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Crime: fraud

Index of tables

  1. Crime: fraud
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • John Allchin - Cartwright King
    • Matt O’Brien - Jonas Roy Bloom

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Crime: fraud clients in West Midlands 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Cartwright King has a national fraud, tax and crime team that is ‘definitely in the premier division’, according to one client. The practice is led by Nottingham-based director Sundeep Soor and includes Birmingham-based senior associate John Allchin, who is ‘always thoroughly prepared and goes the extra mile for his clients’. Soor and Allchin acted in a high-value prosecution, which centred on allegations of corruption between bank employees and appointed insolvency practitioners related to an investment scheme for turning around failing businesses. They also acted in a high-profile fraud case in which an organised crime organisation intercepted high-value payments made to government contractors. Other recent work includes acting in an international bribery case in which a senior executive was charged with two counts of concealing and destroying relevant documents, and representing a high-profile politician in relation to allegations of money laundering through fraudulent expense claims. Also recommended are Birmingham-based solicitors Gemma Redfern, who joined the practice from Dass Solicitors, and Fiona Warman.

The two-partner fraud practice at Jonas Roy Bloom is ‘the best at what it does’, and ‘constantly provides first-rate sophisticated advice’ on white-collar crime matters. Ben Henry heads the practice and is known among clients as ‘a clear thinker’ who has ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of state and case law and exceptional mastery of detail’. He is supported by Matt O’Brien. The team recently represented a senior executive of a PLC with regards to an SFO investigation into banking and trading fraud in the steel industry. It also acted on behalf of a shareholder in a high-profile prosecution concerning a website which allegedly defrauded a large number of consumers, and handled the confiscation of assets of a traveller family prosecuted for modern slavery offences.

According to one client, Kangs Solicitors is ‘easily the best criminal law firm in the West Midlands’, and another describes it as ‘the leader of the pack when it comes to criminal fraud work’. Practice head and ‘doyen of complex fraud workHamraj Kang represented an individual charged with conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud alongside 15 other defendants, and acted for a client accused of defrauding banks and laundering the proceeds. Solicitor John Vealehas impressive client care, tactical awareness and strategic thinking skills’; he supported Kang in the defence of two individuals charged with large-scale VAT evasion, while senior solicitor Dean Phillips acted for a client accused of VAT and excise fraud through the importation of high-end watches. Solicitor and ‘superb lawyer’ Frances Murray is also recommended.

Ruth Armstrong heads the regulatory practice at Gateley Plc and leads the firm’s fraud work; she has particular strength in the construction, banking, manufacturing and transportation sectors and is assisted by Mark Wilson, who heads the firm’s corporate recovery team. The firm recently acted for a construction business and its managing director in an HMRC investigation into payroll fraud, while James Baird acted for a banking client in an asset finance fraud case involving false invoicing, customer application, title, and employee fraud. Wilson represented an insolvent insurer in connection with negligence and dishonest assistance claims. Clients include Grant Thornton, Ernst & Young, and Henry Howard.

BLM’s insurance fraud practice is led in Birmingham by Sarah Hill, who ‘is excellent from a knowledge and relations perspective’. She is responsible for the development of counter-fraud initiatives for all of the firm’s business lines. Hill is supported by Simon Hammond, who led on several road accident cases involving phantom passenger and material misrepresentation issues. Joanna Keogh led the team acting for Direct Line Group in cases concerning dishonest claims for damages and personal injury. Other notable clients include Aviva, Axa, Allianz and NFU. Personal injury, motor accident and multi-party claim specialist Daniel Thomas is also a key contact.

Catherine Burt heads DAC Beachcroft LLP’s counter-fraud team and focuses on defending fraudulent claims, while Anthony Carrington leads the firm’s organised fraud work. In recent highlights, Burt acted for Zurich in Hayward v Zurich Insurance plc, which resulted in a Supreme Court decision designed to bridge the gap between first and third party insurance fraud. Carrington handled several matters for Aviva including a motor accident claim which resulted in a wasted costs order being filed against the claimant, and defending a fraudulent personal injury claim brought by an athlete following a minor road collision. The team was recently strengthened by the arrival of Claire Laver from BLM. New partner Georgia Court and Helen Bates are also key contacts.

