Sandesh Singh specialises in criminal regulatory and professional disciplinary law. He is known for his thorough preparation, attention to detail and incisive advocacy. He has been described in the Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 directories as “an effective advocate even when pitched against silks and senior juniors twice his call”, “a detail-oriented man with strong advocacy skills” and “an effective advocate who prepares very thoroughly and rolls up his sleeves to get on top of the issues in even the most technical of cases”. He is valued by his clients for being “incredibly user friendly and well prepared” and is recognised as “an extremely impressive individual…bright, super-knowledgeable, measured, reasonable and easy to deal with”.
Gross Negligence Manslaughter, Health & Safety and Environmental
Sandesh represents individuals and companies in cases concerning deaths and serious injuries in the workplace.
He has considerable experience of defending in cases of gross negligence manslaughter. He was junior counsel for Honey Rose, the optometrist whose conviction for manslaughter was quashed by the Court of Appeal in July 2017. Now one of the leading cases in the area, the Court of Appeal clarified the law in respect of reasonable foreseeability and ruled that the defence submission of no case to answer made to the trial judge ought to have been allowed.
Recent health and safety cases include:
- Defending William Hill in relation to a prosecution brought by LB Camden. The case concerned a fatal accident in which a large metal advertising sign fell from above the branch of William Hill on Camden Road in North London and struck a member of the public (Led by John Cooper QC).
- Representing Priory Healthcare in relation to a prosecution brought by the HSE following the death of Amy El-Keria at the Priory Hospital Ticehurst House. Before Dingemans J (Led by John Cooper QC).
- Acting for a site foreman charged, alongside his employer, with Gross Negligence Manslaughter and an offence contrary to s7 HSWA 1974 following the death of a carpenter who was working at height during the conversion of stable blocks at Stanmer House in Sussex.
Sandesh also has experience of defending in cases concerning the environment and wildlife.
Sandesh is regularly instructed to represent individuals and companies charged with driving offences. He often acts where there are concurrent ‘high value’ civil proceedings. He has also acted in high profile road traffic matters, such as defending (led by QC and junior) a group of Addison Lee drivers who were prosecuted for driving in the M4 bus lane. The defence to be advanced was that the delegated legislation creating the criminal offence in question unjustifiably discriminated against private hire vehicles and was thus unlawful. Following service of the defence case the Crown withdrew all 130 summonses.
Health and Safety Cases
- LB Camden v William Hill Organisation Ltd – Successfully defend William Hill in relation to a fatal accident in which a large metal advertising sign fell from above the William Hill bookmakers on Camden Road in North London and struck a member of the public. After a 6 week trial and 8 days of jury deliberation, the company was found not guilty of two health and safety offences (led by John Cooper QC).
- R (HSE) v Priory Healthcare Ltd. – Represented Priory Healthcare Ltd. in relation to a prosecution brought by the HSE following the death of Amy El-Keria at the Priory Hospital Ticehurst House. A guilty plea was entered but it was disputed that the offence was a significant cause of Amy’s tragic death. Dingemans J found that causation had not been established and fined the company £300,000 (led by John Cooper QC).
- R (HSE) v C & S – Represented a farming business charged with health and safety offences after a worker sustained crush injuries when his arm became trapped in the moving parts of a potato grader.
- R (HSE) v R Ltd – Representing a company charged with health and safety offences relating to explosion which occurred when oxy-acetylene cutting equipment was being used to cut an oil drum, resulting in serious injuries.
- R (HSE) v S Ltd – Representing a roofing company and director charged with health and safety offences following a fatal fall from height.
- R(HSE) v B Ltd – Represented a manufacturing company charged with health and safety offences following a series of accidents in which three workers were injured by falling metal fencing panels.
- R(HSE) v K2 Ltd – Represented a manufacturing company charged with health and safety offences arising out of an accident in which an employee was crushed by falling metal sheets, suffering two broken legs.
- R(HSE) v AA & Another – Represented individuals charged with health and safety offences following the collapse of a concrete pumping lorry, as a result of which a worker sustained serious head injuries.
- R(HSE) v E Ltd – Represented a company charged with offences concerning a fall from height on farm premises, resulting in life-changing injuries.
- R(HSE) v H Ltd – Represented a company charged with asbestos related offences.
Gross Negligence Manslaughter
- R v Oakes & Another – Represented a site foreman charged with gross negligence manslaughter and a health and safety offence following the death of a carpenter who fell from height during the conversion of stable blocks at Stanmer Park in Sussex. The case involved complex issues of causation. (Led junior).
- R v Honey Rose – Represented an optometrist charged with gross negligence manslaughter following the death of a child. This was a complex and high profile case involving the first prosecution of an optometrist for manslaughter. The defendant was convicted following a trial before Stuart-Smith J and a jury. The conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeal on 31 July 2017 on the basis that the submission of no case to answer made to the trial judge ought to have been allowed ( EWCA Crim 1618) (Led by QC).
- R v Dr Lyndsey Thomas & Another – Represented a GP charged with gross negligence manslaughter arising out of an alleged failure to visit a child who was suffering from a rare endocrine disorder. Nicola Davies J upheld a submission of no case to answer. The Court of Appeal’s judgment in relation to the prosecution’s interlocutory appeal in the co-defendant’s case is reported (R v Rudling  EWCA Crim 741). (Led by QC).
