Darren Smith
Corporate and Commercial Disputes Partner

Darren has spent most of his career as a partner in international legal firms acting for global, national and SME businesses supporting corporate clients facing claims. Darren advises on investigations and prosecutions brought by UK regulatory bodies, including the Health and Safety Executive, Trading Standards, the Food Standards Agency, the Environment Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Office of Road and Rail, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Care Quality Commission and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

In addition, Darren advises on police and local authority investigations, policyholder insurance coverage disputes and the defence of product liability claims arising out of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods, including actions for self-insured businesses and those who use alternative risk transfer to keep premiums within acceptable bounds.

Darren also provides in-house training on regulatory matters, including legal professional privilege, corporate manslaughter and breach of directors’ fiduciary duties.

Darren believes that the best way to provide advice to clients is to fully understand their business as often the apparent legal solution is not one that serves the best long-term interest of the business. Darren works closely and collaboratively with in-house legal and commercial teams and understands their need for certainty over budgets and the ability to rely on a trusted adviser.

Darren’s clients include domestic and international businesses with large workforces who operate in high-risk sectors, including pharmaceuticals and medicine, retail, entertainment, tourism, manufacturing, construction, waste disposal, transport, agriculture, food, insurance and banking.

Some examples of how Darren has helped clients include:

  • successfully defending employers in the Nottingham and Derbyshire knitting industry in an industrial deafness test case before the Supreme Court (Baker v Quantum Clothing Group Limited [2011] UKSC17);
  • successfully defending a US pharmaceuticals company in a UK product liability claim that had already resulted in a multi-billion-dollar US lawsuit;
  • advising a UK waste company through a Health and Safety Executive investigation and a coroner’s inquiry following a fatal accident involving one of the company’s employees and securing a verdict of accidental death as opposed to one of unlawful killing;
  • advising the UK arm of a global logistics company through an investigation;
  • advising a medical device manufacturer through a multi-agency investigation into claims that a medical device produced by the company could be manipulated to facilitate assisted suicide;
  • advising the UK arm of a global post and parcels business in relation to risk associated from UK Corporate Manslaughter legislation in relation to their UK based freight airline operation;
  • advising a UK business in respect of the arrival of illegal immigrants in freight containers delivered to their premises;
  • advising a client with a substantial Business Interruption Insurance claim arising out of the Government’s response to Covid-19;
  • advising the UK arm of a German Travel insurer in relation to claims arising from poor food hygiene;
  • producing a global evaluation of Corporate Manslaughter risks for a US based hotel chain for all jurisdictions in which it operated hotels;
  • advising an international manufacturer in relation to liability and other issues arising from the supply of unlicensed vaccines;
  • dealing with a wide range of environmental issues arising from noise pollution and asbestos in buildings to breaches of waste dumping regulations and contamination of land;
  • advising clients in the commercial and education sector in respect of claims arising from failure to prevent and control the development of Legionnaires disease in water supplies and air conditioning units;
  • advising in relation to a catastrophic failure of an oil storage facility causing contamination to protected watercourses and adjoining land;
  • representing one of the JV members on a large underground construction project following a double fatality including inquest proceedings and civil claims;
  • representing the manufacturer of safety critical equipment involved in an explosion on a British Nuclear Submarine under the Arctic Ice shelf resulting in the death of two Royal Navy Personnel;
  • successfully defending claims arising out of alleged defective gas maintenance works for a major social housing provider; and
  • successfully representing a corporate insured in the “EL Trigger” Litigation in the Supreme Court.
Tel: 07827 012475