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Who Represents Who

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Belmores¬†is ‚Äėone of the biggest names in criminal defence in Norfolk‚Äė¬† and its track record in high-profile cases sees its key partners¬†Dave Foulkes¬†and Simon Nicholls¬†act for clients across the UK from the firm‚Äôs base in Norwich. The firm, which handles both privately funded and Legal Aid work, has a broad practice that covers general criminal offences, road traffic offences, benefits fraud, health and safety matters, trading standards investigations, serious sexual offences, internet crime and domestic violence. Nicholls recently acted for two well-known premiership footballers in separate motoring offences. The firm also defended several senior members of the clergy against charges of possession of child pornography.¬† Another highlight was the firm‚Äôs work¬†in Exeter Crown Court on behalf of clients accused of using explosives to remove ATM machines from banks.

Birketts LLP¬†is ‚Äėvery efficient' and has strong advocacy skills in barristers¬†Laura Thomas,¬†who leads the practice, and¬†Matthew Gowen. Thomas defended a man accused of common assault and senior associate¬†Julie Gowland, who ‚Äėknows her stuff and is very personable and understanding', defended the same client in a breach of restraining order matter. Gowen and Gowland worked together on a complex case of harassment and perverting the course of justice.¬†Senior associate Philippa Dyer¬†and¬†criminal defence solicitor Joanna Kasprzyk¬†are 'competent, assured, well informed, realistic and open to dialogue'. Dyer's caseload included the defence of a complex claim of gross negligence manslaughter. Senior associate¬†Simon Caltagirone, who handles¬†financial crime and white collar investigations, is also recommended.

Fosters in Norwich has a stellar reputation for defending criminal cases both in East Anglia and nationwide. The firm's Crown Court team handles high-profile and complex matters, which last year included the gross negligence manslaughter of a baby. The department also expanded its work in regulatory matters, acting for professional bodies and their members, particularly in the healthcare sector. Its cases include the acquittal of nurses charged with assault at large NHS hospitals, care homes and mental health institutions. Practice head Chris Brown is a leading light in the market. Higher court advocate Damien Moore regularly appears before the Crown Courts. He also sits as a chair of the Police Appeals Disciplinary Tribunal, adjudicating upon cases of police misconduct and poor performance.

Gotelee Solicitors provides 'a bespoke criminal defence service, with the emphasis on quality rather than quantity'. Partner Hugh Rowland has been with the firm for more than 30 years and clients describe him as 'measured, accurate and utterly dependable; he is trusted by clients who recognise the importance of those qualities'. 'He charmingly knocks the prosecution down', remarks one barrister who notes that the whole practice is 'outstanding in East Anglia'. He recently secured the acquittal of a professional man indicted for causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and defeated an application for a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for another client. The 'calm, engaging and very clever' Howard Catherall is recommended for motoring law and transport-related cases.

Hunt & Coombs LLP¬†is a standout firm for mental health tribunals and criminal defence matters, and clients are¬†‚Äėvery impressed with the service provided‚Äė.One comments that ‚Äėthe team provides excellent support and good advice, the lawyers have always been friendly, approachable and shown a genuinely caring approach to complex mental health issues‚Äė. Another remarks that it is ‚Äėa very good firm, old-fashioned in a good way in that it prepares cases well and supports counsel in court‚Äė. Head of crime and assistant coroner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Simon Milburn¬†is ‚Äėvery thorough, but also very realistic so that clients get proper and credible advice and can decide accordingly‚Äė.¬†Andrew Cave, who is currently handling a people trafficking trial,¬†and mental health law specialist¬†Richard Boucher¬† ‚Äėhave an excellent understanding of the issues, court procedures and cases where mental health is an issue, including fitness to plead, and are extremely supportive'. Cave and criminal law clerk Glenda Hair¬†are¬†'intelligent, able, have excellent judgement and are extremely committed to their clients'. Barrister¬†Mauro Maselli¬†also plays a key role in the practice.

Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar is widely seen as one of the finest firms in East Anglia for criminal law matters and is highly regarded for the experience of its lawyers and their focus on client care. Alison Muir leads the practice in King's Lynn and a higher court advocate. She represents national retail companies in regulatory law matters and also advises major government departments and other agencies on prosecutions. Her recent work includes defending a client charged with more than 70 counts of serious sexual offences against children. Ruth Johnson, who is recommended for her work in the youth courts, is defending a client accused of causing death by careless driving. Solicitor Tim Bartlam has more than 45 years' experience in criminal law. Nigel Taylor is currently handling a case concerning the manufacture of medicinal products without a licence. In Wisbech, Julie Massen has 23 years' experience in prison law, for which the firm has a Legal Aid contract. She frequently represents prisoners in parole hearings and adjudications throughout the UK.

Greenwoods GRM in Peterborough has a leading business defence practice that is regarded as one of the best in the region for corporate crime matters. Leading light Kathryn Gilbertson also provides a specialist prosecution service to private and public prosecutors who are not served by the Crown Prosecution Service. Gilbertson and senior solicitor and experienced advocate Anthony Le, who handles regulatory law and corporate manslaughter cases,  acted for the RSPCA in the prosecution of numerous animal cruelty cases in 2017. Humberside Fire & Rescue, NSAR and Camelot are also among the firm's clients.

Hegarty LLP in Peterborough has a highly active criminal defence practice, as part of which it operates a 24-hour police station callout service. The firm handles cases in Crown Court and is also recommended for Parole Board hearings. It regularly deals with cases of sexual assault, violence, murder, theft and traffic offences. Recommended lawyers include traffic and prison law specialist Julie Murtagh, associate Sarah Dunne, whose experience includes defending young offenders and clients with mental health issues, and solicitor Martin Newton who has among the first solicitors to gain Higher Rights of Audience.

The criminal defence practice at Leathes Prior handles a diverse range of privately funded cases and has experienced lawyers in regulatory and defence team head Tim Cary and newly promoted associate Tej Thakkar. Both play key roles in the firm's Traffic Lawyers service, which acts for clients across the UK in cases involving traffic and motoring offences. Thakkar frequently handles matters involving careless driving, drink driving, overloading, driving without insurance and speeding. He also has a busy caseload of general criminal prosecutions.

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