Health and safety in West Midlands

DAC Beachcroft LLP

The large national team at DAC Beachcroft LLP is led by Leeds-based Chris Baranowski . The practice continues to garner praise for its work on some of the most significant manslaughter, health and safety and environmental cases. Its main industry focus covers construction, real estate, manufacturing, healthcare, the public sector and other industries such as retail, leisure, transport and utilities. The group receives a steady flow of instructions from the majority of the top 20 insurers and it has also been increasing its workflow directly from corporate clients. Steven Harrison is an associate in Birmingham who has significant experience of representing clients in all aspects of regulatory investigations and prosecutions.

Practice head(s):

Chris Baranowski

Other key lawyers:

Steven Harrison


‘Commercially savvy, approachable, pro-active, reactive, acuity and a pragmatic approach to problem solving, as well as thorough. The team is inclusive, open, embraces all manner of technology, and can make the most complex situation understandable to lay and professional clients’.

‘Steven Harrison for his matter of fact approach, thorough analysis, and firm though fair advice when sometimes difficult to give in the really difficult cases. His response times and in-depth knowledge is refreshing. He will go far’.

Key clients

Ashmere Nottinghamshire Limited

Slaters Club Limited

Securafence Manufacturing Limited

Unity Homes Limited

Saint Gobain

Work highlights

  • Represented its client in successfully defending Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 charge at trial.
  • Represented Saint Gobain Construction Products UK limited in respect of HAVS investigation where the court considered issues relevant to sentencing of very large organisations.
  • Acted for its client in relation to an investigation and prosecution arising out of a serious incident involving a worker severing a hand in a press. Fine was imposed of £16,000 significantly below expectations.

Gowling WLG

The first-rate team at Gowling WLG continues to attract some new health and safety instructions from a number of high-profile clients. The talented group has key sector expertise in areas such as construction, quarrying, aerospace and defence in addition to food, health and social care. Practice head Andrew Litchfield  is vastly experienced in all aspects of regulatory investigations by the police, HSE, the Environment Agency, local authorities and the coroner. Principal associate Michael Hafen is adept at defending civil/criminal litigation arising from regulatory and environmental breaches. Natalie Barton-Howes, also a principal associate, is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Litchfield


‘The firm is quick to recognise and adapt to the processes and procedures that we face as a binational company. Andrew Litchfield has expert knowledge, works hard to understand our business, gets the commercial and technical pressures we face and offers pragmatic and realistic advice’.

Key clients

Kingspan Insulation Ltd

Bakkavor Foods Ltd

Bloor Homes Ltd

The Channel Tunnel Group/Eurotunnel

Sanctuary Housing Association

Cummins Ltd

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd

Coca-Cola European Partners Great Britain Ltd

Richmond Fellowship

Finning (UK) Ltd

Work highlights

    Pinsent Masons LLP

    The ‘top-flight‘ health & safety team at Pinsent Masons LLP operates across all UK jurisdictions and is regularly instructed in the most high-profile and serious incidents. Practice head Sean Elson is praised for his expertise in the construction, manufacturing, waste and energy sectors and oversees a group which has built up considerable expertise in high hazard industries and is also adept at advising on fire/building safety matters. The team is also home to associate Hannah Burton, as well as a number of excellent litigators who are skilled at advising on preventative measures.

    Practice head(s):

    Sean Elson

    Other key lawyers:

    Hannah Burton


    ‘The team is always very responsive and pragmatic. Its wide ranging experience is always helpful. It is very proactive and interacts well with wider teams. It approaches all matters proactively and provides a high level of support in difficult situations‘.

    ‘Top flight health and safety lawyers with a strength and depth able to deal with the biggest cases and most complex issues, it offers a highly professional but also personal service. Sean Elson – one of the top lawyers in the field and a brilliant tactician, he knows the detail of his cases back to front‘.

    ‘The service level that we receive is always of a high calibre and very timely. Sean Elson -we always find that Sean has a wealth of information. He is also very good at making what is sometimes a dry subject and can be a complex one, into a very understandable one and gives you sufficient information to be able to consider the various options or solutions to an issue. He is always very up-to-speed with current information and always links across to his colleagues when and where necessary. He is an excellent presenter and a very easy and respected part of “our team ” too’.

