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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 > Wales > 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

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Crime: fraud clients in Wales 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


‘Allying their accessible and personable approach to their diligence and legal acumen‘, Blackfords LLP provides a ‘highly committed representation of clients with a focus on achieving the best outcome in any situation‘. As well as benefiting from the expertise of lawyers within the firm across a full range of fraud cases (ranging from money laundering, duty diversion fraud and mortgage fraud), the team is also praised for its ‘ability to forge close links with some of the most pre-eminent experts in the country including tax experts and forensic accountants‘, thereby ensuring clients are represented in a holistic and comprehensive manner. ‘Combining a mental dexterity in the law with an effortless ability to communicate with clients of all backgrounds', team head Philip Williams’ ‘huge experience in large complicated frauds and serious crime is unsurpassed, predominantly because he understands business‘. Williams is regularly involved in high-profile cases and, alongside lawyers from the firm’s London office, is representing a client in relation to the Serious Fraud Office investigation of bribery and corruption at Rolls Royce.

Predominantly based out of its Cardiff headquarters and also able to tap into the expertise of practitioners from Swansea and London, the ‘extremely well run, dedicated and professional‘ team at Bowden Jones Solicitors is recognised as a ‘regional heavyweight in the criminal fraud market with a growing national presence‘. Noted for its ‘outstanding work within the financial crime arena‘, the team’s expertise covers the waterfront of white-collar matters including  money laundering, tax evasion, VAT fraud, mortgage and investment fraud. ‘Brilliant‘ co-head Huw Bowden is ‘adept at dealing with complex issues’, including matters involving cross-border issues such as his ongoing involvement in a multi-jurisdictional fraud linking the UK and Pakistan and concerning the transfer of monies through various accounts and involving numerous properties. Co-head Stephen Jones also has a superb reputation in the market for conventional fraud work as well as cyber-related issues and alongside Bowden continues his involvement in Operation Kadenza, a high-profile cybercrime investigation into corruption and fraud across the banking industry. At associate level, ‘consummate professional’  Richard Hall displays ‘exceptional attention to detail‘ across a variety of conventional fraud cases as well as cyber-related matters and is a key member of the team that also includes the ‘very talented and passionate‘ Sian Brain.

With two partners primarily based out of the firm’s Cardiff office and also aided by lawyers spread out across the firm's network of offices including London and Nottingham, Richard Nelson LLP has significant resources with which to direct at a wide range of fraud defence work and financial crime. The ‘highly technical and experienced‘ Jonathan Wright interacts very well with his clients and is praised for his ‘excellent bedside manner which puts people at ease‘. As part of his broad-ranging array of work, Wright frequently represents clients that are the subject of HMRC criminal investigations and prosecutions. The 'very switched-on' Steve Roberts is the other partner in the team and regularly handles complex fraud cases, including money laundering and proceeds of crime matters, as well as defending legal professionals against allegations of fraud.

‘A leading practice in the area of serious crime and fraud‘, M & M Solicitors provides an ‘outstanding service‘ to defendants accused of a wide range of complex fraudulent activity, as well as large-scale drugs conspiracies, often with an international angle. The ‘hardworking and efficient‘ Nadeem Majid is a 'very safe pair of hands' and has 'unparalleled experience in handling the most sensitive and complex cases' prosecuted by a wide range of bodies including the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and National Crime Agency (NCA). Recent highlights have included defending a client accused of participating in an ebay-related fraud and representing a client in a multimillion-pound DWP fraud targeting false maternity payments. Mike Prosser is also recommended.

Cardiff-based criminal defence firm de Maids Solicitors & Advocates provides a ‘hardworking and thoughtful service‘ to clients engaged in fraud, money laundering and bribery cases. The team is regularly involved in complex Serious Fraud Office (SFO)-initiated matters and recently successfully defended a client in a case brought by the SFO alleging a conspiracy to defraud a local authority via offshore companies. Solicitor advocate Simon Evenden ‘specialises in serious fraud cases‘ and is a key member of the team that also includes vastly experienced senior partner Matthew De Maid who is ‘always on top of the facts of the case‘.

At Hugh James , regulatory team head Martin Jones has experience at handling fraud and money laundering matters. Solicitor advocate Justin Davies is also recommended.

