Andrew Litchfield has long-standing experience in regulatory criminal offences, statutory public inquiries and inquests. He understands the particular sensitivities which arise from criminal and inquisitorial processes. He works closely with the client and wider stakeholder teams from an early stage to support those involved, to gather and present evidence accurately and proportionately so that it is seen in context and if necessary helps clients make changes so that issues do not happen again. Andrew is individually ranked by both Chambers and Legal 500.
Andrew 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' reputation. 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.
Andrew also provides bespoke health and safety training to clients including raising awareness of the importance of compliance with risk management systems and procedures and the serious consequences which would follow a breach of health and safety law.
Beyond work, in between running a private taxi service for three busy children, he still tries to play hockey during the winter.
Leading the team providing full support to one of the corporate core participants of the Grenfell Tower public inquiry. This in-depth work has involved evidence gathering, analysis of complex regulations and legislation, drafting responses and submissions and liaising with the Inquiry to assist in the understanding of the role of the core participant.
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.
Advising a Registered Social Housing and Care Provider across a range of inquests as well as in relation to deaths arising in the private sector. Providing full support including preparation of evidence, witness statements, legal submissions on the relevance of Article 2 of the Human Rights Act and advocacy services.
Advising a City Council in relation to the Hillsborough Stadium disaster providing full support to the Council, preparing for the inquest and supporting with the management and cross-referencing of vast quantities of documentation to facilitate ease of reference to the parts, which relate to issues affecting the Council. Providing additional support as and when required to supplement the Council's in-house resource.
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.
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.