Criminal Regulatory & Environmental
Criminal Regulatory & Environmental - Related Cases
R v Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust  EWHC 779
Ruling on application for costs thrown away as the result of an unnecessary or improper act or omission (led by John Cooper Q.C.).
R v Lion Steel and others
Mark Turner and Dominic Kay, John Cooper and Mike Atkins and Simon Antrobus represented three of the four defendants in what was only the second prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. Not guilty verdicts were returned at Manchester Crown Court after three and a half weeks of trial.
R v Lion Steel and Ors
Junior counsel (led by John Cooper Q.C.) for the Managing Director in the Lion Steel corporate manslaughter case. Not guilty verdicts were returned at Manchester Crown Court after three and a half weeks of trial.
Lakanal House fire inquests
Junior counsel (led by James Maxwell-Scott) to the Coroner in the Lakanal House tower block fire inquests. The inquests lasted three months.
Lakanal House fire inquest
Junior counsel (led by James Maxwell-Scott Q.C) to the Coroner in the Lakanal House tower block fire inquests. The inquests lasted 3 months.
Middlesbrough Borough Council v DS
Secured the acquittal, after a seven-day Crown Court trial, of a director charged with neglect after a member of staff suffered life-changing injuries in a cellar hatch fall.
Ipswich BC v M plc
Junior counsel (led by John Cooper Q.C.) in a prosecution of one of the 'Big Four' supermarkets, including successful argument about the proper interpretation of Sellafield and Network Rail  EWCA Crim 49.
Inquest re JF
Represented an international carpet company in the five-week inquest into the death of an employee crushed by moving machinery. The case involved detailed consideration of the respective obligations of designers, suppliers and users of machinery.
HSE v H Ltd
Represented a household name multinational food manufacturer following a serious guarding accident at a production plant.
HSE v Elektra s.r.l.
Represented an Italian espresso machine manufacturer prosecuted for supplying unsafe equipment. Successfully argued that the Court lacked jurisdiction to try the alleged offence.
Polyflor v HSE  EWCA Crim 1522
Case concerns the evidence required to establish a material risk under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 where an employee acts carelessly.
John Cooper appeared for the Appellant
HSE v Cotterell
John Cooper successfully persuaded the Court of no case to answer where an employee died at the Odeon Cinema in Preston
MWH UK Ltd v Victoria Wise (HM Inspector)  EWHC 427 (Admin)
Power of Tribunal to amend an Improvement Notice
R v Watkin Jones  EWCA Crim 969
John Cooper represented the Company in this sentence appeal that made observations as to sentencing in safety cases involving a main contractor
HSE v Persimmon Homes
John Cooper and Dominic Kay successfully defended Persimmon Homes at Northampton Crown Court. The case concerned the fatality of a four year old child who died when a fire pace collapsed. The company had consistently denied that they had any involvement in the collapse and that there was no breach of any duty. After a series of preliminary hearings the Prosecution agreed that unused material disclosed (as a result of two defence applications) showed that the HSE were trying to apply higher standards to the company that those applied to other house builders. No evidence was offered against the company thereby avoiding a four week trial Not guilty verdicts were recorded and the company received its costs from central funds.
Wembridge Claimants & Ors v East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service  EWHC 2331 (QB)
Lindsey Oil Refinery Explosion
John Cooper and Simon Antrobus are instructed to represent contractors involved in relation to the death of one of their employees at the explosion at Total's refinery at Lindsey, Humberside.
Invista v Du Pont
John Cooper has been instructed as an expert witness in a commercial case in New York worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He will give expert evidence about health and safety law in this jurisdiction. He gave his deposition last November and is due to give evidence at trial in July this year.
R v Tangerine Confectionery Ltd; R v Veolia ES (UK) Ltd  EWCA Crim 2015
Leading health and safety case in which the Court of Appeal provided guidance in relation to the issues of foreseeability and causation in health and safety cases. In Tangerine John Cooper appeared for the appellant and Mark Balysz appeared for the respondent. In Veolia John Cooper and Harry Vann appeared for the appellant.
