Austin Welch > Chambers of Andrew Thomas KC > Manchester, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Andrew Thomas KC
Lincoln House Chambers
M3 3BZ

Work Department

Environmental Law
Health and Safety
Professional Disciplinary


Austin Welch specialises in public inquiries, inquests and health and safety and is one of the most experienced and well respected junior barristers in these areas of law. Over a number of years Austin has been consistently recognised by the UK legal directories as being a leading individual in these specialist areas of practice.

Austin has been instructed in some of the most significant, high profile and complex inquests and public inquiries in recent years including: The Manchester Arena Inquiry; The Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse and the Hillsborough Inquests. Austin represents companies and corporate bodies; public and local authorities; government departments; individuals and bereaved families who are granted interested person or core participant status. He has a particular specialism in representing clients in inquests and inquiries that involve health and safety issues.

Austin represents clients in relation to health and safety, fire safety and food safety offences. He is regularly instructed to represent companies and individuals charged with such offences in both the Crown Court and Magistrates’ Court and has an excellent track record for achieving positive outcomes for his clients.  Austin is experienced in representing clients from a wide variety of industries and is known for providing clear, commercial advice.

Austin also represents companies and individuals in criminal and professional disciplinary proceedings that follow inquests and public inquiries and successfully represented one of the retired police officers in R v Denton and others, the Hillsborough ‘cover-up’ trial that was dismissed at the close of the prosecution case.​

As a member of the Regulatory List, Austin is instructed by the HSE to prosecute health and safety cases. Austin is also a member of the Attorney-General’s  List of Counsel and is regularly instructed to represent government departments in complex Article 2 inquests.
Austin represents medical professionals in disciplinary proceedings brought by the GMC. He regularly appears on behalf of doctors in fitness to practice proceedings in the MPTS as well as other professionals charged with disciplinary offences by their regulators. Austin also has significant experience in representing police officers in disciplinary and criminal proceedings.


Called 2005; tenant Lincoln House Chambers 2010 to date. Before being called to the Bar Austin was a commercial solicitor at an international law firm in the City of London. Austin also worked for the United Nations at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.


Health & Safety Lawyers Association
Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
Northern Circuit


University Of Leeds (LLB (Hons)); The College of Law, Chester (LPC); Manchester Metropolitan University (BVC); Queen Mother Scholarship awarded by the Middle Temple.


Mountain biking, attending live music, the cinema, going to the gym.

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Business and regulatory crime (including health and safety)

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Austin Welch – Lincoln House Chambers ‘Austin is incredibly hard working, giving his time generously and diligently to a case. His technical knowledge of business and regulatory law is second to none; he is a quick thinking master strategist, who easily finds the best way through any legal or practical issue. He immediately gains the confidence of his clients with his straightforward and tactful approach. He is a compelling advocate.’

Lincoln House Chambers’ regulatory team has substantial expertise in handling both prosecution and defence work in Environment Agency, Trading Standards and DEFRA cases, as well as health and safety cases, including death in custody inquests and gross negligence manslaughter matters. Health and safety enforcement specialist Austin Welch represents clients from the construction, retail and transport industries and is defending Eddie Stobart Ltd in a prosecution relating to asbestos exposure. Leila Ghahhary’s practice focuses on local government, regulatory, health and safety, trading standards and licensing matters. Lee Hughes has a strong health and safety practice, handling cases involving fatalities. Craig Hassall KC joined the set from Park Square Barristers Ltd. in August 2021.

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Inquests and inquiries

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Austin Welch – Lincoln House ChambersAustin is an excellent senior leading junior. A superb advocate with a commanding presence and natural gravitas in the courtroom. He is unflappable during cross-examination, holds real weight with clients and delivers strategic and well thought out advice in a clear and accessible way. He is highly personable and fosters a true sense of collaboration.’

The members at Lincoln House Chambers provide a ‘strong offering’ as well as ‘clear strength in depth’Kate Blackwell KC is a prominent member of the set, handling major, high-profile inquiries. Austin Welch‘s strong practice includes work for both companies and individuals. Welch also has a particular focus on inquests and inquiries regarding health and safety issues, and has been instructed on the Manchester Arena Public Inquiry and the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse. The set is also home to Leila Ghahhary, who has a thriving inquiries practice.