0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

first corporate manslaughter case begins today

25 February 2010

Today, the first prosecution to be brought under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 begins at Bristol Crown Court.

A Cotswold based company, Geotechnical Holdings Limited has been charged with an offence arising from the death of a geologist who was killed when a pit collapsed as he was taking soil samples at a property in Brimscombe. The companys sole director, Peter Eaton, also faces a charge of manslaughter and both Mr Eaton and his company face charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Despite the introduction of the Act, and the pending prosecution at Bristol Crown Court, there still appears to be an appetite for greater regulation of companies when it comes to issues of health and safety. Backbench Labour MP, Frank Doran, has introduced a Private Members Bill to amend the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to place a specific positive duty on company directors to ensure health and safety in their organisations.

The Health and Safety (Company Director Liability) Bill had its first reading in Parliament on 19 January 2010 and is scheduled for a second reading on 23 April 2010.

In support of the Bill, Doran said,

"My Bill will place a positive duty on all company directors to take all reasonable steps to ensure health and safety in all aspects of the companys activities - effectively to put them in the same position as all other employers and to remove a glaring anomaly in our health and safety laws."

The current prosecution and proposal for yet further legislation highlight the need to ensure effective health and safety systems are in place such that, in the event of serious accident or fatality, a company would feel confident of defending itself during the ensuing police and HSE investigation.

For further information in relation to the prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, or for further information in relation to the Health and Safety (Company Director Liability) Bill please get in touch.

training and events


Register for our Risk & Safety Charity Seminar Manchester office

This seminar offers a practical guide to the risk and safety elements when operating as a charity.

View event

focus on...

Legal updates

Sussex Partnership NHS Trust fined £200,000 – a warning for providers and investors

Sussex Partnership NHS Trust was sentenced on 14 June 2019 for failing to provide safe care and treatment to a 19 year old inmate being cared for on the hospital wing of Lewes Prison, Jamie Osborne.


Legal updates

Fire safety in care homes – what do you need to know?

The care home environment presents unique challenges and the consequences of getting fire safety wrong can be tragic.


Legal updates

The Hardest Word

On 17 January 2019, the Care Quality Commission issued a fixed penalty notice to an NHS hospital trust for failing to comply with the duty of candour, exercising its criminal enforcement powers for the first time since the requirement was introduced in 2014.


We caught up with Helen Simm on legal privilege and internal investigations

Helen Simm, criminal compliance and regulatory lawyer, discusses litigation privilege and legal advice privilege and where it can be applied.


The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up