    Key clients

    McCarthy & Stone


    Clarion Housing Group

    Connect Plus Services

    Wates Residential

    Work highlights

    • Advising an infrastructure company in a fatal incident police investigation and drafting legal submissions in response to formal written allegations of corporate manslaughter.
    • Advising a global UK based manufacturer in relation to a serious injury suffered by an operative during a logistics related lifting operation. Advising in relation to HSE investigation and drafting legal submissions to HSE on formal allegations of breach of health and safety duties.
    • Providing detailed non-contentious legal advice to an academic institution in relation to fire safety within its property estate.

    Shoosmiths LLP

    The ‘first-class’ team at Shoosmiths LLP thrives with Roy Tozer at the helm, a lawyer who continues to lead involvement in the Grenfell Tower inquiry and is vastly experienced in the oil, gas, transport and construction sectors. Hayley Saunders, who regularly conducts her own advocacy, is another highly-respected member of the team whose practice covers contentious and non-contentious matters. The ‘very knowledgeable‘ team receives plaudits for its defence of clients across a range of industry sectors in investigations and prosecutions for manslaughter and health and safety offences. In addition, it also garners praise for its work on compliance, training and audit matters and has been active in advising on a myriad of Covid-related issues.

    Practice head(s):

    Roy Tozer

    Other key lawyers:

    Hayley Saunders


    ‘Depth of experience, personal involvement and a genuine understanding of business needs matched with a thoroughly professional service at all times. Speed of response and accessibility have not waivered through the pandemic, they are an extension of our business for HSE legal matters’.

    ‘Breadth of expertise, pragmatic approach shown by partners. Approachability of team at all levels. Hayley Saunders is excellent to work with on health and safety matters – she is pragmatic, thoughtful and provides sensible, clear, commercially focussed advice in good time. Also very approachable and more importantly, always pleasant to deal with’.

    ‘Hayley Saunders is the stand out contributor to this cutting edge team. A model of client care efficiency and with excellent knowledge and experience’.

    ‘Shoosmiths are true specialists, with members having acted in some of the most serious and high profile H&S cases in recent years. It is the people that make the team, without exception, the solicitors have strong interpersonal skills, a good work ethic and most importantly excellent knowledge of the subject area’.

    ‘Roy Tozer – charming, measured and totally self-assured. He has been there, seen it all and done it all in terms of H&S law. As a result, the client is buying anecdotal experience and insight which you just cannot put a value on. Roy is very well regarded by all that operate in this world, a senior statesman with whom companies and company officers instantly buy into and feel at ease. Undoubtedly, the first port of call in a corporate H&S crisis. Hayley Saunders – engaging, diligent and highly driven, Hayley is a H&S Partner that is going places. She has a lovely client manner. She combines this natural empathy with a passion to get the best possible result for her clients’.

    ‘Roy Tozer – has a wealth of experience and his insights and advice are invaluable’.

    ‘Quite simply the best regulatory practice in the country in my opinion. I have practised in this area for almost 20 years and if I had to recommend a firm to do this, it would be this one. They have great technical ability and outstanding strength in depth’.

    ‘Roy Tozer – many years at the helm of these cases. There are not many significant health and safety cases where he isn’t acting for someone. Hayley Saunders – good on the strategy and the law. I am always happy to refer cases to her. I know she will look after the client how I would like’.

    Key clients

    IKEA Ltd

    Calor Gas

    Lifeways Community Care Ltd

    Hitachi Rail


    Work highlights

    • Advising a contracting company involved in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower in relation to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the associated regulatory investigations that will continue for years. The team has advised and represented one of the contracting companies throughout phase 1 and into phase 2 of the Inquiry whilst also liaising, when appropriate, with the investigation being conducted by the Metropolitan Police.

