Stephen has over 20 years' experience in regulatory compliance and enforcement, advising clients on all aspects of Health & Safety, Environmental and Consumer Protection/Trading law and on investigations involving suspected financial crime.

He advises private and public sector clients on criminal investigations and prosecutions involving companies, partnerships, company directors and employees by the Health & Safety Executive, Environment Agency and Local Authorities arising from a range of serious and fatal work-related accidents, environmental incidents such as land contamination, water pollution and permitting breaches, accidents caused by dangerous or defective good & products and also the sale of counterfeit merchandise. Stephen also has significant experience in representing clients who are the subject of confiscation proceedings brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Stephen's practice includes advising on appeals against Prohibition Notices and Improvement Notices, defending private and statutory nuisance proceedings involving noise, dust, odour, waste and vermin, Enforcement Undertakings under the Civil Sanctions & Enforcement Regime for environmental offences and Notices of Contravention issued by HSE under its Fee For Intervention Scheme.

Stephen regularly appears as an advocate before criminal Courts in England and Wales, Inquests and formal Boards of Inquiry. He is also a member of the Health & Safety Lawyers' Association, United Kingdom Environmental Law Association and The Institute of Trading Standards.



Examples of experience include:

  • Stay of prosecution on the ground of abuse of process in respect of proceedings brought against a mining and quarrying client charged with various health & safety related offences
  • Successful defence of a groundworks company and its Managing Director charged with various waste-related offences following Crown Court trial
  • Successful defence of a national retailer and its Managing Director charged with selling counterfeit merchandise following Crown Court trial
  • Prosecution of NHS Foundation Trust following the death of a patient as a result of drug storage and administration errors
  • Advising in connection with investigation into a fatal accident involving product purchased from a national retailer client, concluding with decision by regulator not to prosecute.

Examples of experience of Improvement and Prohibition Notices include:

  • Advising on all stages of Notice appeals, including those served during Joint Work Related Death Protocol investigations, in connection with a wide range of industry sectors such as construction, asbestos removal and agriculture
  • Dismissal of Appeal by asbestos removal contractor at conclusion of Employment Tribunal Hearing.

Examples of specific inquest experience into the death of:

  • School pupil during extracurricular adventure activity (four week Inquest)
  • Patient at NHS Foundation Trust hospital arising from drug storage and administration failings
  • Employee arising from unrestrained operation of dumper truck at recycling centre
  • A child following a fall from height at a quarry
  • Employees following contact with overhead power lines
  • Trainee welder/engineer following combustion of flammable chemical
  • Employees and contractors involved in roofing work.

'Stephen Panton is recommended for clients in the the waste, construction, energy and manufacturing sectors in particular. Key work includes advising on internal investigations, occupational health prosecutions and prosecutions arising from fatal accidents.' 

Legal 500 2021

"Really knows his way around the territory." 

"He’s an exceptional associate; we’d love to have him work with us." 

Chambers and Partners