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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > Human resources > Health and safety > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Lukas Rootman - CMS

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

The health and safety team at CMS is instructed by its high-profile client roster on strategic advice, risk management work and compliance issues, as well as on all stages of investigations and prosecutions. The group has particular experience assisting clients in high-risk industries including the energy, waste and recycling, construction, transport and manufacturing sectors. Lukas Rootman heads up the practice and has a wealth of experience in a range of contentious and non-contentious health and safety matters.

Practice head(s):Lukas Rootman

Work highlights

  • Represented Veolia ES (UK) in a matter arising from the death of one of its employees. Following an inquest and trial where the client was found guilty by majority, the firm provided mitigating arguments to successfully minimise the sentencing to a £1m fine.

DAC Beachcroft LLP's safety health and environment practice is noted for its impressive client roster of top insurers; it also assists private corporates with a range of health and safety matters. The groups also acts in a range of investigations, and has substantial expertise in the construction, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, leisure, rail and transport sectors. Practice head Chris Baranowski focuses primarily on corporate manslaughter and health and safety investigations, Tracey Longfield is a key name for healthcare sector clients, and Matthew Breakell assists a range of companies from SMEs to large corporates.

Practice head(s):Chris Baranowski

Other key lawyers:Tracey Longfield; Matthew Breakell

Testimonials

'DAC Beachcroft LLP boasts an insurance-focused but particularly strong health and safety team based in Leeds.'

'The health and safety team at DAC Beachcroft LLP has strong depth of talent and resources, covers a wide geographical area and has good legal and market awareness.'

'DAC Beachcroft LLP's health and safety team provides clear and concise updates and deals with client's questions in a thoughtful, precise manner.'

'Practice head Chris Baranowski is very client focused, has an excellent unflappable manner and is very popular with clients.'

'Associate Matthew Breakell is a very shrewd operator with an excellent depth of knowledge of the law and very good client skills.'

'Associate Matthew Breakell impresses clients with the clear and sympathetic way that he guides them through the whole process, and invokes confidence that they are in good hands.'

Key Clients

Aviva Insurance

AXA Insurance

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance

Allianz Insurance

Zurich Insurance

The Police Federation of England and Wales

Dimensions UK Ltd

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Henderson Insurance Brokers

Work highlights

  • Acting for a roofing contractor in a prosecution by the HSE following a fall from height by a sub-contractor during building works at a school.
  • Acting for a materials handling company in a prosecution by the HSE following a serious incident, in which an employee fell ten metres at a customer's premises.
  • Represented a Northern Ireland-based furniture manufacturer in a prosecution following an incident that left an employee paralysed.
  • Acted for a commercial printing company in HSE investigations arising out of an incident in which an employee sustained an amputation of his arm whilst cleaning a machine.

DLA Piper UK LLP's safety, health and environment group is instructed by an impressive client roster which includes several national and international corporates, which it assists with a range of matters spanning compliance advice, risk management and high-profile contentious matters. Teresa Hitchcock has a breadth of health and safety experience, particularly in the manufacturing, construction and industrial sectors alongside public sector expertise. Recently promoted partner Alastair Clough and associate Eddy Steele handle non-contentious and contentious matters respectively, while legal director Ailish Oxenforth assists with a broad range of instructions.

Practice head(s):Teresa Hitchcock

Other key lawyers:Alastair Clough; Eddy Steele; Ailish Oxenforth

Testimonials

'Associate Eddy Steele is very approachable, gives sensible, practical and solid advice.'

The environment, health and safety team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP combines contentious and non-contentious expertise to assist its impressive client roster, which includes a range of household names and highlights the firm's sector specialisms in the energy, manufacturing and education industries. The practice is jointly led by national practice head Kevin Elliott, who splits his time across several offices, and Leeds-based Paul Verrico, who has particular experience in the education sector. Senior associate Surekha Gollapudi is also singled out; she specialises in corporate criminal defence work and non-contentious compliance advice, and frequently handles inquests.

Practice head(s):Kevin Elliott; Paul Verrico

Other key lawyers:Surekha Gollapudi

Key Clients

Forterra

CPM Group

Mitchells & Butlers plc

VPS UK

Sembcorp

Kingspan

Leeds University

Marshalls plc

Frutarom

DFDS

Kier / Turriff Contractors

Sir Robert McAlpine

Interserve plc

National Grid Electricity Transmission plc

Dairy Crest

Work highlights

  • Acted for Forterra in a prosecution brought by the HSE relating to an accident at the Manor Works, Claughton, which caused serious injuries.
  • Advised CPM on a fatal accident, in which a maintenance fitter became trapped in a conveyor.
  • Acted for DFDS in a criminal investigation brought by the HSE following the death of a security guard who was employed by a third party company.
  • Acted for VPS (UK) in prosecutions brought by the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Authority relating to the failure to properly assess the risks of a building and inadequately sign posting fire exits at a property prior to licencing it to property guardians.
  • Advised Turriff Contractors on issues following a serious gas explosion.

