Deans Court Chambers

Expert legal advice and advocacy, delivered by an outstanding team of Queen’s Counsel and barristers.

The Barristers at Deans Court are regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

Tom Gent

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Tom Gent - Deans Court Chambers

Education

  • 1997 - Emmanuel College, Cambridge, MA Law
  • 1998 - Inns of Court School of Law, BVC (‘Very Competent’)

Appointments

  • 2019 - List B of the Panel of Specialist Regulatory Advocates

Professional Associations

  • North Eastern Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association

Awards

  • Lord Porter Senior Exhibitioner (Emmanuel College, Cambridge)

Profile

Crime


“He shows excellent attention to detail and focus on the case at hand.” – The Legal 500

In the criminal courts, Tom specialises in motor crime and regulatory work.

He has been invited to speak at several large training events at which representatives of many of these insurers have attended – usually technical claims managers, claims directors and claims controllers as well as the Directors of Safety, Health, Environment and Quality of large corporates.

In relation to road traffic offences, he frequently defends in fatal and near-fatal cases, but has a detailed and wide knowledge of all aspects of road traffic legislation and is happy to accept instructions in all such cases.

He enjoys a reputation as a skilled trial advocate but equally recognises the importance of providing a powerful mitigation in those cases where a defendant’s principal concern is the loss of their licence.

Regulatory

Ranked in Tier 1 for Business and Regulatory Crime (including Health and Safety and Inquests & Inquiries- The Legal 500 (2021)

“Extremely thorough, professional and dedicated”” Leaves no stone unturned” “experienced in acting for companies and individuals in inquests which involve the HSE as an interested party, as well as in representing local authorities and care providers in inquests over care home deaths” – The Legal 500 (2021)

Leaves no stone unturned. “Gives very pragmatic advice and is great with clients” – The Legal 500 (2020)

Tom frequently defends cases prosecuted by the HSE and local authorities.

He has particular expertise within the construction and farming industries, but has advised and represented companies as corporate entities, directors and individuals from a wide range of industries, at all stages of criminal proceedings. Such cases almost always involve either very serious injury or death.

Where there is a death, his instructions will usually be prior to any inquest and he has developed a significant practice in this field as a result.

His cases frequently involve complex issues requiring expert evidence. He excels at applying regulations in all manner of specialized activities in order to get the best possible outcome for a client.

Over the years, he has developed an excellent reputation with many of the leading insurers, having defended cases for:

  • Zurich
  • Aviva
  • ALLIANZ
  • Amlin
  • AIG
  • AXA
  • Direct Line Group
  • NFU Mutual
  • QBE
  • Hastings
  • RSA
  • Co-Op
  • Arag
  • Covea
  • Chubb
  • Mitsui Sumitomo

He has been invited to speak at several large training events at which representatives of many of these insurers have attended – usually technical claims managers, claims directors and claims controllers as well as the Directors of Safety, Health, Environment and Quality of large corporates.

Notable Cases

  • Regulatory

    Gateshead Council v Fresh Element Ltd (2021)– serving buffet containing peanuts to a party in an art gallery where advance warning that a man with a nut allergy was attending.

  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council v Strawberryfields Events Limited (2021) – Gate to car boot sale site swung open, penetrating car windscreen and causing injury to driver at exit.

  • HSE v Azura Soft Furnishing Ltd. (2021) – entrapment in duvet folding machine at premises in Oldham.

  • HSE v Alfaplas Ltd (2021)– entanglement in printing machine. Large organisation based in Hereford.

  • HSE v Yorkshire Game Farm. (2021) Gas explosion in a barn containing game birds.

  • HSE v Superior Machines Ltd. (2021) Loss of limb by entrapment on a lathe at premises in North Yorkshire.

  • HSE v SGS Construction Limited. (2021) Fall from height on construction site in county Durham.

