Michael Hayton KC

Michael Hayton KC

"Highly knowledgeable and professional. He has outstanding advocacy skills." 

Chambers UK 2018
Year of call: 1993 KC: 2013
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv linkedin save

Criminal Regulatory

Michael has appeared in many Health and Safety prosecutions for both corporate and individual clients, normally in cases involving fatalities or multiple serious injuries and often within the construction and food industries. He was trial counsel in the leading case of HSE v Chargot and others, and has conducted many Crown Court trials in HSE prosecutions.

Many of his clients have come from the construction, chemical and food industries. Michael regularly is brought into cases soon after an investigation has commenced.

His background in criminal work has provided him with the appropriate experience to present his case before a jury.

He regularly provides seminars in this area of work to lay and professional clients and other members of the Bar.


HSE v Cristal Pigments

Michael defended a multinational chemical manufacturer in a prosecution arising from an explosion at a Top Tier COMAH chemical plant on Humberside where there was a spill of titanium dioxide. One employee was killed and another suffered life changing injuries following chemical burns. A cloud of noxious gas alongside liquid spillage into drainage system within the site led to the River Humber being closed.

Environment Agency (Northern Ireland) v Asda PLC

Michael is instructed in the ongoing prosecution in Northern Ireland of Asda PLC concerning an oil spill from storage tanks at one of their sites into the local river system.

Regina v Mark Bray

Lead Counsel for the first defendant in a corporate and gross negligence manslaughter arising from a fatality following a fall from height at a construction site. Multiple corporate defendants and individuals prosecuted. Case ongoing.

HSE v National Grid: Re Dugdale Bridge

Michael acted as lead counsel defending National Grid following a fatality of a young boy who fell from piping owned by the Defendant company. Contested hearing as to level of culpability heard in the Crown Court.

HSE v Paul Carney

Defence counsel at Crown Court trial of Director of manufacturing company where an employee was “scalped” when her hair was caught in a roller. Life changing injuries sustained.

HSE v Gaskells (North West) Limited

Michael acted for a company on two separate indictments at Liverpool Crown Court involving one fatality and a further incident where there was a risk of death.

HSE v PC Richardson

Defence counsel in a fall from height fatality at Sellafield nuclear site. Employee fell from a 300 feet high chimney stack still irradiated from the 1957 “Windscale Fire”, Britain’s biggest nuclear incident.

Regina v Frederick Jones

Defence counsel in double manslaughter case involving Legionnaires disease contracted from the Copthorne Hotel Cardiff. Client acquitted at trial.

HSE v Unichem PLC (Boots Chemists)

Defence counsel for company following death of an employee caused by a fall from height.

TMBC v John Lewis

Prosecution counsel of national chain of superstores following a fall from height of employee during maintenance works.

HSE v Essar Oil Limited

Michael represented Essar Oil Limited after the company was fined £1,650,000 for an offence contrary to the COMAH Regulations 1999. The prosecution arose from an explosion that took place at the Stanlow Oil Refinery at Ellesmere Port in November 2013. No injuries were sustained by any person but it was accepted that the risk of harm was high, and that a fatality could have resulted.

R v Chargot & Others

Trial counsel for one of the two corporate clients in this leading case involving a fatality at a construction site. Advised in relation to the subsequent appeal that ended up in the House of Lords.

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