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Stephen is a consultant in the Licensing and Regulatory Unit at Ward Hadaway.

Stephen has responsibility for all investigations and prosecutions brought by Regulatory Authorities including the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency, Trading Standards, the Inland Revenue, the Financial Services Agency, the OFT as well as investigations and prosecutions brought by the Police. Stephen also represents NHS Trusts, companies and individuals as interested persons before Coroners sitting throughout the country.


Stephen is one of the leading specialists in the North of England in relation to all regulatory and related issues.

He has successfully represented clients who have been subject to investigation and prosecution by the Statutory Authorities including the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency, Trading Standards, Financial Services Agencies, HM Customs and Revenue, the OFT and the Police. Stephen’s clients have included large Corporate organisations, NHS Trusts, Local Authorities, small businesses as well as individuals.

Stephen has appeared before the Magistrates Courts and Crown Courts representing companies, Local Authorities, NHS Trusts and individuals who have required advice and representation following serious accidents, some of which have involved fatalities or near fatal incidents, allegations of serious environmental pollution, dishonesty or some other serious criminality. A significant number of those cases are high profile and have attracted publicity either locally or nationally.

  • Stephen has been instructed to act on behalf of a number of NHS Trusts across the North of England, in circumstances where the Police have carried out initial investigation following an unexpected patient outcome, those initial investigations examining the possibility of either criminal charges or some other allegation of serious misconduct. Stephen has assisted witnesses to provide statements and he has advised Trusts in relation to issues around disclosure of patient information. Those witnesses have included clinicians, nurses and senior executive officers within the Trusts. That support and advice to key witnesses in advance of the inquest and any subsequent Court hearings has been crucial to the successful management of the process.
  • Stephen successfully represented a large County Council following a joint investigation by the Police and the HSE into the death of a 14 year old pupil who drowned in a cave while attending an outdoor activities centre. Stephen appeared at the inquest which was held before a jury over a 4 week period and in relation to the trial of the County Council in respect of criminal proceedings brought by the HSE. The Council were found not guilty of all charges brought by the HSE.
  • Stephen also represented a regional international airport at an inquest into the circumstances of the death of one of their employees whilst at work. As a result of the evidence which was put before the Coroner and following discussions with the HSE, the decision was taken not to bring any formal criminal proceedings.
  • Stephen was responsible for work undertaken by his team on behalf of the Ambulance Service involving the Raoul Moat inquest.
  • Stephen has headed the team representing a number of commercial organisations who have been the subject of criminal proceedings brought by the Environment Agency. A significant number of those cases have involved major investigations undertaken by the Environment Agency in respect of sites situated to the North of Northumberland, Cumbria and South Yorkshire.
  • Stephen has had many notable successes representing high profile individuals at risk of losing their driving licence following Police prosecutions. Stephen has been asked to represent clients by other lawyers because of his expertise and has appeared before Magistrates’ Courts in connection with those types of proceedings throughout the United Kingdom.
  • As Head of the Licensing Unit, Stephen has been responsible for all applications necessary in order to ensure compliance with the current statutory requirements affecting businesses working within the leisure industry. The team have been responsible for applications throughout the United Kingdom acting on behalf of organisations such as English Heritage, the Co-op, the Malmaison and Du Vin chain of hotels, as well as other smaller commercial organisations.

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We had all hoped for a more positive start to 2021 than the increased restrictions which we are living under, but we can I think look forward with some optimism to an improvement over the course of the year with the roll out of the vaccines.

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