Health and safety in Wales
Led by the 'results-focused and knowledgeable' Claire Rawle, Blake Morgan LLP's two-partner team has a unique perspective on the market by virtue of its ability to handle civil and criminal health and safety matters, from both a prosecution and defence perspective. The team also handles compliance and management issues for private and public sector clients, with a growing presence in relation to product safety and liability. Robin Havard has vast experience on the prosecution front and is a key member of the team that also includes practising barrister Tom Walker, who is recognised as 'one to watch' for his strong contentious practice, and the development of certain niches including aviation and aerospace/space safety.
‘A very user-friendly and experienced team.’
‘Very good knowledge of the subject area.’
‘Claire Rawle has a very broad range of experience.’
Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
- Represented a contractor client in relation to an HSE prosecution arising from an incident when a gas main ignited whilst it was being repaired, injuring two workers.
- Represented the HSE in the prosecution of a major waste recycling company arising from a fatality involving the failure of a driver to re-connect his trailer to his tractor unit whilst conducting a collection from a customer’s premises.
- Represented a fabrications company in relation to an HSE prosecution arising from a serious incident that occurred due to a failure to remove an unsafe lifting attachment from the workplace.
- Secured discontinuance in relation to a Local Authority prosecution brought against a publican following an incident involving the use of a deep fat fryer when an employee sustained serious burns.
- Instructed by the HSE in relation to the prosecution of a farm partnership for failing to maintain the handbrake of a tractor, which resulted in rollaway and a fatal crushing injury to an employee.
Particularly active in the manufacturing, construction, public and care sectors, BLM provides an 'excellent service' to insurers and corporates in relation to complex fatal accident investigations and high-profile inquests. Team head, and recently promoted senior partner, Matthew Harrington has vast experience across health and safety regulatory matters and prosecutions, and is noted for his 'methodical and commercial approach'. The firm's national 24-hour helpline and access to advice in the immediate aftermath of an incident (including attendance at site), ensures that clients are well-served throughout the process.
- BLM were instructed to act for Wessex Building Services Ltd after an Insulation contractor suffered personal injury during construction works.
An integral part of the firm's UK-wide network, DAC Beachcroft LLP's two-strong Newport team has an excellent reputation defending organisations and individuals within the construction, manufacturing, healthcare, retail and transport sectors, facing corporate manslaughter, health and safety and environmental offences. As well as her contentious expertise, 'knowledgeable and professional' team head Sally Roff also regularly provides training to corporates and directors, to ensure that correct governance procedures are in place to minimise the impact of any health and safety issue.
Other key lawyers:
‘Responsive and supportive team.’
‘Sally Roff is tactically very sound and has a wonderful way with clients.’
‘Stefan Desbordes is assiduous and displays splendid attention to detail.’
Zurich Insurance Plc
Tokio Marine HCCl
- The firm represented a haulage company following a fatal accident at a recycling plant.
- Providing advice to the company and director following a fatal accident on a construction site.
- Advising the engineering arm of a major insurer following two fatal falls from height.
- Advising a manufacturing company in the food and drink sector following separate incidents of trapped limbs in machinery.
- Representing a food production company for supplying food that was unsafe for consumption.
Leveraging its 'first-class public sector reputation', Dolmans is best-known for its defendant work on behalf of local authorities which are subject to investigations and prosecutions arising from industrial accidents. 'Outstanding' team head Peter Bennett has a 'wealth of experience in the health and safety industry'.
Other key lawyers:
Jamie Mitchell; Claire Thomas
Tokio Marine HCC Insurance
AXA XL Insurance
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Europe
Dorset County Council
Central Bedfordshire Council
BMW UK Limited
Caerphilly County Borough Council
Powys County Council
- Represented a building company (through its insurers) in relation to the HSE investigation of a fatal accident at a building site in south Wales in October 2016, this included all representation of the company from initial instruction in November 2016, to inquest in June 2018.
Hugh James provides a 'professional and responsive service' on the prosecution and defence side. Non-contentious work includes running highly effective training courses for the boards of many Welsh housing associations on health and safety issues. Team head Martin Jones has vast experience across criminal health and safety issues, and also regularly appears in coroner's inquests where health and safety issues are often at the heart of the matter. Associate Justin Davies excels at fire safety matters and regularly undertakes the advocacy on prosecutions in this area.
Other key lawyers:
South Wales Fire & Rescue Service
O’Connor Utilities Group
Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency
- Represented South Wales Fire & Rescue Authority in criminal proceedings before the Magistrates Court, Crown Court and Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).
- Represented South Wales Fire & Rescue Authority in criminal proceedings alleging a breach of a Prohibition Notice issued under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
- Engaged by the O’Connor Utilities Group to provide training to its board of directors and senior managers on health and safety compliance.
- Sole providers of training to the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency’s Traffic and Vehicle Examiners in relation to road safety, transport and haulage law.
At Morgan LaRoche, Andrew Manners is recognised as 'a true expert in the field of care/education regulation and compliance'. He represents domestic and UK-wide providers within the early years and adult social care sectors in the defence of health and safety prosecutions, often involving a criminal investigation running parallel to a regulatory one.
‘Andrew Manners has an unparalleled understanding of care and early years regulations which, combined with a deeply caring and reassuring client approach. He gives clients a real sense that they are very much in safe hands.’
‘Andrew Manners is a highly skilled negotiator and has a unwavering determination to get the best outcome for his client.’