Jonathan Laidlaw QC

Jonathan Laidlaw QC

“One of the premier league players at the Bar.”

Chambers UK 2021
Year of call: 1982 QC: 2008
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv linkedin save

Criminal Regulatory

Throughout his career Jonathan Laidlaw QC has maintained a health and safety practice appearing for a large number of corporate clients which include Texaco, Gulf, BOC, Ford, Southern Cross, Esso, BHP Billiton, Fluor, Marwood and Merck. In recent years he has successfully defended BHP Billiton in a series of cases brought by the DTI, the MCA and the HSE arising from incidents at the Liverpool Bay field, acted for Southern Cross in cases involving fatalities in their care homes; successfully defended Fluor in a prosecution arising from the construction of the Inoes Chlor plant in Warrington; successfully defended Marwood Limited in a case which was to have been tried in Bradford; successfully defended one of the directors in Lion Steel one of the first corporate manslaughter trials; successfully defended the Ancient Order of Foresters; represented Cape Industries facing charges arising from a fatality; appeared for the Princes Sporting Club who faced corporate manslaughter charges; for Monovan Construction Limited, the first company to be sentenced under the new Sentencing Council Guideline; for JTF Wholesale who face corporate manslaughter charges and BAM, Ferrovian and Kier following a fatality on the Cross Rail project.

His present workload in this area includes acting for Pret a Manger and for Harley Facades, the cladding company in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Chambers and Partners rate Jonathan Laidlaw QC as a band 1 silk and he is a previous nominee of “Health and Safety Silk of the Year”.

The 2015 edition was in these terms, “Jonathan Laidlaw QC….is frequently involved in cases relating to the construction sector, and….receives a large number of instructions from US companies. Market sources speak about his practice in glowing terms and note his involvement in the leading corporate manslaughter cases of the day.”

The 2016 edition said, “he is a very good silk and criminal lawyer.” “He is a consistent performer at the highest level and engages as part of the team” and “Jonathan Laidlaw QC has gravitas and sound judgment. He is excellent with clients, approachable and available.”

The 2017 guide said, he is a “seriously impressive criminal silk who has a thriving health and safety practice. He undertakes all manner of health and safety work for a host of clients” and describe him as a “proper advocate in court, who has so much gravitas”.

The 2018 guide said, he is a “man of great authority whose preparation is immaculate. He’s a stickler for detail and picks up the important minutiae of a case”.

The 2019 guide said, “he is now highly sought after by the US market to represent US corporates facing health and safety prosecutions, particularly those concerning corporate manslaughter….Straight out of the top drawer….he’s a lawyer with fantastic advocacy skills, who is very measured and astute.” 

The 2020 edition of the guide says he is an “expert advocate, lauded for his breadth of expertise in health and safety cases, public inquiries and inquests. He defends companies and directors in regulatory, disciplinary and professional matters, and regularly acts for those facing prosecution by the HSE. He is now highly sought after in the US market to represent corporates facing health and safety prosecutions, particularly those concerning corporate manslaughter”.

The 2021 edition says this of Jonathan Laidlaw QC, “he’s really impressive. He has excellent client care skills and is very reassuring. He also has a good eye for detail and knows the law inside out” and “has a brilliant mind, is very astute and is a skilled tactician.”

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