No5 Barristers' Chambers - Excellence is at the heart of everything we do.
Background
Bernard Thorogood

Bernard Thorogood

Call: 1986

"A skilled advocate with a commanding presence in any courtroom and exceptional attention to detail."

Legal 500 2024 (Business and Regulatory Crime including Health and Safety)

"He was the best prepared advocate in the room."

Chambers UK 2024 (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

"Bernard Thorogood is a top-class advocate who is extremely organised and efficient, and he has a great court manner."

Chambers UK 2024 (Consumer Law)

"Bernard's preparation is peerless, and he will put the hard yards into preparing the case."

Legal 500 2024 (Inquest and Public Inquiries)

“He always secures excellent results for the client and works tirelessly to achieve those results.”

Legal 500 2024 (Business and Regulatory Crime including Health and Safety)

Bernard Thorogood practises in the most serious categories of Health & Safety and other Regulatory cases of gravity and complexity, both defence and prosecution.

He is involved in the build-up to and conduct of substantial Inquests. He is a leading practitioner in such cases, having specialised in the area for over 25 years. He is ranked at Band 1 for Health & Safety and Consumer Law (Chambers & Partners 2024) and Tier 1 for Business and Regulatory Crime (Legal500 2024) and is a member of List ‘A’ of the Specialist Panel of Regulatory Advocates.

He is always involved in a very substantial number of fatal cases, usually being instructed from well before the Inquest or prosecution decision. He represents and advises both individuals and organisations, including major commercial concerns and public bodies, in Regulatory matters concerning their present and future practice.

His work covers all aspects of manufacturing, construction (including adequacy of materials/systems), the health and social care sectors (both charitable and publicly funded), local government, transport, food safety, farming accidents, environmental matters and many other areas. He has extensive experience of mining cases, including falls of ground, ventilation and operation of heavy equipment. He works frequently on fire safety cases across the UK, having acted for the Fire
Service in the Hillsborough Inquests and been instructed in the Grenfell Inquiry, amongst many other high profile cases.

His trademarks include thorough attention to detail and to the needs of the client, and achieving a deep understanding of the most complex and technical evidence.

Expertise

Environment

For many years Bernard has acted (in defence and prosecution) and advised in a range of Environmental cases.

He acts for companies, directors and regulators in cases concerning pollution – air, water and land – with regard to Tree Preservation Orders, waste, asbestos, animal husbandry, activities involving radioactive material and procedures, SSSIs and conduct allegedly in breach of permit. He has articular experience and skill in geotechnical issues and other matters associated with land drilling and sub-surface activities.

He has conducted a number of highly complex prosecutions for Natural England and the Environment Agency concerning the preservation of moorland, ancient woodland, protected rivers and other SSSIs – eg. Wemmergill Moor (County Durham, 2008), Gelt Wood (Cumbria, 2013), the Pevensey Levels (Sussex, 2015), Baggy Point farm (North Devon, 2021-22) and the River Lugg (Herefordshire, 2023).

His trademarks include thorough attention to detail and getting to grips with the environment concerned. He works throughout the country and typically travels to the environment under scrutiny in order to get to grips with the finer details of such processes or technicalities as might be relevant to the case in hand.

Notable Environment Cases


Representing a National Manufacturer

Acted for the Company during negotiations which deflected an environmental prosecution into an EU, following a pollution incident which included both invertebrate and fish deaths.


R (Natural England and Environment Agency) v Price

Acted for the Regulators – April-May 2023 – defendant had bulldozed a SSSI salmonid river in spawning season, over 1.5km, and deliberately removed important trees without consent, outside of the terms of the Forestry Commission Licence, causing substantial environmental damage.

Sentence of immediate custody upheld on appeal – £600k costs ordered.


R (Natural England) v Cooper

June 2021 and June 2022 – Exeter Crown Court and Court of Appeal – acting for Natural England – farmer faced unusual allegations of having carried out prohibited agricultural works on land of particular archaeological importance. Litigant in person who appeared before many Judges, requiring extensive management. Achieved guilty plea, 2 years after case came to the Crown Court, through careful management and case presentation. Subsequent appeal dismissed – R v Cooper [2022] EWCA Crim 922


R(HSE) v A Major Educational Academy Trust

Derby – October 2021 – Defence – environmental issues relating to bacterial risk on a school farm – Court persuaded to find lower levels of culpability and harm than prosecution contended for, with the result that penalty was very much lower than prosecution analysis suggested was appropriate.


