Walsh QC, Stephen

Stephen Walsh QC is a leading practitioner in criminal/regulatory and licensing law with broad experience in general crime. He has been recommended in the legal directories for a number of years in the fields of health and safety and licensing, in which he is ranked as a ‘star’ in Chambers UK 2011.

Stephen Walsh

Walsh’s practice encompasses a range of regulatory legislation, particularly health and safety, food safety, environmental and trading standards. He prosecutes and defends in a broad range of cases, advises regulatory authorities generally on matters of enforcement and provides guidance to corporate and individual clients on compliance.

He specialises in cases concerning the leisure industry and regularly appears for national operators of pubs, restaurants, casinos and hotels in health and safety, environmental and food safety matters and on related issues such as private security and employee immigration compliance (JD Wetherspoon plc, the Rank Group, the Restaurant Group, Von Essen Hotels, Inter Continental Hotels).

More broadly, Walsh has appeared for both the prosecution and defence in a number of health and safety cases arising from accidents resulting in fatalities (R v McDaid; R v Précis Holdings) and he recently appeared for the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) in the Court of Appeal in a significant case concerning the principles to be applied in sentencing corporate entities in fire safety cases (New Look Retailers plc [2010] EWCA).

Walsh’s licensing practice is comprehensive. He deals with all forms of licensable activities including liquor and entertainment, late-night refreshment, gambling, private security, firearms, street trading and charities. 

In the field of gambling, he has represented most of the notable providers of terrestrial betting and casino facilities in the UK for many years and regularly provides advice on the provision of both terrestrial and remote (internet) gambling products to financial traders and the media (Channel 4, BSkyB, GFT Global Markets). 

His public law practice has primarily developed from his involvement in licensing law and he appears in the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal in cases concerning both gambling and liquor/entertainment issues. Shortly before taking silk, he represented three of the largest casino operators in the UK in a judicial review in which the Court of Appeal handed down a landmark judgment concerning the Gaming Act 1968 (TC Projects). 

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