Harry joined Chambers in 2004 after successful completion of his pupillage. After initially practising in Personal Injury, he joined the Criminal Regulatory and Environmental team in 2008 and has since specialised in this area, appearing in many of the most significant cases in the field. He had a career break from 2013 to 2017 teaching at St. Peter’s School, York, and remains based in York for his nationwide practice in all areas of Regulatory work.
Harry was appointed a Recorder in Crime on the North-Eastern Circuit in 2022.
Harry is Chambers & Partners Health & Safety Junior of the Year for 2021.
Health & Safety
Harry acts for companies and individuals in the most serious health & safety prosecutions, including corporate and gross negligence manslaughter. He has acted for all sizes of business, from sole traders to Plcs, across a wide spectrum of industries, encompassing all aspects of construction, transport management, work at height, electrical installation, swimming pool management, farming, caravan sites, asbestos, care homes and commercial baking.
Harry successfully represented the employer in the Bosley Mill explosion prosecution, led by Dominic Kay KC, and this year, also led by Dominic, successfully secured the acquittal of manslaughter of the Managing Director of Alutrade Limited. He is briefed in three more manslaughters in the forthcoming year.
Harry is widely experienced in Fire Safety matters, having represented a number of individuals and corporates alike in prosecutions under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. He was instructed in the Grenfell Inquiry. He has extensive experience in appeals against Enforcement Notices served under the FSO and achieving the best possible outcomes in high profile cases.
Harry has broad experience in food safety matters, with clients ranging from individual publicans to large catering companies to nationally recognised chain restaurants.
Harry’s practice in consumer protection is growing, in particular, in representing businesses investigated and prosecuted for under-age sale of knives, contrary to s.141A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
Harry is experienced in a very broad range of environmental issues, again appearing for both companies and individuals in connection with prosecutions as wide ranging as the discharge of waste into waterways in the north and the destruction of protected species habitat in a multi-million-pound development on the banks of the Thames. He has recently been instructed for one of the national water companies.
- HSE v. GEL (2022, Preston Crown Court)
- R. v. Alutrade Limited & Ors (2022, Wolverhampton Crown Court)
- R. v. WTL  EWCA Crim 618
- HSE v. Fullwood Care Limited (2021, Liverpool Crown Court)
- HSE v. DJT Surfacing Limited (2019)
- Hertfordshire County Council v. McMullen & Sons Limited (2019)
- HSE v. Willmott Dixon  EWCA Crim 1226
- HSE v. Tangerine Confectionery Limited & Anr  EWCA Crim 2015
Harry frequently appears at inquests for interested persons where potential prosecutions for the whole spectrum of health & safety and food safety offences are at large, including Corporate Manslaughter. Inquests in which he has been instructed have involved all manner of industrial incidents, suspected food poisoning cases, asbestos related disease and road traffic accidents.
- Non-causative resolution secured in fatal refuse collection incident prosecution
- Manslaughter trial results in fine and suspended sentences
- Food Safety prosecution of takeaway director halted at Snaresbrook Crown Court
- A new dawn for Building Safety?
- Criminal Regulatory Manchester Seminar
- “Keeping an eye on COVID-19: the morning after the night before” by Harry Vann & Katie Sage
“A very strong advocate who is excellent with clients. He’s a superb barrister.”
Chambers & Partners, 2022
“An incredibly intelligent and very engaging advocate.”
Chambers & Partners, 2022
“His attention to detail is excellent and he’s a strong advocate.”; “He’s excellent on his feet and his subject knowledge is astonishingly good.”; “He’s a calm, thoughtful and organised barrister. I have been impressed by his cross-examinations and he’s very analytical.”
Chambers & Partners, 2021
“Harry has an exceptional ability to identify the significant issues that are key to achieving the best outcome. He produces very effective strategies and clients warm to him easily.”
Chambers & Partners, 2020
Chambers & Partners, 2014, 2013, 2012
“Runs complex arguments with panache”
Chambers & Partners, 2013
This “charming performer” is praised for his “wonderful courtroom style”.
Chambers & Partners, 2012
The Legal 500, 2011