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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 > North West > Crime, fraud and licensing > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Crime: fraud

Index of tables

  1. Crime: fraud
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Bridgette Hibbert - Farleys Solicitors LLP

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Crime: fraud clients in North West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Farleys Solicitors LLP  is ‘in the premier league; the hardworking and totally professional team puts clients first and the quality of the team’s work is second to none’. Paul Schofield   heads the department and ‘takes great pride in his work’. Schofield is a Very High Costs Panel Supervisor and a Higher Courts (Criminal) Advocate with vast experience of defending clients from professional backgrounds. Another key member of the team is the ‘exceptional’  Bridgett Hibbert  who has considerable experience in proceeds of crime applications and in all aspects of confiscation proceedings. The ‘outstanding’  Laura Walmsley has expertise in MITC carousel and VAT fraud cases in addition to other serious fraud matters. The excellent team is skilled at advising on a broad array of issues including complex fraud and conspiracy to defraud cases. Other areas of expertise include defending company directors facing disciplinary proceedings as well as those who have failed to comply with their statutory obligations. The firm ‘sets the yardstick for other criminal firms in fraud and for general crime matters’. Sian Hall has retired.

An ‘excellent firm from top to bottom', Garstangs Cartwright King LLP provides 'quality advice and representation, and is one of the foremost firms for criminal fraud in the UK’.  The ‘very smart’ Richard Cornthwaite  heads the fraud team and is a ‘clever tactician who quickly detects any weaknesses in the prosecution case’. Michael Balmer is a ‘no-nonsense pragmatist’ who is praised for his ‘great client skills’. The ‘outstanding’ Balmer is immensely experienced in representing professional clients such as company directors who are facing prosecutions by prosecuting authorities. The ‘hardworking and experienced ‘team continues to act in some of the most high-profile and complex white collar crime cases currently being prosecuted in the UK and is skilled at defending investigations and prosecutions brought by the SFO, NCA, HMRC and the FCA. The practice works on a mix of privately paid, legally aided and insurance backed complex fraud work. Lesley Burrows  is also recommended. The group ‘continues to operate at the highest level when it comes to financial and regulatory crimes’, and was joined by the ‘much sought-after’ Richard Holliday from Olliers. Gary Broadfield joined Barnfather Solicitors.

At JMW Solicitors LLP, practice head Peter Grogan ‘puts clients at ease from the outset; He stays fully on top of the detail and can spot any issues immediately’. He is ably assisted by the 'superb' Evan Wright, who ‘always goes that extra mile for his clients and is always well prepared’; and Mike Rainford, who is experienced at dealing with complex fraud and tax investigations (in particular those involving film tax fraud) as well as investigations/prosecutions led by the FCA, HSE, Trading Standards and the Environment Agency. Key work included acting for an Indian restaurateur who the HMRC alleges has dishonestly evaded in excess of £100,000 of VAT over a five year period. The team as a whole is praised for its ‘excellent attention to detail’.

MSB Law LLP  is ‘extremely strong in this area. The team has an excellent work ethic and understanding of all aspects of fraud. It is one of the premier criminal solicitors in the North West and continues to go from strength to strength because of its commitment to excellence and its constant drive to improve even more’. Sean Sexton  (a qualified Solicitor Advocate (Higher Court Criminal Proceedings) and a supervisor on the specialist fraud panel) is a ‘consistent leader in his field’ who ‘combines a sharp intellect with ruthless hard work, leaving no paper unread and no legal angle unexplored’. The ‘very experienced’ Andrew Pearson is ‘recognised throughout the UK for his work with young defendants with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome’. Pearson is adept at advising on white-collar crime, serious fraud and regulatory matters. The practice is particularly recommended for its skill at representing individuals who are subject to major criminal investigations by the HMRC, and has 'a very well-deserved reputation for dealing with heavyweight financial crime’.

