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Birketts LLP

PROVIDENCE HOUSE, 141-145 PRINCES STREET, IPSWICH, IP1 1QJ, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01473 232300
Fax:
Fax 01473 230524
DX:
3206 IPSWICH
Email:
Web:
www.birketts.co.uk

Laura Thomas

Tel:
Work 01473 299173
Email:
Birketts LLP

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.


East Anglia: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud

Within: Leading individuals

Laura Thomas - Birketts LLP

Within: Crime: fraud

Birketts LLP is 'a very good firm indeed'. It is known for the strength of its advocacy, with barristers Laura Thomas and Matthew Gowen handling high-value cases of fraud, bribery act claims and internal investigations. Thomas, who leads the practice, is currently acting for financial services provider Price Bailey in confiscation proceedings arising from a £6.9m HMRC tax fraud by a large logistics company. Senior associate Simon Caltagirone, who is also working on that matter, is 'a first-class solicitor; he has tenacity and huge experience of criminal fraud cases, particularly bribery and competition cases, where he has a real expertise'. One client remarks that he is 'a huge asset to any legal team - he is extremely good with clients and takes the time and trouble to understand where they are coming from'. Senior associate and Proceeds of Crime Act specialist Julie Gowland is also recommended.

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Crime: general

Within: Leading individuals

Laura Thomas - Birketts LLP

Within: Crime: general

Birketts LLP¬†is ‚Äėvery efficient' and has strong advocacy skills in barristers¬†Laura Thomas,¬†who leads the practice, and¬†Matthew Gowen. Thomas defended a man accused of common assault and senior associate¬†Julie Gowland, who ‚Äėknows her stuff and is very personable and understanding', defended the same client in a breach of restraining order matter. Gowen and Gowland worked together on a complex case of harassment and perverting the course of justice.¬†Senior associate Philippa Dyer¬†and¬†criminal defence solicitor Joanna Kasprzyk¬†are 'competent, assured, well informed, realistic and open to dialogue'. Dyer's caseload included the defence of a complex claim of gross negligence manslaughter. Senior associate¬†Simon Caltagirone, who handles¬†financial crime and white collar investigations, is also recommended.

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East Anglia: Human resources

Health and safety

Within: Leading individuals

Laura Thomas - Birketts LLP

Within: Health and safety

Birketts LLP has 'an excellent team, professional but with personality, detailed but with clear advice and little jargon'. 'The response times were always excellent; their approach supportive and timely; their knowledge and business acumen is extremely thorough', remarks one client. Another sees the firm as 'on a par with some of the Silver Circle London firms'. Barristers Matthew Gowen (whose advice is 'always concise, to-the-point and relevant') and Laura Thomas 'provide excellent counsel and practicality; they are superb in court, very knowledgeable and give great commitment and support with candid and considered advice'. They defended a company facing prosecution for a quadruple fatality on a construction project. Senior associates Julie Gowland and Philippa Dyer advise both companies and individuals on HSE matters, and solicitor Joanna Kasprzyk is also recommended as 'an up-and-coming lawyer with attention to detail and frankness'. Consultant Frank Sykes, whose experience includes a stint as principal inspector at the HSE, is also recommended.

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East Anglia: Real estate

Environment

Within: Environment

Birketts LLP has 'a very good team, a strong client base, and good breadth and depth of work, as well as a growing market share'. One client remarks that the firm 'compares very favourably with its competitors and is definitely one of - if not the - top firm in the field in the region'. The firm has a broad practice that assists clients in the agriculture, energy and waste industries, as well as supporting landowners across East Anglia. Property litigator, practice head and member of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association Richard Eaton is 'very competent, knowledgeable and good with clients'. With planning specialist Tom Newcombe, he advised two parish councils on the potential judicial review of a retrospective grant of planning permission for an anaerobic digester. Barristers Matthew Gowen, who has a stellar reputation for defending environmental matters in the criminal courts, and head of the corporate criminal defence practice Laura Thomas, defended a large farming business against claims of environmental permit breaches. Legal director Stuart Jones specialises in projects for the development and management of mineral deposits. Clients praise commercial property associates Nicola Doole   as 'calm and very well organised' and Chloe Glason as 'popular with clients'. Senior associate and planning lawyer Sue Chadwick is also recommended.

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East Anglia: Transport

Transport and shipping

Within: Transport and shipping

Clients praise the ‚Äėexpertise in insurance, shipping and commodity matters'¬†at Birketts LLP, which¬†supports clients in the¬†all sectors of the transport industry including logistics, haulage, warehousing, freight forwarding and ocean shipping. Shipping and logistics partner¬†Nicholas Woo¬†is the key contact. Henry Adams¬†and associate Pamela Dunning are key members of a practice that provides ‚ÄėCity expertise delivered on a more personal basis'. 'Response times are quick, the industry knowledge is good, the advice is always thorough and excellent value for high-quality service', says one client of the¬†shipping practice, which frequently handles¬†cargo claims and charterparty disputes. 'The quality of service standards compares to renowned London City shipping law firms', he adds.¬†Alex Davey¬†and¬†senior associate¬†Sarah Holsgrove¬†'provide thorough and commercial advice'.¬†Barrister Matthew Gowen¬†and senior associate Philippa Dyer¬†are recommended for contentious matters and clients remark that they are 'attentive, proactive, approachable, understanding and knowledgeable'.¬†Barrister and¬†Deputy Traffic Commissioner¬†Laura Thomas¬†is recommended for regulatory matters.¬†Associate Daniel Hart¬†in Cambridge is part of the¬†firm‚Äôs corporate criminal defence group and specialises in transport regulatory matters.

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