We have substantial experience of providing expert witness services in both civil litigation and criminal prosecutions under fire safety legislation. We are able to assist with compliance with Building Regulations and guidance on the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and associated regulations.
Specialist areas of expertise include:
- Fire Safety Management;
- Fire Risk Assessment;
- Means of Escape;
- Fire protection of buildings, including automatic detection and alarm systems;
- Fire engineering;
- Application of fire safety legislation;
- Design of buildings.
Colin Todd is one of the leading fire safety experts in the UK and is regularly called upon to act as an expert witness. He has been instructed in many of the most high-profile fire safety cases in the UK. He has experience as both a Defence and Prosecution expert, as well as working as a single joint expert. He has a significant level of Court experience. Colin has prepared expert reports for over 100 cases involving prosecution, determinations by the Secretary of State or appeals against Notices, following the reform of fire safety legislation in 2006. He has also prepared expert reports for numerous civil cases.
Examples of experience:
- We have been involved in two Determinations by the Secretary of State under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, both of which concluded that the position of our client was correct.
- The landmark prosecution of a landlord in 2013, who received the then longest custodial sentence in the history of current fire safety legislation, following a fire at a block of flats in North Yorkshire, in which two people died.
- Colin also provided advice to Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service for the purpose of their prosecution case, following a fire at the Penhallow Hotel at Newquay, in which three people died, in 2007.
- In 2011 Colin was a Crown expert witness in the Fatal Accident Inquiry into the 14 deaths. The Sheriff Principal commended his recommendations prepared for the Inquiry to Scottish Ministers for careful consideration. The recommendations led to changes in building regulations and certain enforcement issues in Scotland, as well as changes to the British Standard on fire alarm systems.
Some expert witness work is also carried out by senior and experienced members of the practice, such as Steven Daws, the Technical Director.