Next Generation Partners

Health and safety in Yorkshire And The Humber


The health and safety practice at CMS is best known for advising clients in high-risk industries, including waste, energy, construction and manufacturing. It has a strong reputation within the energy sector and is frequently instructed by leading multinational energy companies on serious accidents. Spearheaded by Lukas Rootman, the group has significant experience acting in high-profile health and safety trials and inquests as well as handling regulatory issues and Environment Agency investigations. Associate Aimie Farmer specialises in defendant health and safety litigation.

Practice head(s):

Lukas Rootman

Other key lawyers:

Aimie Farmer; Kaleem Mahmood


‘The firm has an enviable client list most of whom are long standing so the team knows key sectors of industry and waste management inside out.’

‘The team is incisive, robust and pragmatic in giving advice.’

‘The team ethos is genuinely collaborative.’

‘Lukas Rootman is an experienced health and safety practitioner with a deep commitment to his clients.’

‘Instils confidence in clients by developing a clear strategy in the case at an early stage, with each member of the team having a clear role within that strategy.’

‘Robust and exacting in engagement with regulators. Adept at handling the most difficult and challenging cases, and protecting the client’s reputation and interests.’

‘Lukas Rootman is an expert in the law, with a big personality, and who is wholly committed to the client’s case. Deals with the tough decisions in a case head-on.’

‘The teams we have worked with at CMS are unique in every way. They’re punctual, organised and strategic way of case management has made them one of the top law firms we’ve had the pleasure of working with right through from their Trainee Solicitors to top-level partners.’

Key clients



Work highlights

    DAC Beachcroft LLP

    DAC Beachcroft LLP is well known for advising clients facing criminal investigations for significant manslaughter, health and safety and environmental cases. The group has a solid offering in the construction and manufacturing sectors as well as in insurance, where it advises several top insurers including Aviva and Zurich. Head of the national regulatory team Chris Baranowski has extensive experience advising on fatalities and other serious injuries and accidents while ‘stand out partner’ Matthew Breakell heads up the Yorkshire team, regularly representing clients at inquests and sentencing hearings.

    Practice head(s):

    Chris Baranowski; Matthew Breakell

    Other key lawyers:

    Liam Jagger


    ‘DAC Beachcroft have an approach to work in this sector which admirably combines meticulous attention to detail with realistic commercial advice.’

    ‘The firm fearlessly seeks out all defences for its clients whilst being honest in its appraisal of the strengths of those defences.’

    ‘Matthew Breakell is a stand out partner. A client could not wish for a more staunch supporter and a wiser advisor in this area.’

    ‘Liam Jagger is a junior lawyer who demonstrates a real potential to be a notable name in the sector in the future.’

    ‘In all my dealings with the team at DAC I have found them to be proactive, knowledgeable and personable. Whilst recognising the importance and significance of the matter/s they are representing you for.’

    ‘The team were highly responsive, very well informed and at pains to ensure any and every question could be asked and would be answered.’

    ‘We felt we mattered – rather than just a client to manage.’

    ‘The Team spent a lot of time going over all of the information and had a very thorough approach to collecting and analysing the information provided.’

    ‘They are always available and are masters of their subject. I wouldn’t look anywhere else for health and safety legal advice.’

    ‘Exceptional strength in depth in this team.’

    Key clients

    Dimensions UK Ltd

    Tata Chemicals Europe

    Troy Foods Ltd

    Parkdean Resorts UK Ltd

    Fox (Owmby) Ltd

    Howard Civil Engineering

    Brett Martin

    NFU Mutual

    Aviva Insurance

    Zurich Insurance

    RSA Insurance

    Harron Homes Ltd

    Work highlights

    • Acted for Options for Supported Living in respect of a prosecution by the HSE following a health and safety executive investigation into an incident whereby a member of staff was attacked.
    • Acting for a freight transport company in respect of HSE investigations following the death of an employee who sustained crushing injuries during an unloading procedure from a trailer.
    • Acting for a construction company in respect of manslaughter investigations relating to an incident when an employee sustained fatal injuries whilst in the process of collecting work machinery from a customer’s premises.

