Health and safety in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard‘s health and safety practice advises on some of the highest-profile matters in this market, including acting for core participants in public inquiries. The team is also frequently instructed to provide assistance to employers following fatal workplace accidents. Other areas of focus include fire safety, where the practice offers proactive and reactive advice, as well as complex coronavirus-related matters. Practice head Erin Shoesmith leads the team, which also includes associate Priscilla Addo-Quaye, ‘a star in the making’.

Practice head(s):

Erin Shoesmith

Other key lawyers:

Priscilla Addo-Quaye; Abi Nicholson


‘AG are in the top tier of firms for H&S work. Great team work and very standards of legal advice and client service ’

‘I have always found the team at AG very helpful and have a great understanding of health and safety in the ‘real world’. Their careful assessment of Expert Witnesses before appointment has meant our clients have had very knowledgeable and practical allies as part of the defence team.’

‘Erin Shoesmith has an extraordinarily incisive mind. She is analytical and perceptive and wastes no time in expressing her conclusions in a clear and accessible way; yet she maintains an extremely friendly manner and a very good sense of humour; there is a complete absence of pomposity and self-importance often found in her competitors. An outstanding performer heading up an excellent team.

‘Priscilla Addo-Quaye has been faultless as liaison between the 3 counsel team, the AG Team and the Manchester Arena Inquiry Legal Team. She has organised our lives, taking care of diaries, deadlines, even summarising the content of lengthy emails to save us time. Her legal work is equally impressive and she is outstandingly good with clients. Highly recommended, and a rising star. The whole team has worked to an extremely high standard over the past 12 months.’

‘The AG team are an outstanding team. They are individually highly conscientious, diligent, efficient, razor sharp thinkers who just have that first class ability to get the job done quickly and, to an exacting standard. I am thoroughly impressed with each and every member of the team whose insights and contributions to the preparation of a case is of immense value. In addition, they are also an absolute pleasure to work with.’

‘The Addleshaw Goddard health and safety team in Manchester are outstanding. I have worked with them for a number of years and am continually impressed by the quality of staff at all levels. They are dedicated, knowledgable and a pleasure to work with. They are within the highest category of teams in the North West of not the entire UK.’

‘Erin Shoesmith is a remarkable lawyer. She knows the law backwards, is utterly dedicated to her clients and a pleasure to work with. Priscilla Addo-Quaye is also first class, very hard-working and a star in the making.

‘Abi Nicholson is a hard worker who will do great things.’

Key clients

Skanska Construction UK Limited

M Group/ Morrison Utility Services Limited

Scottish Futures Trust

Eddie Stobart Limited

AAH Pharmaceuticals Limited

Manchester Metropolitan University

Victrex Plc

Travelodge Hotels Ltd

Boohoo Group (including, PrettyLittleThing, Nasty Gal, MissPap, boohoo MAN)

KPMG LLP –Blair Nimmo, Tony Friary and Geoffrey Jacobs as liquidators of Doonin Plant Limited (the “Company”)

British American Tobacco UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Core Participants in three of the most high profile public inquiries in recent history, the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, the Manchester Arena Bombing Inquiry and the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry.


BLM's health and safety practice aids clients in responding to incidents ranging from foodborne disease outbreaks to fatal industrial accidents. The team's service includes guiding companies through the full process from investigations to prosecutions and inquests. Helen Devery was promoted to sales and growth partner in March 2020, with Sally Hancock and Michelle Flint taking over as practice heads. Hancock is particularly active in advising clients from the construction, manufacturing and engineering sectors, while Flint stands out for her expertise in cases involving prisons, such as deaths in prison or policy custody. Lucy Ryder is also heavily involved in this area, and Natalie Puce, Nick Gianferrari, and David Rainey are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Sally Hancock; Michelle Flint

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Ryder; Natalie Puce; Nick Gianferrari; David Rainey


‘David Rainey has excellent judgment, superbly prepared and gets excellent results. Nick Gianferrari has brilliant client handling skills and great judgment – a real asset.’

‘Experience and knowledge of the sector is what sets this team apart. They are a joy to work with – a friendly, down-to-earth team who are always ready to roll their sleeves up to get the job done. They are completely client/result focussed. Everyone pitches in to ensure consistently excellent results and this, with strong leadership, creates a happy and effective team.’

‘Lucy Ryder has vast and probably unrivalled knowledge of the sector. Huge brain and an astute tactician. Leads by example and clients love her. Michelle Flint is probably the hardest working solicitor in Manchester. Enormous experience and an absolute delight to work with.’

