Spindogs

Justin Davies

Senior Associate
Contact Number: 029 2267 5910

Justin is a criminal and regulatory law specialist. He qualified in 2007 and is ranked as a "Rising Star" in three practice areas in the current edition of the Legal 500 - Health and Safety (Wales), General Crime and Fraud (Wales), and Public Sector (Wales).

He has extensive experience of regulatory criminal proceedings instituted by non-police agencies, and spent time as a specialist regulatory prosecutor at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, advising and prosecuting on behalf of its trading standards, public/environmental health and counter-fraud departments. Justin now practises in regulatory, corporate crime and allied areas, acting for both prosecution and defence. Since 2011, Justin has held (and regularly exercises) Higher Rights of Audience in Criminal Proceedings, which allows him to represent clients before the higher criminal courts.

Justin has significant experience advising public sector organisations as well as small, medium and large organisations on health and safety compliance and enforcement. He acted in one of the most significant health and safety cases of 2021, concerning the death of a construction worker following the collapse of a church building in Cardiff. Justin successfully represented the client at trial, led by Mark Wyeth QC. Justin has also represented clients in Inquests arising from health and safety and corporate manslaughter investigations.

Justin has significant experience in the niche practice area of Fire Safety law, having acted for some of Wales’ Fire & Rescue Authorities in matters relating to alleged breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. He has also acted in appeals brought against the issuing of Enforcement and Prohibition Notices. Justin’s expertise in this field is recognised in the Legal 500 directory, which notes Justin’s “market-leading reputation” in this area, having represented Fire & Rescue Authorities in proceedings before the Magistrates' Court, Crown Court and the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).

Regularly instructed in matters relating to transport regulation, Justin acts as a prosecuting agent for the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency. Justin also provides regular training to the Agency’s new-recruit Traffic Examiners, Vehicle Examiners and Counter-Fraud Investigators. Justin is also instructed by the Agency to prosecute fraud matters on its behalf, and in 2019 & 2020 was instructed by the Agency to prosecute a significant number of fraud cases arising from the use of Bluetooth devices in driving theory tests in Swindon, Birmingham, Cheltenham, Bristol, Bath and Gloucester.

Frequently instructed by the Welsh Government’s Marine Fisheries Division, Justin prosecutes in the niche practice area of Maritime & Marine Fisheries regulation. He has also acted on behalf of the Welsh Government’s Agriculture & Rural Affairs Division, prosecuting fraud cases with an agricultural element, as well as offences concerning the operation and management of abattoirs.

Justin has also been instructed in matters relating to healthcare regulation, having been instructed by for Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (via the Counsel General for Wales) in its successful prosecution of a company and its manager for carrying on and managing an unregistered medical agency.

Having acted for many years as a regulatory prosecutor within the trading standards field, Justin has significant experience in matters pertaining to trading standards enforcement. He has also acted on behalf of traders subject to investigations and prosecutions by trading standards.

Justin advises on food safety and hygiene matters, and has prosecuted and defended food business operators in proceedings relating to breaches of food hygiene regulations and food safety legislation.

Justin has extensive experience in Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings, for both prosecution and defence, and has successfully represented clients at a number of fully contested Confiscation proceedings.

Whilst in-house as a Local Authority Solicitor, Justin would frequently sit as a legal adviser to the Authority’s Licensing Committee. This committee would determine initial applications for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licences. Justin also advised in cases where the Committee considered suspension and revocation of such licences. He would also act on the Authority’s behalf in defending appeals brought by applicants whose applications for licences had been refused, or whose licences had been suspended or revoked, before both the Magistrates' and Crown Courts.

In the field of motoring law, Justin is instructed by individuals who are at risk of losing their entitlement to drive. Justin has successfully represented clients who face disqualification from driving under the “totting-up” procedure (where they have accumulated 12 penalty points) but who face exceptional hardship if they were lose their entitlement to drive. Additionally Justin also represents new drivers who have accumulated 6 penalty points in their first two years of driving.

Justin also accepts instructions to act in Professional Regulation & Discipline matters. He has acted for professionals in investigations brought by their regulatory bodies. Currently, he sits as a Legal Adviser to Social Care Wales’ Fitness to Practise and Interim Orders Panels, having advised Panels at more than 150 such hearings. Additionally, he acts as a Case Examiner for the General Optical Council.

Work History

Justin qualified in 2007, having trained at Gomer Williams & Co in Llanelli. Having worked there as an Assistant Solicitor for 2 years, Justin became an in-house Solicitor for Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, where he remained for the next 7 years. Justin then joined Hugh James as an Associate in 2016 and advanced to Senior Associate in 2020.

A member of multiple leading associations following the areas in which he works; Justin has experience of a whole range of specialist fields. These include:

  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association
  • Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates
  • Health and Safety Lawyers Association
  • Affiliate of the Institution of Fire Engineers

Memberships

  • Institute of Licensing
Quotes

Justin Davies is of the highest calibre. He has a wide knowledge of the legal issues in a case and ability to see the aspects that need attention. He is a skilled advocate and negotiator. Without question a great asset.

Client Testimonial, Legal 500

Quotes

Hugh James has become best-known for its health and safety prosecution work in recent years, to a large extent because of senior associate Justin Davies' 'detailed knowledge of fire safety law and enforcement'. This degree of specialism continues to be recognised by several fire and rescue authorities, including the South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, which continues to instruct Davies on all prosecutions brought by it under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Legal 500

Quotes

The work carried out by Justin Davies has been to the highest standard, from early-stage advice during investigations, through to providing representation in hearings in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Courts. A real attraction is that Justin has Higher Rights of Audience in criminal proceedings, meaning that he is able to provide continuity of representation throughout the case.

Client Testimonial, Legal 500

Quotes

Senior associate Justin Davies forms a key part of the firm's regulatory offering and has attained a market leading reputation for fire safety work as a result of his representation of South Wales Fire & Rescue Service on enforcement matters.

Legal 500

Quotes

Justin Davies has an enviable track record in fire safety cases. He has a detailed knowledge of fire safety law and enforcement, is calm under pressure, and provides timely and pragmatic advice.

Client Testimonial, Legal 500

Quotes

Senior associate Justin Davies is pivotal to much of this work, and as well as continuing to represent Wales-based Fire and Rescue Authorities in fire safety law matters, has also developed niche expertise in prosecutions brought by the Welsh government relating to breaches of UK, Welsh and European fisheries legislation.

Legal 500

Quotes

Justin Davies who has ‘valuable and extensive experience in the fire safety arena and regularly displays an excellent knowledge of the law’ when representing core client South Wales Fire & Rescue Service. Benefiting from higher rights of audience in criminal proceedings, Davies also regularly handles the advocacy, a factor that is appreciated by clients ‘as it allows continuity throughout the lifetime of a case’.

The Legal 500

Quotes

We use the firm for its fire safety enforcement work because we know they can deliver a service that is consistently to a high standard.

Legal 500

Quotes

Justin Davies’ track record is excellent in terms of support for case preparation and court advocacy.

Legal 500