7 Harrington Street Chambers

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Mr Nigel Lawrence QC

Call: 1988

Queen's Counsel: 2014

2004 - 2007: Appointed by Attorney General as Standing Counsel to HSE

2007 - 2012: Appointed by Attorney General as Standing Counsel to HSE and the Office of Rail Regulation

2012 - date: Re-appointed by Attorney General as Standing Counsel to HSE and the Office of Rail Regulation

'A' list Prosecuting Counsel for Environment Agency

Category 4 CPS Prosecutor

Practice Areas

Civil

  • Personal injury
  • Clinical negligence

 

"An expert in regulatory crime and manslaughter" (Legal 500 2016) Ranked: Tier 1

"Regularly instructed in health and safety prosecutions,including ones concerning fatal accidents" (Legal 500 2015) Ranked:tier 1

Crime

  • Nigel Lawrence specialises in regulatory work, predominantly health and safety enforcement. He was recommended as a leader at the Bar in health and safety work by Chambers & Partners in 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05
  • Health & Safety - major & complex criminal prosecutions
  • Criminal manslaughter / gross negligence manslaughter

"Regularly prosecutes health and safety cases concerning non-fatal injuries and workplace deaths for the HSE and other regulatory entities. He also represents defendants and acts at inquests."

Strengths: "He's very knowledgeable and very engaging" "Nigel Lawrence QC is very highly regarded"

Recent Work: "Represented the defendant in a case concerning the death of a man in an industrial oven"

(Chambers and Partners 2017)

"A respected junior counsel whose broad practice encompassess a range of civil and criminal work. He is regularly instructed to both prosecute and defend complex health and safety cases. Expertise: "He is a calm and pragmatic counsel who always has a firm grasp on the most important issues." (Chambers and Partners 2014)
 

Chambers UK Bar  Lawrence, Nigel

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Areas of Practice

Specialising in regulatory crime, health and safety offences, environmental health cases, all forms of regulatory enforcement and cases involving corporate, gross negligence and unlawful act, manslaughter. Of the Attorney Generals appointed Standing Counsel he is, and has been since 2004, the only one of four Standing Counsel to HSE and ORR, for the whole of the UK, in Chambers outside London. Described in texts as "first class" and as someone who knows "the law inside out".

As Standing Counsel he is instructed to conduct the most complex, sensitive and high profile cases that are brought in the UK. He handles cases of national public interest; deals with difficulties and sensitivities with evidence and public interest, with fatal accidents, multi defendant cases, abuse of process, complex legal or scientific issues and interpretation of EU Directives and Law. Often involved very early in cases, giving strategic advice on issues emerging in casework or investigations and often acts as a resource of expert advice.

Instructed by HSE and by many local authorities throughout England and Wales. Currently involved in advising and prosecuting for HSE and a number of local authorities in relation to serious cases that are either currently before the court, or will be in the future. These currently involve a number of fatal accidents, two involving young children. Also instructed by the Environment Agency, by the ORR and by the Department of Trade and Industry in relation to a variety of health and safety and environmental issues. Whilst priority is given to instructions from HSE and ORR this does not stop the acceptance of instructions to defend in serious cases. Defence work, in very serious and complex cases, has also been undertaken. The balance of his practice involves personal injury and clincial negligence litigation including catastrophic, brain and spine injuries, fatal accidents and disease/ occupational health cases.

Work covers areas ranging from the construction, nuclear, offshore, chemical, munitions, manufacturing industries to the railway infrastructure, asbestos, NHS trusts, disease cases, ionising radiation and the emergency services. He frequently works as part of a large team and often under the ambit of the Work Related Death Protocol. He also has had many dealings, not only with HSE and the CPS, but also with the police, British Transport Police, local authorities, the nuclear inspectorate, the IPCC, DTI and the EA.

Most of his work covers complex cases in the Crown Court. When requested, in the most serious and complex cases, he also appears in the Magistrates Court prior to a case being committed to the Crown Court. He has considerable experience in both the Court of Appeal Criminal Division, the Court  of Appeal Civil Division and in the High Court (including the Divisional Court). Within the last 12 months he has appeared as prosecution counsel in the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal in the high profile cases of R v Christopher McGee [manslaughter] , R v Watkin Jones Ltd (s.3 Health and Safety at Work Act) and in the case of R v Polyflor Ltd (s.2 Health and Safety at Work Act).

