Next Generation Partners

General crime and fraud in East Anglia


Belmores is a niche criminal law practice that handles a broad range of cases from murder to motoring offences, handling both private matters and legal aid cases. Simon Nicholls and Dave Foulkes are the lead partners and both cover both general crime and cases involving alleged fraud. Its growing workload has led the firm to recruit two junior lawyers. Recent cases include matters involving the importing of diesel but failing to pay duty, alleged homophobic assaults, complex murder cases and a strong workflow of motoring offences including speeding offences and drink driving.

Practice head(s):

Simon Nicholls; Dave Foulkes

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has a ‘caring and supportive‘ approach to high-stakes criminal matters, in which it frequently competes with established City firms. Barrister Matthew Gowen leads the regulatory and corporate defence practice from Ipswich, though he works across all of the firm’s four regional offices, and he epitomises the firm’s approach of in-house advocacy. The practice handles high-value private crime work, financial crime investigations, the defence of road transport offences, health and safety matters, trading standards and food law. Recently promoted partner Julie Gowland is also highly experienced in criminal and regulatory law, including substantial POCA matters.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Gowen

Other key lawyers:

Julie Gowland


‘I have had a good experience – very caring and supportive.’


Fosters in Norwich ‘makes clients feel safe and cared for at a very difficult time‘. The firm has a highly regarded Crown Court team and is also know for its expertise in regulatory matters. Chris Brown and higher court advocate Damien Moore (who is ‘a very calm and confident man who gives a realistic outlook‘) are the lead partners and have more than 40 years’ combined experience in criminal law. The continue to be involved in high-value cases, including a recent matter for a landowner and company CEO accused of conspiring to produce cannabis and controlling a multimillion-pound cannabis factory. Moore also represented two retired teachers accused of a series of historic sexual assaults.

Practice head(s):

Chris Brown; Damien Moore


‘From initial inquiry the team at Fosters made me feel safe and cared for at a very difficult time. Fosters were very clear with me about costs and and on how I made payments.’

‘Damien Moore didn’t give me false hope – he was pragmatic but gave me confidence that we would do the best we could. He gave me a realistic outlook – a very calm, confident man.’

Gotelee Solicitors

Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich is ‘understanding and supportive with good personal service‘. Lead partner Hugh Rowland has a broad criminal law practice that includes niche expertise in advising victims of crime who are having difficulty navigating the criminal justice system. He also has in-depth knowledge of the enforcement of Tree Preservation Orders and Felling Licences, and he advises on all areas of regulatory breach such as trading standards, HMRC, POCA, environmental law, animal welfare, firearms, planning enforcement and road traffic. Solicitor Matthew Swash has 18 years’ experience in advising and representing clients in relation to all aspects of criminal law. Clients remark that ‘his client care is outstanding, he has a ready empathy, and is meticulous in explaining law and procedure to clients‘.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Rowland

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Swash


‘Understanding and supportive with good personal service, direct and good legal advice.’

‘Hugh Rowland was extremely knowledgeable and well practised in this specific area of the law. He dealt with my case sympathetically and commitment to me.’

‘They do seem to be well organised and kept up communications all through the pandemic. There was a good balance between dealing with the Solicitor and supporting staff. The standard seem to be high in comparison with other firms.’

‘They seemed very professional and to the point and had a good command of the law in the area we were working in.’

‘Very sympathetic and patient when dealing with a sensitive situation.’

‘From my first contact with Gotelee Solicitors to the last dealings with them everything was performed and carried out in a thoroughly professional manner. However, this didn’t stop the firm treating me as an individual and with a personal touch. All of this was very reassuring given the position I found myself in and helped to alleviate some of my fears.’

‘Nearly all my dealings were with Matthew Swash. The service he provided was in my opinion exceptional. He was straightforward in his dealings with me so I was fully aware of what was happening and the situation that I was in. The case he prepared on my behalf and presented to the Police was instrumental in helping reach the outcome that we did. His attention to detail and the way he interpreted the information that we gave him was remarkable and really helped highlight to the Police where they should perhaps be concentrating their efforts.’

‘I have worked regularly with Matthew Swash for over 10 years. His client care is outstanding. He has a ready empathy, and is meticulous in explaining law and procedure to clients. He works particularly well with his vulnerable clientele, and is perceptive in identifying potential areas in which expert witnesses will be needed to assist the trial process. He is fearlessly robust in protecting his client’s interests in dealing with the police. He is a diligent litigator and a pleasure to work with.’