‘They really do work as a team. Whilst each has their own case load if for any reason that member of staff is off/away another will step in and take the time to deal with an issue which has arisen. – so often it is the case in other firms that you have to wait for the case handler to return before issues are fully dealt with.

‘David Rainey is a solicitor I would want acting for a member of my own family. He is conscientious and extremely detailed / hard working in his preparation of a case. He is compassionate with clients but still willing to give firm advice when necessary. He will always go the extra mile to try and get the right result for his client. When I work with him on a case it is always re-assuring to know that I have an independent and confident solicitor beside me who will properly challenge advice given and seek justification for it. In doing so the client is always confident that the position being taken has been fully considered’.

‘Sally Hancock is always thoroughly prepared. She fights her corner for her client firmly but fairly ensuring good points are advanced but the not so good points that the clients often want to adopt receive less prominence. In doing do she highlights her ability to work with clients from all walks of life’.

‘Nick Gianferrari – clients clearly like and respect him as he is a real people person, able to get on with anybody. His ability to analyse, summarise and focus on only the main issues are of great benefit to both his client and Counsel. His clients are always comfortable accepting his advice, even when it is unpalatable, due to the relationships he builds with them.’

‘David Rainey is a great strategist and tactician who has a meticulous eye for detail. Sally Hancock manages her cases extremely well. She understands the wider needs and concerns of her clients. She quickly earns the trust and respect of individuals involved in the case. Nick Gianferrari is calm and collected as he guides his clients through the most difficult and sensitive cases.’

Key clients

Zurich Insurance

Allianz Insurance





Warburtons Limited

Redrow Homes Limited

Oldham Council

Stockport Council


CNA Hardy





Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company

Travis Perkins

MS Amlin

Probitas Syndicate 1492


Aspen Risk Management

Barbican Insurance Group





Work highlights

  • Advising and representing GMCA, which Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service (GMFRS) is part of, in connection with the high profile public inquiry into the attack on the Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017 as a result of which 22 people lost their lives.
  • Advising and representing Sodexo in relation to the multi-disciplinary investigation and inquest into the deaths of two individuals related to the listeria outbreak in 2019 which was linked to salads and sandwiches.
  • Advising and representing Paul White Limited in relation to a joint police and HSE investigation intooffences of corporate manslaughter and breaches of health and safety legislation together withan inquest following the death of an individual in March 2019 at premises owned by the company.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP receives instructions from major insurers and household name corporate clients on health and safety matters, including on contentious and non-contentious issues. In 2020, the practice provided advice on compliance with COVID-19 regulations, carried out due diligence on the health and safety aspects of transactions, and helped clients in responding to investigations of serious incidents. Manchester-based Chris Morrison leads the firm's national Health, Safety and Environmental Regulatory practice; his broad practice covers training as well as advising clients from the investigative stage through to posisble prosecutions. Rod Hunt and Mark Brookes are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Chris Morrison

Other key lawyers:

Rod Hunt; Mark Brookes


‘Clyde and Co are head and shoulders the best firm for HSE and environmental work in the North West, their staff from paralegals to partners are knowledgeable and diligent. They are a pleasure to be instructed by. ’

‘Chris Morrison is truly a leader in this field. Stellar client list, great judgement and a proper tough defence solicitor not afraid to take on the prosecution but able to compromise when in the best interests of the client. Mark Brookes is conscientious and an incredibly hard working solicitor who gives his clients 100% at all times. Fearless and highly successful with the results he achieves in apparently difficult cases. Other staff have always impressed me.’

‘The HSE team at Clyde & Co is one of the most proactive and knowledgable teams I have ever worked with. It is very responsive and deals with some of the largest insurance clients on the market.’

‘Chris Morrison is the partner with oversight of the HSE work at Clyde & Co. He has one of the canniest business brains you will find anywhere in the UK and is a real thought leader on developing issues in the industry and the profession’.

Mark Brookes is a phenomenal lawyer. He knows the law extremely well and researches the more esoteric points thoroughly, he has a great rapport with his clients and knows his cases inside out and back to front. Formidable.’

‘The team are highly responsive and deliver a 24 hour service for major incidents. They are supportive and very organised. They are extremely thorough in their approach to investigations and I am always comforted in the knowledge that the matter is being proactively handled. The team are friendly and approachable. They are also very clear with their advice when dealing with the business.’