Practice also involves appearing in high profile and complex inquests, as well as advising on issues associated with them. Recently involved in the six week inquest involving the death of PC Ian Terry (a police officer shot dead by a fellow officer in a training exercise). Also heavily involved in the evidence concerning the fresh Hillsborough inquests. He has recently been instructed to advise upon, and deal with, a large range of disclosure and legal issues in relation to the fresh inquests; instructed by members of the original Steering Committee and involved in liaison with the Coroners team, the IPCC and the Stoddard Inquiry.

Notable Cases

Manslaughter

R v Kenneth Thelwell and S Cooper & Sons Ltd (Chester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in a case involving the death of a man chrushed to death by electric gates. Case involved charges of manslaughter and a variety of health and safety offences.

R v Siemens Diematic Ltd, Stow Ltd, David Hill and David Hastie (Nottingham Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in a case involving the death of a foreign worker during the construction of a warehousing facility. Case involved a number of charges of manslaugher and health and safety offences.

R v Christopher McGee (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in a case involving the prosecution of a train guard for the manslaughter of a 16 year old girl, who was dragged under a train that he was in control of.

R v Hutchinson Engineering Ltd & others (Nottingham Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in a case involving the death of a young diabetic worker who collapsed and fell to his death whilst working at height. Case involved allegations of manslaughter and health and safety offences.

 

Emergency Services/ Railway infrastructure

R v Greater Manchester Police, PC's Eric & Francis (Manchester Crown Court): HSE counsel in a lengthy inquest following the death of a serving firearms officer, shot dead by a colleague in an unauthorised firearms training exercise. Subsquently prosecution counsel in the prosecution of the Greater Manchester Police force and two serving firearms officers in relation to health and safety offences arising out of the shooting.

R v Network Rail and Jarvis Plc (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in a health and safety prosecution following the death of a child on the railway infrastructure.

 

Ionising radiation/ nuclear industry

R v Sellafield Ltd (Carlisle Crown Court): Prosecution counsel for nuclear inspectorate. Exposure of workers to plutonium caused by airborne radioactive contamination during diamond core drilling work at the Sellafield nuclear site.

R v Meyer Group Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel for a variety of health and safety cases arising out of historic exposure of workers, and agency workers, to ionising radiation over an extended period.

R v PC Richardson and BNFL Ltd (Carlisle Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident in a reactor chimney at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria.

 

Offshore Industry

R v BHP Billiton Petrolium Ltd (No 1) (Liverpool): Prosecution counsel for offshore division of HSE in a case involving a poisonous hydrogen sulphide gas escape on oil rig.

R v BHP Billiton Petrolium Ltd (No 2) (Liverpool): Prosecution counsel in a case involving a large oil spillage causing marine, coastal and beach pollution.

 

Gas/ Chemical/ Explosives/ Electricity / Poisoning cases

R v Greenway Environmental Ltd and Packawaste Ltd (Chester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in a health and safety prosecution following a chemical explosion and fire that destroyed a whole industrial estate.

R v PJ Livesey Ltd and Mark Wakefield Demolitionb Ltd (Manchester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution following a gas explosion that destroyed an old hosptial.

R v Enterprise Inns Plc (Liverpool Crown Court):  Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution following a fatality due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

R v Corus UK ltd, SES ltd and Switchgear Engineering Ltd (Sheffield Crown Court): Proseuction counsel in a health and safety case following a fatal accident after a worker came into contact with a high voltage busbar at the Corpus plant in Sunthorpe, was set on fire and burned to death.

R v BAE Land Systems Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in Health and Safety case following a fatal accient in the munitions industry, A worker was killed in an explosion whilst working with lead styphnate.

R v Paul Kay (Manchester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in the Irlam gas explosion case. Case involved the prosecution of a gas fitter following the destruction of three houses in a huge gas explosion.

R v Kendal Calling Ltd and Piper Event Services (Carlisle Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case involving catastrophic injury after electrocution on 11,000 - volt overhead power lines.

