Richard is a Partner specialist in Risk & Regulation at Acuity Law. He advises and defends organisations in their dealings with the (HSE) Environment Agency, Local Authorities and other government regulators. He is often used to defend organisation following fatal incidents.

Before coming a lawyer, he spent nearly eight years in the HSE specialising in major hazard industries, prosecuting his own cases and two years with AEA Technology plc as a senior risk management consultant.

Before this he taught science. Richard has a master’s degree in environmental toxicology, he is a qualified lead environmental auditor and an experienced commercial mediator. He is a Visiting Honorary Research Fellow at the Safety System Research Centre in the Civil Engineering Department of Bristol University and a director of Safety in Design.

  • Interpretation and advice on regulatory legislation (environment, health & safety, food, fire, security, planning, trading standards, bribery etc.)
  • Specific major hazard industry regulatory representation in UK (COMAH and abroad)
  • Regulatory litigation – Defending criminal cases brought by HSE/EA/EHOs etc
  • Directors, senior officer and shareholder risk/liability management from threats such as corporate manslaughter, Bribery and environmental law
  • Inquest representation for organisations and individuals
  • Liability on internal and external security issues
  • Contractor control and risk limitation
  • Environmental, health & safety accident/incident investigation leadership
  • Regulatory risk and liability management systems such as ISO 14001, 18001/45001 etc.
  • Mediation of commercial disputes
  • Successfully defending HSE prosecution of Demolition Contractor after a two week trial at Manchester Crown Court following major explosion incident that triggered the local emergency plan
  • Defending large London waste processor against EA allegations of extensive permit breaches
  • Defending multi-national construction company against the Office of Rail Regulation and the HSE
  • Inquests for Ambulance Services and other large organisations
  • Defences against most regulatory bodies including health and safety, environmental, food, planning, waste, trading standard and employment related matters (including several cases in Scotland)
  • Advice and defences against for large food processors against DEFRA and Environment Agency
  • Advice on legal risk/liability management strategies and processes for BAA and its senior officers and shareholders on the development of Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5. Contractor control and liability limitation
  • Speaker at US Embassy conference on counter terrorism and senior management liability.
  • Series of seminars/training and follow up advice to board level of large multi-site (and multi-national) organisations e.g. Serco, Siemens TC, BAM Nuttall, Amcor, University of Bristol/West of England/Oxford/South Wales, Rail Company on corporate and individual accountability in health and safety and other relevant law such as corporate manslaughter
  • Helping Amcor International devise health and safety management systems following prosecution defence
  • Providing EHS, Food law (and other regulatory) reports, advice, due diligence input etc. to major corporate acquisitions and disposals


  • The Planning & Environmental Team is ranked Tier 2 in Legal 500.


  • “Richard Voke is ‘outstanding both in the depth of his knowledge and in his pragmatic and tactical approach’, providing ‘superb service’.”

    The Legal 500
    Health & Safety Law
  • “Richard Voke has a ‘strong technical background in environmental science as well as environmental law’; he has been involved in multiple pollution and contamination prosecutions for clients in the energy and care sectors, in addition to advising on regulatory due diligence issues related to various transactions in the oil and gas sector.”

    The Legal 500
    Environment Law
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