Mann & Co Solicitors is ‘an-up-and coming’ niche firm based in Smethwick and Tipton that specialises in fraud and serious sexual assault cases. Raz Mann, who heads the firm’s fraud and serious crime practice, ‘is a charismatic and excellent litigator who deals with the most complex and serious cases’. Mann defended an individual charged with a multimillion-pound mortgage fraud, and another accused of committing an advanced timeshare fee fraud involving 38 victims. Other key mandates included acting for one of two defendants in a case involving credit card, merchant and mandate fraud and money laundering. Paul Selby leads the serious and organised crime practice and is rated for his ‘enthusiasm and energy’.

Murria Solicitorsis an extremely sought-after firm in the West Midlands, particularly for fraud’ and is known to clients as ‘an extremely conscientious and committed firm that always goes the extra mile’. Head of the Crown Court and business crime department Jagtar Kulair is ‘a great strategist with a hands-on and detailed grip on his work’. Makhan Singh is also recommended.

At Tuckers Solicitors, senior partner James Turner is ‘a very capable defence solicitor’ with ‘a phenomenal work ethic’. Solicitor and ‘specialist trial advocate’ Sharon Bailey acts alongside ‘insightful’ solicitor Alex Walsh Atkins, who ‘is highly regarded in both his advocacy and trial preparation’. Arvind Sharma attracts praise for his ‘dynamic approach’. Past work has included representing defendants in cases relating to false identity documents linked to a plot to cultivate cannabis and a conspiracy to avoid paying excise revenue.


Crime: general

Index of tables

  1. Crime: general
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Crime: general clients in West Midlands 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Cartwright King’s West Midlands crime practice is headed by senior solicitor Neil Davis, who specialises in defendant criminal work, traffic collisions and youth court work. He is assisted by associate Worcester office head Jason Patel, who joined the firm in July 2016 and has a particular expertise in drug conspiracies and fraud work; Shabana Sharif; and Marcia Blake, who regularly handles magistrate court matters. Davis and Sharif defended an individual accused of assaulting her two children, while David and Blake acted for a defendant charged with assaulting a special needs child travelling to school. In another key matter criminal defence specialist Sarah McCormack represented an individual charged with death by careless driving.

Noted for its ‘outstanding reputation in criminal work’, Jonas Roy Bloom fields a team of lawyers that are ‘at the top of their game and deliver a first-class service’. The practice is led by ‘fearless advocate’ Steven Jonas, whose ‘intellect is immense and sharp as they come’. He is supported by John Smitheman and Ben Henry, who ‘knows how to handle a crisis with minimum fuss and panic’. The team’s recent high-profile matters include a murder case in which the defendant was accused of setting his wife on fire, and a large-scale prosecution concerning the supply of firearms in which the sentence was increased upon appeal. Other key matters included defending a Greek national accused of rape in a case that was eventually dropped by CPS with acceptance of liability and wasted costs, and advising on a gang-related murder involving issues of expert evidence such as video recognition and gang affiliation.

Kangs Solicitors is ‘a standout firm’ whose lawyers are ‘hardworking, highly knowledgeable and great with clients’. Clients single out practice head Hamraj Kang as ‘charismatic; he is a superbly clever lawyer and key player’. Other key figures include solicitor Frances Murray, who is ‘an exceptional lawyer in every way’; she was instructed to defend an ex-serviceman charged with coercive and abuse behaviour following allegations by his estranged ex-wife. Other work included defending a school teacher accused of grievous bodily harm following a violent altercation in which she struck her husband in self-defence; acting on behalf of a French national in a rape claim; and advising a professional footballer in the Magistrates Court with regards to alleged road traffic offences. Solicitor Helen Holder is another name to note; she assisted Kang in a police investigation into alleged historic abuse of pupils at a youth institution.