Olliers is an ‘excellent firm’. Key members of the team include the ‘very professional’Matthew Claughton  who is ‘really comfortable when dealing with high value fraud cases’ and the ‘very competent and experienced’ Alex Preston . Claughton is also a known-name for his substantial experience of advising on restraint orders during the course of complex investigations. The active practice routinely acts for clients facing investigations by various authorities such as the SFO, HMRC and the specialist fraud divisions of the police. It acts for professionals and has also acted for politicians in both Houses of Parliament. Richard Holliday joined Garstangs Cartwright King LLP.

Slater and Gordon   is ‘excellent in fraud. It has an outstanding and well-earned reputation in this field’. ‘The firm has a long history of having excellent experienced lawyers in fraud so it comes as no surprise that the firm remains one of the first ports of call for anyone who has been charged with a serious fraud or a financial crime’. There have been some changes at senior level in the team; the ‘tenacious, thorough and patient’ Rachel Adamson  joined the team from Stephensons Solicitors LLP, while Helen Simm departed for Clyde & Co LLP. Adamson is ‘very sensitive to her clients’ needs, sets rigorously high standards for her team and is a powerhouse for complex fraud cases; she has all the qualities that are needed to deal with long and difficult cases’. Other members of the ‘superb team’ include the ‘tenacious and hardworking’ associate Alan Greenidge  and solicitor Jonathon Enston, who is ‘dedicated and leaves no stone unturned’. Tim Coolican  is well regarded for his work in complex cases of business crime. The skilled team has recently acted in numerous SFO investigations and prosecutions and currently has two active VHCC contracts. The group conducts legal aid work as well as servicing a large number of private clients. ‘This is one of the top firms in the country for crime and is certainly a first stop for clients arrested with serious financial offences’.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP  fields a ‘very professional and committed team’ that include the ‘highly knowledgeable and experienced’ Correna Platt, and John Greenwood, who is an accredited supervisor under the Legal Aid Agency panel for Very High Cost Cases. Platt is praised for her ‘tenacity, work ethic, incisive thinking and dedication to ensuring that she gets the best possible outcome for her clients; she has a thoroughly well-deserved reputation for excellence and she is a top tier criminal solicitor when it comes to defending those charged with serious offences’. Also recommended is Sean Joyce, who has ‘built up a very good name for himself in this field’. The team regularly acts in the most high-value and substantial cases such as land-banking, Ponzi and VAT fraud as well as other areas such as investment fraud, the proceeds of crime and money laundering. In addition the team has been appointed to the Bar Standards Board interventions panel, to the Solicitors Regulation Authority interventions panel and to the Council for Licensed Conveyancers interventions panel. The group is currently advising the defendant on an ongoing fraud case spanning a number of jurisdictions involving significant sums of money. It is alleged that the defendant fraudulently missold pensions investments. Rachel Adamson joined Slater and Gordon.

Burton Copeland LLP's  ‘approachable, hardworking and efficient' team is headed by Erin Cowley, whose ‘knowledge of restraint and POCA proceedings is second to none’. The team regularly acts for both corporate and individual clients in relation to high-profile commercial crime matters. Other key members of the department include consultant Mike MacKey, who is also recommended for his work on white-collar crime. Kim Holden recently left the firm and is now a Senior Crown Prosecutor at the Specialist Fraud Division of the Crown Prosecution Service.

At Cunninghams Solicitors  head of department David Caplin  (a ‘fantastic tactician who really cares about his clients’), director Philip Lythgoe  and associate James McDermott  have an ‘ability to inspire client confidence which is second to none, borne in part through experience but also through a clear sighted determination to secure the best possible outcome for their clients’. The ‘highly competent’ team includes senior caseworker Sarah Bull, who ‘thoroughly prepares for her cases and develops excellent relationships with her clients’. The group is skilled at handling serious fraud matters in addition to complex and high-value confiscation and restraint proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The group routinely defends its clients against allegations of fraud that are brought by the main prosecuting agencies such as the SFO, HMRC and the complex case units of the Crown Prosecution Service as well as the serious and economic crime units of the police.

