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Mike Atkins and Sandesh Singh represent Principal Contractor and Principal Designer in timber frame fire safety case

Mike Atkins represented the Principal Contractor and Sandesh Singh represented the Principal Designer. Both organisations were charged with contravening section 3 of HSWA 1974 in relation to the design and construction of new timber framed building immediately adjacent to an occupied residential building.

It was alleged that both organisations had failed to ensure that the appropriate category of timber frame was used and to carry out an adequate assessment of the off-site fire risks.

The Health and Safety Executive initially sought starting points of up to £950,000 on the basis of ‘High’ culpability and ‘Harm Category 1’.

Relying on expert evidence relating to the CDM Regulations 2015 and fire safety, including the statistical likelihood of harm, Mike and Sandesh were able to persuade the Court to sentence on the basis of ‘Medium’ culpability and ‘Harm Category 3’.

Taking into account the substantial mitigation advanced on behalf of both organisations and the early guilty pleas entered, the fines imposed on the Principal Contractor and Principal Designer were £26,000 and £8,000 respectively.

Mike was instructed by Andrew Litchfield and Katie Harrison of Gowling WLG.

Sandesh was instructed by Joanna Lewis of Beale & Co Solicitors.

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