DAC Beachcroft LLP's Leeds practice mixes insurance and direct commercial work, advising clients in both a reactive capacity, representing clients following serious and fatal accidents, and in an advisory role. Construction remains a sector of particular expertise, being the subject of regular training undertaken by the team, but the firm has capabilities that extend to a range of other industries. Chris Baranowski heads both the teams in Leeds and the regulatory practice for the firm nationwide, with corporate manslaughter and health and safety investigations being his primary focus. Matthew Breakell leads the national work in relation to commercial clients, training being a particular strength.
Health and safety in Yorkshire And The Humber
DAC Beachcroft LLP
Chris Baranowski; Sally Roff
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Breakell; Anthony Baker; Ciaran Garnett
‘Ciaran Garnett has always been on top of the detail and works very hard to provide clients with the best possible service.’
‘Ciaran Garnett is outstanding. His calmness hides an outstanding mind which he applies on all levels of a case from beginning to end. His thoughts and advice make working with him a joy. No matter is too complex, and his appetite for work undoubted. A gem.’
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance
- Representing a lift engineer in relation to a gross negligence manslaughter police and HSE investigation and inquest arising from a fatality.
- 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 teenager in a river.
DLA Piper provides clients with a full service offering, with strong capabilities across defence, acquisitions and divestments, advisory work, and policy-related mandates. The firm is able to draw upon an array of expert defence lawyers, such as Leeds-based senior associate Simon Tingle, to assist clients in defending high-profile prosecutions, while other team member such as Alistair Clough specialise in the health and safety implications of major transactions, leveraging knowledge of complex corporate structures, due diligence, and liabilities. Teresa Hitchcock heads the Sheffield practice in addition to the national health and safety team, regularly working on matters with a global dimension and leading on major inquests.
Other key lawyers:
Alistair Clough; Simon Tingle; Ailish Oxenforth
‘Knowledgeable about our business, sector, clients, and culture, which is vital in providing a tailored and effective service.’
‘Teresa Hitchcock is a consummate professional and has a detailed knowledge of the areas requested to assist with. Application is always 100% in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.’
‘Ailish Oxenforth has a personable, professional approach and really understands the requirements and delivers beyond expectations.’
G Network Communications Limited
Outokumpu Stainless Limited
- Acted for Arconic Corporation on Phase 1 of an inquiry and acting in preparation for the Phase 2 report and criminal investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service.
- Advised Outokumpu on the health and safety aspects of its agreement to divest the majority of its Long Products business operations to Marcegaglia Steel Group.
- Represented VolkerRail Limited in a prosecution being brought by the Office of Road and Rail in relation to an accident which occurred in 2014.
DWF undertakes the most serious mandates concerning fatal accidents for a range of leading insurers and key corporate clients, and has a growing focus on major public inquiries in which the firm often takes a leading role. Mark Thompson sits at the helm of the Leeds-based practice with a focus on advising corporate directors and other individuals prosecuted for regulatory breaches, and also is also responsible for developing of the firm’s crisis response service. David Chant and Lauren Slater are noted for their work in health and safety matters relating to transport.
Mark Thompson; Steffan Groch
Other key lawyers:
David Chant; Lauren Slater
‘DWF are a good firm and capable of managing the largest and most complex projects.’
‘They are involved in high-profile cases nationally.’
‘They take a sensible, realistic, and pragmatic approach to health and safety, communicate well, and have excellent technical knowledge.’
Housing Plus Group
Eon Insurance Brokers
- Defended Saints Transport Limited successfully against charges under the Health & Safety at Work Act following a serious accident involving one of their drivers.
- Acting for Lescost Transport Limited in a Health and Safety Executive prosecution for a breach of section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
- Advising a leading wallpaper manufacturer following the death of an employee whilst at work.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP advises clients on both contentious and non-contentious health and safety matters, representing clients in prosecutions brought by the HSE, police, and local authorities, and undertaking proactive compliance work across the energy, rail, and construction industries. The firm's international footprint is another asset for the team, with a strong track record in both APAC and Hong Kong, and a capacity to undertake cross-jurisdictional mandates. Paul Verrico leads the team in Leeds, operating a deep-dive insights programme into potential risks faced by clients across the energy, education, and events sectors, while also having extensive experience in handling high-profile prosecutions.
‘The knowledge of the team and the resources that are available from Eversheds is fantastic. The team has a unique way of putting the client at ease and you know you are working with a professional team from the start. We have managed to collaborate with professionals that Eversheds have used to support a case and we continue to tap into that resource to continually improve the business.’
‘I have worked with the health, safety and environments team on some very sensitive and challenging cases. They bring so much knowledge to the table and assist and guide you through the process, and they intentionally go out of their way to support and coach you through a very challenging time and process.’
