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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Crime: general
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

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Fantastic criminal law practice’ BCL Solicitors LLP acts for high-profile clients in the fields of business, sport, entertainment and media. Areas of expertise include sexual offences, domestic violence, public order offences, serious assault, murder, manslaughter, drugs matters and motoring offences. Recent high-profile clients include Shane Warne and Charles Elphicke MP. Paul Morris heads the team supported by Rachel Hubbard whose ‘strategy, attention to detail and client care is second to none’. Ellen Peart and Mark Haslam are also recommended.

ExceptionalBindmans LLP ‘always goes the extra mile in every case’. The firm deals with serious crime matters such as murder, fraud, terrorism and extradition, specialising in cases with human rights aspects. It represents high-profile individuals such as politicians, journalists and other professionals. The team has ‘excellent client and litigation skills and prepares cases thoroughly’, it is led by ‘utterly committedMartin Rackstraw and ‘level-headedKatie Wheatley . Other names of note include the ‘indefatigableKate Goold, Michael Schwarz and associates Jude Lanchin and Jessica Skinns . Recent highlights include acting for over 100 core participants in the Mitting Inquiry which relates to the  undercover policing of protest movements since the the 1960s, so far the firm has secured the quashing of 50 convictions of political activists.

Blackfords LLP combines ‘excellent private work with a busy legal aid practice’. The firm advises on matters such as thefts, murders, sexual offences, drug cases, assaults, property crimes and money laundering offences. The firm acted for Lavinia Woodward who stabbed her boyfriend in a high-profile case in which she received a 10 month suspended sentence due to mitigating factors. The team is headed by ‘charismatic rainmakerGary Bloxsome and ‘real grafterTrevor Francis , they are supported by the ‘pragmatic, pro-active, and highly experienced’ Diana Payne. Barrister Rachel Wilson and Consultant Gary Rubin are also recommended.

Pre-eminent boutiqueCorker Binning acts in matters of possession and supply of drugs, grievous bodily harm, contempt of court, sexual offences, manslaughter, murder and extradition. It often acts for high-profile clients such as businessmen, politicians, sports stars, celebrities and journalists. The team is led by ‘down to earth and pragmaticRobert Brown, he is supported by the ‘astoundingly good, dedicated, hugely experienced, and extremely brightAndrew Smith and Edward Grange. A recent work highlight included acting for Vladimir Bukovsky, a Russian dissident and Vladimir Putin critic who is on trial for possession and creation of indecent images of children.

Edward Fail Bradshaw & Waterson acts in a variety of serious criminal matters including murder, fraud, money laundering, drug dealing offences, sexual offences, child abuse and public inquiries. The firm carries out a large amount of legal aid work alongside its private practice. Paul Harris , Shila Keshvari  and Kirsty Bishop jointly head the team. Edward Preston has stepped down as senior partner but remains at the firm carrying out serious criminal cases. Natalie Berman is also recommended.

Hickman and Rose advises on various aspects of criminal law such as murder, historic sexual abuse investigations and miscarriages of justice. It represents a range of high-profile private clients including politicians, finance workers, high-net-worth individuals and other professionals. Head of team Jenny Wiltshire has ‘sound tactical awareness and great judgment’. Ross Dixon is ‘a very knowledgeable individual who has a calm and authoritative manner’. Ben Rose acts for ITH Pharma in relation to proceedings brought under the Health and Safety and Medicines Acts. Peter Csemiczky was promoted to partner.

Hodge Jones & Allen LLP advises on serious crimes including extradition, murder, sexual crimes, drugs offences, dangerous driving and those with human rights aspects. It represents vulnerable individuals and also high-net-worth individuals such as celebrities. Raj Chada leads on advising 15 defendants who prevented a plane deporting refugees from taking off at Stansted airport by breaking into the airport and blocking the runway; the case is ongoing. Nigel Richardson heads the team, supported by Graeme Hydari and senior associate Gary Monks. Kiran Mehta and Atiyah Malik joined as partners. Samira Noor Khan left the firm.