HSE v Marks & Spencer and Willmott Dixon
John Cooper and Harry Vann represented Willmott Dixon Construction Limited and Mark Balysz appeared as first junior for the Prosecution in the longest ever health and safety trial, which took place in the summer of 2011. The case concerned asbestos removal works during the refurbishment of three Marks & Spencer stores. The court considered the definition of "material risk" in the context of measured quantities of respirable asbestos dust and, in particular, the application of the judgment of the Court of Appeal in R v Board of Trustees of the Science Museum  1 WLR 1171 in light of the subsequent decisions in R v Porter  EWCA Crim 1271, R v Chargot  UKHL 73 and Baker v Quantum Clothing Group Limited  UKSC 17.
LB Wandsworth v Covent Garden Market Authority  EWHC 1245 (QB)
Represented the London Borough of Wandsworth in its successful appeal to the High Court. The case is the leading authority on time limits in the context of appeals against prohibition and enforcement notices.
Baker v Quantum Clothing Group Ltd  UKSC 17;  1 WLR 1003
In this important civil case the Supreme Court held that foreseeability has a part to play in determining whether a place of work is "safe" within the meaning of section 29(1) of the Factories Act 1961. "Safety" is a relative rather than an unchanging concept and should be judged by reference to the general knowledge and standards of the time. In R v Tangerine Confectionery Ltd; R v Veolia ES (UK) Ltd  EWCA Crim 2015 the Court of Appeal confirmed that Baker applies to the duties under the HSWA. A John Williams appeared on behalf of the Intervener, Guy Warwick Limited.
R v TAV Engineering Ltd  EWCA Crim 86
Appeal arising out of the Buncefield oil terminal explosion trial relating to the right of a defendant to seek severance in a case where the prosecution will be relying upon interview evidence of a corporate co-defendant that is in administration and is being prosecuted in its absence.
New Look Retailers Ltd v London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority  EWCA Crim 1268;  1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 57
In this leading case the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against a fine of £400,000 and gave guidance as to sentencing under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The case concerned a fire at New Look's Oxford Street store. The fire was very serious although nobody was injured. The company argued that the fine was excessive because the breaches admitted were not causative of the fire and because the fine was out of keeping with the level of fines imposed in comparable health and safety cases. The Court of Appeal rejected those arguments. The case is important because it demonstrates that in cases involving fire risks the courts may impose very high fines to take account of harm which might have occurred even if in the event nobody was harmed. John Cooper represented the appellant.
R v Upper Bay Ltd  EWCA Crim 495
The Court of Appeal considered the wording of section 3 of the HSWA in the context of the near-drowning of a child in a swimming pool. The Court held that the duties owed by the defendant were concurrent with and separate from those owed by the child's father and hence the questions of whether each had complied with their duties to the child were separate. The Court concluded that the father's failure to comply with his duty did not, on the facts of the case, preclude a finding that the defendant was also in breach of duty, notwithstanding the undoubted role that the father's failure had played in the accident. Accordingly there had been a case to answer. Christopher Purchas QC, John Cooper and Harry Vann appeared in the Court of Appeal. John Cooper and Harry Vann appeared for the defendant at the trial.
HMS Tireless inquest
James Maxwell-Scott represented a chemicals company at a 6 week inquest into the death of two submariners on board the nuclear submarine, HMS Tireless. The chemicals company was the manufacturer of a self-contained oxygen generator which exploded onboard the submarine.
R v Pearlview Estates Limited & EGS
High profile prosecution in which Dominic Kay appeared for the first defendant. The prosecution stemmed from an incident in which a boy sustained fatal injuries when he was crushed by electric gates at his grandparents' home. The defendants were acquitted at the re-trial, following the important Court of Appeal decision in respect of the terminating ruling at the first trial in respect of the second defendant.
Chilcott v Thermal Transfer Ltd  EWHC 2086 (Admin)
James Maxwell-Scott represented the successful company in both the Employment Tribunal and the Administrative Court. Chilcott is the leading case on the test to be applied by Employment Tribunals when deciding whether to cancel prohibition notices and improvement notices.
Milton Keynes Council v Leisure Connection Limited  EWHC 1541 (Admin)
Divisional Court decision concerning section 34(1)(b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the extent to which a failure to prevent an escape of waste can be inferred from an absence of evidence that underlying measures had been taken by the duty holder. Dominic Kay appeared for the respondent company.
