HSLA COMMITTEE ELECTIONS

Election Timing

17 January – Voting opens 

Noon 31 January – Voting closes

By 12 noon of 1 February – All candidates will be advised if they have secured a place on the committee.

Evening of 1 February – we will be holding a HSLA event,  Important Lessons from the Shoreham Air Crash Inquest  in London at DACB offices (by Bank Station), with the HSLA Annual General Meeting when the new committee will be announced. Please SAVE THE DATE

How to view the candidates

By clicking the candidates name this will open up their short biography and why you should choose them.

You can either leave the bio open or click to close. You could shortlist candidates by leaving their bios open.

How to vote

Use the dropdown for each of the five positions (you may need to scroll down depending on the device you are using) and click your choice. At the foot of the form click Submit.

Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Vice Secretary

HSLA Chair  Simon Joyston-Bechal

Biography

Dr Simon Joyston-Bechal, Turnstone Law
Before qualifying at Clifford Chance as a Solicitor in 1993, I trained and qualified as a doctor. As a litigator, my early focus was on product safety as well as health & safety, building on the synergies with medicine. In 2003, I became a partner at Masons (now Pinsent Masons) with the brief of developing and building a specialist health & safety team across our offices in England and Scotland. In 2013, I established Turnstone Law as a boutique firm specialising in health & safety.

Statement

I have been on the HSLA Committee for the best part of a decade and for the last few years I have been Chair of HSLA’s Thought Leadership and Public Policy sub-committee. Many of you will have heard me speak at HSLA conferences or received emails from me seeking your views as members. Last year’s big issue was the passage through Parliament of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act. After taking soundings from members, I led HSLA’s push against the Government’s proposed bonfire of EU derived health & safety laws. I was delighted that in the end they only repealed 41 entirely redundant safety laws, such as a set of regulations dealing with radio interference risks at the 2012 Olympics! We can chalk that up as a success for health & safety lawyers. An ongoing challenge for us in 2024 is the delay in getting cases to trial.

I would very much like to continue serving on the Committee and I would also be delighted to act as Chair – with your support and votes. My ethos in getting the best outcomes is always to seek to understand the views of others. I apply that in litigation and with colleagues. With your support, I will apply that approach to canvasing views from HSLA members, so that the Association can best reflect your issues and concerns. I will use my experience and enthusiasm to invigorate the Association and its offering to members. I am very grateful for your support.

HSLA Chair  Amy Sadro

Biography

Amy Sadro, Senior Legal Counsel, Shell International Ltd

 

I have 20 years of experience working in health and safety having worked at the Health and Safety Executive and then as a H&S solicitor at Weightmans, Kennedys and Eversheds Sutherland. I have acted in a number of high profile litigated cases and have also built up a non-contentious advisory practice. I am currently Senior Legal Counsel at Shell International with responsibility for UK Health, Safety and Environmental matters.

I am also currently the HSLA Vice Secretary and in that role have been proactive in the work of the committee. This has an included organising the annual conference and other professional development events. I have led on improving the quality, range and diversity of topics, format and speakers including those from outside our membership, judges, the HSE and others.

I believe that the HSLA is a special network and is a valuable forum for its members. It represents a growing area of the law with increasing number of members. Our events demonstrate how members generously share good practice and provide an opportunity for members to discuss different perspectives and have interesting debates. Personally, being part of the committee over the last ten years has enhanced my network and practice and I have built up many great professional relationships and friendships though the Association.

I believe that my combination of experience and my aspirations for the future of the Association mean that I am best placed to lead the Association into its next phase.

Proposal:

I believe that the HSLA is important to the health and safety legal profession and that as the profession continues to grow, it needs to do more for its members. I have aspirations as to how the HSLA can do this, which is why I am standing for the position of Chair.

If I was elected, I would develop a strategy with the committee identifying how the Association could enhance the offering to members. In my view this should include:

Proactive engagement and growing the membership:
• Encouraging more and frequent feedback from members and updates from the committee on its work.
• Expanding the membership to increase junior members, in-house lawyers, prosecutors and regulators so that we enrich the contribution to the Association.

Increasing member value:
• Enhancing member access to good practice information, transcripts and commentaries on key cases.
• Improving events and opportunities for networking both in terms of accessibility and the topics covered.

Supporting the next generation:
• Encouraging the best talent into H&S law.
• Offering more to junior members including coaching, networking socials, seminars and skills-based training.

Collaboration and our external influence:
• Increasing the visibility and influence of the HSLA by establishing closer links with regulators, IOSH and others.
• Influencing issues that impact the work of members including responding to consultations.

Commitment to diversity and inclusion:
• Promoting greater inclusion throughout the membership, committee and its work including speakers at events.

I hope that the above gives members confidence that I would responsibly guide the HSLA into its next phase.

 

HSLA Vice Chair  Colin Moore

Profile

I am solicitor and partner in the Regulatory team at DAC Beachcroft where I act for companies and individuals prosecuted for a range of offences including manslaughter and breaches of duty for health and safety, fire safety and food safety and hygiene. I am frequently called in to provide urgent advice to clients following fatal and serious workplace accidents in the face of Police and HSE investigations. I have over 15 years’ experience working with clients across a range of sectors including construction, local government, healthcare, manufacturing, and logistics. I also deliver commercially focused, non-contentious health and safety advice to large clients on compliance issues and managing regulatory risks in re-structuring and transactions.