‘Chris Morrison and his talented team are responsive, pragmatic and talk in plain English. They provide a free H&S helpline and only charge if a matter is created – a real godsend for our H&S people. They’ve provided excellent training to our H&S team, including a new course that we created based on practical examples from their experience, awarding lego to the winner! Like most in-house teams, H&S and the associated criminal regime is not something that we have expertise in. The team at Clydes have been a real joy to work with and they have invested time in upskilling us. ’

‘Chris Morrison is a true leader in his field. He uses his years of experience to take a pragmatic approach and he explains it all in plain English. He has my total confidence and respect, and is a joy to work with. ’

Key clients


Beaufort Maintenance Ltd






DWF's 4-partner team offers extensive experience in advising clients on complex health and safety matters. On the non-contentious side, the practice provides detailed advice on complying with regulations, and it is also highly active in helping clients to respond to investigations and prosecutions. The team's contentious work includes some of the most high-profile matters in this area, including matters involving the police, the HSE and the CQC. The practice is active across a range of sectors, with Vikki Woodfine counting care, education and transport companies amongst her clients. Steffan Groch leads DWF's global regulatory, compliance and investigations team, with director Gary Smith another key contact. The practice has an able bench of associates, with Amanda Lea and Joanne Witheford handling high-profile inquiries and investigations.

Practice head(s):

Steffan Groch; Vikki Woodfine; Gary Smith

Other key lawyers:

Simon Belfield; Amanda Lea; Joanne Witheford


‘DWF in the North West is one of the powerhouses in delivering practical advice and solutions to clients in Health and Safety.’

‘Vikki Woodfine: Tenacity could be her middle name! Won’t take no for an answer, always on the side of the client. Gary Smith: Nothing is ever too much trouble where clients are concerned.’

‘Without doubt the leading health and safety team in the North West is DWF based in Manchester. It has real strength in depth from top to bottom which has resulted in attracting clients involved in the highest profile cases. Importantly, every client gets the same Rolls Royce treatment, whether they are a large corporate looking at a substantial fine or a simple manager facing individual prosecution. I have been particularly impressed by DWF’s positive approach to its staff’s wellbeing, specifically those coming back to work after maternity. This is reflected in the attitude of the staff who are willing to go the extra mile. A leader in its field.’

‘There are two stand out members of the team. The Partner and team leader Vicki Woodfine leads by example. She feels at home in both the boardroom and police station and fights like a tiger for her clients. She has instilled a very positive ethos within her team of high standards and client care. She should be in the top tier of the directories due to her detailed knowledge of the law and her outstanding understanding of court room tactics. She is a real star, particularly in the area of transport and logistics. Working closely with her is Joanne Witheford who has developed an enviable reputation in the transport sector. Her calm handling of sometimes difficult clients coupled with her comprehensive knowledge of the area makes her a go to lawyer in the sector.’

‘DWF Law made a great effort to quickly understand our organisation, our business, our culture and people. They worked well with our people from front line worker to the Senior Management Team, constantly maintaining excellent communication between us, their team and the insurance representatives. ’

‘In our case we had an accident leading to a fatality on site which is clearly just about the worse thing that can happen. What I appreciated most was how quickly they reacted in getting to site and helping us prepare for the inevitable scrutiny by the HSE. At a time of immense stress (which I felt personally and professionally) they did everything possible to support the business. This was obviously what they are experienced in and what their work is about, but nevertheless I feel they couldn’t have done more. To see a team of 4 arriving on site the day after such an accident is itself reassuring.’

‘Joanne Witheford was the solicitor assigned to my case and in my view has the excellent professional attributes of balancing the technical aspects with just the right degree of empathy that quickly cuts through to the key points. I was also impressed by the insight shown in quickly understanding the workings of the company systems and equipment which are not easy to comprehend for a third party with no previous knowledge of the business. ’

‘The team have a reassuring manner and take a thorough approach. I appreciate their innovative thinking which is always applied with good commercial sense to our legal issues.’

Key clients

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Royal & Sun Alliance (RSA)

Booker PLC

Wincanton PLC

Severn Trent Water


Pen Underwriting

Tokio Marine Kiln Group Limited


NFU Mutual

DAS Legal Expenses Insurance

Chubb Insurance Company

Hiscox Underwriting Limited

Amlin UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in relation to the Public Inquiry and Metropolitan Police criminal investigation arising from the Grenfell Tower fire.
  • Initiating Crisis Response to advise and support an industrial company in their response to a fatality and advising in relation to the HSE / Police investigation and inquest.
  • Acting as crisis ‘first responder’ to a large transport and logistics company following workplace incidents.

Keoghs LLP

Under the leadership of David Walton, Keoghs LLP represents clients facing investigations and prosecutions related to alleged breaches of health and safety regulations. The team's work includes defending against charges of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, as well as corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter. Walton has been active in this area for several decades and handles complex contentious matters for major clients. Neena Sharma is another key contact, providing advice on incidents from shortly after they occur through to possible prosecutions.

