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Crime: fraud

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  1. Crime: fraud
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Crime: fraud clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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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Specialist fraud firm Rahman Ravelli Solicitors is a ‘powerhouse and go-to firm for big players in need of representation’. Managing partner Azizur Rahman is a ‘Rolls-Royce performer’ and leads the Halifax-based team. The firm acts for professionals, high-net-worth individuals and corporate clients from a wide variety of sectors in multimillion-pound fraud, white-collar crime, money laundering, tax evasion and investment fraud matters. The firm is a member of the Very High Cost Cases Panel and also has a dedicated Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) unit. The ‘tenacious and terrier-like’ senior solicitor Nicola Sharp also comes highly recommended by clients, who say that she has a ‘frightening intellect’ with a ‘super-human ability to soak up dense and complex facts’.

Managing partner Robert Rode leads the fraud team at ABR Solicitors from the Leeds office and specialises in white-collar crime and regulatory defence. The team defends clients against the full range of fraud allegations and acts in prosecutions brought by the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Services Authority and the Crown Prosecution Service. It is retained by the DVSA to prosecute across the North of England and is on its panel to advise and prosecute in relation to fraud and complex investigations. It also acts in POCA proceedings arising from fraud allegations. The team has recently been involved in various conspiracy to defraud cases, including one to defraud the HMRC.

Sundeep Soor heads Cartwright King’s national fraud, tax and proceeds of crime team in Sheffield, which regularly defends corporate clients from all sectors in fraud prosecutions. Director Mark Fowler specialises in missing trader intra-community (MTIC) VAT fraud, whilst John Speight handles High Court civil work and ancillary work resulting from cases such as property freezing and property recovery orders. Speight is a supervisor under the current legal aid agency Very High Cost Cases arrangements. The team has recently been instructed on a substantial MTIC fraud inquiry, a multimillion-pound tax fraud case and a multimillion-pound banking corruption prosecution. Elizabeth Madin is recommended for her particular expertise in POCA work.

At Ashmans Solicitors, the ‘exceptionally professional’ team defends clients in cases that have an element of fraud, dishonesty and associated money-laundering allegations. The department is headed by directors Imran Ali and the ‘tactically astute’ Raja Afzal, who undertake all aspects of criminal defence work by ‘grasping thorny issues at the very outset’. The team has been representing defendants involved in alleged mortgage fraud, VAT fraud, defrauding of the HMRC, and fraud by false representation. The practice has experience defending large-scale fraud cases with cross-jurisdictional or international elements, but also does considerable legal aid work. Arshad Ali is another key name at the practice and specialises in financial fraud work.

Kevin Blount and Colin Byrne jointly head the practice at Howard & Byrne in York. Blount is a member of the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association and provides specialist advice at the confiscation stage of proceedings and can advise defendants on challenging POCA orders. The practice acts for defendants and suspects in high-value fraud cases, and for clients undergoing confiscation proceedings. Recent highlights include defending a client alleged to have been involved in the fraudulent sale of shares in start-up companies, representing a defendant accused of being part of a conspiracy to defraud a university, and defending two directors of a company that has been linked to a £6m building contract fraud.

The regulatory and criminal investigations group at Irwin Mitchell is headed by associate director Paul Haycock in Sheffield. Emma Windle splits her time between Sheffield and Leeds and specialises in white-collar crime, whilst John Davies (who splits his time between Sheffield and Manchester) advises on proceeds of crime matters. Recent highlights for the team include defending an individual accused of being involved in an alleged environmental tax avoidance scheme, the successful conclusion of confiscation proceedings in relation to a defendant who was convicted in a large mortgage fraud with a value of around £250m, and assisting a leading steelmaker with fraud investigation being undertaken by the Serious Fraud Office in relation to suspected dishonest practice. It has also been defending clients in connection with carousel frauds, fraudulent VAT evasion and money laundering.

Geoffrey Rogers heads the corporate crime and risk unit of the criminal practice at McCormicks in Harrogate. Rodgers is a supervisor on the Specialist Fraud Panel and Very High Cost Cases Panel and handles a range of commercial, white-collar fraud and other matters. Recent instructions include defending a store manager in relation to a substantial money-laundering fraud allegation involving international jurisdictional issues, a number of cases relating to contested variations of confiscation orders before the Crown Court, and various instructions by solicitor defendants in fraud and theft of client money cases. Peter Minnikin was promoted to the partnership in August 2016 and specialises in all aspects of corporate crime, fraud and regulatory work.

Opus Lawstands out as a leading provider of both general and fraud-based criminal defence services’ and is highly regarded for its advice and defence in investigations and prosecutions brought by a range of bodies, including the CPS Complex Crime Unit, the FSA, SOCA and the SFO. Ben Jones leads the Bradford-based team and is ‘very hard working and dedicated, leaving no stone unturned ’. Sarah Batty also comes recommended for her ‘attention to detail in large cases’. The team is often involved in cases in which other offences are tried alongside fraud charges; of note in 2017 was an instruction in one of the first Modern Day Slavery trials, in which money laundering has also been alleged.

