Sandesh 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 in the following ways:
- “an effective advocate even when pitched against silks and senior juniors twice his call”
- “his advocacy is measured, persuasive and smooth”
- “a detail-oriented man with strong advocacy skills”
- “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”
- “an extremely impressive individual … bright, super-knowledgeable, measured, reasonable and easy to deal with”
- “incredibly user friendly and well prepared”
- “…. very clever, insightful and has a great manner with clients”
- “…. brilliant, incredibly hard-working and pleasant to work with”
- “extremely clever, thorough, positive and always responsive to queries”
- “…. always thinking about the bigger picture and understands the commercial implications for clients”
Sandesh is currently instructed in connection with some of the UK’s most significant cases, such as the Bosley Mill prosecution and the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Current/recent 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.
- 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.
- Planet Coconut, a company charged with food safety offences alongside Pret a Manger in relation to the death of a customer who had consumed food purchased from the Pret a Manger shop in Bath.
- The Managing Director of Wood Treatment Ltd., who faced four counts of gross negligence manslaughter following an explosion at Bosley Mill in Cheshire. Before May J.
Sandesh has considerable experience of defending in cases of gross negligence manslaughter. He was junior counsel (at trial and on appeal) 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, Stuart-Smith J, ought to have been allowed. Sandesh has continued to act for Mrs Rose in her disciplinary proceedings before the General Optical Council and in relation to the Professional Standards Authority’s appeal to the High Court,  EWHC 2888 (Admin).
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 representing 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.
Sandesh also has experience of defending in cases concerning the environment and wildlife.
Health & Safety Cases
- LB Camden v William Hill Organisation Ltd – Successfully defended 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 in relation to a prosecution brought by the HSE following the death of a patient at the Priory Hospital Ticehurst House. A guilty plea was entered but it was disputed that the offence was a significant cause of the death. Dingemans J found that causation had not been established (led by John Cooper QC).
- Bath & North East Somerset Council v Pret a Manger UK Ltd and Planet Coconut Ltd – Instructed to represent Planet Coconut Ltd in respect of a prosecution concerning the death of a customer who had purchased food from Pret a Manger in Bath (led by QC).
- R (HSE) v MS Ltd – Instructed to represent a water utility company charged with a health and safety offence relating to the death of a football fan who died after falling into an excavation close to his home.
- R (HSE) v TF & Others – Represented a Principal Designer charged with a health and safety offence in relation to the design and construction of a new timber framed building immediately adjacent to an occupied residential building.
- R(HSE) v UEFS Ltd – Represented a company charged with breaches of electricity regulations after two men were severely injured in an explosion which occurred during electrical maintenance work.
- R(HSE) v FUK Ltd – Represented a major delivery company charged with a health and safety offence following a forklift truck incident at a parcel sorting depot.
- R (HSE) v C Ltd – 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 A & Another – Represented an individual 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.
Gross Negligence Manslaughter
- R v Boden & Others – Instructed to represent a managing director charged with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter following an explosion at Bosley Mill in 2015 (led by Simon Antrobus QC).
- 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 he had drained a number of inter-connecting ponds which were known to be a great crested newt breeding ground.
- 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.
- 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, medical and social care, travel, retail and policing.
Sandesh is currently instructed to advise in connection with the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Sandesh recently represented a charity which provides supported housing for homeless people. In January 2017 a resident at shared accommodation managed by the charity was fatally stabbed by another resident. The assailant was subsequently convicted of Manslaughter by reason of Diminished Responsibility and sentenced to a Hospital Order. An Article 2 inquest was held to examine whether any acts or omissions of the Mental Health Trust, the Metropolitan Police, the Local Authority or the charity contributed to the death. At the conclusion of the evidence, the Coroner ruled that it would not be safe for the Jury to consider any issues relating to the charity and that it was not necessary to issue a Regulation 28 Report.
Other examples of Sandesh’s extensive inquest experience include representing:
- 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 and in associated judicial review proceedings (led by QC).
- A major transport company at an inquest into the death of a man who suffered a cardiac arrest whilst being detained after travelling on the Metrolink in Manchester.
- A property developer at an inquest into the death of a construction worker following an explosion near Hampstead Heath in London.
- A major travel company at an inquest into the death of a passenger in Egypt.
- A company at an inquest into the death of a football fan who was found in an excavation close to his home in Luton.
- A shipping company at an inquest concerning the death of a dock worker who was crushed between two shipping containers at Portsmouth Dockyard.
- A major transport company at an inquest into the death of a coach driver involved in a crash near Alpe D’Huez in France.
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, GOC v Clarke  EWCA Civ 1463 and Milerman v GDC  EWHC 2378.
- 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 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 optician, 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)
- Sandesh Singh & DWF successful in representation of charity at Article 2 ligature inquest
- Bosley Mill Manslaughter Acquittals
- LLB (Hons), University of Bristol
- BVC, College of Law, London
“Really gets into the detail and is very methodical. He has a great eye for detail and is able to anticipate the issues in advance.”
“A very smooth and effective advocate.”
“He is extremely diligent, thorough and very good with clients.”
“He is incredibly impressive, a brilliant advocate. He is meticulous, thorough and one of the most hard-working barristers I know.”
“He is very clever, insightful and has a great manner with clients.”
“Responsive, commercial and user-friendly with excellent strategic insight and strong advocacy.”
“Whether leading or being led, Sandesh has an intimate knowledge of the documents and facts from the very outset in a case. This ability to “get into” the case stand him apart from his competitors and his preparation is unrivalled. He is able to adapt and think on his feet at a moments notice and it really gives clients faith that they are in good hands. He is always thinking about the bigger picture and understands the commercial implications for clients.”
“He’s incredibly diligent, hard-working, and his attention to detail is second to none. A brilliant junior.”
“He is very smooth, pragmatic and efficient.”
“He’s organised, meticulous and very good at getting into the details of a case and working through a large amount of documents.”
“He is brilliant, incredibly hard-working and pleasant to work with.”
“An effective advocate even when pitched against silks and senior juniors twice his call.”