    DLA Piper

    Focusing on non-contentious mandates, DLA Piper assists board members and senior management in managing risks and on general health and safety compliance issues. The group has a strong national presence, with offices across the UK and is frequently involved in multi-jurisdictional mandates. Teresa Hitchcock leads the team and has a diverse practice that covers product safety and food safety, amongst others. Director Ailish Oxenforth and Alastair Clough are other key practitioners; the latter leads on the firm’s SHE advice on transactional matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Teresa Hitchcock

    Other key lawyers:

    Ailish Oxenforth; Alastair Clough; Simon Tingle


    ‘DLA Piper have provided many years of invaluable advice to our business. Their service is professional from the outset, to the point, with a clear focus on the desired outcome.’

    ‘Teresa Hitchcock is very personable. She has a breadth of experience and is always happy to offer advice and support.’

    Key clients

    Arconic Corporation

    VolkerRail Limited

    Modulaire Group

    Formula E Operations Limited

    Stryker European Operations Limited

    FM Insurance Company Ltd

    August Equity Partners III

    DB Cargo

    Wilko Limited

    Ball Corporation

    Work highlights

    • Acted on behalf of Arconic Corporation throughout Phase 1 of the Public Inquiry that was established to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fire at Grenfell Tower, and continues into Phase 2, which commenced in January 2020.
    • Acted on behalf of VolkerRail Limited in a prosecution brought by the Office of Road and Rail in relation to an accident which occurred in 2014, during a rail improvement project.
    • Advising Axa Real Estate Investment Managers UK Ltd on implementing a health and safety governance structure and guiding them on health and safety responsibilities relating to property and property management companies.


    DWF houses ‘one of the most impressive teams in the country’ according to clients. The group represents both individuals and organisations in prosecutions and investigations by regulatory authorities such as the Police and Health and Safety Executive. Other areas of expertise include gross negligence manslaughter and corporate manslaughter as well as extensive experience in general criminal practice, including on road traffic issues. Corporate defence specialist Paul Matthews leads the team that includes criminal litigator Mark Thompson; David Chant, who was promoted to director in January 2022; and associate Sophie Parkin.

    Practice head(s):

    Paul Matthews

    Other key lawyers:

    David Chant; Mark Thompson; Sophie Parkin; Lauren Slater; Alexandra Traynor


    ‘A top-notch team. Partners and senior solicitors are always approachable and collaborate well with Counsel and clients to deliver high quality work.’

    ‘A range of impressive abilities in the safety field. One of the most impressive teams in the country with a vast volume of work and great court experience.’

    ‘The team provide no nonsense, practical and pragmatic advice in a calm manner at times of stress.’

    ‘Paul Matthews and Alex Traynor have an excellent understanding of our business which combined with their excellent legal subject knowledge translates into excellent practical advice tailored specifically to our business operations.’

    ‘They clearly spend much time devising the best strategy for a client and communicate the pitfalls and upside of a trial very well in a manner the client can readily understand. They are team players and develop a good professional working relationship with all parties.’

    ‘I found from day one the team were very personable and took time to explain the legalities of what was going on. Nothing was too much trouble and as the case developed so did their resources.’

    ‘Sophie Parkin has excellent knowledge of her field and truly excellent written advice. Just great to work with.’

    ‘Mark Thompson brings invaluable experience to this field from his former practice in defending serious crime. He is very assured and brings calm, good judgement to the big decisions in a case.’

    ‘David Chant is a highly experienced and knowledgeable senior practitioner with an attractive, understated manner. He is extremely attentive to clients and provides an excellent service.’

    ‘Lauren Slater is great with clients, court staff and opponents. She has a very down to earth way of communicating which breaks down barriers and puts clients at ease.’