R v Sonae UK Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a huge dust explosion at a wood chip processing plant.

R v Transco Ltd (Warrington Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution  following a large explosion caused during repairs to gas main leading to multiple injuries.

R v Nipa Laboratories UK Ltd (Burnley Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in an environmental / chemical polution case; from industrial premises causing ill health and vegatation damage to local residents and area.

 

Children Cases

R v Derby City Council (Derby Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case after a young child was crushed to death by park railings.

R v BSN Medical Ltd and Empress Mills (1927) Ltd (Manchester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in a health and safety prosecution involving a fatal accident after a young child drowned in an industrial water pit.

R v Lovell Partnership (Newcastle Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution following a fatal accident involving a child falling from scaffolding in city centre location.

R v Croxteth Park Enterprises Ltd. (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident involving a child that fell through a fragile roof of industrial premises.

R v Loparex Ltd (Manchester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case involving the drowning of a young child in a remote part of an industrial site.

R v JA Jones Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution case involving the death of a teenager killed whilst on trial bike on a country estate after coming into contact with a wire that had been placed across a track.

R v Caersws FC (Mold Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following the death of a 12 year old boy, crushed to death by some goalposts whilst playing football.

R v Greenwood Forest Park & Others (Caernarfon Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution following a fatal accident involving a child that fell to his death from a zip wire.

 

Medical/ Health Care

R v Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council (Bolton Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case involving an elderly resident in care home who was strangled to death by her cot side.

R v Heart of England NHS Trust (Birmingham Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following the death of an elderly patient after admission to hospital.

R v Leavy & Leavy (Manchester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution after an elderly patient fell to her death from a window in a care home.

R v Huntleys Country Stores Limited: Currently instructed to advise in relation to a serious ecoli outbreak following a live animal event at a farm.

 

Asbestos

R v Pectel Ltd and Keltbray Ltd (Wirral Magistrates Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following the unsafe removal of asbestos whilst decommissioning work taking place.

R v Stockport Metropolitan Counsel (Advice on asbestos removal): Instructed to give advice in relation to the management of asbestos removal from schools and housing estates.

R v Birse Build Ltd, Andrew Brightmoor and Gary Cusack (Rotherham Magistrates Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution following the unlicensed removal asbestos from schools.

 

Construction Industry/ manufacturing

R v Sonae Industia (UK) Ltd & Metso Paper Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in case involving a double fatality during maintenance work on a production line.

R v Bowmer & Kirkland and Bingham Davies Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution case in health and safety case following the collapse of a tower crane in a city centre, causing catastrophic injury and massive property damage.

R v JCK Ltd (Isle of Man): Defence counsel in health and safety case involving a fatal accident after a man was crushed to death after a dumper truck overturned.

R v Jaguar Landrover Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following the death of a worker on the production line at the Defendants premises on Merseyside.

R v Shawton Engineering Ltd, AMEC Ltd and Buro Happold Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case in relation to the prosecution of three companies following the death of a man during the construction of a link span bridge.

R v Bryn Thomas Crane Hire, Siteweld Contstruction Ltd, Frederick Scott and Benjamin Lee (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident after a crane fell over during a lifting operation.

R v Watkin Jones & Sons Ltd (Mold Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution following a fatal accident after a labourer fell from height through an unguarded roof void.

R v Assystem Ltd (Preston Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution following a fatal accident when a worker was crushed to death by an overhead travelling crane.

R v McLean Homes Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident after man was crushed to death by a telehandler reversing on a construction site.

R v John Riley Civil Engineering Ltd (Preston Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in a health and safety case involving a fatal accident after a young worker suffered a broken neck and was then buried when a trench in which he was working collapsed.

R v AMEC Ltd (Manchester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution following a fatal accident when a worker was killed when concrete blocks fell from the top of a tall apartment block during construction.

R v Dawson Wam Ltd (Chester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in a health and safety prosecution after a worker was killed after being struck by a concrete pipe that whipped during piling operations.

R v AJ Bull Waste Handling Ltd (Kingston Crown Court): Defence counsel in health and safety prosecution following a serious accident in which upper limbs were traumatically amputated in machinery.

