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



Crime: fraud

Index of tables

  1. Crime: fraud
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Ashfords LLP advises both on the defence and prosecution of a wide range of fraud cases for public and private sector clients, including representing victims of crime. It stands out for its expertise in handling multimillion-pound fraud cases and has experience in handling cross-border matters as well as in organising freezing orders to secure assets. The team is noted for prosecuting rogue trader frauds, money laundering and trading standards cases for local authorities. The practice’s areas of strength extend to advising on boiler room fraud cases, as well as to acting in bribery and blackmail matters. It has a strong record of dealing with European distribution fraud. Senior associate Jeremy Asher also has extensive experience in defending Crown Court cases brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The ‘very strongBurges Salmon LLP has a specialist practice for corporate fraud, the criminal and civil law issues connected to proceeds of crime, money laundering, and bribery. Its workload includes advising on the regulatory environment imposed on companies doing business both in the UK and abroad. Led by ‘extremely able and competent practitionerDavid Hall, the team has significant experience in handling multimillion-pound fraud cases, whistle-blowing matters, Serious Fraud Office (SFO) self-reporting duties, and anti-bribery due diligence. Newly promoted legal director Thomas Webb is also particularly adept in advising on matters of external fraud, employee fraud, and corruption. The team has conducted work in complicated cross-border matters, including high-profile cases involving the jurisdictions of Germany, the USA, and Israel. Highlights included advising longstanding clients the National Crime Agency and Celtic Energy on high-profile cases, such as advising the latter on a variety of issues related to fraud prosecutions brought against its former directors and legal advisers - this involved attending interviews with investigators, helping with the responses made to the SFO, advising Celtic on its civil rights in relation to its former legal advisers and directors, and assisting with the regulatory and local government issues arising from the investigations. The work for the National Crime Agency saw the team handle three applications worth over £220m under Section 283 of the Proceeds of Crime Act. This cross-border matter also involved a freezing injunction for funds held for overseas investors.

Michelmores LLP offers contentious and non-contentious legal services on a broad range of matters, reaching from advice on compliance issues and fraud prevention, to providing specialist advice on fraud in commercial litigation. It represents clients in internal and external investigations, stepping in at an early stage, and assists clients with enforcement matters. The team also has expertise in commercial litigation connected with financial crime, including areas where this work overlaps with police investigations. Its clients come from a variety of sectors, including real estate, manufacturing and aerospace, but the roster contains many clients from the finance and investment sector. Highlights included advising Ticketus, a part of city fund Octopus Investments, on the recovery of £27m used to purchase season tickets from Glasgow Rangers Football Club. The practice also provides ongoing compliance advice to an international manufacturer, including advice on an anti-corruption investigation and advice on the implementation of new policies and procedures. It is experienced in advising on matters involving several foreign jurisdictions; it provided compliance advice to a manufacturer in the aerospace and defence industry, which included an anti-corruption review and implementing new policies and procedures, working on issues relating to India, Spain, Italy and the US. Senior partner Andrew Oldland QC heads the team and provides in-depth knowledge to financial institutions and high-net-worth individuals on complex anti-money laundering issues and other aspects of financial regulation.

Bobbetts Mackan delivers ‘very professional, but friendly and helpful’ advice, representing clients at the police station and in the criminal courts. The team increasingly attends formal interviews under caution carried out by government agencies such as NHS Protect, the NHS Business Services Authority and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). Practice head Giles Tippett, who is ‘always well-prepared, organised, resolute in his approach, and considerate’, and senior partner Tony Miles, who has an ‘outstanding reputation’ and ‘a commanding presence in court’, handle high-profile fraud cases, such as R v Vasco-Knight & others heard in the Exeter Crown Court. The case involved allegations of defrauding the South Devon NHS Foundation Trust by forwarding quotes of rival bidders to a business tendering to complete work for the South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, and not declaring an interest in that business. The practice’s client was alleged to have assisted the co-defendants in the commission of the fraud.

Osborne Clarke covers fraud cases through its disputes team. It has experience in the preservation and recovery of assets internationally, including urgent injunction relief. The practice has an internal investigations team and has experience in advising on UK Bribery Act 2010 liabilities, including self-reporting issues. Another area of strength is advising clients on regulatory issues stemming from data hacks. The team has experience in handling complex cross-border matters involving several different jurisdictions, including in Eastern Europe, South America and the Middle East. London-based department head Jeremy Summers has led on several high-profile cases.

Sansbury Douglas provides defence services against prosecutions by a variety of authorities including the SFO, the Department of Revenue and Customs, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, the Office of Fair Trading, the Financial Services Authority, the HSE, the Environment Agency and Defra. Managing partner David Campbell leads the business crime department. The team has experience in handling complex multimillion-pound cases, such as the defence of a client charged with the alleged defrauding of the Legal Aid Fund, and the defence of a client who was charged with several accounts of fraud, including a charge of defrauding the Welsh Development Agency.

