Third company convicted of corporate manslaughter is sentenced

We recently reported that a third company, Lion SteelLimited, had been convicted of corporate manslaughter under the CorporateManslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. Sentencing was passed on 20 July2012 with a fine of £480,000 making it the largest fine to date, albeit stillbelow the £500,000 starting point stipulated in guidance.

This case was of particular interest as it is generally feltthat the legislation and relative guidance has not yet been fully tested on alarger scale company such as Lion Steel. By way of analysis CotswoldGeotechnical Holdings were the first company to be convicted under thelegislation. Due to the financial difficulties Cotswold were facing, and withan annual turnover of only £300,000, they were fined £385,000 payable over tenyears. They went into liquidation shortly after.

The conviction of JMW Farms Limited (Co. Armagh) did notprovide any clarity on the stance the courts will adopt as they had a significantlyhigher annual turnover of over £1million, were in good health but yet onlyattracted a fine of £187,500 plus £13,000 in costs. There was a reduction of25% to reflect the fact that they pled guilty but it is not entirely clear whythe starting point was so far below the guidance in the first place.

This article first appeared in Law-Now, CMS CameronMcKenna's free online information service, and has been reproduced with theirpermission. For more information about Law-Now, click here. http://www.law-now.com/law-now/