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Legal Comment: UK Theatres Shutting Doors Over RAAC Fears

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Kizzy Augustin, Partner at Mishcon de Reya LLP, comments on media reports of several theatres shutting their doors over fears of finding Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).

Whilst there is clearly an issue that has triggered the urgent survey of a number of schools, we must not forget the potential risks associated with lower rise buildings, both residential and commercial, including hospitals, police stations and prisons as well as homes, offices and theatres.

There could be thousands of buildings affected. There has been a lot of focus on risks associated with high rise residential buildings after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, with the development of the Building Safety Act 2022.

Knee-jerk reactions will not help the situation, but reasonably practicable steps such as carrying out dynamic risk assessments for the affected buildings, keeping the public and dutyholders better informed about their responsibilities…

There is a legal responsibility for owners, employers and those that use buildings in scope to ensure the health and safety of employees and non-employees, including members of the public and visitors.

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Knee-jerk reactions will not help the situation, but reasonably practicable steps such as carrying out dynamic risk assessments for the affected buildings, keeping the public and dutyholders better informed about their responsibilities and identifying the proactive ways those responsibilities can be met will be key.

Kizzy Augustin

Kizzy Augustin is a Partner in Mishcon de Reya's White Collar Crime & Investigations Group. A Solicitor Advocate with Higher Rights of Audience, she has significant experience in defending companies, senior directors and employees in corporate manslaughter and serious fire / health and safety prosecutions. Kizzy provides preventative consultancy advice to high-profile corporate and commercial clients concerning corporate policies and procedures, ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation, as well contentious, strategic advice in response to an actual incident. She also regularly represents clients at court, Enforcement Notice appeals and Coroners' inquests. Kizzy has a particular interest in managing reputational risk for businesses and providing training on the law relating to health and safety issues within the construction, care homes, environmental, manufacturing, fire, rail and retail industries. Kizzy joined the practice from Russell-Cooke Solicitors, where she had been Partner since 2018. Prior to this, she worked at Pinsent Masons, leading their health and safety team in London for 10 years. She is a member of the Health and Safety Lawyers Association and an Executive Committee trustee of the London Health and Safety Group. Kizzy is recognised by The Legal 500 in 2022 as an “exceptional Leading Individual” for health and safety.

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  • Kizzy Augustin

    Kizzy Augustin is a Partner in Mishcon de Reya's White Collar Crime & Investigations Group. A Solicitor Advocate with Higher Rights of Audience, she has significant experience in defending companies, senior directors and employees in corporate manslaughter and serious fire / health and safety prosecutions. Kizzy provides preventative consultancy advice to high-profile corporate and commercial clients concerning corporate policies and procedures, ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation, as well contentious, strategic advice in response to an actual incident. She also regularly represents clients at court, Enforcement Notice appeals and Coroners' inquests. Kizzy has a particular interest in managing reputational risk for businesses and providing training on the law relating to health and safety issues within the construction, care homes, environmental, manufacturing, fire, rail and retail industries. Kizzy joined the practice from Russell-Cooke Solicitors, where she had been Partner since 2018. Prior to this, she worked at Pinsent Masons, leading their health and safety team in London for 10 years. She is a member of the Health and Safety Lawyers Association and an Executive Committee trustee of the London Health and Safety Group. Kizzy is recognised by The Legal 500 in 2022 as an “exceptional Leading Individual” for health and safety.

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