    Key clients

    Electricity North West




    Direct Line



    HDI Global




    Housing Plus Group

    Eon Insurance Brokers

    Work highlights

    • Represented two employees of Serco charged with a number of offences including causing death by dangerous driving, arising out of an incident whilst at work.
    • Represented Rodney Slater (a Director) who was charged with Gross Negligence Manslaughter and a breach of s.37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, following a fatal incident in April 2017 involving an employee of the company.
    • Represented a Bosley Mill employee charged with a health and safety offence following an explosion which caused four fatalities and multiple serious injuries.

    Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

    Non-contentious assurance and compliance work are cornerstones of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s environment, health and safety practice. Led by the ‘outstanding market leader’ Paul Verrico, the group also handles major investigations, acting for a variety of international, blue chip and UK clients. Principal associate Philip Crosbie has extensive experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters, leading on serious fatality investigations as well as being instructed on private prosecutions. For expertise in critical compliance projects, senior associate Charlotte Wood is recommended.

    Practice head(s):

    Paul Verrico

    Other key lawyers:

    Philip Crosbie; Charlotte Wood; Surekha Gollapudi; Francesca Poole


    ‘Paul Verrico is an outstanding market leader in the field. Deeply experienced and used to dealing with large organisations in health and safety cases.’

    ‘The junior team is outstanding and provide the highest level of support in cases.’

    ‘Phil Crosbie has a complete grasp of complex issues and an impressive ability to communicate them.’

    ‘Surekha Gollapudi always provides superb case preparation.’

    ‘A diverse and highly qualified team, bringing individual strengths to present a strong united team that is focused on positive customer outcomes by proactive, creative, collaborative strategic thinking.’

    ‘Even better than you would expect from a global top 10 law practice. ES always go the extra mile in understanding their client’s position and what they want to achieve from the instruction. They apply the same level of service excellence to day-to-day matters as they do to the most complex cases and biggest clients.’

    ‘Paul Verrico is dynamic, intellectual, energetic, creative, while maintaining his approachable and down to earth approach to problems.’

    Key clients

    Network Rail

    China Light and Power Limited

    Thames Water Utilities Limited

    Biffa Waste Services Limited

    Northern Gas Networks Limited

    Places for People

    Hutchinson Ports



    Northumbrian Water Limited

    Next Plc

    Cadent Gas Networks

    Drax Power Limited

    Tarmac Trading Limited

    BAM Nuttall

    Bannatyne Fitness Group

    Work highlights

      Walker Morris LLP

      Walker Morris LLP’s full-service practice has a strong contentious offering, with Stuart Ponting acting on several fatal accident cases as well as appearing at inquests. The ‘exceptional team’ also fields legal director Claire Burrows who has experience liaising with the Police, Health and Safety Executive and Care Quality Commission. The firm has a strong presence in the food sector and is frequently instructed by food manufacturing and retail clients. Jeanette Burgess heads up the department.

      Practice head(s):

      Jeanette Burgess

      Other key lawyers:

      Stuart Ponting; Claire Burrows


      ‘Stuart Ponting is strategic and pragmatic and easy to work with.’

      ‘The team that I have been working with are professional, available at all times and respond quickly to queries.’

      ‘Walker Morris listen to experts opinions and suggestions, however, they are not afraid to put difficult questions to ensure that the expert is confident in their opinion.’

      ‘Stuart Ponting and Claire Burrows are in my opinion an exceptional team to work with. They have the ability to quickly grasp difficult technical concepts quickly, which is of great assistance.’

      ‘Having a clearly articulated plan, agreed up front and testing every action against that plan has been invaluable to us.’

      ‘Other legal practices have wanted the quickest and easiest solution but Walker Morris have helped us/driven us to take a holistic and insightful strategic approach to getting what we need out of the problems we have encountered and covering/protecting our organisation at every step.’

      ‘Stuart Ponting is just amazing – he helps us to articulate a clear, well thought out vision and reminds us of this when we want to take quicker/less appropriate actions using his much valued humourous and common sense approach.’

      ‘Highly respected specialist team covering all aspects of health and safety. The team combines a strong advisory practice with a great deal of litigation experience.’

