Called in 1988 Ian has been a barrister for more than 30 years. He does leading and junior work regularly co-defending alongside and prosecuting Queens Counsel. He undertakes direct access work and is available for initial consultation by arrangement with his clerk Chris Norman on 0117 917 8500.
He is a specialist in the following areas of work.
Motor Crime & Motor Regulatory
Ian defends drivers facing prosecution following fatal and serious injury traffic incidents. Over the course of the last 5 years he has been instructed by specialist firms in more than 100 such cases. He has been instructed on behalf of a number of prominent individuals. He has appeared in courts across the country including the Court of Appeal. He is “on panel” for major insurers.
He has acted on behalf of a large number of commercial vehicle drivers involved in incidents often arising as a result of blind spots concealing pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
He has acted in a number of cases where dangerous condition is alleged.
Amongst numerous others he represented the acquitted driver in the Bath Tipper disaster
and the driver in the M20 Bridge Strike
He is familiar with “type approval”, design and vehicle recall issues.
He has acted in numerous cases where the Defendant driver’s health has been an issue. He has experience inter alia of cases involving sleep apnoea/sleepiness, syncope, epilepsy and diabetes (hypoglycaemia). The insanity/automatism defence with its attendant difficult law has arisen in a number of his cases.
He has acted in a number of multiple cause cases and has successfully defended drivers whose driving although questionable did not “cause” the death including so called “but for” cases, cases where the death followed a collision, but the injuries sustained cannot be proven to be a contributory cause and cases where there is an unforeseeable intervening cause.
He has acted in high profile cases involving police officers where the IOPC have intervened.
He has been instructed to advise in cases involving licensing and fitness. He has advised and represented on public enquiries before the Traffic Commissioners.
He regularly acts on behalf of interested parties at inquest arising from fatal RTI’s
Health & Safety
For the last 20 years he has been briefed by both defence and prosecution in health and safety cases. He is recognised as an expert in the field by the Health and Safety Executive who instruct him to prosecute in the most complex and difficult cases. He is regularly briefed by a number of well-known national firms of solicitors on behalf of companies and individuals facing trial for offences contrary to the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 He has a broad range of experience set out below. He has represented board members facing allegations as well as companies. He regularly appears at inquests representing interested parties and the Health and Safety Executive.
Healthcare – He has appeared in cases involving fatal and serious injury incidents in hospitals and care homes. His experience includes deaths in restraint, suicide, failures in water management systems (legionella outbreaks), failure of PFI management systems, scalding incidents, hoist failures and incidents where patients requiring 24 hour supervision have died as a result of being left unsupervised.
Construction – He has appeared in numerous cases involving fatal and serious injury incidents on construction sites. His experience covers scaffold collapses, falls from height – roof and lift shaft falls, falling masonry and signs, demolition planning, electrocution, trench collapse, asbestos contamination and heavy machinery accidents.
Factories and manufacturing - He has acted in cases arising from woodworking machinery accidents, automated plant and inadequately guarded rotating machinery and presses.
Warehousing, Retail and Transport – He has appeared in numerous cases involving deaths and injury arising from failures in workplace transport. His experience covers goods falling from vehicles, vehicles colliding with workmen and workmen being crushed or injured by vehicles operating on sites with inadequate separation between workmen and machines. He has acted in cases involving overstocking in retail premises.
Mines and Quarries – He was instructed in the 1990’s by British Coal in the respiratory disease litigation and had some involvement in deafness, VWF and explosive fume cases. He has acted subsequently in a number of cases covering crushing from collapse and/or falling rocks, explosive fumes and coal dust, conveyor and manrider accidents, and gas poisoning cases including carbon monoxide in a wider context than mines and quarries (domestic boiler cases).
Agriculture and Forestry – He has acted in a number of serious and fatal injury cases which have occurred on farms or whilst felling trees.
He is instructed in criminal and coronial aspects of this work.
Criminal Fraud and Money Laundering
Ian Bridge is recommended in band 1 for fraud and financial crime. For the last 20 years he has defended in major fraud and money laundering. He has a number of reported Court of Appeal cases. His past significant cases include R v Haddi & Ors (investment fraud), R v Early (London City Bond), R v Smyth (Izodia plc fraud), R v Blair & Others (money laundering), R v Lieberman & Ors (Hackney election fraud), R v Sampson & Ors (landfill tax fraud), R v Sykes & Ors (Cheney pension scheme fraud), R v Ramzan & Ors trial; appeal and retrial (£500 million money laundering), R v Hussein (Burnley election fraud), R v El Kurd (appeal and retrial), R v Anwoir & Ors, R v Montilla & Ors, R v Chahal & Ors (MTIC), R v Ravjani & Ors (MTIC ), R v Leighton (Little Wing Film Scheme Tax Fraud), R v Hill (self-employment tax fraud), R v Heaton (mail dumping fraud), R v Pruthi (£115 million ponzi fraud), R v Hirst & Ors (£10 million Majorca ponzi fraud), R v Arwo & Ors (Astonbrook Housing charity fraud), R v Fonseka & Ors (Sri Lankan ponzi fraud).
