Keith is recognised as a leading practitioner in the fields of health and safety law, inquests and inquiries. His practice also encompasses administrative law and civil common law with a particular focus on personal injury and employment.
Keith has appeared in many of the most high profile inquests and health and safety cases in recent years. He has represented some of the country’s leading corporations and public bodies in health and safety related criminal proceedings, inquests and public inquiries. He represented and advised the Metropolitan Police in the Stockwell Shooting prosecution and Transport for London in the Inquests into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005. He represented the father of one of the SAS recruits who died from heat illness while training in the Brecon Beacons. He was junior counsel for the defence in R v Cotswold Geotechnical (Holdings) Ltd, the first prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. In respect of his common law work Keith is accustomed to dealing with complex civil litigation for both claimants and defendants. He has extensive experience of public inquiries such as the Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiry and the (first) Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Inquiry
Recommended in Chambers and Partners in the fields of inquests, inquiries and health and safety. The 2016 edition says he 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.” Earlier editions reported that “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 field of health and safety. The 2016 edition says: “‘He has a gravitas which inspires confidence in judges, juries and clients”. Earlier editions say: “Great with clients and good on his feet”, “New silk Keith Morton QC reaps positive feedback from clients”, Keith is “direct, focused and decisive”. As a junior it reported that there was not “a better junior at the Bar” and that “Keith Morton has established an excellent reputation for his tremendous manner in court”.
University of Hull, City University, Inns of Court School of Law
Health and Safety Lawyers Association, Administrative Law Bar Association, Personal Injuries Bar Association
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
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
Keith Morton QC represented the father of one of three SAS reserve recruits who died from heat illness in the course of specialist military training on the Brecon Beacons. The Coroner concluded that their deaths were attributable to systemic failures and neglect
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.
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
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
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
The then leading case on sentencing large corporations following conviction for a health and safety offence resulting in death
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
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.
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
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.
Acted on behalf of Transport for London. Inner West London Coroners Court – Hallett LJ. Instructed by TfL Legal.
Keith was Counsel to the (first) Inquiry presided over by Sir Robert Francis QC into allegations of very poor provision of care and treatment by the Trust