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Mark Balysz has secured the acquittal of an Approved Inspector at Leeds Crown Court

Mark Balysz has secured the acquittal of an Approved Inspector at Leeds Crown Court. The Company had issued a completion certificate for the purposes of the Building Regulations for a newly constructed student halls of residence in Leeds. The Company was prosecuted by West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority for breach of article 8(1) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2015, in that it was alleged that the building was not safe and that the certificate should not have been granted. It was alleged that the Company had a duty under the Order pursuant to its contractual relationship with the developer, in accordance with article 5(4). Legal submissions were advanced on behalf of the Company that, inter alia, the Order cannot apply to an Approved Inspector’s function and in the alternative, that the prosecution was an abuse of process and should be stayed. In the absence of appellate authority directly on point, reliance was placed on The Lessees and Management of Company of Herons Court – and- (1) Heronslea Ltd. (2) TNV Construction Ltd. (3) National House Building Council (4) NHBC Building Control Services Limited [2019] EWCA Civ 1423, as to the nature and extent of the role of an Approved Inspector. The prosecution offered no evidence on the first day of trial. Mark Balysz was instructed by Stephen Barnfield of Hill Dickinson LLP.

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