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  1. Health and safety
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BLM’s work includes appeals of improvement notices and defending in HSE investigations and subsequent prosecutions. James Varney, whose ‘reassuring manner is priceless’, represented Glasgow City Council in the fatal accident inquiry regarding the 2014 Queen Street bin lorry crash. Other clients include leading insurers.

BTO Solicitors LLP is ‘top of the pile’ for HSE investigations, with a strong roster of manufacturing and construction clients. Claire Bone, who stands out for her ‘invaluable knowledge of clients’ businesses’, advised a farm insured by NFU Mutual regarding a death in a grain silo, while Vikki Watt represented Aberdeenshire Council after a drowning on a school trip.

Burness Paull provides ‘consistently first-class support in HSE investigations’. The firm also handles pre-event advice, and represents offshore industry clients in appeals against enforcement notices and defending prosecutions. Rona Jamieson is ‘always tuned to specific needs’, and Ray Gribben ‘gives clear and easy-to-follow advice’.

Clyde & Co LLP is ‘efficient and prompt, with good industry knowledge’. The practice defends Health and Safety at Work Act prosecutions, including in the construction, manufacturing and agricultural sectors. Mark Donaldson, who heads the practice, is a ‘calming influence’. Clients include businesses insured by AIG, QBE and Amlin.

Pinsent Masons LLP acts in pre and post-prosecution matters for a number of big names in the energy, maritime and construction sectors. Practice leader Laura Cameron is representing Shell regarding an oil leak in 2011. Offshore specialist Bruce Craig joined the team from Mackinnons. Tom Stocker is also recommended.

Anderson Strathern acts for the Health and Safety Executive in prohibition notice appeals, and the Scottish Prison Service in Crown Censure cases. Other clients include Scotmid and INEOS. Jonathan Guy heads the practice.

Brodies LLP’s practice is singled out for its ability to ‘cover areas that the clients haven’t considered’. Elena Frycomes up with practical solutions that clients embrace’; her work includes pre-prosecution advice following fatal accidents. Clients include Sunderland Marine.

At DLA Piper Scotland LLP, Alistair Drummond regularly advises on high-profile and controversial incidents.

MacRoberts LLP’s John McGovern defends in HSE investigations and Crown Office prosecutions. Clients include charities, health-sector businesses and construction companies. Associate James McMillan is also a key contact.

Morton Fraser advises public sector bodies, as well as the Health and Safety Executive itself on improvement notice appeals. Jenny Dickson heads the practice, which includes ‘very robust’ senior associate Jim Herd.

Weightmans LLP represents corporates and individuals in fatal accident inquiries relating to deaths and serious injuries at shipping, energy and similar workplaces. Seonaid Busby leads the team.

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Legal Developments in Scotland 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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