Health and safety in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard receives mandates from major public and private limited UK companies related to all aspects of health and safety matters, including fire and building safety, inquests and inquires, and food and product safety. It also provides risk management reviews and health and safety compliance training. Practice head Erin Shoesmith leads a specialist public inquiries team covering three major public inquiries: the Grenfell, Manchester Arena, and Scottish Hospitals Inquiries. Of note, environmental and health and safety expert Stuart Wardlaw joined from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in July 2021, while environmental compliance and investigations legal director Julie Goulbourne joined from TLT in March 2021. Lisa McNeill and Priscilla Addo-Quaye made managing associate in September 2021.

Practice head(s):

Erin Shoesmith

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Wardlaw; Julie Goulbourne; Lisa McNeill; Priscilla Addo-Quaye


‘Strong track record, talented roster and a winning record.’

‘Excellent team with a broad range of skills and the ability to act for clients across a number of sectors.’

‘Erin Shoesmith is an absolute star individual. At the top of her game. Priscilla Addo-Quaye is an intelligent and dedicated lawyer.’

‘The Addleshaw team is first class. A leading team in health and safety, they possess a breadth and depth of experience second to none. The team is phenomenally hardworking, adept at managing voluminous complex cases and is an absolute pleasure to work with. Addleshaw’s is without question the best firm when it comes to health and safety cases.’

‘Erin Shoesmith is a stand-out partner at Addleshaw’s. Erin’s intellect, judgement, focus, work ethic and ability to quickly master complex issues make her a formidable leading practitioner in health and safety law. Erin is an impressive lawyer who is highly respected by all with whom she works.’

Priscilla Addo-Quaye is a stand-out name at Addleshaw’s. Priscilla is adept at managing very large teams on voluminous complex cases. Priscilla’s ability to quickly assess, understand and advise on difficult and novel issues is highly impressive. Priscilla is incredibly hardworking, a first rate lawyer who commands the respect of her colleagues, opponents and the court.’

‘Hugely impressive team with strong leadership from Erin Shoesmith.’

‘I rate Erin Shoesmith extremely highly. She is experienced and expert, calm and reassuring.’

Key clients

PGL Travel Limited

Skanska UK Construction Limited

Morrison Utility Services Limited

Scottish Futures Trust

Eddie Stobart Limited

Travelodge Hotels Ltd

Boohoo Group (including, PrettyLittleThing, Nasty Gal, MissPap, boohoo MAN, Karen Millen, Coast, Oasis, Warehouse, Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton)

Westbridge Furniture Designs Limited

Joseph Ash Limited

Asda Stores Limited

Siemens Plc and Siemens Mobility UK Limited

TI Midwood & Co Limited (Timco)

Bestway Northern Limited

Belfield Furnishings Limited

B Braun Medical Limited


British American Tobacco UK Limited

Highlands and Islands Airport Limited

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited

Kibble Education and Care Centre

Vision Express


Work highlights

  • Advised on the Grenfell Tower, Manchester Arena and the Scottish Hospitals Public Inquiries.
  • Acted for Eddie Stobart Limited in the defence of a HSE (Health & Safety Executive) prosecution arising out of the Control of Asbestos Regulations.

Clyde & Co

Following the merger of BLM and Clyde & Co, the new team at Clyde & Co combines the health and safety expertise of both teams, expanding its work in complex investigations and inquests. Michelle Flint acts on behalf of UK prison service providers, while Sally Hancock defends clients involved in police and regulatory body investigations, inquests, and prosecutions. Chris Morrison is a highly experienced litigator, often acting for insurers and brokers, and Lucy Ryder is a key contact regarding inquests and coronial law. Natalie Puce advises on fatal and serious accidents, Rod Hunt is a noted health and safety criminal enforcement lawyer, and Nick Gianferrari focuses on health and safety investigations. David Rainey frequently represents clients in PACE interview and Article 2 inquests. Legal director Mark Brookes often deals with health and safety defence work. Helen Devery is also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Chris Morrison; Sally Hancock; Michelle Flint

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Ryder; Natalie Puce; Rod Hunt; Nick Gianferrari; David Rainey; Mark Brookes; Helen Devery


‘This team has a wide array of talent and has an exceptional client roster – not only the go-to team for any client based in the North West, but attracts business nationwide. This means they have experience supporting the largest of clients, including UK subsidiaries of global companies and relevant expertise.’

