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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 > Scotland > Human resources > Health and safety > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Praised for its ‘excellent service level’, the ‘very good and professional’ team at BLM is ‘very active and provides sound business advice, enabling management to act according to any risk factors’. The firm regularly acts for public and private sector clients on a wide range of criminal health and safety work, including fatal and serious injury cases, manslaughter investigations and environmental exposure matters. Recent work includes representing a client in a construction-related fatality case, and a different client in a regulatory investigation. Team head James Varney is ‘a real expert in the field’ and has ‘an excellent ability to explain complex legal issues in an understandable way’. He assisted a key client with occupational health exposure issues. Glasgow City Council and the insurance companies Aviva, QBE and Allianz are all clients of the team.

Handling regulatory defence work arising from serious and fatal injury and accident cases is a significant element of BTO Solicitors LLP’s practice, which regularly represents clients in investigations by regulators such as the HSE and MCA, as well as local authorities. The highly regarded Clare Bone jointly heads the team with Vikki Watt and acted for Marine Harvest in a HSE investigation following a serious injury incurred by an employee. Similarly, Watt acted for Rodger Builders in an HSE and police investigation, which was treated as a potential corporate homicide case, following a fatality on a farm involving one of the client’s longstanding employees. Watt also acted for holiday park operator Loch Earn Caravan Parks following a fatal accident at the on-site swimming pool. This included representation in HSE and police investigations, as well as the subsequent prosecution process. Other clients include AIG, NFU Mutual Insurance Society and Mactaggart & Mickel Homes. Alasdair Gillies is another key member of the team.

The ‘responsive and high-quality’ team at Burness Paull LLPprovides pragmatic advice’ from its offices in Glasgow and Aberdeen. In Aberdeen, the practice is particularly well known for its oil and gas sector expertise, while the Glasgow office frequently advises public and third sector bodies. The team’s regulatory expertise enables it to advise clients on compliance matters and assists them with investigations and prosecutions. Rona Jamieson heads the team from Aberdeen and represented Apache in its appeal of an HSE Improvement Notice following the collision of an offshore supply vessel with the Apache-operated Forties Echo offshore installation. The team also assisted care facility operator Inspire (Partnership through Life) with an HSE investigation, and subsequently advised the client on remedial actions and criminal defence issues arising from a fatality on the premises. The ‘down-to-earth and knowledgeable’ Ray Gribben is another key member of the team.

Noted for its superb reputation for its contentious and non-contentious health and safety work, Pinsent Masons LLPprovides timely and practical advice’ to major insurers and corporates, with particular expertise in the energy, construction and infrastructure industries. Based in Aberdeen and noted for his expertise in dealing with incident investigations in the oil and gas and shipping sectors, the ‘excellentBruce Craig advised Jacobite Cruises in a health and safety prosecution brought by an employee following an injury caused by a mooring rope. He also assisted Kaefer C&D with an accident investigation following the collapse of a work platform during shotblasting operations at Clydeport Coal Terminal at Hunterston, in which one worker sustained serious injuries, and acted for the client in the subsequent prosecution on indictment at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court. Edinburgh-based regulatory expert Tom Stocker, who is known for his experience in dealing with investigations alongside compliance and corporate criminal defence matters, acted for Hanson Aggregates Marine following the death of an engineer as a result of a fire in the engine room of one of its ships. This matter involved representing the client in investigations by the police, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. The highly regarded Laura Cameron heads the risk advisory services team from Glasgow.

Advising corporates and insurers alike, Brodies LLPresponds quickly’ and has ‘a depth of experience in handling maritime sector matters and personal injury procedures’. The ‘reliable and commercially-minded’ team frequently handles regulatory interventions and prosecutions by the police, the HSE, the Marine and Coastguard Agency and the Environmental Health Officers, while also defending clients in civil damages claims arising from health and safety breaches. Other areas of expertise include compliance advisory work and representing clients in health and safety-related fatal accident inquiries. ‘Experienced, thorough and strategically adept’ litigator Duncan MacLean, who ‘always takes commercial considerations into account’, advised Sunderland Marine on a catastrophic injury sustained by a fisherman on board a vessel fishing in the lower reaches of the Clyde, and assisted the vessel owners and insurers in the investigation by the regulatory authorities. ‘Very knowledgable, articulate and approachable’ insurance and risk team head Elena Fry was instructed by an insurer to represent its policyholder in an investigation following an electric shock incident in the client’s convenience store premises. Aberdeen-based litigator Malcolm Mackay is another key member of the team.

Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘excellent and very knowledgeable’ team is praised for its ‘market-leading expertise’ in assisting insurers with health and safety matters, often pertaining to accidents and personal injury cases in the oil and gas, manufacturing and construction sectors. ‘Personable, measured and pragmatic’ team head Mark Donaldson is ‘capable of achieving the best outcomes in the worst situations arising from health and safety breaches and regulatory contraventions’. Other key members of the team are the Glasgow-based Gilles Graham, who represents clients in environmental and health and safety prosecutions alongside accident inquiries; and Edinburgh-based litigator Andrew Constable. The team’s client roster includes key insurance sector players such as Aviva, Zurich, Gallagher Bassett International and QBE Insurance. Also recommended are Bruce Goodbrand and Calum Mathieson, who are ‘first-class litigators’.

Anderson Strathern is best known for handling health and safety enforcement appeals, defending clients in health and safety prosecutions, as well as handling fatal accident inquiries and compliance advisory work. The team’s client roster includes a number of public bodies, including the Scottish Prison Service and the Highland Council. The practice regularly acts for the former in compliance matters, health and safety investigations, fatal accident inquiries and Crown Censure proceedings. Other clients include the HSE, Scottish Water, the Scottish Midland Co-operative Society and the Northern Lighthouse Board. Jonathan Guy heads the team.

Primarily acting for energy sector players, the ‘strong’ team at CMS is well versed in advising clients on regulatory compliance, prosecutions, investigations and corporate governance issues. ‘Very thorough’ Aberdeen-based practice head Jan Burgessshows great attention to detail’ and assisted the American oil and gas operator ConocoPhillips with an investigation following the release of oil from one of its North Sea installations. Other clients include key names from the transport, construction, renewable energy and manufacturing industries.

Praised for its ‘very good service level’, Morton Fraser has ‘in-depth knowledge of health and safety litigation’. The team regularly acts in fatality and catastrophic injury litigations, including enforcement notice appeals in fatal accident inquiries. Glasgow-based senior associate Jim Herd represented an individual in a personal injury claim against construction company Bear Scotland, which pertained to an accident caused by defective machinery. The team’s client roster also includes a number of public sector bodies such as the HSE, the Ministry of Defence, the City of Edinburgh Council and Aberdeen City Council. Team head Jenny Dickson ‘shows great willingness to listen to clients’ needs and tailors her advice and services accordingly, which are then provided in a very prompt and professional manner’.

DAC Beachcroft Scotland LLP regularly acts for insurers and has particular expertise in the construction, manufacturing, retail and healthcare industries. Team head Colin Bissett advised Kilmelfold Yacht Haven on a potential civil claim from an employee following an explosion caused by cutting into an oxygen cylinder. The team also assisted the Highland Car Club – permit holder and operator of the Snowman Rally – with a fatal accident inquiry following the killing of a spectator during the first stages of the 2016 rally. Other clients include AXA, Zurich, Admiral and Aviva.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP’s team works in close co-operation with the firm’s regulatory and dispute resolution teams, often dealing with fatal accident inquiries and civil damages claims. Alistair Drummond assisted Airbus Helicopters with a fatal accident inquiry pertaining to the 2013 police helicopter’s crash into the roof of the Clutha Public House in Glasgow. He also advised the aviation sector client on civil claims for post-traumatic stress disorder following the 2012 Super Puma helicopter’s crash into the North Sea. In a separate matter, he assisted General Electric with the defence of a product liability claim raised in the Edinburgh Court of Session. In 2016, the team defended the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) in a damages action raised in the Court of Session by a former employee based on an accident at work. Bidvest instructed the team to advise on potential criminal liability issues following an accident at a facility in Oban operated by the client.

Weightmans LLP acts for insurers and corporations, and is ‘very experienced in dealing with investigations of work accidents’. Seonaid Busby, who is specialised in insurance litigation and regulatory proceedings, is praised as ‘having great knowledge and excellent inter-personal skills’. Litigator Doug Keir has ‘a wealth of experience and fights his client’s corner with tenacity’. Clients include Peel Ports and E.ON.

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Legal Developments in Scotland 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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