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Chambers of Andrew Thomas QC

Work 0161 832 5701
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Austin Welch

Work 0161 832 5701
Lincoln House Chambers (Chambers of Andrew Thomas QC)


Austin Welch is a specialist in regulatory law and represents companies and individuals facing proceedings in the criminal courts, disciplinary tribunals and before inquests and public inquiries.

Austin regularly represent corporate defendants and directors in prosecutions brought by the HSE or local authorities for alleged breaches of health and safety legislation. He has represented clients from the construction, manufacturing, waste and entertainment industries who have been prosecuted for serious breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Recent cases have involved accidents in the workplace involving falls from height and the use of industrial equipment. Austin recently represented the UK subsidiary of a German multinational company when a girder fell from height onto an employee.

A significant number of the health and safety cases Austin has dealt with have concerned asbestos in the workplace and he is experienced in the technical arguments relating to the likelihood of harm occurring following alleged exposure to asbestos. Austin has also represented defendants in fire safety prosecutions and food safety prosecutions.

Austin is also instructed for the prosecution in criminal health and safety cases and was recently instructed as junior counsel in the case of R v JTF relating to an outbreak of legionnaires’ disease in Stoke on Trent which resulted in the death of two people. Austin is regularly called upon to provide seminars and training in relation to health and safety matters.

In the field of Environmental law, Austin represents corporate clients in both criminal proceedings and appeals relating to environmental permits. He is currently instructed to represent the owners of an industrial site in the North of England who were the victims of large scale waste dumping and are seeking to appeal against a ‘works in default’ charge that has been levied by the local Council for the removal of the waste.

Austin has a great deal of experience in representing professionals in diciplianry proceedings including doctors before the MPTS, police officers in police disciplinary proceedings and athletes before the anti-doping tribunal.

Austin also prosecutes on behalf of local authorities and defends individuals in criminal trading standards cases. Austin also provides compliance advice to companies in relation to consumer law and financial services legislation including in relation to proceedings brought by the FCA.

Austin has particular experience and expertise in inquests and public inquiries and is regularly called upon to represent both individuals and organisations at proceedings in the Coroner’s Court. Recently Austin has represented clients in inquests arising out of fatal accidents in the workplace and medical deaths. Austin was also instructed to represent two South Yorkshire Police Chief Superintendents at the Hillsborough Inquests which were, and remain, the longest running inquests in English legal history. He is presently instructed to represent a senior police officer in relation to the public inquiry into the investigation into the late Lord Janner that is being conducted by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.


Called 2005; tenant Lincoln House Chambers 2010 to date. Before being called to the Bar Austin was a commercial solicitor at an international law firm in the City of London. Austin also worked for the United Nations at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.


Northern Circuit; Health and Safety Lawyers Association; IOSH


University Of Leeds (LLB (Hons)); The College of Law, Chester (LPC); Manchester Metropolitan University (BVC); Queen Mother Scholarship awarded by the Middle Temple.


Mountain biking, attending live music, the cinema, going to the gym.

Regional Bar: Northern Circuit

Inquests and inquiries

Within: Leading Juniors

Austin Welch - Lincoln House ChambersCombines superb client care with fantastic technical ability.

Within: Inquests and inquiries

Lincoln House Chambers is home to Austin Welch, who represents the families of three victims in the Manchester Arena bombing inquiries. Welch is particularly experienced with inquests that contain a health and safety element, in addition to frequently representing government departments in inquests.

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Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing

Within: Leading Juniors

Austin Welch - Lincoln House ChambersHis client care skills are second-to-none.

Within: Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing

Members of Lincoln House Chambers are particularly prominent in health and safety prosecutions, professional disciplinary cases and environmental criminal work, as well as more general regulatory matters. Notable recent cases include a health and safety prosecution after two employees fell from ladders and broke their backs at the company's warehouse in the space of a year, in which Austin Welch acts for the company, and Arunachalam v General Medical Council, an appeal against erasure in which Simon Gurney acted for the appellant.

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