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United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: fraud > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Crime: fraud
  2. Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

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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.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

ABR Solicitors

ABR solicitors is a niche fraud, crime and regulatory practice with its head and back office in Leeds. It also has offices in Liverpool, Harrogate, Bradford and Huddersfield. ABR is committed to operating in a digitalised court process.

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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.

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