Stone King LLP has experience in advising on Crown Court fraud cases. Highlight matters included successfully defending a solicitor who was accused of defrauding an NHS fund and acting in a Defra investigation into the re-sale of allegedly out-of-date eggs which has been running for a number of years. Practice head Andrew Banks also defended the chair of trustees of a series of charities who was accused of a series of frauds and breaches of the Charities Act, demonstrating particular strength in advising charities.

Crime: general

Index of tables

  1. Crime: general
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Giles Tippett - Bobbetts Mackan

Who Represents Who

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Market leader’ and ‘the best in the West’, Bobbetts Mackan delivers ‘very professional, but friendly and helpful’ advice on offences involving allegations and charges of serious sexual abuse, including historic abuse, sexual touching and rape. The practice has ‘huge experience of local courts, counsel and expert witnesses’. ‘A leading practice in criminal defence’, the team has a reputation for doing more ‘than the industry average to ensure that their cases are handled properly and well’. In 2016, the practice was involved in advising on the case of Murder R v Liubavicius. ‘Experienced and extremely professional’ managing partner Giles Tippett, who is also ‘always well prepared, organised, resolute in his approach and considerate’, heads the practice. His areas of expertise include work in the Crown Court and specialist court martial work, appearing before both District and General Courts Martial in the UK and abroad. He further specialises in advising service men in police interviews. Senior partner Tony Miles is an ‘extremely able and experienced’ specialist advisor with ‘an outstanding reputation’ and ‘a commanding presence in meetings and in Court’. He is ‘an effective and realistic advocate who has the ear of the court’, representing clients in both civilian and military police investigations and interviews, including before regulatory bodies such as NHS Protect, Trading Standards and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Ashfords LLP provides full service criminal defence to privately paying clients and also undertakes prosecution work, standing out from its peers for representing victims of crime. It is particularly adept at defending allegations of having committed motoring offences, including allegations of drink driving and of causing death by careless driving. The caseload also includes defending against allegations of obstructing a police officer in the course of duty and defending against allegations of illegal street trading. The team’s prosecution work includes prosecutions on behalf of central government, for example prosecuting the provision of unregulated immigration advice and perverting the course of justice. A particular area of strength is handling highly sensitive and serious cases with a high reputational risk attached to them, such as cases of domestic violence, sexual assault and sexual abuse. Senior associate and practice head Jeremy Asher led the team on the majority of highlight matters.

DAC Beachcroft LLP provides highly specialised advice on motor crime to drivers facing police investigations and criminal proceedings arising out of serious and fatal road traffic collisions. It has considerable experience in defending matters in various Crown Courts, working for both corporate and insurer clients who require driver representations. The practice often combines its expertise in motor crime and knowledge of the mechanics of road traffic collisions with the firm’s expertise in defendant personal injury work. It acts for a number of high-profile insurer clients, including NFUM, AXA Insurance, Aviva, Zurich Insurance, RSA, HDI Girling, Allianz, AON, Hendersons Insurance Broker and Marsh. The team, and in particular head of practice and national head of motor prosecutions Lili Oliver, has experience in providing service to drivers from initial accounts to the police all the way through to the defence of clients in court. It has access to a wide range of experts in road collision investigations, vehicle telematics, expert analysis of CCTV footage, video analysis of police on-board camera footage as well as mobile phone analysis. Key matters included defending a driver who struck the rear of a moped which caused the driver to be thrown over the roof of the car before being run over by a following vehicle and defending a driver who was charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Kelcey & Hall provides advice to defendants in all areas of crime, ranging from minor offences to serious crime. It offers representation and assistance at the police station and handles representation in front of the Magistrates Court, the Youth Court, and the Court of Appeal by the team members who are trained in advocacy. The spectrum of the practice’s expertise includes defending against allegations of sexual crime, drug-related crime and youth crime. Its caseload also includes defending against allegations of motor crime, covering the full range of motor offences from by dangerous or careless driving, speeding fines and driving bans, drink driving, to defending against prosecutions for defective vehicles. The practice also has a specialist fraud team. Senior partner and practice head Ian Kelcey has particular experience in handling cases relating to murder, corporate manslaughter, sexual allegations and drug importation.

Mowbray Woodwards Solicitors provides the full range of specialist criminal defence services, with a particular focus on regulatory crime and motoring law. Cases involving mental health issues, such as acting for clients with autism spectrum disorder diagnoses, are a particular area of strength; the practice handles serious sexual offences for clients with mental health issues. The ‘committed and hard-working’ lawyers attract praise for having ‘a wealth of experience in the area of criminal defence law’. Team head Matthew Graham has ‘an enviable knowledge of the law’, is ‘considered a very safe pair of hands’ and is noted for his experience as a Magistrates Court advocate. The group has experience in handling high-profile cases such as the Tara Hudson case from 2015 which dealt with the treatment of transgender offenders in prison. It recently advised a client on a proceeds of crime litigation case subsequent to a conviction for cannabis production. Another highlight was defending a client who was prosecuted for bank robbery, successfully reducing the sentence to a relatively short prison sentence with regard to the client’s personal circumstances.

