Having undertaken extensive criminal work, Cassie has now developed a regulatory and professional discipline practise, specialising almost exclusively in ﬁre safety. Having formed a relationship with one fire authority, she now acts regularly for several fire authorities either directly through their legal teams, or through their Local Authority legal assistance. Having appeared for the Fire Authorities, defence work followed, and Cassie is regularly consulted by Fire Risk Assessors, Housing Associations and others about enforcement and prosecution issues.
As a result of prosecuting landlords in relation to housing of multiple occupancy, the cross over with Local Authorities and on occasions the HSE have all been dealt with. Most of the issues that arise fall within the Fire Safety Order, but occasionally more novel points arise under local byelaws that Cassie has considered and successfully prosecuted.
Cassie has advised Housing Associations in relation to potential high rise block issues, fire authorities as to their approach to cladding; keeping fully aware of the ever-developing issues following Grenfell etc.
Cassie also undertakes private prosecutions, mainly for local authorities, in relation to frauds and regulatory offences.
Cassie has a no-nonsense down to earth style, where informing clients where they are and what steps should be taken is paramount. She offers excellent client care, responding to communications promptly and often making herself available at short notice. She is available by telephone and email and more than happy to hold conferences in person or via Microsoft Teams/Zoom. Cassie is willing to provide training on any aspect of her professional expertise.
In 2016 Cassie was appointed as a member of the Parole Board. She chairs hearings for life sentenced prisoners, dangerous offenders and those recalled to prison. This can be as a single member chair or as chair to a two or three member panels. She also sits as a Reconsideration Member and her decisions are published on Bailii.
Cassie led the RADAR project for the Parole Board which has delivered a new template for decisions, a significant development for the Board.
In 2021 she was appointed as a member of the Management Committee for the Parole Board.
Cassie has had a long-standing interest in legal education and was a freelance lecturer for many years alongside her career as a barrister.
In 2017 she was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education to chair a panel of legal experts to develop a new T-Level qualification to be delivered to young people aged 16-19 as a direct equivalent to A-Level study.
She has considerable experience as an External Examiner for the Bar Standards Board and, in 2020, when a new Bar Training approach began, she was appointed by the BSB as the Lead External Examiner for Advocacy for all Authorised Education and Training Organisations.
In 2022 Cassie was appointed by the BSB as Assistant Chief Examiner for Professional Ethics.
GMFRA v Oasis Lounge and Others – led Junior.
It remains the largest prosecution GMFRA have ever carried out and included the prosecution of key staff members at a Shisha bar for breaching a Prohibition Notice. One of the defendants turned Queens Evidence during the trial. Three of the defendants received immediate custodial sentences.
WYFRA v APP Construction Ltd and others
Cassie prosecuted a case involving student accommodation in Leeds (Trinity Halls) and 3 defendant companies on behalf of WYFRA. Two of the defendants were represented by QCs. Cassie was asked to step into this case due to problems with initially instructed Counsel, rectify the charges and resolve disclosure issues. One of the defendants put forward an application to dismiss the charges based on a lack of evidence and them not having any responsibility or control under the FSO. The prosecution was successful, such that the largest fine at the time was imposed by the court on the construction company, who had put forward the legal argument to dismiss.
GMFRA v Stone
Cassie prosecuted the defendant, who was the landlord of a HMO where a fire had occurred. The premises had been converted without planning permission and were not to the relevant Building Regulation standards. She received a suspended custodial sentence.
GMFRA v Armstrong’s Environmental Services
The company were a recycling centre and were prosecuted under the Greater Manchester Act 1981. The prosecution concerned the size of wood stacks on the recycling premises. Fires had occurred and the Fire service had spent hundreds of thousands of pounds fighting the fires over several days, and on repeat occasions. There was a huge public interest in prosecuting this case given the public money spent. The company argued abuse of process but eventually pleaded guilty and were fined (limited by the scope of the Act) but importantly ordered to pay the costs and referred to the Environmental Agency.
GMFRA v Phelps
A case involving the defendant selling fireworks. He did not have a licence to store the explosives under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was prosecuted accordingly.
GMFRA v Waraich
A landlord prosecuted twice by Cassie, on behalf of GMFRA. The first case was a joint prosecution alongside Manchester Council. The defendant was convicted of 8 fire safety offences and 21 housing offences. Cassie then commenced a prosecution over two years later involving him and a second defendant, a fire risk assessor. They both eventually pleaded guilty at the Crown Court.
GMFRA v “Manchester Party Pad”
Cassie successfully opposed an appeal against a Prohibition Notice. The appellant was involved in the renting out of ‘Manchester Party Pad’ and appealed on the basis that it was a serviced apartment and so was not subject to the FSO.
Bassetlaw District Council v GB
Cassie advised and then prosecuted B for circumventing planning regulations to enhance his property. The defendant submitted planning applications using fraudulent statements, which were disproved by handwriting expert evidence. The Defendant was the head of a national supermarket store development team and was very much aware of what he was doing.
Bassetlaw District Council v MP
Defendant was prosecuted for council tax reduction frauds by the Local Authority as a private prosecution. This was an important case for the Authority as the Defendant was causing significant issues for them.