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Call: 1990

David Sapiecha

Albion Chambers

Broad Street Bristol BS1 1DR

  • Overview

    David is greatly experienced in Regulatory, Crime, Disciplinary Proceedings and Inquests. David is on the A list panel of prosecutors for Health and Safety and regulatory offences. He is a grade 4 CPS prosecutor and a member of the RASSO and Serious Crime Panel.

  • Regulatory

    David has more than 25 years’ experience of advising and appearing in regulatory cases. An illustrative list includes:

    • Health and safety (including fatalities)
    • Fire safety
    • Trading Standards
    • Police misconduct
    • Firearms appeals
    • Planning breaches
    • Animal welfare
    • Advising on legal professional privilege
    • Food safety
    • Personal Protective Equipment Regulation breaches

    David is on the A list panel of prosecutors for Health and Safety.

    Notable cases

    • [2023] Prosecuting for the HSE – Alexandra Homes Bristol were prosecuted for breaches of section 3 of the Health and Safety at work Act 1974. The company ran a number of specialist residential care homes. One called Alexandra House. In October 2014, a 19 year old male resident strangled an 18 year old female resident at the home. The male was convicted of murder. The HSE prosecuted the company for failing to suitably and sufficiently risk assess the danger posed by the male to females and to put in place adequate measures to protect females in the home from him. After legal argument as to abuse of process based on delay failed, the company pleaded guilty and were fined £125,000 and costs.
    • [2023] Defended a major Fire risk assessment company during a 10 day crown court trial accused of failing to provide a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment in a block of flats. The flats were considered to be a complex building. Issues included suitability and sufficiency and whether any risk consequently caused, as well as admissibility of previous risk assessments and scope and extent of prosecution’s expert opinion evidence.
    • R v Intelligent Solar [2022] – Leading counsel prosecuted for Devon and Somerset Trading Standards three defendants for large-scale solar-panel-installation fraud for offences under the Fraud Act, and Financial Services Regulation as well as Consumer Protection from unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
    • R v Knapp House Ltd [2021] – Prosecuted Health and Safety offences arising from the death by drowning of a four-year-old child in a swimming pool at a holiday venue.
    • R v Tyler Parton [2019] – Prosecution of a company under the Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Operatives of the company claimed they were selling ‘periodicals’ in the street. The public were fooled into believing they were collecting for charity.
    • R v H [2019] – Defended a farming company for Health and Safety breaches when the children from the farm crashed an ATV and one was injured. Successfully argued that the fine should be reduced from the guidelines to reflect the culpability was more of a parenting issue than a Health and Safety issue. Obtained an order that the defendant company’s details should not be published so as to ensure the children were not identified.
    • R v Carpenter [2018] – prosecuted at trial, Neil Carpenter who was represented by Queen’s Counsel. A farmer found guilty of Gross Negligence Manslaughter when a volunteer-worker became entangled in an inadequately-guarded power-take-off shaft to a milling machine, and died. The defendant claimed he was not present at the time and that the victim had operated the machine without permission. The prosecution were able to demonstrate that it was the defendant who must have been operating the machine assisted by the deceased. Mr Justice Dingemans sentenced the defendant to 4½ years imprisonment.
    • R v Pengelly Farms [2016] – Prosecuted a farming company for Health and Safety breaches when a conveyor belt agricultural machine struck overhead powerlines in a field. A picker was fatally electrocuted.
    • R v Grinter [2013] – prosecuted as leading junior in a fraudulent trading case involving investments of £8 million. The defendant was represented by Queen’s Counsel.
  • Crime

    David prosecutes and defends serious and complex cases.

    Notable cases

    • R v Randhawa [2021] – Prosecuted a defendant for multiple offences of fraud valued at over £1 million. The Defendant claiming ownership of cars he was offering to sell and duping customers all around the country.
    • R v Tafari [2021] – Prosecuted multi-handed cannabis and cocaine conspiracies.
    • R v B [2021] – Prosecuted at trial a defendant who was employed by the National Crime Agency for sexual offences. The Defendant was convicted.
    • R v Paul Brown [2019] – Leading counsel for the prosecution. Rapes and voyeurism by fraud/deceit involving 15 complainants. Defendant had posed as photographer for a fake modelling agency. S76 and S74 of Sexual Offences Act 2003 legal arguments. Trial lasted seven weeks.
    • R v Freeman and others [2019] – Leading counsel for the prosecution of an eight-defendant case with three conspiracies of importation and supply of cocaine and supply of heroin. Trial lasted eight weeks.
    • R v Dean Waters [2019] – Defending a conspiracy to import over a tonne of cocaine into the UK with a street value in excess of £100 million.​ Trial lasted six weeks.
    • R v Kyle Saville [2017] – Prosecuted an attempted murder charge alone, defended by a KC with a junior barrister. Trial lasted two weeks.
    • R v Colin Jeffrey [2016] – Prosecuted a defendant charged with gross negligence manslaughter in respect of a fall from height. The Defendant was convicted after trial.
    • R v Cobbett [2015] – Defended a care-home manager for false imprisonment of residents due to the regime at various care homes (part of a multi-handed conspiracy case). The defendant pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence. Successfully defended the subsequent unduly lenient AG’s reference.
    • R V G [2013] Court of Appeal – Represented the prosecution at a rape appeal involving fresh forensic evidence. The Appellant was represented by a KC. David cross-examined the Appellant’s Forensic Scientist. The appeal was dismissed.
  • Inquests