Forbes Solicitors is a 'leading firm for fraud cases in Lancashire', and its expertise extends beyond the county borders to provide coverage into the North East and the Midlands. According to clients, the firm is 'without equal in respect of the thoroughness of its case preparation, clarity of thought and its tactical approach to complex fraud cases'. Head of team Daniel King  is an 'experienced trial advocate' and 'has long been regarded as a leader in financial crime in Lancashire'. The 'very diligent' Craig Liversidge garners praise as an 'excellent analyst' – his 'preparation of complex fraud cases is unparalleled'. David Ryan  is 'particularly accomplished and respected'. The team deals with all types of financial crime such as large scale fraud, tax and cyber crime and has considerable expertise in mortgage fraud. The firm's 'level of skill and its reputation in complex fraud matters is now well-established'. As well as being adept at advising on investigations by the major serious crime agencies and the police it also has considerable regulatory experience and can advise on complex investigations and proceedings that have been intiated by bodies such as the DTI.

Paul Haycock  heads an experienced team at Irwin Mitchell  . Senior associate Emma Windle  is adept at defending individuals in complex and large scale commercial fraud and financial fraud. The team regularly advises individuals, companies and boards on criminal liability, compliance and multi-jurisdictional investigations. The department is also well regarded for its extensive experience in assisting clients with internal investigations over issues of internal theft and fraud as well as bribery and corruption. In addition the broad practice also advises on other major issues of financial crime such as insider dealing and breaches of the financial services regulations.

Keoghs LLP  is a ‘major fraud defence firm that has excellent technical abilities’. The ‘extremely personable and approachable’ Damian Ward  is a ‘true expert in this field’. Other well-known insurance fraud experts include Ruth Needham  and James Heath  who splits his time between Bolton and Coventry. There have been some additions to the team at a senior level Ben Leech  was made partner and Peter Oakes  and Lisa Kelly  both joined the team from Hill Dickinson LLP. It is one of the largest providers of counter fraud defendant services in the market and acts for the vast majority of the UK’s biggest insurers as well as corporate clients. The group handles the full array of fraud services including motor, employers’ and public liability, healthcare and disease matters. Clients include LV=, RSA, Zurich, MS Amlin.

Tuckers Solicitors  specialises in all aspects of criminal defence work including fraud and regulatory matters. The ‘excellent, professional and supportive’ Leigh Wright  heads the proceeds of crime and complex case unit and ‘always thinks outside the box’. Other key figures include Franklin Sinclair, who has higher rights of audience, and Stuart Sutton. The team is acting for the defendant in a £30m money laundering and duty evasion case concerning the illegal importation of cigarettes and alcohol on an allegedly industrial scale. The team has been given a VHCC contract.

3D Solicitors  is a newly established boutique firm that is praised for its ‘excellent preparation, advice and client care’. Founded by Daniel Berke, formerly of LHS Solicitors LLP, the firm specialises in general crime and fraud work as well as regulatory and professional discipline law. It has acted for professionals and businesses in investigations by their professional bodies including the Care Quality Commission and the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority.

BLM  has considerable claims fraud expertise in the insurance sector and also supports its corporate clients in tackling issues of fraud. Raymond Southern manages a team of lawyers that specialises in the defence of fraudulent insurance claims and regularly acts for the top ten insurance companies and leading corporate businesses. Naomi Grant  covers all aspects of motor claims fraud, including cross-industry fraud investigations. Grant also has experience of dealing with home policy fraud claims and casualty claims. The team acts for some household names such as Allianz Insurance, QBE Insurance, Ageas Insurance and LV.

DWF fields a large team with a broad range of expertise across a number of sectors. Jamie Taylor has considerable expertise in the niche area of telematics as well as counter fraud. Nigel Teasdale heads the motor fraud and claimant practice group and is skilled at handling all types of insurance claims. David Crank is another name to remember. The team acts for most of the major insurers such as the RSA and Amlin. Other key clients include Markerstudy, Insure the Box and Towergate.