- R (Natural England) v Benham-Crosswell – Represented a retired army colonel charged with destruction of great crested newt habitat. It was alleged that, amongst other things, he had deliberately and for financial gain drained a number of inter-connecting ponds which were known to be a great crested newt breeding ground in order to obtain materials to run his brickworks.
- Environment Agency v Starbuck – Represented a haulier charged with unlawfully depositing controlled waste on a number of occasions as part of a commercial fly-tipping operation around the M25 in Kent. Twelve defendants.
- Environment Agency v Lee & RBPC Ltd – Represented a company director charged with unlawfully depositing approximately 5000 cubic meters of controlled waste on land in Berkshire. (Sole counsel).
- Environment Agency v I Ltd – Represented a company charged with multiple breaches in respect of two waste transfer stations in West London.
Sandesh is frequently instructed to represent interested parties at inquests. He has experience of inquests involving complex issues across a wide range of areas such as construction, transport engineering, the provision of medical care for patients with mental health conditions, care of the elderly and police use of firearms.
He is current instructed to advise in connection with the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Sandesh’s extensive inquest experience includes representing:
- Two police officers involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Underground station at an inquest lasting three months before Sir Michael Wright QC. He also appeared in linked Judicial Review proceedings in respect of the conclusions left to the jury (unreported, Silber J).
- A major transport company at the inquest into the death of Maurice Wrightson, who died when the coach that he was driving crashed into rocks and caught fire near Alpe D’Huez in France: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/22/bus-driver-crashed-into-rocks-to-save-passengers-inquest-hears
- A major travel company at an inquest into the death of a passenger in Egypt: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-48871242
- A company at the highly publicised inquest into the death of a football fan who was found dead in an excavation close to his home in Luton: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5598731/Football-fan-40-died-falling-roadworks-hole-near-home.html
- A shipping company at an inquest concerning the death of a dock worker who was crushed between two shipping containers at Portsmouth Dockyard: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/man-arrested-after-34-year-11073016
- A property developer at the inquest into the death of a construction worker following an explosion near Hampstead Heath in London: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-43742513
Sandesh has experience of representing regulators and individuals in healthcare disciplinary proceedings before a variety of tribunals, including the General Medical Council, General Dental Council and General Optical Council.
In addition, Sandesh is regularly instructed in connection with appeals to the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal, eg: Akhtar v GDC  EWHC 1986; Ivanova v GDC  EWHC 1922, Phillips v GDC  EWHC 2584 and GOC v Clarke  EWCA Civ 1463.
- GMC v Dr Donegan – Represented a GP alleged to be guilty of misconduct by reason of her writing misleading reports for the Family Division of the High Court in relation to the safety and necessity of childhood vaccinations. It was alleged that she had not provided a balanced expert opinion and had allowed her deeply held views on the subject to overrule her duty to the Court (Led by QC).
- GDC v Manjooran – Acted for the regulator in a case involving allegations of deficient clinical treatment, inappropriate communications with colleagues, aggressive behaviour whilst at work and adverse health affecting fitness to practise. The dentist’s defence included reliance on Article 10 ECHR and a suggestion that he was acting as a ‘whistleblower’. Five week hearing.
- GDC v Bamgbelu – Acted for the regulator in a particularly sensitive case concerning a dentist who sent numerous abusive emails to colleagues and GDC staff members. Bamgbelu v GDC  4123 (Admin).
- GOC v Jordan – Represented an optometrist alleged to have provided spectacles containing tinted lenses to numerous child patients, many with autism or other learning difficulties, without obtaining informed consent. The optometrist also faced allegations of inappropriate NHS claims and inadequate record keeping. Conditions were imposed. The co-defendant, a dispensing optometrist, was struck off:
- GOC v Styles – Defended an optometrist alleged to have dishonestly provided spectacles to 70 child patients, many with severe learning difficulties, when these were not clinically indicated and dishonestly charging for a non-evidence based assessment. A complex case involving around 500 individual charges, over 200 of which are allegations of dishonesty. Acquitted of all dishonesty charges, fitness to practise not impaired.
- GDC v Wasu – Acted for the regulator in a complex case concerning allegations of deficient clinical treatment, forgery, retrospective alteration of computer records and the submission of false documents as part of the regulator’s investigation. The dentist was represented by QC throughout. Wasu v GDC  EWHC 3782 (Admin).
- GOC v Soni: Represented an optometrist alleged to have acted dishonestly over almost two decades by providing clinical interventions to patients which he knew were not required. On the third day of a three-week hearing, the GOC was forced to concede that it could not even establish that the approach adopted by the registrant was clinically inappropriate. This resulted in over 100 allegations of inappropriate prescribing, dishonesty and financial motivation being withdrawn. The committee ultimately found that any remaining failures in record keeping were insufficiently serious to amount to misconduct.
Professional Discipline Junior of the year (Chambers & Partners Bar Awards 2018)
- LLB (Hons), University of Bristol
- BVC, College of Law, London
“An effective advocate who prepares very thoroughly and rolls up his sleeves to get on top of the issues in even the most technical of cases.”
“He has a great eye and mind for detail.”
“An effective advocate even when pitched against silks and senior juniors twice his call.”
“Incredibly user-friendly and well prepared.”
“An extremely impressive individual. Thorough is an understatement. He is bright, super-knowledgeable, measured, reasonable and easy to deal with.”
“A detail-oriented man with strong advocacy skills.”
“Hard-working and conscientious…His level of preparation means that he is a match for any opponent.”
“Meticulous in his attention to detail and will leave no stone unturned.”