The regulatory, compliance and investigations team at DWF acts for a combination of insurers and large corporates on a range of health and safety issues. The group has particular experience in the energy, retail, education, healthcare, construction, hotels and leisure, local authority and manufacturing sectors. Paul Matthews is instructed in high-profile investigations and prosecutions and heads up the team, which includes senior associates Mark Thompson, who has particular experience in criminal defence, and Sarah Smith, who recently joined the practice from Irwin Mitchell.

Practice head(s):Paul Matthews

Other key lawyers:Mark Thompson; Sarah Smith

Testimonials

'Paul Matthews is a good, solid health and safety lawyer.'

Key Clients

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Electricity North West

Kwik-Fit

Chubb

Kerry Group PLC

Yorkshire Water

HDI Gerling

NFU Mutual

RSA

Work highlights

  • Represented Electricity North West in a prosecution following the death of a linesman, which resulted in an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
  • Acted for Yorkshire Water Services following the fatality of one of its workers at a water treatment site.
  • Acting for a charity in an ongoing corporate manslaughter investigation following the death of a volunteer.
  • Acting for the principal contractor in a health and safety investigation following the death of an employee on a construction site.
  • Representing a senior manager of Wood Treatment, who is under investigation for gross negligence manslaughter following the death of four people in the Bosley Mill explosion in July 2015.

The 'very professional and competent' team at Kennedys is recognised for its regulatory defence work and is frequently instructed by individuals and organisations under investigation. It has particular expertise across numerous sectors, including the construction, manufacturing, utilities, healthcare, waste, and leisure industries, and also acts for fire and rescue clients and public authorities. London-based Daniel McShee heads up the practice, which includes senior associate Anna Naylor in Sheffield; she defends a range of clients in proceedings brought by the HSE and local authorities.

Practice head(s):Daniel McShee

Other key lawyers:Anna Naylor

Testimonials

'Kennedys' Sheffield-based team has extensive experience in the health and safety field and covers a huge area in dealing with contentious and advisory safety and environmental work.'

'Kennedys completely understands the complexity of the unique specialist field of health and safety.'

'Senior associate Anna Naylor and solicitor Rebecca Connell are approachable and seem to completely understand the anxiety and confusion one experiences when faced with a health and safety crisis.'

'Anna Naylor has great experience and is tireless in her determination to achieve a result for her client.'

'Anna Naylor is very well prepared and gives the client full confidence in her ability to find a way forward; she is patient, industrious and very hardworking.'

'Rebecca Connell is incredibly good at the details of a case and is a big plus to Kennedys' team.'

Key Clients

Mitie Group (Care and Custody Health)

Skanska

2 Sisters Food Group Limited

Champneys Springs Limited

NFU Mutual

JD Wetherspoons

AXA

Cleveland Potash Limited

NFUM Risk Management Services

Pinsent Masons LLP's health and safety and risk advisory practice specialises in advising large retail and food sector clients on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. The Leeds-based team, which includes regulatory lawyer Simon Tingle, works with well-known national and international businesses on strategic advice and in prosecutions.

Other key lawyers:Simon Tingle

Key Clients

William Hill

AB In Bev

Wilko

TJ Morris Limited, trading as Home Bargains

Interflora

Aida Engineering

Esseco UK Ltd

John Cotton Group Ltd

Balfour Beatty

Temple Finance Limited, trading as Perfect Home

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended William Hill in a health and safety prosecution following a fatal accident.
  • Represented a discount retailer in a health and safety investigation into an incident involving a third party contractor, avoiding further prosecution.
  • Advised a major supermarket on food hygiene and pest control issues at a North London superstore.
  • Instructed to assist a leading brewer in new product launches into the UK and EU markets.
  • Advised a high street retailer on a pest infestation, successfully avoiding prosecution.

Walker Morris LLP is frequently instructed by well-known companies on a range of contentious and non-contentious health and safety matters, with clients spanning the food, manufacturing, healthcare, care homes, construction and demolition sectors. Jeanette Burgess, who has particular experience in handling corporate manslaughter prosecutions, heads up the team, which includes regulatory expert Andrew Northage, Stuart Ponting, who handles a range of contentious matters with a focus on the food, retail and construction sectors; and Robert Starr, who counts rail, food, retail and care among his sector specialisms.