John Goodwin heads the crime, fraud and regulatory team at Cohen Cramer in Leeds. Helen Lynch heads the firm’s proceeds of crime team, which has a specialist conveyancing department, and comes highly recommended for her work in this field. She is a committee member of the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association (POCLA) and is chair of POCLA North. John Hera joined the POCA team in March 2016. The firm covers MTIC and carousel frauds, tax fraud, substantial drug prosecutions involving major money-laundering elements, other complex money-laundering cases, estate fraud and care home fraud, among other things. The team acts for individual defendants as well as corporate and professional clients.

Bradford-based Harris Solicitors defends clients in complex fraud and POCA cases. Atta Rehman leads the team and is a member of the Very High Cost Cases Panel. The team has recently been instructed by clients in large-scale money-laundering operations, various bank fraud cases and benefit fraud cases.

John Gibson heads the fraud department at Howells in Sheffield, which also has offices in Barnsley and Rotherham. The team comprises partners Chris Wong and Mary Rose Macadam and has recently been defending a client involved in an allegation of major fraud regarding the sale of materials that were falsely marketed as meeting international standards.

The fraud practice at Lupton Fawcett LLP is led by Jeremy Scott, who defends clients in corporate investigations and prosecutions. Scott has recently been acting for a former managing director of a limited company which faces an international investigation by the SFO into alleged bribery by the company to foreign businesses. The team spans the Leeds, Sheffield and York offices and also includes York-based Jonathan Cripwell, who has historically undertaken fraud prosecution work for both government departments and local authorities. Meghan Waldron joined the criminal defence team in August 2016 as a senior solicitor.

Solicitor advocate Michael Devlin leads the criminal defence team at Switalskis Solicitors, which defends individuals and businesses suspected of serious and complex criminal offences, including fraud, money-laundering and regulatory offences. Barrister Jim Littlehales is another key name in the Leeds team.


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 Yorkshire and the Humber 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

Leeds-based solicitor advocate Rob Rode leads the crime practice at ABR Solicitors, which has a ‘number of specialists that complement each other well and a depth of talent’. Susannah Proctorcombines intelligence with drive, determination and judgement’ and heads up the criminal defence team in Harrogate and York. The team has been involved in cases ranging from human trafficking, grooming and sexual abuse, to grievous bodily harm, drug conspiracy and blackmail. The team also receives a regular flow of instructions from clients post-conviction under the Proceeds of Crime Act, including issues involving piercing the corporate veil, certificates of inadequacy and hidden assets. The practice is particularly experienced in the area of motoring law and undertakes numerous cases for the DVSA across the country.

At Cartwright King, Fran Lavender heads up the ‘exceptional’ crime practice from the Sheffield office. The team defends at all levels in the courts, on cases including heavyweight crimes such as murder, rape and drug possession as well as computer downloading offences. The team prosecutes for corporate bodies as well as legal aid, and is a member of the Very High Cost Cases Panel. The practice also has a dedicated motoring team and gives advice and representation in POCA proceedings. Zawar Shah and Matt Hague joined Howells in 2017.

Kevin Blount heads the ‘excellent’ York-based Howard & Byrne crime practice, with Colin Byrne, who is a ‘real fighter’ and a ‘fearless solicitor to have in your corner’, leading the team on miscarriage of justice, bribery and corruption matters. The practice also has a prison law sub-department, headed by Jacky East, as well as notable expertise in court martial work. Recent highlights include representing a UK national standing before the Greek Courts on allegations of bribery and corruption. The team has also been representing youths in serious crime cases, including murder and arson, and, in one matter, represented a 15-year-old in a civil proceeding seeking the issuance of a Sexual Risk Order.

The crime practice at Howells is headed by the ‘proactive, knowledgeable and astute’ John Gibson in Sheffield, who has particular experience in defending clients who are alleged to be involved in gang-related crime. The department has considerable advocacy strength, with five solicitor advocates in the team. It covers a wide range of criminal defence work, including white-collar crime, drug crimes, homicides and historical sex abuse. The firm also carries out legal aid work and is particularly well known for its expertise in extraditions, youth crime, public order law and cases involving civil liberties, human rights and mental health. It has also been instructed in cases involving prison law, and in judicial reviews.

Paul Haycock heads the criminal defence team at Irwin Mitchell, which ‘brings the ethos of a big, corporate firm to criminal work resulting in outstanding service’. Haycock is based in Sheffield alongside John Davies and Sarah Smith. The team is instructed on serious general crime and complex regulatory matters with a national scope. Recent highlights include defending a client being investigated for theft of monies, defending a client involved in large-scale drug possession and defending a client allegedly involved in organised crime. The team also defends corporates and has recently defended a client being prosecuted by the Environmental Agency. Emma Windle is also recommended for general crime and regulatory offences.