      ‘Stuart Ponting is head and shoulders above every other H&S lawyer in Yorkshire. Very creative at getting resolution and knows how to deal with HSE to get the best results.’

      ‘Claire Burrows is an excellent investigator and a very safe pair of hands legally. Their skill sets complement each other well.’

      Key clients

      Adler & Allan Ltd

      Erith Group

      Galliford Try plc

      Kone Plc

      Leeson Polyurethanes Limited

      Hermes Parcelnet

      Hovis Limited

      Pharmaron UK Ltd

      Royal Mencap Society

      Work highlights

      • Advising Leeson Polyurethanes following catastrophic fire and fatality involving disaster victim identification issues.
      • Advising national demolition contractor following fatal crushing at client’s site.
      • Defending Young’s Seafood in HSE prosecution in Crown Court.

      Addleshaw Goddard

      Addleshaw Goddard's wide-ranging health and safety practice is directly instructed by directors of large public and private limited companies in the UK. The team handles significant inquests and inquiries as well as advising on fire and building safety, and food and product safety. Adrian Mansbridge is a key contact in Leeds with experience in specific sector regimes such as tobacco regulation and hazardous substances. Splitting her time between Manchester, Leeds and London, practice head Erin Shoesmith is praised for her leadership ‘which pulls this team into a strikingly strong and committed whole'.

      Practice head(s):

      Erin Shoesmith

      Other key lawyers:

      Adrian Mansbridge; India Haresign


      ‘Excellent team in relation to health and safety, great industry knowledge and some fantastic individuals.’

      ‘It is the leadership of Erin Shoesmith which pulls this team into a strikingly strong and committed whole.’

      ‘Everyone in the team gives tremendous attention to all aspects of the issues on the table, as a result of which solutions are rapidly identified and implemented.’

      ‘If the AG team is looking after you, then you feel looked after.’

      ‘Erin Shoesmith has a deserved reputation as being in the very top drawer. Her dedication to her clients shines through. There is nobody better.’

      ‘Adrian Mansbridge is an excellent lawyer. He is extremely clever and hard working.’

      Key clients

      PGL Travel Limited

      Skanska UK Construction Limited

      Morrison Utility Services Limited

      Scottish Futures Trust

      Eddie Stobart Limited

      Travelodge Hotels Ltd

      Boohoo Group (including, PrettyLittleThing, Nasty Gal, MissPap, boohoo MAN, Karen Millen, Coast, Oasis, Warehouse, Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton)

      Westbridge Furniture Designs Limited

      Joseph Ash Limited

      Asda Stores Limited

      Siemens Plc and Siemens Mobility UK Limited

      TI Midwood & Co Limited (Timco)

      Bestway Northern Limited

      Belfield Furnishings Limited

      B Braun Medical Limited


      British American Tobacco UK Limited

      Highlands and Islands Airport Limited

      Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited

      Kibble Education and Care Centre

      Vision Express


      Work highlights

      • Acting for core participants in the Grenfell Tower public inquiry, the Manchester Arena bombing inquiry and the Scottish Hospital inquiry.
      • Acting for Eddie Stobart Limited in the defence of a HSE (Health & Safety Executive) prosecution arising out of the Control of Asbestos Regulations.
      • Representing Belfield Furnishings in HSE prosecution arising out of a workplace transport incident.


      Based in Sheffield, the regulatory team at Kennedys handle several cases involving fatal or near fatal incidents. Led by David Wright, the group has seen an increase in instruction from the healthcare sector, in particular representing care home operators and charities. It also has strengths in coronial/inquest law, with senior associates Rebecca Connell and Marta Tomlinson focusing on this area. For expertise in the mining industry, senior associate Kadie Cooper is recommended. Daniel McShee is the team’s national head.

      Practice head(s):

      Daniel McShee; David Wright

      Other key lawyers:

      Rebecca Connell; Kadie Cooper; Marta Tomlinson


      ‘The team is really slick. Everything is always well prepared, they are well researched and every team member replied quickly and succinctly to any query.’