‘The people make the practice; when they arrive on site, they show great professionalism and make you feel at ease with the questions they ask. The manner in which Eversheds approach a situation is informative, supportive, and they give you an indication of what paths or options are available.’
‘The associates work hard and ask the hard questions in a way that eases you; they have great attention to details and are very encouraging. They will not only advise any potential pitfalls they may foresee, but will guide you around these and point you in the right direction. They use the expertise within your business and will listen objectively.’
‘Paul Verrico leads the team. He is very professional and provides good support.’
‘Paul Verrico is recognised in the field as a leader in H&S.’
‘A very creative, engaging, knowledgeable, experienced, and diverse team, strong in communication skills and highly adept at collaborating with a cross section of our organisation – from our senior leaders to our operational front line colleagues. Timely delivery of outputs, and successful in achieving our corporate aims.’
China Light and Power
Thames Water Utilities Limited
The Bannantyne Group
Drax Power Limited NAMES
Northumbrian Water Limited
Nestle UK Limited
Tarmac Trading Limited
American Pan UK Limited
Biffa Waste Plc
Northern Gas Networks Limited
Cadent Gas Limited
Universities Safety and Health Association
Harworth Group plc
Walker Morris LLP has a strong offering across advisory, litigation, and transactional work, with an established track record in cross-jurisdictional mandates alongside major global law firms. In addition to capabilities in litigation, an focus of the team is the prevention of prosecution, with the practice noted for being ‘good at dealing with regulators’. The ‘outstanding’ Stuart Ponting heads the team, working with a number of notable international and domestic businesses across the construction, demolition, food, and retail sectors. Senior associate Rachel Turnbull brings her experience working for a regulator to provide insights for clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘Stuart Ponting is very good. Thoughtful and strategic in his approach, of course protecting the interests of his client, but pragmatic and straight-forward to deal with.’
‘This is the strongest H&S team I have ever worked with. They have an excellent level of legal knowledge, superb attention to detail, and an appetite to fiercely support their clients.’
‘Stuart Ponting has a first-class legal mind and cuts through any case to the heart of the issues.’
‘Very strong health and safety team which is good at dealing with regulators.’
‘Stuart Ponting is outstanding. Amazing knowledge and knows how to handle regulators.’
‘Fantastic team to work with keeping you updated and included at every step in the process.’
‘Stuart Ponting is capable of considering all potential situations and outcomes and can understand complex technical matters with very little explanation.’
Leeson Polyurethanes Limited
Hermes Parcelnet Limited
Galliford Try plc
- Advised Hovis on a Health and Safety Executive prosecution following a serious accident.
- Advised a chemicals manufacturer on a large multi-agency criminal/regulatory investigation following a catastrophic fire and fatality.
- Representing a UK plc regarding a fatal accident involving the maintenance of machinery at London Waterloo Underground Station.
Addleshaw Goddard instructs a number of high-profile clients across a range of sectors, with strengths in transport, healthcare, utilities, and retail. Crisis management has been an area of growing activity for the firm, with an increasingly volume of inquests, inquiries, prosecutions, and compliance, and the changes to building safety being a particular focus. The Leeds team is headed up by Stuart Wardlaw, who has his experience in advising clients across industrial, commercial, and public services. Wardlaw works closely with national head Erin Shoesmith with her track record in public inquests.
Erin Shoesmith; David Young; Stuart Wardlaw
Other key lawyers:
‘They are recommended for their approachability and their pragmatic, solution-focused approach.‘
‘They are solution-focused and enthusiastic.’
‘First-rate individuals from top to bottom. Excellent market knowledge. Exceptionally experienced in the conduct of large and complex cases.’
‘Totally reliable, always on the ball, and cannot be bettered.’
‘This team is led by an exceptional individual, Erin Shoesmith, and her determination to achieve only the highest standards runs through everything they do. The leadership and the team act as one and consistently and repeatedly achieve stunning outcomes.’
‘Erin Shoesmith is an exceptional leader and an exceptional strategic thinker, who is committed and a pleasure to work with. She leads a highly motivated team.’
‘David Young is a seasoned and expert litigator; a real team player.’
‘Adrian Masbridge is exceptional.’
Eddie Stobart Limited
Bestway Northern Limited
Victorian Plumbing Plc
Westridge Furniture Design
Joseph Ash Limited
Morrison Utility Services Limited
Asda Stores Limited
Belfield Furnishings Limited
B Braun Medical Limited
- Acting in several public inquiries, including Covid-19, Grenfell Tower, Manchester Arena, Scottish Hospitals, Scottish Child Abuse, Infected Blood, and the Post Office Inquiries.
