Exchange barristers take both sides on Morecambe Bay litigation

Exchange Chambers has won instructions on both sides of the forthcoming criminal trial over the deaths of 21 Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay last year.

The North West set, which has chambers in Liverpool and Manchester, has silks and juniors acting for both prosecution and defence in the lengthy trial, due to start in September. It is listed to continue until at least Christmas in Preston Crown Court.

The trial is expected to attract huge media attention and is one of the largest and most high-profile cases to be heard in the region for some time. Court proceedings begin on 6 June with a five-day pre-trial hearing.

Exchange’s Tim Holroyde QC has been instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service in Preston for the prosecution, and will be leading chambers juniors Tim Evans and Rachel Woods.

Fellow Exchange silk Graham Wood is acting for David Eden Sr, who, together with his son, is the owner of Liverpool Bay Fishing Company.

The company employed the Chinese workers who died when they were trapped by unpredictable rising tides, and has been charged with breaching immigration and labour law.

Ian Harris will be supporting Wood, who is instructed by Peter Quinn of Liverpool firm Quinn Melville. Quinn is also representing David Eden Jr, with Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, a door tenant at Liverpool’s India Buildings Chambers as well as a member of 9-12 Bell Yard in London.

Three other defendants – Lin Liang Ren, Zhao Qing Xiao, and Lin Mu Yong – will also face trial in September. Lin Liang is charged with manslaughter, the most serious charge of the five defendants. The three Chinese defendants are being represented by local law firms.