    David has acted for NHS Trusts, care-home proprietors as well as the police, fire service and individuals.

    Notable cases

    • [2023] Represented a leading mass sporting event provider, when a participant at a triathlon drowned. Issues as to lifeguarding and advanced medical care.
    • [2023] Represented a company who owns a bio digester and used independent contractors to work at height to remove the dome and carry out works to the contents. An employee of a contractor died when the MEWP he was using came too close to live electrical power lines and he was electrocuted. Issues as to risks through noxious gases/ work at height and power lines as well as responsibilities of the various companies involved.
    • [2023] Represented Hants County Council. An adult with needs for care and support took their own life. An Art 2 inquest encompassed the duties of the Council to  assess the needs of the young man and coordinating care packages.
    • [2022] Represented a Fire Risk Assessment company following a fire in a care home in East London where a service user was not evacuated and died during the fire. Issues under Art 9 and Art 18 Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 arose.
    • [2022] Represented the interests of an individual who stabbed to death her estranged husband. The Deceased at the time had detained the invidual and bound her to a chair, having shot her with a crossbow and threatened her. The decision of the inquest was that the individual acted in lawful self defence.
    • [2021] Represented the HSE at an inquest into a death at a recycling centre when a large Caterpillar vehicle ran over the deceased.
    • Represented a care home when a resident with dementia died as a result of frequent falls. Issues arose as to the amount of resources and facilities available for up to 24-hour supervision of the resident and timely applications for funding.
    • Police fatal shooting at Lewannick, Cornwall. The inquest lasted six weeks. David represented Officer ‘A’.
    • Inquest into the multiple deaths following the Penhallow Hotel fire, Newquay. David represented the Cornwall Fire Service as leading junior.
    • David represented PC H, at inquest and during misconduct proceedings, who deployed his taser on a man who had poured fuel over himself. Sadly the man died after the fuel ignited. PC H was exonerated.
  • Misconduct proceedings

    David deals with many types of misconduct proceedings, either at first instance or by appeals, tribunals and judicial review.

David Sapiecha


‘Legal 500 2024 – Business and Regulatory Crime (including Health and Safety) Leading Junior ranked Tier 1’

‘Legal 500 2024 – Inquests and Inquiries Leading Junior ranked Tier 1′

‘David is an excellent advocate with the ability to hold his audience no matter how complex the matter being explained.  He knows how to explain difficult concepts to juries and strikes the correct balance between explaining all of the relevant facts without going into too much detail.  You can tell juries listen to his every word.’

‘David’s advocacy is very good. He is able to turn off his criminal advocate demeanour and conduct himself in a way that is respectful of the deceased’s family. David is also very good at making submissions and questioning witnesses in a way that benefits the client.’

Legal 500 2024 

‘A reliably brilliant barrister.’

Legal 500 2023

Leading Junior in Crime (General and Fraud)
“David is extremely hardworking, always on top of his brief, bright, personable and has a real ability to cut through extraneous arguments to the heart of the matter. He maintains a cool head in the face of constant fire from opponents and judges. Juries like him very much.”

Leading Junior in Business and Regulatory Crime (Including Health and Safety)
“User-friendly, hardworking, prompt, and extremely thorough and prepared.”
Legal 500 2022

Leading Junior in Crime (General and Fraud)
“His advocacy style is direct and perceptive, cutting to the crux of the matter which is much liked by judges”

Leading Junior in Business and Regulatory Crime (Including Health and Safety)
“A direct and perceptive advocate who cuts to the heart of a matter”
Legal 500 2021

Leading junior in Crime
“Noted for his expertise in fraud cases”

Leading junior in Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing
“Well known for handling trading standards, animal welfare and police misconduct cases”
Legal 500, 2019

“Experienced in police disciplinary cases”
Legal 500, 2016

“He inspires confidence with his ability to draw out all the relevant points in a case”
Legal 500, 2015


  • LLB (Hons)


  • Assistant Coroner for Somerset (Part time)
  • Legally Qualified Chair of Police Misconduct Proceedings