Belmores is a niche criminal law practice that handles the full range of case from murder to motoring offences. It handles both private matters and legal aid cases. Lead partner Dave Foulkes specialises in Magistrates’ Court advocacy, though he has recently been involved in long-running Crown Court matters. He acted for a defendant in a gang murder case, and defended another client in a death by dangerous driving case. He also defended a client charged with the import of crystal meth. Simon Nicholls retired from the practice.
General crime and fraud in East Anglia
The regulatory and corporate defence practice at Birketts LLP has an 'open and friendly approach to what can be a very confusing area for most people' and clients note that the lawyers are 'happy to explain any terminology or processes fully'. From private crime matters and the defence of national motor groups and companies in the road transport sector to food law and health and safety matters, the firm is a key adviser on complex cases. Barristers Matthew Gowen and the 'highly skilled' Julie Gowland in Ipswich are the lead practitioners. Associate Rebecca Utton is 'very understanding and accomodating'.
Other key lawyers:
Julie Gowland; Rebecca Utton
‘Open and friendly approach to what can be a very confusing area for most people. Happy to explain any terminology or processes fully and answer any questions from clients.’
‘Rebecca Utton has been very understanding and accomodating. She has readily explained any terminology and processes when asked and has made herself available to answer any questions I might have as well as been transparent regarding the work undertaken and cost estimates. The legal process so far has been much less intimidating for me due to Rebecca’s friendly, yet professional demeanour and a willingness to make the legalities as painless as possible.’
‘Julie Gowland is very highly skilled with excellent experience, and works with the client on their goal for successful achievement.’
‘Very good and considerate team.’
‘Always seems very helpful and had time and listened.’
'The service I received was always consistently exceptional', remarks a client of Fosters in Norwich. The firm continues to deal with notable and high-profile cases, including the on-going representation of a computer hacker in matters of domestic and international cryptocurrency fraud. Chris Brown and higher court advocate Damien Moore, who provides 'unbiased, non-judgmental, and completely appropriate legal advice', are the lead partners. The firm is currently representing a company CEO accused of conspiring to produce drugs and successfully defended two individuals in a five-week long trial concerning allegations of fraudulent trading.
Chris Brown; Damien Moore
‘Fosters Solicitors is incredibly exceptional. My experience with Fosters could not have been any better.’
‘Fosters deals with the matter of finances calmly and emphatically without using any prejudice, stigma, or unconscious bias while adequately billing me for their hard work.’
‘Fosters assisted me for a two-year period, which is a very long time. During this period, the service I received was always consistently exceptional. There was never a single dip in quality over this extensive period. During what was one of the worst times in my life I was never for a split second let down by this firm. Many people in my situation would not have been able to continue dealing with their affairs.’
Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich has a strong reputation across Suffolk for the defence of criminal matters. Lead partner Hugh Rowland's broad criminal law practice that includes niche expertise in advising victims of crime. He also has in-depth knowledge of the enforcement of Tree Preservation Orders and Felling Licences, as well as regulatory matters, environmental law and POCA issues. Newly promoted partner Matthew Swash represents clients at police stations, Magistrates Court, Crown Court and Youth Court. The firm 'guides clients through the process in a simple straightforward, no-nonsense way'.
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Swash; Joanne Henderson; Diane Bartsch
‘It has to feel personal, based upon trust and sincerity. It goes without saying the financial cost but this pales into insignificance if the support received is professional in all areas, especially timelines, things are done asap.’
‘In a time of need Hugh Rowland was my knight in shining armour. He offered reassurance and maintained a professional grip on the situation – managing expectations is important and Hugh maintained a very pragmatic position.’
‘Hugh Rowland is a first-class lawyer/advocate – he has maintained the highest standards with his private clients. The attention to detail is quite remarkable without losing sight of the overall objective in a case. Top practitioner in East Anglia .’
Hunt & Coombs LLP in Peterborough is 'an excellent regional firm that is very well run and client-committed'. Complex crime and mental health specialist Andrew Cave leads the practice along with associate Kashif Khan, who frequently handles cases of youth crime, often working with the Youth Offending Service to divert young individuals away from the criminal justice system. Cave is'goes out of his way for his clients, and the whole team has a very good manner and nothing is too much for them'. Senior associate Richard Boucher manages the firm’s Mental Health Contract.
Kashif Khan; Andy Cave
Other key lawyers:
‘An excellent regional firm that are very well run and client committed.’
‘Great company. Very knowledgable and great results.’
‘The team is led by Andy Cave who goes out of his way for his clients, the whole team has a very good manner and nothing is too much for them.’
‘Andy Cave is an outstanding solicitor – he knows his business inside out and exudes confidence when speaking to clients, putting them at ease that they know they have someone looking after them who knows what they are doing.’
Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar
The criminal and prison law practice at Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar is 'well organised, experienced, committed and hugely knowledgeable'. The dominant firm for criminal defence in West Norfolk, the firm handles both private and Legal Aid cases. Alison Muir leads the practice from King’s Lynn along with joint heads of police station investigations Nigel Taylor and Lisa Cross, as well as Wisbech-based head of prison law Julie Massen. Muir is 'exceptional, somehow seeming to have in-depth knowledge of every case that the firm deals with'. She is currently representing two clients charged with the wholesale import of cigarettes valued in excess of £700,000.
Alison Muir; Nigel Taylor; Lisa Cross; Julie Massen
Other key lawyers:
‘Well organised, experienced and committed. They are hugely knowledgeable.’
‘Alison Muir is the solicitor’s solicitor. Focused, well-organised and excellent all round’
‘MCP are strong at all levels of the crime team, from Alison Muir at the head of the team, to the highly experienced solicitors and paralegals. Work is always handled at an appropriate level within the team, and well managed. All are reliably responsive and communicative.’
- Representing a client charged with serious sexual offences who had been recalled to prison having already served a life sentence for murder.
- Representing a group of individuals all charged with possession with intent to supply drugs.
- Representing a professional client working as a magistrate with fraud/theft in breach of trust.