Practice head(s):

David Walton

Other key lawyers:

Neena Sharma; Rekha Sharma; Kathryn Turner


‘David Walton – immense experience and streetwise. Good at establishing a rapport with the prosecution. Neena Sharma – quietly confident and inspires that in her clients.’

‘The experienced and approachable Bolton office has a strong national presence in the Health and Safety arena. They undertake health and safety and food safety cases and currently engaged in several high profile health and safety investigation/ prosecutions  and are establishing a growing presence and expertise in the Care Sector. David Walton, Neena Sharma, Rekha Sharma and Kath Turner are instrumental in the growth of that area of work. ’

‘David Walton has 25+ years in this field. Established the Keoghs National team over past 15 years and undertakes work nationally – mainly on fatal instructions that investigate and often prosecute as Manslaughter cases. I have worked with him on numerous cases including high profile cases. He is thorough and forensic in approach to case management and evidence review, excellent communicator, who creates a team approach to case strategy with lawyers and lay client thereby working productively and effectively together. You don’t have his reputation without being excellent.’

‘The health and safety team at Keoghs has an excellent reputation. The team is well established and has a wealth of experience in these cases. From the small companies to the multi national companies, every client gets the same level of expertise and preparation for their case. The solicitors are always at the end of the phone and are never too busy to discuss the cases. A great team. ’

‘David Walton is the head of the team and is a steady guiding hand in what can be very difficult circumstances. He takes time to explain everything he does in the preparation of the case to ensure that the client feels that they have had their own input and decisions have been taken together. He has a cool head and is well liked and respected by all of his colleagues and clients. Neena Sharma is also a partner in the team and like David puts in 100% effort in every case she does. often in health and safety cases the work load is vast but she never cuts corners and makes sure she has explored every option in each case. Clients like her tenacity and feel reassured by her.’

‘The experience and ability David Walton has not only reassured us we were in safe hands but also brought another level of service that we might not have had if we’

‘Rekha Sharma has been fantastic, she listens, explains, challenges appropriately and responds in really good time. I thoroughly enjoy working with her.’

‘Kath Turner was our solicitor and we felt she did a fantastic job on our case. She was very honest, thorough and incisive with her advice and actions. We felt at all times our firm best interests were being looked after. I cannot praise her work enough.’

Key clients


Catholic Insurance Services





Hastings Direct


Work highlights

  • Advised Meadow Bakery on an alleged breach of the Food Safety Act which resulted in a child suffering anaphylactic shock having eaten a product manufactured by the client.
  • Provided advice to Reason Transport UK Ltd related to a fatal accident where a pallet fell onto a worker whilst delivering to a customer.
  • Provided advice to Reflex Group related to a fatal accident where a worker became tangled in machinery.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Transport, waste management and construction are amongst the sectors in which Pinsent Masons LLP's health and safety team is involved, advising on high-profile prosecutions and inquests. In addition to handling matters involving fatal incidents in the workplace, the practice has specialist experience of fire safety issues; it has also recently provided assistance related to COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths. Kevin Bridges leads the national regulatory team, and in addition to representing clients in contentious matters also provides proactive advice on regulatory compliance. Zoe Betts was promoted to Legal Director in May 2020 and is especially experienced in working for clients in the waste and recycling sector. Senior associate Emma Evans is another key contact, with a broad practice.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Bridges

Other key lawyers:

Zoe Betts; Emma Evans


‘What stands out with Pinsent Masons is their people and their attitude towards dealing with issues. Their technical knowledge and understanding of current issues are a given. Their ability to simplify complex issues and put it in plain English for one’s understanding is exemplary and a key strength for this practice. I have had experience of other practices and the service received from PM is well above and always exceeds my expectations.’

‘I have been extremely impressed with the service that we have received from Pinsent Masons. The team have been highly professional, responsive and efficient, and the calibre of their work has been excellent. In my dealings with them, I have had the sense that they have really listened, and very much understood the dilemma with which we were faced, and their intelligence, strategic thinking and attention to detail have been amazing.’

‘The Health and Safety Practice at Pinsent Masons has been my one-stop-shop for all advice, support and representation during some challenging times. Their ability to guide and support though complex legal issues, whilst remaining balanced and fair, is impressive. I’ve also been impressed with the support provided for non-litigation matters; training, guidance, best practice sharing and work they do with industry to promote better H&S compliance and performance. But above all, it’s the people that make the difference. Partners, Associates and appointed Barristers are all of the highest quality.’