‘Mark Brookes has a very practical and no nonsense approach which his clients appreciate. Chris Morrison remains one of the most experienced partners working in this field.’

‘Chris Morrison is now one of the longest-established in this field, he has great criminal law instincts and sound judgement. Supported by a team of associates and colleagues that leaves no stone unturned.’

‘Rod Hunt is an excellent tactician.’

Michelle Flint is excellent in every way. She is not only extremely thorough and effective, but also a real pleasure to work with.’

David Rainey goes the extra mile, is always on top of the case and seeks to proactively advance the case.

Sally Hancock is extremely good at managing cases with difficult and sensitive issues. David Rainey has a talent for detailed forensic analysis which is put to good use in cases of technical complexity.

Nick Gianferrari gave excellent and simple guidance, was available at short notice to review documents and give me guidance. This was done professionally and in a very balanced manner, explaining implications of different decisions with clarity and patience.

Key clients


Beaufort Maintenance Ltd






Beaufort Maintenance Ltd



Zurich Insurance

Allianz Insurance



Oldham Council


Redrow Homes Limited

Probitas Syndicate 1492


MS Amlin

Warburtons Limited

Arch Insurance

Travis Perkins



Aspen Risk Management




CNA Hardy






Work highlights

  • Represented Beaufort Maintenance Ltd, specialist conveyor contractors, in respect of the Police/HSE investigation following the Avonmouth waste treatment plant explosion of December 2020 which killed four workers.
  • Represented 21 CC Group Limited, a national events services business, at a five day hearing, in respect of a successful appeal of a Prohibition Notice served by the HSE regarding the picking and storage of fireworks.
  • Advised Natwest/RBS Mentor, one of the largest Health & Safety Consultancies in the UK, including the representation of any mentor businesses subject to regulatory investigation; representation in respect of enforcement notice appeals and prosecutions in the criminal courts.


DWF is active in the defence of highly complex fatal cases involving explosions, collapses, and fires. The team also shouldes a busy caseload in advising on potential or pursued gross negligence manslaughter and corporate manslaughter cases. National head Steffan Groch is noted for his work acting on behalf of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea regarding the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Head of the North West health and safety team Vikki Woodfine advises on safeguarding in education settings. Director Gary Smith leads the Liverpool team and is a key contact regarding fatalities and serious accidents, as well as for compliance and risk management. Senior associate Joanne Witheford and associate Amanda Lea are also both highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Steffan Groch; Vikki Woodfine; Gary Smith

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Lea


‘The team is excellent from top to bottom. The team is replete with real experts in their field. The more senior members take on a really active role in mentoring the younger lawyers. They have a wealth of experience in dealing with the full spectrum of health and safety cases from the very biggest down to the smaller and more mundane. All clients receive an excellent service.’

‘Vikki Woodfine is simply the best of the best. She has an enormous capacity to deal with her significant caseload and retains a handle on the detail and strategy in all her cases. She is an excellent strategist knowing when to make early admissions and when to fight hard.’

‘This is one of the strongest teams in the North West, if not the country.’

‘Vikki Woodfine leads from the front. Is extremely passionate about her clients and drives others on to achieve great results.’

‘Exceptionally talented and dedicated team who is able to utilise its key strengths and knowledge to support both corporate and insurer clients with complex regulatory matters and not least the process of HSE investigation and prosecution.’

‘Vikki Woodfine is a very dedicated and thorough partner at DWF who is able to display her wealth of knowledge in a common sense manner which allows clients to feel fully appraised of the issues at hand. She is incredibly hardworking and a great source of support for her clients when they are facing a troubling and unfamiliar process.’

‘Steffan Groch provides perfect client service.’

‘Steffan Groch leads the team, but is also one of the key legal advisers. Clients have absolute confidence in his advice and approach.’

Key clients

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Royal & Sun Alliance (RSA)

Booker PLC

Wincanton plc

Allianz Insurance

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

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

Keoghs LLP

The specialist team at Keoghs LLP frequently works for leading insurers regarding workplace-related regulatory investigations and prosecution. Senior partner David Walton leads the team and is experienced in strategic management of health and safety, food safety, and environmental matters, especially those involving fatalities. He has also covered corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter cases. Neena Sharma focuses on defence of complex motor prosecutions and health and safety offences, while associate solicitor Rekha Sharma is a key contact for charitable care providers on matters relating to inquests, health and safety, and CQC offences. Associate Edward Steele joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in December 2021.