Reeds Solicitors has grown its practice in the South West through the recruitment of barristers and solicitors, and handles the full spectrum of general crime services, with experience in the Magistrates Court, Crown Court, and Court of Appeal. It is highly experienced in handling matters involving serious crime, but also covers road traffic offences, sexual offences, theft, manslaughter, firearm offences, as well as cybercrime and drug offences. Prison law and military law are other areas of work. Solicitor-advocate Nicola Hutchinson, who is recommended for her work ethics and tenacity, heads the Bristol office while director and solicitor-advocate Stephen Clifford leads the Bristol and Gloucestershire offices. Hutchinson has recently handled a number of Crown Court cases in Bristol, including a high-profile case involving trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation, controlling prostitution for gain, and rape. In another key highlight, the practice defended a client in a case involving nine co-defendants who were prosecuted for acting together to conspire to supply class A and B drugs.

Sansbury Douglas provides specialist advice to private individuals facing investigation and prosecution in a range of criminal offences, including allegations of murder, drug importation, drug supply, confiscation matters, regulatory crimes, terrorism and sexual offences. It has a dedicated team of advisors able to intervene at the police station, a Magistrates Advocacy Team, several Youth Court specialist solicitors, and also acts in the Crown Court. The practice provides prisoners with representation and assistance at adjudications, licence recall matters, release on licence and advocacy before discretionary lifer panels. It acts in issues relating to motoring law, with particular strengths in defending against allegations of dangerous driving, drink driving, and drug-impaired as well as disqualified driving.

Stone King LLP advises on regulatory breaches, assisting a wide range of clients including schools, care homes and businesses. It focuses mostly on breaches of health and safety regulation, representing clients in investigations and prosecutions carried out by the HSE; a service which the practice combines with its expertise in advising on related civil claims. The team also has niche expertise in environmental prosecutions, court martial cases, prosecutions for breaches of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, as well as road transport matters. It undertakes work for private clients with a particular focus on motoring offences including speeding, failure to identify a driver, drink driving, tachograph and roadworthiness offences, and defends drivers facing discretionary disqualification. Practice head Andrew Banks is a higher courts advocate for criminal proceedings and his experience covers criminal defence work, private prosecutions and civil proceedings including stand-alone proceeds of crime act applications as well as disciplinary proceedings before the Traffic Commissioner. He also has expertise in preparing complex Crown Court matters for trial including numerous cases of murder.


Index of tables

  1. Licensing
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Licensing clients in South 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


The "second to none’ practice at TLT delivers ‘quick and sound advice’ to a number of large estates on estate management licensing applications, including changes of designated premises supervisors (DPS), manager variations to layout, transfers and gaming machine applications. The ‘nationally recognised’ and ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ team has an exceptionally ‘wide range of expertise’, advising clients from a broad range of sectors, including pub companies, restaurants, bars, clubs, brewers, festivals, hotels, visitor attractions, conference venues, galleries, theatres and retailers. Practice head and ‘force of nature’ Matthew Phipps ‘works extremely hard for his clients and obtains excellent results’. An ‘industry leader’, acts for Punch Taverns, Glastonbury Music Festival, Barburrito, Hawthorn Leisure, SA Brain & Company, Las Iguanas and Olympia London. Highlights included advising Greene King Pub Partners on a case in relation to a licence suspension following serious trouble outside a pub – assisting with the summary review and a final review hearing for the premises. Other highlights saw the team assisting WH Smith with the application of new premises licences for M&S Simply foods and acting for YUM! businessess KFC and Pizza Hut Delivery in the application of a new premises licence for the sale of hot food and hot drinks, including advising on how to deal with a CCTV requirement that might have put KFC and Pizza Hut Delivery in breach of data protection laws. The firm also acted for the Boomtown Festival for an application to increase the capacity at the premises and to amend conditions on the face of its premises licence.

Under the lead of ‘highly experienced’ practice head Ewen Macgregor, whose ‘knowledge of the industry is of great value’, Bond Dickinson LLP provides a broad range of legal advice on alcohol and gambling licensing, including in investigations and prosecution work relating to underage and unlawful sales. Other areas of expertise are conducting due diligence on the acquisition and disposal of licensed estates including liquidations. The practice handles day-to-day administration for Accor Hotels, including DPS variations, the review and variation of conditions on licences, as well as applications and renewals of marriage and special treatment licences. It team assisted Racing Post with its annual assessment of the system of proofing tipsters as required to be undertaken by the Advertising Standards Authority, and handled the applications of new licences under the Gambling Act for Coral Racing Limited, which involved preparing, drafting and lodging the applications as well as representing the client at a licence hearing. Additionally, the practice advised Coral Racing Limited on the Gambling Act 2005 aspects of its £3.3bn merger with Ladbrokes. Other clients include several online gaming operators, the Clifton Hotel Group, Welcome Break, Hilton Hotels, and Cineworld UK.