‘Kevin Bridges is always fantastic to work with. Thorough and pragmatic. Emma Evans also always provides excellent support, and is prompt and helpful.’

‘Zoe Betts is our go-to. Trained at the hand of the unrivalled Kevin Bridges, she’s fast, warm, knowledgeable and, unusual in H&S lawyers, commercial. She’s got our back. Kevin Bridges is of course the guru. He’s one of the most easygoing lawyers I’ve met, which comes from being the leader in his field. Approachable, available, always on side.’

‘Emma Evans has been the stand out person dealing with our case. She has been extremely proactive and has always responded to our queeries in a timely manner, we have been very impressed with the advice she has given us through this matter.’

‘Kevin Bridges leads a very competent team who between them have provided me with excellent support over the last two years. Recently I have spent a great deal of time working the through the process of investigating a significant incident and Kevin and his team have provided much needed support and technical assistance in conducting a complex investigation as well as supporting the business on making appropriate changes to current working practices.’

‘Work of this nature, for both client and law firm, is stressful and challenging. Having someone by your side who understands the issues at play, possesses a character and personality that enables them to interact with a CEO to a front-line worker with consummate ease, is a real skill. Made to feel like you are their only client in those challenging times is reassuring, and Zoe Betts is the stand out partner that has made a difference to my business and me personally. Zoe is well supported by the team, who you often don’t get to see, but I wouldn’t want to be represented by anyone else.’

Key clients

Kier Group plc

Morgan Sindall Group plc

Pennon Group plc (Viridor and South West Water)

DB Cargo

Notting Hill Genesis

Bouygues Group

TNT / FedEx

Arcus FM

Stadler UK Limited

Masonite Corporation

Capital & Counties PLC

Crest Nicholson Operations Limited

Cromwell Tools

NHS Professionals

EDF Energy

Aida Engineering; Aida Socio con Unico SRL, Aida Europe

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs has a proven track record in acting for organisations facing significant, reputationally important investigations, inquests and prosecutions. The team's work encompasses some of the most high-profile matters in the market, such as the public inquiry into the Manchester bombing, and it also provides proactive advice on compliance with health and safety regulations. Solicitor-advocate Rob Elvin leads the practice; a health and safety specialist, he has more than 20 years' experience in this sector. Gary Lewis is frequently instructed by insurers and has a focus on the construction and printing industries.

Practice head(s):

Rob Elvin

Other key lawyers:

Gary Lewis


‘Superb communication, excellent industry sector knowledge, helpful and proactive, legitimate willingness to help.’

‘Gary Lewis made us feel that we were working together as a cohesive team.’

‘Their communication skills and ability to put over a complex issue with simple straight forward communication was excellent.’

‘The team are able to roll their sleeves up and give practical advice. They don’t just tell you what the law says. The Covid-19 briefings from the Employment team were the best I received from all law firms – they disseminated quite difficult legislation and guidance into understandable messages and the style was pitched just right.’

Key clients

Ei Group Plc (formerly known as Enterprise Inns)

EDF Energy

Live Nation

Showsec International Limited

Delphi Diesel Systems

Aeros Global Limited

Tunstall Healthcare

Pontrilas Sawmills Limited

National Grid Gas Plc

Bayer Crop Science

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing Showsec (event security) in relation to the public inquiry into the Manchester Arena terrorist attack.
  • Advising on prosecution of National Grid relating to alleged failures to maintain and inspect parts of the client’s gas distribution network.
  • Acting on a prosecution brought by the HSE arising out of an accident at a Delphi factory in July 2017 and on an appeal resulting in a significant fine reduction for the client. Magistrates’ Court found in favour of the prosecution and imposed a fine of £1m.

Weightmans LLP

Under the leadership of national head Dewi Ap-Thomas , Weightmans LLP advises on the full range of health and safety matters, from providing due diligence on corporate transactions to helping clients prepare evidence for inquests. The team provides assistance to private sector clients from a range of industries; it also stands out for its work for local authorities and public bodies. Ap-Thomas' work includes handling investigations and prosecutions brought by the HSE, as well as helping clients prepare for interviews. Senior partner David Lewis is another key figure in the team, splitting his time between the firm's Leeds and Liverpool offices. Associate Lauren Rigg joined the team in February 2020 from DWF and is praised by clients.