R (Defra) v A Major Foods Producer

Oxford – June 2021 – Defence – successfully argued that regulatory breaches did not present a food or public safety issue – the Court was persuaded to find “low culpability”. Extremely moderate fine achieved, more importantly – the Court passed comments which gave significant praise to the Company and its leadership.


R (EA) v A National Farming Concern

Essex – 2019-2020 – Defence – careful submissions/negotiations diverted an intended environmental prosecution into an Enforcement Undertaking, following water abstraction activities in breach of permit. Very substantial payments from RPA had been withheld but structured submissions resulted in the return of those sums to the business.


R (Leicester City Council Trading Standards) v A Farmer

Leicester – December 2020 – Defence – farming case – successful appeal against an animal disqualification order. If the appeal had not succeeded the farmer’s business would have been completely ruined.


R (EA) v A Company Director

Chelmsford – concluded May 2019 – Defence – Director charged with environmental offence (only after which was Mr Thorogood involved). The full extent of the proposed defence identified by counsel was revealed in an “open advice” sent to the EA, as part of a successful strategy to persuade the prosecution to drop the charge. As a result, the case was dropped against the Director at Court and he was acquitted.


Inquests, Public Inquiries & Coronial Law

Bernard is a leading Inquest practitioner. He is always involved in a very substantial number of fatal cases, usually being instructed from well before the Inquest or prosecution decision. He represents and advises both individuals and organisations, including major commercial concerns and public bodies, in regulatory matters concerning their present and future practice.

He is always at work in the most difficult and demanding of Inquests. Amongst others, he appeared for the Fire Service in the Hillsborough Inquests, for the Regulator in the Red Arrows Inquest, for the Council in Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board v HM Coroner for the County of Worcestershire [2013] EWHC 1711 (QB). He also acted for a whistleblower in the Grenfell Inquiry, and has acted as Counsel to the Inquest.

His trademarks include thorough attention to detail and to the needs of the client, and achieving a deep understanding of the most complex and technical evidence.

Notable Inquests, Public Inquiries & Coronial Law Cases


Representing a major public body

Current – Swansea – acting for a major public body in the matter of an Inquest which concerns an inrush of water which caused several fatalities in 2011.


Representing a major Local Authority

Current – acting for the Authority in the matter of an Inquest concerning a death involving machinery mounted on a refuse collection vehicle. Competing national and international regulations, combined with internationally supplied component machinery, make this a complex case.


Representing a major Local Authority

Current – acting for a Local Authority in the matter of an Inquest concerning a death during roadway resurfacing. A multi-layered case involving a wide range of factual evidence and significant interplay with regulatory responsibilities.


R (HSE) v a major recycling business

February 2024 – acted for a major recycling business in the matter of a workplace transport death, both in Inquest and later prosecution. Case attracted significant national publicity. Case also required intense in-depth work on financial issues.


Representing a major public body

January 2024 – acted for a major public body in the matter of an Inquest concerning a death on post-industrial land. A sensitive case with multiple child witnesses, in which questions of ownership and precise responsibilities were central.


Representing a major NHS Mental Health Trust

2-week Inquest relating to a death in a secure mental health unit, in context of Parliamentary Inquiry into several years of such deaths in this Trust.


Gloucester Coroner’s Court – July 2022

Acted for the Local Authority – fatality in commercial water park lake during the working day – careful consideration of systems and evidence showed that enforcement action would be inappropriate and none taken.


Manchester Coroner’s Court – May 2022

Acted for major national employer concerning city centre fatality – very substantial progress made during the course of the evidence – significant concessions made concerning the client. As a result, submissions sent to Regulator pointing out
that enforcement action would be inappropriate.


South Wales Coroner’s Court – July 2021

Acted for forestry Company and MD – fatality in course of felling trees – substantial clash of expert evidence. Careful preparation, successful legal submissions to limit the extent of expert evidence and effective questioning of the expert, led to Coroner’s comments in favour of client’s position. No enforcement action followed.


Chelmsford Crown Court – June 2021

Instructed for an NHS Mental Health Trust in which there were multiple ligature deaths over a period of more than a decade in compulsory detention facilities, with linked Inquest in 2022 and public inquiry. Very early meetings of legal teams, a high degree of cooperation with the investigation, and proper presentation of the Trust’s efforts to improve practices, persuaded the Court the Trust was well-led and dedicated to dealing with all identified issues.


Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Coroner’s Court – June 2021

Represented a Local Authority in relation to death of parent and child arising from fire in publicly owned block of flats. Focused preparation and submissions to the Court persuaded the Coroner on several key points, including contentious witness testimony. No enforcement action followed.