Director Lindsey Lobley now heads the criminal defence team at Minton Morrill and is hailed as a ‘go-to defence solicitor’. Former head of team Philip Goldberg still undertakes all aspects of criminal work, but is now managing director following the merger of Lester Morrill and Mintons. Lobley is highly recommended and ‘has a tough yet persuasive style in and out of court’, while Goldberg’s ‘experience and expertise in criminal law means you get the highest-quality legal advice. Recent highlights for the team, which has an ‘unequalled reputation for excellence in Leeds’, include securing a lenient sentence for a client accused of GBH, and a successful representation in youth court in which a client was kept out of prison through the imposing of a referral order.

Geoff Rodgers heads the regulatory and criminal investigations group at Harrogate-based firm McCormicks. The firm is a member of the Very High Cost Cases Panel and is instructed on general crime and fraud cases. Senior associate Sara Morgan is also of note and is instructed on professional regulatory work. Recent highlights for the team include defending individuals in cases involving sexual assault and historical sexual abuse, gangland shootings, drug conspiracy, and gross negligence manslaughter. Peter Minnikin was promoted to the partnership in August 2016 and is instructed on a range of general crime matters, including drug, violence and sexual offence cases, as well as a range of regulatory work.

Switalskis Solicitors has a criminal defence department with particular experience and expertise in cases involving defendants who suffer from mental health problems. The team includes four solicitor advocates, a barrister, three solicitors and a crown court clerk. The practice is headed up by solicitor advocate Michael Devlin, who represents clients at all stages of criminal cases. Barrister James Littlehales deals with a variety of high-profile cases, including murder, money laundering and large-scale drug offences. Recent achievements at trial include a not guilty verdict achieved for a client in a multi-handed grooming case, and a not guilty verdict achieved in a murder case with a plea of manslaughter.

Managing director Greg Stewart heads the crime team at GT Stewart Limited in Leeds and specialises in serious crime, criminal appeals and reviews. The practice has a highly specialised appeals team and also advises and defends clients in POCA proceedings. Recent highlights include achieving a significantly lessened confiscation order in POCA proceedings relating to an offence of producing counterfeit tobacco, and successfully obtaining a sentence of 12 months’ custody for a client convicted of two burglaries, resulting in the client’s immediate release from custody. In a recent expansion of the team, assistant criminal defence solicitor Ben Tighe joined the team in February 2016 from Qamar Solicitors LLP.


Licensing

Index of tables

  1. Licensing
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • John Coen - Weightmans
    • John Gaunt - John Gaunt & Partners

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Licensing clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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

Teresa Hitchcock heads the licensing team at DLA Piper UK LLP in Sheffield and brings industry experience as an ex-regulator. Hitchcock is supported by regulatory associate Charlotte Gibson and has been working with hotel chain QHotels regarding its day-to-day operational matters, including providing licensing advice and submitting variations to premises licenses at six sites to allow the sale of alcohol on the golf course via buggies, the half way houses and pro shops. The team has also been advising a client on the variation of a premises licence for a casino, and another client on licensing of a distribution warehouse to allow for sale by retail of alcohol to employees. The firm generally operates out of Sheffield for regional clients but also has links with the office in Edinburgh. Representative regional clients include the University of Sheffield, the University of Sheffield Students’ Union and Sheffield Hallam Union of Students.

The licensing team at Gosschalks comprises head of team Clare Johnson, partner Richard Taylor and six license administrators. The practice has historically acted for pubs and betting shops, but is also active in the retail sector, where Morrisons is a significant client. Recent work for the supermarket client includes assisting with applications to extend the hours it can sell alcohol, putting through over 400 applications in just under three months. Also in the food sector, it has been advising a major high street retailer with store licenses to sell alcohol. Alongside the litigation department, the team was also instructed by a number of Soho private shop operators in a challenge to Westminster Council’s fee policy, resulting in a successful judgment for the operators that they were being overcharged.

John Gaunt & Partners is a specialist licensing, gambling and regulatory firm based in Sheffield that serves clients on a national basis. The team, headed by name partner and solicitor advocate John Gaunt, has ongoing licensing retainers for household names such as Whitbread, Premier Inn, Marston’s PLC, Greene King and David Lloyd Leisure. Recent work for Marston’s Revere brand is representative of the firm’s practice, and includes the obtaining of licensing for new sites, negotiating the extension of one existing license and obtaining licenses in Hammersmith and Bristol that were heavily contested. On the retail side, the team has been dealing with the licensing aspects of 80 new purchases of convenience stores by its client, James Convenience Retail.

The niche licensing practice at Woods Whur in Leeds comprises founding members and solicitor advocates Paddy Whur and Andrew Woods. Both lawyers specialise in licensing law for national clients across a variety of sectors. In a notable highlight this year, Whur (whose knowledge of alcohol and entertainment law is ‘second to none’) advised Fabric Nightclub following the decision by Islington Council to remove its license. This resulted in a campaign by multiple agencies, including the Mayor of London, to save the nightclub. Woods is well regarded and has particular strengths in betting and gaming, as demonstrated by his recent instruction dealing with a Gambling Commission review of a casino operating license, and the first-ever Gambling Commission review of a personal management license held by a key operator.


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