Laura Thomas

Laura Thomas

Partner (Barrister)
  • Experience
    • Laura joined Birketts in 2007 from chambers in London. She is a Partner (Barrister) and head of Corporate Criminal Defence. Her areas of expertise include health and safety, transport and logistics, environmental regulation, Trading Standards prosecutions, food law, road traffic defenceprivate criminal defence and contentious licensing. She represents clients in the Magistrates' and Crown Courts and the Court of Appeal as well as the Coroner's Court and at Public Inquiries before the Traffic Commissioner.

      Laura was called to the Bar in 2001 having graduated from Christ Church, Oxford University. Her career began in the Chambers of William Clegg Q.C., 2 Bedford Row, London where she remained for over five years. While in chambers she prosecuted and defended heavyweight criminal cases in the Magistrates', Crown Courts and the Court of Appeal and specialised in regulatory law, regularly prosecuting and defending in health and safety cases.

      Laura has particular expertise in health and safety and previously worked at the Health and Safety Executive Solicitor's Office; advising on health and safety prosecutions of national importance. She has further conducted legal training for HSE Inspectors as well as regularly speaking at health and safety seminars. In addition, she significantly contributed to the Butterworths' publication 'Health and Safety Law: Enforcement and Practice' by Matthews and Ageros.

      Laura is based at our Ipswich office.

  • More information
    • Laura is recommended by Legal 500 [UK 2016] and listed in the elite 'Leading Lawyers' list of lawyers nationwide. Laura and colleagues Matthew Gowen and Julie Gowland are all ‘fantastic, always available and experts in their field.’ "Sympathetic, frank and assiduous,” Laura is "much respected by competitors." Previous Legal 500 editions note that Laura "knows everything about regulatory defence work." She is "precise, pragmatic and risk-aware" and "knowledgeable in her craft." Clients note that she "brings her historical experience at the Bar and at the Health and Safety Executive to bear in providing a very strong defence to regulatory cases – she is detailed and accurate, bullish, clear and extremely competent."

      Laura is recommended by Legal 500 for health and safety, transport, crime, environmental and licensing and by Chambers and Partners for health and safety and transport (road regulatory).

      Also recommended by Chambers [UK 2017], Laura is "assured and confident and provides clear and concise advice." In previous editions, Laura is noted as being "very effective and communicates at all levels, she is not patronising and gives a very clear message."   

      Laura has also been named 'Health and Safety Lawyer of the Year 2013' (Lawyer Monthly) and 'Business Crime Lawyer of the Year 2014' (Finance Monthly). In addition she sits as a member of the Board of the Freight Transport Association (FTA).


      legal 500 2016