Headed by the 'trustworthy and well-respected' Darren Davies from the firm's nascent Swansea office, Hutchinson Thomas provides a 'high level of service to clients in the south Wales area' across an array of general crime and fraud matters. Davies provides an 'excellent service' and has developed a strong reputation in dealing with specialist fraud matters. His eclectic caseload includes involvement in a multimillion-pound fraud case in relation to football match fixing, as well as the representation of a number of defendants accused of involvement in a conspiracy to defraud and to steal scrap metal. Senior partner Robert Williams also has considerable experience of handling fraud cases as part of his general crime practice.

On both the Serious Fraud and Very High Cost Case (VHCC) panels, Cardiff-based firm Martyn Prowel Solicitors has a longstanding reputation for handling a broad range of criminal work, including a wide array of fraud cases. With many lawyers at the firm with significant advocacy skills, including two practitioners with higher rights of audience, the firm is well-equipped to handle cases throughout their lifecycle, from representation at the police station through to the court hearing. Recent highlights include successfully defending a client in an international money laundering Crown Court trial and a “cash for crash” style insurance scam which involved more than 70 defendants. James Lynch has considerable fraud experience and has defended clients in many document-heavy VHCC cases and has experience at defending clients in cases brought by the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Customs and Excise and the Counter Fraud department of the NHS. Other recommended practitioners include consultant Martyn Prowel, who has vast experience across a range of fraud cases, and James Harris, who has a particular niche defending clients accused of benefit fraud.

Head of Morgan LaRoche's health, regulatory and crime department, Andrew Manners has a strong track record across a range of serious frauds having formerly been a supervisor on the Specialist Fraud Panel and later, the VHCC panel. Manners is currently representing a major company in a private prosecution in the UK for extensive Fraud Act offences allegedly committed by former directors of the company.

Crime: general

Index of tables

  1. Crime: general
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Crime: general clients in Wales 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


Aided by practitioners in London and the South East, the Cardiff office of Blackfords LLP has significant experience handling a range of serious crime matters running the gamut from serious sex offences and human trafficking to multi-handed drugs conspiracies. Praised for its ‘high level of preparedness and excellent briefs‘, the team is noted for its holistic representation of clients beginning with the ‘prompt and robust representation in the police station’, through to final trial, where solicitor advocates in the team are able to lead cases in the lower courts, as well as being able to do the work of juniors in the serious cases in the higher courts. Praised for his ‘ability to handle large cases with huge amounts of material and to disseminate the relevant from the irrelevant', Philip Williams has an excellent reputation across a range of matters including criminal investigations into health and safety and environmental breaches. Associate Nicola Mitchard is also recommended.

‘In the top flight of criminal solicitors in Cardiff‘, Bowden Jones Solicitors has the ‘strength-in-depth‘ to handle the gamut of criminal work ranging from minor traffic offences through to large-scale international drugs conspiracies, homicides and serious sexual offences. The ‘very experienced‘ Huw Bowden is ‘excellent at bringing in high-value cases‘ and heads up the serious crime team. One of many solicitor advocates within the team, Bowden is able to provide a holistic service to clients through the life-cycle of a trial. The 'excellent' +George Shelley recently successfully represented one of the defendants in a high-profile prosecution brought by the Welsh regional organised crime division. Other recommended practitioners include Richard Hall, who has a an ‘up-and-coming reputation for handling criminal matters‘, Stephen Jones and the ‘excellent‘ Sian Brain.

‘The long established and well-regarded‘ dedicated criminal defence firm, de Maids Solicitors & Advocates has a large client base in Cardiff and south Wales, and has the expertise to cover a diverse spread of matters ‘including cases of the utmost gravity and complexity‘. Recent highlights include successfully defending a client against a murder charge following a six-week trial in a four-defendant joint enterprise case, and securing the acquittal for a client accused of involvement in a conspiracy to supply cocaine in a multi-defendant case. The ‘diligent and hardworking‘ Matthew de Maid is ‘always prepared to go the extra mile on behalf of his clients’, and is a key member of the team that also includes +Sarah de Maid, who heads up the prison law department; +Bernard de Maid, who leads on the appellate front and excels in overturning miscarriages of justice; and Stephen Jones.