The ‘first-rate’ team at Kingsley Napley LLP is ‘efficient, strategic, committed and able to handle the most complex of criminal cases as well as more general crime cases’. It advises corporations and individuals on sexual offences, violent crimes, drug offences, firearms offences, extradition and high-profile matters with an international element. The ‘hardworkingJohn Harding leads the general crime team alongside the ‘tenaciousDavid Sleight and Sandra Paul who is ‘head and shoulders above any other criminal defence practitioner in London’. Stephen Parkinson was promoted to senior partner, Johanna Walsh and Rebecca Niblock were promoted to partner. Senior associate Edmund Smyth is also recommended.

Simons Muirhead & Burton advises on a broad range of general crime matters such as drug offences, theft, complex sexual offences and media-related criminal law. It is adept at handling sensitive cases for celebrities and high-net-worth individuals. Anthony Burton CBE heads the department with ‘a wealth and breadth of experience’. Philip Smith joined as partner from Tuckers Solicitors , he has ‘an excellent client manner and gives clear and effective advice in dealing with highly complex and serious issues’. Pamela Reddy left the firm for Norton Rose Fulbright. Recent highlights included advising a former parliamentary candidate with mental health issues who has been accused arson with intent to danger life and possession of class A drugs and a stun gun.

Tuckers Solicitors' general crime team is led by the ‘charismatic and committed’ Richard Egan, Jim Meyer and Sarnjit Lal. The firm specialises in matters of fraud, regulatory, civil liberties, prison law, terrorism, armed robbery, murder, and drugs importation and distribution. Egan recently led on defending a high-net-worth art dealer who murdered his seven year old daughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Philip Smith left the firm for Simons Muirhead & Burton.

Bark&co  is experienced in handling cases of murder, manslaughter, drugs, firearms, terrorism, money laundering, assaults, sexual offences and immigration. Recent highlights included acting for a defendant against allegations of being part of a group that conspired to produce cannabis worth £26m a year, the defendant was acquitted. Giles Bark-Jones heads the department, he is ‘a talented tactician and brave as lion, just the man to have in your corner’. Frederick Bunn is also recommended.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) provides advice in relation to murder, violent crime, fraud, motoring offences, financial crime, large-scale drug importation, historic sexual abuse, firearms offences and immigration. Joanne Gibbons heads the team and is supported by Eddie Tang who is ‘an exceptional lawyer with first-class advocacy skills’. Recent highlights include acting for a carer accused of attempted murder and for a Chinese refugee accused of illegally importing a large amount of tobacco.

Lewis Nedas Law Limited deals with a variety of general crime matters such as murder, sexual offences, people trafficking, money laundering and cyber crime. Jeffrey Lewis who is ‘great with clients and a shrewd negotiator’ heads the team, supported by Miles Herman who is ‘a very experienced criminal litigator with a pragmatic approach that often pays dividends’ and Siobhain Egan. Unan Choudhury heads the new East London office. The team ‘thinks outside the box, resolves cases cost effectively and is an exceptional firm’.

Lloyds PR Solicitors is ‘very professional, well staffed and a growing force nationally’. It covers a broad range of general crime matters such as road traffic offences, extradition, business crime, terrorism, murder, serious sexual assault and human trafficking. The firm has separate teams to deal with the progression of cases including: the police station team, Magistrates Court team, Crown Court team, in-house advocacy team and confiscation team. Key individuals include Prasad Palihawadana, Harsha Rupasinghe who provides clients with ‘the best service and representation’ and associate Mohsin Ariff  who is ‘unflappable’, ‘extremely forensically astute’ and ‘has an ability to insightfully grasp the real issues in the most complex and serious cases’.

