Health & Safety

Experience of the most serious, complex and high-profile cases within the field; members are experts in the prosecution and the defence of individuals and corporates, particularly where fatality or serious injury has occurred.


Barristers at QEB Hollis Whiteman are experienced in the full range of Health and Safety-related issues and cases. We regularly advise and act on behalf of major corporate clients, both prior to potential proceedings and thereafter in Court, as well as acting for individuals faced with prohibition notices or potential criminal prosecution. We often appear in criminal proceedings in respect of alleged Health and Safety breaches, in particular those which are alleged to have caused death or serious injury.

Members of Chambers practising in this particular area combine a long experience of the Criminal Law with current and detailed knowledge of Health and Safety Legislation, putting us in the best possible position to act for those who require assistance in any Health and Safety matter. We maintain good relationships with the experts, with whom we frequently work, and are always happy to offer recommendations for a suitable expert when called upon.

Our Experience

We are extremely experienced in this field at all levels and throughout a vast array of offences and tribunals for all categories of client. Our work includes:

  • Prosecution and defence for Corporate Manslaughter and related offences;
  • Infringements of Health and Safety Legislation;
  • Advice on Health and Safety Policy; and
  • Assistance in relation to Health and Safety Management and Training.

We have acted in manslaughter and Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) cases for individuals and corporations. Our experience includes: Hatfield Rail Crash (2005); Moyano (operating theatre death, 2009); Maurice Agis (Dreamspace "flyaway artwork" deaths, 2009); Counsell (firework display linked to seven deaths on nearby M5, 2012); Naylor (catastrophic door failure causing deaths of two Members of Singing Group, 2016); Malden Plumbing (carbon monoxide poisoning by a gas boiler); Cotswold Geotech (first-ever Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 Prosecution). We are currently instructed to represent Chevron in relation to a joint Police and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the explosion at its Pembroke Refinery in 2011 and a corporate under investigation following the Grenfell Tower fire as well as interested parties in the Public Inquiry arising from the same incident. Our vast experience in Health and Safety Prosecutions where death has been caused, has arisen in diverse sectors of industry, with recent prosecutions concerning breaches of PUWER, LOLER, CDM, WAHR and the management regulations, as well as breaches of section 2, 3 and 7 of the Act.

We have acted for manufacturers of work equipment under investigation in relation to non-compliance with European and domestic supply regulations and have been retained by a multinational manufacturing giant to advise and represent them against any alleged Health and Safety breaches and subsequent investigations and charges.

Adrian Darbishire QC won Health & Safety Silk of the Year in the Chambers Bar Awards 2014.

Recent Cases

Re: Chevron Pembroke Explosion

Mark Ellison QC acted for Chevron in relation to the lengthy police and HSE investigations related...

The Shoreham Airshow Disaster (2019)

Tom Kark QC and Kerry Broome were instructed by the CPS to prosecute Andrew Hill, who was charged...

R v Dean & Embrace All Ltd (2016)

Paul Wakerley represented a care home manager charged in connection with the death of a patient...


R v Pike & another (2017)

Philip Evans QC led Tim Naylor in the prosecution of Dale Pike for the manslaughter by gross negligence of Gareth Pugh.

Paul Wakerley represents care home manager charged in connection with the death of a patient

QEB HW member Paul Wakerley represents the manager of a residential care home who is prosecuted for failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others after a patient fell down a stairway at the home and died from his injuries. Read media...

Rhys Meggy defends engineering multinational

Rhys Meggy represented a well-known electrical engineering multinational prosecuted by the Environment Agency in relation to environmental and health and safety failings. The company pleaded guilty after a three year investigation. The allegations arose from...