Westminster Coroner’s Court – December 2019

Instructed for London based Charity which cares for the homeless, in particular those with mental health and learning difficulties. Self-inflicted death of resident in supported accommodation. In preliminary hearing (when the charity was not legally represented) the Coroner had passed strongly adverse comments, suggesting serious wrongdoing by some within the charity. Focused effort put into careful research and the preparation of comprehensive witness statements.
At Inquest the charity wholly exonerated of all blame and rightly described as “exemplary” in its approach. No enforcement action taken.


Leicester Coroner’s Court – March 2019

Instructed for the Local Authority – death of vulnerable older person in public place – the Council involved as Interested Persons because their structural alterations thought to be connected to the fatality. Careful investigation demonstrated that enforcement action was inappropriate – none taken. Significant interplay between and analysis of British Standards required, both for technical equipment and building works.


Birmingham Coroner’s Court – November 2018

Instructed for HSE – death of 5 agency workers as a result of falling wall in metal recycling centre. Relatively complex arrangements between different companies required careful examination. Complex engineering evidence to master and navigate. Proceedings simultaneously translated into 3 languages, requiring careful questioning by the advocates.


Avon Coroner’s Court – October 2018

Instructed for the Local Authority – death of older and infirm customer in connection with mobile banking unit – significant legal questions concerning whether jury required in the circumstances. Careful examination of the issues demonstrated that no enforcement action called for.


South Wales Coroner’s Court – June 2018

Acting for the employer – issues of adequacy of risk assessment and working procedures, including lone working, explored in the context of a fatality
caused when a dumper overturned during weekend working. Influence of use of cannabis upon the issue of causation examined.


Coventry Coroner’s Court – April 2018

Acted for the Local Authority – stock topple/collapse in warehouse (major national employer) – causing death and other serious injuries – substantial questions of law and complex factual history to unravel and present in evidence.


South London Coroner’s Court – January 2018

Acting for national employer – issues surrounding supply of medical gases – complex
history to unravel in order to demonstrate that client company had performed in accordance with national standards.


Wolverhampton Coroner’s Court – October 2017

Acting for the regulator – the Borough Council – tragic inquiry into death of a young woman during Storm Doris in February 2017 – flying debris from shopping centre – lack of maintenance the shopping centre roof.


South Wales Coroner’s Court – February 2017

Acting for the School Governors – death of student at school – complex history to master – relationship between Local Authority and its School to be navigated with care. Case highlighted significant design issues and need for stakeholders to be more involved throughout design and construction, so that school transport arrangements were fit for purpose. No enforcement action taken against the Governors.


North Lincolnshire Coroner’s Court – February 2017

Acting for St John Ambulance – drug related death at a large music festival – very complex issues involving competing expert analyses – very substantial factual and legal issues to address – conclusions supported St John Ambulance position.


Loughborough Coroners Court – January 2017

Acting for the Local Authority – death of security operative at large music festival – consideration of extent of employer’s duties – nature of operative’s engagement dictated extent of employer’s duties.


Hillsborough Inquest

Represented the Fire and Rescue Service. No enforcement action subsequently taken against the Service.


Counsel to Inquest – Gloucester – February 2014

In a sensitive case (prisoner took his own life).
Issues of adequacy of prison monitoring, care and systems/supervision. A high profile and difficult inquiry.


Regulatory

Bernard practises in the most serious categories of Health and Safety and other Regulatory cases of gravity and complexity, both defence and prosecution, including the build-up to and conduct of substantial Inquests. He is a leading practitioner in such cases, having specialised in the area for over 25 years. He is ranked at Band 1 for Health & Safety and Consumer Law (Chambers & Partners 2024) and Tier 1 for Business and Regulatory Crime (Legal500 2024) and is a member of List ‘A’ of the Specialist Panel of Regulatory Advocates.

He is always involved in a very substantial number of fatal cases, usually being instructed from well before the Inquest or prosecution decision. He represents and advises both individuals and organisations, including major commercial concerns and public bodies, in regulatory matters concerning their present and future practice.

His work has covered all aspects of manufacturing, construction (including adequacy of materials/systems), the health and social care sectors (both charitable and publicly funded), local government, transport, food safety, farming accidents, environmental matters and many other areas. He has extensive experience of mining cases, including falls of ground, ventilation and operation of heavy equipment. He works frequently on fire safety cases across the UK, having acted for the Fire Service in the Hillsborough Inquests and been instructed in the Grenfell Inquiry, amongst many other high profile cases.

