Paul Loughlin

Partner

Biography

Paul is a Partner at Stephensons.

Paul began his legal career in 2007 and qualified as a solicitor in 2009. Paul’s specialism covers a wide area of criminal and regulatory prosecutions or enforcement actions brought by a variety of enforcement agencies including the Police and Crown Prosecution Service, Customs and Excise, HMRC, Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency, Food Standards Agency, Financial Conduct Authority, Trading Standards, The Office of the Traffic Commissioner and the DVSA.

Motoring offences and road transport regulation

Alongside a workload of defending actions brought by a range of professional regulators Paul has a particularly niche specialism in criminal motoring offences alongside transport regulation and operator licensing. He is supervised by Sean Joyce.

Motoring offences

Since 2007 Paul has developed a specialism in defending motoring offences of all types in both the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court.

Paul has worked in the niche area of motor defence since the start of his legal career and has a thorough understanding of technical defences involved with offences such as drink driving, drug driving and failing to provide a specimen. With a keen belief in ensuring the client’s best interests remain at the forefront of any legal matter, Paul’s experience in the industry means he knows and understands the importance of ensuring that the client is taken down the right avenue to suit both their objectives and the merits of their case. That may be by utilising his technical knowledge to advance a viable defence or by identifying key areas to assist with getting the best result for the client by advancing an effective approach to guilty plea representation.

Paul manages the motoring team at Stephensons and his expertise means he is often called upon to provide comment or articles in specialist and national press as well as appearing on national radio.

Road transport

Paul also leads a road transport team with an excellent reputation for representing commercial transport operators (HGV and PCV) at public inquiry before traffic commissioners on all regulatory issues such as repute, financial standing and maintenance.

Paul provides effective and straight forward advice and representation for drivers and transport managers on an individual basis. As well as representing clients at Public Inquiry stage, Paul has advised and represented clients in appeals brought before the Upper Tribunal.

General regulatory compliance and enforcement for businesses and individuals

Environmental law

Paul represents a wide range of businesses and individuals prosecuted by the Environment Agency for a range of environmental offences. Paul deals with different varieties and stages of case including:

  • Initial investigations by the EA or a local authority, including advice and representation at interviews under caution (known as PACE interviews)
  • Criminal investigations and prosecutions, including representation at court
  • Ancillary orders to prosecution, including disqualification of a director and confiscation of assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
  • Civil sanctions, including fixed and variable monetary penalties; compliance notices; restoration notices; and stop notices
  • Appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) against civil enforcement sanctions

Health and safety investigations

Paul advises on all aspects of health and safety law, ranging from representation at Interview under Caution and early stages of investigations up to defending businesses at trial.

Paul’s experience includes providing advice and assistance regarding the following:

  • General regulatory compliance;
  • Advising regarding requests for information from the HSE and local authority;
  • Accident investigations (including fatalities) by the police, Health and Safety Executive, local authorities and fire authorities;
  • Enforcement, improvement and prohibition notices;
  • Appeals against improvement and enforcement notices;
  • Representing companies and directors at PACE interviews;
  • Advice and representation at all stages of Magistrates’ and Crown Court proceedings;
  • Health and safety at construction sites including the CDM Regulations; and
  • Advice/assistance with compliance and enforcement issues regarding coronavirus (Covid-19) regulations

Houses in multiple occupation

Paul advises and assists landlords, managers, and letting agents in relation to houses of multiple occupancy (HMO) matters including licensing applications, enforcement actions (including representation at interview under caution, civil penalty challenges, representing businesses and individuals who are prosecuted and acting in relation to rent repayment orders.

Food safety and hygiene

Paul represents clients facing investigation and enforcement action relating to food safety and food hygiene related matters to include:

  • Interviews under caution;
  • Hygiene improvement and prohibition notices;
  • Food condemnation orders;
  • Food hygiene rating appeals;
  • HACCP
  • Food labelling and packaging
  • Advice regarding compliance and enforcement issues relating to coronavirus (Covid-19) regulations

Licensing - compliance and enforcement

Paul advises and assists businesses and individuals in relation to licensing, including:

  • Alcohol and entertainment;
  • betting and gaming licensing; and
  • Firearms licensing.

Paul assists with licensing committee determinations, licence reviews, summary reviews, licence appeals, and defending enforcement action all the way up to prosecutions.

