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

Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Health and safety clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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‘Market leaders in the South West’, Burges Salmon LLP advise clients on operational safety, governance, risk management, regulatory matters, safety authority investigations and prosecutions. It also advises commercial landlords and public sector clients on safety issues. Recent work includes acting for a construction company in relation to a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into a road bridge collapse, and representing a utility company in relation to a death of a member of the public who fell from a disused water tower. Food safety is a niche area for the practice; Sian Edmunds provides advice around issues including contamination, product liability and product recall. Ann Metherall heads the team and is ‘extremely competent in the field’. Chris Jackson advises on all aspects of safety compliance. Matt Kyle and Charlotte Whitaker are also recommended. Clients include The Crown Estate, London and South Eastern Railway, FirstGroup and John Lewis Partners.

DAC Beachcroft LLP has ‘a highly professional and very experienced team of specialist regulatory lawyers' who handle issues arising from corporate manslaughter, health and safety offences and environmental offences. The practice recently acted for a delivery company in a case where an employee was struck by a lorry resulting in a serious brain injury, and acted for Unite Students following an incident where a member of the public was struck by debris from cladding on one of its buildings. Richard Ottley heads the team and ‘leaves no stone unturned’. Consultant Neil Scott handles criminal and regulatory proceedings and specialises in health and safety prosecutions. Associate Ian Manners is ‘very professional, courteous and knowledgeable’.Caroline Harvey left the firm.  

The ‘experienced, dedicated and highly efficient' practice at Lester Aldridge LLP is highly active in prosecution work on behalf of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Maritime & Coastguard Agency and local authorities such as Torbay Council. It also carries out defence work for commercial clients and public bodies in the marine, care and construction sectors. Recent work includes acting for the HSE in prosecuting Whirlpool UK Appliances following a death at its factory, and acting for the HSE in the prosecution of Synergy Housing, Aster Property and Orona in relation to the death of a child which occurred when using a lift at the family home. Michael Veal heads the team and is ‘a very impressive practitioner’ who is ‘adept at getting the best solutions for his clients’.

Osborne Clarke advises on high-profile investigations by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and police. This includes support in regulatory investigations, prosecutions, advisory and personal injury defence, incident investigation, inquest proceedings, criminal prosecutions and regulator interventions. The firm is increasingly focusing on mental health and has been advising clients on the topic. It also advises international clients in the impact of Brexit on health and safety liability and compliance. Mary Lawrence heads the practice and is ‘hugely experienced, down to earth and a pleasure to work with’. Senior associate Jo Forbes provides ‘excellent client care’ and Anna Lundy, who joined from Eversheds Sutherland, is ‘a fantastic addition to the team’. John McGovern joined the team as a consultant.

TLT advises clients on compliance, incident management, investigations and prosecutions by major regulators including the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Environment Agency (EA), Local Authorities, BIS and the CMA. It also defends against complex, multi-jurisdictional prosecutions. Recent highlights include advising Glastonbury Festival in relation to a prosecution by the EA in which the client was accused of polluting a river with effluent. The client admitted breaching regulations but successfully argued that this did not constitute negligence. The practice also acted for WHSmith on the international recall of travel adaptors, which involved analysing safety reports and interacting with regulatory bodies in the UK, EU and other territories. Kerry Gwyther heads the team and specialises in fatal incident cases and representing clients at inquest. Other clients include Punch Taverns, Greene King, Severn River Crossing, Merlin Entertainments Group, Vertase FLI, Energy Savings Trust and Gaskell Waste.  

Womble Bond Dickinson provides operational and enforcement advice in relation to identification of risks, strategic board-level advice, corporate governance, risk management, reputational issues and matters relating to international operations. The practice acted for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on the ongoing investigation and possible prosecutions arising from the explosions at Pembroke Oil Refinery in June 2011. It also acted for Carlsberg in a case arising from fatality and several serious injuries resulting from a leak of ammonia gas at one of its brewery locations. The firm has also been instructed by HSE in relation to its prosecution of Western Power Distribution, advising on expert evidence, disclosure and liaison with the police in relation to an employee fatality. Team head Jon Cooper is ‘one of the leading practitioners in the field’ and is ‘an excellent tactician’. He is supported by Womble Bond Dickinson, who specialises in the waste, construction, energy and manufacturing sectors.

