Laura Thomas

Partner (Barrister)

Laura is "assured and confident and provides clear and concise advice"

Legal 500 [UK 2017]


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, private criminal defence and fraud.

Laura was called to the Bar in October 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 criminal courts 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 HSE Solicitor's Office; advising on health and safety prosecutions of national importance. She has conducted legal training for HSE Inspectors as well as regularly speaking at health and safety conferences and seminars. In addition, she significantly contributed to the Butterworths' publication 'Health and Safety Law: Enforcement and Practice' by Matthews and Ageros.

In addition, Laura sits as a Deputy Traffic Commissioner and was formerly a board member for the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

Laura was invited onto Eddie Mair’s BBC Radio 4 show in July 2017 to discuss corporate manslaughter following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in West London. She has also been featured in several editions of Health & Safety at Work publication.

Laura is based at our Ipswich office.

Other Information

Laura is recommended and listed in the elite 'Leading Individuals' list of lawyers nationwide by Legal 500 [UK 2017]. Laura is "assured and confident and provides clear and concise advice".

In previous editions, Laura is praised alongside colleagues Matthew Gowen and Julie Gowland for all being "fantastic, always available and experts in their field." 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 also recommended by Chambers [UK 2018], in which a client notes: "What's really impressed me is her professionalism, clarity and level-headedness". In previous editions, sources state that Laura is "assured and confident and provides clear and concise advice".