Practice head(s):

Dewi Ap-Thomas; David Lewis; Crispin Kenyon; Seonaid Busby

Other key lawyers:

Anna Naylor; Lauren Rigg; Maya Ravindran


‘The support was by Dewi Ap-Thomas and Lauren Rigg. The interpersonal relationships of both are excellent, they are easy to approach and had a very calming influence during the preparation, interviews and coroners hearing. They explained the process well and provided in-depth support and knowledge.’

‘Weightmans have a culture of excellence within a competitive market. They are firmly client focused and their interest is always on achieving the best for their client rather than fee-building or reputation growing. Their hard work means that when a case is prepared for court no stone is left unturned.’

‘David Lewis rightly deserves praise as an excellent lawyer who always fights for his client.’

‘Dewi Ap-Thomas is a class act, brilliant with individuals facing personal charges and very calming. A great team head. ’

‘The advice provided was supportive. They were understanding of our business and able to apply that knowledge to our needs.’

‘I was extremely impressed by the contact from the team during the pandemic. I always felt that our needs were being dealt with by the team at any given moment and they exceeded my expectations. The use of technology during the pandemic was exceptional, even with the difficulties facing all firms. Even though I know the key team members had some exceptionally large cases at the same time, I always felt we were getting every last bit of their expertise to handle our issue through a troubling time. That not only meant the issue was being dealt with, but also massively reduced the stress and the workload to me personally. For that I am extremely grateful. ’

‘Having never dealt with these kinds of matters before, I came to this problem with no knowledge. I was put in touch with the very best person with the job who not only explained the issues, but answered all my questions and explained the next steps we needed to take. When the issue moved from one realm of expertise to another, our case was ideally moved to another member of the team with expertise in that area. This was fantastic, as not only did the team manage my fee level, but also meant we were getting the best possible advice. I cannot recommend the team at Weightmans enough.’

‘I was represented by Lauren Rigg and Dewi Ap-Thomas for an inquest and a CQC investigation and they made the whole process as easy as possible and worked hard with me to ensure I had the correct support and felt at ease with both processes. Their knowledge of the subject was good and this help me to have confidence in the process. They were able to point out issues and worked with me to challenge some of the evidence presented ’

Key clients


E.on Climates & Renewables

Jaguar Land Rover

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Wedge Galvanising Group

Swissport UK

Lancashire County Council

Work highlights

  • Advising NWAS at the Manchester Bombing Inquiry where they are a Core Participant. Instructed Leading Counsel (QC) and a Senior Junior to support the legal team. Also offering the client back office legal support to ensure the Business As Usual work is being progressed.
  • Advised on the health & safety and healthcare regulatory compliance elements of a due diligence exercise of the largest Domiciliary Care provider in the UK, which attracted media attention.
  • Advising Nike Inc on an environmental health matter.

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP's health and safety practice provides assistance to clients in complying with regulations, as well as responding to investigations and inquests. The team also offers a consultancy service to clients, providing ongoing health and safety assistance as well as rapidly responding to any incidents that occur. Lachlan Nisbet leads the practice and has experience dealing with the HSE, CQC, and local authorities. In 2020, his workload included providing advice and training on regulatory compliance, preparing clients for interviews and giving evidence at inquests, and responding to investigations.

Practice head(s):

Lachlan Nisbet

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte McRae


‘This is a small, but an extremely well focused and professional team that are great to work with. Really dedicated to their clients needs and demands (willing to go the extra mile to ensure the job is not only done, but done correctly). Hard working, good lawyers and a large dose of common sense.’

‘Lachlan Nistet is an astute lawyer with a calm head and an eye for detail. Excellent with the client, giving clear advice and setting realistic expectations. Great all rounder and very easy to get along with. Great to work with as part of a team. Charlotte McRae is a hard worker and dedicated to her task. Sound lawyer with an ability to process huge volumes of evidence (invaluable in the big/complex cases). Again a great person to have with you, as part of a team.’

‘Simply put the team cannot do enough for you. Nothing is too much trouble, their advice is always timely and well explained.’

‘Lachlan Nisbet and Charlotte McCrae are very knowledgable, personable and passionate. All interactions were valued and their assistance always professional. ’

‘The H&S team at Brabners Liverpool has assisted the Company in the successful defence of a serious prosecution and provides advice on current and historical legislation on request to all colleagues across all the activities of the Group.’

‘Lachlan Nisbet is the Head of Regulatory Health and Safety and is a top performer. A real safe pair of hands. Very knowledgeable and hard working. He is ably assisted by Charlotte McRae.’

‘Charlotte McCree is a great addition to the team. She is hardworking and determined. She is their star and making a real impact. The clients love her.’

