Specialist Criminal & Regulatory Barristers

London: 020 7520 6000 | chambers@18rlc.co.uk

East Anglia: 01245 280 880

Fire Safety

Red Lion Chambers advise and represent UK fire and rescue authorities, public and investigatory bodies, public and quasi-public service organisations, and affected individuals and companies.
Our legal team boasts specialist barristers, who consult and work alongside the Health and Safety Executive, the Office for Rail Regulation, and the Environment Agency on all matters of fire safety.

What is fire safety?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 introduced profound change in the way businesses must approach fire safety for their employees and those that visit their premises.

Companies, company directors and partners in businesses can be personally liable for fire safety breaches, and face prosecution in the criminal courts. Breaches can result in significant fines as well as serious damage to a company’s reputation.

Our barristers are able to offer expert guidance, advice and representation in respect of:

- fire safety enforcement notices, appeals and prosecutions for breaches of fire safety, and
- future compliance, including the implementation and maintenance of a fire management plan and
- training on fire safety law for Directors

Chambers members with high-level experience of fire safety cases include: Sailesh Mehta, Klentiana Mahmutaj and David Claxton.

High profile cases

Chambers have acted in numerous high-profile defence and prosecutions under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, including:

  • R v F involving two fatalities at a multiple occupancy dwelling in Yorkshire. This case has received widespread media coverage, not least because of the young age of the victims.
  • The prosecution of a major oil company following an underground petrol leak that caused a large part of East London to be sealed off for fear of a huge explosion;
  • R v. K: the owner of a national chain of nightclubs was prosecuted in a series of fire safety cases due to the clubs being overcrowded with customers while DJs used pyrotechnics;
  • R v. C: advised and successfully defended a director of a company prosecuted for a fire that occurred as a result of a business tenant’s negligence;
  • Junior defence counsel in a case of intentional arson of the Lord Byng estate. The case involved expert evidence on causation of fire and chemical reactions.
  • Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority v Mirza in the Court of Appeal: the first reported case where a finding that the custody threshold having been crossed was upheld.
  • Fire at a care home for the elderly operated by the company, Shaftsbury Care Group Ltd during which an elderly resident was trapped by the fire and rescued by fire fighters. The case was one of the first to result in a sentence which referred to the new sentencing guideline for Health and Safety offences.
  • R v D involving a hotel owner who received substantial fines which were upheld in the Court of Appeal.

For More Information or To Instruct Us

Identifying the right barrister and ensuring their early involvement is essential to maximising the prospects of a positive outcome. With our expert understanding of the criminal justice system, we guide our clients through the legal process.

Our barristers regularly undertake privately funded, direct access and legal aid, work.

To discuss your options in more detail and for more information regarding our transparent fees’ structure, please contact our clerking team, led by Chambers Director, Mark Bennett.

  • For specific case enquiries, or to hear more about our services, please contact our clerking team.
  • If you are a professional client and would like to discuss in-house training and seminar opportunities, please contact Jennifer Ukaegbu.


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020 7520 6000

18 Red Lion Court



DX: 478 London / Chancery Lane

East Anglia

01245 280 880

Thornwood House

102 New London Rd


DX: 139165 Chelmsford 11


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