Crime: general

Index of tables

  1. Crime: general
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Crime: general clients in North West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Burton Copeland LLP   is a ‘go-to firm for crime in Manchester.’ Among the sizeable team, Louise Straw  is the ‘best of the best, with a fantastic reputation in high-profile sex cases and historic abuse cases’. Also recommended are the  ‘hardworking and quietly efficient' Jonathan Wall, Nick Terry, whose ‘dedication is unsurpassed’, Daniel Weed  (‘very knowledgeable on police law’) and consultant Mike MacKey, who is ‘excellent at understanding the nuances and mechanics of a criminal case’. The ‘top-notch’ team handles the full spectrum of criminal law from serious and organised crime through to regulatory work, road traffic and other areas such as murder, hacking and forgery in addition to burglary offences.

At DLA Piper UK LLP, department head John Gollaglee has extensive experience in all aspects of investigations and the prosecution of contentious corporate crime such as corruption, corporate killing, dishonesty and tax evasion. The team routinely acts for companies and their senior management in the most complex matters both locally, nationally and internationally. Examples of its cross-border capabilities have included advising a UK-based company on its anti-bribery and compliance programme in China. Other key members of the team include consultant Richard Smyth  and senior associate James Moss .

According to some, Farleys Solicitors LLP ‘sets the benchmark for other criminal firms’. The ‘very experienced’ Paul Schofield, the ‘exceptional’ Laura Walmsley, and Bridgette Hibbert  are all recommended, as is Jonathan Taylor, who predominantly handles Magistrates Court cases. The practice advises on a substantial proportion of serious and complex cases throughout the country such as homicides, major conspiracies to import and supply drugs, serious frauds and extradition. It continues to hold its long-running contract with the Legal Aid Agency. The ‘highly rated’ team is routinely instructed by other lawyers by way of referrals and by unions (such as the Professional Footballers Association) to represent its members. In a substantial matter that attracted a considerable amount of media interest the group defended a client charged with murder, which involved evidence from Southern Ireland and Pakistan.

Garstangs Cartwright King LLP's team ‘is sought after by clients facing cases of the utmost gravity, providing first-class advice and advocates that are second-to-none’. Mike Garstang  ‘has excellent judgement and a vast amount of experience’; he is recommended alongside the ‘very smart’ Richard Cornthwaite. The ‘very dedicated’ Michael Balmer  regularly represents clients at the police station and the Magistrates’ Court and is also a qualified higher courts advocate. The practice routinely acts for professionals and company directors who are facing the criminal justice system for the first time and a high proportion of its cases are privately funded. Cybercrime is a particular area of expertise. Richard Holliday joined from Olliers. Gary Broadfield joined Barnfather Solicitors.

LHS Solicitors LLP  has an ‘extremely good team with some excellent individuals at a junior level’. The ‘straight-talking’ Gareth Martin attracts praise for his ‘ability to speak to clients in plain and simple language’. Martin has been heavily involved in advising members of the Fostering Network, and advises the Federation of Small Businesses on various types of offences ranging from health and safety, environmental, and trading standards through to licensing issues.  Deirdre Scott  is a key contact in the professional discipline department and acts for a range of regulated professions with a specific focus on police law. Active clients include the Police Superintendents Association and G4S Staff Association.

At Olliers, Matthew Claughton specialises in representing high-net-worth individuals in a wide range of criminal offence areas. He is rated as 'a brilliant tactician, who makes things go away with the minimum of fuss’ and is well regarded for his work in defending allegations of fraud, serious crime and sexual offences. The team includes the ‘practical’ Stacey Mabrouk, who heads the general Crown Court department and is ‘always mindful of achieving the best outcome for the client’. Mabrouk’s caseload involves allegations of violent assaults, serious sexual offences and drug offences involving possession, production and supply. Alex Preston  is also recommended for her work in serious crime and inquests. Clients include solicitors, accountants, doctors and other healthcare professionals in addition to politicians and prison governors. Key work included securing the acquittal of a healthcare professional who faced allegations of sexual assault. The group has also developed niche specialisms in defending serious sexual allegations and in acting for clients with autism. Matthew Corn handles complex proceeds of crime and confiscation matters and has appeared in high-profile cases involving fraud, drugs importation conspiracies and terrorism. Richard Holliday is now at Garstangs Cartwright King LLP  .

