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Gavin Reese

A specialist in General Liability, Product Liability and Health & Safety, Gavin Reese has been advising insurers and corporate clients for over 30 years. He heads up RPC's Liability Team.

Gavin advises regularly on policy coverage and deals with a broad range of liability and product claims, including stress and catastrophic and fatal injury claims. These matters are often high profile and require sensitive handling.

He regularly advises companies and individuals facing Health & Safety investigations and prosecutions, often following a major event and is frequently instructed in connection in cases involving fatalities. He provides compassionate and practical support for individuals and organisations.  Gavin has significant experience acting on issues relating to Corporate/Gross Negligence Manslaughter as well as the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. He has represented clients at interviews under caution and has advised on investigations and prosecutions by the Health & Safety Executive, Police, Environment Agency, and local authorities. He is experienced in managing the interplay between a regulatory investigation, a civil claim and an inquest.

The product side of his practice includes advice on the Consumer Protection Act 1987, European regulation, and product liability cases including those involving machinery, food, consumer and safety products.

Gavin regularly lectures on product liability, general liability, and health & safety. He was a contributing author to the chapters on Employers' Liability in Hogarth's "Insurance Law for the Construction Industry".

Gavin has previously won the Client Choice UK Insurance Partner of the Year award, and twice won the Client Choice UK Product Liability and Regulation Partner of the Year award. He is recognised as a "Leading individual" for both Health & Safety and Defendant Product Liability in Legal 500.

Directory quotes

"Gavin Reese is a master tactician – his huge experience means that he is adept at handling the most difficult and sensitive cases." - Legal 500 UK 2024

"Gavin Reese – excellent strategist. Inspirational leader and clients appreciate his down to earth approach. Never makes a wrong step – no case is too difficult for him." - Legal 500 UK 2023

"Gavin is personable, and his experience in the field shines through with his reassuring manner." - Health and Safety UK – Chambers 2023

‘Gavin Reese – excellent strategist. Inspirational leader and clients appreciate his down to earth approach. Never makes a wrong step – no case is too difficult for him.' – Legal500 - Employment > health & Safety – 2023

'Gavin Reese: a great tactician and very bright’ – Legal500 - Insurance > Product Liability: Defendant 2023

‘Gavin Reese is a quality lawyer.’ – Legal500 - Insurance > Personal Injury: Defendant 2023

‘Gavin Reese has excellent strategic overview and client management skills and is a tough negotiator in joint settlement meetings.’– Legal500 - Insurance > Personal Injury: Defendant 2023

‘Gavin Reese is a hugely experienced and skilled tactician who inspires confidence in his clients and fear in his opponents.’ – Legal500 - Insurance > Personal Injury: Defendant 2023

Ranked – Chambers UK 2022

"Gavin Reese is totally unflappable – a seasoned pro." - The Legal 500 UK 2022

Recommended - The Legal 500 UK 2022

Leading Individual - The Legal 500 UK 2022 

Gavin Reese's practice covers a variety of industries, including construction and manufacturing. He also acts on behalf of private individuals. He handles a range of matters including criminal investigations and prosecutions following on-site fatal accidents and serious injuries. - Chambers UK 2021

"He's very knowledgeable and calm and he's also a good strategist." - Chambers UK 2021

"He's a really good negotiator and was creative in the way he perceived the issue and found different solutions." - Chambers UK 2021

Leading individual - The Legal 500 UK 2021

Recommended - The Legal 500 UK 2021

"Gavin Reese is very astute, a good tactical thinker, and able to give clear, comprehensive advice. An encyclopedic knowledge of the law and excellent judgement."  - The Legal 500 UK 2021

"Gavin Reese is a very strong tactician. He has unrivalled experience in handling the biggest product liability claims and his natural charm masks a fierce determination to achieve the best results for his clients." - The Legal 500 UK 2021

"Gavin Reese is a very savvy player in a competitive market." - The Legal 500 UK 2021

Gavin Reese handles a range of police and HSE prosecutions and investigations arising from serious and fatal accidents. - Chambers UK 2020

He is very thorough and knowledgeable and knows how the court and HSE operate. - Chambers UK 2020

He puts everyone at ease and can manage expectations well. - Chambers UK 2020

"Gavin Reese is a brilliant tactician and leader." - The Legal 500 UK 2020

Leading individual - The Legal 500 UK 2020

Gavin Reese is "very experienced, has a superb wealth of knowledge and is highly regarded in the marketplace." - Chambers UK 2019

He defends clients against significant HSE prosecutions, including those resulting from multiple fatalities. - Chambers UK 2019

Gavin provides pragmatic, realistic and comprehensive advice; he understands the business and the pressures the client faces. - Client Choice 2019

He understands the needs of the business and weaves that understanding into realistic and meaningful guidance; he is a competent and diligent lawyer. - Client Choice 2019

Gavin is a commercially minded lawyer who finds effective solutions to problems; he keeps things simple and his advice is always clear and easy to follow. - Client Choice 2019

Gavin is a focused on delivering and creating the best results; he has a great personality and is very easy to get along with. - Client Choice 2019

He can guide the business successfully through many pit falls; he demonstrates expert technical knowledge and engages with many people in the business. - Client Choice 2019

Gavin demonstrates excellent communication skills and is exceptionally honest; he has good knowledge and can develop innovative and collaborative solutions. - Client Choice 2019

He provides excellent counsel and ensures that the clients’ interests are protected from a legal perspective; he understands complex issues and tackles them head on. - Client Choice 2019

Gavin and his team provided high quality legal advice; he provides proactive advice which is focused, concise and effectively communicated. - Client Choice 2019

Gavin Reese is highly sought after by corporate clients and insurers to defend highly sensitive health and safety cases. - Chambers UK 2018

Gavin is described by clients as "clever and tenacious." - The Legal 500 UK 201

Leading individual. - The Legal 500 UK 2018

The "superb and tenacious" Gavin Reese [...] specialises in catastrophic injury claims. - The Legal 500 UK 2017 

Gavin Reese regularly handles significant and high-profile matters, offering his defence expertise to an array of clients. Sources are quick to describe him as "extremely knowledgeable and personable" and also appreciate his pragmatic approach. - Chambers UK 2017 

Recommended - The Legal 500 UK 2016

"Gavin Reese has extensive experience in defending businesses and individuals in investigations and prosecutions undertaken by police, local authorities and regulatory bodies." – Chambers UK 2016

"Gavin Reese is an ‘enormously experienced and accomplished practitioner." - The Legal 500 UK 2015

"Gavin Reese is "an experienced and reassuring presence for any insurer." - The Legal 500 UK 2014  

Sources describe Gavin Reese as "very experienced" and "a solid, switched-on litigator." Clients agree that "his commercial awareness and service are excellent." - Chambers UK 2014


Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers

Health and Safety Lawyers' Association

UK Environmental Law Association

Relevant work

R v Counsel- successful defence of a fireworks operator originally charged with seven counts of manslaughter (subsequently dropped) who was acquitted at Bristol Crown Court of an offence under section 3(2) of the Health & Safety Work Act 1974 arising from the tragic crash on the M5 motorway in November 2011

R v Matthews and others- successful defence of a manslaughter charge arising from a fatal explosion at a recycling facility

R v Enviro-Waste- representation of a company charged with Health & Safety offences following the deaths of three workers in a slurry tank

R v Wolstenholme- breach of a prohibition notice

Representing well known high street retailer in connection with investigation concerning asbestos containing materials.