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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > Human resources > Health and safety > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Addleshaw Goddard  fields a ‘very responsive’ team that has a ‘detailed knowledge of the sector’. Practice head Erin Shoesmith  ‘steers each case to the best conceivable outcome’. The team acts solely for corporate defendants and covers the full array of matters with specialist experience in private finance initiative cases that are in distress. Highlights included acting for a leading Northwest manufacturer that was investigated following an employee suffering injuries that were caused by failures to have appropriate guarding and supervision procedures in place. The team secured a good outcome for the client as ultimately the fine was significantly reduced by the sentencing judge. Other active clients include PZ Cussons,, Britvic Soft Drinks and Manchester Metropolitan University.

BLM's department is headed by the ‘undoubtedly impressive’ Helen Devery, who is ‘calm, helpful and very capable’. Other members of the large team include the ‘very smart, hardworking and accessible’ Natalie Puce, Sally Hancock, who has ‘great judgement and communication skills’, and Nick Gianferrari, who is regularly called on to represent clients in coroners' inquests. Associate David Rainey is ‘very sensitive to clients' needs and very knowledgeable’. The team is best known for its work in complex fatal accident investigations and very high-profile inquests. The team is currently representing Redrow Homes following a fatal incident at a site in Liverpool where a contractor was struck and killed by a large item of plant which was being operated by an employee of another sub-contractor. Other key clients include Warburton’s and G4S as well as Travelers and Aviva.

Clyde & Co LLP   is a ‘major player in the North West’. Department head Chris Morrison  is ‘possessed of excellent judgement and works like a Trojan’. Mark Brookes  is a ‘phenomenal lawyer, incredibly hardworking and with great nous’. Rod Hunt  is ‘well regarded’ and Helen Simm  joined the team as a legal director from Slater and Gordon . Highlights included representing a leading ejection seat manufacturing company in relation to a HSE prosecution arising out of a fatal accident involving a Red Arrows pilot. Other key clients include Airbus, Mitie Group, NFU Mutual, RBS/Natwest and RSA.

DWF   regularly acts in cases following major incidents and involving corporate manslaughter, fatalities and very serious injuries. The team has particular sector expertise in the energy, retail, transport, education, healthcare and construction sectors as well as in hotel and leisure, local authority and manufacturing. Key clients include Persimmon Group, Hovis, Wincanton, Fusion Insurance Services and Booker plc. Vikki Woodfine  and Steffan Groch  are well regarded. The ‘solid’ team is currently representing Landor Cartons and its finance director in an investigation into the death of a contractor at the client’s premises following a fall through a fragile roof. In this matter the HSE is now investigating serious health and safety failings.

Hill Dickinson LLP   has a team of ‘intelligent and hardworking lawyers who provide a highly personalised and seamless service to clients’. Philip Moy  is ‘without doubt a specialist in this field and has a criminal solicitor’s savvy’. Senior associate David Keenan  ‘couples excellent analytical skills with an ability to unpick his opponent’s arguments in a moment’. Stephen Barnfield (also a senior associate) is ‘as quick as lightning in grasping the true significance of each bit of evidence and has outstanding analytical and tactical awareness’. Richard Green is another key member of this ‘really great outfit’. The broad practice has considerable expertise in a number of sectors such as construction, retail, healthcare, logistics and professionals ( including vets, surveyors and healthcare professionals). The team has vast experience of handling PACE interviews.

Head of team Kevin Bridges at Pinsent Masons LLP  ‘deservedly has a national reputation. He is experienced in a range of areas in health and safety and quickly grasps the key points behind disputes’. The team overall has ‘genuine expertise and experience and is able to provide practical and commercial advice coupled with a very good strategic insight. It is also aware of all the latest developments in this area and is able to deploy its knowledge well and skilfully’. The ‘tremendous’ senior associate Zoe Betts  has a ‘great eye for detail and is very much on the ball’. Associate Emma Evans  is an ‘astute litigator who is able to assess the evidential strengths and weaknesses of a case quickly, as well as identifying what steps need to be taken to resolve problems. She also has excellent client skills’. Solicitor Alex Hudson  is ‘clever and one to watch for the future. He is conscientious and unflappable under pressure and shows good judgement regarding technical points of difficulty’. The ‘outstanding’ team continues to advise a major waste management, recycling and landfill contractor on various matters. In the last two years there have been two separate fatal incidents and the team has been advising this client on all aspects of these matters. Other active clients include Capita, Crest Nicholson Operations and Bouygues Group.

