Overview

Fire Safety law is a developing area of specialism. Few legal firms, nationally, are able to offer the level of knowledge and experience required to effectively advise clients in this highly technical and complex niche area.

Within the firm, our Associate Justin Davies has significant experience in this field. Acting on behalf of some of Wales’ Fire & Rescue Services in prosecutions brought under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

There are a number of fire safety “firsts” we have acted in:

  •  the first prosecution to be brought in Wales under Article 27 of the Order (failures to respond to requests for information)
  • the case which saw the highest fine in Wales imposed for breaches of the Order
  • the first case nationally which saw a Fire Risk Assessor convicted for producing fire risk assessments that were not suitable and sufficient, in addition to contraventions of the order that were attributable to his act or default.

Responsibility for enforcing fire safety requirements is split between the relevant Fire & Rescue Service for the area in which the premises are located, and the Local Authority in whose area the premises are, depending on the nature of the premises concerned. In some instances, different parts of the same premises may fall within the remit of different regulators.

Contravening fire safety legislation can have very serious consequences. Unlimited fines and, in appropriate cases, sentences of imprisonment are at the Court’s disposal. We have prosecuted a number of cases where custodial sentences have been imposed for breaches of the Order.

How can we help?

We provide advice, guidance, and representation in relation to Fire Safety law, including allegations of offences contrary to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and additionally in cases where Prohibition, Enforcement or Alteration Notices have been served (including advice on appeals against the issuing of those notices). We also provide training to Inspecting Officers on investigative procedures and techniques, and disclosure obligations.

Key contact

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 “valuable and extensive experience in the fire safety arena”.

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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’.

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