R v MB Plastics Ltd and Birse Water Ltd (Manchester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution following the death of a telescopic forklift truck driver.

R v Pugh and Allen (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident after a worker was crushed to death by a hangar door that fell during construction work at Liverpool Airport.

R v UCS Civils ltd and Pochin Concrete Pumping Ltd (Doncaster Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution following a fatal accident during concrete pumping operations.

R v Fluor UK Ltd, Hertel UK ltd and Shaw Group (Knutsford Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in a health and safety case involving catastrophic injury caused by a fall from height after a MEWP was knocked over during the construction of a chlorine plant.

R v DC Thomson Ltd and JP King Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in a health and safety case following catastrophic injury after a scaffold collapse.

R v Hussain & Others (Sheffield Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in multi handed health and safety prosecution following the collapse of a row of occupied shops and flats.

R v Telford Pressings Ltd (Telford Magistrates Court): Defence counsel in health and safety prosecution following traumatic amputation of limbs in machinery.

 

Other Work Related deaths

R v JFC Plastics Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case after a man was dismembered and killed in an industrial hopper.

R v Mowlem Ltd, 3 D Scaffolding Ltd, RAM Services Ltd and David Swindells (Manchester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in a health and safety case following a fatal accident after a fall from birdcage scaffolding in an industrial water tank.

R v European Metal Recycling Ltd (Wolverhampton Crown Court): Defence counsel in health and safety prosecution following a fatal accident after a man was crushed to death in a scrap yard.

R v TNT Logistics UK Ltd (Manchester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident after a man fell from a HGV during loading operations.

R v Geoff Fielden Ltd (Derby Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident after an employee fell from pallet racking.

R v Klockner UK Holdings Ltd (Stoke Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident  after worker killed by a 1.38 tonne c hook.

R v Sovereign Rubber Ltd and David Wilcox (Manchester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident involving a worker crushed to death in a large rubber crushing machine.

R v WFEL Ltd and Unisign Producktie Automatisering BV (Manchester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety production following a fatal accident, after massive head injuries, caused when a workers head was struck by the ram in large military engineering machine.

R v Highland Access Ltd, Amey Infrastructure Services Ltd and Mouchel Parkman Services Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident after the arm of a mobile working platform, on the back of a service vehicle, failed causing the worker in it to be thrown from height.

R v North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo) (Chester Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident when an elephant keeper was attacked and killed by a female elephant in the elephant house at Chester Zoo.

R v David Lewis Civil Engineering Ltd (Cardiff Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident involving a worker killed by high pressure water release.

R v Love and Joy Ministries Ltd and others (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident involving the death of a volunteer member of a church congregation after falling through a fragile roof whilst working at height.

 

Road/ Motorway infrastructure

R v Cumbrian Industrials Ltd (Preston Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident on M6, caused by inadequate traffic management during carriageway works.

R v Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Services Ltd (Chelmsford Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following serious injury in an accident caused by defective temporary traffic management on the highway.

R v JDM Accoord Ltd (Stafford Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident after worker crushed to death during road improvement works.

R v PJ Musgrave Electrical Services Ltd (Warrington Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case after a large drum of electrical cable pulled onto busy motorway during work to install automatic number plate recognition technology.

R v Birmingham City Council (Birmingham Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a triple fatal accident after a tree fell across a major trunk road leading into Birmingham City Centrre.

 

Leisure/ Retail industry

R v Prime Resorts Ltd (Preston Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case following a fatal accident after a maintenance engineer was dismembered after being caught up in a roller coaster at a theme park.

R v Total Fitness UK Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case involving a chlorine gas release, and the ill health side effects of the same, at a leisure centre owned and operated by Defendant.

R v Britannia Adelphi Hotel Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety prosecution following a fatal accident after a student drowned in a hotel swimming pool.

R v McColls Ltd (Liverpool Crown Court): Prosecution counsel in health and safety case involving exposure of employees to the risks associated with lone working and armed robberies.

R v Nu Kleen Services Ltd (Chester Crown Court): Prosecuting counsel in Health and Safety case following serious injury sustained in the aftermath of the Creamfields music festival.

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