Squire Patton Boggs's ‘excellent’ practice is led by the ‘highly effective’ Rob Elvin, who has ‘a great deal of experience in relation to the many different scenarios experienced by clients’. The broad practice has been increasingly advising on product safety work, suicide in the workplace as well as security and terrorism related risks and duties under health & safety legislation. The team has also been active on the non-contentious side advising on accident investigation protocols, modern slavery and child safety in relation to Ofsted guidance. Highlights included advising a client after an employee sustained serious burns to his back whilst carrying out rodding of a blockage at the plant.  Clients include Clinton Cards, Cancer Research UK, the NEC Group and Homebase.

Keoghs LLP ‘is well regarded for its work in health and safety infringement cases’. David Walton  is at the helm and his ‘years of experience shows in the way that he navigates clients through difficult investigations and prosecutions’. He is ably assisted by associate Bill Dunkerley, who is ‘exceptionally hardworking and clever’. Suzanne Drinkwater  has a ‘great depth of understanding of the issues that arise in health and safety cases and in navigating complex cases through the enforcement process from letter of intervention to Crown Court trial’. Rekha Sharma  is ‘dogged and determined’ and Neena Sharma  is ‘vastly experienced’. ‘Perceptive and pragmatic’ associate Heather Vyse  also garners praise for having a ‘clear eye for the right strategy in a case’. The team continues to represent a manager in an ongoing joint police/HSE investigation in the aftermath of the Bosley wood mill explosion when four people were killed.

Madeleine Abas  at Osborn Abas Hunt  is a ‘recognised expert in H&S law and always strives to achieve the best outcomes for her clients’. The group has considerable experience in defending matters at trial and at appealing enforcement notices. Other areas of expertise include securing decisions of no further actions. Key clients include BAM Construction, TK Gallagher, Barratt Homes, Beautiful Drinks Limited and Rochdale Borough Council. It is currently representing its corporate client and its directors in the aftermath of the death of an 18-year old customer who suffered anaphylaxis after consuming food to which she was allergic.

At Weightmans LLP  the ‘excellent’ Dewi Ap-Thomas specialises in criminal and coronial work and focuses on assisting public sector organisations in post-death investigations, managing regulatory enforcement action, and in representing clients at inquests. The team acts for a broad range of clients from the public, commercial, charity and insurance sectors, including Wrexham Borough Council, ESL and Reece Balfour. Leeds-based David Lewis  is also recommended. .

The ‘excellent’ Lachlan Nisbet  leads the regulatory team at Brabners LLP. Clients include public limited companies, one of the world’s largest port authorities, a large UK trailer manufacturer as well as various manufacturers, logistics businesses and large social landlords. Recent highlights include advising a major chemicals company on notices that had been served as well as advising a charitable organisation following a workplace stabbing. The team has also provided fire safety advice to a company that was involved in the Grenfell Tower investigation and has advised on a fatal farm accident. In other work the practice advised a leading manufacturer of beauty treatment products on a Public Health England investigation over blood-borne viral infection risks and advised a registered provider of housing on a fire related double fatality

At DAC Beachcroft LLP  consultant Iain Moore  is ‘sensible and pragmatic, with the ability to translate the legal requirements and issues into reality and practice’. The Manchester office receives instructions nationally as panel solicitors for a number of major insurers and acts for multinational corporate clients on a broad range of  investigations, inquests and prosecutions, as well as on ad hoc health and safety matters.

Pannone Corporate LLP   has ‘significant depth of expertise and experience’ in this area. Head of team isTristan Meears-White  who is a ‘first-class health and safety lawyer. He has significant experience of complex and high profile cases under his belt and is a great tactical thinker. He has formidable judgement and fantastic client skills’. Meears-White has particular expertise in helping to develop crisis management planning and incident response protocols and is ‘so calm and supportive when advising on regulatory issues. He is very responsive to tight deadlines and offers very practical advice’.

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Legal Developments in North West for Health and safety

  • Companies should plan now to minimise their pension protection levy

    The amount that pension schemes have to pay to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) for the year 2006/07 may have increased by as much as five times the previous year's levy. Employers who ultimately bear the cost of many pension schemes will need to make plans now to ensure the levy payable for the year 2008/09 is kept to a minimum.
    - Stephenson Harwood

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