Dominic has been in practice at Temple Garden Chambers since 1997 and has developed a broad regulatory health and safety and civil practice. He specializes in health and safety.
Dominic has a broad health & safety practice and regularly appears in the Crown Court representing duty-holders in prosecutions under the HSWA 1974 following both fatal and non-fatal accidents. In fatal accident cases he also acts in related coroner’s inquests. He has experience representing individuals as well as companies of all sizes (including some of the largest operating in the United Kingdom). He has worked on cases across a wide range of industries/sectors including: steel manufacturing, rail, construction, security, waste management, healthcare, residential care, education, sports and leisure. He has particular interest in cases involving explosions and fires. Dominic also represents duty-holders in other regulatory matters under the HSWA 1974 (e.g. appeals against prohibition and improvement notices) and environmental and food safety prosecutions. He has acted in public inquiries following public disasters (e.g. Southall and Ladbroke Grove rail crashes). He recently represented the Independent Police Complaints Commission in the Inquest into the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster.
Dominic has a niche product liability practice. Typically, though not exclusively, he represents large scale manufacturers, producers and distributors. He has advised companies based in the UK, the EU and beyond. He has considerable experience of civil litigation concerning a wide variety of products including domestic appliances (e.g. televisions, white goods, heating systems), industrial equipment, vehicle/motorcycle/cycle manufacturing and medical components. He has advised on a wide range of issues including duties and liabilities under consumer protection and product safety legislation including product recalls, insurance coverage disputes, inquests related to product safety and regulatory prosecutions.
In the field of personal injury he has experience of catastrophic injury claims (e.g. brain damage, paraplegia and amputee claims) as well as claims arising out of less serious injuries. He has a particular interest in fraudulent or exaggerated claims. Dominic has been involved in a significant number of group litigation cases including cases where a Group Litigation Order (GLO) has been issued (e.g. Scania Series 4, Powertrain) as well as large multi-Claimant non-GLO cases relating to domestic products and foodstuffs.
Health and Safety
Dominic has been recommended as a Leading Junior for Health & Safety, in Chambers & Partners in every year from 2006 until 2015. The current edition describes him as “keen and good with clients”. Earlier editions suggest he is “easy-going advocate with an attractive style.” Solicitors have noted that he “involves himself closely with cases from an early stage and is very approachable and good with clients.”
He has also been recommended as a Leading Junior for Health & Safety in the Legal 500 every year from 2005 until 2016. The 2016 edition states that Dominic “always goes the extra mile for his clients and is extremely thorough.” Earlier editions described him as having “a charismatic aura” and “an excellent health and safety lawyer who possesses a keen understanding of the arguments that are likely to appeal to a particular court.” In one edition he was said to have “a brilliant sense of humour and carries clients through the difficult times“.
Inquests and Inquiries
The 2016 edition of Legal 500 recommends Dominic as a Leading Junior for Inquests and Inquiries. It states “He is a marvelously safe pair of hands and instils confidence in both lay and professional clients.”
Dominic is recommended as a Leading Junior for Personal Injury in the 2016 edition of Chambers & Partners. He is described as taking “a very pragmatic approach to litigation and offers sound, sensible advice.” It adds that “He understands the commercial sensitivities for insurers in large loss cases.” In earlier editions he has been described as being “very astute, methodical and organised in his approach, he’s a heavyweight junior who is very capable of taking the lead in cases” and as a “really approachable, nice chap who is very clear in his advice.”
Dominic has been recommend as a Leading Junior for Personal Injury in numerous editions of Legal 500. The 2016 edition states he “always goes the extra mile for clients.”
Dominic has also been recommended as a Leading Junior for Product Liability in 2015. He is described as “client focused and highly recommended.”
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Dominic Adamson acted for Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited in the Court of Appeal in a successful appeal against sentence. Lord Chief Justice Burnett delivered the judgment of the Court on 20 December 2017. The fine was reduced from £700,000 to £300,000. The case concerned a breach of section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
In what is believed to be the first successful appeal against sentence for a very large organisation sentenced for health and safety offences under the Definitive Guidelines, Keith Morton QC and Dominic Adamson secured a substantial reduction in a fine imposed on Tata Steel UK following its guilty plea to two health and safety offences.
Inquest into the death of a person who accessed railway infrastructure operated by TfL. The issues in the case included consideration of the response of line controllers to the knowledge that a person had accessed the infrastructure.
Dominic Adamson acted for the 3 Defendants who faced a claim for £5.7 million following 3 road traffic accidents. The Claimant alleged that as a result of accident related symptoms he had failed to conclude a contract for the sale of wine to the USA. The Claimant recovered nothing in relation to the wine contract. The total award to the Claimant in respect of the 3 accidents was less than £40,000.
Prosecution concerning an explosion at a steel works when water was being used to cool a spillage of molten material. The case considered the engineering issues which gave rise to the spillage and operational issues which resulted in the explosion. Fine of £180,000 imposed.
Inquest into the death of a trekker in the Himalayas who died as a result of altitude sickness.
Prosecution arising out of a death during a steel-making vessel relining operation. Court accepted the defendant’s argument that death was not caused by admitted breach. Fine of £120,000 imposed. Also appeared at the earlier inquest into the death.
Appeals against prohibition notices issued in relation to the use of certain plant whilst working under live electrical Overhead Line Equipment.
Inquest into the deaths of 96 football supports at the Hillsborough Football Stadium in 1989. Acted for the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Case involved a fatality when an employee of the Defendant was killed when a ship thruster on which he was working on toppled on him.
Commercial litigation following an explosion in a piece of industrial equipment. The amount in dispute was £10 million. Case was concluded with a favourable settlement .
Acted on behalf of Securitas Security Services Limited who provide a replacement fire rescue service. The deceased died in a residential fire whilst the London Fire Brigade were taking industrial action.
Case involved a fatal accident where an employee of the RP fell through a perspex roof light which formed part of a corrugated asbestos roof. RP was fined £26,667. AD fined £276,000. Issues in the case involved safe working procedures and lack of work equipment.
Acted for Defendant in trial arising out of a series of incidents where employees suffered injuries whilst operating the press which was used to bend rails. Numerous risks assessments performed in relation to the operation. After the final incident the process eliminated the risk. Argument over whether Defendant had done all that was reasonably practicable.
Personal injury case arising out of road traffic accident. Acted for the Claimant. The Claimant had sustained a brain injury. Claim settled for a sum in excess of £1million.
Employees of Powertrain at the Longbridge claimed damages in relation to respiratory illness arising out of exposure to contaminated metal working fluid. They commenced group litigation. There were related Third Party proceedings.
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