"She is very professional and a clear communicator."

Chambers & Partners, 2022

"Hannah Eales is a complete star in health & safety, especially fire work. She is really making a name for herself in this area. A real hard worker who takes care to understand the case and the client, offering very much a bespoke service. There is no “one size fits all” here."

Legal 500 UK 2021

"Hannah Eales is a rising star who has significant experience in fire safety law and regularly lectures and blogs on the subject."

Legal 500, 2020

"Her cases are meticulously prepared and she has an excellent rapport with disciplinary tribunal panels. She remains calm and measured regardless of what arises during the course of a hearing."

Chambers UK 2021, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

“She always exceeds expectations”

A client

Hannah is a Partner and barrister in the Regulatory team. She is an experienced advocate and a regulatory, health & safety and criminal law specialist. Hannah has a particular expertise in fire safety law having prosecuted on behalf of fire and rescue authorities nationally as well as representing individuals and corporates facing prosecution for breaches of the Fire Safety Order in the criminal courts. Hannah is experienced in advising property owners, directors and managers on compliance with fire safety legislation and regulations. Since 2018 Hannah has also acted in relation to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. 

Hannah has a broader practice, also acting both for regulatory bodies and representing those who appear before them. She regularly advises on all aspects of regulatory law, health and safety and fire safety.

Hannah’s fire safety practice includes appearing before the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts and the Court of Appeal on behalf of both fire and rescue authorities and individuals or corporates facing prosecution under the Fire Safety Order. Hannah advises individuals, corporates, charities and Unesco World Heritage sites on their obligations under fire safety legislation and regulations. Hannah’s expertise in this field has led to her regularly speaking and writing on the subject, including speaking at FIREX International, University Health and Safety Association and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. 

In the area of professional discipline Hannah has acted for some of the leading regulatory bodies in high profile and complex cases. These regulators include the Health and Care Professions Council, the Teaching Regulation Agency, the General Dental Council, the General Optical Council, the Education Workforce Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Architects Registration Board, CILEx Regulation and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Hannah spent 8 years at the Criminal and Regulatory Bar prior to joining Kingsley Napley in 2013. In Chambers, Hannah’s defence work ranged from defending individuals charged with offences including those under the Sexual Offences Act, drugs importation and breaches of fire safety law through to representing individuals appearing before fitness to practise panels of their regulatory body. Her career has included prosecuting on behalf of the Fire and Rescue Service, CPS, the Environment Agency, DWP and DEFRA. 

Having acted for both the prosecution and defence throughout her career, as well as sitting as a Legal Adviser to the Magistrates’ Courts prior to joining the Bar, Hannah fully understands the effect that proceedings may have on the individual, corporate or the prosecuting body. She is known for being a thoughtful and fair advocate, whilst always seeking the best outcome for the client. Hannah is the Head of Kingsley Napley’s Regulatory team of advocates.

recent work

  • Hannah recently acted for a fire risk assessor under investigation by the Fire and Rescue Service for breaches under Article 9 of the Fire Safety Order in respect of the suitability and sufficiency of a fire risk assessment. Further to representations being made to the FRS, no further action was taken against the individual. 
  • Hannah has advised a UNESCO World Heritage Site on their obligations under the Fire Safety Order, providing detailed advice on the duties of the Responsible Person in various different scenarios. 
  • Since 2018 Hannah has acted for a number of former employees of the London Fire Brigade in relation to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, including the former Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner. 
  • Hannah has appeared before the Court of Appeal in relation to the important issue of custodial sentences being passed in cases under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. She acted for the respondent Fire and Rescue Service.
  • Hannah is regularly instructed to present cases on behalf of regulatory bodies in relation to serious, complex and high profile hearings.  Historically, she acted for the Nursing and Midwifery Council in relation to two senior nurses at the Mid-Staffordshire Trust following the Francis Inquiry. The nurses were the first to be struck off following the inquiry.

 

Publications

 

Professional societies and Memberships

  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL)
  • Victims of Crime Association of Lawyers
  • Criminal Bar Association

 

Insight from Hannah

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Blogs

NTT puts the brakes on the recovery of pre-charge investigation costs by the private prosecutor

Bringing justice - private prosecutions for companies and individuals

Financial constraints on SFO will lead to increase in private prosecutions

Limitless fines for breaches of Fire Safety

Fire Safety Bill Ping Pong – When will the Bill reach match point?

The Fire Safety Bill: Extending the scope of the Fire Safety Order

The Hackitt Review- Two years on

The Fire Safety Bill: Greater clarity on the duties of the Responsible Person?

Fire Safety: How does a Director avoid becoming an irresponsible ‘Responsible Person’?

Government launches consultation on building and fire safety reforms

The Notre-Dame Fire: safeguarding our historic buildings

The Hackitt report - what next?

Fire Safety: Is a company director also a ‘responsible person’?

Has Fire Regulation in our Schools become lax?

Bring back the fire certificate - RIBA calls for the FSO to be repealed

In the line of fire - Fire Authorities can and will prosecute for fire safety failings

Lose the battle but win the war – costs in private prosecution awarded to losing party

Director of Public Prosecutions stops private prosecution for sex-selective abortion

Case Update: The role of the disciplinary panel when faced with insufficient evidence

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