His trademarks include thorough attention to detail and to the needs of the client, and achieving a deep understanding of the most complex and technical evidence.

Notable Regulatory Cases


Representing a major Local Authority

Current – acting for the Authority in an investigation into the overturning of mobile equipment. The case has involved successful appeals of certain notices and costs issued by a major regulator.


Representing a major Local Authority

Current – acting for the Authority in the matter of an Inquest concerning a death involving machinery mounted on a refuse collection vehicle. Competing national and international regulations, combined with internationally supplied component machinery, make this a complex case.


Representing a major Local Authority

Current – acting for a Local Authority in the matter of an Inquest concerning a death during roadway resurfacing. A multi-layered case involving a wide range of factual evidence and significant interplay with regulatory responsibilities.


Representing a major NHS Mental Health Trust

Current – instructed for a major NHS Mental Health Trust in a number of Inquests (one ongoing) regarding post-discharge deaths, both in general and specific. Required swift assessment of substantial body of medical records and very large number of highly general national guidelines. Extensive preparation and involvement of central individuals achieved favourable outcomes in the completed elements of these cases.


Representing a major public body

Current – Swansea – acting for a major public body in the matter of an Inquest which concerns an inrush of water which caused several fatalities in 2011.


R (HSE) v a major recycling business

February 2024 – acted for a major recycling business in the matter of a workplace transport death, both in Inquest and later prosecution. Case attracted significant national publicity. Case also required intense in-depth work on financial issues.


Representing a major public body

January 2024 – acted for a major public body in the matter of an Inquest concerning a post-industrial land. A sensitive case with multiple child witnesses, in which questions of ownership and precise responsibilities were central.


Representing a National Manufacturer

Acted for the Company during negotiations which deflected an environmental prosecution into an EU, following a pollution incident which included both invertebrate and fish deaths.


R (Natural England and Environment Agency) v Price

Acted for the Regulators – April-May 2023 – farmer had bulldozed a SSSI salmonid river in spawning season, over 1.5km, and deliberately removed important trees without consent, outside of the terms of the Forestry Commission Licence, causing substantial environmental damage. Sentence of immediate custody upheld on appeal – £600k costs ordered.


Representing a major NHS Mental Health Trust

2 week Inquest, relating to a death in a secure mental
health unit, in context of Parliamentary Inquiry into several years of such deaths in this Trust.


R (HSE) v Cleveland Potash Limited

August 2022 – acted for HSE – case lasted several years – Teesside Crown Court – two separate cases of Arcflash events leading to unpleasant and serious injury. Complex cases to master and present. Careful management brought both cases to guilty pleas – fines in excess of £3.5m. Full cost recovery.


R (HSE) v A Fire and Rescue Service

Acted for the FARS in prosecution by a Regulator – North Staffordshire Justice Centre July 2022 – very senior and experienced rope rescue officer gravely injured in abseiling training exercise on the Derbyshire Moorlands – Level A risk. Successful submissions, particularly as likelihood of harm and financial issues, reduced the fine to £10,000 – prosecution had suggested figures as high as £1m. The Court passed remarks which recognised the high standards to which the FARS worked.


In the matter of a death in a shop

Following Inquest in Nottingham – acting for the Local Authority – January 2022 – the National (Retail) Employer accepted cautions and paid investigation/Inquest costs, that being, for good reason, the Authority’s preferred resolution of the case.


R (Derby City Council) v Guardian Products Limited

Acting for the Local Authority – Derby Courts – April 2022 – though the duty-holder denied liability in its written submissions, guilty pleas were entered after a strong case was assembled and presented. Attempts to minimise basis of plea successfully resisted.


R (HSE) v Gill

October 2021 – acting for HSE – fatal case arising from workplace transport issues. The director argued that his culpability was minimal. This was successfully opposed and prison sentence (suspended) resulted.


R (Natural England) v Cooper

June 2021 and June 2022 – Exeter Crown Court and Court of Appeal – acting for Natural England – farmer faced unusual allegations of having carried out prohibited agricultural works on land of particular archaeological importance. Litigant in person who appeared before many Judges, requiring extensive management. Achieved guilty plea, 2 years after case came to the Crown Court, through careful management and case presentation. Subsequent appeal dismissed – R v Cooper [2022] EWCA Crim 922


R (HSE) v A large Local Authority

Acted for the Local Authority – 2021-2023 – successful negotiation which achieved a caution rather than prosecution, following Level A risk incident, resulting in grave injury, arising from workplace transport issues.