Practice head(s):

David Walton

Other key lawyers:

Neena Sharma; Rekha Sharma; Edward Steele


‘David Walton and Neena Sharma stand out. They are down-to-earth individuals who are prepared to make an extra effort for their clients.’

‘The health and safety team at Keoghs is a small, but excellent team. The cases are thoroughly prepared whether they are a small guilty plea in the Magistrates Court to a long Crown Court trial. From receipt of the initial call the team ensures that the client is made to feel at ease and potential outcomes explained from the outset. The partner have an excellent relationship with the HSE in that they are always ready to assist with their investigation making the whole process run much smoother.’

‘David Walton is a very experienced solicitor in this field and is the go-to guy if you want a thorough preparation of your case. Even though he is a senior partner with a very busy practice, he is always willing to take a phone call and explain matters or action a request. Neena Sharma excels in all fields and prepares each case as if it were her only one. She is truly excellent.’

‘Highly efficient business model of ‘can do’ deliverers providing expertise and vast experience in this competitive market. The range of work they cover is as broad as it gets, but with the same attention to detail expertise and market awareness for every topic.’

Key clients


Catholic Insurance Services





Hastings Direct


Work highlights

  • Advised on the high-profile and publicised CPS/HSE prosecution arising out of the Macclesfield, Bosley Wood Mill explosion in July 2015.
  • Advised Reason Transport UK Ltd on a manslaughter investigation through to health and safety prosecution.
  • Advised The Gables following the death of a resident who choked on his meal.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is frequently instructed on high-profile health and safety incidents, particularly involving fire safety. The team also represents clients in coroner’s inquests, building safety and marine safety matters, and provides advice on non-contentious matters such as compliance and training courses. Practice head Kevin Bridges is noted for his experience in health and safety, food safety, fire safety, and criminal litigation, while Zoe Betts is highly regarded for her expertise in health and safety and regulatory matters. Associate Hannah Burton joined from Poppleston Allen in August 2021 and focuses on licensing, food safety, and health and safety.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Bridges

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Burton; Zoe Betts


‘Industry knowledge, exceptional facilities, modern support services, and a consummate work ethic make Pinsent Masons stand out as a leading firm for high-value corporate clients facing criminal or other regulatory proceedings.’

‘Kevin Bridges has an almost unrivaled knowledge of the regulatory crime sector, with a wealth of contacts amongst competitors and across a range of industries. His calm, unflappable demeanor is also extremely reassuring to clients, both corporate and individual. He is renowned for his high standards, and in turn ensures an excellent service for clients.’

‘Kevin Bridges is an outstanding leader who explores all aspects of a case.’

Zoe Betts is empathetic and very popular with clients.

‘Most professional organisation that is helping us through a very difficult period. They provide a very experienced professional team, but also possess sensitivity and understanding.’

‘Great collaborators who take control and the burden away. They demonstrate high attention to detail and make it easy for the client. I would highly recommend the team.’

‘Kevin Bridges is highly knowledgable and practical. Knows how to get a job done well.’

Zoe Betts has great knowledge of particular issues of our business which has really assisted with being in a position to respond appropriately.’

Key clients

Kier Group plc

Morgan Sindall Group plc

Viridor Waste Management Ltd

Notting Hill Genesis

Bouygues Group

Stadler UK Ltd

Masonite Corporation

Capital and Counties plc

Crest Nicholson Operations Ltd

EDF Energy

NHS Professionals

TOMRA Sorting Ltd

Dragon Alfa Cement Ltd (part of FCC Group)


Seddon Group

GKN Aerospace

Safran Group

Work highlights

    Squire Patton Boggs

    Squire Patton Boggs frequently defends corporations and directors in health and safety matters. The team is particularly strong in health and safety advocacy and communicating with regulators, public inquires, audits, and health and safety training. Practice head Rob Elvin specialises in corporate defence and regulatory matters, while Robert Biddlecombe focuses on health and safety matters involving facilities management. Gary Lewis is a key contact regarding accident investigations, inquests, and prosecutions, while Bethany Thompson is noted for her work on inquiries and health and safety aspects of the security industry. Associate Oliver Bristow joined from CMS in August 2021 and specialises in professional regulatory defence matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Rob Elvin

    Other key lawyers:

    Robert Biddlecombe; Gary Lewis; Bethany Thompson; Oliver Bristow


    ‘Real technical insight of the individuals – they have depth of experience which they apply in very practical ways.’