My relevant experience includes the following:

• I was part of the DACB team which secured an acquittal in the first corporate manslaughter prosecution against an NHS trust (R v Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust) a case which remains the leading authority on issues such as the definition of senior management and the control of activities in a large organisation.
• I have acted for clients in the defence of many health and safety, fire safety and food safety prosecutions, including a 6-week trial in the Old Bailey, and several crown court cases where we have secured acquittal for our clients.
• From June 2017 I have been a leader of the DAC Beachcroft team acting for a Core Participant in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Metropolitan Police Investigation into potential criminal offences.
• I have acted for interested persons in numerous complex and long-running inquests, including a 7-week hearing following the death of a detained mental health patient. I am currently representing an individual in the third inquest following the death of a Scout in 2018.

I am recognised in the Legal 500 as a Leading Individual for health and safety and ranked in Chamber and Partners.

The HSLA

I have been a Committee Member of the HSLA for the last 10 years. I am currently part of the events sub-committee which co-ordinates and arranges the programme of speaking events each year, including our annual conference. I am proud of the fact that during the Pandemic we still delivered an online programme, and I think our events are one of the most valuable services we provide to members.

I am seeking election to the role of Vice Chair because I would like to do more for the Association by supporting the new Chair and helping the new committee to expand the scope of what the HSLA can do for its members. Our events provide excellent opportunities for members to meet and build networks, and I am keen that we continue widen the geographical spread of our events so that more are hosted across all UK jurisdictions.

I would also like to help the Chair to increase the Association’s influence, both in industry and with Government departments with responsibility for changes to health and safety law. The HSLA is at its best when it puts forward the collective views of its members and I would like to see increased involvement in consultations and direct discussions with Government and the Judiciary about changes to law and sentencing.

In the role of Vice Chair I also want to explore ways of gathering feedback and views from members about what they want from the HSLA and the types of activities and services they want us to deliver. I want members to feel that they are driving the Association forward, with the committee facilitating this for them.

Secretary Doug Scott

Biography

I am Doug Scott, a Barrister at Six Pump Court. I practice in all areas of regulatory law including Health & Safety, Food Safety, Environmental, Planning and Crime. I am standing to be Secretary of the HSLA.

Prior to starting work as a Barrister, I was a Trainee Solicitor at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang and heavily involved in Health & Safety work. In particular, I assisted preparing and then attending a three-week section 2 HSWA 1974 trial in the Crown Court. Following this trial, I knew I wanted to pursue this area of practice.

Now, at the Bar, I find the Health & Safety work I undertake, including most recently advice on RAAC within commercial units and fire safety in high rise buildings, some of the most interesting instructions I receive. I also write for LexisNexis on Health & Safety issues.

I pride myself on approaching any task or role with dedication and energy. If I am fortunate enough to be elected Secretary I will approach this role in exactly the same way.

What I will bring to HSLA 
In addition to my experience detailed above, I have worked in the in-house legal department of a luxury vehicle manufacturer, practiced as a Solicitor at a high-street firm and worked as a Judicial Assistant for a Court of Appeal judge. I’ve also been fortunate to practice in different areas of the country, namely London, Sheffield, Manchester and Buckinghamshire.

My diverse range of experience practising law provides me with a unique perspective of how the work, projects and decisions of the HSLA will impacts many of its members. Furthermore, owing to practising in different legal communities throughout the country, I hope that I can continue to build on the HSLA’s work to increase the accessibility of the network irrespective of where members practice in the country and push our network in directions that are beneficial for all of us.

Whilst at the Court of Appeal I was often asked to research complex procedural questions, including one task which required me to analyse how the constitution of a British Overseas Territory operated for the purposes of drafting a Privy Council judgment. Such experience will assist me dealing with the Secretarial responsibility of making sure the HSLA’s Rules are complied with.

Finally, I am very keen to facilitate increased opportunities for junior members of the association to meet with their contemporaries in relevant Health & Safety industries. Not only does this assist the individual member by expanding their network but its collateral impact on their more senior colleagues is also very beneficial.

HSLA Vice Chair James Maxwell-Scott

Biography

James has been a barrister at Crown Office Chambers since 1995. He specialises in representing clients in criminal health and safety trials, public inquiries and high-profile inquests. He has acted for all sides in these matters, including both Prosecution and Defence. In 2011, he was appointed to act as Lead Counsel to the Lakanal House fire inquest. In 2012, he was appointed to List A of the Regulatory List of specialist regulatory advocates in relation to the prosecution of health and safety and environmental offences. In 2014, he won the Health and Safety junior of the year award at the Chambers Bar Awards. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2016 and a Recorder of the Crown Court in 2018.

Statement

I have been an active member of the HSLA for 15 years and have spoken at HSLA events in London and Edinburgh. I am committed to the HSLA having a wide membership and believe that it is essential that it and its Committee represent and serve all of its members.
I believe that my varied professional experiences mean that I am well placed to serve the needs of the HSLA’s membership. I have prosecuted and defended health and safety cases in the Crown Court. I have experience of: working with Coroners (as Counsel to the Lakanal House fire inquest); training Coroners (I lectured on a Home Office run course for Coroners); and representing families, individuals, charities, public sector organisations and private sector organisations in inquests. I have been involved in 8 public inquiries, most recently the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Infected Blood Inquiry. I sit as a Recorder in the Crown Court. I also have decades of experience of working with clients in central government including, in the last 12 months, clients from No 10, the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Justice.
I believe that these experiences make me ideally suited for the role of Vice Chair of the HSLA. They will enable me to provide valuable input to the many regulatory issues in which the HSLA will be involved. They will also provide me with the personal credibility to represent the HSLA to a wide range of audiences.

