Andrew Litchfield helps clients to manage risk and avoid regulatory criminal offences, minimise the cost and disruption of criminal investigations if something does go wrong and guides cases through the courts to protect the clients' brand.
Businesses need to manage risk effectively to meet regulatory requirements. Andrew uses his expertise to advise clients on pragmatic, sensible and effective ways to prevent issues arising.
It's vital to take effective action in the hours immediately after an incident. Andrew works with clients from the outset, supporting them and adopting the right tone with investigators. This means setting the incident in context and establishing an atmosphere of cautious co-operation, especially if interviews under caution are involved.
Andrew has wide experience of regulatory investigations, including by the police, Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency, local authority and Coroner. His knowledge of their different powers and processes is critical to protecting clients' interests throughout an enquiry. He works for clients across many sectors - care, natural resources, manufacturing, retail and food and drink for example - and understands the compliance challenges of the modern world.
If criminal charges are brought, Andrew works through the legal and commercial implications to offer realistic and practical advice. He regularly conducts advocacy in inquests and in the criminal courts, where his clear and concise explanations ensure that cases and decisions are considered in the correct context.
Beyond work, in between running a private taxi service for three busy children, he still tries to play hockey during the winter.
Helping a building materials company in three highly sensitive cases, two involving the deaths of contractors and one concerning a serious injury to one of its own employees. Fines and adverse publicity would have had a devastating impact on the client's brand and business. The cases involve multiple defendants, lengthy police and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigations, and a complex inquest. The client needed first-rate legal expertise for sensitive negotiations with the HSE concerning charges, and the basis of the cases. Satisfactory conclusions were reached.
Acting for a major food manufacturer under investigation by the police and HSE after a fatality in the yard of one of their factories. The case involved a corporate manslaughter investigation, a complex inquest and lengthy negotiations with the HSE over the degree of culpability the client faced under health and safety sentencing guidelines. The case was concluded for a significantly lower penalty that had first been feared.
Advising a global natural resources business after a pollution incident at one of its quarries. The site is in a national park and quantities of silt were discharged into a river in breach of the site permit. It was necessary to assist the client to investigate the causes of the event, build a strong relationship with the EA and explain the case in context. Several enforcement options short of prosecution are available which are being explored.
Helping an investment bank understand the regulatory landscape in the retirement living and care sectors so that it can better manage the risks arising from their investment. The deal was structured so that the client was shielded from the regulatory risks arising out of the provision of care.
Providing bespoke health and safety training to a national residential housing developer following a fatal accident on site involving a sub-contractor. The sessions, delivered to each region, were designed to raise awareness, stress the importance of compliance with risk management systems and procedures and understand the serious consequences which would follow a breach of health and safety law.
Acting for clients in relation to general regulatory queries. Recent examples include electrical equipment, waste battery, product safety, food supplements, waste packaging, fire safety, asbestos, provision of care, CDM and restriction of hazardous substances regulations.