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United Kingdom > North > Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Crime: general
  2. Leading individuals

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The ‘extremely thorough and conscientious’ team at David Gray Solicitors LLP attracts praise for its ‘excellence in heavyweight matters’. Led by ‘seasoned criminal lawyerBrian Hegarty (who has ‘exceptional judgement and is highly skilled in dealing with clients’) the practice specialises in serious and complex crime matters; recent matters handled by the team include drug offences, sexual abuse, sexual assault, hate crime-related murder allegations, and matters relating to allegations of GBH. Other key figures include Michael Gibson and Janice Hall, who specialise in road traffic law and youth court matters, respectively; Hall is also experienced in domestic violence offences. Laura Croft focuses on criminal issues involving children, and Emma Silburn and Paul Harbison have experience in matters with a mental health element. Hegarty and Jonathan Cousins have inquest expertise, particularly regarding controversial deaths. The group also leverages the firm’s wider expertise in immigration, family and housing law.

Hay & Kilner’s three-partner department is led by Mark Harrison, who has a notable specialism in computer-related crime, and includes childcare expert Rob Hart and Jonathan Pigford, who focuses on private criminal defence work. Solicitor Matthew Purves is also recommended. The practice fields five advocates with higher rights of audience and has experience in the Court of Appeal. The team advises on all elements of criminal law, with substantial expertise in road traffic incidents, youth court proceedings and assisting commercial clients in regulatory issues. Recent matters include advising on allegations on false imprisonment, murder, sexual assault and drug offences.

A ‘go-to practice in the North East’, Kenneth M Barrow & Co is ‘outstanding in the field of criminal law’ and ‘has a reputation for going the extra mile for clients’. The ‘enormously practical, well-prepared and highly knowledgeable’ Ravi Khosla leads the team and is ‘very conscientious about client care’; his recent work includes acting for a client charged with conspiring to supply class A drugs and defending an individual accused of sexual assault. Other key team members include name partner Kenneth Barrow, Sunny Thandi and solicitor Amreek Jandoo. The ‘standout’ practice advises at a regional and national level for public and privately-funded clients.

Ward Hadaway’s practice, which is led by Stephen Graham, specialises in regulatory crime including health and safety offences (such as fatalities and near-fatal incidents) and Environment Agency investigations involving serious pollution incidents and illegal waste deposit matters. The team includes licensing specialist Richard Arnot and Manchester-based Rachel Birks, who joined the firm from Fieldfisher. In a recent highlight, Graham acted for the Care Quality Commission in criminal allegations brought by the client against a national dental practice which was found to be practising without the correct licences; this was the first time the client had issued a private criminal prosecution. Other clients include the North Yorkshire County Council, retailers and property developers.

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