Criminal Regulatory & Environmental
Criminal Regulatory & Environmental
Crown Office Chambers is one of the country’s leading chambers in criminal regulatory and environmental law. The team won the Health & Safety Set of the Year award at the Chambers UK Bar Awards in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016 and 6 members of chambers have previously won individual awards. The majority of the team work exclusively in the fields of Health & Safety, Environmental law, Inquests and the criminal aspects of Consumer Protection with many members of the team recognised as leaders in these fields. Members of the team have been involved in the leading cases that have shaped this niche area of corporate criminal law, including Friskies, HTM, Chargot, Baker v Quantum and Tangerine, and continue to be instructed in the highest profile cases, such as the Lion Steel corporate manslaughter case, the Lindsey Oil Refinery Explosion, the Lakanal House fire inquest and the Pembroke Oil Refinery Explosion.
Health & Safety
Crown Office Chambers is consistently rated by clients, solicitors and the legal directories as one of, if not the, leading set in health & safety law. We are ranked by Chambers UK as the leading set. Chambers won 'Set of the Year' at the 2016 Bar Awards, with John Cooper QC winning 'Silk of the Year' and Mark Balysz winning 'Junior of the Year'. The team also won ‘Health & Safety Set of the Year’ at the 2011 Bar Awards and members of Chambers were named ‘Health & Safety Junior of the Year’ in 2010 (John Cooper), 2011 (Dominic Kay) and 2013 (Simon Antrobus). The team's work covers the full range of health & safety law, from high profile corporate manslaughter cases and prosecutions of individual directors for gross negligence manslaughter to prosecutions under the HSWA arising out of fatal and non-fatal accidents and appeals against improvement and prohibition notices.
Fee for Intervention (FFI)
Members of the team regularly advise businesses and other organisations on the HSE Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme. Introduced in 2012, the scheme enables the HSE to recover its costs of inspection and associated action from duty holders found to be in material breach of health and safety law. Under the scheme, these costs will be recovered at an early stage, rather than at the conclusion of any criminal case. Members are thoroughly familiar with the law and guidance relating to FFI, and as such are well-placed to advise clients on the merits and tactics of a challenge to an FFI invoice.
Members of the team have particular experience of the specialist area of criminal environmental enforcement cases, representing both corporate and individual defendants facing prosecution for breaches of environmental legislation. These cases typically involve prosecutions in respect of major pollution incidents, permit breaches, the release of hazardous / noxious substances, marine regulation prosecutions (including cases concerning trawler operations and logbook / landing declaration offences) and cases relating to the escape of controlled waste. Clients include energy companies, water authorities, retailers, restaurants and construction, engineering and manufacturing companies.
Members have considerable expertise in inquests, having been involved in many lengthy and high profile inquests and public inquiries and having been regularly involved at inquests into deaths that have occurred on construction sites or other workplaces and those arising out of road traffic accidents. The team's wide experience extends to deaths that have occurred in care homes, residential premises, leisure complexes, hospitals, hotels, aircraft and custodial and military settings.
The team undertakes a substantial amount of work in the distinct area of consumer protection. Our work includes cases relating to trading standards, advertising, licensing, product safety, food safety and food hygiene. Members have represented many of the leading retailers in criminal trading law matters and advise on regulatory issues that extend beyond criminal proceedings themselves, such as product launches and recalls.