Corporate Manslaughter, Health and Safety

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 was passed because there had been very few successful prosecutions of companies for deaths in the workplace.  After a slow start, the rate of prosecutions shows signs of increasing.  A number of companies have now been found guilty of corporate manslaughter. 

In some cases, senior staff or professional people also face a separate charge of gross negligence manslaughter.  Such cases are always deeply upsetting for those involved in them.  Almost invariably they attract media attention which can be painful and intrusive.

We have advised many businesses and individual professionals in connection with deaths in the workplace.  We assist in handling media impact and work to contain the damage to their business or profession.  In many cases we succeed in keeping cases out of court, but if a trial must happen we offer clients a robust defence team which is well versed in both criminal and regulatory law.  

Corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter cases need special skill in handling the complexity of the forensic issues, in securing comprehensive disclosure and in the critical task of choosing the right advocate.  Our team has long experience in defending homicide cases of every kind. 

Our work in this area includes:

  • Advising a care home facing liability for corporate manslaughter following death of a resident from severe pressure sores and ultimately dying due to inadequate care
  • Advising a pharmaceuticals manufacturer under investigation for corporate manslaughter
  • Advising a chemicals manufacturer at risk of investigation for deaths of customers purchasing legal highs
  • Representing a nurse charged with gross negligence manslaughter at work
  • Acting for an anaesthetist charged with gross negligence manslaughter at work
  • Acting for the family of a man who died in custody of Devon & Cornwall Police, who are now under investigation on suspicion of Corporate Manslaughter
  • Acting for the family of a man who died in Harmondsworth detention centre, run by GEO Group Ltd who are now under investigation on suspicion of Corporate Manslaughter