Ashfords LLP provides advice to large corporations, small businesses and individuals who face prosecution. It has experience advising on fatalities, inquests, compliance and risk exposure reduction. The team provides support from the time an incident has occurred, through to trial and sentencing if applicable. Head of team Richard Voke is ‘excellent, has great judgment, is efficient and effective’, he also has ‘the unique insight of a former HSE inspector and prosecutor’. The team is supported by an in-house business regulatory consultancy which provides advice on gap analysis, risk assessments, and audit services.

Bevan Brittan LLP advises mainly public sector clients such as NHS trusts, ambulance trusts, local authorities and housing associations. It is adept a handling health and safety incidents that involve investigations by the police, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It provides an emergency response service, strategic risk management, due diligence and training. Adam Kendall heads the department from Birmingham, while Simon Lindsay operates from the Bristol office and focuses on cases with police investigations and inquests. Senior associate Debbie Rookes advises on RIDDOR, reporting requirements, compliance and press strategy.

Browne Jacobson LLP represents public and private sector organisations in relation to fatal and non-fatal accidents, including cases of causing death by careless driving. It also advises insurers, health trusts and public bodies with regards to inquests and regulatory investigations. Recent highlights include defending several public and private sector organsiations against asbestos claims with RIDDOR implications. The practice also represented representing an individual accused of a number of offences in relation to the management of a care home. Clients include Ageas, AIG, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Cornish Mutual and Tesco Insurance. Andy Hopkin heads the department from Nottingham and is supported by Nigel Lyons, who is ‘a superb navigator’ and ‘a very hard worker who keeps his eye on the ball and produces the best possible results’. Dale Collins focuses on regulatory crime, environmental and food safety issues.

Foot Anstey provides advice on risk management and operational matters, as well as liaising with external regulatory bodies and handling serious incidents, fatalities and inquests. It also has experience of conducting prosecutions on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Local Authorities. Practice head Nathan Peacey takes ‘a considered and pragmatic approach’ and is a ‘valuable asset in crisis situations’. He recently acted for Modus Workspace in relation to a workplace accident that involved life changing injuries. Liz Perry focuses on risk management and internal and external investigations. Chris Pritchett is also recommended. Other clients include Royal Shakespeare Company, Eden Project, Livewell Southwest, BMW, Brend Hotels, Football Safety Officers' Association and NFU.

Michelmores LLP advises on work place fatalities, serious injuries, RIDDOR, HSE and police investigations. It also provides crisis management advice to minimise prosecution risk and represents clients at all points in the legal process. Key client sectors include agriculture, manufacturing, construction and real estate. The firm advises on policy and procedure reviews and training for large businesses. It also advises trustees in tandem with its employment and private client teams. Andrew Oldland QC heads the team and has experience of conducting prosecutions for the HSE.

Nash & Co focuses on defending prosecutions brought by regulatory bodies such as HSE, local authorities and South West Water. It has also conducted prosecution work for HSE in relation to industrial accidents. It advises businesses and employees in crisis situations. The team consists of partner Ian Veater and consultant Guy Walker .

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) provides advice on compliance, governance issues, regulators, and contentious and non-contentious matters such as due diligence on corporate transactions. It also advises on internal and external investigations, reputation management, liability, compensation claims and reviewal of policies and procedures. The firm is adept at handling investigations by the HSE, local authorities, the Independent Schools Inspectorate, Ofsted, the CQC and the Charity Commission. It is mainly focused on the education sector, where it acts for clients including independent schools, maintained schools, academies, FE colleges and higher education institutions. Recent cases include historical abuse allegations, accidental deaths, asbestos issues, fire safety compliance and a Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) claim. Tabitha Cave heads the practice and focuses on governance issues, operational management, compliance and incident management. Senior associate Andrew Andrews joined from Freemans Solicitors and focuses on environmental matters, contentious regulatory issues, and food safety and hygiene matters.

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