The ‘excellentRussell-Cooke LLP ‘prepares cases carefully and thoroughly’ and provides ‘an outstanding service’. It has recently acted in cases of drug dealing, sexual offences, terrorism and assault. The firm often deals with vulnerable and young clients. ‘Extremely bright and diligentJae Carwardine heads the practice and is supported by Nicola O’Connor who has ‘excellent client management skills’ and ‘remains focused in a pressurized environment’. Senior associate Marie Bourke is ‘bright and incisive’ and ‘her attention to detail, commitment to clients and pro-active case management is particularly impressive’. Kizzy Augustin joined as partner.

The team at Shaw Graham Kersh  is ‘phenomenal inside and outside court, with tremendous energy, stamina and strategy’. It deals with a variety of serious criminal offences such as firearms, drugs conspiracies, terrorism and gang crime. Paul Graham heads the team with Philip Hill who is ‘an extremely calm and focused lawyer’ and has ‘first-rate client care skills’. Raymond Shaw is ‘sensational, supportive and sharp’ and is ‘the doyen of disentangling doomsday scenarios’. Recent work highlights included acting for a member of a child grooming and prostitution gang and two defendants charged with a gang-related murder. Daniel Kersh left the firm.

Boutique private client firm Shearman Bowen & Co deals with serious crime matters such as murder, sexual assault and drugs charges. Recent highlights included defending a former rapper of the group So Solid Crew against a racially aggravated public order offence, he was found guilty of the lesser charge of a basic public order offence. Another highlight included defending the alleged ringleader of a drug supply conspiracy. Rick Shearman and Mark Bowen head the practice.

Excellent heavyweight criminal practiceSonn Macmillan Walker carries out significant amounts of private client work balanced with legal aid work. The firm advises on complex crime matters such as organised crime, drug supply, terrorism, sexual offences and violence. The ‘incredibly knowledgeableTim Walker heads the team which is ‘hardworking, diligent and well-informed, with good strategic insight’.

Stokoe Partnership Solicitors advises on serious crime matters such as organised crime, large scale international drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud, murder, bribery, corruption, armed robbery, cybercrime, and confiscation and civil recovery matters. Senior partner Bambos Tsiattalou has ‘incredible instincts and judgement’ and ‘fights tenaciously for every possible advantage’. Brian Swan is also recommended.

Birds Solicitors acts in various criminal matters including financial crime, confiscation and regulatory, road traffic and motoring offences and serious crime. Steven Bird the key contact for criminal matters.

Freemans Solicitors ‘often goes well beyond the call of duty’. The firm deals with a broad range of general crime matters including serious fraud, extradition, sexual assault, violent crime and murder. Michael Field jointly heads the team with Kishoree Kotecha-Pau who has ‘great depth of experience and knowledge of the criminal justice process’ and ‘combines professionalism with humanity, charm, warmth and hard graft’.

GT Stewart Limited specialises in dealing with vulnerable clients, those with mental health problems and young people. The firm deals with a high volume of publicly funded work across England. It is adept at handling cases of murder, assault, robbery and terrorism, and has strong experience in appeals. Greg Stewart heads the practice.

Howard Kennedy LLP has a ‘dedicated set of lawyers who really fight their clients’ corner’. It acts for high-net-worth individuals, high-profile clients, media clients, solicitors and other professionals. Areas of expertise include harassment, blackmail, drug offences and historic sexual offences. Ian Ryan heads the team and is ‘a superb tactician who knows exactly how to work a case to the client’s advantage’. Senior associate John Martyn is ‘diligent, imperturbable and outstanding at dealing with tricky clients’.

Attentive and professionalITN Solicitors ‘excels in challenging the boundaries of the law and fighting politically important cases’. It advises on a broad range of serious criminal matters including murder, drugs offences, terrorism, sexual offences and those with human rights and international law elements. The firm is acting for an individual accused of plotting to plant a bomb at 10 Downing Street to assassinate the Prime Minister. It is also acting for a defendant in a conspiracy to import heroin, cocaine and firearms into the UK from France. ‘Intelligent and thorough’ Simon Natas is ‘one of the foremost solicitors for protest and appeal cases’. Nadeem Thanvi is also recommended.

