Robin Havard Partner
“He's a strong and experienced advocate.”
Robin specialises in regulatory and professional conduct work, acting for public and private companies and their directors, public sector organizations, and regulatory bodies.
Main areas of practice
Robin has, for many years, acted on behalf of the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (and previously the Law Society) in the investigation and presentation of cases before the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal. This has involved the need to work extremely closely with lawyers within the Legal and Enforcement team at the SRA in Birmingham.
Robin specialises in regulatory and professional conduct work, acting for public and private companies and their directors, public sector organisations, and regulatory bodies. Many of the cases in which Robin has been involved have been high profile and complex, to include compliance with health, safety and environmental legislation, corporate manslaughter and the regulation of the solicitors', accountancy, and teaching professions.
- Experience in all aspects of contentious matters involving Health and Safety Legislation and Environmental Law, advising and representing a wide range of both private and public Companies on compliance with Environmental Law and Health and Safety Legislation. This included the defence of prosecutions, conduct of Appeals against Prohibition, Improvement, and Enforcement Notices. Numerous cases were complex and high profile
- Involved in a programme of workshops and seminars on various topics relating to Health and Safety to include Management of Health and Safety, Directors responsibilities, Corporate Manslaughter, Crisis Management and other related topics
- Advises in relation to Critical Incident management and planning
- Claims Direct - This case involved the prosecution of those involved in the formulation and subsequent demise of Claims Direct plc. The case was high profile, complex and document-heavy with Claims Direct at one stage prior to its liquidation being valued in excess of £700m. It involved liaison with the Treasury Solicitor who was prosecuting Mr Poole under the Company Directors Disqualification Act and the Investigators from the DTI. Robin collated all documents, dealt with disclosure, and prepared a 74-page Rule 5 Statement. The case was presented by Mark Cunningham QC and, at the end of a two-week trial; all allegations were found proved against Colin Poole, to include dishonesty, leading to Mr Poole being struck off.
Tax and Legal Consultancy Limited
- This involved a case amounting to a pre-emptive ABS. At the conclusion of the contested Hearing at which the Respondents were represented, all allegations were found proved and the recognition of the firm was revoked by the SDT leading to the closure of the firm.
- Robin had conduct of the prosecution of Fuglers LLP and certain of its partners for the misuse of its client account, to enable Portsmouth F.C. to continue to trade despite the club’s own bank account having been frozen on a winding up petition being presented by HMRC. It led to the largest ever fines being imposed by the SDT which were recently upheld on appeal.
- Representing multi-national company in high-profile prosecution by EA following large oil spill in Severn Estuary, to include Crown Court hearing
- Acting in relation to claim valued at £300 million in respect of contaminated land remediation
- Representing multi-national company in a successful Appeal against an Improvement Notice concerning emissions from a newly-commissioned blast furnace, to include a two day contested hearing involving the Environment Agency
- Representing multi-national petro-chemical company in relation to a number of prosecutions arising out of pollution incidents throughout England and Wales, to include advocacy at prosecution hearing
- Providing advice and mitigation submissions in relation to numerous water pollution prosecutions for manufacturing industry clients, including a number of pollution incidents arising from multi-party errors during chemical loading and unloading operations
Health & Safety
- Acting for HSE in a number of prosecutions arising out of fatalities in the workplace to include advising on charges, assisting with disclosure obligations, preparing Case Summaries, representation in Magistrates’ and Crown Courts and, on occasion, instructing Junior and Leading Counsel in the Crown Court
- Advising and providing support to HSE in relation to a corporate manslaughter investigation involving liaison in accordance with the joint protocol and attending meetings with Police, CPS and Leading Counsel, advising on the law and thereafter acting for HSE in prosecution of company leading to a successful conviction in the Crown Court
- Acting for HSE in a number of cases involving fatalities where causation has been at issue, advising them on the law and assisting with regard to collation of evidence leading to successful prosecutions in the Crown Court where causation has been established
Transport sector, other public bodies or in Central Government
- Robin has also prosecuted on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive for a number of years, being involved in high-profile cases involving multiple fatalities and the prosecution of FTSE 250 Companies and their directors.
- Robin has also represented Chartered Accountants before Disciplinary and Appeals Committees of the ICAEW and public officials before the Public Services Ombudsman.
- Robin was recently appointed to sit as Legal Adviser to the Admissions and Licensing, Disciplinary, and Appeal Committees of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in London.
- Since 2000, Robin has sat as a fee-paid Employment Judge (England and Wales).
Speaking engagements: Robin is involved in a programme of workshops and seminars on various topics relating to Health and Safety including Management of Health and Safety, Directors responsibilities, Corporate Manslaughter, Crisis Management and other related topics.
Articles by Robin
On 5 February 2014, the TSI, the industry association for Trading Standards Professionals, announced that it was conducting a review of the current Pricing Practices Guide (PPG) and has invited responses from stakeholders.
Related Knowledge & Resources
The GMC successfully appealed a suspension order imposed against a General Practitioner for engaging in a sexual relationship with a vulnerable patient.
General Medical Council and others v Michalak (Solicitors Regulation Authority and others intervening) Supreme Court  UKSC 71
Professionals who wish to bring a discrimination claim against their regulator can do so in the Employment Tribunal – they are not prevented from doing so by the availability of judicial review - unless there is a specific statutory right of appeal.
This decision of the Queen's Bench Division, supports Ivey as good law and as the correct approach to be applied in regulatory proceedings.