HSLA Vice Secretary Tim Hill

Biography

Tim is a Senior Partner in Eversheds Sutherland’s EHS (Environment Health and Safety) team. He specialises in the defence of criminal regulatory matters, including fatalities and corporate manslaughter, health and safety issues, Coroner’s Inquests, environmental law, process safety and traffic commissioner cases. He also leads on safety compliance matters.

Tim’s recent experience includes: acting for various oil & gas and chemical sector clients in relation to safety incidents or Competent Authority investigations; acting for an international offshore company in relation to the safe evacuation of a major North Sea gas rig; acting for an international chemical company following a significant explosion at their plant; acting for a pharmaceutical company following a fatal incident at their manufacturing plant; acting for a national energy company after an offshore helicopter crash involving seven fatalities.

Tim has extensive experience of all areas of regulatory law and criminal procedure in the Magistrates’, Crown and Coroners Courts, as well as crisis management, regulatory compliance, investigation and enforcement. He holds an OPITO Certificate in Offshore safety. He is also a Solicitor Advocate with rights of audience in the Higher Criminal Courts.

Proposal for Re-election to HSLA Committee

I have been an HSLA Committee member for almost 10 years, and have been Chair of the Events Committee for the last 6 years. This involves leading and being part of the team which devises, organises and delivers all the events across the HSLA national network, including the flagship annual Conference and Dinner.

As the membership has grown, having a leading range of events and key speakers in our field is one of the key benefits of HSLA membership: gaining insights into the latest cases and hearing from the very best solicitors and barristers on real cases and key issues as they arise. Throughout the pandemic, we successfully moved all presentations online and have now been equally successful in delivering a mix of in person events to enable networking and wider discussion, as well as live or recorded online events to ensure all members can access material regardless of location. The annual conference is always full and ‘sells out’ very quickly which I see as testament to the quality of the event and the fact it has become a key fixture in all members’ diaries.

I am very keen to remain a vital member of the Committee as we move into new leadership, but intend to stand down from chairing the Events Committee to allow fresh impetus, ideas and leadership to shape future events. I hope that my experience both as an H&S lawyer and as part of the HSLA for some years, will bring ongoing benefits to a newly formed Committee group, while my commitment and dedication to date demonstrates a willingness to play a proactive and engaged role.

Officer of the HSLA

Officer of the HSLA
Christopher Adams

Christopher Adams (Henderson Chambers) – Biography

Christopher graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge with a Double First in English before studying at the Royal Academy of Music and the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne and working for several years as a classical singer. He was placed first in his year for the CPE in Legal Studies at London South Bank University. He was called in 2014, undertook pupillage at Henderson Chambers and has been a member of Chambers since 2016. He has been instructed in a number of health and safety (Renown and Stonegate Pub Company), gross negligence manslaughter (Hawkins, Dixon and MPM) and other criminal proceedings at the investigation and trial stage, both as a junior to Prashant Popat KC and in his own right.

He has acted for the defendants in Crown Court trials, including those arising from road traffic accidents, falls from height, crowd management and collapsing barriers. He is currently involved in a prosecution arising from the collapse of a tower crane. In the Magistrates’ Court he has acted in proceedings involving lifting equipment, electrical flashovers and the accidental bricking up of a gas flue. He has advised and assisted in advising in relation to accidents on smart motorways, high pressure gas leaks, work-related RTAs, stacking materials and the application of gross disproportion factors. He is the author of the Confined Spaces chapter of Tolley’s Health & Safety at Work Handbook.

Having worked as a paralegal with a firm of solicitors prior to pupillage, Christopher has experience of advising clients on all aspects of the health & safety investigation and trial process, including supporting clients at interviews with the HSE and local authorities.

He is also regularly instructed in inquest proceedings.

 Statement

From my work as a junior barrister and, previously, for a firm of solicitors, I am well-placed to understand and represent the interests of the HSLA’s members across the spectrum and to help pursue the aims of the HSLA in promoting the development of health & safety law and providing education and training. I have experience of most stages of the investigative and court process. My previous experience of working in the Houses of Parliament could also be useful to the HSLA in seeking to have input into the development of health & safety legislation – for example, by drafting articles or responses to consultations.

I am diligent and organised, and would do my utmost to ensure that the HSLA listens to its members’ concerns and puts on the types of events which enable them to connect and learn most effectively, as well as being a confident public speaker who would enjoy opportunities to represent the HSLA. I am committed to reviewing and assisting in the development of health & safety law, and am prepared to take on any role on the HSLA’s behalf.