According to some, the service provided by the team at Slater and Gordon is ‘second to none’. Crime and misconduct practice head Tim Coolican is ‘an intellectual heavyweight who knows the law backwards’ and has a particular expertise in defending police officers facing criminal or disciplinary allegations. Coolican represented the Police Federation in connection with the recently reopened inquests into the 1971 Birmingham pub bombings, and acted for a retired officer accused of stealing proceeds from crime seized from a suspect in a large-scale drugs and money laundering investigation. Solicitor and ‘excellent lawyer’ Sue Swan defended a West Midlands police officer accused of rape and another officer who allegedly perverted the course of justice by failing to deal with a rape claim appropriately and lying to the victim.

Alsters Kelley LLP has an extensive track record of handling high-profile cases in the Coventry and Warwickshire area, representing clients in the police station and the magistrate and crown courts. The crime department is led by Stefan Hunka and supported by Nuneaton-based solicitor Nazir Vania and associate Jas Thiara. The team’s recent matters included defending clients in a wide array of cases involving murder, manslaughter, fraud, motoring offences, public order violations, wounding with intent, robbery, drugs and assault. The practice also handles criminal work concerning regulatory, corporate and white-collar crime.

At Beswicks Legal, Andrew Turnock handles a substantial Crown Court caseload. He is assisted by legal executive Charlotte Riley and road traffic expert Peter Howland; Howland recently defended a young individual charged with rape, and represented a woman arrested on the grounds of perverting the course of justice and who was later charged with wasting police time. Other significant work includes advising on a large-scale drugs conspiracy with 16 defendants for which police enquiries took place in Thailand, Hong Kong and across Europe; and acting for an individual accused of sexual misconduct over a period of time. Criminal advocacy specialists Rebecca Dulson and Robert Glenn regularly represent clients in the magistrate and crown courts on a daily basis.

At Gateley Plc, regulatory practice head Ruth Armstrong handles criminal work on behalf of businesses and senior executives, primarily involving criminal investigations and major incidents. With the support of legal director Pauline Munro and defence solicitor Kate Oliver, Armstrong acted in a prosecution involving ten defendants following an investigation by the Environment Agency alleging illegal waste disposal and successfully limited the responsibility of the accused director. She also defended a housing client with regards to alleged breaches of local authority planning regulations. Other key matters for the team included acting for a high-street retailer in a high-profile trading standards prosecution involving allegations of mislabelled specialised yarn in cashmere products. Notable clients include Taylor Wimpey, Greenbox and Bilfinger.

Lanyon Bowdler’s clients feel they are given ‘sound, well-researched and helpful guidance and support’. The Telford-based Adrian Roberts leads the criminal team, which includes associate Stephen Scully in Shrewsbury, who is ‘helpful, well-informed, sensible and good in court’ and specialises in working with clients who have little to no experience of the criminal system, especially in youth matters. He recently represented a mentally challenged minor accused of attempted robbery, and a young male with no previous convictions regarding a serious wounding charge resulting in a fractured skull. Other key matters for the team included acting on behalf of a severely mentally disabled person in connection with nine offences, some of which were sexual in nature, and defending a transgender prisoner who repeatedly made bomb hoaxes threatening staff.

Mann & Co Solicitors is ‘an outstanding firm with a focus on client care and thorough preparation’. Raz Mann and Paul Selby lead the firm’s criminal work from Smethwick and Tipton, respectively. Selby heads the serious and organised crime department and recently defended an individual accused of grooming a child via social media. Other notable work included representing the lead defendant in a manslaughter case, and acting for one of seven defendants in a conspiracy to supply class A drugs and money laundering case involving a London-based organised crime group. Mann, who heads the firm’s fraud practice, also advised on drug and money laundering charges with organised crime elements. Advocate Milo Turner is another key contact.

Purcell Parker Solicitors has a legal aid practice specialising in criminal litigation spearheaded by managing partner Spencer Stephens. Tiernan Davis has strong experience representing prisoners in disciplinary hearings, while Ben Galletti oversees the police station group. Solicitor David Rees focuses on handling youth court cases and is also a key contact.