R(HSE) v A Major Educational Academy Trust

Derby – October 2021 – Defence – environmental
issues relating to bacterial risk on a school farm – Court persuaded to find lower levels of culpability and harm than prosecution contended for, with the result that penalty was very much lower than prosecution analysis suggested was appropriate.


In the matter of an Inquest concerning a forestry works fatality

South Wales Coroner’s Court – July 2021 – case involved tree felling on commercial basis – successful defence of Director and company at Inquest. Coroner directed jury that any alleged failings in the management of the works did
not


R (Defra) v A Major Foods Producer

Oxford – June 2021 – Defence – successfully argued that regulatory breaches did not present a food or public safety issue – the Court was persuaded to find “low culpability”. Extremely moderate fine achieved, more importantly – the Court passed comments which gave significant praise to the Company and its leadership.


R (HSE) v A Major NHS Mental Health Trust

Chelmsford Crown Court – June 2021 – Defence – instructed for an NHS Mental Health Trust in which there were multiple deaths ligature deaths over a period of more than a decade. Very early meetings of legal teams, a high degree of cooperation with the investigation, and proper presentation of the Trust’s efforts to improve practices, persuaded the Court the Trust was “well-led” and dedicated to dealing with all identified issues. Very substantial reduction in penalty achieved. More importantly – the Trust’s leadership/achievements were recognised.


R (EA) v A National Farming Concern

Essex – 2019-2020 – Defence – careful submissions/negotiations diverted an intended environmental prosecution into an Enforcement Undertaking, following water abstraction activities in breach of permit. Very substantial payments from RPA had been withheld but structured submissions resulted in the return of those sums to the business.


R (Leicester City Council Trading Standards) v A Farmer

Leicester – December 2020 – Defence – farming case – successful appeal against an animal disqualification order. If the appeal had not succeeded the farmer’s business would have been completely ruined.


Westminster City Council v A Major International Retailer

Westminster – 2019-2020 – Defence – Potential prosecution in relation to a prominent breach of planning regulations prevented by careful structured submissions.


R (HSE) v A Large Local Authority

Luton – February 2020 – Defence – acting for a major Local Authority – work at height not done as it should have been, leading to grave injury. Work analysing the prosecution case and the available mitigation, coupled with careful written submissions, led to a fine of under £10,000. Prosecution had suggested that the start point was £600,000 in the range £300,000-£1,600,000.


R (Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council) v Centerplate UK Limited

Concluded January 2020 – Sheffield Crown Court – Defence – fire safety breaches identified at football league ground – careful deployment of defence expert report and highly structured mitigation, resulted in moderate penalty and reduced costs.


R (Teignmouth District Council) v Two Directors and a Company

January 2020 – Defence – acting for the company and two Directors – Exeter Crown Court – asbestos issues not managed as required. Prosecution persuaded at Court, to drop the case against one Director. Expert evidence obtained by Counsel demonstrated actual risk in relation to the remaining Director was minute . Although District
Judge had sent the case to the Crown Court on the basis that custodial powers below were too limited, the Director was in fact fined only £1000 in the Crown Court. The Company was also fined a very low sum. Prosecution had alleged very high culpability and Level A risk, which pointed to significant custodial outcome. The Court was persuaded to take a very different approach.


R (Coventry City Council) v DHL Services Limited

October 2019 – acting for the Local Authority – Warwick Crown Court – stock collapse in warehouse – causing death and other grave injury. Inquest in April 2018. Risk assessment did not identify the hazard – height and nature of stock posed serious risk to workers. Guilty pleas entered. Fined £2.6m.


R (Wolverhampton Borough Council) v Cushman and Wakefield Ltd

July 2019 – Wolverhampton Crown Court – acting for Local Authority – dealt with by Senior Presiding Judge – risk to the public arising from poorly maintained building in city centre – wooden structure blown off during winter storm, causing death and other injury in the street below. Guilty plea. Fined £1.333m. Failure to identify structures requiring maintenance and to maintain same.


R (CQC) v A Care Home Manager

June 2019 – Derby – Defence – the Home Manager was charged, as well as the Company, in relation to the management of falls, deficiencies in which had led to a fatality. Comprehensive written submissions to CQC ahead of the hearing caused the prosecution to drop the case against the manager entirely – she was acquitted.


R (EA) v A Company Director

Chelmsford – concluded May 2019 – Defence – Director charged with environmental offence (only after which was Mr Thorogood involved). The full extent of the proposed defence identified by counsel was revealed in an “open advice” sent to the EA, as part of a successful strategy to persuade the prosecution to drop the charge. As a result, the case was dropped against the Director at Court and he was acquitted.


