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Woods Whur expands into Regulatory Law and sets up Newcastle base

Andy and I were pleased when we were described by Chambers Directory as a licensing practice with a national presence. We have been deliberately careful in our expansion and the successful introduction of Anna Mathias and a London office has born fruit since she joined us in 2015. We are now delighted to announce that James Thompson will be joining us on Monday from Clyde & Co in Newcastle.

James is a specialist in the field of corporate crime, from dealing with directors accused of manslaughter to assisting organisations faced with high-profile and complex inquests. James has particular expertise in healthcare, retail and industry. James, like Andy and me, is a Solicitor Higher Rights Advocate, and from the moment we met him we realised that he shares the same client service principles as us.

This enables us to establish an office at Rotterdam House, 116 Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3DY, which complements our Leeds and London office bases. More importantly, it broadens our client portfolio and our legal services offer to our existing clients.

James specialises in all aspects of criminal regulatory law, in particular health and safety law, and has full rights of audience, allowing him to appear in the Crown and Appeal Courts. He appears on a regular basis in the Magistrates’, Coroner’s and Crown Courts. James’s client base covers the breadth of the public and private sectors, from retail and education to chemicals and manufacturing. He has extensive experience advising public and private healthcare providers on health and safety and regulatory compliance.

He has extensive experience in dealing with all aspects of criminal regulatory proceedings brought against individuals and organisations, both in the public and private sectors. These proceedings have been brought by a variety of different agencies such as the HSE, police, Environment Agency and local authorities, to name but a few. He continues to represent numerous individuals and organisations accused of manslaughter and other serious offences. James has over 20 years’ experience from the police service in relation to the investigation of offences and has latterly prosecuted offences for government departments, statutory bodies and for various ports and airports. James has been highly rated by Chambers 2016 and has been lauded as a Recommended Lawyer by the Legal 500 2016, for health and safety matters.

“I am delighted to be joining Woods Whur to head up the Regulatory Department, dealing with all aspects of health and safety, food safety and general regulatory issues. It is an exciting time for me as I believe that Woods Whur gives me the perfect environment to give my existing clients the support they need. What is also clearly evident is the opportunity that this gives me to add value to Woods Whur’s existing client base. I feel it is a real win-win.”

We also have Vinnie Schumacher joining us next week. Vinnie qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor in New Zealand in March 2014 and worked at the largest law firm in New Zealand, Simpson Grierson, where he was actively involved in the Commercial Property and Commercial Litigation Teams. Vinnie gained significant experience representing commercial clients, with exposure to Simpson Grierson’s Blue Chip client base. He worked in a team on significant litigation cases and has a very strong academic background.

Vinnie moved to Leeds in March 2016 and was employed running his own case-load in a Contentious Trust and Estates Team before joining Woods Whur. Vinnie joins Woods Whur to support me in the Leeds market, Andy in the London market, Anna with some key gaming clients and James in the Regulatory team.

We are all delighted with these two new appointments and with the opening of our office in Newcastle. Along With Paul Holland based in East Yorkshire and Anna in London, we now feel that we are genuinely a Licensing and Regulatory Law Firm with a national reach.