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Mark Balysz

Call 1995

"Health & Safety Junior of the Year"
(Chambers & Partners 2017)

Mark Balysz is one of the country’s leading criminal and inquest advocates, specialising in corporate and individual manslaughter, health and safety, environmental prosecutions, trading offences and financial crime.  Mark is a regular guest lecturer in health and safety on the Construction Law and Dispute Resolution Masters degree at King’s College, London University.

Criminal Regulatory & Environmental

Corporate Manslaughter

At present Mark is assisting four Companies and their directors, under investigation by the police. These include a television film studio, road works contractor, a building contractor and a national retailer.

Environmental

Mark is instructed to undertake Environmental cases, most often involving charges brought under the EPA 1990, the Water Resources Act 1991, Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations 2000 and Packaging Regulations.

His most recent environmental work includes:

  1. Defending companies charged under the EPA with allowing large volumes of waste to collect on unlicensed land.
  2. Defending companies charged under the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations.
  3. Advising companies on the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations.
  4. Defending companies on allegations of water pollution.

Recent clients have included Yorkshire Water and house builder Barratt Homes.

Fire Safety

Mark’s specialisation in fire safety goes together with his health and safety expertise. He defends both companies and directors charged with breaching the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2006, DSEAR and the general duties under HSWA. Clients in this regard have included, amongst others, ATS Euromaster Ltd and B&Q Plc.

Mark also represents fire services after the deaths of fire fighters. This includes:

  1. Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, for whom he acted in a six week inquest into the deaths of two fire fighters in Shirley Towers, before the Coroner for Southampton and the New Forest.
  2. Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, in a five week inquest into the death of a fire fighter at Paul’s Hair World, listed in April 2016 before the Coroner for Greater Manchester.

Mark is regularly instructed to advise and represent companies and directors in trading standards and licensing matters.

Financial Crime

Mark has throughout his 20 years of practice specialised in serious crime and continues to be instructed in such cases where a junior is required with experience, an attention to detail and proven ability.

Mark’s first experience of fraud work was as a led junior in the London City Bond frauds of the late 1990s. Ever since he has represented both companies and directors charged with fraud and facing confiscation proceedings, individuals on money laundering allegations and has advised companies with regards to the Bribery Act 2010. Mark attributes his success in the criminal regulatory field to the years of practice he has had in serious crime, in particular financial.

Selected Cases

Corporate Manslaughter

  • R v Peter Mawson Ltd & Peter Mawson – Mark represented both defendants from the outset of the police investigation into the death of an employee who fell through a sky-light whilst undertaking roof repairs. The director was directly involved in the works and this was a case of no safety measures being in place. Both Defendants were charged with manslaughter. Company pleaded to corporate manslaughter and s.2 HSWA. It was fined £215,000 with significant time to pay. Director pleaded to s.37 HSWA and received a non-custodial penalty. The prosecution unsuccessfully argued profit before safety. The judge rejected evidence from ex-employees as to a callous disregard for safety.
  • R v Sterecycle Ltd – Mark advised the Company, charged with corporate manslaughter, and its administrators pre-trial. As a result the Company was unrepresented at trial.

Financial Crime

  • R v The Home & Motor Club Limited & David Mellen – Mark secured the acquittal of both Defendants charged with 28 counts of fraud and breaching the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. HHJ Fitton QC ruled in favour of an application of no case to answer at the close of the prosecution’s case and directed the jury to acquit. Both Defendants had previously pleaded guilty when represented by different counsel and solicitors, such pleas being set aside after the instruction of Mark and on his application. The basis of that application was a failure to follow the procedure for indication of sentence in R v Goodyear [2005] EWCA 888, inappropriate prosecutorial inducement and flawed advice by non-specialist lawyers.
  • R v Pummell & Others – VAT carousel fraud and money laundering.
  • R v Kyriakides & Others – Alleged fraud of trustee in bankruptcy in sum of £100 million plus. Client acquitted on direction of judge at close of prosecution case.

