Hall Of Fame

Health and safety in Wales

Blake Morgan LLP

Led by the ‘friendly and knowledgeable’ Claire Rawle , Blake Morgan LLP has an unusually diverse offering, being equally well-versed at prosecuting and defending health and safety prosecutions in the private, public and third sectors. Rawle herself has a national defence practice that continues to thrive, including in the representation of a growing number of health and social care entities seeking to resist high-stakes prosecutions and inquests, often involving vulnerable patients with mental health issues (where she is able to leverage the firm’s broader overarching competence in the  space). Senior associate and practising barrister Tom Walker often undertakes his own advocacy in multi-day trials and inquests in the firm’s role as sole provider of services to HSE’s Prosecuting Panel for Wales and the South of England. Walker also has additional expertise advising companies on risk management issues relating to product liability, as well as on attendant product recalls. Consultant Robin Havard continues to be retained by the HSE to assist in work-related fatalities.


Practice head(s):

Claire Rawle

Other key lawyers:

Robin Havard; Tom Walker


‘Clare Rawle is friendly and knowledgeable.’

Work highlights

DAC Beachcroft LLP

Leveraging the firm’s extensive ties with leading insurers, and also continuing to gain an increasing number of instructions direct from corporates (including from a risk management perspective), the ‘pragmatic’ Newport-based team at DAC Beachcroft LLP remains a leading defence firm for clients facing down criminal investigations and prosecutions for corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, as well as health and safety and environmental breaches. Drawing upon her many years’ experience in the field, team head Sally Roff continues to ‘deal with a complex and heavy work load‘ which sees her providing advice to clients throughout the life cycle of a workplace incident, from initial support in the immediate aftermath of a major adverse incident, through to legal representation at interviews under caution and advocacy work at Magistrates’ Court, if necessary. Able to convert ‘complex matters into understandable advice so that cases are dealt with efficiently and expeditiously’, Stefan Desbordes is also pivotal member of the team in the defence of cases prosecuted by the HSE and local authorities.

Practice head(s):

Sally Roff

Other key lawyers:

Stefan Desbordes


The pragmatic team is able to think outside-the-box, has a willingness to engage in new ideas, and keeps fully up to date with the most recent case law, legislation and trends.’

The use of up-to-date technology enhances the firms ability on all fronts.’

Sally Roff is well recognized in the profession for her decades of experience working on many leading cases, and continuing to deal with a complex and heavy work load.’

Key clients

Zurich Insurance

AXA Insurance

Aviva Insurance

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance

Chubb Insurance

NFU Mutual

Chubb Insurance

Work highlights

  • Representing a lift engineer in relation to a gross negligence manslaughter Police and HSE investigation and inquest arising from a fatal incident involving his apprentice who was crushed by a descending lift whilst working in a lift shaft.
  • Representing a nursery in relation to a Police investigation following an incident involving the alleged shaking of a baby resulting in catastrophic brain injury.
  • Representing a local authority in relation to an inquest arising from the tragic drowning of a teenage child in a river.


Drawing upon a great deal 'of experience and excellent knowledge in the field', Dolmans provides 'sage advice' to insurers, corporates and public authorities across a wide range of health and safety matters, including catastrophic personal injury cases. Appreciated for his 'attention to detail and ability to distil complex information', team head Peter Bennett has a 'complete dedication to the client's needs', both in terms of litigation/ inquests, as well as from a risk management perspective. 'Brilliant' associate Claire Thomas is particularly well-versed at advising on environmental-related regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Peter Bennett

Other key lawyers:

Claire Thomas


‘Knowledge of industry, attention to detail and sage advice.’

The team has a great deal of experience and excellent knowledge in the field.’

‘Peter Bennett’s attention to detail and ability to distil complex information quickly is outstanding.’

Key clients

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Ageas Insurance

Pembrokeshire County Council

Atlantic Recycling Limited

Dorset Council

Trewithen Estates Limited

BMW UK Limited

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (Europe) Limited

Travelers Insurance UK Limited

AXA XL Insurance UK Limited

Cardiff Council

Work highlights

  • Recently concluded the prosecution for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service arising out of an abseil training incident in September 2019 which resulted in life changing injuries to one of its firefighters. A significant regulatory fine was avoided by the Service by the mitigation provided by the legal team.
  • Concluded a 6-day inquest in September 2022 for Atlantic Recycling Limited arising out of a workplace death in September 2019 in consequence of a pedestrian worker being run over by a mobile loading shovel.
  • Continue to represent Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service in a complex inquest (and matters related thereto) arising out of a death during a training exercise in September 2019, involving a collision between two boats in the Cleddau Estuary in West Wales.

Hugh James

Hugh James 'gets to grips quickly with a large and diverse range of work', both on the prosecution and defence front. Combining specialist knowledge in regulatory and health and safety work 'with an affable and charming manner that clients find to be reassuring', senior associate Justin Davies is the key contact and has developed a market leading reputation in relation to fire safety law matters. His specialism in this area sees him handling high-profile prosecutions for numerous fire and rescue authorities, often handling the advocacy himself. Martin Jones  heads up the overarching regulatory practice and has substantial coronial law experience, appearing in inquests throughout the UK where health and safety issues are at the forefront.

Practice head(s):

Martin Jones

Other key lawyers:

Justin Davies


‘This team gets to grips quickly with a large and diverse range of work.’

‘Justin Davies has, through force of character and depth of expertise, built a niche practice in regulatory and H&S work, particularly fire safety matters. His specialist knowledge is complete and he combines that with an affable and charming manner that clients find to be reassuring.’

Key clients

South Wales Fire & Rescue Service

Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency

Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service

Pearson Engineering Limited

PF Concept

Keolis Amey

Welsh Government


Natural Resources Wales

Work highlights

  • Continuing to represent the South Wales Fire & Rescue service in all prosecutions brought by it under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and has represented the Service in appeals brought against Enforcement Notice and Prohibition Notices issued by the Service.
  • Continuing to act for the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, prosecuting transport-related offences on the Agency’s behalf and also being the sole provider of training to the Agency’s new-recruit Traffic Examiners, Vehicle Examiners and Counter-Fraud Investigators.
  • Successfully represented the Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service   Service in an appeal brought against a Prohibition Notice issued by it in connection with commercial premises.

Morgan LaRoche

Under the expert leadership of Andrew Manners, Morgan LaRoche has developed a market leading UK-wide reputation on behalf of independent early years education and adult social care providers in the defence of health and safety investigations and prosecutions. Many of the matters are highly complex and necessitate a very considered and thorough rebuttal to multi-agency investigations and a core consideration of crisis management issues relating to potential negative media exposure.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Manners

Work highlights