Slater and Gordon fields a ‘top-class team’ that includes ‘hard-hitter’ Richard Black, who provides an ‘exceptional service to police officers facing criminal prosecution’; the ‘dedicated’ Jonathon Enston, who  ‘leaves no stone unturned’ in fraud, business crime and regulatory cases; Rachel Adamson, who joined from Stephensons Solicitors LLP  and is a  ‘major force’; and the ‘tenacious and hardworking’ Alan Greenidge. The team has particular expertise in police law and acts for clients including the Police Federation as well as private individuals. It regularly represents police officers facing criminal investigations or misconduct proceedings and in sensitive cases such as shootings, fatal road traffic collisions and deaths in police custody. It also handles a large number of professional misconduct proceedings.

The ‘tenacious’ Sean Joyce  is a Higher Court Solicitor Advocate and heads the  regulatory and criminal justice department at Stephensons Solicitors LLP . Joyce is ‘one of the top criminal solicitors in the North West and really fights for his clients’. The department assists clients nationwide and is ‘particularly recommended for its miscarriage of justice work’. Joyce is praised for his health and safety work for individuals and businesses and for his advice on road transport issues. The ‘highly experienced and knowledgeable’ Correna Platt  is a ‘fearless advocate’ and heads the serious crime and defence team. The ‘skilled and dedicated’ Mike Pemberton  manages the civil liberties and public law department and senior associate Colin Rawson garners praise for his ‘excellent communication skills’. The team has six high court advocates and assists clients on various matters such as SRA interventions, prison law matters and inquests. In a case that attracted a considerable amount of media interest, the team secured an acquittal for its client after two retrials. The client had been charged with murder and complex issues were considered at trial such as self-defence, reasonable force and adverse inference. Rachel Adamson  is now at Slater and Gordon .

Tuckers Solicitors   ‘continues to set the standard for the defence of serious cases’, and specialises in defending fraud cases in addition to advising on regulatory matters, civil liberties and prison law work.. Leigh Wright heads the proceeds of crime and complex case unit in Manchester and has a ‘commanding presence’. The ‘calm and reassuring' Jill Eastwood is experienced at representing clients facing serious allegations such as murder, rape or the importation of drugs. Franklin Sinclair regularly represents his clients in the Magistrates and Crown courts and is ‘very good for high-value and complex cases’ . Stuart Sutton  has an excellent reputation for defending people who are charged with sexual offences.Key work included successfully defending its client who was alleged to have been involved in the transportation of a large amount of cocaine and cannabis. The firm has a number of Legal Aid VHCCs in progress encompassing terrorism, fraud, drugs importation and distribution as well as murder and serious armed robberies and conspiracies to rob cases.

AGI Criminal Solicitors  is an ‘excellent criminal firm that does its best to protect the rights of its most vulnerable clients’. Key members of this small legal aid practice include Yasmin Aslam, who is described as an ‘outstanding legal aid lawyer’ and praised for her ‘attention to detail and her good practical use of the law’. The ‘tenacious and clever’ Aslam is a solicitor advocate who specialises in general crime, serious crime, fraud and extradition law. Michael Levy  is also a solicitor advocate and is recommended for his work in serious crime. Solicitor Baljit Singh  is ‘very professional, supportive and knowledgeable throughout a case'. The team is currently defending a young defendant who is accused of street robbery through using an imitation firearm.

Brian Koffman & Co has a broad criminal practice that advises on matters as diverse as murders, firearms and drug conspiracies. It has substantially increased its volume of privately funded motoring work for which Brian Koffman   has developed an excellent reputation. The firm represents a range of professional clients, business people and those working in the sport and entertainment industry. It receives a steady flow of instructions for fraud related work, money laundering, applications for forfeiture and the seizure of property under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The team is advising the defendant who is charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving. In another significant matter it is advising its client who is subject to an ongoing police investigation involving allegations of possession of indecent images and causing or inciting sexual activity with a child.

