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

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  1. Crime: general
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Giles Tippett - Bobbetts Mackan

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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.

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