    ‘Rob Elvin is hands-on in his dealings and has a great way of explaining the complex.’

    ‘The team is exceptionally responsive and accessible (especially during critical issues or when immediate input is needed). The team is also very willing to put extra time and effort into understanding our business, its unique challenges, and providing support at the right level. All support provided has been of the highest technical quality.’

    ‘Rob Elvin provides accessible, practical support of excellent technical quality. Rob focuses on building strong, mutually beneficial client relationships that allows him to act quickly and pragmatically in serious cases.’

    ‘Great at providing practical and grounded advice and clearly have a huge amount of expertise and experience in dealing with the relevant government agencies and procedures.’

    ‘Rob Elvin is excellent. He’s strategic, calm, highly expert and my business’s go-to external lawyer on H&S matters. He’s aware of business context and very good at communicating at the business exec level.’

    Key clients

    Manchester City Football Group

    EDF Energy

    Live Nation

    Showsec International Limited

    Precision Colour Printing Limited

    FC Nantes

    Albis (UK) Limited

    Pontrilas Sawmills Limited

    National Grid Gas plc

    Bayer Crop Science

    Ashcourt Contracts Limited

    RT Keedwell Group Limited

    GB Group UK Limited


    Stonegate Group (formerly Enterprise Inns)

    Work highlights

    • Advised Showsec International Limited on the Manchester Arena Inquiry.
    • Advising FC Nantes in relation to the Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Emiliano Sala.
    • Advised National Grid Gas plc on a significant prosecution relating to alleged failures to maintain and inspect parts of its gas distribution network prior to its sale to Cadent in 2016.

    Weightmans LLP

    The health and safety specialist team at Weightmans LLP has niche expertise in areas such as environmental and business crime, as well as the ability to defend and prosecute cases involving health and safety, trading standards, and fire and food safety. Its clients include national charities, educational institutions, local authorities, sports teams, and insurance providers. Dewi Ap-Thomas leads the regulatory team and is highly regarded for his criminal and coronial advice, while senior partner David Lewis covers health and safety enforcement actions, having acted as both defence and prosecution, with additional expertise in corporate and gross negligence manslaughter investigations.

    Practice head(s):

    Dewi Ap-Thomas

    Other key lawyers:

    David Lewis


    ‘Weightmans is the best of the insurance firms. The lead lawyers are well respected, thoughtful and commercial.’

    ‘Dewi Ap-Thomas is a leader in the field. He is insightful, considered, approachable and commercial. He is robust and thoughtful, carefully considering strategies to maximise his clients’ position. Weightmans acts on the most complicated mandates and public interest cases in the country; they are my first call as I trust them to do the job right.’

    ‘Very good team with some excellent lawyers. They are very good in representing clients in their specialist sectors and have good industry knowledge.’

    Key clients

    E.on UK plc

    E.on Climates & Renewables

    Jaguar Land Rover

    North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

    Wedge Galvanising Group

    Swissport UK

    Lancashire County Council

    EMCOR UK Ltd

    Bayswater Care

    Work highlights

    • Acted for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) at the Manchester Bombing Inquiry where they are a Core Participant.
    • Acted for Nike Inc on relevant health and safety matters.

    Brabners LLP

    Brabners LLP has a wide range of health and safety experience, including fire and building safety, compliance and training, and internal investigations. Practice head Lachlan Nisbet is a highly experienced litigator and often advises on regulatory matters, with additional niche expertise leading in public inquiries and firearms licensing law. Legal director Emma Evans joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in January 2022 and is a key contact for clients operating in construction, real estate, and manufacturing on fire safety, coronial law, and transport health and safety matters. Regulatory expert and senior associate Matthew Coles joined from rradar in August 2021.

    Practice head(s):

    Lachlan Nisbet

    Other key lawyers:

    Emma Evans; Matt Coles


    ‘Matthew Coles is meticulous in his preparation; thorough and incredibly hardworking. He is a fantastic lawyer with an encyclopedic knowledge of the law whilst having wonderful client care skills. He is particularly adept in complex and technical cases. I would highly recommend him.’

    ‘Emma Evans has a thorough knowledge of the law, which she is able to apply to technical and other issues.’

    ‘Emma Evans is dedicated, meticulous, and with an admirable client focus that sets her apart.’