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP is ‘an excellent firm with highly talented individuals’. It specialises in extradition cases, INTERPOL matters and mutual legal assistance as well as handling serious crime matters such as murder, manslaughter, human trafficking, sexual offences and extortion. Michael O’Kane who is ‘of outstanding quality’ heads the business crime department. Nick Vamos joined as partner from his position as head of special crime at the crown prosecution service (CPS), he is ‘a lawyer of formidable intellect and excellent judgement’. Anna Bradshaw was promoted to partner, Neil Swift is also recommended.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is ‘singled out by its attention to detail and well deserved reputation for tenaciousness’. The firm advises on a broad range of serious crime matters. Managing partner Rakeebah Rahim has ‘a great track record and is amazingly organised’, she is supported by the ‘personable and reassuringDeniz Oguzkanli and Piers Desser who is ‘a very astute and considered lawyer’. Davinder Virdi joined as associate and Abbas Nawrozzadeh joined as senior associate.

Slater and Gordon has a ‘Professional and dedicated’ team that specialises in representing Police Federation clients in relation to police use of force, fatal road traffic accidents, gross misconduct, criminal investigations, misconduct proceedings and deaths in police custody. The ‘very capable and highly experiencedScott Ingram heads the team. Susan Freeburn recently advised a Met police officer accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm whilst policing a football match, he was acquitted at trial.

Steel & Shamash ‘represents clients at all levels of criminal cases with the utmost professionalism’. The firm’s clients include the Labour Party and the National Union of Teachers, both of which it has acted for, for many years. It often acts for teachers accused of criminal offences such as sexual offences and assaults, and also deals with more general serious crime matters such as drugs offences and terrorism. The team is headed by the ‘versatile’ Rakesh Bhasin who ‘has sound judgement, is full of initiative and tactically astute’ and Robert Dynowski who is ‘well regarded by peers and competitors alike’.

TV Edwards LLP specialises in cases of youth crime, fraud, business crime and motoring crimes. It also deals with cases of murder, drugs offences, sexual assaults and violent crime. Key individual in the team Anthony Edwards is an expert on police station law and handles cases which involve witnesses entering into the witness protection scheme.

ABV Solicitors provides ‘excellent client care, experience, sound judgement and reliability’, acting in cases of sexual assault, immigration, terrorism and large-scale drug importation. Head of team Akhtar Ahmad is ‘ knowledgeable, professional and well-organised’, he is supported by Robert Borwick who is ‘pragmatic’ and ‘tenacious in his approach to criminal defence’.

Brown Rudnick LLP's 'truly inspirational’ general crime team consists of ‘formidable practitioners’ headed by the ‘completely brilliant’ Mark Beardsworth. The firm represents professionals, high-net-worth families and celebrities in a range of crime matters including historic child sex abuse, sexual assault and data protection offences. Recent cases include evasion of value-added tax (VAT), tax fraud and money laundering.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors is ‘a busy firm, cornering the market in legally aided, general crime’. It is adept at handling cases of serious crime such as drugs importation, fraud, kidnap, immigration and gang-related offences. The firm recently acted for a man who murdered a fellow detainee at an immigration centre. Key individuals in the team include the ‘very personable and keen practitionerHardeep Dhaliwal who is ‘good with clients and has an easy manner’, and Rubin Italia.

Boutique extradition specialist Gherson is ‘the only firm to go to if the case has any asylum/immigration dimension’. The firm undertakes a large number of INTERPOL cases, and complex SFO matters in relation freezing orders. Roger Gherson Roger Gherson, who is ‘second to none in his devotion to clients’ heads the team alongside associate Thomas Garner  who is ‘clever, thoughtful, and has excellent judgment’.

Hughmansconsistently delivers the highest standards of client care and case preparation’. Recent cases have included investment fraud, money laundering, slavery, bribery, kidnap and grievous bodily harm (GBH). Peter Hughman has ‘exceptional judgement and integrity’; he is supported by Lee Adams, who ‘has a fantastic manner with clients’.