The ‘excellent’ team at Cunninghams Solicitors  is praised for its ability to provide ‘careful and realistic advice’. David Caplin ’s ‘attention to detail is impressive ‘and Philip Lythgoe  is ‘highly capable in all areas of criminal work and exercises fine judgement throughout a case’. Associate James McDermott  is ‘very sensitive to his clients’ needs and extremely supportive’. The department is adept at defending allegations of serious and organised crime throughout the country and frequently advises on diverse matters such as fraud, complex drugs and gangland homicide. Other areas of expertise include high-value confiscation and restraint proceedings, and acting for clients who are based abroad and are facing criminal investigation or prosecution in the UK.

At Draycott Browne Solicitors managing director Shaun Draycott  is praised as an ‘astute and effective criminal lawyer who is supported by an extremely experienced team’. The ‘dedicated, hardworking and no-nonsense’ Robert Mann  is another key member of the team, as is associate Beth Mantel, who  has a ‘fine legal and analytical mind’. The team acts for public and privately funded clients on all aspects of crime, fraud, serious crime and FCA investigations, and has represented a number of high-profile clients on various criminal matters.

The ‘experienced team’ at Forbes Solicitors  has a ‘well-established reputation for excellent client care’. Both Daniel King  and Craig Liversidge are ‘superb, accomplished, well-respected and highly skilled’. The practice is among the largest criminal legal aid providers in the country and also assists private paying clients on a nationwide basis, often representing the principle defendant in multi-handed conspiracies. The team routinely advises on large-scale conspiracies to defraud, international drug trafficking offences and all aspects of sexual offences. It also has significant expertise in cybercrime cases and in people trafficking cases. Recent work includes successfully defending a number of significant cases involving allegations of modern day slavery.

Irwin Mitchell  is particularly experienced in fraud and financial crime but also advises on serious general crime and on complex regulatory issues. Head of team Paul Haycock is increasingly advising on corporate internal inquiries and on protecting the interests of corporate clients who are subject to various inquiries from regulatory authorities and prosecuting bodies. Emma Windle  is another key member of the department. Recent work includes successfully defending a client been charged with inappropriate behaviour of a sexual nature securing the acquittal of its client after trial in a case concerning a large-scale regional conspiracy to supply drugs locally.

At JMW Solicitors LLP department head Peter Grogan is ‘fully on top of every detail’. Clients have ‘every confidence’ in Evan Wright, who ‘works so well with barristers, experts, defendants and all other solicitors who are involved in the case’. Mike Rainford  ‘continues to justify his excellent reputation, which he has built up throughout the years’. Ian Lewis  is also recommended. The team routinely deals with serious crime ranging from sexual offences and murder to domestic violence. Key work included acting for a professional charged with causing death by careless driving, and acting for a businessman facing allegations that he had serially assaulted his wife during the course of their marriage.

Keoghs LLP  fields a ‘great team of solicitors of varying levels of seniority’ that is well regarded for complex road traffic fatality cases and for its work in relation to health and safety infringement cases. Neena Sharma has ‘exceptional experience in serious driving cases - she is one of the best around for driving offences’. Also recommended are David Walton  and Suzanne Drinkwater, who acts for corporate clients and individuals who are being investigated or prosecuted by various regulatory bodies. Other members of the ‘strong team that delivers proactive advice’ include associate Heather Vyse and solicitor Rekha Sharma  who has a ‘very positive work ethic’. Clients include Zurich, LV=, Swissport, Allianz and Methodist Housing Association.

MSB Law LLP  has a ‘very competent and successful team that looks after its clients extremely well, without losing any of the necessary sense of proportion’. Head of the team Sean Sexton  is ‘outstanding, committed, energetic and knowledgeable. He instils confidence in his clients and works tirelessly on their behalf’.Andrew Pearson  a consultant Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Court Criminal Proceedings) has a ‘well-deserved reputation for fighting hard but fair. The way in which he deals with clients with autism and their families is a joy to behold. His approach is the classic ‘iron in velvet glove’ charming and courteous to all but quietly determined to achieve the best results he can’.Paul Gallagher  is also recommended – he predominantly represents clients in serious crime ranging from murder to drug importation conspiracies and has particular expertise in telephone cell site evidence.