    ‘Emma Evans has an unrivaled work ethic. She has a consummate eye for detail, and is invariably thoroughly prepared. She is very client-focused and strives to ensure that the client is fully informed of the key issues and developments in a case. She is always on top of the detail; her instructions are clear and to the point; and she is always willing to go above and beyond to ensure that a hearing has been fully prepared for.’

    ‘The team are specialists in providing expert support in all aspects of health and safety work. They can accept and deal with even the most challenging health and safety cases. A proven and successful track record of supporting individuals and corporate clients provides the evidence of their strong showing in this area.’

    ‘Lachlan Nisbet is a powerful performer in all health and safety cases. Able to address the most complex tactical issues facing clients.’

    ‘Emma Evans is an outstanding individual in the field of health and safety law.’

    Key clients

    Peel Ports Group

    Work highlights

      Browne Jacobson LLP

      Browne Jacobson LLP provides assistance regarding health and safety accidents and incidents, as well as advising on food, environmental, and road traffic matters. The team has dealt with complex investigations, inquiries, and inquests and has niche expertise regarding risks involving legionella and asbestos, as well as corporate manslaughter and CQC inspections. Practice head Helen Simm is noted for advising clients regarding investigations by the HSE. Charlotte Butler made associate in March 2021.

      Practice head(s):

      Helen Simm

      Other key lawyers:

      Charlotte Butler


      Helen Simm is excellent – she is good with clients and knows the practice area well.’

      ‘Very good team of which Helen Simm is a key player. She is an excellent lawyer who combines great skill with fantastic client care skills.’

      ‘Helen Simm is a delight to work for: attentive to her clients and supportive of her counsel.’

      ‘The wide in-house services they have and relevant experience they offer on health & safety matters stand out.’

      ‘The experience handling similar cases was clearly demonstrated. The attention to detail and getting to understand the specifics of case along with understanding the wider business of ours, the organisation, reputation, recognition to help put the H&S case in to context of a one off incident, in a well-managed business to avoid any negative perception.’

      Key clients

      NHS England

      Work highlights

        Hill Dickinson LLP

        Hill Dickinson LLP‘s health and safety experience includes due diligence exercises relating to high-value corporate transactions as well as regulatory defence work. Practice head Philip Moy focuses on corporate crime and food safety, environmental law, and health and safety. Moy has an extensive background in criminal law, therefore is a key resource regarding related white-collar and fraud mandates. Legal director Stephen Barnfield is a regulatory defence specialist, while Aoife Ryan advises on food safety and hygiene investigations and prosecutions.

        Practice head(s):

        Philip Moy

        Other key lawyers:

        Stephen Barnfield; Aoife Ryan


        ‘An efficient, professional and very user-friendly team. Key to its success are members with key analytical skills, an excellent understanding and use of the law, the use of common sense and a reassuring manner.’

        ‘Philip Moy is calm, collected and the ultimate team player. A keen understanding of the law and a good sounding board on issues in complex cases. Someone who brings a huge amount to the table as part of the team. The ultimate, and very valuable, team player.’

        ‘Stephen Barnfield has a real eye for detail, is a good lawyer and a team player. He is a comforting presence in any case in which he is involved.’

        ‘Aoife Ryan is hardworking, has an eye for detail and is a good communicator. An invaluable member of a small team.’

        ‘What mattered most, in my case and in our initial telephone conversation, was Stephen Barnfield’s swift appreciation of the nature and detail of my problem.’

        ‘Stephen Barnfield was as assiduous, responsive, professionally competent and as caring for his client as the very best that I have encountered.’

        ‘Unrivaled collective experience of criminal work, coupled with tactical astuteness across the board, mark this team out.’

        ‘Stephen Barnfield is a delight to work with. He is extremely tactically astute, knows the criminal law back to front, sees arguments overlooked by counsel, and is charming to boot. His collaborative approach (particularly at trial) makes him invaluable. Clients, both individual and corporate, should see him as a go-to individual in the North West for tricky cases.’

        Work highlights

        • Acted for two shipping lines in relation to onboard/dockside fatalities giving rise to complex multi-agency investigations and formal interviews in respect of corporate manslaughter and safety offences.
        • Successful defence following a serious injury resulting from an FLT accident.
        • Successful defence of builder of racing boats facing Crown Court prosecution by HSE following a workshop injury resulting in (alleged) amputation (a matter of dispute).


