulation and disciplinary proceedings. Samuel Jones recently defended an auto part manufacturer in a Health and Safety Executive prosecution following an accident at the company's plant. Ian Dixey retired in 2019.

Health and safety is the watchword at Pump Court Chambers; members prosecute and defend across a wide range of serious cases, including HSE v Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure Ltd, in which Richard Tutt prosecuted a company who had, in a university accommodation block, installed gas fittings which were considered an immediate danger to life.  Charles Parry recently defended London Zoo following an accident in which an employee fell off a ladder, and secured a substantially reduced fine.

Oliver Willmott is the key figure for regulatory and health and safety cases at Queen Square Chambers and is particularly experienced in maritime cases, as well as regulatory prosecutions involving the Water Industry Act. Wilmott was recently instructed in a private prosecution of a metal plating company by Severn Trent Water, following allegations that the company had discharged trade effluent which exceeded legal limits.

St John's Chambers regulatory team are predominantly focused on health and safety and licensing matters. On the latter, Roy Light is particularly experienced on taxi and adult establishment licensing, acting for all parties in such cases as well as taking instructions for alcohol licensing work. On the health and safety front, Simon Morgan prosecuted Bridgend County Borough Council following a fatal accident involving a 15-year-old student at a school overseen by the local authority; the manner in which the parking area had been constructed some years earlier exposed pupils to significant risks.


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