No organisation should wait until things go wrong to manage its risks. Our health and safety team takes a proactive approach when advising clients in building strong foundations in compliance, strategy, policies and risk exposure.
We provide bespoke regulatory advice to corporates, large national and multinational organisations, and senior individuals across a range of industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, energy and utilities, financial services, healthcare, real estate, retail & consumer and transport.
We are adept at guiding clients through the regulatory landscape within a wide range of contexts, including health & safety, corporate manslaughter, consumer protection, food safety and hygiene, fire safety , product liability and safety, corporate and directors' duties and a wide range of other criminal regulatory matters. We also advise in relation to the health and safety obligations arising as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our practice also includes extensive experience advising and representing corporate clients at inquests in the Coroner's Court arising from work-related and other fatalities, and Public Inquiries set up by the Government to investigate matters of public concern.
When things do go wrong, we are on hand 24/7 to provide our clients with crisis support when faced with major incidents, investigations and enforcement action taken by regulatory authorities, including the Police, Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Local Authority, Trading Standards, Care Quality Commission (CQC) Fire & Rescue Service, Marine Management Organisation (MMO), Office of Rail and Road (ORR) other regulatory enforcement bodies.
- Representing a corporate Core Participant in the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry as well as advising in relation to the health and safety issues arising from the tragic fire.
- We are acting on behalf of three bereaved families in the Manchester Arena Bombing Public Inquiry. Inquests opened into the deaths of the 22 victims following the tragedy with Sir John Saunders being appointed as the Coroner. The Inquests were converted into a Public Inquiry by the Prime Minister.
- Our expertise in inquests and public inquiries meant that we were one of the first firms to join the Manchester Law Society Pro Bono panel set up following the tragedy. We were also at the heart of initial discussions regarding legal representation for the families, hosting steering committees attended by a number of law firms and the Law Society to discuss legal representation for those affected. We originally acted for the clients on a pro bono basis together with Austin Welch of Counsel until the proceedings were converted to a Public Inquiry.
- Advising an infrastructure owner, who is Principal Designer under the Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2015 following a fatality of a sub-contractor, at a construction site. We are providing representation throughout the joint Police and HSE investigation, as well as at the Coroner's inquest.
- Representing organisations investigated by the Marine Management Organisation (under the Marine and Coastal Access Act) including an energy refiner and distributor. The MMO agreed with our representations not to launch a criminal prosecution against the company.
- Defending a registered charity facing prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, following a resident's fatal fall at a care home. Upon a carefully negotiated and guilty plea. the charity was fined £40,000. This constituted a radical departure from the sentencing guidelines, in favour of our client, and is the subject of a published sentencing statement by the Judicial Office for Scotland.
- Representing a major logistical company in relation to disturbances of asbestos in soil during excavation works. This included supporting the company’s investigation, advising in connection with HSE's documentary and witness interview requests, instructing an expert to opine on the nature of lifetime risk created to employees and third parties by any exposure, and preparing the corporate response to HSE's cautioned correspondence.
- Representing a company in relation to a fatal crush incident which occurred at the site of a third party customer when items fell whilst a vehicle was being unloaded. We represent the company during the HSE's ongoing investigation and subsequent inquest.
- Instructed on behalf of a joint venture in relation to an inquest following the death of an operative who sadly drowned whilst working at a flood alleviation scheme site. The police initially investigated the fatal incident as Corporate Manslaughter and Gross Negligence Manslaughter. We are instructed to represent our client during the coronial proceedings and we are providing ongoing support throughout the HSE investigation.
- Represented a large construction and building materials company in their defence to a health and safety prosecution under the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, following a fatality at a windfarm.
- Advising a company and individual during investigations stages by HSE in to alleged offences under the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Managing Health and Safety in Construction; Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996, following damage to a mains gas pipeline during construction works. Neither investigation resulted in charge.
- Advising clients across all industry sectors in relation to government guidance and safety management during the Covid-19 pandemic. Providing ongoing support to businesses to help assist with the ever-changing government guidance, easing of restrictions, social distancing and PPE requirements.
- In-house training and seminars
- training for Directors and Senior Managers:-
- health and safety duties
- fire safety duties
- corporate and individual manslaughter
- how to mitigate the risks of a criminal prosecution
- crisis management training (can be tailored to your business sector and the seniority of the audience)
- safety leadership and culture change
- management of third party contractors and agents
- what to do when an inspector calls and how to manage an investigation
- understanding the HSE Enforcement Policy - how to mitigate the risks of, and respond to enforcement action including enforcement notices and prosecution
- sentencing guidelines for safety offences – the judicial approach
- reputation and risk management
- management of product safety issues and recalls
- food hygiene and safety
- EU Regulations and UK framework – now and in the future
- due diligence systems and defences
- public inquiries and inquests
- COVID-19 workplace safety risks and keeping the business running
- training for Directors and Senior Managers:-
- "She's just got everything; she works very hard, develops good judgement and looks after clients." – Chambers UK
- "A fantastic lawyer who is that great mix of technical and commercial' – Legal 500
- "She's highly responsive and brings real depth of knowledge and experience to her clients," reports one source, while another notes that she "covers all the bases and gives carefully considered and rounded advice." – Chambers UK
- "Erin Shoesmith is exceptionally talented and a pleasure to work with." – Legal 500
- "David Young is a "big hitter" in the health and safety space and is highly regarded for his management of fatal injury matters as well as his long-standing experience in internal and HSE investigations, inquests and prosecutions. Clients say he is "very commercial and pragmatic, and he gets very good results."" – Chambers UK