I have been a member of the HSLA since around 2016 and have attended many HSLA events. I have previously assisted Prashant Popat KC and Oliver Campbell KC in putting together a seminar for the HSLA about gross negligence manslaughter in light of the Hawkins, Dixon and MPM trial, where I represented the third defendant

Officer of the HSLA  Simon Bellfield

Biography:
Simon is an experienced and highly recognised regulatory specialist in maritime, health, safety and environmental regulatory investigations. He represents clients at inquests, inquiries and in all criminal forums. He has experience of both prosecuting and defending in regulatory proceedings.
Prior to joining DWF, Simon spent 16 years prosecuting as a solicitor agent predominantly for the Health and Safety Executive and several Local Authorities. Since joining DWF in 2016, Simon has been one of the leading lawyers on the Didcot boiler house investigation and the Grenfell Public Inquiry and criminal investigation again a testament to his ability to handle large complex investigations. Simon has also worked on the Covid-19 Public Inquiry acting on behalf of the Department for Education as well as representing HM Coastguard in relation to the small boats incidents in the Channel, which will lead to a public inquiry later in the year.
Simon is now leading the team at DWF advising and representing the Maritime & Coastguard Agency in relation to its regulatory investigations and prosecutions as well as its HM Coastguard function in relation to emergency search and rescue incidents.

What will I bring to the HSLA:
In short, 3 things:-
Experience – this thinning grey hair has to count for something! An HSE Prosecutor for 16 years I have drafted many a ‘Friskies’ schedule and prosecuted hundreds of cases. This stood me in great stead for when the Sentencing Guidelines reduced the ability for me to ‘wax lyrical’ in my case summaries and saw me jump to the ‘dark side’ to defend what I used to prosecute. Nearly 8 years later with Didcot, Grenfell and Hillsborough providing top-drawer experience I am now also concentrating on health and safety in the maritime industry.
Unity – Being involved with the HSLA from inception, I recall being just one of two HSE prosecutors in a seminar hosted by a prevalent defence set of chambers predominantly designed for those defending against the HSE. Having extracted the knife in my back and fast forward to the HSLA of today, it is great to see much more interaction between the HSLA and the regulators. Given my background, I am keen to develop this even further with other regulators such as the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.
Regional focus – we all love London… but based between Birmingham and Manchester I am keen to see even more HSLA activity and events in the regions. In the past few years I have hosted a number of seminars for the HSLA in Birmingham and Manchester and would intend to push this even further to other key regional destinations.
Please vote for me!

Officer of the HSLA

Kath Metcalf

Biography
Katherine Metcalfe is a partner in Pinsent Masons’ Health and Safety Team. She is dual-qualified in Scots and English law and works across the infrastructure, energy and real estate sectors in the UK and beyond. She is at the forefront of the firm’s thought leadership on building and fire safety, advising clients on regulatory change occasioned by the Hackitt review of building regulations and fire safety. Having spent two years heading up the in-house legal team at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Katherine is uniquely placed to guide clients through the complexities of fire safety regulation across the UK. More broadly, Katherine has a wealth of experience in health and safety, environmental and fire safety law. She frequently appears in courts and tribunals defending organisations charged with regulatory offences, representing their interests at Fatal Accident Inquiries and appealing enforcement action. She is a regular speaker at health and safety and fire safety events. She is ranked by Chambers and Partners 2023 as Band 2 for Health and Safety in Scotland, and by Legal 500 2023 as a Next General Partner.

What will I bring to the HSLA?
Pinsent Masons has a proud history of active involvement in the HSLA. My partners Sean Elson and Laura Cameron have served on the Committee, and team members participate from across the UK. As a firm, we want to make sure that we continue to contribute to the HSLA, and that we benefit from all that it has to offer.
From a personal perspective, I believe I can add value as an Officer of the HSLA by bringing cross-border and in-house experience to HSLA events and updates.
With 20 years’ experience advising on health and safety law in Scotland, I want to work with other Scottish members by playing an active role in identifying and organising HSLA events on key topics for our members in Scotland.
Being dual-qualified in Scots and English law will allow me to draw out similarities and differences in practice, in the context of Scottish and UK events. Similarly, my in-house experience gives me insight into the interests of the HSLA’s in-house members, and how these differ from private practice. I want to make sure that as many events as possible cater for all HSLA members.
Lastly, I will continue to fly the flag for fire and building safety law. I am passionate about this area, which will continue to develop at pace, providing opportunity for our members. I have enjoyed taking part in HSLA webinars and a conference panel discussion on this topic. I would relish the opportunity to exchange knowledge and practical experience with members.

Officer of the HSLA
Satveer Pnaiser

Biography

Satveer is a Senior Associate lawyer at Kennedys in their Crime and Regulatory department dealing with all aspects of motor crime, health and safety and inquest work. Satveer previously worked in legal aid crime for over five years before crossing over into Regulatory work in 2017. Satveer has worked on a number of high profile health and safety cases including the Grenfell inquiry and the Topshop trial in 2022, as part of the defence team for Realm Projects Limited.

As well as health safety work, Satveer is regularly instructed in care home work covering inquests and housing matters.

Statement
I am very keen to be accepted as a HSLA Committee member and believe I would be a valuable asset to the organisation. I am hardworking, enthusiastic and organised. I am open to assisting the Committee as needed but would also be proactive in suggesting topics to raise awareness, as well as potential events which would be of relevance to regulatory lawyers. I think it is important for both solicitors and counsel to be represented on the Committee to ensure a range of viewpoints and understanding can be shared. As a solicitor, I am familiar with the root of case instructions and initial client meetings including police station interviews which bear relevance to the structure and semination of legal updates, information sharing, networking approaches and other work commissioned by the HSLA. I would bring a wide-ranging collection of expertise and experience to the Committee if selected and very much hope to be successful in my application.

