Health and Safety / Environmental / Trading Standards

"2 Hare Court has a strong reputation for its crime and regulatory work, and maintains a team of health and safety lawyers who are perfectly able to handle the finer nuances of health and safety law." 

- Chambers UK, 2014


Members of 2 Hare Court have, for many years, advised clients involved in proceedings brought by the Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency, Trading Standards, Environmental Health and other local authority offices, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and other enforcement bodies.

We are instructed by solicitors, and also directly by corporate clients, to advise in the immediate aftermath of incidents, on interviews under caution, on the management of investigations (including the provision of advice on-site), and to appear as advocates at hearings in courts at all levels. We also offer telephone advice, and can arrange for you to speak with an expert barrister at short notice, even for straightforward issues. In line with our other practice areas, we have established a Rapid Response Advisory Team for the benefit of all our regulatory clients, which offers 24/7 contact details, should they be required. This also extends to non-legal advice, such as on issues of strategy, reputation and publicity management.

Our clients regularly comment that there can be signficant advantages to instructing counsel who have experience acquired over many years in criminal courts at the highest level. Our advanced skills in marshalling complex and paper-heavy cases, presenting highly technical evidence in a format which is easily understood by Judges and juries, and eliciting evidence in cross-examination from expert and other witnesses, are regularly deployed to the significant benefit of clients who face regulatory investigations and proceedings.

We have experience of a range of industry sectors including construction, agriculture, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, oil & gas/energy, manufacturing and engineering.

We understand that when regulatory allegations are brought, it can be a worrying time for companies and their directors, not to mention commercially damaging. We always endeavour to provide a prompt, efficient and reliable service. In line with our service standards, we undertake not to double-book our barristers for regulatory cases. From time to time courts may list other cases, but we will always seek prior authority from you before taking any other booking which may conflict with yours. We will always advise you if your barrister of choice is otherwise engaged, and are happy to discuss alternative counsel, should you wish to. Paperwork will be returned promptly and in any event no later than 21 days from receipt. Earlier deadlines can be met, and clients will always be informed in advance of any potential delays.


HEALTH AND SAFETY

Our members are instructed in a wide variety of cases brought under the HSWA 1974 and related regulations and legislation. Cases include advising on corporate manslaughter investigations and trials, defending individual directors facing allegations of gross negligence manslaughter, deaths at work, and non-fatal accidents (falls from height, mechanical injuries, poisoning, inhalation of gases, etc).

We also advise on related proceedings, such as inquests and other inquiries. See our Inquests page for further details.

Recent cases include:

  • Princes Sporting Club- corporate manslaughter prosecution arising from the tragic death of an 11 year old girl  involving a banana boat on a private lake.
  • Lion Steel - the second, and well-publicised, corporate manslaughter prosecution, also involving charges of gross negligence manslaughter against a number of individual directors.
  • Death at work arising out of an accident at a chemical plant. Related Coronial proceedings.
  • A number of cases arising from major incidents on gas and oil platforms. Related environmental cases involving spillages, and release of highly toxic combinations of gases.
  • Outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease in the air conditioning system of a Central London hotel.
  • Death and major chemical spill at a large paint manufacturing site.
  • Pembroke Oil Refinery disaster
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ENVIRONMENTAL

Members of chambers are experienced in handling cases brought by the Environment Agency. We have advised on large-scale waste dumping, international waste shipment, and pollution and hazardous/noxious substances accidents.

As cost recovery powers are increasingly being used by the enforcement agencies, we are also regularly asked to advise corporate and individual clients on the ramifications of the draconian law of confiscation and other forms of the recovery of the proceeds of crime.


TRADING STANDARDS AND CONSUMER PROTECTION

We are regularly instructed by solicitors, and directly by corporate clients or their in-house legal teams, to advise on consumer protection and trading standards legislation. We also offer expertise in advertising, product safety, food safety, food hygiene, product recall, and other related matters.

Our work has included:

  • Three Crown Court cases brought under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations involving allegations of mis-selling, conspiracy, and international money-laundering.
  • Advising a multi-national household goods company, a major frozen food company, a national biscuit baking company and others on food labelling issues, defending in related prosecutions, and advising on their dealings with the Advertising Standards Authority.
  • We have assisted corporate organisations in drafting risk hazard analysis protocols across their food production businesses.

We have also recently presented seminars to clients on the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, and are pleased to offer CPD-accredited training sessions to our clients at their premises.

For further information on our work in these areas please contact Julian Campbell, our Director of Clerking.