    Bevan Brittan LLP

    Bevan Brittan LLP has a wide-ranging offering which frequently represents local authorities bringing health and safety prosecutions. It also defends independent and public-sector organisations from HSE and CQC investigations and enforcement actions. In addition, it is skilled at advising clients on their health and safety obligations across all sectors. Adam Kendall possesses a wealth of experience in advising clients in the aftermath of workplace fatalities, representing both individuals and organisations, and also acts for a large number of private and public sector clients.

    Other key lawyers:

    Louise Mansfield


    ‘Ability to field a team to meet the customer’s requirements, to support governance processes and use technology to support the case. Adam Kendall – has provided a consistent service, ensuring that the client is kept up to date, that sufficient opportunity has been provided for discussion and challenge and communicated key concerns or actions to barristers’.

    Work highlights

      Browne Jacobson LLP

      Browne Jacobson LLP acts for many private sector organisations in relation to their health and safety accidents and fatal accidents. It is skilled at advising on issues that arise from food safety, environmental, the care sector and road traffic work. The team also advises a significant number of public sector clients and entities in the education and health sectors. Rachel Lyne  has a wide range of experience on various regulatory matters and routinely covers investigations and enforcement actions. Lyne also demonstrates a reputable public inquiries, inquest and internal investigations practice.

      Practice head(s):

      Andrew Hopkins; Rachel Lyne

      Other key lawyers:

      Luke Deal



      ‘The team contains individuals who complement each other’s strengths. This is very important as clients get the right people at the right level for a case or a particular matter. This is highly beneficial in large or complex cases and ensures that the firm allocates appropriate resources at all stages and helps manage client expectations around getting the work done at an appropriate fee. The main team is supported by highly competent legal and non-legal staff’.

      ‘Rachel Lyne – highly experienced across a broad range of health and safety matters. Is extremely good at dealing with clients, both corporate and individual, and explaining complex matters in a way that simplifies what they mean for the client and their business. Brings a solution-focused strategic approach to all her work’.

      ‘I have always found the staff at Browne Jacobson friendly and helpful. My main contact is with the regulatory team, they are knowledgeable and approachable in what is usually a stressful situation. I have always found Rachel Lyne to be not only professional but able to explain in plain language the process and her advice. This is always useful when I have to take the message back to senior management who probably do not have the level of knowledge or experience in a particular field’.

      ‘The initial meeting with the senior partner and the contact solicitor was timely and the terms of how the case should progress was outlined clearly, and written advice was provided. Dealings were conducted through the solicitor, Luke Deal, who kept himself available through all stages of the case. Appropriate advice was given, where necessary. Equally, when advice was questioned, he took specific points on board and adapted the advice to reflect the position of the client’.

      ‘I know Rachel Lyne and Luke Deal very well and have co-defended with them on many occasions. They are extremely competent solicitors and demonstrate great technical ability and client care in all cases. Rachel Lyne is always great to work with. She robustly looks after her client’s interests but it a pleasure to work with’.

      Key clients

      Hiscox/Hockey England

      Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service

      Work highlights

        Clyde & Co

        Bob Davies leads a team at Clyde & Co that is best-known for its work on complex fatal accident investigations and also for its capacity to cater to both private and public sector clients. The practice has a strong presence in the manufacturing, construction, transport and logistics sectors. The practice has specialist criminal regulatory lawyers who focus on defendant-based health and safety, health and safety-related manslaughter cases and serious driving offences.

        Practice head(s):

        Bob Davies


        ‘Many years of experience in the sector, excellent client management, a culture of having an eye on the detail, and an embracing of remote technology make this team a strong player both in the Midlands and nationally’.

        ‘Bob Davies has vast experience of regulatory prosecutions brought by the HSE, the Police, and local authorities against both corporate clients and individuals. He has an excellent eye for detail, and will often consider points counsel has overlooked. His client management skills are hard to beat, and he is able to deal with the thorniest of problems. Working relationships with other key players in the sector make him a valuable solicitor to have’.

