In recent years there has been a determined effort to make companies and individuals criminally liable for deaths in the workplace and in public disasters. 5PB has considerable experience both of the old regime, and the new.
Jonathan Caplan QC has been instructed in many of the most important transport disaster trials, ranging from the Herald of Free Enterprise (in which he successfully argued that his client could not be guilty of the Common Law manslaughter offence) to South West Trains.
In April 2014, Graham Trembath QC and Miles Bennett secured the first ever acquittal of a company charged with corporate manslaughter. Others may follow but 5PB are rightly regarded as leaders in this highly specialist field.
Members of the team provide first rate advice and representation from the fatality, to the inquest and subsequent criminal proceedings. We know that careful and considered representation in coronial proceedings can have a huge impact in any subsequent criminal prosecution.
Members of the team are also instructed by both the HSE and the CPS to prosecute cases arising out of work place fatalities. Deanna Heer has many years experience advising on cases involving potential breaches of corporate and individual duties. She has successfully prosecuted cases of gross negligence manslaughter, recently obtained the conviction of Costain Ltd for causative offences under HSWA following a lengthy jury trial and is currently instructed in the prosecution arising from the Battersea Crane Collapse, which killed two people. Catherine Rabaiotti also has strong reputation in this area having prosecuted corporate defendants such as FCC Waste, Crown House Technology and Kidde Fire Protection on behalf of the HSE.