Fire Law

Our fire law barristers are some of the most experienced in the industry for all areas of fire law, enforcement and criminal investigations and prosecutions.

The fire law team at Red Lion Chambers advises and represents corporations, company directors, UK fire and rescue authorities, as well as public and investigatory bodies. Our fire law barristers are recognised as having advised on some of the most high-profile cases across England and Wales. Members have represented core participants in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Recent cases have included advising on the adequacy of risk assessments, multiple fatality cases, cases involving ACM cladding and advice and appeals in relation to Enforcement and Prohibition Notices.

Our longstanding and varied experience in the niche field of fire law, coupled with our longstanding reputation for delivering strategic, business-focused, robust advice and advocacy, has established Red Lion Chambers as one of the foremost chambers working in this area.

Members of Red Lion Chambers’ fire law team have produced a series of training webinars for fire services. Specifically designed for investigating officers, fire officers who attend a fire, as well as lawyers for fire and rescue services (anyone who would be involved in the prosecution of a fire case) these have been amongst the most widely-attended legal webinars on fire law. View Red Lion Chambers fire law events.

Our Services

  • Court representation in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts
  • A “one stop” service from the earliest stage of a case, to the Court of Appeal
  • Advice before charge
  • Assistance with interviews
  • Negotiating with the Fire Services
  • Appeals against Notices
  • Training

Recent Cases

  • Triple-fatality in a hospice – was appealed to the Court of Appeal
  • Fatal fire in an “out house” in defendant’s garden
  • Adequacy of risk assessments – these are “cutting-edge” cases in which members of the team currently prosecute and defend
  • Advising corporation in relation to Enforcement Notice
  • Advising directors on possible conflict of interest with their company and possible defences
  • Appeal of Enforcement Notice
  • Prosecution of night club allowing three times more guests than permitted

Lectures & webinars

The Fire Law webinar series is presented by the Red Lion Fire Law Team on aspects of fire prosecutions.

This series is aimed at investigating officers, fire officers who attend a fire, as well as lawyers for Fire and Rescue Services – anyone who would be involved in the prosecution of a fire case.

It is exclusively for those in the fire services or those associated with prosecution of fire cases.

Please see upcoming webinars and the recordings previous webinars in the Fire Law series of RLC Webinars below.

Past Fire Law events

Anatomy of a Fire Prosecution (Recording restricted)

December 11, 2020 10:00

Gathering evidence, presenting evidence, and giving evidence in a Fire Prosecution (Recording restricted)

March 17, 2021 10:30

Interviews under Caution in a Fire Prosecution (Recording restricted)

March 17, 2021 10:30

Further topics in Fire Prosecution – Part 4 (Recording restricted)

April 28, 2021 15:00

St. Michael’s Hospice Fire: A Case Study in Fire Fatalities (Recording restricted)

March 22, 2022 15:00

Resources

Fire Work

Chambers have acted in high-profile defence and prosecutions under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, including:

  • Cases involving fatalities in a multi-occupancy dwelling
  • Fatalities in a hospice
  • A case involving the prosecution of a large chain of nightclubs for over-crowding
  • Defending a company director prosecuted for a fire caused by a business tenant’s negligence
  • Defending and prosecuting in arson cases
  • The prosecution of a major oil company following a large oil leak in East London
  • Cases involving fires at businesses, including care homes and hotels

The Fire Law Team has written articles in relation to fire law in the legal and national press.

Our Team regularly represents clients in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal.

Cases

  • R v J (2019) – Defended Company and Director charged with serious breaches of FSO after fire at premises, successfully avoided criminal liability for the Company Director.
  • KFRS v M.M. (2019) – Croydon Crown Court Represented Kent Fire and Rescue Service in a prosecution involving six counts of failing to comply with a prohibition notice, contrary to Article 32(2)(h) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • R v. St. H (2017) – Instructed to prosecute in relation to a fire in a hospice which resulted in the deaths of residents.
  • R v S (2016) – A prosecution following a fire at a care home in which a resident was trapped relating to a corporate failure to put in place fire safety precautions.
  • R v K (2015) – Successful prosecution of hotelier. Sentenced to a 9-month suspended prison sentence, £50,000 fine and ordered to pay £15,000 in costs. Press Link: Yorkshire Post.
  • R v F (2013) – Led a prosecution team in respect of breach of fire regulations which caused the deaths of 2 jockeys in a North Yorkshire fire. The sentence of the defendant is now an authority on sentencing in this area of law.

What is Fire Safety?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 introduced profound change to the way businesses must approach fire safety for their employees and those who visit their premises.

Companies, company directors and partners in businesses can be personally liable for fire safety breaches and face prosecution in the criminal courts. Breaches can result in significant fines as well as serious damage to a defendant’s reputation whether it is a company or a directing mind of the organisation.

Our barristers are able to offer expert guidance, advice and representation in respect of:

  • Prosecutions by the Fire & Rescue Services
  • Strategic planning to mitigate the risk of breaches
  • Fire safety enforcement notices
  • The implementation and maintenance of a fire management plan
  • Training on fire law

Guidance

Downloadable materials below.

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Our Fire Law barristers