- Represented Siemens, Eddie Stobart, Victorian Plumbing, Joseph Ash, and Westbridge in long-standing and complex prosecutions by the regulators, including HSE, ORR, and Leeds City Council.
CMS has specialist knowledge in high-risk sectors, namely waste, energy, construction, real estate, transport, and manufacturing, and otherwise covers the full scope of health and safety matters. The practice has experience working with the firm's transactional team, and has an established track record in product safety and fire and building safety matters. The practice is 'ably led by the astute partner Lukas Rootman' in Sheffield, and he frequently represents clients at all stages of HSE and Environment Agency investigations, with particular experience in advising on cladding and fire safety in the real estate space.
‘Their deep and historic understanding of heavy and waste industries is second-to-none, so they are extremely well-placed to offer advice and act when things go wrong, as they inevitably do in high-risk industries.’
‘CMS resources cases well. Individuals genuinely work well together; they seemingly have good synergy across regional offices and departments where cases need a multidisciplinary approach.’
‘Lukas Rootman is a singularly determined and effective lawyer. I rate Lukas as one of my standout instructing individuals.’
GE Aviation Systems Limited
- Advised Grosvenor Family Estates on the recent fire and building safety changes.
- Advised Cameco Corporation on UK health and safety due diligence matters in relation to the proposed acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company.
- Represented GE Aviation Systems Limited in a sentencing hearing following an incident in which an aircraft fitter’s hand was pulled into a rotating drill.
Weightmans operates across the public, commercial, charity, sports, manufacturing, and insurance sectors, advising clients on inquests and other contentious mandates, in addition to providing training and other advisory services. The firm operates separate teams to handle environmental and business crime, which the Leeds office can leverage, in addition to the wider firm’s national offering to assist clients. David Lewis heads the team as well as acting as the national regulatory practice head, with experience working for both household names in the private sector and major public bodies.
Dewi Ap-Thomas; David Lewis; Crispin Kenyon; Seonaid Busby; Andrew Brammer
Other key lawyers:
‘I was highly impressed by the team that supported me through my issue. I was given just the right amount of space and time. Excellent advice and help with preparation for interviews and hearings.‘
‘Dewi Ap-Thomas provided standout support.’
‘Anna Naylor is an excellent regulatory lawyer. She is highly conscientious and committed to her client’s cause. A great asset to Weightmans.’
‘A dedicated team who go over and above for their clients. A real feel for the sector and genuinely no stone left unturned in seeking options for the client.’
‘David Lewis is rightly considered an outstanding solicitor who combines unparalleled experience with enthusiasm for the job and his client’s cases.‘
‘The H&S team have a wealth of experience and are approachable and helpful.’
‘Anna Naylor is excellent. She is knowledgeable and supportive in difficult circumstances. Anna understand how H&S matters can impact on an organisation and the relevant witnesses. Anna gives excellent advice and guidance.’
Jaguar Land Rover
North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Wirral Borough Council
Lancashire County Council
British Transport Police
Staffordshire County Council
Premum Care Ltd.
Cheshire East Council
East Riding District Council
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
- Acting for Jaguar Land Rover in a range of health and safety matters.
- Acting for Zurich and their insureds in relation to a large number of health and safety instructions, including acting for public bodies concerning inquests into fatalities.
Clarion provides a range of services for a number of major national clients, with capabilities across training, compliance, diagnostics, and audit work, in addition to a strong track record in contentious matters. Paul Matthews has joined the firm as the new practice head from DWF in September 2022, bringing his extensive experience in high-profile mandates as the head of the regulatory team there. He works alongside Lucy Alderson, who has the benefit of a secondment with a major retailer.
Other key lawyers:
Operating out of Leeds, Gateley Legal has particular strengths in fatal and major accidents, with capabilities in crisis management for such instances. It has an established presence in a number of sectors, namely housebuilding, but also construction more generally, transport, utilities, food, and retail. Ruth Armstrong heads the national practice, while Pauline Munro operates out of Leeds, working with major corporate clients regarding fatal accidents and compliance issues.
Other key lawyers:
Pauline Munro; Kate Oliver; Chris Grainger
‘A really good team and with great experience in HSE work in every conceivable industry and area of commerce. Tough, but charming with it. Impeccably conscientious and clients come first.’
‘Ruth Armstrong is great in this field and her, Kate Oliver, and Pauline Munro make up an impressive trio of solicitors who are good to have in your corner.’
‘Gateleys are open and honest with all colleagues and communicate efficiently in a manner that ensures understanding and learning.’
