Quentin saves FTSE 100 company £400,000 in Health and Safety prosecution.
RBUK PLC is a large multinational corporation and is one of the 25 largest companies listed on the London Stock exchange. When one of their group companies were accused of health and safety failings after an accident at one of their manufacturing plants they sought the assistance of Quentin Hunt to act as their counsel for Court proceedings.
The allegation came about after a relatively serious accident at the defendant company’s manufacturing plants in the North of England. Thankfully the accident did not result in a fatality. The matter gave rise to a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive and Quentin was brought in by solicitors to deal with the Court proceedings. Quentin was able to offer robust advice and assistance and a balanced and objective view on the merits of the case against the defendant company.
At the start of the prosecution the HSE shared an initial disclosure document which started that their view was that an appropriate financial penalty for the breach of s2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 which the defendant company was accused of was a financial penalty of around £600,000.
Through liaising with the Company and his instructing solicitors Quentin was able to put together an attractive ‘basis of plea’ upon which the defendant company would plead guilty. Quentin negotiated with the HSE in respect of this document to ensure there was no disagreement and potential prejudice. This minimised the culpability of the defendant company and ensured that the offence fell well below where the HSE had initially contended the matter should fall within the sentencing guidelines. Quentin also advised the company on appropriate mitigation and assisted in the compilation of a compelling ‘mitigation bundle’ for presentation to the Court.
The matter came before the Court for sentence. The offence failure to secure the health, safety and welfare at work of employees carries an unlimited financial penalty and companies such as the defendant company whose turnover is measured in Billions are at danger of substantial fines. Due to a combination of the presentation of the agreed basis of plea and mitigation including powerful material based on the mitigation bundle presented to the Court Quentin was able to persuade the Court to impose a sentence of a £200,000 fine, a figure 3x smaller than that initially advocated by the prosecution. This was an excellent result for the company.
Should you be prosecuted for a Health and Safety offence you may wish to avail yourself of specialist legal advice. Quentin is well experienced in Health and Safety Law and is one of few Barristers appointed to the ‘A’ List of Attorney General’s approved regulatory Barristers. You may contact Quentin for a no obligation conversation about your case.