        Kennedys is known for its ‘very helpful and easy going but yet extremely professional‘ Manchester team, which was established in 2021 with the hire of a group of lawyers from Clyde & Co led by the ‘exceptionally highly regarded’ Nathan Buckley. He was followed to the firm by Steven North and Molly Mangan, who recently promoted to legal director and senior associate respectively. The trio have continued to handle a series of complex and serious cases concerning fatal accidents, investigations and other highly sensitive matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Nathan Buckley

        Other key lawyers:

        Steven North; Molly Mangan


        ‘The arrival of Nathan Buckley, Steven North and Molly Mangan from Clyde & Co is a real coup for Kennedys, which has thus far not had a Health & Safety presence in the Manchester market. It represents part of what feels like a changing of the guard in the North West market, with the next generation of partners and senior lawyers now coming through to lead on big cases and ultimately lead teams.

        ‘Nathan Buckley just gets it when it comes to managing a big insurer relationship and his team reap the benefits as a result with many quality instructions. Nathan and Steven North’s knowledge and experience of the criminal courts is right up there with the best, which makes them go-to lawyers, particularly for manslaughter cases. ‘

        ‘Nathan Buckley and Steven North are exceptionally highly regarded; the team already has a very significant and established client base, and they are involved in some of the largest and most complex current health and safety investigations across the country.’

        ‘The team have an excellent rapport with clients and insurers alike. Able to get excellent results and communicate with all stakeholders on a level that is easy to understand.’

        ‘Steven North is a brilliant advocate for his clients, hard working and confident in his skill set; he is a great addition to the team. Equally, the very conscientious Molly Mangan approaches her work with consummate professionalism and provides support beyond her PQE. Steven North is already almost invariably working at the same level as a partner – often acting as the lead solicitor in serious cases, such as health and safety fatalities, where co-defendants are represented at partner level.’

        ‘Nathan Buckley – very calm, very reassuring; guided us excellently through two difficult issues and helped us achieve outcomes better than I expected.’

        ‘Nathan Buckley has always been very approachable. His responses are pragmatic and well thought through. He has a professional yet friendly manner. Highly recommend.’

        ‘Molly Mangan was a pleasure to work with, always available to help when needed, giving sound, realistic advice.’

        Key clients





        Dive Master Insurance

        The Makery Family Ltd

        Rugby Football League

        GreenSquare Accord

        Penn Contracts Limited

        Markel Law LLP

        Operating out of offices in Manchester, Markel Law LLP specialises in health and safety-related business crime, regulatory law, and civil and employment disputes. Its clients include trade associations, business federations, and insurance schemes. Deborah Nicholson leads the team and is a recognised safeguarding specialist. She often acts for healthcare regulators and organisations relating to investigations and prosecutions. Senior solicitor Gareth Martin is an expert in regulatory matters, particularly regarding road traffic matters, serious crime, and regulatory investigations.

        Practice head(s):

        Deborah Nicholson

        Other key lawyers:

        Gareth Martin


        ‘Great sector knowledge, great people and an understanding of how to make it work for the client.’

        ‘Gareth Martin is a stand-out, no nonsense solicitor who goes the extra mile. Tightly focused – not a penny is wasted. He is very impressive indeed!’

        ‘Very good associates who work extremely hard for their clients.’

        ‘Gareth Martin is very good. Excellent with clients.’

        ‘The friendliness and professionalism of the practice just gave me confidence right from the start.’

        ‘Gareth Martin’s support and professionalism were immense from the very first contact right up to the successful conclusion of the case.’

        ‘The team is really skilled in H&S work. They have a number of key links with large companies up and down the UK and deal with all small business insurance matters.’

        ‘Gareth Martin is on the ball with the case. he knows it back to front and that level of confidence plays in the client’s favour. Lauren Wilson is really clued in also, she preempts well where each case should go and is brilliant to work with.’

        Key clients

        Federation of Small Businesses

        Markel UK

        Markel Legal Expenses Insurance



        P3 (Charity sector)


        Work highlights

        • Advised MPA in respect of an HSE investigation into the death of an employee at a haulage yard.
        • Instructed by a fire engineer as part of the ongoing criminal investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire.

        Osborn Abas Hunt

        Osborn Abas Hunt focuses on complex health and safety compliance and training, defence, and appeals of enforcement notices. The team is active in investigations, criminal proceedings, and inquests, but also provides a retainer service. Practice head Madeleine Abas advises high-profile corporates and public bodies on health and safety matters, often with a cross-border or international element, as well as defence of clients in Crown Court trials.