‘We consider Gateley’s to be an extension of our own team. They show strong leadership. They provide excellent constructive feedback to facilitate our own shared learning experiences. They have a very positive can-do attitude.’
‘Ruth Armstrong, Kate Oliver, and Chris Grainger are all friendly and approachable. I have complete faith in all of them to give me the advice and direction that I seek. They often go over and above to deliver advice, guidance, and training.’
‘Ruth Armstrong is always happy to lend an ear. She was a source of support during a particularly harrowing period in my life.’
United Molasses Group
Drayton Manor Park Limited
Taylor Wimpey plc
Story Homes Group
Costcutter Supermarkets Group
Dr. Oetker (UK) Limited
Malmaison & Hotel du Vin Property Holdings Limited
Samworth Brothers Limited
Mamas and Papas Limited
Sport Regulation Authority
Davidsons Developments Limited
Croudace Homes Group
Certas Energy UK Limited
- Acting for Viva Nylons Limited following a fatal accident at its site in June 2021 when a contractor fell through a roof whilst undertaking ducting work.
- Advising Sunrise Poultry Farms Limited following a fatal accident at one of its sites in Leicestershire in April 2021 involving an employee as he left the site.
- Advising Piper Homes Construction Limited following a fatal accident at one of its sites in January 2020 involving a contractor.
At Kennedys, a focus of the Sheffield office is fatal or near-fatal accidents, encompassing the crisis management, inquiries, prosecutions, and strategy entailed, with sector focusses on healthcare, including services for those in custody, mining, and the environment. Coronial and inquest law are points of particular expertise for the team that comprises senior associate Marta Tomlinson, who frequently represents corporate and individual clients regarding complex proceedings, and senior associate Kadie Cooper, who advises on the full scope of corporate and gross negligence manslaughter mandates.
Daniel McShee; David Wright
Other key lawyers:
Kadie Cooper; Marta Tomlinson
‘The team had a really good level of knowledge. We presented them with a problem at very short notice which they got to grips with immediately. They reacted in a calm manner and were able to give us sound advice, which allowed us to resolve the matter quickly and efficiently.’
‘Marta Tomlinson was clearly very experienced and had an excellent understanding of relevant case law and the implications it had for our business. She was able to communicate complex issues fluently, which gave us a lot of confidence, and most importantly the best possible outcome.’
‘Extremely high-quality lawyers involved in the highest-profile cases. There are no discernible differences to the London team.’
2 Sisters Food Group Limited
Cleveland Potash Limited
Mitie Care and Custody Limited
Savills (UK) Limited
Yorkshire Dairy Goats
rradar acts for a number of insurers and commercial agents in investigations across a range of industries. Stephanie Thirlwell heads the regulatory practice from Leeds, working with a number of individuals and companies in investigations and prosecutions, while Jeff Swales leads the group in Hull with extensive experience handling corporate manslaughter matters, motoring offences, and road haulage. Rupert Nevin similarly has contentious experience, and also assists in crisis management and compliance.
Stephanie Thirlwell; Jeff Swales
Other key lawyers:
‘The team at rradar are able to draw from a wealth of diverse experience across several different legal jurisdictions. They work extremely closely with the lay client and the insurer client and know tactically the best approach to deploy to ensure the representation is utilised to maximum effect. The firm is also proactive in assisting clients in the future and takes any opportunity to provide support where appropriate.‘
‘Well-versed in the relevant law and pre-empts issues others will not foresee.’
‘The team are always a pleasure to work with, they are very well briefed and always deliver a quality product.’
‘My experience is that the firm is very responsive as well as collaborative, providing very clear advice, free of jargon. We have been very well supported with a complex health and safety matter, with the firm introducing us to highly capable experts which has helped us to more effectively manage risk. I would describe the firm as a progressive legal risk solutions business.’
‘We have valued Rupert Nevin’s clear, direct and responsive approach.‘
‘The team is very strong in health and safety work, particularly Jeff Swales.‘
‘Jeff Swales has excellent knowledge of health and safety cases and is very good at supporting clients through the process and managing their expectations.’
‘Specialists with vast experience in health and safety representation. Clients receive personalised service and clear strategic planning and decision making from the outset of any investigation.’
Oxford Engineering (Hampshire) Ltd
P&R Plant Hire (Lincolnshire) Ltd
Tyrefix UK Ltd
Interior Products Group Ltd
- Advised Tyrefix on a joint police and HSE investigation following an incident where an employee suffered fatal injuries.
- Represented P&R Plant Hire (Lincolnshire) Ltd in an HSE investigation following the death of an employee.
- Representing Interior Products Group Ltd, who is being prosecuted by the HSE following the amputation of two fingers of an employee.