Hunt & Coombs LLP

Hunt & Coombs LLP is ‘the best in Peterborough area, an excellent local firm that provides a highly organised and extremely committed professional service to their criminal and fraud clients‘. The firm holds Legal Aid Agency contracts in Peterborough and Huntingdon with offices offering criminal advice in St Neots and Oundle when required. It is highly regarded for defending complex crime cases including murder, corporate manslaughter, people trafficking and sexual offences. Lead partner Andrew Cave is ‘fabulous with clients and passionately committed to defending his clients‘ and one client remarks that he ‘has great energy and leaves no stone unturned‘. Simon Milburn left the firm for an in-house role. Criminal law clerk Glenda Hair ‘is always on top of her game, she never drops the ball and keeps the wheels turning‘. Senior associate Richard Boucher manages the firm’s Mental Health Contract.

Practice head(s):

Andy Cave

Other key lawyers:

Martin Shelbourne; Glenda Hair; Richard Boucher


‘The best solicitors in the Peterborough area. They are an excellent local firm who provide a highly organised and extremely committed professional service to their criminal and fraud clients.’

‘Partner Andy Cave is fabulous with clients. He is a committed fighter and passionately committed to defending his clients. He has great energy and leaves no stone unturned.’

‘The team have a wealth of experience, particularly Andy Cave and Martin Shelbourne who deal with the full spectrum of criminal offences. They have an unrivalled understanding of the local police, judges, courts and CPS – which can be very helpful in defending cases in that area.’

‘Glenda Hair – the firm would not be the same without her. Glenda is always on top of her game, she never drops the ball and keeps the wheels turning. She is always very reasonable, level headed and has a can-do attitude to everything. You know when you ask Glenda to do something, or to help, she will get it done.’

‘Andy Cave is a man of the people. Glenda Hair keeps the whole ship running like a well oiled machine. If you ever have an issue Glenda can get it resolved for you.’

‘I deal with the team on mental health side. I am quite impressed how they support mentally unwell patients in exercising their rights while they are detained under the Mental Health Act. I have also worked with the team on a number of medico legal cases and seen how well they know their clients and how they tailor their input to their particular needs.’

‘The whole team was brilliant. Eye to detail, communication and a company who seem to go that extra mile.’

‘Andy cave seemed to be very knowledgable, dedicated and direct. Like his department, was outstanding.’

Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar

Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar is ‘rightly recognised as one of the leading firms in East Anglia and provides excellent service from representation at the police station all the way through to trial‘. A dominant player in West Norfolk and highly regarded across the region, the firm is one of the few to have a Large Criminal Contract with the Legal Aid Agency. Its work spans all kinds of cases from motoring offences to murder. Alison Muir leads the practice from King’s Lynn along with head of police station investigations Nigel Taylor and Wisbech-based head of prison law Julie Massen. Muir has ‘has great tactical acumen and the ability to recognise what is important in a case‘, while Taylor is ‘simply the best police station representative and his advice at interview is always impeccable‘.

Practice head(s):

Alison Muir; Nigel Taylor; Julie Massen

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Winchester; Ruth Johnson


‘I have worked with MCP for about 20 years, and with some of their criminal team for in excess of 25 years. They are rightly recognised as one of the leading firms in East Anglia. They provide excellent service from representation at the police station all the way through to trial. The Criminal Department has strength in depth and provides great client care throughout the currency of any case. They communicate well with both their clients and with the barristers they instruct. The courts in East Anglia know them well and they are thoroughly well respected.’

‘Alison Muir is the head of the department and a senior partner in the firm. She is hugely experienced with real understanding of the criminal process. She has great tactical acumen and the ability to recognise what is important in a case.’

‘Nigel Taylor is simply the best police station representative I have known. He works long hours and his advice at interview is always impeccable. He is excellent with clients who, rightly, trust him implicitly. Ruth Johnson and Charlotte Winchester should be mentioned as highly respected solicitors in this area. Both are fully committed to their clients. Both are experienced in heavy cases ranging from murder to fraud.’

‘The head of the criminal department, Alison Muir, is an excellent solicitor, as are Ruth Johnson and Charlotte Winchester.’

‘All the fee earners are both thorough in their work, and realistic in their advice. The office is well organised, and preparation work is done promptly, often without needing to ask.’

‘Alison Muir is outstanding, providing a very high level of service no matter how highly in demand she is. Ruth Johnson is friendly and approachable, with a great deal of tactical insight to get the best results for her clients.’

‘Very knowledgeable and approachable staff with a vast range of experience. A good team. Someone always available to deal with queries or client contact.’

‘Nigel Taylor. Highly experienced and thorough. Extremely good at military law and Courts Martial. Ruth Johnson and Alison Muir are both completely dedicated to their client’s case.’