      ‘The team is hugely knowledgeable and gives me confidence that we are in safe hands.’

      ‘Kennedy’s are a premium offering for H&S and this is an outpost of their excellent London team. The quality of work is still super and the solicitors are excellent.’

      ‘David Wright – very experienced and adept at calming down the nerves of worried corporate clients.’

      ‘Kadie Cooper – very hard-working and on the ball.’

      ‘Rebecca Connell – great client skills.’

      ‘Marta Tomlinson stands out as a senior associate of considerable ability. Her knowledge of her practice area is impressive and she is well able to provide first rate advice. Marta goes above and beyond to support the needs of her clients.’

      Key clients

      2 Sisters Food Group Limited





      Cleveland Potash Limited


      Mitie Group (Care and Custody Health)

      Savills (UK) Limited


      Troy Foods Limited

      Yorkshire Dairy Goats

      Work highlights


        Weightmans is ‘committed to really excellent client care’, providing a full service to a range of clients that includes public sector bodies, local authorities and blue chip corporates. Practice head David Lewis splits his time between Leeds and Liverpool and is a ‘stand out member’ who advises in corporate and gross negligence manslaughter investigations as well as sensitive jury inquests. Principal associate Anna Naylor is noted for her expertise in food safety matters.

        Practice head(s):

        David Lewis

        Other key lawyers:

        Anna Naylor


        ‘The firm is committed to really excellent client care.’

        ‘Weightmans have a sensitive approach to the individuals at the heart of the decision making process in the commercial clients they act for. This is coupled with realistic and very competent advice.’

        ‘David Lewis is a stand out member of this firm. His intellectual ability to assess and assimilate large complex cases is second to none.’

        ‘Anna Naylor is excellent to work with and our client feels in safe hands when she is instructed on a case. She is knowledgeable and professional; quick to respond to any queries and sends regular updating putting everyone at ease. ‘

        ‘The team has striven to get to know us as a business, not just as a client with an individual case to respond to.’

        ‘Approach has been non judgmental, seeking first to understand issues before offering counsel on strategies and approaches to adopt.’

        Key clients

        Jaguar Land Rover

        North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust


        AXA XL


        Wirral Borough Council

        Lancashire County Council

        British Transport Police

        Camerons Brewery

        Staffordshire County Council

        Damasco Ltd

        Postpack Ltd

        Premum Care Ltd.

        Cheshire East Council

        East Riding District Council

        Work highlights

        • Representing North West Ambulance Service at the Manchester Bombing Inquiry where it is a Core Participant.
        • Acting for Jaguar Land Rover in relation to a range of health and safety matters.
        • Advising Zurich and its insureds in relation to a number of health and safety issues, including acting for public bodies who have been made interested persons concerning inquests into the deaths of adults and children who have died in tragic circumstances.


        Best known for its expertise in the retail and food sectors, Clarion advises leading UK supermarkets on a range of regulatory issues. The group is ‘excellent’ and is well-equipped to handle investigations by regulators into trading standards as well as food safety. New recruit Paul Matthews leads the practice, which also fields associate Lucy Alderson who provides strong support. Former group head Sarah Taylor is now with Keystone Law.

        Practice head(s):

        Paul Matthews

        Other key lawyers:

        Lucy Alderson


        ‘Clarion’s regulatory team is excellent.’

        ‘This is a very high calibre team. The ability to react quickly to dynamic situations in ongoing investigations and then to be able to prepare for any type of hearing. The client care and responsiveness to client queries.’

        Key clients

        TJ Morris Limited trading as Home Bargains


        Arla Foods Limited

        Coopland & Son (Scarborough) Limited

        Work highlights

        • Advising a major UK retailer on investigations into allegations of date coding offences.
        • Representing a leading UK business at Coroner’s Inquests into work-related deaths.
        • Advising UK and EU businesses on trade issues arising in the context of Brexit.