Other Notable Cases

  • Liverpool CC v Euroffice Ltd & Spicers Ltd – Acted for both companies in defence against charges brought under the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations.
  • Various v TJ Morris Ltd (Home Bargains) – Retained counsel advising and representing company on licensing and criminal investigations and prosecutions.
  • R v Rosemary Beazley & Scott Beazley [2013] EWCA Crim 567 – Represented husband and wife directors in trade mark law prosecution and responded on appeal after judge stayed confiscation proceedings for an abuse of process.
  • West Berkshire DC v Superdrug Stores Plc – Advised company on prosecution under Packaging (Essential Requirements) regulations 2003. Charges withdrawn after receipt of counsel drafted submissions.
  • Various v Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd – Multiple instructions defending licensing prosecutions.
  • R v Butt, Khan & Zaidi – Client, with co-defendants, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to forge international travel documents and original terrorism charges not proceeded with.

Health & Safety

Since joining the team in 2010 Mark has developed into one of the country’s leading health and safety practitioners, with the vast majority of his work on the defence side. Clients have included:

The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, Crest Nicholson, BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman, Kier Infrastructure & Overseas Ltd, B&M Retail, GEA, Jaguar Land Rover, British Airways, Siemens, Galliford Try, Birse Civils, Sheffield Forgemasters, Metroline, Warburtons, Iceland, Sainsburys, Booths Supermarkets, Homebargains (TJ Morris), B&Q, New Look, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

Selected Cases

  • HSE v Metroline Ltd – Client, a London bus operator, charged with s.3 HSWA after cleaning company employer seriously injured and crushed between two buses. Client acquitted by the jury. Case prosecuted by James Maxwell- Scott.
  • HSE v Francis Brown Ltd – Client charged with breaching electrical regulations after the death by electrocution of an employee. Client acquitted by the jury on the direction of the trial judge.
  • HSE v G & AM Lawson Ltd – Client charged with breaching s.2 HSWA and regulation 3 MHSWR after the death of an employee. Client acquitted by the jury on the direction of the trial judge.
  • HSE v CE Davidson Ltd – Client charged with breach of s.2 HSWA after building collapsed onto young employee during demolition, causing life changing serious injuries. Client acquitted by the jury.
  • HSE v Sheppard Building Services Ltd – Client charged with breaching CDM regulations after the collapse of a partly constructed fourth storey floor in a construction project, causing a worker to plummet to the ground and suffer serious injury. Client acquitted. Co-defended with Simon Antrobus.
  • HSE v Enterprise Liverpool Ltd, Tarmac Trading Limited & Liverpool City Council – Fatality trial. Acting for principle contractor Enterprise. Member of the public seriously injured at start of works to Liverpool ring road. One month later another member of the public was killed. Listed five weeks. After four weeks of trial co-defendants pleaded and prosecution made client offer which could not be refused. Enterprise fined £25,000 as compared to the Tarmac fine of £1.3 million.
  • SE v Willmott Dixon Ltd [2012] EWCA Crim 1226 – Prosecution counsel at trial. Leading case on meaning of risk in asbestos cases. John Cooper QC appeared on behalf of the company.
  • HSE v Tangerine Confectionary Ltd [2011] EWCA Crim 2015 – Prosecution counsel at trial and on appeal. Leading case on risk and approach to health and safety cases generally. John Cooper QC appeared on behalf of the company.

Inquests & Public Inquiries

Mark Balysz is regularly instructed to represent companies and organisations at inquest, both Jamieson and Middleton, including:

  • Acting for principle contractors, contractors and clients with regards to deaths during the course of construction.
  • Acting for care homes with regards to deaths of residents.
  • Acting for a film studio with regards to a death on set.
  • Acting for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service in the inquest into the death of a fire fighter.
  • Acting for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service in the inquest into the death of two fire fighters.
  • Acting for a children’s nursery in the inquest into the death of a toddler in its care.
  • Acting for a local authority in the inquest into the death of a member of the public from a collapsing tree.

Recommendations


“A great junior with solid criminal knowledge and an impressive manner in court.”

Legal 500 2018

“An utterly reliable advocate with a great understanding of the law.”

Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2018

“He has excellent technical skills and a real ability to read clients’ expectations.”

Legal 500 2017

“Health & Safety Junior of the Year”

Chambers & Partners 2017


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