HSE and a Local Authority – Inquest in Leicester

March 2019 – instructed for a Local Authority – death of vulnerable older person in public place – the Authority involved as Interested Person because their structural alterations alleged to be connected to the fatality. Careful questioning demonstrated that enforcement action inappropriate. Significant analysis of British Standards for both technical equipment and building works required in proceedings. No enforcement action taken.


Avon Coroner’s Court

October 2018 – Instructed for the Local Authority – death of elderly customer in connection with mobile banking unit – interesting legal questions concerning whether jury required in the circumstances. Careful examination of the issues demonstrated that no enforcement action called for and none taken.


R (HSE) v Brother Industries UK Ltd

Wrexham – concluded in June 2018 – Defence – explosive ejection of molten plastic under great pressure. As a result of careful analysis, defence view of culpability and harm accepted as correct by Court and low fine imposed, when prosecution had suggested that very much larger fine was appropriate.


R(HSE) v Martin Baker Aircraft Limited

Concluded in February 2018 – Prosecution – investigation began in 2011 following ejection by Red Arrows pilot when parachute failed to deploy, leading to loss of life. Immense complexity in the engineering evidence. After initial not guilty plea, defendant changed plea.


R v Hewitt and Others

Bristol – Defence – acted for Company Chairman – concluded January 2018 – after jury trial lasting several weeks and successful appeal thereafter. Case concerned Health and Safety associated with management of challenging behaviour in residential care. Massive complexity on the facts. Acquitted by jury of main charge. Initially convicted of very much less serious (secondary) participation in Health and Safety offence (though fined within the old Magistrates’ Court’s limits). Leave to appeal obtained from the full Court in May 2017 – conviction quashed at full hearing in October 2017. Following contested submissions concerning re-trial, Court ruled that there would be no re-trial in January 2018.


R(HSE) v A Construction Company

December 2017 – Manchester – Defence – defence analysis preferred by the Court, and modest penalty imposed, in contrast to prosecution’s submissions. Moderate penalty vital for this family business.


R(HSE) v Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust

December 2017 – Shrewsbury Crown Court – Prosecution – case featured 5 fatalities and a long-term failure to control falling risks in a hospital environment – defence contested causation of deaths – after detailed submissions that issue resolved decisively for prosecution.


R (HSE) v A City Council

Nottingham – May 2017 – Defence – Court Crown Judge preferred defence analysis of case to prosecution’s – penalty suggested by prosecution as appropriate was
very substantially reduced by Court, to one within the old Magistrates’ Court limits.


R (HSE) v Merlin Attractions Operations Limited

Stafford – Concluded September 2016 – Prosecution – the “Alton Towers” rollercoaster collision. Complex engineering to master and similar issues arising in connection with the application of the 2016 Definitive Guidelines to the facts of the case. National publicity consequent upon facts and fine (£5m).


R (Newport City Council) v Birmingham Garage & Industrial Doors Limited

September 2016 – Cardiff Crown Court – Defence – (fatal) case – based on alleged inadequacy of client’s engineering works – prosecution persuaded (by detailed representations from counsel, based upon an expert recommended by counsel) to offer no evidence at second PTPH. Acquitted on all charges. Costs order secured.


R (HSE) v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police

January 2016 – Birmingham Crown Court – Defence – counter-terrorism firearms officer (sniper) had part of his trigger finger cut off when operating a shear used to destroy seized weaponry – Court substantially reduced fine having regard mitigation advanced.


R (HSE) v NHSLA (standing in place of Hampshire Primary Care Trust and the Portsmouth City Teaching Hospitals Primary Care Trust)

January 2016 – Portsmouth Crown Court – Defence – acting for 2 dissolved Primary Care Trusts, their criminal liability for fatal health and safety breaches having been transferred by order to the National Health Service Litigation Authority. Substantial arguments as to culpability and liability to pay prosecution costs resulted in a much reduced fine and payment of costs. The Judge (a member of the Sentencing Council) indicated that the penalty would have been the same, had she applied the new Definitive Guideline.


R (HSE) v A County Council

January 2016 – Crown Court – Defence – fatal choking incident involving vulnerable service-user in day centre – non-causative basis secured, leading to much reduced fine/costs. Very close examination of complex financial evidence.


R (HSE) v Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust

December 2015 – Stafford Crown Court – Prosecution – case concerned 4 fatalities spread over 8 years – attracted national coverage for obvious reasons. Case of considerable complexity and national importance.


