Melanie O'Brien

Melanie read law at King's College London and was then recruited by Herbert Smith LLP (now Herbert Smith Freehills) as a trainee solicitor. After being admitted as a solicitor in 2001, she was retained by Herbert Smith as a solicitor in their litigation department and reached the level of senior associate. She was located at their London office for seven years and advised and acted upon a wide range of commercial and real estate disputes. Melanie left private practice to become a director at DG Legal, a specialist management consultancy practice where she provides advice and assistance in relation to legal practice management, compliance, risk and quality assurance. She also assists firms in setting up legal practices and submitting applications to the SRA for regulatory approval and provides assistance with ongoing compliance including firms' COLP and COFA obligations. As a non-practising solicitor, she also calls on her litigation experience to advise on practical issues arising from disputes and in particular those relating to Legal Aid contracting, assessment and audit appeals, procurement and regulatory compliance. Melanie is also a Director of Legal Voice, the not-for-profit online magazine for legal professionals.
Contributed to

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Conducting a fire risk assessment
Practice notes

This Practice Note provides information on conducting a fire risk assessment in an office-based workplace. You have a duty to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to ensure the effective planning, control and monitoring of preventative and protective measures in relation to fire risks in your workplaces. In order to identify the general fire precautions you need to take, you must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks.

Conducting a first aid needs assessment
Practice notes

This Practice Note provides information on conducting a first aid needs assessment.

Conducting a health and safety risk assessment
Practice notes

This Practice Note provides information on conducting a health and safety risk assessment in an office-based workplace.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—safe working in an office environment
Practice notes

This Practice Note considers employers’ health and safety obligations and the implications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) for office working procedures and workplace safety. It covers health and safety issues in an office-based workplace and reflects government guidance on working safely during the coronavirus pandemic in offices and contact centres. Other industry/workplace-specific requirements may apply in different working environments.

Dealing with health and safety incidents
Practice notes

This Practice Note provides information on investigating, handling and reporting health and safety incidents.

Dealing with health and safety incidents—regulatory requirements
Practice notes

This Practice Note covers regulatory requirements relating to health and safety incidents including requirements relating to the reporting of injuries, diseases and other dangerous occurrences.

Display screen equipment—regulatory requirements
Practice notes

This Practice Note covers regulatory requirements relating to the use and care of visual display screen equipment.

Fire safety in the workplace—regulatory requirements
Practice notes

This Practice Note covers regulatory requirements relating to fire safety in an office-based workplace, including in relation to duties of the responsible person, general fire precautions, signs and signals, and high risk activities and dangerous substances. Building regulations are outside the scope of this Practice Note.

First aid in the workplace—regulatory requirements
Practice notes

This Practice Note covers regulatory requirements relating to first aid in an office-based workplace, including requirements relating to the provision of first aid kits, first aiders and first aid rooms.

Formulating a health and safety plan
Practice notes

This Practice Note deals with formulating, implementing and reviewing a plan to manage health and safety and control associated risks in an office-based workplace.

Formulating a health and safety policy
Practice notes

This Practice Note provides information for organisations on drafting and implementing a health and safety policy. It reviews key issues to consider and refers to tools that could be of assistance.

Health and safety assessment and planning lifecycle
Practice notes

This chart is provided for your information to help you navigate our health and safety assessment and planning Precedents. It is not intended to be capable of being edited.

Health and safety assessment and planning—regulatory requirements
Practice notes

This Practice Note covers regulatory requirements relating to health and safety in an office-based workplace and in particular, the requirements for health and safety assessment and planning.

Health and safety in the workplace—regulatory requirements
Practice notes

This Practice Note covers regulatory requirements relating to health and safety in an office-based workplace including requirements relating to the provision of safe workplace equipment and manual handling.

Health and safety policy—regulatory requirements
Practice notes

This Practice Note covers compliance and regulatory requirements relating to health and safety (H&S) and, in particular, the requirements for a written Health and safety/H&S policy.

Health and safety—key legislation table
Practice notes

This Practice Note consists of a table that contains a summary of the key legislation relevant to health and safety in an office-based workplace. The table indicates which measures apply, depending on the type and size of organisation.

Managing fire safety in the workplace
Practice notes

This Practice Note provides practical information on managing and ensuring fire safety in an office-based workplace.

Managing health and safety in the workplace
Practice notes

An organisation has a duty to ensure it manages the health and safety risks in its workplace effectively and efficiently. This Practice Note provides information on managing and ensuring health and safety in the workplace.

Practical steps to managing first aid in the workplace
Practice notes

This Practice Note provides information on managing and ensuring the effective provision of first aid in the workplace.

Fire warden role profile
Precedents

This Precedent Fire warden role profile is suitable for a fire warden with overall oversight of fire safety in your organisation.

Practice areas

Qualifications

  • LPC
  • LL.B

Panel

  • Consulting Editorial Board
  • Contributing Author

Education

  • College of Law, London
  • King's College London

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