News & Events

Ben Compton KC

Ben Compton QC secures acquittal for the Port of London Authority

The Port of London Authority (“the PLA”) have been acquitted at Snaresbrook Crown Court of a serious maritime safety offence arising out of the sinking of the Chiefton tug and death of a crew member on 12 August 2011. The prosecution accused the PLA of failing to adequately and safely plan the tow of the Skyline Barge by the Chiefton and Steven B tug boats during a passage down the River Thames between 9 August and 12 August. The PLA maintained that in the particular circumstances the risk of the Chiefton sinking was not a material risk and in any event, the evidence showed the PLA had done all that was reasonably practicable to make the passage safe. After a…

News 2 Dec, 2019

Ben Compton QC & Oliver Powell speak at Port Skills & Safety

Ben Compton QC and Oliver Powell were invited by Port Skills & Safety, a joint venture between UKMPG and the British Ports Association to improve safety standards in the marine industry, to speak at its workshop: “Whose choice is it anyway…?” Ben spoke on the ‘Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Definitive Guideline’, whilst Oliver conducted a mock trial, as well as sitting on a specialist panel dealing with marine related health and safety questions. Other speakers included: Chris Newton, Partner, and Alex Penberthy, Partner, Keoghs; Mike Yarwood, Claims Executive, TT Club; Stephen Haynes, Programme Manager, Mates in Mind; and Adam Christopher, Director, Active Training Team Ltd. The unique and insightful workshop was designed…

News 23 May, 2019

OTC Members invited to speak on HSLA Spring Seminar Programme

A number of members of the Health & Safety Team at Outer Temple Chambers have been invited to give seminars as part of The Health & Safety Lawyers Association (‘HSLA’) spring seminar programme. This year, the programme will attract over 200 delegates across five separate seminars. On 26 April 2018, Ben Compton QC and Tim Green gave a seminar on Dismissal & Disclosure. The event was hosted by DWF in Birmingham, and will be repeated at Osborne Clarke in London on 14 June 2018 and at Eversheds in Leeds on 21 June 2018. The talk covers the powers of the Crown Court to dismiss charges before arraignment, disclosure before arraignment, defence statements, and digital & expert disclosure. On 17 May…

News 30 May, 2018

Ben Compton secures acquittal in HSE prosecution of Formula One Management Ltd

Ben Compton QC has secured the acquittal of Formula One Management Ltd (FOML), who were being prosecuted by the HSE on a charge under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The case involved contractors who FOML had hired for roof work at one of their sites in Surrey. During the resultant work, an untrained roofer fell through a roof light and was severely injured. The case against FOML was predicated on the basis that they had not adhered to their own management systems in selecting this particular contractor and further that they permitted work to continue even after the accident. As part of their case, the HSE relied on a former employee, as one of…

News 16 Feb, 2018

Hanover Square fatal accident – acquittals

Ben Compton QC and Paul Rogers represented Claire Gordon, a project manager for window manufacturing company Drawn Metal Ltd, in her recent eight week trial for manslaughter by gross negligence and for breaches of section 7 HSWA 1974. She was acquitted of both charges. A set of window frames weighing in excess of 600kg had been delivered and left on the pavement on Hanover Street, by Hanover Square in central London, when they fell and tragically killed a pedestrian Amanda Telfer. The prosecution had alleged Claire Gordon had failed to take steps to ensure the frames were transported, secured and stored safely. The jury rejected the prosecution assertions against her in unanimous not guilty verdicts after three and a half days of deliberations.…

News 27 Mar, 2017

Ben Compton QC & Paul Rogers in tiger killing case

Ben Compton QC and Paul Rogers defend South Lakes Safari Zoo Limited and David Gill, its sole director, in the tiger killing case involving a 24 year old zoo handler, Sarah McClay. Both company and director originally faced a 14 count indictment alleging widespread systemic failures in relation to the running of the tiger house. However, following successful negotiations, the prosecution agreed to drop all counts (seven in total) including four s.37 allegations against David Gill and the company pleaded on a prepared and limited basis to a section 2 and 3 offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The section 2 offence concerned failings in the zoo’s risk assessment to have a suitable and sufficient maintenance…

News 14 Jun, 2016

Ben Compton QC awarded “Health & Safety Silk of the Year“

Ben Compton QC has been awarded the accolade of Health & Safety Silk of the Year 2015 at yesterday’s Chambers & Partners Bar Awards. He was nominated in this category last year so this year’s success is a tribute to his expertise and commitment to the field of Health & Safety.

News 28 Oct, 2015

James Leonard is named: Professional Discipline Junior of the Year 2014

Outer Temple is delighted to announce that James Leonard has won the accolade of ‘Professional Discipline Junior of the Year 2014’, at the Chambers Bar Awards. Ben Compton QC was nominated as a ‘Silk of The Year’ and Stephen Climie was shortlisted as a ‘Health & Safety Junior of the Year’ . On Wednesday 1st October, Outer Temple was shortlisted as a candidate for the Legal 500 Awards in the category ‘Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Set of the Year’, a category it won in 2013.

News 2 Oct, 2014

Ben Compton QC has been acting for Beko PLC in relation to the fridge freezer fires

Ben Compton QC has been acting for Beko PLC in relation to the fridge freezer fires, that led to the Santosh Muthiah inquest that was recently concluded before HM Coroner for North London. Beko PLC had been investigated both by the police for corporate manslaughter and then by Hertfordshire Trading Standards in respect of potential charges under the General Product Safety Regs of 2005 but without any charges being preferred. At the subsequent Inquest, following full legal argument, the Coroner ruled that there was insufficient evidence for a conclusion of “unlawful killing” and returned a conclusion of accidental death together with a short narrative. Further details can be found here.

News 29 Sep, 2014

Ben Compton QC and James Leonard speak at the 7th CAPITA lecture at the Royal College of Surgeons

They were invited to speak to over 150 Health & Safety Lawyers and Professionals on the emerging trends in Corporate Manslaughter prosecutions and sentencing. The lecture focused primarily on the prosecution of the Princess Sporting Club and also considered the recent costs order made against the HSE in the Binnings case. Ben is Head of Outer Temple Chambers Health & Safety Team and is recognised as a leading expert on Corporate Manslaughter prosecutions and investigations. James was retained as Counsel for the Princes Sporting Club. Download the Lecture Pack here.

News 15 May, 2014

Ben Compton QC secures acquittal in the latest legionella prosecution

After a 3 year battle, the HSE finally offered no evidence against Balticare Ltd, the sister company of Balticare Aircoil Ltd (a manufacturer of cooling towers in the USA), at Shrewsbury Crown Court. The HSE, had been alleging design faults on the FXV and CXV Evaporative Condensers installed in the UK from the late 1990’s and despite the fact that there had never been any outbreak of legionella and against a background of substantial co-operation by Balticare, decided to charge the company with breaching Section 6(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The case was vigorously contested and included an abuse of process application; however shortly before the listed hearing the HSE abandoned their position accepting that…

News 1 Oct, 2013

Ben Compton QC has successfully defended a lifeguard involved in a swimming pool tragedy

Kelly Woods, a lifeguard employed by DC Leisure (a swimming pool centre in Wolverhampton) was finally found not guilty on a s.7 HSWA 74 offence at Wolverhampton Crown Court, after a five year battle to clear her name.

News 9 May, 2013

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