        Key clients

        Allianz Insurance

        QBE Insurance

        National Express West Midlands

        Royal Mail Group

        Zurich Insurance


        DWF fields a ‘first-rate team that is excellent from top to bottom‘. It regularly receives instructions to act for high-profile clients on diverse issues such as regulatory compliance in addition to investigations and prosecutions that are being brought by the HSE, local authorities and police forces. It receives a steady flow of instructions from both insurers and large corporates. The ‘marvelous‘ head of department, David Egan , specialises in complex criminal investigations that involve breaches of health and safety law. At senior associate level Simon Naylor and Caroline Depledge also receive plaudits for their work in this area.

        Practice head(s):

        David Egan ; Steffan Groch


        ‘The team is excellent at dealing with the sensitivities of high profile cases which are often in the media. It is able to provide clear advice and guidance to clients and does so by ensuring that it develops a team mentality to dealing with cases between client, solicitors and counsel. A pleasure to work with’.

        ‘Simon Naylor is a stand out senior associate. He excels in all areas of case management, from detailed and difficult disclosure exercises, to briefing the most senior employees at the clients, to helping formulate case strategy and beyond. An absolute pleasure to work with’.

        ‘A very strong Birmingham team with excellent depth. David Egan is hugely knowledgeable and outstanding in environmental law. Caroline Depledge is destined for promotion. A great associate who will surely be a partner’.

        Key clients

        Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea




        Direct Line



        NFU Mutual

        Starr Underwriting

        Work highlights

          Gateley Legal

          Ruth Armstrong heads an able team at Gateley Legal that is vastly experienced in corporate defence work. Armstrong has extensive experience in the housebuilding, construction, waste and manufacturing sectors as well as leisure and energy. Kate Oliver is a highly regarded senior associate who specialises in defending all types of health and safety cases and environmental investigations. Chris Grainger is an experienced solicitor advocate who regularly handles a wide range of health and safety matters as well as coroners’ inquests and environmental matters. The group acts for 19 of the top 20 housebuilders in the UK along with FTSE100 and 250 businesses and other blue-chip companies.

          Practice head(s):

          Ruth Armstrong

          Other key lawyers:

          Kate Oliver; Chris Grainger


          ‘Equally adept at the civil as the criminal, and tough yet sensible advisors. Ruth Armstrong, really a first-class lawyer and tough defender. Chris Grainger, excellent associate, bright and conscientious’.

          ‘Superb knowledge of the law, the sector and the key players. The ‘go to’ firm for H&S issues. Ruth Armstrong is the standout partner, sector leading and the ‘go to’ for all H&S issues. Ably supported by Chris Grainger and Kate Oliver‘.


          Key clients

          United Molasses Group

          Drayton Manor Park Limited

          Taylor Wimpey plc

          Vistry Homes

          Bellway plc

          Story Homes Group

          Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc

          Costcutter Supermarkets Group

          Dr. Oetker (UK) Limited

          Malmaison & Hotel du Vin Property Holdings Limited

          Samworth Brothers Limited

          Sudlows Limited

          Chevron Traffic Management Limited

          Mamas and Papas Limited

          All England Netball

          Sport Regulation Authority

          Davidsons Developments Limited

          Croudace Homes Group

          DCC plc

          Certas Energy UK Limited

          Nylacast Limited

          Viva Nylons Limited

          Grupo Bimbo (New York Bagels)

          Sunrise Poultry Farms Limited

          Miller Homes Limited

          Work highlights

          • Continuing to act for a number of housebuilders in connection with their high-rise apartment block portfolio following the Grenfell tragedy, advising on a wide range of issues including the role of the Responsible Person, management company director responsibilities in relation to fire safety and the risk of potential enforcement action.
          • Represented Drayton Manor Park in the investigation and prosecution following the high-profile fatal accident to a child on its water rapids ride during a school trip. This is the single most prominent health and safety case in the last few years. The case finally concluded in 2021 with a £1m fine.
          • Acting for the operator in the joint police and HSE corporate manslaughter investigation following a double fatality involving two contractors carrying out work at its chilling facility when they were overcome by fumes.


          The team at Kennedys advises and represents defendants facing police, HSE and local authority prosecutions as well as providing advocacy at inquests. It receives a steady stream of instructions from clients following serious accidents, including some fatalities. Head of department Naomi North is frequently instructed by corporate clients and insurers. James Shrimpton is highly-regarded.

