Keith Morton QC
Head of Chambers

Year of Call: 1990 / Year of Silk: 2011

Practice Areas

Keith Morton QC
Head of Chambers


Keith is recognised as a leading practitioner in the fields of health and safety law, inquests and inquiries. In October 2017 he was named Health and Safety Silk of the year at the Chambers and Partners UK Bar awards. His practice also encompasses administrative law and civil common law with a particular focus on personal injury .


Recommended in Chambers and Partners in the fields of Inquests, Inquiries and Health and Safety. The 2017 edition says he is “He is extremely thorough, meticulous in his preparation and tactically astute”, “A fantastic grasp of the law. He has a great jury manner and is a wonderful cross-examiner, which becomes immediately apparent” and “He is thorough, bright, intelligent and a pleasure to work with.” Earlier editions reported that Keith is “Bright, hard-working, careful in court but capable of baring his teeth when necessary.” “He is incredibly user-friendly, has a knack with clients and an almost instinctive knowledge of what the judge or coroner is looking for”, “His attention to detail is phenomenal”, “He is very good with clients, as he is user-friendly. His advocacy is excellent and well judged, he knows which points to take and he has a good grasp of tactics”, “an absolutely fabulous advocate” and a “calm advocate who reflects wisely” and note that Keith is “a ferocious cross-examiner” who “is in demand and responsible for exploring acres of new grounds in case law”, “works tirelessly and ceaselessly” and that “he outshines just about any other” with a “solid grasp of the law” and “great attention to detail”.

Recommended in Legal 500  in the fields of Health and Safety and Inquests and Inquiries.  The 2017 edition says: “An incisive cross-examiner and good tactician, who has the jury’s attention” and “He gets to the core of the issues quickly and with ease”. Earlier editions say: “He has a gravitas which inspires confidence in judges, juries and clients”, “Great with clients and good on his feet”, and that Keith is “direct, focused and decisive” and “has established an excellent reputation for his tremendous manner in court”.


University of Hull, City University, Inns of Court School of Law

Professional Memberships

Health and Safety Lawyers Association, Administrative Law Bar Association, Personal Injuries Bar Association

R (HSE) V Tata Steel UK Limited [2017] EWCA Crim 704

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.

R (OCS Group UK Limited) v Health and Safety Executive 2017 Administrative Court

Successful Judicial Review proceedings challenging the HSE’s dispute process for challenging findings of contravention and fees issued under the Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme and two specific notices.

R v BAM Construction Limited

Keith represented BAM Construction Limited at a month long trial in which the Company was accused of failing to comply with its duties under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 22 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

Vauxhall Helicopter Crash Inquest

Keith Morton QC acted for the Civil Aviation Authority at the Inquest into this high profile case in which a helicopter collided with a crane on top of St Georges Wharf Tower, then under construction in Vauxhall. The collision resulted in the death of the pilot and a pedestrian, a large number of injuries and significant damage to property

R v Dynamiq Cleaning Limited Central Criminal Court

Company prosecuted for failing to ensure the safety at work of its employees following an accident at Edgware Bus Depot in which a cleaner suffered serious injury. The company was acquitted following a two week trial

Re Tiya Chauhan

This inquest arose out of the death of a 22 month old girl who was attending a nursery school. As part of an activity session, cubes of jelly were made available in a sensory tray. Tiya choked on a cube of jelly taken from this tray. The jury considered that the death was contributed to by neglect. Keith Morton QC represented the company operating the nursery, Tim Sharpe represented a senior manager of the company and Charles Curtis acted for the London Borough of Merton.

Cox v Ministry of Justice [2014] QB 107

Leading decision of the Court of Appeal considering the reach of vicariously liability of the Ministry of Justice for the negligent act of a prisoner resulting in injury to a prison officer

R v Austin & McLean Limited and Esso Plc

Keith represented Austin & McLean in a prosecution following the death of a sailor on board ship at Esso’s Fawley Refinery. He was killed when the jib of a crane collapsed onto the ship’s deck. Austin & McLean were charged with corporate manslaughter. However, after initiating a dismissal application of that charge the case was resolved by a plea to a lesser offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act

Monk v Cann Hall Primary School and Essex County Council [2013] EWCA Civ 826

Court of Appeal decision on relationship between damages for unfair dismissal and common law damages for negligence causing person injury in the context of a dismissal. The Court of Appeal held that the Judge had been wrong to strike out the claimant’s case

R v Merlin Attractions Plc [2012] EWCA Crim 2670

The then leading case on sentencing large corporations following conviction for a health and safety offence resulting in death

University of Southampton v Mohtasham [2012] EWHC 1630 QB

The Court granted the University a wide ranging permanent injunction against the Defendant restraining her from harassing employees and research students of the University by her repeated and unfounded allegations including allegations of plagiarism. The Court of Appeal rejected the Defendant’s attempts to overturn the injunction on appeal

R v BAM Construction Limited

Defendant was the principal contractor on a large building project at the University of Bath. An employee of one of its sub-contractors was killed when temporary works which he was working under collapsed. BAM was acquitted of all charges following a 5 week trial.

Macintyre v Ministry of Defence [2012] EWHC 1690 QB

The Ministry of Defence succeeded in its defence to this claim arising out of serious injury sustained by an officer in the course of a mountain climbing accident during adventure training in the Alps

R v Dalkia Utilities Services Limited

Prosecution arising from the death of a workman exposed to carbon dioxide in the course of his employment. The case was discontinued following Keith’s cross-examination of the Prosecution’s expert.

Keith Morton QC shortlisted as Health & Safety silk of the Year

30th August 2017

TGC are delighted to announce that Keith Morton QC has been shortlisted for the Silk of the Year award for  Health & Safety  at the forthcoming 2017 Chambers UK Bar Awards to be held at The London Hilton on Park Lane on Thursday, 26th October 2017.

Keith Morton QC succeeds in challenge to Health and Safety Executive’s Fee for Intervention dispute process

10th March 2017

Keith Morton QC, instructed by Mike Appleby Partner of Fisher Scoggins Waters and representing OCS Group UK Limited, brought judicial review proceedings against the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) dispute process for challenging findings of contravention and fees issued under the Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme. The HSE settled the judicial review out of court shortly before the hearing in the Administrative Court listed on 8 March 2017. The HSE also agreed to set aside two Notices of Contravention it had issued against OCS.

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