Key clients

Peel Ports Group

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Peel Ports Group to defend proceedings brought by the Health and Safety Executive’s Hazardous Installations Inspectorate in relation to alleged contraventions between July 2010 and April 2016, concerning the berthing of various ships throughout this period which the HSE believed exceeded the permitted quantity of explosive cargo.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP's Manchester health and safety team frequently works with the firm's offices around the UK to advise clients on a range of matters. The key figure in Manchester is the Helen Simm, 'a great lawyer with a brilliant work ethic' who has a particular focus on advising clients in the healthcare and education sector. Simm assists clients in responding to workplace accidents leading to investigations and prosecutions; she also provides proactive advice, and in 2020 was active in aiding clients in complying with COVID-19 regulations.

Practice head(s):

Helen Simm


‘Browne Jacobson has quietly grown in stature in terms of its health and safety practice and has recruited well in bringing on board partner, Helen Simm, from Clyde & Co. The team is now at a size where it is able to deal with incidents of all sizes and its lawyers work collaboratively in securing the best outcome for their clients.’

‘Helen Simm leads a very good team. They are very good in their core areas such as education and healthcare.’

‘Helen Simm is a great lawyer with a brilliant work ethic. She really cares about her clients.’

‘Helen Simm is hard working, affable and utterly dedicated to her clients.’

‘Helen Simm is an impressive regulatory lawyer. She commands respect and speaks with authority. She is excellent with clients, keeps calm under pressure and provides strategic and pragmatic advice in the immediate aftermath of an incident to protect her clients immediate and long-term position, reputation and revenue.’

‘Helen Simm is a good operator. She is calm, intelligent and likeable. She has a nice way with clients and knows her stuff.’

‘I worked with the partner, Helen Simm. She knew the subject  very well and who to call on for expert advice and representation. As an individual she was a pleasure to work with – just the right balance of sound advice and guidance which enabled the Governing Board to make well informed decisions. Felt we were in ‘safe hands’ in an area where we had very limited knowledge initially.’

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP‘s broad practice advises clients in sectors including construction, healthcare, retail and marine. In addition to advising on investigations by the HSE, CQC, MCA and local authorities, the team also provides assistance to clients on preparing for inquests and prosecution. On the non-contentious side, in 2020 the team was active in helping clients adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. Practice head Philip Moy has a background in criminal law and has successfully acted for a number of clients facing charges of corporate manslaughter and negligence. Stephen Barnfield is noted for his work on healthcare-related matters, while senior associate Aoife Ryan has a varied practice and previously worked as a lead prosecutor for a local authority.

Practice head(s):

Philip Moy

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Barnfield; Aoife Ryan


‘Hill Dickinson have a variety of very talented and experienced individuals who, drawing on their diverse skill sets, work harmoniously together to ensure best possible outcomes for clients.’

‘Stephen Barnfield is exceptionally bright and prepared to think outside the box. He combines these qualities with excellent legal knowledge and is tactically astute. A very fine lawyer. Phil Moy is vastly experienced in a wide variety of areas, he is an excellent communicator with the ability to put clients at ease. Phil is always to see different angle in the case which give him the advantage over many of his competitors. Aoife Ryan is hard working and methodical in her preparation, Aoife has sound judgment and first rate legal knowledge.’

‘A small, but focused team. Excellent legal, tactical and communication skills. Great with clients. Very approachable and great as part of a team.’

‘Phil Moy is calm and a great communicator. Wonderful with clients and a tremendous person/ personality to work with as part of a team. Common sense to the fore, with good legal skills, means he is an invaluable part of any team (especially in the big and more complex cases). Stephen Barnfield is an astute lawyer and has a wonderful eye for detail. Great at picking out and analysing issues in a case.’

‘Philip Moy and Stephen Barnfield are both very good communicators and able to reassure clients’

‘The team consists of individuals who bring considerable experience gained in different regulatory areas and sectors, for instance in local authority work, including prosecuting, which provides real advantages when devising case strategies.’

‘I have worked closely with Aoife Ryan over the last 2 years. She is highly competent, evidently very experienced with a good feel for her cases. She handled the client exceptionally and brought real value to the case. She has excellent judgment and a reassuring manner.’

‘Exceptionally capable and fast responding Health & Safety team. The team has a national reputation for its defence work particularly in the expanding area of CQC prosecutions. The team has a good gender mix.’

Work highlights

  • Provided advice in respect of complex multi-agency investigations following a dockside fatality.
  • Acted in defence of CQC prosecution and judicial review proceedings arising from a care home fatality.
  • Provided advice in respect of local authority prosecutions and COVID compliance in the face of covert surveillance.