          Practice head(s):

          Naomi North

          Other key lawyers:

          James Shrimpton


          ‘Providing a professional service with the needs of our customers as a top priority. Our customers often comment how much they appreciate the service and feel that Kennedys have gone above and beyond to achieve the best possible result’.

          ‘James Shrimpton is key to our customer relationship and his care for our customers is often referred to, which we appreciate‘.

          Work highlights

            Weightmans LLP

            Weightmans LLP leverages a strong reputation regionally and nationally and is hailed as ‘excellent‘. It fields lawyers adept in different aspects of environmental and business crime, acting on both the defence and prosecution of matters such as trading standards, health and safety, fire and food. In addition, it defends a significant number of commercial fleet risk clients. Andrew Brammer’s experience spans inquests, formal health and safety investigations and prosecutions as well as health and safety compliance. Associate James Muller  and principal associate Tom Boulton  are also lauded for their work in this area.

            Other key lawyers:

            James Muller ; Tom Boulton


            ‘The team is really on top of its game when it comes to this challenging and sensitive area of law. James Muller is a consummate professional and has guided the company and the individuals involved through a very tricky and sensitive situation. He is extremely knowledgeable, personable and has absolutely raised the bar in my expectations of legal services going forward’.

            ‘In Tom Boulton and James Muller, the team has a strong associate level regulatory practice in the Midlands. Tom Boulton has a calm and level-headed approach towards his cases which provides his clients with reassurance in challenging circumstances’.

            ‘In addition to being very knowledgeable the team was very personable and able to tailor its vocabulary and approach to the knowledge/experience of the group/individual, and provide appropriate advice and guidance as necessary’.

            ‘The overall approach and consistent expertise level provided throughout the team. Even though you knew that yours was only one of a number of cases they would be working on in different teams, there was a consistent message throughout, and it felt as though your case was always the main focus of their work’.

            ‘This practice has an in-depth knowledge of health and safety issues across a wide range of industry sectors and includes people who can bring insight from having worked for both the defence and the prosecution’.

            ‘Tom Boulton has always been very focussed on helping his clients get the best advice they could so that they understand the challenges facing them and can act from a position of informed choice. I was impressed that Tom went beyond providing the traditional provision of high quality legal advice following incidents. He also identified areas where clients could improve their practice and manage risks better to avoid future incidents or to mitigate their impact. In doing so, he sought input from relevant engineering risk management experts so that his client got the best possible combination of engineering and legal advice’.

            ‘The team at Weightmans is quintessentially professional at all times and always demonstrates empathy and consideration to clients when engaging with them. Andrew Brammer has guided and mentored me through a number of incidents and issues and this has led to my education and understanding of my role’.

            ‘ I have travelled with Andrew through three different businesses. I have worked with and he is always my ‘go to’ solicitor. The reason for this is that he is simply trustworthy! A consummate professional he has a cool persona that is infectious at times of stress’.

            Work highlights

              Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

              Under the leadership of Tim CoolicanAnthony Collins Solicitors LLP's regulatory department supports clients in the social housing, health and social care arena in addition to the education, social business and government sectors. This work includes advising and representing clients in police, CQC and HSE investigations and prosecutions as well as during inquest proceedings.

              Practice head(s):

              Tim Coolican

              Other key lawyers:

              Lorna Kenyon-Pain



              ‘As a firm its reputation is growing due in no small part to the recruitment of Tim Coolican as the partner in this area 3 years ago. It has become in that time a market leader – and rightly so. The whole ethos of the firm is directed towards a desire to support and protect the clients. They really mean it. Add to that the department’s technical knowledge and tactical skill and you have in my view the best firm for this work in the Midlands’.

              ‘Tim Coolican, as partner is the platonic ideal of a lawyer. Calm, decent, hardworking, sensible, and always right. His understated manner is a delight. Peerless’.

              ‘Extremely capable team. The lawyers rapidly understand the issues and present cogent advice’.