R (HSE) v NHSLA (standing in place of The Blackpool Primary Care Trust and the North Lancashire Primary Care Trust)

Preston Crown Court – September 2015 – Defence – unusual situation, acting for 2 dissolved Primary Care Trusts, their criminal liability for fatal health and safety breaches having been transferred by order to the National Health Service Litigation Authority. Causative link to breaches. Substantial arguments as to culpability and liability to pay prosecution costs resulted in a much reduced fine and payment of costs.


R v Tucker and Others

Truro Crown Court – July–August 2015 – Defence – substantial and complex manslaughter/health and safety (electrocution) trial lasting several weeks, with significant issues between all defendants and Mr Tucker, as well as between prosecution and defence. Mr Tucker was the only individual not sent into custody. Much hard work required to demonstrate the difficult situation into which the defendant had been placed.


R (HSE) v John Pointon and Sons Limited

Stafford Crown Court – June 2015 – Prosecution – second fatality and second prosecution on same production line – confined space/complex engineering at heart of case.


Bedfordshire Coroner’s Court

Representing NHSLA on behalf of now dissolved Primary Care Trust – February 2015 –– fatal incident involving confused elderly patient. Following Inquest and detailed written submissions, the Regulator decided not to charge or take other enforcement action, though earlier indications were to the contrary.


R(HSE) v Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Services Limited and Enterprise AOL [2014] EWCA Crim 2684

October 2012 – Stafford Crown Court – Prosecution – fatal case arising from unsafe traffic management – convictions secured following 2 week trial. Defence appeal to Court of Appeal (conviction and sentence) dismissed – December 2014. Court of Appeal clarified the meaning of “material risk”.


R (Natural England) v Day [2014] EWCA Crim 2683

Concluded in July 2013 – Carlisle Crown Court – Prosecution – devastation to highly sensitive SSSI – substantial hearings concerning legal interpretation of
crucial concepts/powers. basis of plea and extent of culpability/sentence. Full costs (£457,000) recovered. Appeal (conviction and sentence) dismissed in December 2014 – application to Supreme Court successfully resisted.


R (HSE) v Cemex Materials Limited

Newcastle Crown Court – December 2014 – Defence -– successful arguments during 2 day contest in which Court accepted defence submissions to the effect that there was no causative link between breach and death. Very much reduced fine and costs as a result.


Toon v HSE

Leicester Employment Tribunal – May–October 2014 –– Defence – acting for farmer – walkers suffered injuries from cattle in 2 of his fields, on the same day – one fatal. Prohibition Notice, expert evidence and negotiation led to acceptable resolution – there were no charges.


R (Stockport MBC) v A Commercial Care Provider

September 2014 – Defence – concerning care planning – fatal case – choking – service-user with severe learning problems given foods which were apparently prohibited in care plan. Dealt with in Magistrates’ Court – low fine and prosecution costs much reduced.


R (HSE) v British Sugar PLC

Shrewsbury/Birmingham Crown Court – April 2014 – Defence – case launched 5 years after the Inquest – and 10 years after the fatal boiler explosion accident – application to stay the case as an abuse – prosecution decided to offer no further evidence on the second day. Acquitted of all counts.


R (Luton Borough Council) v Barclays Bank Plc

Luton – April 2014 – Defence – bank employee caught in fireball – persuaded Court to keep the case in Magistrates’ Court – low penalty.


R (Flintshire C.C.) v Plas Goch Limited

Mold Crown Court – December 2013 – Defence – fatal case involving young person in swimming pool – disputes as to factual basis for sentence all resolved in defendant’s favour, including causation of death. Low fine imposed.


R (HSE) v Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Southend Crown Court – July 2013 – Defence – death of vulnerable patient through insufficiently secure window – despite revenues of over £200m, fine kept down to £15,000.


R v Howarth

Manchester Crown Court – May 2013 – Defence – jury trial of a driver who caused a reversing fatality during delivery at commercial premises – acquitted by jury of all charges – full costs recovered.


R(HSE) v Atomic Weapons Establishment

May 2013 – Reading Crown Court – Prosecution – fire in explosives building at sensitive public establishment – guilty plea secured – full costs recovery, complex issues of ignition and likelihood of detonation.


R v Westwood

August to December 2012 – Derby Crown Court – Defence – driver employee of national employer accused of causing death by careless driving. Careful research and structured written submissions persuaded CPS to offer no evidence before trial reached. Full costs recovered.


R(HSE) v Mark Wakefield Demolition Limited

September 2012 – Manchester Crown Court – Defence – defendant’s staff cut 6” gas main and blew up major development site (hospital) – jury trial – defendant acquitted, with full costs recovery.


