Business Risk & Regulation

Providing a full advisory and defence service on risk and regulatory matters for organisations and directors.

The Business Risk and Regulation Team, led by Ian Manners, specialises in both advisory and contentious work; the team offer cross-sector expertise, specialising in health and safety, environmental and public sector. The team works with clients of all sizes from across the United Kingdom, including multi-national food production companies, water companies, agricultural companies, public authorities, regional healthcare trusts, national household name charities and private individuals. 

The team has a proven track record in providing representation and assistance through complex, multi-party Inquests and Public Inquiries for organisations and individuals, including inquests involving Article 2 of the Human Rights Act.

Work highlights include: 

  • Representing a national construction and waste and water infrastructure contractor in a prosecution by the HSE following a serious include at a material recovery facility.
  • Advice and representation for witnesses in high profile public inquiries.
  • Advice and representation for a core participant of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Advice and representation for a scout leader in a high-profile 7-week inquest hearing concerning the death of a scout. The scout leader was the only one not criticised by the Coroner or family.  
  • Carrying out the health and safety due diligence for a £140m acquisition of over 80 care homes.
  • Advising a very large utility company on ESG and supply chain traceability in relation to a solar farm acquisition and development project.
  • Advising a dairy business in relation to enforcement undertakings and proceedings for breach of environmental permit, SSAFO regulations and the burning of controlled waste.
  • Advising a national food producers on a product recall of poultry products.
  • Carrying out prosecutions on behalf of Harbour Authorities.

The team provides multi-disciplinary risk management services, including investigation management services, crisis response support, and press and media management. The team provides these services alongside traditional compliance and legal defence services to ensure that a client’s position is protected both prior to and beyond the aftermath of regulator investigations. This has enabled the team to build a particular reputation for a ‘defend-early’ approach which produces outstanding results in terms of ‘no further action’ or acquittal outcomes. 

In addition, the team regularly supports the firms’ wider corporate and commercial operation by providing regulatory input on high-value mergers and acquisitions. The team regularly uses its regulatory experience to ensure that the due diligence process is appropriately focused on key issues and issues identified and resolved as early as possible in the transaction. 

“Ashfords LLP's instructed by clients of all sizes, including multinational food production companies, national water providers, public authorities, and regional healthcare trusts. Representation at inquests following fatal injuries or care-related suicides, crisis management, and advice in relation to building and fire safety regulations are all particular areas of strength."
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