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Health, Safety & Environment

"quality barristers who are highly expert in defending cases across all areas of health and safety law", "applauded for their impressive courtroom advocacy"

Chambers and Partners 2018

More information?

Please contact Dave Scothern (+44 (0)20 7427 4960).

Our experienced clerks will be pleased to provide you with more details of our expertise in this area.


We have a longstanding, distinguished reputation in the field of health and safety. Our track record includes almost all of the major and high profile investigations of the last decade, as well as very many of the influential appellate decisions in this constantly-developing area of the law. We offer sound, pragmatic advice and robust advocacy to our clients, however straightforward or complex the issues, and whatever the industry.

Health, Safety & Environment Barristers

The expertise of our health, safety & environment barristers and associates covers the entire spectrum of criminal, civil and coronial proceedings, as well as public inquiries. This breadth of experience sets us apart and ensures both a holistic approach and continuity of representation from the very start to the very end of a case. We offer advice from the outset of investigations by the HSE and other enforcement agencies in relation to PACE interviews, improvement and prohibition notices, and all other aspects of preparation for potential criminal and civil proceedings. Members of Chambers also prosecute for the CPS, HSE and other enforcement agencies.

We regularly act for companies and individuals facing the most serious criminal charges, wherever death has occurred, and provide advice and representation from the initial stages of investigation through to trial. We have a very rich medico-legal heritage, having for many years represented NHS Trusts, private facilities, and medical professionals in all forms of criminal, civil, coronial and regulatory proceedings. We have extensive experience in all civil aspects of health and safety, advising on liability and quantum in catastrophic injury and fatal accident cases, and regularly appearing in the High Court, County Court and at settlement negotiations. Please see our clinical negligence, personal injury and regulatory pages for more detail.

We have particular experience in the oil, gas, power and construction industries, brought in to advise and represent large corporates (eg. British Pipeline Agency in the Buncefield Oil litigation),as well as small and medium-sized businesses.

Our experience in cases of rail disasters, and deaths by fire, is unparalleled. From both prosecution and defence perspectives, we have been involved in all of the major rail crashes in the UK, such as those at Hatfield, Potters Bar, Ladbroke Grove and others. Recent high profile cases of death by fire include Warwickshire Fire (death of four firemen in a warehouse blaze) and Lakanal House (death of six residents in a London tower block).

We regularly represent companies, public bodies and individuals at the inquest stage of an investigation. These require careful management and are often-important factors influencing decisions to prosecute or pursue civil proceedings. We also appear on behalf of families to ensure that a rigorous examination of the issues is undertaken. Our experience ranges from straightforward accidents at work to high profile, multi-factorial deaths.

The breadth of our expertise gives us a real advantage in managing complex cases with criminal, civil and regulatory angles. It means that we can consider each case fully from all angles to ensure that the best outcome is achieved for our clients – recent examples include the Warwickshire Fire and Lakanal House.

Outer Temple Chambers is widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading sets for environmental law, having appeared in many leading cases in the last 20 years both at first instance and on appeal, including those arising from disasters in the rail (eg. Hatfield), oil (Buncefield Oil Refinery explosion) and water industries. A number of individuals in our team are recognised by Chambers & Partners as “Leaders at the Bar” in this field whilst our clients include FTSE 100 companies, their directors and a number of regulators.

We are consistently briefed by one side or the other, in respect of most major investigations into unlawful waste operations. We are highly conscious of the reputational damage that can be caused by an investigation by a regulator and the commercial concerns of our clients. This sensitive and business-minded approach has encouraged clients like Severn Trent Water Limited and Birmingham City Council.

Members are often asked to provide specialist advice on preventative measures to avoid breaching regulations and legislation. This includes legionella protection, waste management, land, air, noise, river pollution and fly tipping. We have represented one of those charged as a result of the fire at Penhallow Hotel in Cornwall and advised a Strategic Health Authority in relation to the largest hospital outbreak of Clostridium Difficile ever encountered.

Our team has particular expertise in dealing with the environmental impact of the logistics industry and have vast experience of public inquiries called by the transport regulatory authorities to look into environmental issues thrown up by HGV / coach fleet operators. We act both for defence and prosecution in criminal cases against transport operators involving environmental allegations – particularly under the relevant European legislation relating to the road haulage industry. We are well aware of that this work is business critical and of vital importance to our client in avoiding reputational damage.

Our client profile for the transport and logistics sector includes: SITA, UPS, Lynx Express, National Express, Norbert Dentressangle, Eddie Stobbart, Ryan Air, Medina Dairy, the Co-op, Delice de France, Terravision, Christian Salvesen, Texaco.

Our Health, Safety & Environment Barristers

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