Ian is regularly consulted by solicitors and other professionals in relation to their ethical and statutory duties regarding money laundering.
Tax Tribunal and Civil Fraud
Ian Bridge has acted in the tax tribunal on behalf of a large number of companies denied VAT input tax reclaims. He is an expert in cases where companies have been denied VAT reclaims or assessed on the basis of Kittel/Mahageben (alleged knowledge or means of knowledge of connection to fraudulent VAT losses)and Mecsek-Gabona (denial of zero rating in EU transactions) – so called MTIC cases. He is instructed by firms of solicitors and accountants specialising in this particular area.
He has also acted in tribunal appeals unconnected to MTIC. In particular he acted on behalf of Wheels in the FTT and the UTT in a case with wide raging implications relating to the cross over between IPT and VAT for taxi operators. The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs v Wheels Private Hire Ltd:  UKUT 0051 (TCC).
He is currently instructed on behalf of a number of Appellant directors appealing decisions to issue penalty assessments pursuant to powers contained in Schedule 24 of the Finance Act 2007. He has successfully argued that individuals facing such allegations are entitled to a representation order as the proceedings are “criminal” in nature. There are potentially other implications of the finding for the conduct of “criminal” appeals in the first tier tax tribunal.
He is currently instructed in a penalty case where the penalty has been issued for breaches of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 in which the Tax Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the appeal. He anticipates instruction in penalty appeals under sections 69C,D & E of the recently amended VAT Act 1994 which specifically reference Kittel and Mecsek-Gabona.
Ian is instructed in civil fraud in the High Court and recently succeeded in defending a multimillion fraud allegation brought by liquidators against company officers and investors alleging Kittel knowledge in a substantial VAT fraud in the energy market.
Confiscation, Account Freezing Orders, Bribery and Corruption and Unexplained Wealth
Ian Bridge has acted in numerous Proceeds of Crime Act Cases including the leading case of R v Anwoir  EWCA Crim 1354.
He has recently been consulted and advised in a successfully challenged Account Freezing and Forfeiture Order. This new power to freeze and forfeit contained in Part 5 of POCA as amended by Criminal Finances Act 2017 is likely to see an exponential increase in its use by law enforcers.
He has lectured on bribery and corruption and the implications of the UWO in particular to wealthy foreign nationals resident in the UK.
Ian also regularly acts in enforcement matters including planning enforcement and statutory nuisance at all levels and stages and with particular experience in confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
"Ian is a fearless advocate. He has a fantastic rapport with clients. He is pragmatic and very approachable."
Legal 500 2023 (Business and Regulatory Crime including Health and Safety)
Ranked in Tier 1
Legal 500 2022 (Business and Regulatory Crime including Health and Safety)
“Particularly strong on complex technical defences, and willing to stand his ground with the judiciary where required.”
Legal 500 2021 (Business and Regulatory Crime including Health and Safety)
“His strengths are his performance in court and his ability to think around a problem and come up with good ideas.” “He tackles all type of tax work and is a tenacious advocate.”
Chambers UK 2020
Inquest into the death of Gladys Jones
Coroners Inquests - Inquest into the death of Gladys Jones Southwark – hospital acquired legionella
Inquest into the death of Doreen Arberry
Coroners Inquests – Peterborough – hospital pager system
Inquest into the death of Lee Wright
Coroners Inquests – Birmingham hospital suicide of mental health patient
Inquest into the deaths of Irene Wilton and Trevor Wickes
Coroners Inquests – hospital deaths following chlorination failure
Inquest into the death of Steven Perry
Coroners Inquests - Inquest into the death of Steven Perry – death of child in care in RTA
HSE – V – Imperial Commercials Ltd
HSWA prosecutions – workplace transport fatality
HSE – V – Barbour and Co LTD
HSWA prosecutions – Construction site falling debris fatality
HSE – V – John Henry and Sons LTD
HSWA prosecutions - Construction site fence collapse
R – V –White
RTA prosecutions - runaway van, causation issues
R – V – Corrigan
RTA prosecutions - fatal motorway collision, causation issues
R – V – Howsego
RTA prosecutions - London cyclist fatality
R – V – O’Hare
RTA prosecutions - motorcycle fatality
R – V – Colquitt
RTA prosecutions - motorcycle fatality
R – V – Tompkins
RTA prosecutions - alleged mobile phone use fatality
R – V – Warwick
RTA prosecutions - London cyclist fatality
R – V – Knight
RTA prosecutions - serious injury by dangerous driving passenger suffering tetraplegia
R – V – Sudol
RTA prosecutions - multiple vehicle dangerous driving medical defence epilepsy/diabetes
R – V – Demko
RTA prosecutions - fatal accident with pedestrian, subsequent death in hospital, causation