Tuckers Solicitors handles a range of criminal, regulatory and civil liberties proceedings, and ‘boasts a very strong, experienced team in all areas of criminal litigation’. The ‘consistently excellent’ James Turner heads the practice nationally and advises clients with regards to sex offences, manslaughter and assault, as well as fraud. Solicitor Arvind Sharma oversees the firm’s police station department.


Licensing

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Licensing clients in West Midlands 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Harrison Clark Rickerbys’s ‘simply excellent’ licensing practice is led by ‘outstanding lawyer’ Heath Thomas, who ‘is devastatingly effective at hearings’ and has particular strength in contested applications on the grounds of the Licensing Act of 2003. Thomas led the advice for The Restaurant Group on 24 new premises applications and over 30 variation applications in light of refurbishments to its establishments, and acted for a licence holder with regards to an expedited review launched by the West Midlands Police following suspicions of drug handling on the premises and the death of a teenage New Year’s reveller. Solicitor Laura Shirley has experience in the licensing and regulatory space and is also a key contact. Other clients include Sargeant Partnership, Dishoom and Aston Villa FC. James Lowe joined George Green LLP in May 2017.

Emms Gilmore Liberson recently recruited ‘licensing specialistPeter Adkins from QualitySolicitors Talbots; he heads the firm’s regulatory practice, with particular expertise in members club licensing, and is rated for his ‘reliable and meticulous approach’. In recent highlights, Adkins successfully obtained one of eight new casino licences permitted under the Gambling Act of 2005 for Casino 36 despite heavy opposition, and advised Clear Blue Sky Thinking on the heavily contested renewal of licences for its two lap dance clubs in Birmingham. New Rectory also engaged the firm to handle licensing issues in connection with the purchase of an existing hotel, which involved compliance with the Marriage Act to enable the premises to host marriage ceremonies. Other notable clients include Sabai Sabai, Yorks Artisan Bakery, and Loki Wines.

Squire Patton Boggs is ‘far superior to its counterparts’, according to one client. Clients of Stephanie Perraton, who heads the firm’s national licensing practice, note that her ‘knowledge and expertise in the area of licensing is second to none’. She handles all aspects of licensing law including the sale of alcohol, entertainment and late-night foods. Director Nicola Smith, who ‘tailors herself to the situation and is very personable’, focuses her work on the hospitality and leisure sectors.

At Thomas Guise Solicitors consultant and employment law specialist Amanda Pillinger advises longstanding client Lidl on new premises licences, variation licences and challenges by local authorities or residents. Recent highlights include representing a Lidl store in Pontardawe in a new trading hours application, and acting on the construction of a new Lidl in Hawkinge, which encountered opposition from the local planning department on the grounds that the sale of alcohol hours exceeded those set within the planning permission. Both matters were resolved to the client’s satisfaction. Other highlights included obtaining a new premises licence for a dining and night club establishment.

Ian Besant leads Wright Hassall LLP’s licensing practice with the support of consultant Andrew Potts. Recent highlights include advising Thisisthefuture on several matters, including the opening of a new venue in Digbeth, which is due to become a cumulative impact zone; advising on a review application in the same area against live music venue Rainbow for alleged fly posting; and obtaining a new premises licence in central Birmingham. The practice also acted for the organisers of a mixed martial arts tournament in obtaining a temporary event notice despite police opposition, and re-licensing a nightclub in Sutton Coldfield, which involved extensive negotiations with the police and an environmental health officer due to the client’s history of financial shortcomings and brazen attitude towards the authorities. Paralegal Suzanna Oatley assisted on all matters mentioned.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP’s licensing team in Wolverhampton operates as part of the wider litigation department and works closely with the firm’s corporate and commercial property practices. Charlotte Clode heads the team and advises on all aspects of licensing law, including contested applications and variation licences; she is supported by senior solicitor Elisabeth Glover. Recent highlights included advising a higher education provider in obtaining a new licence for city centre premises, and representing a client with regards to a police application for the revocation of premises licences following a violent incident at the client’s establishment. Other clients include a business start-up whose commercial proposition involved remote gambling, and charities whose fundraising activities include a gambling element.


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