Practice head(s):Jeanette Burgess

Other key lawyers:Andrew Northage; Stuart Ponting; Robert Starr; Claire Burrows

Testimonials

'The health and safety team at Walker Morris LLP is wise, sharp, sparky, full of commercial and creative solutions, has outstanding market knowledge, and is ready to roll its sleeves up and be on site late at night or at unsocial hours.'

'Walker Morris LLP's health and safety team is flexible in its approach, pragmatic and helpful.'

'Walker Morris LLP's team is technically on the ball and very approachable.'

'Stuart Ponting is 'rock star' quality; his depth of experience and market knowledge (plus knowledge of the regulators, prosecutors and judges) is second to none.'

'Stuart Ponting offers wise advice to minimise impact and protect the client.'

'Director Robert Starr is experienced and has a sound understanding of health and safety, and fire safety legislation.'

'Robert Starr is an excellent communicator and knows the area of law extensively.'

'Senior associate Claire Burrows is an outstanding lawyer, very skilled in carrying out and supporting investigations and in negotiating with the regulator.'

Key Clients

Anchor Trust

Arla Foods Limited

Capvest

Galliford Try plc

Jet2.com

Karro Food Limited

KONE plc

NHS Digital

Renew Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acting for one of the key individuals involved in the demolition of the Didcot Power Station.
  • Advised Arla Foods on a prosecution by the HSE following an alleged accident in December 2015 at its purpose built site in Aylesbury.
  • Acting for a food manufacturer in an HSE investigation following an accident, which resulted in a site operative having three of his fingers amputated in an industrial mixer.
  • Advising a professional football club on a fire safety investigation by a local council.
  • Acted for Renew Holdings on its acquisition of QTS Group, including providing a due diligence exercise and specialist health and safety advice relating to offences in Scotland.

Weightmans' regulatory team assists a client roster, which spans the public, commercial, charity, sports and insurance sectors, with a range of health and safety matters. Practice head David Lewis' experience encompasses corporate and gross negligence manslaughter investigations and sensitive jury inquests.

Practice head(s):David Lewis

Key Clients

Newcastle University

Contract Natural Gas

UPM (Kymmene) UK Ltd

Vantage Drilling

Work highlights

  • Acted for Newcastle University following the death of a student as a result of acute alcohol intoxication following his participation in a society initiation event.
  • Instructed by UPM-Kymmene UK following a fatality that occurred at one of its warehouses operated by Downton.
  • Defended Contract Natural Gas in a criminal prosecution brought by the CPS following a gas explosion at a retail premises in the Wirral.
  • Acting for Vantage Drilling in a hearing following the death of an employee caused by injuries suffered while part of the maintenance crew aboard a warm stacked vessel.

BLM handles a range of regulatory, civil and criminal health and safety issues with particular expertise advising on incidents arising in the construction, engineering, manufacturing sectors and care home-related cases. Henry Kirkup, who frequently assists clients in investigations and prosecutions by the police and HSE, heads up the team, which includes experienced inquest advocate Andrew Hetherington.

Practice head(s):Henry Kirkup

Other key lawyers:Andrew Hetherington

The regulatory team at Gateley Plc is highlighted for its ability to assist its clients, which range from family-run businesses to large corporates, with health and safety matters including crisis management issues following fatalities and major incidents. Pauline Munro heads up the practice from Leeds and has notable expertise in the manufacturing, retail, food and construction sectors.

Practice head(s):Pauline Munro

Key Clients

Drayton Manor Park Limited

Camtrex Limited

Nylacast Limited

Taylor Wimpey plc

Bovis Homes

Bellway plc

North West Fire Control

Sudlows Limited

Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc

Costcutter Supermarkets Group

Dr. Oetker (UK) Ltd

Malmaison & Hotel du Vin in Property Holdings Limited

Garvey Demolition Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Nylacast on its crisis management, investigation and inquest support following the death of an employee while at work.
  • Assisted Camtrex with crisis management issues, investigations and inquest support following the death of an employee while at work.
  • Instructed by Drayton Manor Park to handle matters following a fatal incident in May 2017, where a member of the public died.
  • Acted for Kingsgate Golf Club in investigations following the injury of an employee while at work.
  • Acting for a national branded retailer in investigations following an injury to an employee due to two separate incidents.

