Health & Safety

5PB has a long pedigree in health and safety and environmental law, whether acting for the prosecution or the defence. Members of chambers have appeared in many of the leading cases that have shaped the development of this area of law, including acting for P&O Ferries following the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster, representing Great Western Trains following the Southall rail crash, Balfour Beatty in the Hatfield rail disaster case and representing the prosection in the appeal of Tangerine Confectionary and Veolia. More recently, members of chambers secured the first ever acquittal of charges of corporate manslaughter in R v PS and JE Ward Ltd.

Our expertise covers the spectrum of advisory work, criminal litigation, inquests and public inquiries across a range of industries. We are able to provide guidance to corporate clients in respect of health and safety policy and audits. Our grounding in criminal law and reputation for excellence in jury advocacy means that members of chambers are able to demystify the most complex technical evidence and persuasively present cases before the Courts.

Examples of our recent work include:

• Securing a conviction for gross-negligence manslaughter, following the collapse of a basement excavation. The case also involved the first successful prosecution of a health and safety consultant for a statutory offence resulting from his failure to properly advise and inspect the site.

• Successfully prosecuting one of the UK’s largest construction companies in respect of a fatality at the site of the redevelopment of Newbury town centre. This was the second successful prosecution of the same company conducted by a member of chambers.

• Obtaining the first acquittal of charges of corporate manslaughter, arising from the electrocution of an employee.

• Successfully applying to stay, as an abuse of process, the prosecution of a hopsital trust for regulatory breaches.

• Representing the Health and Safety Executive at the inquest into the Battersea Crane Collapse which killed two people and conducting the subsequent prosecution of the crane hire company and its managing director.