Officer of the HSLA Andrew Swarbrick
Biography I am a specialist Health, Safety and Environmental solicitor at Norton Rose Fulbright. My practice encompasses both contentious and non-contentious regulatory matters across a variety of industries (including construction, manufacturing, housing, sports, and healthcare). I regularly advise clients in respect of complex compliance issues across the health & safety, environmental, fire safety and product safety landscape, as well as providing incident management and investigation advice to organisations following workplace incidents and representing clients under investigation or subject to enforcement action or prosecution by regulatory authorities. I also enjoy speaking on health & safety related topics, including lecturing at Cambridge University in relation to building safety and presenting to clients and industry stakeholders on a range of different topics. Outside of work, I’m a keen cook and enjoy spending time in the kitchen or at local restaurants and pubs. If I’m not there, I’ll usually be out on a long walk with my dog or watching or playing some form of sport. As with most of us , I also love to travel when I get the opportunity (especially at this time of year!). Statement The HSLA has been a valuable resource in helping me extend my network of contacts and provides a forum within which new trends and developments in the world of health & safety law can be discussed. I would appreciate the opportunity to contribute to furthering the great work it does and expanding its mission further. I will bring an enthusiasm to further the aims and goals of the HSLA by looking at ways to extend its reach. I’d hope to do this byworking with fellow committee members to make events more accessible (for example, considering the feasibility of lunchtime or morning events) and ensuring the topics of discussion maximise the variety of experience and knowledge within the association. I think the HSLA may also benefit from greater interaction between members by the introduction of smaller groups that focus on shared experiences and commonalities. In addition, I think that the HSLA has the potential to be a more outward looking association. Its members have a wealth of expertise and industry insight, and it could therefore positively influence and provide meaningful context to the public discourse relating to health and safety in the workplace. I’m hopeful that as the HSLA grows this is something the committee and its members can seek to capitalise on.
Officer of the HSLA
Alice Babington

I am an Associate in Osborne Clarke’s Regulatory Disputes team, with a health and safety practice covering investigations involving multiple regulators, including; inquests, investigations by the police/ HSE/ Care Quality Commission (CQC), and safeguarding matters. I also have a developing practice, advising clients on corporate governance and counter-terror security.
I am also Events Officer for Osborne Clarke’s Gender Network, organising client-facing events and ad-hoc internal networking events throughout the year.
Health and safety regulation is ever-changing, with organisations and individuals having to consider how these changes impact them, and the HSLA is a key resource for health and safety lawyers to network and upskill. Recently-introduced and proposed developments that have undoubtedly been at the forefront of HSLA members’ discussions include:
• the Building Safety Act, being implemented in stages following the Grenfell Tower inquiry;
• the Terror (Protection of Premises) Bill, resulting from the 2017 Manchester Arena terror attack;
• Mental health, stress and wellbeing, as demonstrated in the HSE’s recently published “Strategy 2022 – 2032 for Protecting People and Places”;
• Wellbeing concerns that extend beyond the workplace and intersect with other legislation such as the Online Safety Act, drafted in the wake of suicides believed to have been influenced by social media content.
As an Events Officer, I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the HSLA committee to build on the HSLA’s offering to its members, looking at new and interesting ways to keep HSLA members ahead of the curve and upskill their knowledge through engaging and informative member events.

Officer of the HSLA
Emily Jones

Biography

I am an Associate at Birketts LLP in the Regulatory and Corporate Defence team based in Norwich. Birketts has offices in London, Cambridge, Sevenoaks, Norwich, Ipswich and Chelmsford. The growing firm is a Top 50 Full Service Law Firm with an international client base.
My interest in Health & Safety was sparked, pre-qualification, during my time at Kennedys when I had the opportunity to complete work experience and subsequently worked as a litigation assistant in their regulatory team. I assisted the fee earners on the following cases:
– Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd in the investigation by the HSE and subsequent prosecution following a major incident on the Smiler Roller Coaster at Alton Towers.
– The Averies brothers following a serious fire at an illegal waste operation. POCA proceedings led to a £200,000 recovery.
– Assisting a Partner with the HSE investigation following a 7-year-old drowning at a pool party.
A large proportion of my practice now is spent dealing with health & safety issues and investigations. Birketts has recently been instructed by a tourist venue following two separate incidents; a fall from height where a performer was seriously injured and an equipment issue which led to a member of the public being hospitalised.
Outside of work, I spend a lot of my time playing, coaching and umpiring netball in and around Cambridgeshire. I play in the Cambridge Premier League, coach in the Fenland League, Cambridge District League and Junior League, and coach a separate team in Huntingdon. I am shortly due to qualify as a C Level umpire and intend to complete my further two awards within the next couple of years. My goal is to get to an England Roses game as an officiator.

Statement

I am a sociable, friendly and approachable person who enjoys working in a team environment and meeting new people.

I recently stepped down as an event coordinator for a local charity. Whilst in post, I developed and delivered a variety of fund-raising events. Whilst I appreciate charity work is different to the HSLA’s purpose, my post demonstrates my commitment to collaborative working and to raising the profile of an organisation. My standing with the HSLA will draw upon that experience and will be used to develop and deliver new ideas, as well as support the existing and repeat events.

As a junior lawyer, I am keen to expand my professional network and assist others in doing the same. I would like to explore whether there is an opportunity for the HSLA to work with other organisations, such as the Junior Lawyers Division, to host new and targeted events.

With the full support of Birketts, I intend to be present at as many events as possible both in and outside of London. It is important for the HSLA to be visible at events as they offer opportunities for feedback. If presence is limited in numbers, the HSLA may have restricted feedback which could adversely impact the growth and engagement with the HSLA.

