Laura Thomas > Birketts LLP > Ipswich, England > Lawyer Profile

Birketts LLP
Providence House
141-145 Princes Street
IPSWICH
IP1 1QJ
England

Work Department

Crime - Fraud, Crime - General, Environment, Health and Safety, Transport

Position

Partner (Barrister)

Career

Laura joined Birketts in 2007 from chambers in London. She is a Partner (Barrister) and Head of Corporate Criminal Defence. Her areas of expertise include health and safety, transport and logistics, environmental regulation, Trading Standards prosecutions, food law, private criminal defence and fraud.

Laura was called to the Bar in 2001 having graduated from Christ Church, Oxford University. Her career began in the Chambers of William Clegg Q.C., 2 Bedford Row, London where she remained for over five years. While in chambers she prosecuted and defended heavyweight criminal cases in the criminal courts and specialised in regulatory law, regularly prosecuting and defending in health and safety cases.

Laura has particular expertise in health and safety and previously worked at the HSE Solicitor’s Office; advising on health and safety prosecutions of national importance. She has conducted legal training for HSE Inspectors as well as regularly speaking at health and safety conferences and seminars. In addition, she significantly contributed to the Butterworths’ publication ‘Health and Safety Law: Enforcement and Practice’ by Matthews and Ageros.

In addition, Laura sits as a Deputy Traffic Commissioner and was formerly a board member for the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

Laura was invited onto Eddie Mair’s BBC Radio 4 show in July 2017 to discuss corporate manslaughter following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in West London. She has also been featured in several editions of Health & Safety at Work publication.

Lawyer Rankings

East Anglia > Real estate > Environment & planning

Birketts LLP undertakes large-scale projects across East Anglia and the Thames Gateway region for both both the private and public sector clients, among which are minerals and waste companies, local authorities, Parish Councils, strategic developers and numerous regional and national housebuilders. Tom Newcombe in Cambridge leads the practice, in which Ipswich-based Richard Eaton and barristers Laura Thomas and Matthew Gowen handle contentious environmental matters. The recruitment of legal directors Kali Yau from DAC Beachcroft LLP and Rosalind Nuttall from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP further extends the firm’s capacity in planning reviews and applications, and large scale mixed-use and residential developments for developers and landowners.

East Anglia > Human resources > Health and safety

(Leading individuals)

Laura ThomasBirketts LLP

The regulatory and corporate defence practice at Birketts LLP has extensive cross-industry experience in serious health and safety defence including disasters and multiple fatalities. Practice head Laura Thomas and legal director Matthew Gowen are barristers and the firm employs three consultants who are all former HSE Inspectors. Senior associates Julie Gowland and Philippa Dyer also advise companies and individuals on HSE matters. The firm also provides a full compliance assessment service.

East Anglia > Crime, fraud and licensing > Licensing

Senior associate Julie Gowland leads the licensing practice at Birketts LLP, which has a strong regional client base and delivers licensing services through all of its four offices. The firm’s clients include breweries, hotel chains, nightclubs, racecourses, events operators, bingo hall chains, churches and concert promoters. Barrister Laura Thomas, who leads the regulatory and corporate defence practice, provides support to the licensing department.

East Anglia > Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general

(Leading individuals)

Laura ThomasBirketts LLP

The regulatory and corporate defence practice at Birketts LLP is known for its broad range of high-value work and its the high quality of its advocacy. Led by barrister Laura Thomas, the practice represents companies and individuals prosecuted nationwide by the CPS, the HSE, local authorities, the RSPCA, DVSA, the FSA and the Environment Agency. Defending national motor groups, companies and individuals in road transport and traffic-related crime is a key part of its workload, as are Trading Standards cases and financial crime. Barrister Matthew Gowen and senior associates Philippa Dyer and Julie Gowland are also recommended.

East Anglia > Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: fraud

(Leading individuals)

Laura ThomasBirketts LLP

Birketts LLP has a highly experienced senior team that focuses on regulatory matters and the defence of fraud cases. Barrister Laura Thomas leads the firm’s regulatory and corporate defence practice and focuses predominantly on financial crime. Fellow barrister Matthew Gowen has more than 20 years’ experience at the criminal Bar and he frequently represents clients at the Crown Court. Senior associates Philippa Dyer, who leads the firm’s dawn raids practice, and Julie Gowland are ones to watch.

East Anglia > Transport > Transport and shipping

Birketts LLP has the region’s leading shipping practice, which is led by Nicholas Woo who handles all aspects of dry shipping. Leading light Henry Adams handles shipping, transport and marine insurance work, which includes charterparty disputes and cargo claims. Shipping, transport and international trade expert Alex Davey is also recommended. Barrister Laura Thomas leads the regulatory and corporate defence practice and specialises in road transport matters. She acts for commercial vehicle operators including road haulage companies and vocational drivers. Up-and-coming partner Lisa Wortley and senior associate Sarah Holsgrove are also recommended for shipping matters.