Spindogs

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”.

View team

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

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

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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

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