Sandesh Singh specialises in criminal regulatory law, inquests and professional disciplinary law. He is known for his thorough preparation, attention to detail and incisive advocacy. He is listed as a leading junior in the Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 directories in the fields of health and safety, inquests and professional discipline and has been described in the following ways:
- “pretty much the complete package …. technically excellent …. a great advocate and great with clients”
- “responsive, commercial and user-friendly with excellent strategic insight and strong advocacy”
- “his attention to detail and preparation are first class and he has great client care but can be firm when necessary …. he will always ensure that the client’s position is protected and stand his ground”
- “an effective advocate even when pitched against silks and senior juniors twice his call”
- “an extremely impressive individual …. bright, super-knowledgeable, measured, reasonable and easy to deal with”
- “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 Grenfell Tower fire and the Brixton Academy incident.
Current/recent safety cases include defending:
- An engineering inspection body in respect of a health and safety offence following the death of an employee, who fell from height whilst surveying a customer’s complex 3-story structure. Acquitted by the jury.
- 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. Acquitted of all manslaughter counts following a successful submission of no case to answer. Acquittals upheld by the Court of Appeal (R v WTL & Boden  EWCA Crim 618).
- Planet Coconut Ltd., 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. Acquitted upon the Prosecution offering no evidence following service of expert evidence.
- 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. Acquitted.
- 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. Guilty plea, causation of the death successfully challenged.
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 (R v Rose  3 WLR 1461).
Health & Safety Cases
- R (HSE) v An engineering inspection body & another company – Successfully secured the unanimous jury acquittal of a leading engineering inspection business, following a 3-week trial at Reading Crown Court. The company provides statutory inspection support services to industry and was prosecuted by the HSE following the death of an employee, falling from height whilst surveying a customer’s complex 3-story structure. The customer company, a car manufacturer, was a co-defendant in the case and was convicted of both charges under s2 and s3 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 that it faced (led by Simon Antrobus KC).
- 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 KC). https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6358319/William-Hill-cleared-health-safety-offences-440lb-sign-killed-lawyer.html
- 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 KC). https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/04/17/priory-group-fined-300000-judge-death-teenage-girl-psychiatric
- 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. Acquitted upon the Prosecution offering no evidence following service of expert evidence (led by KC).https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7663977/Pret-Manger-food-supplier-Planet-Coconut-face-trial-death-woman.html
- R (HSE) v MEU – Instructed to represent a manufacturer of agricultural machinery charged with health and safety offences concerning the design of a baler following a serious accident. 2-week Crown Court trial listed in late 2023.
- R (HSE) v RJL Ltd. – Instructed to represent a lift inspection company charged with a health and safety offence following the death of an employee. 3-week Crown Court trial listed in late 2023.
- R (HSE) v T Ltd. and D Ltd. – Instructed to represent two companies in respect of separate prosecutions by the HSE for offences relating to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).
- R (HSE) v AUK Ltd. – Represented a company charged with a health and safety offence arising out of the decommissioning of the platform ‘Brent Bravo’, which was part of the Brent oil and gas field in the North Sea.
- R (HSE) v MS Ltd – Represented 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 – Represented a managing director charged with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter following an explosion at Bosley Mill in 2015. Acquitted of all manslaughter counts following a successful submission of no case to answer. Acquittals upheld by the Court of Appeal (R v WTL & Boden  EWCA Crim 618) (led by Simon Antrobus QC). https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-50631845
- 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). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-41283631
- 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 KC). https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/31/optometrist-honey-rose-wins-appeal-against-conviction-manslaughter-boy-8
- 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 KC). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/17/doctor-cleared-over-death-of-12-year-old-boy/
- 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. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3825944/Retired-army-colonel-loses-battle-great-crested-newt-fined-1-000-draining-lake-home.html
- 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, housing, travel, retail and policing.
Sandesh is currently instructed to advise in connection with the Grenfell Tower fire and the Brixton Academy incident.
Sandesh recently represented a charity which provides health and social care services at a two-week Article 2 inquest. The case concerned the death of a patient at a specialist mental health unit, which was run by the charity in collaboration with an NHS Trust. The deceased had been diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder and was detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. She had self-harmed in various ways, including by applying ligatures, whilst at the unit. In the early hours of the morning on a day in January 2019, the deceased was found by support staff with a ligature around her neck. Around an hour later, she applied a further ligature to her neck which led to her death. It was suggested that, after the first incident, the deceased should have been placed on 1:1 observations and that her bedroom ought to have been searched for other items which could be used as a ligature. At the conclusion of the inquest, the Jury delivered positive findings that the decisions made after the first incident were reasonable. The Jury also rejected a suggestion that the death was contributed to by neglect.
Other recent cases include:
Representing 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. A two-week 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.
Representing a housing association at a nine-day inquest which concerned a tenant in shared accommodation owned by the housing association who was fatally stabbed by another tenant. Both individuals had been allocated to the property via the Local Authority and were in receipt of support provided by a further organisation. The assailant, who was also under the care of the mental health services, 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 NHS Trust, the Metropolitan Police, the Local Authority, the support provider or the housing association contributed to the death. At the conclusion of the evidence, the Coroner delivered a narrative conclusion in which he identified various failings in risk assessment/management. The Coroner did not find that any matter concerning the housing association was either probably or possibly causative and no Regulation 28 report was issued in respect of the housing association.
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 KC and in associated judicial review proceedings (led by KC).
- 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. https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/jack-barnes-tribute-metrolink-police-12343316
- A property developer at an inquest into the death of a construction worker following an explosion near Hampstead Heath in London. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4321332/One-killed-gas-explosion-London-s-Hampstead-Heath.html
- 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 an inquest into the death of a football fan who was found 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 major transport company at an inquest into the death of a coach driver involved in a crash near Alpe D’Huez in France. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/22/bus-driver-crashed-into-rocks-to-save-passengers-inquest-hears
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; Milerman v GDC  EWHC 2378 and PSA v GOC and Honey Rose  EWCA Civ 2888.
- GOC v Honey Rose – Represented Honey Rose in respect of her disciplinary proceedings before the Fitness to Practise Committee of the General Optical Council, following the PSA’s successful High Court appeal (PSA v GOC and Honey Rose  EWCA Civ 2888).
- 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 KC).
- 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)
- 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: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-scotland-43332486/optician-struck-off-over-tinted-lenses-cures
- 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).
- 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)
- John Cooper KC and Sandesh Singh secure non-causative disposal in ligature suicide case
- Priory Hospital Aberdare HSE Prosecution
- LLB (Hons), University of Bristol
- BVC, College of Law, London
“Excellent all round. Thorough, impressive, focused and meticulous in his preparation. He is all over a case and is a go-to for complex cases – he’s got it all.”
Chambers & Partners, 2024
“He is extremely intelligent and brilliant on technical cases involving science which he is able to bring down into a more simple form.”
Legal 500, 2024
“Sandesh is an exceptional and articulate barrister. His tactical and strategic approach is impressive.”
Legal 500, 2024
“Extremely bright, very thorough and has great attention to detail. He gets right to the heart of a case. His advocacy is clear and very impressive.”
“His attention to detail and preparation are first class and he has great client care but can be firm when necessary …. he will always ensure that the client’s position is protected and stand his ground.”
“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.”
“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.”