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Red Lion Chambers Fire Law Team advises and represents corporations, company directors, UK fire and rescue authorities, as well as public and investigatory bodies.

We are known for our strategic, business-focussed, robust advice and advocacy.

The Red Lion Chambers Fire Law Team offers expert advice and Court representation in fire cases. We have many years’ experience in this specialist area of law. Individuals in the team are highly rated within the industry for their clear, timely, business-focused and robust advice. Red Lion Chambers is renowned for the outstanding advocacy of its members. We represent corporations, their directors and managers. Members of the team also prosecute for fire services across England and Wales in some of the most high-profile cases.

Members of the Fire Law Team have commented widely on the Grenfell Inquiry and been interviewed by national and international media.

The Red Lion Chambers Fire Law Team has produced a series of training Webinars for fire services. These have been amongst the most widely-attended legal Webinars on fire law. Members of the team have been invited to lecture here and abroad on aspects of fire law and regulatory law. The team provides bespoke training for key members of organisations.

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

Fire Law Team

Tom Forster QC

As Junior Counsel Tom was appointed to the A-G’s Regulatory List Panel and was regularly instructed by both the Environment Agency (EA) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the prosecution of the most serious environmental protection and health and safety offences.

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He has regularly appeared at inquests in Coroners’ Courts, mainly for companies following fatalities in the work place and defended cases brought by the EA (e.g. prosecutions of large waste management companies) and the FSA (e.g. handling and preparing meat and other food stuffs). He has defended civil enforcement measures in both fields.

Michael Goodwin QC

Michael Goodwin QC is ranked as a Leading Silk by Legal 500 (2022) in Business & Regulatory Crime, and described as “first class”,  as being “ exceptionally clever, and is very compelling both on his feet and in his written submissions,” and “Superb. Responsive, a pleasure to deal with, and liked by clients, he’s an all-round excellent advocate.”

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Michael has extensive experience defending and prosecuting in high profile and complex regulatory and criminal litigation. Michael represents corporate and professional clients. He provides strategic advice during the investigative stages of a case, and representation at all levels through the court process. Michael is also accredited for Direct Access instructions.

Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall is a committed and highly-experienced barrister, with a leading practice in regulatory crime. He is sought both for his advice and advocacy.

Andrew was made Recorder of the Crown Court in 2003 and Standing Counsel to the Attorney General (Crime) in 2005.

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Drawing on many years experience prosecuting at the highest level – and across many different areas – Andrew’s instructions (often through recommendation across prosecuting agencies) in the last decade or so have been in the largest and most difficult or sensitive of cases.

Sailesh Mehta

Sailesh Mehta prosecutes and defends in some of the most complex cases in the Crown Courts and Appellate Court. He sits as a Recorder (part-time Crown Court Judge). He has been described in legal directories as a “heavyweight” and “charismatic” advocate who commands the respect of Judges and opponents.

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Sailesh is known for providing strategic and robust advice which is often decisive of a case.

Although Sailesh specialises in regulatory law, his recent high-profile cases include: terrorism (British soldier charged with disseminating State secrets to enemies); murder (county lines drugs feud); people-trafficking (part of a drugs conspiracy); stalking (involving a well-known political figure); malicious communications (a senior navy officer who allegedly made a bomb hoax call to a nuclear submarine site).

Sailesh Mehta has prosecuted for, and advised fire services for 25 years. He also represents and advises corporations and their directors. The cases below are examples of some of the wide ranging work in which he has been instructed:

  • Triple-fatality in a hospice: this was a high-profile and hard-fought case in which the defence challenged almost every important part of the Prosecution case. The Court of Appeal rejected the hospice’s case. It required sensitive handling and robust management.
  • Fatality after fire in attic in “outhouse” of the defendant’s home: this was a “cutting edge” case in that it was arguable that no offence contrary to the Fire Safety Order had been committed as the fire was in a converted shed in the garden of the defendant’s family home.
  • Double fatality after fire in hotel in which the Prosecution had lost vital exhibits including a fire alarm that had failed to alert residents
  • Inadequate fire risk assessment by company specialising in risk assessments – this is currently in the Crown Court and is seen within the industry to be of great importance
  • Prosecution of night-club, an entertainment company and the manager, which packed in students during a live performance to twice the capacity
  • Prosecution of a major landlord of HMOs whose premises were uniformly unsafe – fire on two properties
  • Advice on a test purchase exercise as part of a national campaign to stop sale of petrol to children