        Practice head(s):

        Madeleine Abas


        ‘Very personal service and always accommodating. Very professional and happy with all the services they provide.’

        ‘Madeleine Abas has exceptional knowledge of the industry and health and safety legislation. Training courses and seminars provided are excellent.’

        ‘The practice specialises in health and safety and a demonstrated interest and understanding, at a detailed and practical working level, knowledge of the construction, engineering and infrastructure industry.’

        ‘On each occasion we have worked with Madeleine Abas she demonstrated a detailed knowledge of the law, criminal and civil, but in addition she demonstrated a detailed and very practical knowledge of construction operations which meant that her advice was always relevant and reliable. She works very collaboratively and flexibly with in-house counsel and inspires confidence at an executive level.’

        ‘The team at OAH offers a unique blend of services, the expert choice for professional legal help in serious health, safety or environmental situation, provides strategic leadership training to investors and board level directors. An excellent combination of skills with personality.’

        ‘Madeleine Abas has a rare combination of technical excellence and sound PPP/PFI knowledge and experience. Madeleine has an amazing ability to make the most complex issues sound so very simple to a non-legal person. She is the first choice when the issues are complex and the stakes are high.’

        Key clients

        Bowmer & Kirkland Limited

        Barratt Group plc

        Vinci Construction UK Limited

        Invacare UK Ltd

        Imagile Group plc/Semperian

        BAM Construction Ltd

        West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service

        Key Property Solutions Ltd

        Britannia Hotels Group

        Crossrail Limited

        Catalloy Limited

        John Sisk & Son Limited

        Crossrail Limited

        Domis Construction Limited

        Ringway Jacobs

        Heyrod Construction Limited

        Kier Limited

        McPhillips (Wellington) Limited

        Munro Building Services Limited

        Work highlights

        • Successfully defended Bowmer & Kirkland in a trial following injuries of a construction worker at a construction site in 2016.
        • Represented BDW Trading in respect of a fatality at a large housing development in Crewe.
        • Represented healthcare provider Invacare following the fatality of a resident when the hoist being used to move them failed.

        Pannone Corporate LLP

        Pannone Corporate LLP has particular strengths advising clients active in healthcare and care homes, manufacturing, and construction on both health and safety litigation and advisory work. Additionally, it has developed a niche practice in climate change law following the Environment Act 2021 and its impact on regulatory and compliance obligations. Bill Dunkerley was appointed practice head in April 2021. He is highly experienced in investigations and prosecutions, frequently representing care providers in investigations by the CQC and inquest proceedings. The team also provides health and safety due diligence and related transactional support.

        Practice head(s):

        Bill Dunkerley


        ‘Bill Dunkerley leads this team and is establishing himself as a solicitor with broad experience across many facets of health and safety work – both contentious and non-contentious. Bill is particularly experienced in working for the care sector and regularly provides media soundbites and training to providers.’

        ‘Bill Dunkerley is a stand-out individual. He has gained invaluable experience in other legal practices over the past decade and is now building a team around the experience and understanding of the market that he has built up.’

        Key clients

        Kingsley Healthcare

        Rochdale Boroughwide Housing

        Alternative Futures Group

        Sunrise Senior Living

        Work highlights

        • Represented a client following its prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive.


        The regulatory specialist team at TLT advises clients based nationwide, especially those active in leisure, food and drink, clean energy, and real estate sectors. Practice head Jason Cropper covers health and safety and environmental matters. He has additional experience conducting internal fraud and regulatory investigations, as well as corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter cases. Notably, Cropper is a former agent prosecutor for the HSE, acting on cases relating to national security and nuclear sites.

        Practice head(s):

        Jason Cropper

        Key clients

        Iceland Foods

        boohoo group plc

        JD Sports plc

        Keolis Amey Metrolink

        Iceland Manufacturing


        Government Legal Dept.

        British Solar Renewables

        Greene King plc

        Southern Water

        Yorkshire Water

        Manchester Airport Group

        Cornwall Council

        Work highlights

        • Instructed to carry out a Modern Slavery Act Compliance review for boohoo, in particular there regarding a number of allegations concerning the company’s suppliers based in Leicester, including working conditions, breaches of minimum wage and health and fire safety breaches.
        • Acted for Keolis Amey Metrolink during Article 2 coronial proceedings commenced by the Senior Coroner for Manchester.
        • Acted 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.