3D Solicitors  is a ‘firm that is going places’. The boutique practice was founded in 2017 and specialises in regulatory, professional discipline and criminal law (with a particular emphasis on offences of a sexual nature). Daniel Berke was formerly at LHS Solicitors LLP   and is described as being an ‘extremely competent all-round criminal practitioner with strong experience of both defending complex trials and private prosecutions. He leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of justice’. The boutique also hired rated next generation lawyer Deborah Britstone from LHS.

At ABR Solicitors, Tony Murphy  ‘stands out for his outstanding client care and for being extremely hardworking’. Murphy has represented numerous clients throughout the country in relation to all aspects of criminal law including motoring offences, murder, theft and conspiracy to defraud. Julie Murphy  is ‘particularly adept at isolating the core details of a complex case’ and Claire Wardle  is ‘very hardworking and professional with her clients’.

The criminal team at Brabners LLP is led by Lachlan Nisbet as part of the wider regulatory team and is praised for its ‘superb standards of service which the team carries out no matter how big or small the client’. Nisbet has ‘good knowledge of his cases and the law’. The department handles a range of matters for high-net-worth clients as well as sports personalities, educational institutions, banks and major businesses. Firearms licensing work is a particular specialism.


Index of tables

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

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Malcolm Ireland - Napthens LLP

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Licensing clients in North West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Kuit Steinart Levy LLP fields ‘an absolutely first-class team’ headed by Anthony Lyons, who is ‘hugely experienced and unflappable, with a preternatural ability to get the right results for his clients’. Lyons (‘one of the leading licensing lawyers in the UK’) and  Felicity Tulloch  are both ‘really strong – they know their subject inside out and know the ‘ecology’ in which they work’. The team has a growing client base of multi-site operators, property developers and individuals such as Revolution Bars, Living Ventures and Turtle Bay, and has a proven track record of handling high-profile licensing issues. The group has developed a specialism for being successful in obtaining new premises licences in so called areas of cumulative impact, and has a busy workload assisting the firm’s property department with servicing the licensing needs of a number of existing clients such as St Modwen, Allied London and Bruntwood Estates when these clients are developing properties in Manchester and beyond.

The licensing team at DAC Beachcroft LLP  specialises in providing strategic licensing advice on complex and high-value matters to clients across a variety of sectors such as real estate, hospitality, leisure, public sector and health. The team’s client base includes Manchester United, EE, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital and Mitie. Key figures include practice head Jan Levinson and senior associate Andrew Martin, who has particular experience acting for clients in the sports and entertainment sectors.

At DWF the ‘excellent’ David Crank  heads the licensing team and is praised for his ‘considered, sensible and commercially viable advice'. The department has considerable retail sector expertise and acts for clients such as Home Bargains and Poundworld. Other active clients include Village Hotels and Liverpool F.C.

At Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP ‘knowledgeable’ principal associate David Roberts is praised for his ‘clear and measured advice; he does what he does well without wasting valuable time’. Roberts’ practice focuses on licensing and gambling law, and he plays a key role in developing the firm’s retail, hotels and leisure sector groups at both a national and international level. Clients include household names such as Hilton Worldwide and Gala Bingo. Highlights included supporting Genting Casinos on the transfer of its online gambling operation that had been based in Alderney to a UK based operation. In other significant matters it advised Land Securities on its licensing requirements for its Westgate Oxford retail leisure scheme.

Anthony Horne  is the key figure at Licensing Legal, which advised Blackpool Council on two applications for a review of local takeaways. In another highlight the team was instructed to lodge an application for the grant of a premises licence for a new restaurant in a development in Manchester that is undergoing consultation for a special policy.

The ‘highly competent, responsive and proactive’ licensing team at Napthens LLP  ‘resolves issues quickly and has genuine business acumen that it brings to bear to its everyday work’. The team is headed by the ‘extremely knowledgeable, nimble and commercial’ Malcolm Ireland , who is ‘quick to spot issues and solve them appropriately’. He routinely advises on variations, transfers, enforcement appeals and judicial reviews and has particular expertise in areas such as alcohol and entertainment licensing as well as late night take-away licensing. Solicitor Samantha Faud  is ‘very capable and responsive’. Clients include Daniel Thwaites and Inglenook Inns & Taverns.

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