Burges Salmon LLP is ‘a well-respected practice with an excellent reputation in licensing’, handling the full range of licensing regimes, from alcohol and entertainment licensing to gambling, caravan site licensing, taxi and marriage licences, houses in multiple occupation licences, street trading, and Security Industry Authority licensing. A particular strength is advising on high-value sales and purchases of businesses with licensed interests, in particular hotel business transactions. The practice acts for clients from a range of sectors, but has a particular focus on the leisure and gambling industry. Clients include The Crown Estate, the Racecourse Association, Adelie Foods Group, and Canadian and Portland Estates. Ian Salter led on several highlight matters, including a full licensing audit for three premises belonging to a group of nationally prominent museums in the UK. The team is experienced in conducting due diligence, having recently done so for a major luxury catering company. It also advised the University of Bristol on the management of its licensed portfolio, in particular on a suite of Club Premises Certificates, and public-facing premises for conferences, events and weddings. Other highlights included assisting Darwin Property Investment with its licensed leisure portfolio, in particular on alcohol and entertainment licensing, gambling and gaming issues, and caravan site licensing. Practice head and senior associate Joanne Attwood is ‘dependable, innovative and bright’ with ‘sound judgement and excellent style’.

Foot Anstey advises on complex licensing and gambling regulatory work for large venues including Ashton Gate and Principality Stadium. Practice head Chris Pritchett has particular expertise in outdoor events, festivals and sports stadia, also regularly acting for online and mobile gaming clients. Another area of strength is advising on regulatory and commercial issues in the events sector. Clients include Monopole Portfolio Wine Management, Dyson, the University of Bristol Student Union, and Bristol City Football Club. The team advised Yoyo Foods on the preparation and submission of an application to vary a premises licence for a hot foot takeaway to include the off-licence selling of alcohol. Cearnsport, the operator of Sittingbourne Greyhound Stadium, instructed the practice on Gambling Act matters as well as commercial issues and reputation management. The team also assisting Copas Partnership with event contracts as well as the corresponding licensing issues, and advised Bristol Sport on several matters including obtaining licences to extend opening hours, temporary event notice applications, concert promotion contracts, advertising and sponsorship terms and conditions, as well as safety stewarding contracts. Another highlight was assisting Warner Music UK with a variety of licensing and entertainment issues, including video and music licensing, the takeover of new premises from EMI music and applications to authorise changes to a building layout.

The ‘very well-respectedVWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) advises on a variety of licensing matters, ranging from alcohol, gambling and entertainment licensing, all special areas of expertise of Jason Prosser, to cinema and film licensing and classification, as well as explosives licensing. The practice has ‘a highly rated reputation’ and works for a range of clients nationally. It advised Panther Fireworks Limited on the interpretation and application of the Explosives Regulation in the context of an application for a sales and a storage licence for a large quantity of type 4 explosives. The case required negotiating with the local authorities and the HSE. The team also provides ongoing alcohol licensing advice to Le Cordon Bleu with regard to a café located in the client’s flagship school located in a cumulative impact zone in a highly sensitive residential area, and assisted Butcombe Brewery with the extension of its midweek hours in a city centre venue. It provides training for the Local Government Training Partnership and regularly offers pre-application consultations while also resolving contested applications through negotiation.

Gregg Latchams LLP advises on licensing applications and hearings, as well as on gaming premises licensing. Its work also covers investigating and defending on food safety and measures cases. Practice head Michael Parrott specialises in the food, drink and hospitality sector and has experience in appearing before licensing committees to present applications for new premises and defend licences when subject to review. The practice offers advocacy services and acts for major supermarket groups, night club operators, pub groups, cinema operators and gaming companies.

Laceys Solicitors incorporating HLF has a small specialist licensing department which advises on the licensing of large scale outdoor events such as music and other festivals, game fairs and events held at stately homes and other large estates. Its caseload includes advising on the licensing of alcohol, live and recorded music, as well as late night refreshment such as hot food and drink takeaways. Under practice head Philip Day, the team has built experience in working for betting offices, casinos and both adult and family entertainment centres, handling issues relating to gaming machines, sporting events, and pavement café as well as table and chair licences. Advice on taxi and private hire licensing is another area of strength. It acts for clients from a variety of sectors including pubs, off-licences, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, late-night takeaways, sports grounds and sporting arenas as well as minicab firms. The team also provides a risk assessment service.

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