I believe that my position will positively contribute to the diversity within the committee, and in turn the HSLA’s growth and legacy.

Officer of the HSLA
Saba Naqshbandi

Biography

Call: 1996

Chambers: Three Raymond Buildings

Practice areas:
Health & Safety
Fire Safety
Food Safety
Environmental law
Public Inquiries and inquests.

Current Appointments:
Specialist Advocate in Health & Safety and Environmental Law (A Panel)
Chair, Three Raymond Buildings Health & Safety Licensing Practice Group
Assistant Coroner, Inner North London
Bencher, Middle Temple
Bar Council, Retention Panel

Previous Appointments:
Board Member, Expert Witness Institute
Chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the International Bar Association
Criminal Bar Association Committee

Nominations:
Legal 500 Planning and Land Law Junior of the Year 2022
Chambers UK Health and Safety Junior of the Year 2021

Representative work:
Fire safety
• Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry (NHBC)

• R (London Fire Commissioner) v BUPA Care Services (ANS) Ltd [2022] EWCA Crim 1508, Carr LJ – death whilst smoking in care home (London Fire Commissioner – pre charge to Court of Appeal)

• Anchor Trust two separate deaths from smoking in care homes operated by AT (LFEPA and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service)

• Football club fire safety breaches at stadium (for the club)

• Independent school fire safety breaches (for the school)

• Lakanal House inquests, judicial review and prosecution (London Fire Commissioner)

• R (London Fire Emergency Planning Authority) v New Look Retailers Limited [2010] EWCA Crim 1268 (London Fire Commissioner – pre charge to Court of Appeal)

Health & safety
• Tesco serious injuries to member of public (for the company)

• Tesco serious injuries to employee (for the company)

• IBL serious injuries to factory employee (for the company)

Environmental
• Anglian Water Services Limited (Bourne) (for the EA)

• Anglian Water Services Limited (Jaywick); appeal February 2024 (for the EA)

Selected Directory Recommendations
“The first choice for fire safety work.”
“excellent at health and safety cases”
“Extremely clever and has great tactical nous – at silk level, very hardworking and very responsive. She is very impressive both in written and oral legal arguments, and handles very difficult clients with great sensitivity.”

SABA NAQSHBANDI:
I am 1996 call, defend and prosecute in health and safety, fire safety, environmental law, public inquiries and inquests, appearing in some of the most significant cases in these areas. I thrive on working collaboratively and am passionate about supporting junior lawyers.
If elected, I will bring:
EXPERIENCE: I have volunteered for many years, including Chair of 3RB H&S Practice Group and Chair of the IBA Criminal Law Committee, gaining valuable experience in identifying needs, target setting and meeting goals. I have delivered three successful conferences as Conference Chair for the Expert Witness Institute, securing the best speakers, including from the senior judiciary. I frequently train corporates, experts and law firms on all aspects of health and safety and inquests and am a past speaker at the HSLA Conference.
LISTEN: I regularly engage with my Chambers practice group, experts, law firms and other barristers about legal developments that affect our work, facilitating discussions and acting as a voice to promote best practice and idea sharing.
SUPPORT: For many years, I have successfully supported junior lawyers to develop and obtain new roles and championed female colleagues returning to work after extended leave. I am a mentor for Advocate, the Bar’s pro bono charity and a mentor for ARDL. I have recently established a mentoring scheme within 3RB for juniors and would be keen to explore a scheme within the HSLA.
If elected, I promise to do my best for our members, proactively contributing to promoting the HSLA’s core objectives.

Officer of the HSLA
Richard Reichman

Biography

Partner, BCL Solicitors LLP

I’ve specialised in health and safety law for approaching 20 years, with my legal career beginning at
Weightmans in the Midlands, before moving to DLA Piper in 2010. I joined BCL Solicitors in 2012,
becoming a partner in 2018. BCL is a London‐based boutique firm specialising in business crime and regulation, highly ranked by the legal directories and a leading firm in The Times Best Law Firms 2023.

I jointly lead our health and safety team, which provides representation in the most sensitive and high-risk contentious H&S matters. I’m ranked in Chambers UK and The Legal 500, with extensive experience representing companies and individuals in serious, complex and high‐profile cases.
My experience includes corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, health and
safety, food safety and hygiene, fire safety (including currently advising in relation to the Grenfell Tower tragedy), and product safety, as well as related regulatory areas such as environmental (including the largest ever investigation by the Environment Agency).

I provide early proactive advice regarding crisis management, large internal and external investigations, regulators’ powers, enforcement notices, interviews under caution, prosecutions, and associated proceedings such as inquests and inquiries.

I regularly comment on health and safety issues, including writing in the national press and speaking about novel developments, trends and practical issues during investigations and enforcement action.

Personal Statement

The Health and Safety at Work Act is 50 years old this year. We know how interesting and important our work is but with the escalation of fines, increasing demands that companies are held to account, and the growing prominence of ESG, regulatory cases are increasingly generating headlines.

I would use my understanding of the changing health and safety landscape, extensive experience, and wide network to provide a new perspective for the HSLA committee working hard to help refresh, update and energise the association.

There are exciting opportunities to build on the positive work of the association by enhancing social events, educational seminars and activities offered, including broadening the range of topics and diversity of speakers, to appeal to the wide range of interests and perspectives across 650 members and future members.