He is often invited to lecture lawyers who specialise in fire law and has been the main speaker at their annual events:

  • A series of Webinars on aspects of fire law exclusively for fire service personnel. The first of this series was attended by over 500 fire service officers. The aim is to help achieve a uniformity of knowledge and practice and to ensure offences are fully investigated and prosecuted;
  • Speaker at the 100th Annual Conference of the IFE. Addressed the subject of expert evidence in fire cases, including pitfalls for the expert;
  • Numerous articles on aspects of fire law and regulatory law in the legal press: Sailesh has written a series of articles on expert evidence for fire officers.

Sailesh has been a regular commentator in the media about aspect of the Grenfell Inquiry – he has recently appeared in the BBC podcasts on Grenfell, and was in a Channel 4 Grenfell Anniversary documentary.

Valerie Charbit

Valerie has been instructed in the Grenfell Inquiry since November 2019.

She was appointed to Grade A of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law. She has extensive experience in health and safety cases, both prosecuting and defending.

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Valerie is often instructed to prosecute by the Health and Safety Executive and Local Authorities in respect of fatalities and other breaches of health and safety legislation. Her clients have included companies, NHS trusts, local authorities, the Health and Safety Executive, the Office of Road and Rail and individuals, including directors and trustees. Valerie is appointed to the A list of Special Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law.

Felicia Davy

Felicia was appointed as Specialist Regulatory Advocate in Health and Safety and Environmental Law (A list) (selected to prosecute on health and safety issues for bodies including the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and Care Quality Commission).

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Felicia has considerable experience across a broad range of regulatory tribunals including the Police Disciplinary Tribunal, Nursing and Midwifery Council (3 month secondment), General Medical Council, Bar Standards Board, FCA Regulatory and Disciplinary Committee, Disclosure and Barring Service (Upper Tribunal, Administrative Appeals Chambers) and First Tier Tax Tribunal.

Felicia is frequently instructed to advise regulated individuals and corporate clients in respect of pending investigations and/or proceedings in which parallel regulatory and criminal proceedings may be brought (e.g. parallel disciplinary/criminal offences and, in the context of FCA investigations, potential FSMA offences, Insider Dealing, other FCA regulatory breaches and civil settlements).

Trevor Archer

Trevor is appointed to the regulatory panel for the Health and Safety Executive, the Office of Rail Regulation and the Environment Agency (List B).

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Trevor frequently represents the General Medical Council in disciplinary proceedings before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

Rebecca Chalkley

Rebecca was appointed to the B Panel in the Attorney General’s Regulatory List of Health & Safety Executive, Office of Rail Regulation and Environment Agency.

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Rebecca is regularly instructed in before and on behalf of Regulators and Regulatory bodies. She has experience in preparing cases and pleadings for tribunals.

Rebecca has been and is currently instructed in some of the Environment Agency’s largest and most high-profile recent prosecutions. These have included prosecutions relating to both legal and illegal waste sites and the first prosecution under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations which came into force in January 2007. She is currently instructed in the prosecution of two water companies in separate prosecutions for their alleged Environmental breaches.

David Claxton

David has 10 years’ experience in relation to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 of providing advice and representation to prosecuting agencies, defendants, and individuals and businesses under investigation.

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In 2020, David was appointed to the B Panel of the Attorney-General’s Regulatory List, which is maintained to provide a group of specialist advocates who prosecute health and safety, and other regulatory wrongdoing.

He has appeared in cases involving fatal accidents and fire safety offences involving high-rise residential premises, hotels, other commercial premises, and cases giving rise to complex legal issues such as the identification of the ‘responsible person’.

Rufus D'Cruz

Rufus has significant experience and expertise in regulatory work, including Health and Safety offences, Environment Agency and BIS prosecutions and CITES cases and has been appointed to the Specialist Regulatory List of Prosecution Advocates.

