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  1. Crime: general
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Adams Whyte has a ‘knowledgeable’ team of ‘experienced court practitioners, who bring a professional approach and high levels of preparation to the criminal representation’. With criminal defence work at its core, the team represented a client indicted in the High Court with regard to the supply of class A drugs following a large covert surveillance operation in locations spread across Scotland and England. In another high-profile case, the practice acted for an individual indicted with attempted murder and, similarly, defended a Turkish national against murder allegations. Other areas of expertise include dealing with fraud and organised crime cases, as well as sexual offences. Andrew Aitken and the ‘very dedicated’ Ewen Roy defended a client against a number of sexual offence allegations brought by multiple complainants. Nigel Bruce is ‘extremely professional’. Ross Gardner and the ‘calm’ Alan Jackson, who ‘has the ability to read an individual’, are also recommended.

Beltrami & Co Ltd is ‘one of the leading firms in the field’ and deals with a wide range of criminal offences, including cases concerning murder and rape. Recently, the firm successfully defended a social worker against allegations of possessing indecent images. The defence resulted in a discontinuation of the prosecution due to an objection to the admissibility of opinion evidence where a Crown witness could not be presented as an expert witness. The team also acted for a business charged with employing illegal workers and handled a number of stalking cases. Gary McAteer and Murray Macara are key figures in the practice.

Handling the full spectrum of criminal work, Capital Defence Lawyers represents its clients in the High Court, Appeal Court and the Supreme Court. The ‘very good’ John Scott represented train driver Colin Chapman at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court, after he was caught preparing to drive the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow with a blood alcohol reading of 174. He also represented a former council care worker in an appeal claiming that the six-year jail sentence imposed on the client for sexual abuse was unduly lenient. In a separate matter, John Keenan acted for a client in an appeal against forfeiture of a car worth £15,000. The team also acted for an individual accused of obtaining £18m by operating a fraudulent Ponzi scheme, and defended another individual against a number of allegations of rape and serious sexual abuse. Cameron Tait and Colm Dempsey are other key members of the practice.

Livingstone Brown is noted for its all-encompassing criminal practice, including the representation of clients in summary prosecutions, jury trials and appeals. Recently, the team handled a fraud case, which arose from an acquisition undertaken by the client. Other recent work includes defending an individual against a number of alleged crimes of disorder, and representing a client in an extortion and a domestic abuse case. Criminal litigation and inquiries practice head Stuart Munro also has considerable experience in child protection cases. Consultant Gerard Brown is another key member of the team. He represented an individual in a perjury case.

The ‘dynamic and experienced’ team at MTM Defence Lawyers frequently deals with serious sexual offence cases alongside other matters involving violence or domestic violence included. It also handles road traffic and fraud matters. The ‘excellent’ Murray Aitken defended an individual against stalking accusations while Neil Hay, who ‘is of the highest calibre’, served as counsel in a number of High Court rape and murder prosecutions. Another key figure is Martin Morrow, whose recent cases have included representing a client against an armed robbery charge and defending an individual against domestic violence allegations. In March 2016, the team defended a nurse against allegations of dangerous driving after having been involved in a collision with a motorcyclist. The team successfully contested the report provided by investigators. Other noteworthy work included defending a young footballer against serious assault accusations and, elsewhere, representing an individual against allegations of supplying drugs at school. In 2016, the firm opened an office in Edinburgh, which is headed by Hay.

Glasgow-based Bridge Litigation UK is best known for handling road traffic matters, health and safety offences, criminal appeals and extradition cases. Liam O’Donnell and JP Mowberry are the contacts.

Central Court Lawyers acts for private clients in a wide range of criminal cases, ranging from proceeds of Crime Act cases in the Court of Session to corporate embezzlement and bribery claims. Ian Bryce, who is known for his experience in representing clients at the High Court of Justiciary, defended an individual against bribery allegations and represented another client against a number of allegations, including attempted murder and multiple rapes. The team also acted in a number of stalking, sexual abuse and road traffic matters. Neil Robertson, who runs the firm’s Sheriff Court division, defended an individual against allegations of domestic assault and vandalism.

The ‘very good’ team at Wilson McLeod represents its clients before the Justice of the Peace Court, Sheriff Court and the High Court of Justiciary and acts in a wide range of criminal cases, including assault, robbery, firearms offences and internet crime.

BTO Solicitors LLP has a strong profile for defending police personnel in a wide range of allegations, including serious injury, abduction, rape and assault. Other areas of expertise include criminal defence work pertaining to careless driving allegations. In 2016, Alasdair Gillies represented a police officer at trial, who was accused of causing serious injury by careless driving while on duty. Gillies also led the defence team in a trial where the accused faced five charges of sexual assault; three of the charges were subsequently dropped. In a separate matter, he successfully defended a police sergeant against allegations of an on-duty assault against a prisoner held in custody. Clare Bone heads the practice.

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