Markel Law LLP

Markel Law LLP frequently advises clients on responding to investigations and inquests. The team is particularly active in the care sector, assisting providers with responding to incidents involving residents, including inquest proceedings. The practice provides legal advice to SMEs through its relationship with the Federation of Small Businesses. The team's inquest-related work also encompasses helping witnesses prepare submissions for inquests. Deborah Nicholson leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Deborah Nicholson

Key clients

Federation of Small Businesses

British Association of Shooting & Conservation

Markel UK

Markel Legal Expenses Insurance



P3 (Charity sector)

Work highlights

  • Provided advice to P3, a charity that provided support to survivors of Grenfell in the immediate aftermath of the fire and helped to advocate on their behalf in relation to both historical concerns and the need for ongoing care and support.

Osborn Abas Hunt

Osborn Abas Hunt's health and safety practice advises clients on investigations, inquests and criminal proceedings. The team additionally provides proactive advice to clients, including offering a retainer service for ongoing assistance. While construction is a particular area of focus, the firm's clients also include businesses in the hospitality, utilities and manufacturing sectors. Practice head Madeleine Abas is highly regarded for her experience in this area. Atiyah Malik departed the practice in April 2020.

Practice head(s):

Madeleine Abas


‘They provide a range of services and training delivery.’

‘Exceptional knowledge of health and safety law and the construction industry.’

‘This is an outstanding firm who really do have exemplary expertise in their field. The advice given is always practical and easy to understand. The people are all helpful and work hard to ensure all customer needs are met every time.’

‘Madeleine Abas is incredible. She has made such a difference to my business and has supported me fully in all her work. She is an outstanding professional who provides practical solutions within the legal framework that she works.’

Key clients

Bowmer & Kirkland Limited

Barratt Group plc

Vinci Construction UK Limited

Invacare UK Ltd

Imagile Group plc

BAM Construction Ltd

West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service

Key Property Services Limited

Britannia Hotels Group

Crossrail Limited

Pannone Corporate LLP

Social care, hospitality, retail and manufacturing are areas of focus for Pannone Corporate LLP's health and safety practice. In addition to handling internal investigations, the practice is also experienced in helping clients to respond to investigations by local authorities, the Health and Safety Executive, and the police. The team is also frequently instructed to provide proactive advice on compliance with regulations, particularly in relation to COVID restrictions. Bill Dunkerley leads the team; a health and safety specialist, he is noted for his work in the care and nursing home sector, providing advice and training. Associate partner Rhian Greaves departed the team in April 2021 to join DAC Beachcroft LLP.

Practice head(s):

Bill Dunkerley


‘Though a relatively new team, it manages to be seen in the care home sector as the ‘go to’ team for investigations by both the Care Quality Commission and the Health and Safety Executive. Always publishing tips and guidance in this area, its sector presence is one to watch as we come out of the pandemic.’

‘Bill Dunkerly is now the ‘care home guru’ in the North West attracting clients from throughout the sector. This is due to his in-depth knowledge of the industry proving both advice and representation relating to the regulator.’

‘A new team but one with excellent experience and technical expertise with a dynamic can-do approach and a personable demeanour.’

‘Bill Dunkerley has a vast knowledge of care homes and associated proceedings. He is a dynamic and inspiring leader and always gets excellent outcomes for his clients.’

‘Bill Dunkerley heads up the team and is a clever, able and tactically astute solicitor.’


In TLT's Manchester office, Jason Cropper is the key name for health and safety and regulatory matters. He is part of a national team including colleagues in Bristol and London, which is regularly called in to defend household name clients facing complex, multi-jurisdictional prosecutions. Cropper is able to draw on his previous experience as a Solicitor Agent Prosecutor on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive.

Practice head(s):

Jason Cropper

Key clients

Iceland Foods

Boohoo Plc

JD Sports Plc

Keolis Amey Metrolink

Iceland Manufacturing


Government Legal Dept

British Solar Renewables

Greene King Plc

Sports Ground Safety Authority

Department of Health and Social Care

Former employees of Rydon Group Limited

Arlington Energy

Work highlights

  • Instructed to carry out a Modern Slavery Act compliance review for Boohoo, in the wake of allegations concerning the company’s suppliers based in Leicester, including working conditions, breaches of minimum wage and health and fire safety breaches.
  • Acting for Keolis Amey Metrolink during Article 2 coronial proceedings commenced by the Senior Coroner for Manchester.
  • Acting for Iceland Foods during an investigation after a fall from height and near fatality at the group’s head office distribution centre and jointly managed logistics facility.