Plexus Law is frequently instructed by insurers on a range of health and safety investigations and prosecutions. The group also counts large corporates, public bodies and directors, managers and employees who are subject to enforcement from regulatory authorities as clients. Anthony Baker assists with a range of regulatory issues, and heads up the practice, which includes regulatory and insurance litigator Chris Foulkes, Richard Salvini, who frequently advises on a range of civil and regulatory matters, and Jonathan Tetley, who has particular experience in employers’ and public liability.

Practice head(s):Anthony Baker

Other key lawyers:Chris Foulkes; Richard Salvini; Jonathan Tetley

Testimonials

'Plexus Law is one of the market leaders in providing legal services to the insurance sector. The team is managed extremely well, provides a very efficient service and never loses sight of the lay client and its interests.'

'Plexus Law's key strengths are based on decades of experience within the team, and knowing how to respond to clients as well as enforcement agencies.'

'Plexus Law's health and safety team can be trusted, and has vast exposure to a wide variety of organisations and institutions.'

'The health and safety team at Plexus Law is capable of dealing with matters in the round, keeping costs, time and effort selflessly down to a minimum for the benefit of the client.'

'Plexus Law stays up to date and leave no stone left unturned.'

'The individuals at Plexus Law demonstrate high levels of empathy with the clients and are capable of understanding the wider commercial impact of regulatory prosecutions. To this end, it is able to strategically navigate its advice to achieve the best outcome for the client.'

'The team at Plexus Law is always extremely well prepared, and knows the detail and wider issues when providing advice in all aspects of the work undertaken.'

'Chris Foulkes, Anthony Baker and Richard Salvini all know the challenges, adapt to changes quickly and always gain the confidence of their clients in an instant.'

'Ciaran Garnett is conscientious, has good judgement, drafts well and is capable of handling the most complex cases.'

Key Clients

AIG

QBE

Markel

Novae

Chubb

Swiss Re

Aspen

WR Berkley

Fusion/Alliance

Whirlpool UK Appliances Ltd

XL Catlin

WR Berkley Offshore

Work highlights

  • Instructed by QBE Insurance (Europe) in a HSE investigation into a policyholder after they received 11 reports concerning hand-arm vibration syndrome suffered by the insured’s employees working in property maintenance.
  • Defended a leading white goods manufacturer in a claim to recover damages for psychiatric injury as property owners rather than primary or secondary victims.
  • Instructed by an insurer to act for its leisure sector client following the failure of a children’s theme park ride.
  • Advised an insured care home on a HSE investigation and prosecution.
  • Acted for an insured steel distributor in a police and HSE investigation and inquest  after one of its drivers suffered fatal crush injuries.

The health and safety team at rradar assists insured policyholders with a range of criminal and regulatory investigations and prosecutions. Criminal regulatory partner Matthew Coles heads up the practice, which includes Jeff Swales, who recently joined the team from Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP and has particular transport expertise. The 'approachable' Andrew Cameron is also a key name to note.

Practice head(s):Matthew Coles

Other key lawyers:Jeff Swales; Andrew Cameron

Testimonials

'rradar provides front-end knowledge on how to deal with matters, accidents and incidents before they occur and back-end legal services when they d0.'

'rradar provides innovation, skills and legal knowledge.'

'With specialists across the practice, rradar gives clients confidence in its service and its ability to support customers, utilising risk base before more expensive legal cases.'

'rradar health and safety team fields outstanding individuals, who really understand the needs of clients.'

'The health and safety team at rradar is hardworking, approachable and transparent demonstrating the highest professional standards.'

'Andrew Cameron is extremely well known and highly regarded in the industry; he is an innovator, who commands confidence and has a vast knowledge.'

'Stephanie Thirlwell is outstanding at assimilating detail in complex cases, providing coherent, informative, and realistic advice. She has a comprehensive grasp.'

 

Key Clients

Orona

JS Wood & Son

Furniture Village

Flexi Foods

AXA

Work highlights

  • Acted for J S Wood & Son following an incident on its premises led to a HSE prosecution.
  • Advised Furniture Village after a serious accident resulted in an employee being injured, resulting in a HSE investigation and prosecution.
  • Acted for Flexi Foods in court proceedings relating to the sale and supply of mixed beef and horse meat to the meat industry for the manufacture of beef products, with the purpose of deceiving the end user.
  • Acted for Orona, a lift manufacturer, in HSE and police investigations and prosecutions following the death of a five year old who sustained fatal injuries after becoming trapped inside one of the lifts.
  • Instructed by a core participant in a major public inquiry of national interest.

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