  • HSE v Grayton Building Contractors Limited.(2021) Fall from ladder at domestic premises near Warrington

  • HSE v Leeds Bradford Boiler Company Ltd. (2020-1) Life changing injury to employee in valve manufacturing plant when a steel plate fell on his arm. Fine imposed at lower court reduced on appeal to Leeds Crown Court.

  • Derbyshire Fire Authority v Gbolade (2020-21)– prosecution of a dentist in Derby for breach of fire safety regulations.

  • R v Northallerton Heating Centre and Flintoft. (2020) Corporate manslaughter. Plea on a basis by Company, director not proceeded against. Leeds Crown Court.

  • HSE v Acrivarn Ltd (2020)– facial disfigurement caused by angle grinder being used at height at oven manufacturer in Bradford.

  • R v Mark Bray, Roofing Consultants Ltd, Richard Lennon, High Ridge Roofing solutions Ltd and Abbey Architectural Ironmongery Ltd. (2019) -co-defendant Company and individual faced manslaughter charges arising out of an accident where a worker fell from a warehouse roof. Successful half time submission after 5 weeks of prosecution evidence.

  • HSE v TATA Chemicals Europe Ltd. and Capper Industrial Contractors Ltd. (2018)– Allegation in relation to work within a confined space at a lime plant in Cheshire.

  • Crime

    R v Everett & Szambelan (2021) – Representing second defendant who faced a charge of aiding and abetting an offence of causing death by dangerous driving. Acquitted by jury at Norwich Crown Court following 2-week trial.

  • R v Bhatti (2021) – causing death by careless driving. Allegation related to Defendant turning across the path of a motorcycle. Acquitted by jury at Teesside Crown Court.

  • R v Johnson (2021) – causing death by careless driving. Elderly defendant pressed wrong pedal and reversed into a pedestrian in a car park. Financial penalty.

  • R v Clague (2021) – causing death by careless driving. Collision with cyclist on roundabout. Non- custodial.

  • R v Hurst (2020) – Not guilty verdict in causing death by careless driving case. Turning across a motorcycle whose headlight was unlawfully dim.

  • R v Zahouri (2020) – causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Chelmsford Crown Court. French national, driving on the wrong side of the road, collided with bus coming in opposite direction. Non-custodial sentence.

  • R v Garrington (2020) – allegation that Defendant deliberately drove at a pedestrian following a road rage incident. Non-custodial sentence.

  • R v Smith (2020) – non-custodial disposal in causing serious injury by dangerous driving case where Defendant had driven despite warnings that she was suffering a hypoglycaemic attack.

  • R v Bristow (2020) – successful half time submission in trial at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court. Turning across a motorcycle.

  • R v Hyland (2020) – Causing death by careless driving, Chester Crown Court. Collision with motorcyclist at exit to a hotel.

  • R v Rolph (2020) – Not guilty verdict in allegation of causing death by careless driving before Basildon Crown Court. Defendant had turned across the path of a speeding car when distracted by a break-in at his place of employment.

  • R v Bingley (2020) – Not guilty verdict in allegation of causing death by careless driving before Nottingham Crown Court, in circumstances where the Defendant had seen the motorcycle that he collided with, but might have misjudged its speed.

  • R v Morris (2020) – Not guilty verdict in relation to an allegation of causing serious injury by dangerous driving before Carlisle Crown Court.

  • R v McDermott (2019) – Successful halftime submission in relation to an allegation of causing death by careless driving at Leicester Crown Court.

  • R v Tait (2019) – Not guilty verdict in causing death by careless driving trial before Durham Crown Court. Issues relating to conspicuity and blinding sunlight.

What the directories say

"He is very experienced and very good with clients, he will fight their corner but has a very approachable manner." "His written work is very effective."

Chambers and Partners, 2022

"I think he is a silk without the title of silk. The standard of work he produces is exceptional; he will find novel ways of dealing with evidence that even leading counsel haven't identified."

Chambers and Partners, 2022

‘ He is thorough, technically superb and extremely clever. A silk without the badge. ’

Legal 500, 2022

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