News & Resources

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.

FFI was introduced in 2012 with the aim of passing the cost of health and safety regulation from the taxpayer to businesses that, in the opinion of an HSE inspector, are in “material breach” of safety legislation. The challenge was not to the principle of FFI but rather to the process for challenging notices of contravention and fees issued under the scheme. The challenge was on the basis that the exiting scheme lacked independence, fairness and transparency. The HSE effectively acted as prosecution, judge and jury in its own cause. The strength of the case was recognised by Kerr J who, when granting permission for judicial review observed: “It is arguable that the HSE is, unlawfully, judge in its own cause when operating the FFI scheme; and that the scheme is either unlawful or being operated in an unlawful manner”

The claim was settled by consent. In the consent order approved by the Court on 23 February 2017, HSE has agreed to introduce a revised process for determining disputes on or before 1 September 2017 which addresses these concerns.  The schedule to the consent order sets out the detail of the revised process which HSE will now consult stakeholders upon. As part of the settlement HSE has also agreed to withdraw the original FFI notification of contravention that led to the judicial review and to pay OCS’s costs.





Related Barristers

Keith Morton QC

Keith Morton QC
Head of Chambers
Year of Call: 1990
Year of Silk: 2011


Close X

Coronavirus Update

TGC continues proactively to safeguard against the risks posed by the spread of Coronavirus. We have a working Committee who continue to monitor the situation and follow advice issued by the Government and Public Health England. We will be updating this page as and when new information becomes available.

As of 25th March, our London premises, 1 Harcourt Buildings has been closed until further notice and all barristers, clerks and support staff will be working remotely.

We wish to reassure everyone that our contingency plans we have put in place enable us to continue to provide our services.

Telephoning us

When calling our switchboard number, it will be diverted to a member of the clerking team who will be able to assist in the usual way.  All direct dials in Chambers are being diverted to be answered remotely.

Emailing us & Sending Instructions

Please send all instructions via email directly to clerks@tgchambers.com we would be grateful if this could be sent in an orderly fashion to enable working from a screen manageable.  We are unable to receive hard copy instructions via DX or Post until further notice, unless specific arrangements are made in advance by contacting the clerks.

Please continue to communicate with barristers directly via email.

Conferences, Joint Settlement Meetings & Mediations

All conferences, meetings and mediations will take remotely, either by telephone or via video until further notice.  Group Telephone calls and video calls can be easily arranged.

Court Hearings

We are following The Government’s advice closely, which is changing daily. In keeping with Government advice, we will continue to service hearings remotely, where possible and as instructed by the hosting Court. The judiciary has made provision for some civil cases to be heard remotely, with lawyers being required to take part in virtual hearings.

We will continue to closely monitor this situation.

Making a payment

If you do not already pay us by BACS, going forward please make arrangements to do so. Please contact the clerks who can supply you with the relevant BACS details.

If you wish to discuss our policy and procedure relating to coronavirus, please do not hesitate to contact our senior clerk Dean Norton on 07535 753098 or dnorton@tgchambers.com

To learn more visit our Covid-19 Information page.