              ‘Tim Coolican – has a calm, reassuring manner and can cut through to the heart of the issues rapidly. His advice is well-presented and delivers the desired result. Lorna Kenyon-Pain – brilliant support, delivered in a understandable way at all levels’.

              ‘Conscientious, responsive and gets the job done in a timely way. It is a company wide approach, as partners are always consulted and associates endeavour to make sure the advice is absolutely correct’.

              Work highlights

              • Represented a large social housing provider prosecuted for health and safety breaches following a fall from height, securing a very substantial reduction in the financial penalty imposed by presenting evidence of the impact that a fine would have upon their residents and the local community.
              • Represented a national learning disability charity during inquest proceedings, following the death of an individual they supported who became asphyxiated upon the lap belt of their wheelchair.
              • Represented a national home care provider during a police investigation and inquest proceedings, following the death of an individual they supported who died after a night care worker fell asleep.

              Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

              Principal associate Laura Shirley is a key contact at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in Birmingham, regularly deploying her wealth of experience in all aspects of criminal regulatory defence work. She routinely advises on all areas of health and safety, food safety and licensing in addition to road transport and contentious environmental law matters and is also a solicitor advocate with rights of audience in the higher criminal courts.

              Practice head(s):

              Paul Verrico; Laura Shirley

              Key clients

              Network Rail

              China Light and Power Limited

              Scansource Europe

              Thames Water Utilities Limited

              Busy Bees Nurseries

              Northern Gas Networks Limited

              Places for People

              Hutchinson Ports



              Next Plc

              Cadent Gas Networks

              Drax Power Limited

              Tarmac Trading Limited

              Work highlights

                Keoghs LLP

                Keoghs LLP is best-known for its involvement in high-profile and serious regulatory cases across all service sectors and regularly advises corporate entities, insurers and individual directors. Its core work lies in the defence of corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter cases as well as the defence of health, safety and environmental breaches and related offences. Key members of the experienced team include Chris Green and Tim Ingram, both of whom are based at the Coventry office.

                Other key lawyers:

                Shan Cutts


                ‘The team here like so many, has decades of experience to call upon. Inclusive on all levels, technology fully embraced, with a tactical awareness which benefits every client. Again like the best teams, it is pro-active and reactive, with a confidence in advising well founded‘.

                ‘I must single out Chris Green who has vast experience in this field, and is respected. He comes from a professionally mixed background, finding that his place really is in health and safety, with all immediate and associated aspects to the hybrid nature of the work fully embraced and dealt with immaculately. Shan Cutts should also get a mention. Extremely efficient and a pleasure to work with’.

                The lawyers understand the industry very well and have practical experience in the sector that can be drawn from. They respond quickly and professionally‘.

                Key clients

                Greene King


                Smurfit Kappa


                Gs Fresh

                Bourne Leisure

                Greencore Ltd

                Ardingly College

                MTR Crossrail


                Work highlights

                • Advised an independent educational establishment in respect of investigations by the police and health and safety executive. A group of students were very seriously injured when a vehicle came into contact with them while attending a summer event at the college.
                • Chris Green represented a household name company client in relation to its involvement in the Manchester Arena Inquiry.
                • Successfully defended a restaurant/ pub chain operator in a Crown Court prosecution following serious scalding injuries were sustained by an employee.

                Squire Patton Boggs

                Squire Patton Boggs fields a strong national team that is well-regarded for its defence of large corporate organisations and directors in the most serious health and safety matters. In addition, it is recommended for its accident and internal investigation work. The practice has specialist industry experience in areas as diverse as entertainment and construction through to waste, energy and manufacturing. Birmingham-based Robert Biddlecombe is the key contact in the West Midlands.

                Practice head(s):

                Robert Elvin

                Other key lawyers:

                Robert Biddlecombe; Gary Lewis


                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 allow him to act quickly and pragmatically in serious cases’.

                ‘Practical advice delivered by a highly experienced team. Rob Elvin‘.

                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

                • Advising Showsec International Limited on the Manchester Arena Inquiry.
                • Advising FC Nantes in relation to the coroner’s inquest into the death of Emiliano Sala.
                • Advising 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.