Janes Solicitors is noted for its ‘thorough, robust and thoughtful approach’. The firm advises on a wide range of serious criminal matters. Robert Berg heads the team and is ‘an impeccable solicitor with a razor-sharp and incisive mind’. James Mullion shows ‘considerable expertise and good judgement’.

Reeds Solicitors handles a range of crime cases including drugs supply, assault, murder, fraud and money laundering. Abigail Ashford heads the team which is ‘efficient, responsive and knowledgeable’. Associate Mark Abbott is ‘a thoughtful and detailed litigant’ with ‘impressive knowledge of the law and thorough and sensitive client contact’.

Heavyweight criminal defence firmStuart Miller Solicitors has recently acted in cases of murder, robbery, Sexual assault, drugs offences, possession of indecent images, GBH, kidnap and fraud. Key practitioner Abu Kibla is ‘dedicated, detail-oriented and thorough’, he is supported by Sarah King who is ‘exceptional, very bright, organised, proactive and really fights for the client’. Another name of note is Mohammed Zeb who is ‘an outstanding solicitor with persuasive advocacy skills’.

Advice Wise Solicitors Limited Advice Wise Solicitors Limited has recently advised on cases of sexual assault, brothel-keeping, burglary, murder and human trafficking. A particular highlight was acting for two defendants accused of using key-less technology to steal around 120 cars with a value of over £2.5m. The team is ‘100% committed to excellent preparation and client care’. ‘Pro-active’ head of team Shahid Khan has ‘a prolific work rate’ and ‘goes well beyond the call of duty’.

Expertly runBrett Wilson LLP handles ‘a wide variety of cases competently and adroitly’. Head of practice Nick Brett is ‘a shrewd judge of case’ and displays ‘reasoned common sense and sound strategy in his approach’. The firm has recently acted in cases of sexual offences, drug offences, fraud and money laundering.

Cantaris Locke Solicitors has recently advised on matters such as attempted murder, car theft, fraud, trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child and drugs supply. The key partners are Costa Cantaris and Natalia Locke who ‘prepare their cases meticulously and provide an exceptionally high standard of representation for all of their clients’.

Cartwright King covers a broad range of crime matters including, murder, manslaughter, drug supply, sexual offences and also specialises in cybercrime matters. Recent cases included Computer Misuse Act offences, hacking, people trafficking, extradition and fraud. Richard Cornthwaite heads the team supported by head of cybercrime Gary Broadfield.

Eastwoods Solicitors specialises in representing professionals in criminal proceedings. Recent cases have included sexual assault, gross negligence, manslaughter and fraud. The team has ‘a wealth of expertise from representing people at police interviews, all the way through to Crown Court trials’. Key practitioner Surjit Dubb has ‘unmatched client care and attention to detail’. Adam Smith is also recommended.

Powell Spencer & Partners Solicitors handles a broad range of serious crime issues such as terrorism, sexual assault, robbery and drugs offences. It recently achieved three acquittals in cases of misconduct in a public office for a prison officer, conspiracy to import class A drugs for the owner of a freight company, and endangering life for a railway train guard. Greg Powell and Sinead Zaman are recommended.

The criminal team at S&O Partnership have ‘established themselves very fast and are highly regarded’. Stephanie Roe heads the team, she is ‘a first class lawyer with a fantastic knowledge of rules and procedure and is always available to help her clients’. Recent highlights include acting in cases of misconduct in a public office, attempted murder, terrorist funding, various sexual crimes and also acting for a client who committed GBH on his baby daughter. Robyn Walters joined as partner from Irwin Mitchell .

Wainwright & Cummins deals with matters of theft, possession or supply of drugs, road traffic offences, burglary, robbery, criminal damage, sexual assault, GBH, murder and fraud. Andrew Wainwright heads the team.

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