I would help to ensure that members stay up to date with the latest legal news and practical insights. As well as core health and safety developments, I have a particular interest in emerging areas such as mental health, AI and automation, and wider trends in related regulatory areas.

I would support the association’s use of technology to enhance how it functions and stays connected with members, providing the most effective, modern, and accessible experience.

I’m committed to promoting this fascinating area of law and enthusiastic about the opportunity to strengthen the HSLA, ensuring that it remains an attractive association to support, educate and advance the interests of its members across the country in 2024 and beyond.

Officer of the HSLA
Clare Bone

Biography

I am a partner and criminal solicitor advocate, heading up the market leading team of H+S lawyers at Brodies LLP Solicitors. I have specialised in the defence of regulatory crime, principally health & safety, environmental and financial crime for over 23 years. My entire career has focussed on the field of criminal law, having trained with and worked for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, prosecuting crime and conducting fatal accident inquiries before moving into private practice. I am ranked Band 1 by Chambers & Partners for Health & Safety in Scotland, and have had Hall of Fame status for Health & Safety awarded by Legal 500 for the last 6 years.
My portfolio includes corporate and individual clients across a wide range of sectors, including construction, energy, marine, agriculture, retail, manufacturing and transport. Frequently called upon to assist clients in the aftermath of an incident I provide advice and assistance from the early stages of an investigation, attend interviews by the Police, HSE, SEPA, MCA and other regulators, liaise with the Crown and attend court where an investigation leads to prosecution or fatal accident inquiry.

Statement

Having been a member of HSLA since its inception I have benefitted from the excellent work of the Committee over the years as it has looked to promote the interests of the Association and its members. Having spent 23 years specialising in health and safety, I have seen this area of the law blossom and flourish and consider that it is my time to give something back to the Association and its members. As well as being able to draw on wide sectoral experience, having acted in some of the most high profile prosecutions and Fatal Accident Inquiries, as a member practising in Scotland, I would be a conduit for our Scottish members ensuring issues relevant to their practice are addressed, recognising the nuances in the way regulatory crime is prosecuted in Scotland.

I take a collaborative approach to my work and would enjoy working with other Committee members, using my experience and insights, to deliver an exciting and informative programme of events, updates and promote thought leadership on developing areas of the law. I would encourage engagement with the membership to ensure that there is a continuing dialogue between the Committee and the Association, to encourage members to get the most from their Association. In particular, I consider an important first step of the newly elected HSLA committee would be to reach out to the membership and ask them what changes/improvements they would like to see to the offering to ensure we remain relevant and in touch with the membership we serve.

 

 

 

Officer of the HSLA            Simon Joyston-Bechal

Biography                                                    Dr Simon Joyston-Bechal, Turnstone Law
Before qualifying at Clifford Chance as a Solicitor in 1993, I trained and qualified as a doctor. As a litigator, my early focus was on product safety as well as health & safety, building on the synergies with medicine. In 2003, I became a partner at Masons (now Pinsent Masons) with the brief of developing and building a specialist health & safety team across our offices in England and Scotland. In 2013, I established Turnstone Law as a boutique firm specialising in health & safety.

Statement

I have been on the HSLA Committee for the best part of a decade and for the last few years I have been Chair of HSLA’s Thought Leadership and Public Policy sub-committee. Many of you will have heard me speak at HSLA conferences or received emails from me seeking your views as members. Last year’s big issue was the passage through Parliament of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act. After taking soundings from members, I led HSLA’s push against the Government’s proposed bonfire of EU derived health & safety laws. I was delighted that in the end they only repealed 41 entirely redundant safety laws, such as a set of regulations dealing with radio interference risks at the 2012 Olympics! We can chalk that up as a success for health & safety lawyers. An ongoing challenge for us in 2024 is the delay in getting cases to trial.

I would very much like to continue serving on the Committee and I would also be delighted to act as Chair – with your support and votes. My ethos in getting the best outcomes is always to seek to understand the views of others. I apply that in litigation and with colleagues. With your support, I will apply that approach to canvasing views from HSLA members, so that the Association can best reflect your issues and concerns. I will use my experience and enthusiasm to invigorate the Association and its offering to members. I am very grateful for your support.