Able to tap into the expertise of a ‘number of outstanding solicitors‘, many of whom have higher rights of audience, the three-partner team at Wrexham-based firm GHP Legal has an excellent reputation for handling a range of criminal work for clients throughout north east Wales and the Shropshire borders. Promoted to the partnership in May 2017, Emma Simoes handles core criminal defence work, and also heads the firm’s prison law practice – which has been particularly busy representing clients in the newly established “super prison” in Berwyn, in Wrexham County Borough. Simoes recently successfully applied to the Magistrates Court to revoke a Criminal Behaviour Order due to the good behaviour of her client. Team head Stephen Edwards has higher criminal courts advocacy rights and provides ‘skilful and sympathetic‘ representation to clients in serious and high-profile criminal cases in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal. Other recommended practitioners include Welsh speaker Euros Jones and higher courts advocate Henry Hill, who is particularly accomplished at dealing with vulnerable witnesses.

Led by Zep Bellavia , Newport-based Harding Evans LLP has a strong reputation across an array of criminal defence work including murder, serious sexual offences, drugs conspiracies and fraud. Recent highlights include securing acquittals in both a multi-handed joint enterprise murder and for a defendant with significant mental health issues accused of assaulting a serving police. Stephen Ritter has higher rights of audience and is also recommended.

M & M Solicitors regularly handles very serious crime cases including litigation relating to drug trafficking, Proceeds of Crime, and extradition. The 'outstanding' Nadeem Majid is a 'very safe pair of hands who has unparalleled experience at handling the most sensitive and complex cases' and is appreciated by clients for his 'strategically astute advice' and 'ability to see the bigger picture, particularly in multi-handed cases'. Aided by Mike Prosser and Craig Bond, Majid recently successfully secured the acquittal of a defendant in a large-scale conspiracy to supply Class "A" drugs and firearms case. Other recommended practitioners include Catherine Reed, who heads the Magistrates Court department, and Anthony Abraham, who is part of the Complex Case unit.

Now headed by Sarah Grace following the recent retirement of founding partner Stuart Hutton, Hutton's crime and regulatory department handles the whole range of criminal offences, from straight forward motoring offences to complex murder or fraud investigations. Grace is currently instructed in relation to the defence of an £11m private prosecution that is ongoing and due for trial in 2018.

Praised for its  ‘attention to detail and tenacity‘, Slater and Gordon is primarily focused on representing police officers facing criminal investigations and misconduct proceedings. ‘Empathetic and knowledgeable‘ team head Ian Wilson is ‘able to draw on a wealth of experience and knowledge‘, and is ‘capable of looking at a case from a defendant’s perspective‘. Wilson recently successfully defended a Devon & Cornwall police sergeant who was prosecuted for gross negligence manslaughter following the death of an individual who was taken into custody when he was the Custody sergeant on duty. The ‘personable yet steely‘ Jon Nutman is also recommended and along with Wilson recently successfully secured the dismissal of allegations of misconduct brought against a south Wales police officer who was alleged to have failed to carry out a full investigation in the early stages of the complaints being received regarding the serious offences committed by Ian Watkins, the former lead singer of the Lost Prophets.


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 Wales 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


Hugh James has a strong track record advising private and public sector clients across the gamut of alcohol, entertainment and gambling licensing issues, both from a non-contentious and contentious perspective. ‘Knowledgeable and hardworking’ regulatory head Martin Jones is regularly engaged in licensing reviews and breach allegations, as well as handling music festival and other large-scale event licensing, where he combines his licensing knowledge with expertise in other areas including health and safety and environmental regulation. Jones is representing Malta-registered international gambling operator Cyberplay Management on its application for a UK Gambling Commission Operators licence. Commercial head Aled Walters is particularly accomplished at handling corporate and commercial matters for gambling and gaming clients, work which includes reviewing and advising on licensing documentation during acquisition and prospective M&A targets. Consultant Mark Perry has significant experience at handling alcohol licensing matters. Clients include Welsh Rugby Union, Novomatic and Cardiff Metropolitan University.

At Hutchinson Thomas, senior partner Robert Williams handles licensing matters as part of his multi-faceted practice and regularly advises clubs and other licensed establishments dealing with liquor licensing issues and temporary events notices.

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