R (HSE) v Bassetlaw District Council

July 2012 – Derby Crown Court – Defence – fatal (reversing) case – refuse lorry – member of public on mobility scooter – very low fine achieved, though Definitive Guideline engaged.


R (HSE) v Three Shires Limited

Preston Crown Court – March 2012 – Defence – during works to clear site of trees and vegetation, a fatality arose from most unusual facts. Guilty plea could not be avoided but non-causative basis secured – basis and strong mitigation reduced fine to £15,000.


R (HSE) v Fishers Engineering Limited

Central Criminal Court – February 2012 – Defence – non-causative basis secured – lii hddfi(fl )Cildldfllif


Related News, Resources and Events

News


Barrister leads prosecution as company fined for tragic health and safety breach

Barrister Bernard Thorogood led the prosecution as a company was fined £1.33 million after a woman was killed by debris blown off a building roof…

News


Major property management firm admit safety breach after Storm Doris death

The property management firm responsible for Wolverhampton’s Mander Centre at the time of a fatal accident in 2017 has admitted breaching the Health and Safety…

View all related news

    

"Bernard is exceptional - he is great with clients and has fantastic attention to detail." "Bernard is exceptional; he's 100% committed to the work and to the client."


"Bernard’s advocacy is methodical, measured and targeted, getting to the nub of the issue whilst ensuring his thought process is being followed by both the judge and the jury."


"Bernard is really commercial and down to earth. He is a fantastic barrister."


"Bernard does not leave any stone unturned."


"Bernard is the best in the Midlands and nationally he stands out too."


"He is exceptionally analytical and is able to cut to the core of matters and identify key priorities for clients and experts."


"Bernard is a thorough, considerate, and hard-working advocate. He is exceptionally analytical and is able to cut to the core of matters and identify key priorities for clients and experts, with a strong grasp of detail."


"Bernard is a highly skilled prosecutor and has extremely good knowledge of criminal practice. He works extremely well with the client to reassure them and gives unmatched confidence in the work that he delivers."


"He's exceptional - excellent with clients, very personable and inexhaustible in terms of the energy he commits to a case." "He's an excellent advocate who is very hard-working."


"He is excellent with clients, very personable and delivers the right advice in the right way. He's inexhaustible in terms of the energy he commits to his cases." "He has a very good reputation and is an effective and very tough advocate."


"He is second to none in the way he deals with clients. He communicates well and delivers advice sensitively." "He is incredibly accessible. You can get hold of him any time of the day and he has all the answers."


"He is just fantastic and hugely effective." "He is a very good operator - he's very businesslike and efficient."


"First rate, a leading light in the health and safety world. Very hard working and extremely responsive. Goes in to bat for every client with vigour and panache."


"Bernard is one of those counsel who you know will, when in court, know the file better than any one else in the court. He provides a Rolls-Royce service for every case."


"He's extremely good with clients and a very forceful advocate. A first-rate barrister. He's a very good tactician and is extremely thorough."


"He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of case law and is a great advocate."


"A forceful advocate who has a huge amount of experience in health and safety matters." "Bernard is really exceptional as a barrister. He is a great operator and a tremendous individual to have on your side."


"Bernard is an exceptional barrister. He is a great operator and a tremendous individual to have on your side. He has strong human qualities and he is highly capable of dealing with a High Court judge."


"He absolutely works his socks off in everything he does." "He is an outstanding advocate who is both authoritative and realistic."


"He combines excellent drafting skills with deep subject matter expertise."


"Combines deep subject matter expertise and excellent drafting skills with first-class advocacy."


View Privacy Notice

Related News, Resources and Events

News


Barrister leads prosecution as company fined for tragic health and safety breach

Barrister Bernard Thorogood led the prosecution as a company was fined £1.33 million after a woman was killed by debris blown off a building roof…

News


Major property management firm admit safety breach after Storm Doris death

The property management firm responsible for Wolverhampton’s Mander Centre at the time of a fatal accident in 2017 has admitted breaching the Health and Safety…

View all related news

Clerk Team

Chris Norman

Practice Director, Regulatory

christophern@no5.com

07951 148746

Chris Mitchell

Practice Director, Regulatory

chrism@no5.com

07496 197192

Craig Nicholls

Practice Director, Regulatory

craign@no5.com

Matthew Reeves

Clinical Negligence, Personal Injury (Multi Track) and Regulatory Clerk

matthewr@no5.com

Portfolio Builder

Select the expertise that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Portfolio
Title Type CV Email

Remove All

Download


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)