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The breadth of his practice both prosecuting and defending, has provided him with extensive experience of representing a wide range of clients, from those on death row to corporate clients and he has dealt with a wide range of witnesses from child and vulnerable witnesses to senior police officers, company directors, senior lawyers and expert witnesses in many specialisations. He is particularly adept and experienced at representing and advising corporate clients in relation to Health and Safety and Environment Agency offences, money laundering matters, production orders relating to special procedure material/LPP and corporate fraud.

Klentiana Mahmutaj

Klentiana prosecutes and defends a wide range of regulatory offences. They include, predominantly, Health and Safety offences, offences under the Insolvency Act 1986 and Companies Act 2006. She also has particular expertise in relation to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

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Klentiana practises in criminal law, human rights and international arbitration, with a focus on investment arbitration. She also has substantial public inquiry experience, having been involved in Inquiries in Trinidad and Tobago (the Clico Inquiry) and the United Kingdom (the Undercover Policing Inquiry).

Jane Oldfield

Jane is currently ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior at the London Bar in both Crime and Professional Discipline and Regulatory, and on the South-Eastern Circuit in Crime.

As a B List Specialist Regulatory Advocate in Health and Safety and Environmental Law, Jane has considerable experience of criminal regulatory prosecution.

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Jane's skill-set is well-suited to the technical analysis required for this niche area of work. She has often acted for local authorities in prosecutions under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (e.g. disposal of waste and breach of enforcement notices) and the Food Safety Act 1990. Jane provides advice at every stage of proceedings and assists in directing the course of the investigation and prosecution within this specialist area of work.

Bethan Rogers

Bethan has a busy criminal practice, in both prosecution and defence work. She is particularly experienced in cases involving defendants with mental health issues and examination of vulnerable witnesses.

Bethan is appointed to the regulatory panel for the Health and Safety Executive, the Office of Rail Regulation and the Environment Agency (List C).

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Bethan has developed a considerable practice in cases involving serious sexual offences and multi handed drugs offences. In addition to this, Bethan is experienced in regulatory matters and extradition law. She is also very familiar with post-conviction confiscation proceedings including appellate work and applications to vary existing orders, cash seizure and forfeiture and confiscation enforcement.

She is Direct Access qualified.

Lauren Sales

Lauren regularly advises and acts for Fire and Rescue Services, corporations, and individuals in respect of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

She has defended and conducted prosecutions in the Crown Court involving serious breaches of the Order by hoteliers, landlords and restauranteurs.

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Lauren provides representation and advice at all stages of proceedings from charging advice to trial. She understands Fire Law is not simply “Health and Safety Law”; she is familiar with the complexities of the Order and advises in relation to the Responsible Person under Article 3, as well as those who may be liable as Fire Safety Professionals, such as Fire Risk Assessors, under Article 5. Lauren has worked closely with fire experts at both the investigation and court stage of proceedings.

Lauren is a key member of the Fire Law Team at Red Lion Chambers delivering Webinars as part of the RLC Webinar series. Lauren is also specially qualified to represent those facing interviews and provides discrete representation to companies and individuals as required.

Sophie Quinton-Carter

Sophie is appointed to the regulatory panel for the Health and Safety Executive, the Office of Rail Regulation and the Environment Agency (List C).

Sophie acts for both regulators and registrants in cases of professional misconduct across the healthcare sector.

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Sophie has extensive experience across large scale investigations, and has assisted in disclosure reviews including the high-profile appeals of former Post Office sub postmasters, and investigations by HMRC and the NCA into tax evasion in Premier League football and corruption by the former Nigerian Oil Minister.

Nicholas Hall

Nick is a junior member of the Fire Law Team. He is regularly instructed to prosecute and defend in criminal and regulatory cases and has played a key role in the Fire Law Webinars. In the Crown Court, Nicholas has a busy practice in cases involving violence, sexual offences, drugs, dishonesty and confiscation proceedings. Nick leads Chambers' junior "J6" group and webinar series.

Laura Jane Miller (Associate Tenant)

Laura is a junior member of the Fire Law Team. She has extensive experience of the criminal justice system as both a prosecution and defence advocate. Laura is regularly instructed in relation to serious, general and regulatory offences. Laura played a key role in the Fire Law Webinars and is also involved in Chambers' J6 webinar series.

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