        Gateley Plc

        Advising across the gamut of fatality and major incident/crisis management advice, Gateley Plc‘s sector expertise includes housebuilding, construction, transport, waste management, manufacturing and retail. Practice head Ruth Armstrong is experienced in corporate defence work and defending businesses, directors, officers and senior office holders in the health and safety matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Ruth Armstrong

        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

        Garvey Demolition Ltd

        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

        • 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.
        • Represented Drayton Manor Park, the theme park in the investigation and prosecution following the high-profile fatal accident to a child on its water rapids ride during a school trip.
        • Acting for United Molasses Storage Limited following an acid leak in 2017 resulting in the closure of the dock and a major health and safety investigation.

        Plexus Law

        Anthony Baker leads the Plexus Law team that offers a ‘personal touch to sound legal advice.’ Clients praise the group for its ‘strength in depth across the range of work’ which includes defending civil claims, corporate manslaughter prosecutions, inquests and Traffic Commissioner inquiries, amongst others. Richard Salvini, Chris Foulkes and Ciaran Garnett are also recommended for their expertise in major loss regulatory and casualty claims.

        Practice head(s):

        Anthony Baker

        Other key lawyers:

        Richard Salvini; Ciaran Garnett; Chris Foulkes


        ‘The team has strength in depth across the range of work including inquests, health and safety protections and defending civil claims.’

        ‘Anthony Baker and Richard Salvini are dynamic individuals with strong tactical awareness and good attention to detail.’

        ‘The sheer experience across a vast number of sectors is outstanding.’

        ‘The team is approachable, pro-active and reactive, with fast response times. The team also provides value added matters including bespoke seminars and training for insurers and immediate clients in heavy risk areas.’

        ‘They offered a supportive personal touch to sound legal advice.’

        ‘They are my preferred law company for TPA and litigated claims. They are absolute professionals in what they do.’

        ‘Despite being a corporate law firm there is a family feel about how they interact and integrate within our business.’

        ‘They are robust where they need to be and fiercely protect their clients in claim defensibility.’

        Key clients






        Swiss Re


        WR Berkley


        Whirlpool UK Appliances Ltd

        XL Catlin

        WR Berkley Offshore

        Pilgrims Foods


        rradar acts for clients from a range of sectors, including charities, construction, education and transport, amongst others. The team is jointly led by Jeff Swales in Hull, who has extensive experience in health and safety investigations, inquests and public inquiries, and the ‘exceptional' Stephanie Thirlwell in Leeds, who handles a varied caseload of criminal and regulatory matters. Former practice head Matthew Coles left the firm in August 2021 to join Brabners LLP.

        Practice head(s):

        Jeff Swales; Stephanie Thirlwell

        Other key lawyers:

        Rupert Nevin


        ‘The team have a wealth of experience, drawn from many years in the sector and covering a range of different types of H&S cases.’

        ‘The team at Rradar are unique in their approachability and the everyday clarity they bring to sometimes very complex situations. They are friendly while remaining professional and there is no sense that they look at the business with questions with anything other than professional interest. It is a very comfortable company to work with as they moderate their approach to suit the needs of the client.’

        ‘Their financing set up is innovative and their use of technology ensures case progression.’

        ‘Hard working, high standard of case preparation, excellent client care.’

        ‘A company that is not content to simply stand still in the legal sector, always seeking to move with the times and technology to provide improved services for clients.’

        ‘Stephanie Thirlwell. An exceptional leader that encourages and draws out the best in the team. Excellent knowledge base and communication skills.’

        Key clients


        Coolzone Air Conditioning Ltd

        SFF Construction Ltd

        MK Illuminations


        Work highlights

        • Represented MK Illuminations in an HSE investigation where the employee was killed on site.
        • Represented Easyload in a HSE investigation in relation to a worker who was seriously injured in a transport incident and suffered life-changing injuries which left him unable to return to work.
        • Represented CoolZone Air Conditioning and one of its directors in a prosecution where an untrained employee fell through a skylight whilst walking across a roof of a factory in order to install an air condition unit.