Officer of the HSLA Gordon Menzies
Biography I have practiced at 6 Pump Court since I was called to the Bar in 1998. Having initially had a broad common law practice, I began to specialise in regulatory work with an emphasis on health and safety approximately 10 years ago. I both defend and prosecute criminal cases and act for private clients and regulatory authorities in enforcement notice appeals and inquests. Although much of the work I do concerns the construction industry, I have a particular interest in health and safety issues in transport (and currently have a personal track safety qualification which permits access to rail infrastructure). I am also interested in fatigue management, which is a growing issue across industry generally. The first significant health and safety case I was involved in was the Potter’s Bar Inquest appearing on behalf of one of the individual track workers. Since then, the cases I have undertaken have extended across all sectors of industry, for example, matters involving injuries at extreme sports centres, fatalities on the railways, the death of a member of court staff killed by a prisoner at Blackfriars Crown Court and even a case arising from an incident involving a collapsing dinosaur at an exhibition. Perhaps the most significant case that I have been involved in was the case of R v Rebelo which concerned the online sale of a toxic chemical known as DNP marketed as a weight loss drug and which caused the death of a vulnerable young adult. The case considered the correct approach to causation in gross negligence manslaughter and involved two trips to the Court of Appeal, the results of which make for interesting reading in Archbold. Statement Diversity is something which I think our particular area of practice needs to look at more. I think there are opportunities for the association to participate in legal sector initiatives in this respect. I have particular experience in championing diversity having been a member of the Bar Council’s EDSM committee for more years than I can remember. If elected, I would also like to explore the opportunities for the HSLA to raise its profile by getting more involved in industry events, in particular with the construction industry. I would like to assist members to participate in sector specific presentations in association with industry bodies. I think co-hosting specific events (for example, building safety seminars) would be a great marketing opportunity for all. It seems that this is one avenue that is available to give members, through the association, an opportunity to present themselves in a potentially wide environment. I would also like to explore the opportunities for younger members of the association to have a mentor who can be someone who will be able to introduce them to other members of the association and give them an opportunity to develop their network.
Officer of the HSLA Phil Newton
Biography I am an Associate in the top-tier ranked Health, Safety and Regulatory Team at Pinsent Masons. I have specialised in health and safety for the last 10 years and have been noted as a ‘Rising Star’ in the Legal 500 for the last 3 years. I typically act for large organisations across sectors including energy and utilities, construction, manufacturing and transport. I defend businesses facing criminal investigations and prosecutions brought by the HSE, police and other regulatory bodies following fatal and non-fatal incidents. I also provide non-contentious legal advice on health and safety issues and due diligence on corporate transactions as well as delivering training. Statement I’ve been an HSLA member and regular attendee of events for the last 10 years. During that time, I‘ve benefited a great deal from the quality of the events and speakers that the HSLA committee is able to organise, as well as the social and professional networking that being a member of this practitioner community offers. I would very much welcome the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing success of the association and to pay that benefit back. Confession time – it wasn’t my ambition growing up to be a H&S lawyer! However, life has a habit of choosing you and I’m very pleased to have specialised in this area of law. Ours is a growing practice area and one which is highly valued by clients. If I’m elected to the HSLA committee, I will bring fresh ideas, commitment and hard work to developing and promoting the work of the association for prosecution and defence practitioners alike, and across all regions of the UK. I will also focus on continuing to ensure that all levels of experience across the membership are considered in the further work of the committee.
Officer of the HSLA Alex Stein
Biography I am a barrister at 2 Bedford Row with a practice focussed on regulatory law. I chair the 2BR Health and Safety Group. I prosecute and defend health and safety cases in the criminal courts and attend inquests on behalf of professional individuals and corporates. I am on list A of the Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law and a grade 4 CPS prosecutor. I regularly prosecute fatal cases for the HSE and Corporate Manslaughter/Gross Negligence Manslaughter cases for the CPS. I sit as a Recorder in the Crown Court and a Deputy District Judge in the Magistrates’ court. Statement I have sat on the management committee of the HSLA since 2018. As well as sitting on the main committee I initially assisted with the development of the current website. More recently I have sat on the thought leadership subcommittee. I have assisted the TL committee in surveying members to ascertain areas of concern; in the development of HSLA policy towards the Retained EU Law Bill 2023 and the policy for delays in the criminal justice system and how they affect HSE cases. I prepared an analysis of the HSE injuries and fatality data for the TL committee to help identify areas of concern for the HSLA. I have connections within the LAO which has assisted when the TL committee sought to discuss issues directly with the HSE (such as lack of any mechanism for an inspector to revoke a prohibition notice if further evidence comes to light) I have spoken at the annual meeting and on occasion helped the events committee to broaden the pool of speakers at HSLA events. In an organisation that leans towards defence work I believe that I can bring a degree of balance to the committee and help to ensure that the wider aim of the HSLA- to promote a wider understanding of Health and Safety law, is met. Likewise, as a barrister I can provide insight into the pressures on the court system which may not always be so obvious to Solicitor members.
Officer of the HSLA Nina Dhillon

Biography

I am a Partner at Keoghs LLP and head up the London office of the firm’s Crime and Regulatory Team. I have specialised in the regulatory arena for over 18 years and focus on providing representation and support to clients across various sectors, who find themselves subject to investigation following a work place fatality. My experience and expertise enables me to handle the most serious and complex cases in which corporate bodies face investigation and Prosecution by the Police for Corporate Manslaughter offences and individuals for Gross Negligence Manslaughter. In addition I have amassed a wealth of knowledge in defending clients for a range of alleged workplace safety offences brought by the HSE, LA and the EA either as separate cases or as part of wider Police investigations. My expertise also extends to the provision of compliance advice and assistance to clients in managing their risk profile.

Statement

Given my continued case handling and cross sector experience I constantly have to remain abreast of the issues faced by clients. These will naturally include but not be limited to, those arising from changes in the law, differences in interpretation of the same or industry guidance, the impact of legislation on changing work practices and changes in the enforcement approach taken by regulators.
It is the constant horizon scanning, and the knowledge gained from witnessing issues first hand and working through the same, which I have and can continue to bring to the Thought Leadership sub committee. By doing so we are able to review issues on a wider basis to consider if and how we may seek to effect change to the benefit of our members and clients for example by way of a formal response to consultations or by lobbying for change. In this way the HSLA remains a relevant organisation in the Health and Safety arena.
Similarly, by raising such issues with the events committee they become valuable topics to discuss with the members either by way of presentations or round table discussions, thereby promoting engagement in the wider membership.

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