Seizures by Border Force and HMRC

Paul represents commercial clients, or individuals, who have items seized during the import or export process. Paul has successfully secured the restoration of goods and high value items including:

  • High value consignments of fine wine;
  • Shipping containers of commercial goods; and
  • Vehicles

Paul is able to advise and find the best way to navigate through a process to give the best chance of securing restoration whether it be via condemnation proceedings, application for restoration and appealing decisions before the First Tier (Tax) Tribunal

Healthcare Regulation and Professional misconduct & regulation

Care Quality Commission

Paul has experience in guiding providers through the CQC regulations and providing effective advise on the rights to challenge any decisions made by the CQC about any element of the healthcare service that is under scrutiny by the regulator. Paul has provided effective advice and representation in cases where a provider’s registration is at risk of being withdrawn with the consequence being that the business would close. Paul can assist right up advising on appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (Care Standards Chamber). Specifically, Paul assists providers by:

  • Preparing and drafting representations to the CQC in relation to factual inaccuracies; ratings; and inspection reports; and
  • Preparing and submitting challenges to warning notices and decisions to cancel; suspend; or impose conditions on registration

Professional misconduct & regulation

Paul advises and represents professional clients facing regulatory action in a healthcare setting. He can provide clients with advice and representation at all stages starting from initial referral and investigation ranging right up to fitness to practise panel hearings and appeals before their respective regulators.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigations and enforcement

Paul advises and represents clients subject to regulation by the FCA to include:

  • Advice on regulatory compliance;
  • Assisting with applications for registration and authorisation;
  • Advising clients under investigation, including assisting with disclosure of information, preparing written responses and attending meetings;
  • Representation for clients being prosecuted

Paul is a solicitor in the regulatory department at Stephensons and specialises in motoring and road transport law.

Paul advises individuals who are facing prosecution for a range of motoring offences including drink driving, drug driving and failing to provide a specimen. He also represents commercial transport operators (HGV and PCV) at public inquiry before traffic commissioners on all regulatory issues such as repute, financial standing and maintenance.

Paul’s expertise means he is often called upon to provide comment in the national press and broadcast media including LBC, Radio 5 Live and:

Daily Express - New driving laws will see some dangerous drivers issued life jail sentences from 2021

Daily Express - MOT test changes introduced next week could ‘come back to bite’ as motorists risk fines

The Daily Mail - Ban on hands-free kit won’t work because our traffic police are too overstretched to enforce it, motoring experts say.

The Daily Express - Major change to a common driving law could cost you your driving licence

The Sunday Times and The Times - Insurer drove us to new despair, Payback for year of the scam tops £570,000

He also has experience of commenting in specialist titles such as:

Fleet News - More work is needed to explain the law on mobile phone usage, Call for law change as drink-drive figures show increase, Death by dangerous cycling law consultation launched, Fatal bus crash 'may prompt compulsory telematics law'

Fleet World - Tougher mobile phone penalties deter drivers

Transport Monthly - How did the driver with 62 penalty points stay on the road?

What do Paul's clients say?

"Paul Loughlin is excellent, he came highly recommended due to his exceptional client care. Following my initial enquiry he provided immediate clear advice and regular communications. Thereafter he managed to get all proceedings withdrawn in less than two hours... I cannot thank him enough and would not hesitate in providing his contact details to friends and family."

 

"Paul Loughlin handled my case and I cannot praise him highly enough, he is absolutely superb. Paul handled everything in an understanding, compassionate manner and he absolutely nailed the way forward and knew exactly what needed to be done. I'm delighted with what he achieved i.e. getting the case dropped, fantastic! If Paul hadn't achieve this outcome I was facing 6 points and a hefty fine and a court case which I was not looking forward to at all. I can certainly highly recommend Paul Loughlin and wouldn't hesitate to contact him if I ever need assistance in the future and to recommend him to others."

"Paul Loughlin helped me with a public inquiry to get my operator's licence. From the very first time we spoke on the phone until the end he was nothing but honest, professional and extremely helpful. He gave excellent advice and in turn my company has managed to keep trading. I am beyond grateful to him for his services. Nothing was too much and he was always there for me...If I ever need any advice or help again he will be the person I will call upon."

 

"I found myself in the unfortunate position of potentially losing my driving licence due to a number of driving offences committed (unwittingly) within a short space of time. To lose my driving licence would mean to lose my job. I approached Stephensons Solicitors for advice and support with my case, and I'm so glad that I did. The solicitor and paralegal who dealt with my case were understanding, supportive and very easy to deal with and communicate with. They explained what would happen in an easy to understand manner and answered any questions or concerns that I had promptly and clearly. My case was referred to court for a hearing, and Stephenson's Solicitors appointed an excellent barrister to represent me in court who was professional, knowledgeable and reassuring, and she inspired me with confidence. The outcome of my court hearing was a positive one from my perspective and this was largely due to the advice and support given to me by my solicitor and paralegal. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this firm of solicitors for anybody needing legal support or advice. Thank you."

 

"We had a great Solicitor from Stephensons who was very knowledgeable in obtaining an operator's licence and advising the correct actions we wanted to put into place."

 

"Excellent professional and friendly staff, Kept me well informed with regular updates of my pending trial and made me feel comfortable about my situation. I would highly recommend Stephensons solicitors to anyone needing their services, and will 100% use their services again if the need arises."

 

"I could not of been happier with the service from Paul of Stephensons Solicitors LLP. Paul's expertise and fore knowledge of my case really saved the day and I received the best outcome I could of possibly hoped for. He put me at ease and talked me through each step of the way. I would recommend Paul Loughlin of Stephensons to anyone requiring Legal assistance."

 

"Paul Loughlin was the best... listened to everything, all odds against me getting a result... got the truth out and I didn’t even get to a court room."