R v TDG (UK) Ltd  EWCA Crim 1963;  1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 81
John Cooper represented the appellant in this successful appeal against sentence in a case involving a fatal accident. The fine of £325,000 was reduced to a fine of £275,000 and the appellant was awarded its costs of the appeal.
R v N  EWCA Crim 1223;  1 W.L.R. 2684
John Cooper represented the defendant employer of a welder who died during work on the Jubilee Bridge. The defendant's case was that the welder had carried out the work in a completely unforeseeable and obviously dangerous way. On an appeal by the prosecutor the Court of Appeal held that there was no jurisdiction to entertain a submission of no case to answer before a jury had been sworn and the case was remitted for trial before a different judge. In due course the defendant was acquitted following a submission of no case to answer made at the close of the prosecution case.
Stroud District Council v (1) Equiland Limited (2) Henson & Anr (2008, Bristol Crown Court, HHJ Ticehurst)
This prosecution arose from a fatal accident at the Gatcombe Horse Trials when a casual worker was crushed by an overturning all terrain vehicle in which he had been the passenger. John Cooper and Harry Vann appeared for the first defendant, the event organiser, and Dominic Kay appeared for the second defendant, the first defendant's health and safety manager, in the defendants' application to stay the proceedings as an abuse of process. The application succeeded on the grounds that the prosecuting authority had acquiesced in the alleged breach and that the prosecution was in breach of the authority's own enforcement policy.
R v Switchgear Engineering Services Ltd  EWCA Crim 2758
John Cooper represented the appellant company in this appeal against sentence. An employee was fatally electrocuted after coming into contact with a live component. The company had failed to obtain a method statement from another contractor which might have caused them to enquire further into to the nature of the work to be carried out and had failed properly to supervise the employee. The agreed basis of plea recognised that the contribution to death made by the appellant's breaches of duty was very modest. The Court of Appeal held that the judge had placed too much emphasis on the apportionment of liability between the different defendants and not enough on the culpability of the company or its financial means. The fine of £35,000 and costs of £35,000 were reduced to a fine of £10,000 and costs of £10,000.
R v Farrell (David); R v Hough Green Garage Ltd  EWCA Crim 1896
Appeal against a fine of £96,000 imposed on a relatively small company and a fine of £14,000 imposed on its managing director for breaches of health and safety legislation that resulted in the death of an employee. The Court of Appeal accepted that the fines were excessive. The judge had failed to discount his starting point to reflect the relatively modest financial position of the garage. Fines of £80,000 and £10,000 respectively were substituted.
R v HTM Ltd  EWCA Crim 1156;  All E.R. 665
seminal case relating to a double fatality which occurred when two employees pushed a telescopic light into an overhead power line during traffic management works. The defendant argued that the employees' conduct was unforeseeable and contrary to their training. Christopher Purchas QC and John Cooper successfully represented the defendant in the Court of Appeal, where the prosecutor's appeal against the trial judge's ruling at a preparatory hearing that evidence of foreseeability was relevant and admissible was dismissed. The judgment extended the scope of the statutory qualification of reasonable practicability and established that a jury is entitled to exonerate a defendant in circumstances where they conclude that the injured party was responsible for the accident. John Cooper and Simon Antrobus secured an acquittal in the subsequent 5 week jury trial.
The Rosemary Nelson Inquiry
James Maxwell-Scott represented the Ministry of Defence at this public inquiry in Northern Ireland.
The Shipman Inquiry
James Maxwell-Scott represented the Home Office at this public inquiry.
Bernard v Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Dudley Magistrates' Court  EWHC 147 (Admin)
John Cooper appeared for the claimant in this application for judicial review. The case establishes that the prosecution are required to provide proper particulars of the alleged offences to enable the defendant to know how the prosecution will put their case.
R v Friskies Petcare (UK) Ltd  2 Cr App R (S) 401 (Court of Appeal)
John Cooper appeared for the defendant in this well-known case which leant its name to the schedules of aggravating and mitigating features now routinely produced in health and safety cases.
The Hutton Inquiry
James Maxwell-Scott was junior counsel representing a number of Ministry of Defence witnesses, including the Secretary of State for Defence and the Permanent Secretary.
The BSE Inquiry
James Maxwell-Scott was junior counsel on the legal team representing former Ministers, scientific advisers and senior civil servants from the Department of Health.